Trek unveils the new Session 88 at Sea Otter 2008

Apr 19, 2008
by Tyler Maine  
We at Pinkbike.com have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the all new Trek Session 88 bike. Since hearing rumors about it for just over a year now and then seeing a few prototype shots floating around the net, we knew that this bike was going to be a big deal. On Thursday we had the pleasure of attending the launch of the all new Trek Session 88 DH and FR models.

Have a read to learn more about this exciting new bike!To quote the folks at Trek "the focus of the Session design team was three-fold:create a new platform for gravity application that capitalizes on all of Trek's recent suspension technology improvements, optimize geometry and reduce overall bike weight." And from what I've seen they have hit the nail on the head with the two new Session 88 models.

The original Session 8 was in the works some 3 years ago, but Trek realized that they were making such head way with their Remedy and Fuel suspension platforms that they'd want to be applying those technologies to the new DH platforms too, so they shelfed the original Session 8 and went back to the drawing board with what they were learning from the other divisions within their company and a few years later we now see the fruits of their labors in the new Session 88 FR and DH models.


New developments such as ABP (Active Braking Pivot) and the Full Floater give the Session bikes amazing braking advancements and a real Bottomless feel according to Trek engineers and development team. I personally am looking forward to throwing a leg over one for some on dirt time. The ABP is said to improve braking performance on the Session 88 by 35-40% over the Session 10. The one piece EVO link ads a lot of lateral rigidity to the whole package too.


As with the Remedy platform, you'll find the E2 head tube on the new Session 88s. The E2 head tube is a tapered design that utilizes a 1.5" lower race and a 1 1/8" upper race. What does this mean and how does it benefit you? The down side to running a 1.5" on both ends is that you really limit yourself to stem options and are restricted to sizes there too. The 1 1/8" upper allows you to pick from the whole gamut of stems to run, while retaining close to the same stiffness as a full 1/5" H/T set up. Fox and RockShox will be offering forks and adapters for this new E2 set up.


TREK SESSION 88 DH SPECS-

Frame sizeSmall, Medium and Large (200mm of Travel)
Rear ShockFox DHX 5.0, 8.75x2.75, Tuned for the bike
ForkFox 40 RC2
HeadsetCustom Canecreek 11/8 top and 1 1/2 bottom
CrankarmsShimano SAINT
ChainringShimano SAINT 38T
Bottom BracketShimano 83mm SAINT
PedalsBontrager Big Earl Platform
ChainSRAM
CassetteSRAM PG970(12-26 9 spd)
Rear DerailleurSRAM X.0 Short Cage
Shifter Cable/HousingStock
Shifter PodSRAM X.0 9 Speed
HandlebarBontrager Big Earl OS Riser
StemBontrager Big Earl OS
GripsBontrager (Lock On Grip)
BrakesAvid Elixir CR Brakes
Front WheelBontrager Big Earl 20mm TA
Rear WheelBontrager Big Earl 150x12mm
TiresBontrager Big Earl 26x2.5", Kevlar Bead
TubesStandard DH tubes / Shrader valves
SaddleBontrager Big Earl
SeatpostBontrager Big Earl
ExtraMRP G2 Chain guide

With 3 revisions of the frame in just over 1 and a half years and a ton of input from the likes of Andrew Shandro and Nico Vink, you can bet that these new bikes mean business on the trails and race courses. The bikes are ready to do battle with the elements and take on World Cup courses.

TREK SESSION 88 FR SPECS-

Frame sizeSmall, Medium and Large (200mm of Travel)
Rear ShockFox DHX 5.0, 8.75x2.75, Tuned for the bike
ForkRockshox Totem MC w/E2 Steerer, 180mm
HeadsetCustom Canecreek 11/8 top and 1 1/2 bottom
CrankarmsShimano SAINT
ChainringShimano SAINT 36T
Bottom BracketShimano 83mm SAINT
PedalsBontrager Big Earl Platform
ChainShimano
CassetteSRAM PG970(11-32 9 spd)
Rear DerailleurShimano SAINT Shadow
Shifter Cable/HousingStock
Shifter PodShimano SAINT Rapid Fire Plus
HandlebarBontrager Big Earl OS Riser
StemBontrager Big Earl OS
GripsBontrager (Lock On Grip)
BrakesShimano SAINT 4-piston
Front WheelBontrager Big Earl 20mm TA
Rear WheelBontrager Big Earl 150x12mm
TiresBontrager Big Earl 26x2.5", Kevlar Bead
TubesStandard DH tubes / Shrader valves
SaddleBontrager Big Earl
SeatpostBontrager Big Earl
ExtraMRP System 3 with White Party Crasher


