Trek Session 9.9 Review

Nov 23, 2011
by Mike Levy  
Trek Session 9.9 Photo by Sterling Lorence
  The Session 9.9 is all new for 2012, and the forth incarnation of Trek's Session downhill bike. It is built around an entirely new frame for 2012 that is manufactured at Trek's U.S.A headquarters, with the front triangle, seat stays and EVO Link all being made from carbon fiber. Total weight for the production bike pictured above is 35lbs, making it the lightest production downhill bike available.

The frame alone weighs just 7.2lbs (including the stock Fox DHX RC4 shock and its steel spring) and comes from the factory with a two year warranty. Trek hasn't been shy about wanting to create the most capable off the shelf race bike available and to do that it needed to come stock with first-class suspension. As such, the production 9.9 sports Trek-developed proprietary Fox suspension, including an interesting Fox Hybrid Air fork that uses an air-assist spring that you'll find only on the 9.9, and a custom rear shock tune that is currently used by the TWR team. Both get the full Kashima treatment as well. If you purchase the 9.9 as your race bike you will officially have no equipement excuses to fall back on after a bad day on the hill.

Riding the Session 9.9


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Filmed and edited by Levi VanderKwaak

Suspension Performance: Fox Racing Shox and Trek have worked together on the 9.9's suspension with the result being a fork and rear shock package that is unique to Trek, and a setup that would make most factory riders jealous. Up front, the Hybrid Air fork, with its titanium coil and air spring combination, performed exceedingly well. Setup was a breeze, requiring only a shock pump to make major changes to the spring rate instead of needing to remove the fork's top cap to swap out the coil. While many riders prefer the active feel of a coil spring (thanks to them requiring less sealing surfaces than an air unit), air sprung suspension has the advantage when it comes to being able to quickly fine tune the ride for the terrain. Fox and Trek have managed to merge the best of both worlds with the Hybrid Air fork, with it feeling every bit as active as a purely coil sprung unit, but with the ability to tune the spring rate in the smallest of increments. Those who like to take the time to find their bike's ideal setup will be in seventh heaven with the Session's trick Fox fork.

Trek Session 9.9 Photo by Sterling Lorence
  Pinkbike's Mike Levy up to speed on the Session 9.9 on some familiar Whistler terrain.

On dirt the Hybrid Air fork felt a touch more progressive than a standard 40, likely down to the ramp up caused by the fork's air cartridge. This is a welcome addition to the performance, though, with it meaning that we didn't need to be quite as aggressive with the spring rate and high speed compression setting. This allowed for a slightly more forgiving ride, and in turn meant that this particular 40 was easily the most active that we've ever ridden. The Fox DH fork often receives criticism for its sticky feel (caused to the large surface area of the fork's 40mm diameter stanchions), but we had no such complaints with the unit on the front of the Session - it did a great job of eliminating the chatter from small bumps before it could be transferred to the rider, and in turn, surely improved traction at the front end as well. We've been critical of Fox's Kashima coating in the past, with the added smoothness of the gold coating being easily offset by many factors, but it likely played a role in the solid performance of the Hybrid Air 40. With a more active, yet progressive and controlled stroke, the Hybrid Air fork is the best performing 40 that I've ridden.

Out back, the World Cup spec DHX RC4 damper made for a very unobtrusive rear end - you know that good things are happening back there when the rear of the bike feels invisible. It simply went about its job of moving the wheel out of the way as fast as possible without complaint. It didn't matter if it was a 10" tall ledge that was trying to stop the bike, or hundreds of small spider roots that were splayed across the trail at every angle, the damper made everything feel like less of an event than it should have been. In fact, the Session's custom tuned DHX RC4 is the first shock that we've felt has equalled the much heralded Cane Creek DoubleBarrel in terms of outright performance, with the Fox shock being much easier to wrap one's head around as well. The tailor made shock features custom valving, but also a new check valve on the main piston that allows for oil flow on rebound and blocks it on compression, helping to improve the bike's stability. But one has to wonder how much of the rear end's action can be put down to the production bike's exceptional Fox shock, and how much can be pinned on the revised leverage ratio that is said to handle square edges much better (thanks to tweaked rocker link, seat stay and lower shock pivot locations). Either way, whoever ends up with the Session under them is going to have what we feel is the most dialed package that any rider could hope for. No aftermarket suspension upgrading needed, no sending the shock away for tuning, and certainly no excuses.


Handling and fit: Looking back at some of the more recent downhill rigs that we've spent time on reveals a host of bikes with very specific characters - some forced us to really ride the front of the bike, while others had us feeling as if we were in the backseat regardless of how many times we turned the dials and upped the spring rate. Yes, good riders have shown that those machines can certainly be ridden fast, but they do suit certain riding styles more than others. A neutral bike, one that doesn't favour a particular riding style over another, always results in a fast ride, and the Session ticks that box. The carbon bike simply went fast without making a fuss about it. Lean into the turn and the bike responds exactly how you hope that it would: with a planted feel that gives the sensation of it using some sort of traction control in order to remain so calm. It didn't matter if it was a fast, marbly sweeper, or a tight and off camber corner, the 9.9 tracked predictably and was easily controlled. Some of this is a result of the 9.9's impressive G4 Team tires, but it isn't that simple. While certain manufacturers out there are pushing common sense with bottom bracket heights in the mid 13" region, the Session's 14" BB height seems rather mundane. But it also makes it quite clear that a bike doesn't need to be scraping the ground constantly in order for it to rail corners. After our time on the Session it is easy to see why Gwin, with his precise riding style, gets on so well with the this bike.

Trek Session 9.9 Photo by Sterling Lorence
  The Session's top flight suspension devours nasty terrain, big and small hits alike.

The bike's staggering performance has to be put down to a number of different factors, with the dialed suspension, proven geometry and the bike's active ABP rear end all working together to create a formidable package. The predictable nature of the bike, no matter what type of corner or terrain, must be due in large part to the bike's active suspension that allows you to anticipate the bike's behaviour, but also the RC4's trick valving that works to keep the bike from pitching. This attribute also means that the 9.9's geometry remains relatively stable, even if you're not, and we're convinced that it is this reason that the 9.9 is the animal that it is. Can some of the praise also be heaped on the bike's carbon fiber frame? There is a good argument for it playing a part as well, with Trek's engineers making great efforts to tune the bike's feel by experimenting with different carbon layups, but we can't say how much it counts for on the trail. What is impressive, though, is how stiff the frame feels regardless of its 7.2lb (including the Fox shock) frame weight - there are many bikes out there that we consider to be noodles in comparison, despite some of their frames weighing 2lbs more than 9.9s. InTension in action? There is undoubtedly something to it. The 9.9 would likely not be in the same performance bracket that it sits in if one or two of the above qualities were missing, but the package as a whole adds up to a bike that should be sainted for its ability to not punish mistakes. Hang off it any which way you'd like, ride the brakes, take the wrong lines - you'll suffer for it less on the 9.9 than on any other downhill bike out there.

Not so fast: The 9.9 is closer to being without fault than we would have ever expected, but a racer always wants more when talking performance. The one area where the Session may not be best-in-class is when it comes to putting the power down. It steams ahead in a satisfactory way, but it certainly doesn't have that rare, inspired feel that a few other steeds can boast about. It actually feels a bit humdrum when you're asking your legs to do all they can to make up lost time.

The Session also gives the impression of being slightly shorter in the cockpit than some other downhill bikes, with the medium size's effective top tube length feeling shorter than its 23" measurement would have you believe. Riders who would usually be aboard a medium will want to have a close look at the numbers, or even better, take a seat on one to get a feel for it. We wouldn't go so far as to say that the front end is cramped, but we were aware that the bars seemed a touch closer to our knees than we were used to. At 5'10" I could ride either the medium or large, but would likely prefer the longer of the two sizes. The bike's wheelbase also grows by a full inch between the two sizes, from 46.5" to 47.5", with the extra inch coming solely from a longer center to front number.

Andrew Shandro riding at Whistler on a prototype Trek Session 9.9
  Trek's Andrew Shandro puts in the testing aboard an early 9.9 prototype well over a year ago.

