Ultimate Bike Check: Cam McCaul's Trek Remedy

Jun 26, 2020
by Trevor Lyden  


Cam McCaul and I both live in Bend, Oregon, only about 10 minutes from door to door, however with our crazy schedules it means we run into each other outside of the country more often than we do at home. Since we've both got more time on our hands than usual, we decided to do an ULTIMATE bike check. It comes as no surprise that Cam has a plethora of bikes, and we were going back and forth on which one to focus on.

Thankfully the decision was made a bit easier while we were on a recent freeride trip in the desert and Cam didn't even bring his downhill bike. Instead he brought his Remedy, the same one he uses for trail rides around town with his family and friends. His custom set up Remedy can be pedaled all day then throw down buttery smooth backflips on a desert 50-footer. This bike is seriously impressive, and what's equally impressive is that it uses no one-off components. That means you can buy the frame, build it up the same way, and ride the same stuff as Cam. Albeit with 20-odd years of practice.

For any of those who are unaware of Cam McCaul, and let's be real, you're probably living under a mountain bike rock if you don't know the name, he's kind of a big deal. Cam started gaining recognition as a young gun in the Aptos/Santa Cruz, California, dirt jump scene. He was part of the original crew that was pioneering the now famous, and defunct, Post Office jumps. Since becoming somewhat of a wizard on his dirt jumper, he later went on to compete in just about every major event you can think of. From the slopestyle courses of Crankworx and District Ride to the freeride lines of Rampage and the Bearclaw Invitational, Cam has ridden it all. In addition to boasting some damned impressive contest wins, Cam has also been a staple in the mountain bike film industry. He's had parts in some of the greatest New World Disorder flicks, rode with horses in UnReal, and had parts in a couple movies that really were Not Bad. Nowadays you can hear Cam commentating for Red Bull events around the world and working on his YouTube channel.

Keep in mind that I am not a tech editor and am just a mountain bike photographer who likes things with two wheels. Also remember this is Cam we're talking about, who might be the epitome of a go-with-the-flow type of guy. Regardless, we did our best to get down to the nitty-gritty, talk bike details, and find out how Cam sets up his ride to handle anything he can throw at it.

Build Specs:
Frame: Trek Remedy Carbon - Size 18.5
Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z1- 160mm
Shock: Fox X2 - 150mm
Handlebars: Bontrager Line Pro 35 - 780mm
Stem: Bontrager Line Pro 35 - 40mm length, 0 rise
Brake Levers: Shimano XT M8100
Brake Calipers: Shimano XT M8120
Rotors: Shimano XT SM-RT86 - 180mm front and rear
Cranks: Shimano XT M8100 - 165mm
Chainring: Shimano XT SM-CRM85 - 34 tooth
Chain: Shimano XT CN-M8100
Wheels: Bontrager Line Elite 30 TLR Boost - 27.5"
Hubs: Bontrager Rapid Drive 108
Spokes: 28 front/rear nail head 14/15G with Alpina alloy locking nipples
Tires: Bontrager XR5 Team Issue 2.6 Front , Bontrager SE4 Team Issue 2.4 Rear
Cassette: Shimano XT M8100 12-speed
Derailleur: Shimano XT M8100 12-speed
Shifter: Shimano XT M8100 12-speed
Dropper: Marzocchi Transfer - 150mm
Seat: Chromag Overture
Pedals: Bontrager Line Pro

bigquotesThe Remedy is a trail bike on Halloween that put together the best Freeride Bike costume imaginable. It won the costume contest and successfully infiltrated garages of riders everywhere who value having fun on a bike.Mr. McCaul


About Cam
Stats: Age: 34 • Height: 5'10" • Inseam: 32" • Weight: 160lb • Wingspan: 71.5 inches

Pretty ok at riding bikes, and has been doing it professionally for 18 years. His favorite place to ride is Virgin, Utah. He enjoys playing guitar, spending time with the family, and pioneering the sport of SlopeDuroCross.

First things first, it's time to put on some custom decals

The other Cam (Zink) sent this Cam (McCaul) a pretty radical custom frame protector.
Custom made and now custom cut.

I'm assuming these are functional...

Trek Remedy Carbon in a sexy matte black.

Drive side photo with the optional Whammy Bar attachment on the seat stay.

One reason Cam loves this bike is the short chainstay, which comes in at 433mm.
A low BB height of 349mm keeps it planted and a ground clearance of 317.5mm keeps it from being too bashed.