As you can see, both these rides are beautifully spec'd with nothing but high end parts. The suggested retail pricing reflects this as both the FR and DH models will only be coming in one offering each and you can expect to see then in stores with price tags in the $5999 range. This was the first real preview of what can be expected once the bikes hit show room floors as early as July of this season. Let it also be known that a frameset will also be available around this time too.

Check out www.trekbikes.com to learn more about their whole line up of bikes.


134 Comments

  • 29 3
 OMFG, that bike is a dream bike for me holy crap i never thought trek would make aother 77 type bike. trek rules
  • 10 22
flag pperini (Apr 19, 2008 at 15:31) (Below Threshold)
 what system does the swing arm use?....is that a Single pivot?
  • 19 2
 You know im not a Trek fan, but i like it
  • 30 72
flag happysumo (Apr 19, 2008 at 17:02) (Below Threshold)
 I came. Everywhere.
  • 10 1
 its so beautiful, i dont even like trek that much but its amazing looking
  • 2 1
 the only trek bike i would buy its super sick especially the fr i need a fr bike lol and street/dj
  • 10 20
flag olaffons (Apr 20, 2008 at 15:32) (Below Threshold)
 it's good to see Kona Stab made by Trek...
  • 5 1
 haha, there is way more detail in this bike than in a kona stab. mainly just in the pivots. and kona doesn't have all thi high teck tubing either...i don't think so anyway, feel free to correct me on that one. but i do see what you're sayin.
  • 20 1
 Trek has really got there shit straight this time! They finally saw the light and dropped the whole manitou line crap which they were plagued with for the last few years. Its nice to see that they are offering a whole saint bike too! Im glad to see that they bit the bullet and skipped out on the bontrager cranks and have cleaned up the bontrager graphics a bit. Most of all I'm super happy that they have partnered up with FOX racing shox for their Big hit bikes...Thank god, its about time. Im glad Shandro made the switch too! I really think these bikes are gonna help trek in the freeride and DH category. Does anyone know what the spec will be like for the more affordable models?
  • 1 0
 Oh yeah and another good part about these bikes...they are backed by a pretty sweet warranty, and made in the states.
  • 1 0
 it appears that there are no other models. nothing "more affordable", and there shouldn't be, because it'd be like the previous session 77 vs 7: the 7 was a poopship spec'd with a lowball fork and rear shock and clunky drivetrain.
there will be a frameset though, so you can try and build that up, if you can find an E2 fork.
  • 0 0
 Thats true, I had the 77 and I remember the 7 being kind of weak. Thats cool though I guess it's nice to see that they won't be compromising on something less.
  • 0 0
 I talked to a dude that said the 88 is all the hype, but there will be an 8. I'm pretty sure they are running it manitou which sucks fat dick but if trek is smart they will go with a marzocchi fork or a 36 fox fork. The one bad thing is that now trek has some weird head tube where it is 1.5 on the bottom and 1 and 1/8 on the top. I,m not sure if they will do it on the 8 but only Rock shox and fox makes forks that will fit that kind of headtube. If it is a regular headtube then I am almost positive it will have a manitou fork. The head tube thing isn't that bad either just because fox and rock shox kick ass. Only for loyal marzocchi users is that bad news.
  • 14 2
 those bikes are soooo killer. Yes Trek!
  • 13 4
 Oh wow, I never thought I'd like a Trek.
  • 3 0
 ok sorry but i have to post most of this. for the comment from m47h the 1.5 is at the fork so you can run any stem you like. second for all the people that think the 1.5 is not smart it is proven to add stiffness to the ride, better handling and so on. And the to answer the question about the single pivot it is a single pivot but it has the full floating shock and the new EVO link (about 30 percent lighter and stiffer than the prior link) and with the active braking system (keeps you shock from locking up during hard braking while shock is active). And fatprophet, trek has the best let me say that again THE BEST Reserch & Development of any of the top three out there right now. So I am going to go out on a limb and say that they will be a pretty good bike. They will have a lifetime warrt. on the frame and 3 to 5 years on parts depending on which one you get. But this is my 2 to 3 cents couldn't have everyone not know the true story about these bikes.