What about those parts?

• The Session 9.9 comes stock with a few different Bontrager components, including its 2.35" wide G4 tires that bear a striking resemblance to the popular Minion. This isn't a coincidence, the Minions are a proven performer, but the G4 tires do have some subtle differences to the knob shape that actually make us prefer it over the Maxxis rubber. The tire has a much more predictable feel than what we've come to expect from the Minion, in our opinion allowing them to not only hold an edge longer, but also break traction in a less eventful manner that feels more controlled. Some riders will take issue with their 2.35" width, preferring to run a wider option for their trails, but we were happy with how they performed. Braking traction, as you'd expect from looking at the design, isn't as good as found with some other tires.

• The bike's lightweight Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon handlebar may look a little strange thanks to its unconventional shape - the sweep takes place further out from the stem clamp than other bars - but it does feel comfortable. Its 750mm width would have been considered massive at one point, but we would have liked to see a wider bar on the 9.9, possibly the new 820mm wide carbon fiber Bontrager DH bar that will soon be available. That's 32.28"!

• Are carbon crankarms up to the task of life on a downhill bike? After smashing the XO DH arms into rocks, landing to flat too many times for our liking, as well as a few eventful pedal strikes, we'd have to say that yes, they can handle whatever you want to throw at them. They also just happen to weight in at 750 grams (including the GXP bottom bracket), lighter than many cranksets built exclusively for cross-country use.

• The rest of the XO DH group performed just as well, with the brakes offering up plenty of power that was easy to control, enough that we'd question the need for average sized riders to make the move to the heavier Code stoppers.

• MRP's 156 gram G2 SL ups the bike's carbon content even more with its carbon fiber backplate that is sure to get the doubters talking, but it proved to be reliable and strong enough to brush off multiple impacts from us grounding the bike out on high points on the trail.

• While the bike's build performs well, as we'd expect given its $8,929.99 USD MSRP, we just couldn't come to terms with the stock grips. Every rider who sat on the 9.9 said that swapping out the grips would be one of the few changes that they would make. Are we nitpicking? Probably, but it just goes to show how close the carbon Session is to being without fault.

Trek Session 9.9 Photo by Sterling Lorence
  The bike's surefooted feel inspires confidence on fast or lose terrain, with its G4 rubber impressing us time and time again.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesTrek has put a lot of effort developing the Session into a package that performs well on any terrain, and it showed when the bike was ridden on the edge of our personal limits. When the point is reached where rider skill level is maxed out, when things can start to look ragged and like you may only keep it up another few seconds, this is the time when the 9.9 comes into its own. The new Session is the most forgiving bike that we've spent time on in this regard. To put it clearly, the 9.9 will simply not punish rider error as much as other machines. This is a highly significant point when talking about a bike that has been designed as a no holds barred race bike. In the heat of all this praise it's important to keep in mind that race times will always come down to rider skill, no matter how great the bike is. Not to shatter your dreams, but don't expect the 9.9 to be lifting you up from sport category pack fodder to pro-level podium contender. And the Session 9.9 will surely have its critics. Some will never be convinced of the validity of using carbon to build a downhill frame, others will point out that the Bontrager components, as well as they perform, have no place on a bike costing $8,929.99 USD. Hell, the frame alone retails for $4,199.99 - that's more than many off the shelf complete bikes! Price and components aside, the fact is that Trek has designed and built the highest performing downhill bike that we've ever tested. Strong words that are sure to stir the pot, but we have to give credit where it's due. - Mike levy





SESSION 9.9 FRAME DETAILS:

• Intended use: Downhill racing
• All new carbon frame
• Carbon EVO Link and seat stays
• 210mm of rear wheel travel (up 10mm from last year)
• Tapered E2 1-1/8'' - 1.5'' head tube
• Frame is approx. 800 grams lighter than the TWR team's aluminum version
• ISCG-05 chain guide tabs
• 12 x 157 ABP DH rear axle spacing (slotted 150mm rear end for easier wheel alignment, can also accept standard 150mm wheels)
• Internal or external cable routing for both brake and derailleur
• Custom Fox RC4 shock with TWR tune
• Adjustable geometry allows head angle range from 62.5 to 65.4 degrees
• Revised suspension rate for better square bump performance
• Frame weight: 7.2lbs (w/ Fox DHX RC4 shock with a steel spring)


The bike's low weight and suspension is only part of the story, with its adjustability also playing a big role in its performance. Between the Session's Mino Link system (rotatable chips used to attach the seat stays to the EVO Link, pictured to the right ), the Cane Creek AngleSet headset that comes stock, and 12mm of adjustability in the Fox fork’s axle-to-crown length, the new Session has over 28 geometry settings. This unique combination of adjustability provides 1/3 of a degree adjustments at the head tube, and bottom bracket adjustments down to the mm. Excessive? Certainly not, considering the bike's intentions as a top tier race machine. It should also be stressed that although using a combination of the Mino Link and AngleSet allows you to select a head angle between 62.5 to 65.4 degrees, the Mino Link's prime intention is to tune the suspension by varying the leverage ratio to either devour square edge impacts or to pop, enabling the rider to clear rough sections with ease. The AngleSet and axle-to-crown length compensate for the geometry changes made by altering the Mino Link.


Trek Session 9.9. Photo by Sterling Lorence
  While the layout may look the same as previous years, closer examination reveals slight changes to the pivot locations that have been made, enhancing the bike's ability to handle those square momentum killing impacts. The main swingarm pivot is still in the same location relative to the bottom bracket, but both the EVO Link rocker's shock pivot and seat-stay pivot locations have been changed slightly. Trek has also altered the length of the swingarm's 'Full Floater' extension at the lower shock mount. Why? Trek is adamant that the suspension's leverage rate plays a much larger role in allowing the bike to carry momentum over rough ground.

The new design features a slightly flatter rate through the middle of the stroke - where the bike spends a lot of its time - which allows the rear wheel to react quicker to abrupt impacts that try to suck your speed away. In simple terms: the rear wheel can move out of the way faster if the suspension uses a flatter leverage rate, and the faster the rear wheel can move out of the way, the more momentum the bike will carry. That flatter rate also adds an extra 10 mm of rear-wheel travel, upping the total amount to 210 mm. Of course the 9.9 employs Trek's ABP system that allows the dropout pivot to rotate concentrically around the rear axle, limiting the amount of rotation between the caliper and rotor, making for more active suspension under braking, but the design is also interchangeable to accept both common 12 x 150mm hubs and the new 12 x 157mm size.

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  Some of the 9.9's most interesting technology is hidden within the frame. Like all top carbon frames, the Session frame is built using a bladder - a lightweight inflatable balloon is inserted within the frame to apply pressure to the layers of carbon as they cure inside the mold. A rubber bladder cannot apply even pressure to tight and or complex-shaped sections within the frame. According to Trek, instead of adding extra carbon to reinforce these trouble spots, it uses a proprietary low-density, ultra-stiff material inside the frame to evenly pressurize these areas from within. Interestingly, Trek claims that this method, referred to as 'InTension', actually results in tube sections that are four times higher in flexural strength and eight times as stiff. InTension helps build a lighter, stronger carbon structure by replacing inner layers of carbon with a material that fills more volume, but with significantly lighter weight than a carbon-only structure. Presently, the Session 9.9 is the only frame in Trek's lineup that currently uses InTension, but Trek is so pleased with the performance that it is likely to be found on other models in the near future.


2012 Trek Session Geometry:
Between the Session's Mino Link system (rotatable chips used to attach the seat stays to the EVO Link), the Cane Creek AngleSet headset that comes stock, and 12mm of adjustability in the Fox fork’s axle-to-crown length, The new Session has over 28 different geometry settings. This unique combination of adjustability gives you 1/3 of a degree adjustments at the head tube, and bottom bracket adjustments down to the millimeter. Excessive? Certainly not considering the bike's intentions as a top tier race machine. It should also be stressed that although using a combination of the Mino Link and AngleSet allows you to select a head angle between 62.5 to 65.4 degrees, the Mino Link's prime intention is to tune the suspension (by varying the leverage ratio to either devour square edge impacts or to pop, enabling the rider to clear rough sections easier, while the AngleSet and axle-to-crown length are used to compensate for the geometry changes made by altering the Mino Link.