The Mino link is adjusted to the slackest position giving the bike a head angle of 65.6 degrees

Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z1
• Travel :160mm
• Rake: 51mm
• Rebound: 19 from open
• Compression: See following photo
• Volume Spacers: 2
• Air Pressure: 69psi
• Sag: 20mm or 12.5%
Shock: Fox X2
• Size: 230x57.5mm
• Equivalent frame travel: 150mm
• Air Pressure: 190psi
• Spacers: None (although he says he should)
• Sag:17mm or 30%
• HSR: 11 from open
• LSR: 10 from open
• HSC: 18 from open
• LSC: 12 from open


Marzocchi Bomber Z1

69 psi. Giggity.

Compression setting.

20mm provides a stiff 12.5% sag.
Rebound is 19 clicks from open.

Fox Float X2.

190psi.
17mm of sag equals a perfect 30%.

The OneUP EDC tool. Notice the angle it's pointing at, Cam sets it that way because it's equal to his compression knob angle and he can remember where it was if it gets bumped.

Bontrager Line Pro Carbon 35 with Line Pro 40mm stem. Cam is also particular about his headset spacers and always runs 3, 10mm spacers below the stem and keeps it flat on top.
Sensus Swayze grips.

The bars are cut to 780mm and come to 787mm with the grips and bar ends.

Cam cuts the flanges of his grips to allow for unencumbered shifting.

The dropper lever is moved depending on the type of riding Cam is doing. For jumping he puts it inside the brake clamp, and for trail riding he bumps it back to the outside of the clamp.

Shimano XT brakes provide a consistent feel while...
the 4-piston calipers and 180mm rotors provide the power.

The brake clamp is 37mm from center to the grip end.
The shifter clamp is 17mm from center of the grip end.
Brake reach is 50mm to finger contact point on both brakes.

The front brake contact point is 30mm from the bar,
and the rear contact is 28mm from the bar.

For tire pressure, Cam is a big fan of the pinch test. Which equates to roughly 38psi front and 40psi rear for jumps and 28 front and 30 rear for trail riding.

The stock Bontrager Line Pro wheelset. If it's strong enough for Cam, it's probably strong enough for you.

The Chromag Overture stays on the bike no matter if it's a jump session or pedal fest.
Marzocchi's Transfer post with 150mm.

Ain't no clips here, the Line Pro pedals with a slight concave shape are Cam's favorite.

Bar height to floor is 104cm. Cam likes this height and tries to equal it no matter the bike.
31.13lbs (14.12kg) isn't too shabby for a bike that can do the things this one can.

Whether on the trail or at home, Cam is always playing one mean tune.

Cam Slalom
Poppy and fun...

Cam desert
Stable at speed...

Desert sui
And can go big...



96 Comments

  • 121 13
 I like the hints of comedy embedded in this like, "Shimano XT brakes provide a consistent feel.."
  • 24 18
 Funny comment, for sure! That said, the new XTs do stay consistent in my experience.
  • 5 0
 im about to buy a bike with xts, can someone explain the meme here? are we talking about the on/off feel or is something wrong with the brakes?
  • 18 5
 @Albatrosse: from my experience, bite point is very inconsistent. One minute it’ll be where you expect it to be, the next, the lever will bite much further out.
  • 6 7
 @Albatrosse: Bite point issues at @Albatrosse points out. Instant bite then, whoa to the bars bite. Has happened on all my Shimano brakes. I hear the new ones aren't as bad but still apparent which bums me out because I really like Mineral Oil. All that said though my wife has some 2 piston XT's that have been solid. I use Guides and have been for awhile. They have their issues too but I do like them more than any Shimano brake I've had.
  • 9 0
 @rbarbier12: that’s good you actually have used them and say that versus most on here who just say it because they’ve read it somewhere.
  • 10 0
 @nyles: I agree most people complain without try things. I have a Reverb B1 and according to the forum I have to throw it away, and in 4 years and on two bikes never a problem. I have xt m8000 brakes and also in 4 years and two bikes never a problem, just changed oil two times (riding about 4000 km/years with MTB).
  • 3 0
 @daugherd: If you like minderal oil, maybe try Magrua's MT5. Theyre comparably cheap and perform like much more expensive breaks Wink
  • 6 0
 Finally a pro who runs the same tire pressures as me! I feel totally legitimised now Beer
  • 8 4
 The best, most consistent Shimano brakes are the Magura ones
  • 1 0
 @damientheo: totally with you on that!
  • 1 0
 @landscapeben: I thought the same thing! I've been running 27/29 and recently started testing 25/27 but that is as low as I will go. Whatever works I guess.

Also, I worked very briefly at a Trek dealer years ago and have had a ton of their bikes over the years. The prior Rhythm components and now LINE components are great, they even got the wheels sorted with the LINE series. No reason to swap them like back in the day.