Cheers
  • 3 0
 Lets add to your story. Is it really a single pivot? I was under the impression that it was a new twist on the Horst linkage but with the full floater concept. A single pivot is like an Orange 224 evolution. The ABP pivot like you said is desigined to work similar to a brake therapy system... to prevent brake jack. Also Trek dropped the lifetime warranty on the session bikes. I work at a Trek shop and according to their warranty site, for session bikes it is only 3 years. However, that is still alot better than a one year warranty from some of their competion. I bet people will find that with this set up there is no need for a 10" session, but just to set it straight with sngltrkmnd, the session 10 is not a single pivot frame nor is it a freeride specific bike. An Orange 224 evolution is a single pivot bike. In addition, Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat and Nathan Rennie are kind of the shit in downhill and they all ride 10" bikes.
  • 0 1
 I'd like to add to that. Although I haven't seen the new s88. If you look closely at the pictures above, there appears to be a pivot located at the posterior end of the chain stay before the axle. This would negate the notion of it being a single pivot suspension all together. As well the free floating rear shock not attached directly to the frame is closer to the vpp genre of the free floating rear triangle. We could call this a virtual 4 bar, I guess. And as far as the 1.5 tube goes, well statistically it does add rigidity. But it's a pain in the #$$ if you want to run anything but a single crown. So I guess it will have to be a compromise. But 1.5 or 1 1/8 ; wouldn't stop me from buying a good bike you just have to adapt to some things.
  • 0 0
 OK sorry, I found some better pictures and there isn't a pivot it the rear triangle. So what does that make this. No Idea.
  • 0 0
 actually, there is a pivot at the rear end. it is around the axle. trek have called it ABP (see the article). this makes it similar in design to four-bar bikes and faux-bar bikes. (brands like Norco, Specialized and *cough, cough* Kona *cough*. In all fairness though, it does seem like Trek have really got their act tpgether with these two. they look brilliant, what with utilising all the new different ideas of increasing stiffness/lateral rigidity etc. I guess time will tell how well these new ideas hold up on the trail.
  • 0 0
 Ever heard of four bar?
  • 0 0
 cheers Man, I got the ABP pivot figured out. I agree, Trek does seem to have it all together on this bike. We shall see.
  • 1 0
 Lets get this straight people. This new tapered 1.5 head tube is a bit different yes. True you cannot use a full 1.5 steer tube fork but you can use virtually any 1 1/8 fork and or any dual crown fork with a 1 1/8 steer tube which is how most dual crown forks are. All it requires is something like e-13's head tube adapter which most 1.5 DH bikes have. If there is anything about these bikes to yap about its the fact that most of us average joes can't fork out $6,000 for one of these awesome rides.
  • 5 0
 the new saint group looks great, but i still don't see why a tapered steer tube / Head tube is worth all the extra trouble.
  • 4 1
 I agree with that point, sure it offers 1.5 stiffness with 1 and 1/8 stem options, but it adds a new standard to a category that didn't need it. If people want a 1.5 headtube, they tend to understand that they have limited selection in stems.
  • 2 0
 those look sweet! bummer deal they are trek. we'll see how they handle themselves. i'm skeptical now at best, but i can't judge till i ride. judging from trek's performance as of late, and ever for that matter, i'm not expecting much...
  • 2 0
 ah for Christ sake all you peeps bitching about whether its a single pivot or not.... It IS a single pivot... it just has some new linkage and a new place to mount the shock... Bring on the negative props!!!
  • 1 0
 ASSANINE STATEMENT. THERE ARE THREE PIVOTS. THE THIRD BEING THE REAR AXLE. THIS IS THE FIRST BIKE THAT HAS EVER UNTILIZED THE REAR AXLE AS A PIVOT POINT. IT IS NOT A SINGLE PIVOT!!! just so you know.
  • 1 0