MINO LINK RACE - big bumps, super fast, steep, maximum square edge absorption
Mino Link Race
MINO LINK PARK - maximum pop for jumping, higher BB for super rough and rocky, fast-pedaling courses.
Mino Link Park
*size medium, applies to both carbon and aluminum models

Options: It goes without saying that a $8,929.99 USD mountain bike does not make sense for the vast majority of riders, regardless of how great it is. But it gets interesting when you take a look at the two aluminum framed options, the $6,299.99 Session 88 and the $4,619.99 Session 8. While they are missing some of the suspension trickery that is employed on the 9.9, the genes of a fast bike should still be present, especially when you consider that the geometry is identical to their more expensive brother. We are a bit disappointed to see that Trek decided against offering an aluminum frame on its own.

Trek Session 9.9 Photo by Sterling Lorence
  The 9.9's component spec consists of a mix of SRAM, Avid and Truvativ's new DH specific group, along with a some of Trek's in-house Bontrager parts sprinkled in. Some may be disappointed to see the Bontrager branded post, bar, tires and rims, but it needs to be noted that Trek has spared no expense when it comes to the bike's suspension. The custom tuned rear shock is the only production damper that makes use of a one way check valve on the main piston, something proven to be beneficial on dirt bikes to control chassis movement, and the Trek only fork is sprung with a combination of air and a lightweight titanium coil spring to keep the weight low and adjustability high. Both units receive the full Kashima treatment as well.

Specifications
Release Date 2012
Price $8929.99
Travel 210mm
Rear Shock Fox DHX RC4 w/ custom TWR tune and Kashima coating
Fork Fox Factory Series 40 Fit RC2 w/ Hybrid Air and Kashima coating, 203mm of travel
Headset Cane Creek AngleSet
Cassette SRAM PG-1070 11-26, 10 speed
Crankarms SRAM X0 DH Carbon
Chainguide MRP Carbon
Pedals Wellgo MG-1
Rear Derailleur SRAM X0 DH
Shifter Pods SRAM X0, 10 speed
Handlebar Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon
Stem Truvativ Holzfeller
Brakes Avid Elixir X0
Wheelset DT Swiss 240s 20mm front hub, 12 x 157mm rear hub, DT Swiss FR 600 rims
Tires Bontrager G4 Team
Seat Bontrager - Evoke 4, titanium rails
Seatpost Bontrager Rhythm Elite, 31.6



Photos by Sterling Lorence



221 Comments

  • 133 6
 An incredibly sick bike, but 9 grand is taking the piss IMO... I fear this may go the same way as the ticket and be so insanely overpriced that nobody buys them.


You could build a world cup spec V10c for 2/3rds of that...
  • 21 1
 they should have done what specialized did and just threw some descendant cranks on there and some cheaper bars along with brakes and the carbon guide is a little over kill also. without all of this stuff you could save nearly a grand on the total price. making the bike still extremely expensive but a lot cheaper compared to 9 grand. Basically get the bike close to $6,500 and people will buy it. end of story
  • 23 0
 yeah very true. i guess there will always be people with the coin to buy things like this, but for 99% of riders it's an impossible dream.
still, in a couple years this technology will have trickled down until it's available at a price point that we can all afford it. and that's the true worth of such development in my opinion.
  • 20 2
 I imagine trek have simply tried to go all the way with their race-ready spec. It's designed to be an off-the-shelf machine for downhill racing, and nothing less. According to trek, this spec is as good as it gets. If the only thing PB felt like replacing was the grips, then that's a solid effort. And I reckon if you spent 8 grand, you'd be pretty pissed off if trek had just slumped on some entry level components to fill the gaps. 9 grand gives you pretty much the best. Nothing less.
  • 18 24
flag tabletop84 (Nov 23, 2011 at 3:42) (Below Threshold)
 I'll rather wait for the yt industries Tues 2.0 carbon. Will cost half the price with a better spec.
  • 10 0
 Yea on trek.it comes around $9,000 which is insaine
  • 11 1
 I feel this is a step towards the ridiculousness of road bike pricing. Sweet bike, completely overpriced.
  • 33 0
 I think this bike is pure sex. For the record.

This bike is not for everyone. But they made it for their WC golden boy, and he deserves it. And you can buy one. If you have the money. How cool is that? Models like these push the envelope of bicycle design and its how we move forward. This has been done for generations in motorsport, as well it is common in road cycling. The lessons learned trickle down to everything we ride, at all price points. Not all bikes are designed around being a good value. Did I mention you can buy one?
  • 9 0
 I remember spending £3500 in 2009 on my bike and that was the high end of the market what the hell are bike company's playing at bringing out these bikes that nobody can afford without re-mortgaging their house for 10 years.
  • 16 2
 For the record, that bike is close to a third of my pay for the year. I suppose I could buy one, but then I wouldn't have the money to buy a pass or go anywhere to ride it. Leave the 10k bikes to the middle age road bikers, there is nothing on that bike that truly justifies the price. Just the frame alone is 1000 more than other DH carbon frames. It's justifiable because they leave the bladder in?????? I'm calling BS on this.
  • 16 0
 Hahah well with my paper rout it will only take me 9 years to save up for this Smile
  • 11 0
 BS? I don't agree. I struggle to understand the mentality every time something like this comes up on here. Trek does not make this bike to be a $9000 "value". They have a lot of R&D into this. You pay for that when you buy one of these. They don't aim to move these like hotcakes- I can assure you that. This is almost a "halo" type rig. It pushes the technology, it gives the brand sex appeal, it helps Trek to evolve. There are many reasons to make this bike and sell it. Its not to offer the best downhill bargain and to most, including myself, it makes no sense to buy one.
  • 13 0
 I think I'm gonna get that truck I need instead.....hmmmm
  • 11 1
 My God its so simple!!!!- if you can't afford it you won't buy it. all bike lines have several models at different price points. I personally like reading about the newest, lightest, strongest stuff out there. There will be models down to almost every price point, but you won't likely see any carbon DH bikes less than $4000.00.
  • 18 1
 Some of the comments about how much lower the price of other WC level rigs are i totally agree with but there is no way to effectively bring down the price of this bike. The problem with its price tag doesn't fall on the small Components it falls on just 3 things: the frame, shock, and fork. Both suspension pieces are unique to this bike and there for made in small batches increasing cost. The fork and shock have custom valving and the fork has an adjustable air assist that no other 40 will have during 2012. And the frame is $4200 alone. Suggesting that downgrading the brakes and so on would make a big enough dent to bring it down to $6500 is silly. They buy those components in bulk and included them into a complete bike's price tag at a huge discount. if you were to downgrade all the small stuff outside of the big 3 pieces i mentioned you would only be looking at $1000 savings at the absolute most. I just don't see this bike getting cheaper unless the air assist in the 40 becomes standard in all Fox 40's and the price tag for the frame is lowered. The rear shock is probably the only reasonably priced custom component for this bike (lots of manufactures do go that route). To give you a comparison take the Demo II at 6600 complete wc build and a frame only price of $2650. When you do the math you are getting the brakes and so on at the same price point as other manufactures.
  • 13 5
 You're missing the point, the point is that this frame or bike shouldnt even be that expensive.... Compare it to a V10c... You could almost build a V10c for the cost of the 9.9 frame alone
  • 4 3
 The point is, the R&D isn't that expensive. They changed where the pivot is, and made it carbon.....
  • 3 0
 i agree with Nobble...this bike shouldnt be worth this much unless it was like a pound (which it most certainly is not) and indestructable. But it isnt and if the 9.9 frame is as much as the V10wc then unless you are pretty damn rich then i think that is a waste of money and i think that trek should lower there price no matter if they downgrade anything or not.
  • 5 0
 By the time normal riders can buy this bike, Bikes will be being made out of an even lighter material! Like...all lasers!! and the wheels like TRON!
  • 5 0
 Jesus i think ill buy a brand new car or maybe pay for uni instead of paying that much for a push bike :L I thought v10's where over priced, Now i can show the parents this and they will think the v10 is a bargain :L
  • 2 1
 Wow you guys dont understand, heres an example when 3d tv's came out some were almost 6k GBP thats like 9k in dollars. But look at them now, you can buy a better on now for 500GBP. These technologies will trickle down, The high price covers R&D and is aimed at those who are willing to pay, in a year or two once R&D has been recovered they will sell this kind of tech at a lower price. Simple business. Can afford it, stop bitching and leave it to those who can. No-one is forcing you to buy it!!!!!
  • 3 0
 R+D is what a company in a rapidly evolving business has to pay for to produce competing products.
As the customer i dont want to be hearing that i am paying (a massive price) for some expanding foam inside my bike.

