Trek 2011 Scratch Air 8 - Previewed

Apr 25, 2011 at 21:19
by Brad Walton  

What it is:
Trek's 2011 Scratch Air series addresses the more aggressive side of the all-mountain spectrum - aimed at conquering gravity on the climb, but with the primary emphasis on getting rowdy on the way back down. The new Scratch Air 8 and 9 feature the same rugged 170-millimeter-travel frame that Trek introduced last year, but in a lighter-weight package. Highlights of the Scratch chassis include adjustable frame geometry; Trek's Active Braking Pivot (ABP) and Full Floater suspension; Fox air-sprung suspension front and rear; a tapered steerer tube; a Bontrager tubeless wheelset; and a 20-millimeter front axle, with a 142x12millimeter through-axle in the rear. Add a roller-guide-equipped 2x10 drivetrain, and the Scratch Air will surely be of interest to those who earn their turns.

The 2011 Trek Scratch Air is quite the versatile steed to consider if you are a full-mountain assaulter who can only own, or only wants to maintain, one bike.<br><br><span style='font-size:17px'>Trek Scratch Air details:</span><br><br>- Designed to be a middle ground between an all-mountain bike and a gravity bike<br>- 170mm (6.7 inches) of rear wheel travel<br>- 160mm (6.3 inches) or fork travel<br>- Fox 36 Float R fork and Fox Float RP-2 shock<br>- Adjustable geometry (66/66.6 degree head angle)<br>- Uses Trek's ABP and Full Floater suspension<br>- MSRP $3879.99 USD
The 2011 Trek Scratch Air is quite the versatile steed to consider if you are a full-mountain assaulter who can only own, or only wants to maintain, one bike.

Trek Scratch Air details:

- Designed to be a middle ground between an all-mountain bike and a gravity bike
- 170mm (6.7 inches) of rear wheel travel
- 160mm (6.3 inches) or fork travel
- Fox 36 Float R fork and Fox Float RP-2 shock
- Adjustable geometry (66/66.6 degree head angle)
- Uses Trek's ABP and Full Floater suspension
- MSRP $3879.99 USD

Scratch Air Frame:
Flowing hydroformed top and down tubes perfectly fit the volume of the Scratch Air's massive tapered head tube, and that is not for looks. Trek's rigid frame design begins at the oversized head tube junction with internal bearings at both ends that cradle the Fox 36' fork's tapered steerer tube. The tapered head tube and fork steerer increase stiffness over a traditional 1-1/8-inch arrangement, while making for easier stem selection. Trek's beefy Evo rocker link further boosts the rigidity of the Scratch chassis, while alloy hardware at the main pivot points help to reduce weight. Asymmetrical chainstays on the Scratch beef up the rigidity in the back end, adding to the lateral stiffness that enables the bike to hold a line under hard cornering. The chainstay design allows plenty of room for a direct-mount front derailleur, which keeps the bike shifting even when packed with mud. A reversible chip on the Evo Link's seatstay pivot allows slight changes in the bike's geometry. The factory setting is the steeper, 66.5 degree head angle which also sets the bottom bracket height at 14.5". After one ride, I swapped it to the slacker/lower 66-degree setting and the bike really came alive on the descents.

The Scratch's welded, one-piece Evo Link features inserts that allow you to adjust the head angle between 66 and 66.6 degrees, which slightly alters the bottom bracket height.
The Scratch's welded, one-piece Evo Link features inserts that allow you to adjust the head angle between 66 and 66.6 degrees, which slightly alters the bottom bracket height.

The asymmetrical chainstays extend forward of the main pivot and become the shock's lower mounting point, meaning that the shock is not mounted directly to the front triangle.
The asymmetrical chainstays extend forward of the main pivot and become the shock's lower mounting point, meaning that the shock is not mounted directly to the front triangle.

Suspension and Braking:
Trek's Full Floater suspension design is based on the concept that the shock 'floats' between the upper rocker link and the swingarm. The top of the shock is mounted to the Evo link rocker, while the bottom of the shock mounts to a section of the swingarm that extends ahead of the main frame pivot. This keeps the stress of the suspension concentrated on the already reinforced swingarm and rocker link and away from the lighter-weight front-triangle of the frame. Trek's Active Braking Pivot (ABP) design places the rear seatstay pivot as a concentric point around the 142x12mm axle. The location of the Scratch's EVO rocker geometry and ABP concentric dropout design work together to isolate braking forces from affecting the suspension.