 Great bike i have bought it and tried it out really excelent quality but the design didnt quite speak to me. I changed it at a motorbicycle.org they have chrommed it and now it looks a lot better if you have that bike i really advice to do the same.
  • 4 0
 there saints arent they..??:S
  • 2 2
 check the DH one it has the new Avid Elixir brakes on them
  • 1 0
 To Skinna, you could still use any fork with the session frame, you would just need to get a reducer for the headset or buy 2 headsets to make one. There are loads of 1.5 headtube frames with 1 1/8th forks on the market.
  • 0 0
 my travis is 1.5
  • 0 0
 I heard the new saint brakes are suppose to have a 50% stronger stopping power over the previous model. That's insane! I have the previous model and they have been the best out of the box brakes I have ever had. Compared to Avid and Hayes brakes my Saints are sick stopping power and good modulation. These new ones will rip the mounts right off your bike!
  • 0 0
 I cant imagine how this bike is going to ride, I work at a trek dealership and i test rode the remedy 9...only had 6 inches of travel but felt like it had more travel than my 7" kingfisher. were having trouble keeping them in stock!!!
  • 4 1
 AHH!!! ORGASM!!!!!!!! SO NICE!!!
  • 3 0
 The DH beast looks GREAT!!! and finally with great fork Fox 40
  • 0 0
 I had a bike,custom made with this full float platform, it is very nice. The only problem I see with this is the weld just above the chain stay pivot, this is where I broke that bike. Other then that it looks sweet.
  • 5 2
 thats f#ckn sick!!!
  • 3 1
 my god the 88 fr is awesome, the new saint parts are insanse aswell
  • 3 0
 sweet bike
  • 2 0
 well it looks like i need to start saving my money
  • 2 0
 sub 40lbs stock. rumor has it the 88 DH weighs like 37lbs!
  • 0 0
 Good call I heard rumors of for sure sub 37lbs something crazy like 36.7 or .6! This is kinda crazy thinking about all the amazing non weight weenie components on this bad ass bike
  • 1 0
 they look nice Smile wonder how they ride
pretty nice and plush im guessing ?
only treks i will eva like
  • 2 0
 that dh spec is just awesome enough said put my name down for one of each
  • 0 0
 i'd love to try those saint 4-pison brakes. i have the older 4-piston XT brake and it's a pretty powerfull brake. i bett the new ones are gonna kick ass.
  • 0 0
 that is one sexy rig. I dont even like trek and i would ride that. cam mccaul will be ripen the slope on those bikes. so bad ass
  • 1 0
 siiiiick i had no idea they were comin out with an 88 daaaamn. does anyone kno if theres an estimated price for it?
  • 1 0
 yes, re-read the article
  • 1 0
 i love the attention to detail its sweet, like on the bars and chainguide. they look ill
  • 1 0
 I just got back from sea otter, this bike is sick but its got nothin on the yeti prototypes
  • 0 0
 Bike looks awesome, the only question I have is that are they gonna use the old Saints components or will they use the brand new ones? I hope is the latter Smile
  • 8 8
 awesome bike, 1.5 and 1 1/8 headset is unreal! i also like avid new brakes
  • 6 2
 those are shimano brakes
  • 5 0
 I think he mean those on the 88 DH, not the 88 FR. Those are Avid Elixir.
  • 1 0
 how much is the 88dh retail for?
  • 1 0
 The DH one comes with the MRP G2! Soooo nice.
  • 1 0
 Well I know what frame i want Eek
  • 4 5
 How about FOX making a 180mm travel 40mm stantion 1.5 single crown? I think that would be sweet. I would buy one for sure. They could call it the FOX 40s.
  • 0 0
 That would be SICK!!! Hopefully fox will do something like that by 09. I'm waiting for a 40 van that would be even better than a 66
  • 1 0
 that looks the buisness, wouldn't mind one of those!
  • 0 0
 I'm surprised pinkbike hasn't caught up on a few other things going on at trek. RIP Dick Burke.
  • 2 0
 whoa, i didn't know he passed away! what a sad day for bikes. i am happy to say though that i got to meet him and ride with him on a tour of NZ a few years ago. what a great guy; he asked me what i rode and why. i have been a trek owner since '91 and he was pretty stoked about that. he proceeded to ask why i liked each of my bikes and why i chose them. he was an honest-to-goodness genuinely good person,
RIP. you're missed, mr burke.
  • 1 0
 omg thats so sexy at especialy the fr one nice one trek
  • 2 0