What's more as many have said there are alternatives as equally desirable as this such as the Summum and the V10 at a much more bearable price.
  • 3 0
 I have to say, of I the people I know who ride bikes. Not one of them would even consider spending $9000 on a bike...
  • 6 1
 That is a great looking bike and Trek is really doing some smart things with there rides.
Internal cable routing, bash gaurd on down tube and integrated bumpers in frame.
Other company's should take note.
But..... $9000.
For a racer at a level (that actually means something) who needs to shave off 3-5secs off a run.... maybe.... but for everyone else.... forget it.
I just built my aluminum frame DH bike up for $4800 and change and it weighs 39lbs.
$4000 extra is a lot of coin for 4lbs and a custom fork and shock that is not going to make the average rider much quicker.
I'll just work on my riding to save the seconds with my stock Fox DHX RC4 and Boxxer.
I'll take the left over $4000 and buy the wife something to keep her happy as well.
That's money well spent IMO.
  • 1 0
 tbf it comes with a unique-to-trek front fork....
  • 4 1
 The V.10C with the SC DH kit is about $7100. The Session 9.9 has a nicer fork, cranks, and more carbon (and is probably lighter). I'd say all that is worth the extra $1500. Also the 9.9 is OCLV, a bit nicer than the carbon tech that SC uses.
  • 1 1
 Yes, I read that.
I did read the article before commenting.
A hybrid air fork sounds great along with all the other advantages packed in there but $4000 extra is still $4000 dollars extra.
The buck has to stop somewhere.
These things are not going to make much deference for most riders.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not Trek bashing.
I'm not tied to any brand.
If a company can give me a bike that preforms great with decent spec at a reasonable weight and price that makes me grin...I'm all in.
  • 3 0
 But the 9.9 is not $4000 more than the top-end V.10C.
  • 1 1
 No, your'e right.
I'm saying $4000 dollars more than my non-carbon build that is good enough for me.
  • 2 0
 get a K9! F1 suspension technology! full race support!
  • 8 0
 I think everyone misses the point. You can buy a spec ed ducati worth 30,000$ or a stock honda that is worth 14,000$ and the honda is still faster. Speed or in this case race time or weight is not the point at all. In every hobby there are examples like this. A 10,000$ canon eos1 with a 6000$ lens will not magically create better photographs than a used canon slr at 250$. Its a hobby, thats the whole point.
That bike is amazing btw.... Smile
  • 6 0
 Trek never made this bike for people to buy.... they made it for TWR, the fact that you can buy it is a bonus. Nobody NEEDS a bike that makes them a fraction quicker, unless your competing at WC level, in which case the bike isn't going to cost you that much. The only reason trek have put this up now, rather than when it's cheaper is that so some rich mid-life crisis guys can buy them. They don't need it, but hey they put the money into the sport, unlike someone like me just buying second hand. Ok it costs too much, but hey there are cheaper bikes, thousands of them, so why complain about this one being expensive?
  • 2 0
 @paulclarke, Wait what? "Speed or race time is not the point at all"? Then what am I spending $9000 on?
  • 2 1
 if i had £9,000 id buy a 2nd hand van insure it buy a newish bike (nukeproof scalp or somthing) and have takeaways for a whole month ... thats alot more fun i think Big Grin and you'd still have money left over
and how much is specialized carbon demo? id rather that tbh :/
  • 2 0
 ^^ corvette vs. golf GTI is another comparison.
  • 1 0
 More like koenigsegg CXX vs Audi R8.
  • 1 0
 ahh but compare a mitsubishi evo to one and it will be close and still alot cheaper
  • 2 0
 more like mr kipplings mince pies vs Aldi's own mince pies
  • 1 1
 i dont like mince pies 0.0
more like ...
shimano sis vs saint Wink
or kia vs lamborghini
or call of duty vs battlefield
or ....
haha this is boring now idk even know what started this?
  • 3 0
 i think trek did
  • 1 14
flag dirtjumperalexb (Nov 23, 2011 at 16:33) (Below Threshold)
 gt furys are 10 times better than this
  • 12 0
 @dirtjumperalexb - I assume that you've spent plenty of time on both before coming to such a strong conclusion..
  • 1 0
 For 9k it should come with a ti rear spring. Other than that its perfect.
  • 5 0
 For 9k it should come with a motor lol Smile
  • 1 0
 @tom666, for the average person buying a bike like this compared to a similar bike worth 7,000$ will notice no difference. A 15lbs road bike compared to a 40lbs road bike will save you mili seconds over kms. You will notice no difference. But people still spend 15,000$ on road bikes as a hobby. The public that will purchase this bike is not buying it for the 2lbs their going to save.
  • 8 1
 I have spend too much time reading this, but as an engineer and a long time cycles, I find many of the comment troubling and the argument missing. Nobble you are not thinking about the world as a whole, only you pathetic little life. Bikers who get freebies like all the trek team get to race these, hoping the advanced suspension will allow them to work less and win more, and all the engineers who worked on them get too ride them as well. The Trek 9.9 is the best of the best ride I can assure you is is so much nicer than any build of a V10 carbon, I use to ride a v10c and own a trek remedy now, there are things the treks suspension can do that VPP just can't handle. The engineering on this bike is crazy complicated, ever take a basic physics class, if not wiki "hooks law", springs are amazing, try dampening them perfectly to handle the rocks roots and drops is difficult because each one demands a different ratio and compression figure. Then look at the way the back pivot move you start getting excited, their are student who get PHD in physics by doing complex analysis on bikes. So lets back up and think, can you afford a Audi R8? no but its still made and sold, and there are people who have more money than imagined and think all this technology will make them faster, sorry not true, it fun amazing and like the R8 fast, but both can't make someone a better driver or rider. The point is simple fox and trek engineers where just having fun making an amazing bike. So the first comment on this article needs to be!

This bike is amazing end of story!

PS The argument is meanwhile in CanadaSmile
  • 1 0
 The way to look at this is to compare it to other sports. Motorsports mainly. If you think about it, this is effectively like mclaren F1 team turning round and saying that their F1 car is now for sale. The price would be sky high, but it's just the fact that somebody can buy it that counts. Or if ducatti turned round and said that a complete replica of rossi's bike was now for sale. People who can't afford it should just forget it is even on the Market, because really, it's just cool that some people can buy it. It's not like now we all have to buy one if we want to race. I think trek selling for that price is acceptable, because it's basically exactly arron gwins bike. And think about it, how much would you pay for a mclaren F1 car eh?
  • 1 0
 yeah but an f1 car wont be sitting in your garage from dusk till dawn
and anyway f1 cars gearbox's are somthing like £60,000
but fair point cause treks frames gotta be £4 - £5000 alone
yet thats the price of a aluminium 2011 88 full build
still what a wicked dream bike
it makes you wonder what will be next in line for performance bikes it feels as though were at the limit now..
although people may have said that 10 years ago lol
  • 1 0
 I think alot of that money is that your getting the new Fox 40 hybrid fork,I dont think its vailable to anyone else yet so trek had to pay something considerable for that privilage.
But 8300$ is taking the piss.
  • 2 1
 Well call me a mid-life crisis dentist then cuz I just got a 9.9 frame for $2700. $400 cheaper than my M9. See ya out there suckas!
  • 47 2
 I wish I had a Kashima coated "shaft"
  • 10 0
 well your son could if you find an asian lass Razz
  • 19 1
 If you spend 5k on a "normal" bike like many of us have with an average income, 10k is nothing to someone who makes decent money and loves bikes. That thing is to bike porn what "Twilight" is to lameness....
  • 25 11
 rather have a carbon v10
  • 3 2
 Same here, And it will be the best name in the business.
  • 2 1
 And you could build it up witht e specs you want, like Top of the line stufff, xo/ raceface/ chris king build for like 2000 buck less. thats what I did
  • 8 1
 I must admit its an awesome bike and shows what engineers are able to do if you give them enough time and cash!!! However we see Dany Hart winning the Worlds on the "standard" aluminum bike by 11sec without all the fancyness, carbon fibre, and high tech. The truth is: Nobody needs a 35lbs full carbon firbe DH bike!!! Its more susceptible for impacts than aluminum, super expensive, and will be a bitch to re-sell coz I think most people are smart enought not to buy a used carbon DH bike.