Wondering if Marzocchi will release a simple bullet-proof version of the X2 shock???
  • 1 0
 @Norman22: Unfortunately the chance of snapping a Magura lever on even a mild crash is immense. Happened 4 times in one season (to three different buddies). We replaced the last pair with Shimano Saint levers, so MT5 caliper with Shimano levers. Let me tell you, those are a pain to bleed, but the most brutal brakes I've ever ridden! Freakishly strong! (In case someone is wondering, we used the Shimano Oil).
  • 2 0
 @Albatrosse: great brakes also just turn the free stroke screw out to get rid of the "inconsistant feel" on bike park days especially. if you are still getting "inconsistent feel" then you have to do this thing called maintenance.
on hydraulic brakes its done by bleeding them, also checking pad life. most people don't know how to use the free stroke screw and most people also don't do any maintenance @derekguy123
  • 46 4
 Cam having a bike with knock-block should be a crime!
  • 2 3
 The tape measure trying to show how great the geo is pretty funny...
  • 23 0
 He needs knobs that go to 11.
  • 5 0
 first he'd need to transition to a different sponsor
  • 18 3
 Cam sets his One Up cap to 4:20 just like me. Got nothing to do with the compression knob on the fork. get real!
  • 5 3
 I run the new "Toke One Up" storage system on my bike, even the Clippper fits in that space and everything stays nice and dry on a rainy day in Wales tup
  • 14 2
 I run the same tape measure, glad to see it in use by a pro! I'm kidding about that part but serious about liking that little tape. Cheap to buy, has a flat bottom, fits in hand comfortably and it's light on a belt clip. As a stonemason I wear the markings off the first 18" of any tape in a few months anyway. Keep a fatmax in the truck in case I need more standout for measuring a job.

Oh, nice bike too!
  • 4 0
 I'm gonna upvote you because the craftsman is shining strong, and I applaud that. Construction
  • 13 3
 Knowing that Cam throws backflips on his Remedy just makes me sad for the 99.999% of Remedies that are destined to shuttled to the top of blue flow trails.
  • 11 0
 Well it looks like he’s really in tune with this thing.
  • 8 0
 Cam truly strums to A Chord of his own...
  • 12 0
 @unrooted: 5th fret, nice catch
  • 10 1
 @CamMcCaul: Let's see the guitars and pedals check!
  • 9 0
 @gtrguy: I’m down
  • 1 0
 @CamMcCaul: Sweet...I love my guitar gear!
  • 5 0
 @CamMcCaul: ...realize not a sponsor, but they really should be wah wahs...
  • 6 0
 Maybe I just don’t ride very hard but god damn that level of compression on my bomber Z1 feels nearly locked. My knob is usually pointed straight forwards
  • 26 1
 Sounds like you really like your Marzocchi... Be careful though, might cause yourself some damage riding with your knob pointing forwards. Wink
  • 6 3
 @Grealdo: if your balls are big enough your knob always points forward
  • 2 0
 I was thinking that. If it's exactly the same as a Fox GRIP damper that is really close to as firm as it gets.
  • 1 0
 I love mine (180) , it’s just a shame they creak like crazy !
  • 5 0
 I'm sure it is setup for big jumps, so the fork doesn't dive.
  • 3 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: do you have volume spacers in your fork? Take them out one at a time until you can dial up lsc to at least close to middle.

I was in your boat with 3 spacers in. Went down to 1 at 160mm travel (188psi for 200 lb rider) and compression a little more than half. It's SO much better now.
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: did you really mean 188 psi in your fork? Seems very high. Genuine question.
  • 4 0
 @doublej-cville: no my brain is mushy from a long ride. That should definitely be 88 psi *facepalm*
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: no worries... just making sure my brain hadn’t gone to mush yet.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: On a 160 Fox 36 Performance which is basically the same fork and I'm on 1 spacer but at 85psi but then 10lbs lighter kitted.

Going for a Vorsprung Luft Klapper on the Air Spring though as small bump sensitivity sucks. Takes the hits well though.
  • 1 2
 would a 160front/150rear trail bike like this work for bike parks ? I no longer have a DH bike and the only other trail bike experience I've seen is one of my friends back in like 2014. Think it was a yeti and it beat the shit out of him at stevens pass and whistler.

I've been eyeing the remedy because I have trails right by my house, but if I can get away with doing a-line, freight train, dirt merch, crabapple on one of these at whistler then im sold ill buy the bike tonight. I just don't really know shit about trail bikes.
  • 2 0
 @anchoricex: It will be more demanding on the rider, but yeah, most high quality trail/enduro bikes with 150+ travel can handle it fine.
You will sacrifice some comfort compared to a DH bike though.
  • 5 0
 With no spacers and pretty standard fork/shock PSI, I assume these are his settings for trail riding, not freeride?