 that 88 fr is damn nice!
  • 1 0
 those bikes are epic!!! freeking insane good job trek
  • 1 0
 those new saint parts look sick
  • 1 0
 sweet, trek finally have some dialled bikes!
  • 0 0
 thats fucking sweet.. it i had the money and area to ride that.. i would so fucking by it!
  • 1 1
 looks good! but i seriously think trek should do something with that pathetic dirt jump bike they call the jack....
  • 0 0
 Hmmmmm.... Session 88, Giant Reign. I wonder if Trek really does make that? Me thinks not.
  • 0 0
 What are you talking about? Hey, how about you support the American economy and buy American for a chance... jk, buy what you want but the 88 is not a Giant Reign. If anything the 88, especially the front triangle looks kind of like the Kona Stab. But seriously these bikes are made in house in good old Waterford Wisconsin.
  • 0 0
 wtf? Trek? are you guys for real? made in taiwan you corporate teat suckelers.
  • 0 0
 True, except all of the OCLV and full suspension bikes are made here in the states.
  • 0 0
 SO SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 shimanos*
  • 5 7
 awesome bikes,The session line up with the session 10 is now complete.The best DH/FR collection from Trek is born now.Trek is awesome
  • 8 19
flag sngltrkmnd (Apr 19, 2008 at 15:20) (Below Threshold)
 i doubt the 10 will still be produced. it was outdated before it hit stores! is there anyone else making a 10" single pivot bike? no? why? because no one needs one. the best riders out there are killing it on norco 6's and SX trails and nomads and such. 10" is old school.
  • 10 3
 The session 10 is DH bike buddy. Its also not a single pivot. For a single pivot try a Orange 224 evolution. How many world cup guys do you see on sx trails and norco 6's?
  • 3 0
 technically the session 10 is a sp... it just uses links to fine tune the compression ratios on the rear shock (10.5 i2i) it has a 3:1 compression ratio... better then any other bikes (except the dhs mono). sp has a lot better square edge bump compliance due to the arced axle path. and with the CTE (chain torque eliminator) it still has really good pedaling efficiency, and has no chain torque. the rear suspension remains completely active under pedaling forces, allowing you to get more strokes in with out slowing you down.... it is soooo stiff and one of the best dh bikes around... the low center mass (the big alumanim chunk that houses the linkage) keeps the weight super low, this think stays stable over anything, and rails corners like an f1 racer... if you don't mind the weight (it is possible to get under 40lbs) and you're looking for pure performance this is the bike for you.
  • 1 1
 OMG OMG OMG i would Wink
thts well smart
  • 1 0
 nice i want one
  • 1 2
 I just wish they could have gone with a longer travel shock to lower leverage ratios.
  • 1 1
 i hope its beter then the session 7.. they're soooo shit!
  • 1 0
 Thats so damn HOT!
  • 0 0
 i know what frame im getting..
  • 0 0
 Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!!!
  • 0 0
 Loving the 88FR! 1st time I've ever seriously considered getting a Trek.
  • 0 0
 i would buy one for sure!!!
  • 1 1
 A faux bar without the advantage of a long seat stay.
  • 0 0
 wicked bike I'm getting a golden 77 trek rocks!!
  • 1 1
 shandro is so lucky that bike is off the hook! i want it!!
  • 1 1
 thats a sick bike 200 travel f*ck
  • 0 0
 Whats the price for the trek session 88 fr?
  • 0 0
 incredible. i love the geometry on them.
  • 0 0
 i how i wish i got one of those...nice bikes
  • 0 0
 sweet bike i would trade it for my norco anytime
  • 1 0
 TREK TREK TREK
  • 1 0
 del this
  • 1 1
 $5999
  • 1 1
 i love them both.
  • 0 1
 those r way better then then 77 i might just have to get one
  • 0 0
 crazy stuff .
  • 0 0
 how much do they weigh?
  • 1 1
 cool!
  • 0 0
 Above, Any 1 1/8th fork.
  • 0 0
 deff getting the 88fr
  • 0 0
 wwooooowwww.
  • 0 0
 that is so sick
  • 0 0
 sick!!!
  • 0 0
 its a nice machine
  • 0 0
 thats pretty sweet
  • 0 0
 nice bike
  • 1 3
 beautiful, anyone know what the geomentry is? or the top tube lengths?
  • 2 5
 i missed my chance to go... at least its annual
  • 2 5
 siiiiiiiiicccccccccckkkkkkkkk
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