I think there are better ways to blow 9000 bucks....
  • 1 0
 But Danny won by 11 seconds, so it's to do with him not the bike. If it was closer, then Gwinny on this would sure as hell have the edge. The rider does more than the bike, and Danny killed it, but that doesn't mean that the Glory's a better bike, but I'd bet you that on this bike he'd have gone faster..... So giving that as a example is bad, due to the fact that he won from a time that the bike wouldn't affect. Where it counts is when you win from 0.01 second.
  • 7 0
 Read almost all the comments here, and I can see how different everyone's reaction is towards this bike. It is very expensive, and like one dude said, 99% of us would never be able to shell out that much even for such a high-end race sled.
Comparing it to the SC V10c, the vpp counterpart is almost 2k less fully built BUT if the ENVE rear triangle does go into mass production, there's no doubt in my mind it'll tip over the 8k price easily; seeing the Session 9.9 frame is almost all carbon sans the chainstays. The prices of these high-end race bikes are all up there. Hell the Norco Aurum is almost the same price.
But then again, all our whining go amiss compared to the prices of road bike frames, easily in the 8k range for a frame and fork. Given the price difference is attributed to who buys/can afford 'em. Theres a higher/bigger market for road bikes compared to mountaim bikes, much more on gravity oriented ones. The DH market is still so small compared to other disciplines.
Buy what you want and what makes you happy as a rider. AND it won't hurt having this, or any other high-end carbon sled. Thats just my opinion. tup
  • 4 0
 This is the sort of bike that would make a great used purchase. Some fat accountant would buy it, and then realize that a sprog on a battered old Bullit with Shermans still kicks his ass. The walk to the Whistler chairlift then becomes the 'walk of shame' as everyone just smirks at him. The bike then gets sold and he buys a Colnago.
  • 1 0
 haha good point. last time i was in whis I saw a dentist/accountant with a beautiful carbon v10 high pressure spraying all his bearing assys with the hose in the bike wash. noooooooooob, but i felt bad for the bike not the dentist
  • 4 1
 personally, this will just never be for me. I salute Trek for what they've done and have always have and will continue to think that they put out fantastic frames all over the place (XC, Road, DH, AM, FR) but carbon fiber just scares me as a material for frames, links, etc. but that's just my 2 cents

if someone wanted to go ahead and just giiiiive me one though.....Smile
  • 3 0
 Yeah, lottery bike!
  • 14 1
 About three decades ago aluminum was considered sketchy and many people doubted it would stand the test of time. Now look at basically every bike these days. Carbon is the new thing. There's no reason to doubt it's strength.
  • 1 0
 the reason people doubt it is just human reaction to the way things fail. someone may trust a steel rod over a ceramic plate because one bends and the other shatters. it doesn't matter if the plate can take more load. the simple truth is carbon fibre can take more load than aluminium or steel
  • 1 0
 See the thing about carbon is it can be engineered to be stiff and somewhat brittle, or can be flexible.
  • 1 0
 On my side, the only reason I wouldn't take it is that if you have a rock hitting it, your frame is probably done, just my opinion, maybe im wrong
  • 4 1
 Good review Mike, as usual seems honest and objective

Anybody concerned about the price I recommend this article on bike radar:
www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/10000-bikes-whats-the-point-32350

InTension technology smells of "can internal bladders used during moulding process of a carbon downhill frame be removed easily, fast and cheap without compromising structural design guidelines?: WE HAVEN'T SOLVED THIS - since you pay so much, here's a good story why do we keep them inside" Big Grin
  • 6 1
 Bahahahaha, your kidding right.... Trek would probably profit more from the increased sales because of a lower price. This is a mid life crisis bike.
  • 3 0
 Its a carbon DH frame. Yes $9K is a lot of coin. But we could be road bikes riders pedaling around something that has essentially remained unchanged for almost 20 years and Cerevlo has a frame that has a $9800MSRP! At that price this thing is a steal.
  • 4 1
 Laughing at all the debate on here over the price. Who cares if another manufacturer has a similar frame/build for less? Trek clearly don't. Stop complaining and go out and order the cheaper bike instead if its such a big problem for you. I'd love a Ferrari but I don't have the money so I can't have one, Subaru will do the job. As several riders have mentioned, Trek did not make the decision to make this bike available to the public with the intention of selling millions or even thousands of them, its not a sales driver or a huge profit generator for them, its a symbol, its a statement, it's a marketing ploy, and it's working its magic right now. Someone at the top of the comments also mentioned that its unbelievable that you can actually buy one of these if you have the money, and that's true. I'm no Trek fan-boy, but they have done well here, so kudos to them!
  • 4 0
 Nice bike. Who is actually going to afford one of these as a bike anyway? No matter how hard I work this one will be out of reach.
  • 9 0
 This will go nicely with all the other shit i can't afford..............
  • 9 0
 For a typical US doctor making over 250 grand a year (many surgeons make closer to 1 mill), 9 grand is pocket change. Visit your local high-end road bike dealer on the weekend and look at the cars in the parking lot. Guys like that help to keep our local bike shops in business which is great for everybody.
  • 5 0
 In reality, nobody needs a carbon DH bike. Unless you're a world cup racer of course but I kindof don't see the point.
  • 3 0
 Nobody needs a lamborghini when their 20 years old either. If you lived in Vancouver you would understand. But it doesn't matter, someone will always buy it. You most likely do not need the quality of bike you have but you have it cause you wanted it. Same thing but on a different level
  • 1 0
 I understand but this is like next next next next level.
  • 1 0
 Consedering there are bikes out there that are 6,000$ every day on whistler than no it is not that crazy. Top of the line norco aurum dh with highest component package is 7350 USD.
  • 1 0
 And this is crazier than being 20 and owning a brand new lamborghini! No. You are wrong.
  • 4 0
 Cant you by A summun for a damn sight less thats around the same weight??? That price is ridiculous for the average Joe (or Bob for that matter)
  • 2 0
 I used to be a major carbon skeptic. Then I got my carbon Remedy and fell in love with it. I'm sure that Trek can make a carbon frame that's as strong as any aluminum frame. I've smashed my Remedy up like no other, pushing it down some of the most technical DH trails and the frame doesn't even have a scratch that goes through the clear coat yet. I'd love to see how the frame strength of this compares to my machine.
  • 3 0
 Just waiting until i see 8 of these come crashing down a hill at the next race with some fat old business man sliding down behind it in his troy lee pyjama's :L only people who are rich enough to afford it.
  • 2 0
 I think its funny when USA guys think this new product is expensive, but they may be tipping to Pinkbike in over price Apple Computers or I Phones.
The 9.9 isn´t just another bike, in fact for me when you buy this, what you getting is a WC rig, not a simple bike, big difference. This is the same kind a deal that you would do if you want tho enter in Rally Racing. You would have to buy a nice car and tuned up with new components. In this case, is like you could buy a tuned rally car right from the store, no need to add new things.
Sure that are more more "realistic-price" WC rigs, but this will also gives you status.