The Scratch's Active Braking Pivot (ABP) allows the rear pivot to rotate concentrically around the axle which, Trek says, allows the bike to remain active under braking.
The Scratch's Active Braking Pivot (ABP) allows the rear pivot to rotate concentrically around the axle which, Trek says, allows the bike to remain active under braking.

Trek thought ahead in the frame protection department. While all the cable attachment points are held securely with zip-ties, the chainstay and lower downtube have their own custom frame armor to keep the critical wear points in check for the long haul.  I wasn't able to obtain a frame cut-away of the Scratch, but I'd suspect these oversized hydroform tubes are thinner than most alloy tubesets.  Probably a good idea to keep the armor on.
Trek thought ahead in the frame protection department. While all the cable attachment points are held securely with zip-ties, the chainstay and lower downtube have their own custom frame armor to keep the critical wear points in check for the long haul. I wasn't able to obtain a frame cut-away of the Scratch, but I'd suspect these oversized hydroform tubes are thinner than most alloy tubesets. Probably a good idea to keep the armor on.

Scratch Air Spec:
Up front is a Fox 36 Float R fork with 20mm axle and tapered 1.5" to 1-1/8" steer tube. The Float R fork features an air spring and rebound adjustment. The R series does not have any compression adjustability, but it's simplicity is matched with the Fox RP-2 shock which is valved similarly. The Scratch's 142x12mm rear axle standard, found on many of Trek's bikes for 2011, finds a happy medium between the convenience of the 135mm quick-release axle and the added stiffness of the 150mm bolt-on DH standard. Utilizing a Maxle through-axle, in the back end of the Scratch Air makes for a stiff, lightweight, and very convenient wheel installation. Trek also provides adapters so you can run a standard 135x10-millimeter quick-release axle if you'd like. Bontrager is Trek's in-house brand of components, which includes the seatpost, stem, handlebar, grips, tires, saddle, and Cousin Earl wheels on the Scratch Air 8. In-house parts are a good way for a company to keep the MSRP down without sacrificing on spec, and Bontrager quality is well-known even in the aftermarket segment. The 80mm stem and 28" handlebar are borrowed from Scratch's little brother Remedy, but both seem a bit inconsistent with the Air 8's downhill capabilities. Time will tell!

Race Face Respond cranks offer a solid connection between rider and bike, while the MRP LRP chain roller keeps the 2x10 drivetrain in check. The direct-mount front derailleur could not be any easier to adjust, and really cleans up the basement of the bike as compared to the usual clamp-on style.
Race Face Respond cranks offer a solid connection between rider and bike, while the MRP LRP chain roller keeps the 2x10 drivetrain in check. The direct-mount front derailleur could not be any easier to adjust, and really cleans up the basement of the bike as compared to the usual clamp-on style.

The bike is air sprung on both the front and rear, with a custom tuned Fox RP-2 out back that is equipped with a high volume XV air canister.
The bike is air sprung on both the front and rear, with a custom tuned Fox RP-2 out back that is equipped with a high volume XV air canister.


Specifications
Release Date 2011
Price $3879.99
Travel 170mm
Rear Shock Fox Float RP-2
Fork Fox 36 Float R
Headset FSA Sealed Bearing
Cassette Shimano HG8110 11-36, 10 speed
Crankarms Race Face Ride
Chainguide MRP LRP
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
Shifter Pods Shimano SLX, 10 speed
Handlebar Bontrager Rhythm Pro, 31.8mm, 50mm rise, 9 degree sweep
Stem Bontrager Rhythm
Brakes Avid Elixir 5
Wheelset Bontrager Cousin Earl Disc
Tires Bontrager XR4 Expert, 26x2.35
Seat Bontrager Evoke 2
Seatpost Bontrager Rhythm Elite, 31.6mm



An array of Bontrager parts helps to keep the asking price reasonable, and while they may not be as sexy as some other components, they look to be more than up to the task
An array of Bontrager parts helps to keep the asking price reasonable, and while they may not be as sexy as some other components, they look to be more than up to the task

A word on sizing the Scratch: Trek has scaled down the Scratch series using their Virtual Seat Tube measurement. Pretty much every bike I've ridden has been a "Large", 19.5-inch, but the top tube length of Trek's size Large 19.5-inch Scratch Air is over an inch shorter than what I am used to. For that reason, I went with a XL, 21.5-inch-sized frame, which fits me perfectly. The geometry charts don't lie, so know your numbers or try on a bike at your local shop before purchasing.