Side note: Transfer dropper lever is the worst, though.
  • 2 0
 The new one is pretty good
  • 2 1
 It works and it is overpriced. I'll never buy another one, but I've been running one for a long time. It should be 20 bucks.
  • 1 0
 @eric-t-rudd: Couldn't agree more, it's definitely the next part that gets swapped on my bike.

I have an SDG Tellis on my hardtail, it costs half as much and works twice as well.
  • 5 0
 This is very similar to my trek remedy set up, absolutely amazing bikes ????????
  • 3 1
 Excuse all the random question marks haha!
  • 4 0
 Being attached to how many spacers you run on every bike is silly - spacer count is dependent on bottom bracket height and head tube length.
  • 3 0
 Same thing with bar height from the ground
  • 3 1
 Lol does Sensus run out of material? Or logistical communication? Zink always runs really well used/worn out/scabby-looking Sensus grips on brand new bike build, same with McCaul! Super sick Trek though
  • 7 0
 well worn Sensus grips may just be the best thing on this earth.
  • 12 0
 Broken in grips are super comfortable just like worn hockey gloves
  • 21 2
 @giantwhip: or OPs mom
  • 1 0
 @CamMcCaul the custom guitar decals are 100% rad! As a biker/guitar player I often feel that the two (bike/guitar) have so much in common. Any chance you would share the artwork? I would love to have that fretboard on my bikes...
  • 3 0
 Most in depth build check pinkbike have ever done!! Nice1 more like this please
  • 1 1
 19 clicks out rebound on the fork?
Bontranger tyres? I had the same combo but 29 Inch on my Slash - hated them. 2.6 XR5 vague up front and 2.4 SE4 slippery over rocks and logs on the trail. His pressures are also quite high for trail riding but, spose horses for courses, not the same trails like I have to deal with.

While my guitar gently weeps.
  • 3 0
 Is that tape measure calibrated??? Hahaha
  • 3 0
 That’s an A major chord right there!
  • 2 0
 I want to see an Ultimate Bike Check for what his kid(s) are riding.

Can he jump this Remedy into a swimming pool?
  • 1 0
 I have my 3rd Remedy now and it's an amazing bike, even on pedal days I tend to reach for her first. a 29er version is rumored and I cant wait! Also...maybe mullet it out!
  • 4 1
 Buy some new grips, Cam!
  • 4 2
 Life is better when you ride 27.5"
  • 1 0
 Yeah! Shred that bike like it's heavy metal! \m/ oh wait...it's carbon fiber...nvm.
  • 2 0
 Does he count clicks from open just to make Jordi mad? Lol
  • 2 0
 I'm very disappointed that those uphill/downhill stickers don't go to 11.
  • 2 0
 This is not an acoustic bike!
  • 2 0
 69 psi in the fork? Not 70? Nice...
  • 2 0
 He cuts his grip flange....are you sure get didnt chew the excess off?
  • 1 0
 Does that "volume" decal have huge bubbles in it or is that just the contour of the seatstay?
  • 1 0
 I was considering getting a remedy as my first TrekU bike, now I'm 100% sure. This is sick.
  • 1 0
 I had one. I loved it. Regret selling it a bit.
  • 2 0
 He seems to like his sponsors products...how weird.
  • 2 0
 Looks awesome!
  • 1 0
 I thought Cam was #26forlife on his remedy?
  • 2 0
 12.5% sag?!?!
  • 1 0
 I'm sure that is mainly the setup for jumping to keep the fork from diving.
  • 2 2
 bet it was measured without opening up the compression and rebound,preventing a true sag reading.
  • 1 2
 How the hell is he running no tokens riding like that and I have five in my X2 and still bottom out even though I can't even dream of riding the stuff he does!
  • 3 0
 He’s smooth...
  • 1 0
 no reActive shock? i thought people liked it?
  • 1 0
 just switched my remedy to the x2 as well. Doesn't pedal nearly as well as the reactive but the small bump and overall dh feel is way better with the fox.
  • 1 0
 Missed opportunity for the downhill knob to go to 11.
  • 1 0
 You would think his brother could hook him up with some pedals
  • 1 0
 has somebdy used that chromag seat for long enduro rides?
  • 3 0
 Yes, Cam McCaul
  • 1 0
 Kinda want a bike with a tortise shell finish now.
  • 2 0
 31.81 lbs
  • 1 0
 Not terrible for what he's doing with it. My remedy was 28.8 so it's possible to build them lighter.
  • 1 0
 whats that strange brown stuff on his stanchions?
  • 1 1
 Such a shame this bike cant barspin
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