I think what Trek is doing, is bring almost-prototype technology to the public. And dont forget, im not sure, but this is (or is close enough) to the rig that win 5 WC races.
  • 2 1
 I'm actually suprised that mid 13s bottom bracket heights are pushing common sense in your opinion Mike. With proper suspension and pedaling technique you should have no problem. It not may be for everyone but spending 9k on a bike should mean you have some basic skills like not pedaling where you shouldn't. I'm at 13.7 and I know the bike could be a bit lower and I still wouldn't hit more rocks.
  • 1 0
 This, people have gotten their standards from a lot of old bikes. I had a Yeti ASX with a BB pushing 15", that would clip it's pedals like nobody's business. Rode very low. I've spent a lot of time on an M9, and it's one of lowest bikes out there. I hardly ever clip a pedal on the M9, gave me the confidence to pedal anywhere at anytime, while cornering or so be it.
  • 3 0
 Yup. Cliping pedals is more with how you pedal and where you pedal than the bike you own. I went from over 15'' to sub 14'' and I don't think I clip more pedals. Hell I even got a bit too fat and rode with a camelback full of different stuff that made my sag close to 50% so I could touch the ground with my heels when i tilted the pedals and the smashing wasn't much worse than before. It's even more suprising considering 95% of pinkbike hate to pedal anyway Wink
  • 4 0
 Think of it this way, the lower your BB is, the easier it is to find something to lean your bike on. The beauty about the 13.5" BB is that you can practically lean it on the side walk! That should be something the 95% can better relate to! Wink
  • 2 0
 I'm even more suprised that park bikes don't have lower bb's since they go over smoother tracks and much more rarely are meant for pedalling. Imho they should be low as fuck.
  • 2 0
 all a matter of definition "low as fk", Trek slash is a great park bike in my books and it has BB low as fk! But I am a very strange person, I think BBs these days get too low, all of a sudden bikes got lower and this travel that BB height was meant to accomodate suddenly dissapears as if by magic. I don't mean I like Kona Stinky 2001 BB height. But getting close to 13" on a DH bike gets over the edge as well I think... ending up with BB 12cm above the ground during bottom out, which mean 5cm bash to the ground clearance is a very disturbing vision when landing in a rockgarden

Well on A-Line kind of track a DH bike can have 11"BB and no one would give a sht. On Olympic XC course you can roll easily with roadie BB height. Mountain biking goes to sht
  • 1 0
 So park bikes can get lower!

Also close to no bikes are at 13'' today. Mine is 13.7'' and I can land in rockgardens. I only grind when I get to slow and fall into holes between the rocks too much and that only happens on crazy rockgardens like in maribor but that's my fault. You have to learn to ride your bike.


Also How high is slash? last time I have checked it wasn't that low.
  • 1 0
 when i got my recent bike i dropped a full inch. definitely was clipping pedals more. but only took a couple weeks to get used to it. haven't had any problems since. as long as your not dragging your bash guard during bottom out then all is good. you are bound to occasionally hit due to terrain. but thats what the bash guard is there for, right?
  • 1 0
 An inch is a lot. I went by 0.7 inch most and 5mm shorter cranks and it felt ok.
  • 2 0
 I would guess for 2013 this bike will be made in taiwan and not the USA bringing down the cost substantially. I also think for this money the bike should come with maxxis tyres, race face bars, mavic wheels etc.
  • 2 0
 I'm fairly certain it is already made in Taiwan. Trek secured a patent for OCLV for overseas production early this year.
  • 2 0
 How good is the production of Carbon Fibre parts and frames for the environment vs Aluminum? i know that once it's recycled its not even close to as strong and can not be used as proper carbon fibre anymore. Landfill time??
  • 1 0
 Good question. I've never heard of carbon fibre being recycled. Anyone else know?
  • 2 1
 not possible. the resin used to stick it all together doesn't come apart again
  • 2 1
 without any research i'd think raw carbon fiber materials are more friendly to produce than raw aluminum. but yes it cannot be recycled. although, how many aluminum bikes get recycled? i know my local recycling center wouldn't accept a frame.
  • 4 0
 I did some digging and there IS some carbon fiber recycling in the works, including separation and recovery of both the carbon and the resin. Not sure how far along research vs. commercial application it all is though.

www.bis.gov.uk/files/file34992.pdf
www.recycledcarbonfibre.com

Both Trek and Spec seem to be on board:
www.cyclingnews.com/news/trek-embarks-on-ambitious-carbon-fiber-recycling-program
www.bikerumor.com/2011/11/10/specialized-accelerates-carbon-fiber-recycling-program

Tadow
  • 2 0
 Actually a few bike companies do offer carbon fiber recycling services. I'm pretty sure they just melt them down, chemically separate the carbon from the resin, and re-use it.
  • 2 0
 i thought it uses a thermoset, so it never melts again?
  • 2 0
 I'm not positive, but there may be a way to chemically remove the natural carbon.
  • 3 0
 The Environmental impact of part and frame production should be a #1 priority for us outdoorsy types shouldnt it? glad to hear im not the only one who's thinking about it!
  • 1 0
 would love to feel how (or if) it differs from my 2009 session 88. If there were major differences or minor. And how close an older session got to the same performance if just the suspension was swapped.
Regardless i still think it looks great and love the idea of the rubber or whatever it is on the rear swingarms to stop the rubbing from your feet.
  • 1 0
 I think you need to compare the bike to others in terms of performance then rate it from there. How would you rate it compared with a Carbon V10, or even a "cheap" 3k price range bike? I am impressed you did find something negative about it though, something a lot of reviewers wouldn't have the guts to do.
  • 2 1
 Just ordered a frame set. I have been running numerous carbon parts including bars, cranks, wheels, etc with no problems. A higher bottom bracket makes sense for those of us who freeride and are not just cruising the lift accessed terrain. I am constantly striking my cranks on my Knolly. As for cost, it is a bit more than other boutique frames like my Knolly was. If you hang onto your bike for more than a season, it isn't a huge extra expense over 3-4 years. Think of how much you loose every time you sell a bike or frame you bought new. Don't see any reason why I would want to replace this frameset any time soon. Agree that the complete bike cost is rediculous. Can do a much better and lighter build for less.
  • 1 0
 The specs weren't as great as I had hoped for a 9K bike. For that price I would expect a step up from welgo MG-1 and holzfeller stem. I would like to see something like the new straitline AMP pedals and straitline DM stem...
  • 1 0
 Now my question is, if in "pinkbukes take" it says clearly that no matter how good the bike the race times will always boil down to rider skill, whats the motivation to buy this bike then?!? Spend 9k and imagine crashing that thing a rock garden cause you know dh riding crashes are avoidable for only so long. I'd rather buy a snowmobile and have fun the other 8 months of the year when the biking resorts arent open but to each their own.
  • 1 0
 aron gwin would be quicker than me if i was on this and he was on a walmart clunker. doesn't mean i shouldn't have a good bike
  • 1 0
 There is a difference in a having a nice bike and over paying for a name. You could have a bike for every different style of riding(dh,ss,dj,xc) for the price of this one and they could all be nice. Like I said to each their own I would never spend more than a few grand on any bike its just like buying a brand new car and driving it off the lot, the depreciation is so large as soon as you drive away its not worth it anymore.
  • 1 0
 and with a 2-year warranty on the frame, you could crash hard 3 years in and be S.O.L for a replacement...
  • 1 0
 Theres a couple techniques with pricing that some companies use. When something new to them (carbon DH frame) is released to the masses. They dont necessarily want everyone riding one right off the bat. If something is wrong or there they missed a flaw. You could ruin your entire reputation (Marzocchi 888, 08-09). So make the price high, few will be purchased, and if something goes wrong. They only have several thousand warranties to deal with rather than tens of thousands of warranties. this is probably why the custom Fox 40 is also included. Fox doesn't want too many out on the market right away. i bet in a year or two, if all goes well. You'll be able to buy that particular Fox 40 aftermarket. As for the rear shock. several bikes come with custom valving from factory. its not revolutionary.

It is a beautiful bike, but i dont think it will make you any faster than something thousands less. I think they are also trying to capitalize on their recent racing successes (dont blame them). Everyone wants to ride Trek right now. some will give in and buy so they can claim they have the "best". DH is starting to hit its trendy stage, and thats what i think we are starting to see IMO.
  • 1 0
 "Mid 13" bottom brackets pushing common sense"? My Demo sits at 13.5 and I have never felt it was anything but a step in the right direction. You wanna talk low? take a look at my sister's SWD Crazy 8 built way back in 2007.... 12.5" BB. Corners like a Formula 1 car and she's having no problems with it.
  • 1 0
 Let's call this bike what it really is....smart business practice.
Setting the marketplace up for the next round of price increase if you will.
All successful business do it from the latest 3D TV with more inputs to that shinny new sports car that parks itself.

Seller says - Look what we can do and you can have for $9000!
Consumer says - Very nice but $9000, that's way to much!
Seller says - Expensive but high quailty and state of the art.
Consumer says - True, but more than I need.
Competitor says - We can do something close to that for less. Only a little more than what you pay now.
Consumer says - That seems a little more resonable for upgrades.
Seller says - That competitor's is good but maybe our lower end models may suit you for a little more than you pay now but not as good as this state of the art model.
Consumer says - Well, let's take a look at one of those.
Seller says - right this way.

Final choices?
Consumer buys the state of the art one because they just have to have it.
Or...
Consumer buys the competitors product at a higher price than what they pay now.
Or...
Consumer buys the sellers lower end product at a higher price than what they pay now.
Or...
Consumer dosen't buy anything and does without. (unlikey, we like stuff to much)

Bottom line - Margin goes up for marketplace and consumer goes away happy with a new puchase.
For a little more than you pay now, of course.

It's all bid-nezz kids... it's all bid-nezz.
  • 1 0
 It may have already been said but if someone wants a more value oriented DH bike Trek does offer the Session 8 which is now built up with the redesigned frame that was only offered with the 88 for the 2011 model year. Hence the trickle down of the super high end into the more practical bike offerings. I think bikes like this are great because the technology found on them eventually makes it down into more sensible pricepoints
  • 1 0
 It's no doubt the price tag makes this bike available to a small % of riders. In all honesty it's about your priorities. A lot of people have no problem spending that amount on a home entertainment system. Most people spend three times that on a vehicle. If you're serious about getting into downhill racing, then buy this bike and drive a car worth $1500 to take you to the trails. I also agree that developments like this help bring the bike industry to new heights, and soon we will be able to upgrade to this bike for a mere $3000 for it will be old tech, but still way better then that old bike we rode back in 2011 =)
  • 1 0
 I can`t help myself, but think this is a just more than a bit unnecessary. I mean, if you actually "need" this bike, you`re on WC circuit already fighting to get the last .256sec off your time and have something of similar quality. And if you`re not, you are definitelly not gonna get there, or even close to it for that matter by buying this one. Just my 2 cents.
  • 2 0
 The claimed weight of the frame can't be correct. There is a pic of a small frame on Pinkbike with a Vivid air, and that weighs 7.11lbs, so the frame with RC4 and spring can never be 7.2lbs
  • 1 0
 I got the frame at an amazing deal and built it up with full custom build and it is the sickest bike I have owned. I won't be able to put it to the true DH trail test until the Spring but it is sure not to disappoint. Weight varies with my suspension & tire setup options from 33-34.25 lbs. It feels so foreign to pick up a DH bike that weighs so little! The internal cable routing was not terribly difficult but it also wasn't terribly easy, for the brake hose that is, but it makes for a super clean setup. The derailleur housing was only tough getting through the chainstay. It was moderately different than my 88 but just took a bit of persistence. All was worth it because this thing is so sick!
  • 1 0
 I'm sorry, but R&D is not really a valid reason to hike up bike prices. We all know that all bike tech is extremely simple and has been available for many years, it is likely that the technology and techniques used to make 2015's frames will probably be 10 years old. It is simply that manufacturers can sustain a more profitable model line by using the better processes incrementally rather than making the best frame possible now. For instance the thu axle trends in forks/ rear end, Low void carbon, tapered steerer/ headtube, larger bearings etc etc - all these things are pretty obvious, even 15 years ago so to insult people by purporting them to be hi tech is a bit lame
  • 1 0
 Trek has been truely at the top of the DH/park bike game since 2009 for those whom have actually had a chance to log some ride time on different rigs & now the 9.9 has shown just how far the Session and Trek can be pushed..Ive had the privledge of riding some of the very best big hit/dh bikes out there and none have felt as comfortable or have been as forgiving as a Session..Thanks Trek for propelling us all foreward!!!
  • 1 0
 Why has trek not turned out a Freeride bike?
The scratch was ok, but more all-mountainy.
The session88 was the perfect FR bike!
I just cant imagine someone on this or a session 8 at rampage.
Come on, trek, build a Freeride bike, not all of us are fast enough to dh race!!!
Freeride requires skills and progression!!!!
  • 1 0
 If Pinkbike bum licked this bike anymore they'd be tasting what it had for lunch:

It says it was 'no expense spared'. It's got bontrager parts all over it, which are not common place on most bikes, and aren't 'no expense'.
Carbon 820mm bars... are you joking? 800mm bars are excessive, yes it gives you the option to cut them down but do you really want to go cutting carbon?
End of it all, ridiculous price tag.

On one of the largest mtb websites, at least give slightly realistic reviews. Bias is in any report, but there's a limit.
  • 1 0
 it's superb bike, but with the price tag at $9000 and 2 years warranty. I better get the V10c that had lifetime warranty.
by the way if the carbon bike construction was so sick, why they didn't put the lifetime warranty for the frame?
  • 1 0
 As far as the frame goes, I think having Gwinn finishing and winning the 2011 WC Series on the 9.9, gives Trek a little more credibility and confidence in asking such a steep price. (only a 2 year warranty?) Trek claims that they have a stronger process for making CF frames over their competitors. Maybe all the R+D for this CF process is where the bulk of the money is going but I doubt it. I think that they are throwing on these"proprietary" shocks and forks as just a bullshit way of inflating the price and gouging the consumer. OR it could be they are expecting ALOT of warranty replacements and you are really paying for 2 frames in advance. Trek had alot of warranty issues with the 1st gen 88, maybe they're expecting more with 1st gen Carbon DH 9.9 . In 08 Trek asked 6K for the Session 88 that was stocked with all in house Bontrager components and a "specially" tuned DHX. When I sent in my Session's DHX to Fox for a tuneup, I just asked for Trek Session tuning. The Fox tech kinda snickered and told me there was nothing special about the Trek tuning. That it was a standard "b" tune. It was just a gimmick to get people to justify paying an extra 1500.00 for a new bike. That being said, I still ride a 1st gen Session 88. Built it up as a frame only and love it. I just feel that Trek is making a huge profit on their bikes. One thing about Trek is they know how to make money, even in the tougher DH market. I hope they are being truthful about it being made in the US. Ive wondered if the Carbon technology boom is way for these companies to get consumers to cut back on buying used frames which hurts their sales. People are gonna be less willing to invest in a used Carbon frame .....maybe.
  • 1 0
 Never again trek. The rear triangle is warped and I've got no guarantee. I tightened the screw like the instructions shows me. But is broken on a roadgap and the link is bent. The bike is exactly 1 year old and costs me € 5000...Frown
  • 1 0
 The Green Back has been devalued by nearly 96% recently. Which makes your Dollar worth a Nickel. Last century in Nazi Germany it was said that a loaf of bread cost a wheel barrel of money. Get your wheel barrels out for these bikes!!
  • 1 0
 Great review and awesome pics!

I have an older session 09 or 10 I think? I love it! Amazing bike. If this one is that much better then wow.

As for those bitching about price, its a Trek? They're expensive! deal with it. If you did buy it you would not be disappointed.
  • 1 0
 Take most all the equipment off and put it on a GT Fury Carbon!
Now that whuld be Porn!

Nice frame but if it does not pedal as good as a i-drive or have better scuare edge bump absobtion, then why bother...

I like the shock technoligy, ill just wait for Fox to release those coil/air shox - forks and we are Rockin.

Cheers.
  • 1 0
 Norco Aurum LE is 7400$ CAD, weight 34.7lbs. The frame is aluminum and comes with a few CF parts. It also comes with Cane Creek Double Barrel rear shock. A.R.T. is a great way to tweak the FSR patent. It leaves you with about 1500$ to spend on what you want.
  • 3 0
 High end bike are about customising not bontrager . Way over priced and under cooked add more yeast and let it ferment .
  • 2 0
 besides the ridicules price!!!! its a sick bike. no arguing that.
did anyone else notice in the movie him smash the rear derailer at 2.09 ??
  • 3 1
 they will be cheaper when they move to manufacturing to asia... if they don't. no one will buy one cuz people need to still buy food and water...
  • 2 0
 Pretty sure the frame is not made in the 'States.
  • 3 0
 I'm speaking for myself, but this is so far out of my league. I would like to see more bang for the buck types of bikes.
  • 1 0
 Airborne Bicycles
  • 1 0
 I saw this bike in person, it looks like a freaking stealth fighter jet. The thing just looks like it wants to go fast as hell, but at 9 grand i think i'll just stick to looking at it Wink
  • 2 0
 does anyone know the quarter mile time on a downhill slope no holes,roots or bumps for a fat f^&*k on this bike, is there no standards to compare it to another bike ?
  • 1 0
 9 grand gets you a carbon over plastic bike? gonna throw the B,S card here. for $9,000 there should be no fillers if i wanted fillers i'd go buy a box of twinkies and some oreos and save $8,990. hahahahahahahaha
  • 1 0
 "Total weight for the production bike pictured above is 35lbs, making it the lightest production downhill bike available."

The 2012 Norco Aurum LE is 34.7 lbs (www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/dh/aurum)
  • 1 0
 And the Mondraker Summum Pro Team is 34lbs.
  • 1 0
 listen here im perfectly fine with my 05 santa cruz, the only way id justify riding a bike like this is if i was a factory team rider, not worth the price tag is alls im sayin.
  • 3 0
 For 9k I'd buy a motorbike. Looks nice though
  • 5 0
 For 9k, you could buy 2.
  • 4 1
 nice bike! but 9,000 bucks?!?!?!?!!? f*ck that.
  • 3 1
 how much did dave burke pay to have this review written up? it's a little too gushy for me to take seriously.
  • 2 0
 Great review, and I love the insight on the frame manufacturing process. Props to Mike once again for keeping it honest.
  • 2 0
 2012 has hit an all new high in cycling. Trek is proof that bikes just keep getting better.
  • 3 0
 Marzocchi has been running hybrid fork for quite some times.
  • 1 0
 But hey, FOX did it now, therefore it is presented as some space technology.
  • 4 0
 It's actually quite a different system..
  • 3 0
 Forget a new car, i'm getting a new bike!!! Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I've ridden tons of bikes and my favorite was the Session 88. The next progression would be the 9.9.
  • 1 0
 bottom line is get the bike to 28 pounds and its worth it, Bike is only as good as the rider, remember carbon fiber doesn't dent, it shatters
  • 2 0
 Rumor has it from an inside source this is the rider who tested that new Trek www.pinkbike.com/video/229037
  • 1 0
 I hate to say it but when you can get a top of the line 450 motocrosser for less than a mtb, i believe most people will go with an engine
  • 1 0
 Mate, you could buy a decent DH bike, a used 600 and a used MX bike for the price of this. It's $9000, and it's a Trek. I mean, how uncool can you get?
  • 1 0
 It's a great bike for sure, but it doesn't garante anything. It's all about the rider's skill and balls that determines whether or not he/she wins.
  • 3 0
 sick f#cking edit!
  • 2 0
 Mikey is just living in dream!!
  • 3 1
 Two words. Pure. Sex.





If I had $9k.
  • 2 1
 Nice ride ... but far from being worth the price, you could have some high spec custom build for the same amount.
  • 3 1
 Someone else dream to have one of these?
  • 1 0
 nice video and bike, but they should of take Aaron Gwin to show what the bike can do...
  • 2 0
 seems like a hucker's dream.
  • 1 0
 i wish i could spend 9k on a rig that wouldn't punish me as bad for my mistakes!
  • 1 0
 Now how much is THAT bike cost? the one you just tested, that makes it a Demo bike right? That put down to about $6.5K
  • 1 0
 fuck me, damn exspensive. I guess you get what you pay for I suppose. If Gwiny uses it, then its hottt!
  • 2 0
 Mike your job is sick! I would love to spend a day on that bike.
  • 2 0
 there is NO sexier bike on earth
  • 1 0
 A doctor who will keep it garaged and has no time to ride. Yup thats it!!! Thats America for you budday.
  • 3 0
 I am a doctor and ride 5 days a week on the Shore year around. But then I am Canadian.
  • 2 0
 9K WOW, give me a SC V10 and save some $$$
  • 4 1
 Dear santa....
  • 1 0
 Amazing bike, but I really doubt its £4000 better than the alu Session 88?
  • 1 0
 YES i order one, first week of december i have the most beautiful bike of the world, yes.
  • 2 0
 It needs some ENVE wheels!
  • 1 0
 i work in the oil refinery next to the place that discovered/first made carbon fibre Wink bet you didnt know that?
  • 2 0
 "2 year Warranty"..!? That's it..?
  • 2 0
 Will Buy next year 2011 model lol.......
  • 1 0
 The next 40 that comes out will be an air fork. Talk to someone from fox. Should be sick
  • 1 0
 I'm getting the frame and put a FOX VAN 180 no matter what anybody says..and I've got what I want for 5k..pics in August!!!
  • 2 0
 Such a beautiful bike
  • 3 2
 This is the future of DH frames. I love it and would love to ride one!
  • 1 0
 Great video! loved hearing the trail!
  • 5 4
 i would prefer to see it with a saint kit instead of a sram tbh
  • 8 0
 I found saint to be heavy, cumbersome and annoying to adjust on my glory, just my experiences. Just the fact that giant now ships glory o's with XO means alot to me as a rider, IMO obviously
  • 2 0
 Local grassroot's type rider for Norco, got his new bike this year with Saint deraileur rather than X0, he actually hates it. Says it doesn't shift nearly as well as his old X0.
  • 1 0
 I have a saint on my DH rig and an XO on my AM, and I think they shift relatively the same. The only thing I notice about the X0 which I like is how firm the shifting feels. When you change a gear it just has that super solid feeling which is noticable compared to the saint. I would honestly say they shift about the same though. I don't know many people that can shell out $200+ for an X0 when they smash it on a rock.
  • 1 0
 Why the XO...Weight? I dunno.
  • 1 0
 Weight, precision, aesthetics.
  • 1 0
 It's a nice bike an al but it looks like he's struggling to ride it :/
  • 2 0
 very expensive....
  • 1 0
 The Trail looked sup All mountain too! hahah
  • 1 0
 Id rather sell my kidney for something else..for two bikes perhaps
  • 1 0
 Sick bike but the guy coulda gone faster!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 i love it, but not my price-class
  • 1 0
 I taught Aaron Gwin had already tested it enough for us... =P
  • 1 0
 Haha. Hopefully Canadian Doctors know better!!!
  • 1 0
 for 9 grand I would save another G and buy a can am renegade 800
  • 1 0
 lol they should have put a pair of those enve carbon hoops on that baby
  • 1 0
 Does anybody know if the fr600 rims were made to be UST?
  • 1 0
 Hi, not made to be UST, but probally you can put a Tubelesskit in it!
  • 1 0
 This is one of those times when you buy a crappy car......
  • 1 0
 Why not saint and EVERYTHING carbon
  • 1 0
 two years ago my trail bike weighed 35 lbs.....
  • 1 0
 Pretty damn sexy bike, except for the price tag.
  • 1 0
 SICK bike but defently over priced Smile
  • 1 0
 That bike is so nice i'm flagging it as porn
  • 1 0
 esta gonorrea no la tienen sino los ricos, un pobre nunca.....
  • 2 1
 WOW thts1 HOT bike
  • 1 0
 Mg1 pedals.
  • 1 0
 February.....
  • 2 4
 similar to the kona operator 0.o but is nice...
  • 9 1
 Are you being serious or you playin?
  • 3 1
 Not at all like anything Kona.....at all.
  • 1 0
 Don't get conversion between KG and LB mixed
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