At MSRP $3879.99 USD, the Scratch Air 8 has a very well-rounded component spec with part selection based on stiffness and durability. For a little over a thousand bucks more, the bike gets even lighter with the Scratch Air 9, previewed by Mike Levy.

Look for a complete test of the 2011 Trek Scratch Air 8 soon.
Look for a complete test of the 2011 Trek Scratch Air 8 soon.

Pinkbike's first take on the 2011 Scratch Air:
Overall, I am highly impressed with the Scratch Air 8 based on Trek's forethought in building a bike around advances in stiff, light components that continue to emerge in our industry, and taking those same concepts and incorporating them into their own product for seamless integration. While products similar to the Air 8 were available 5 years ago, Trek's advances in hydroform tubing and the utilization of new systems such as ABP, 142x12mm axle, and tapered steer tube allow the Scratch to be significantly stiffer, stronger, and lighter than anything they've produced before. The growing quest for the ultimate do-everything bike is definitely not without competition, but the Trek Scratch Air 8 certainly seems like a solid contender. Look forward to a thorough review in the near future.

Visit the Trek website to see their entire lineup.

Photos by Brad Walton.


137 Comments

  • + 42
 Am I blind or was the actual weight never mentioned, other than calling it "light". I would very much like to know the actual weight.
  • + 22
 33.75 lbs for size XL
  • - 3
 www.pinkbike.com/buysell/835464

Just to say im selling mine just now, if any of you are intrested in buying one for yourself at a fraction of the cost!
  • + 1
 my 17" framed AM bike weighed that before I put DH tires on it... so they've done well!
  • + 1
 such a nice bike
  • + 2
 Is it just me or does this look a lot like the remedy 7? I hope it's as versatile!
  • + 1
 I rode one during a Trek Demo out in Bloomington, Il ;and personally would give up many a things to own a scratch. The scratch 9 is so superior to a remedy.
  • + 1
 It does exactly what they say, you can pedal it up hills, and throw it off 25foot road gaps. The best bike iv ever ridden and owned.
  • + 1
 Compare it to a Rocky Mountain Slayer 50, same price give or take 100$ and no Bontrager crap!
  • + 1
 My Medium (purchased last wek) weights 32.4, which actually as much as my Commencal Meta 5.5
  • + 0
 i work at a trek dealership
  • + 32
 I think it needs more stem spacers...
  • + 6
 and a longer front brake cable
  • + 12
 That is how every Trek bike was set up at Ray's this weekend. I rented a Ticket and it had 3 huge spacers under it. Felt like I was riding a beach cruiser. When I asked them if I could swap them around to lower the stem the kid looked at me like I had three heads and ask what was I use to riding. I told him a dirt jump bike not a beach cruiser. He still didnt get it and they wouldn't swap the spacers around. Ended up having to get a small frame that already had a couple of them swapped. You would have thought I was asking them to build me a new frame.
  • + 2
 Fortunately stem height is more about fit and less about looks. If the rider likes his or her stem that high, then let them run it how they will.
  • + 0
 Well, the bike in the pictures hasn't even been ridden. Obviously a "studio" shoot. The aesthetics of 3 huge stem spacers just irks me. If it were me, I would've removed at least one... Same goes with the front brake line and the trashed pedals.
  • - 3
 To each their own. I think it looks fine.
  • + 1
 seraph, why didn't you set the spacers yourself at Ray's, they have the bench and tools for that. I always set up my bike before I use them at Ray's and I changed the spacers to my liking/riding. this kind of setting is to each his own liking and tastes.
  • + 0
 I wasn't the one who went to Ray's. I don't even know what Ray's is.
  • + 1
 Priceless...
  • + 1
 seraph, my bad. I meant to comment on Louevilcyclist's.
  • + 1
 That was what I was going to do originally but they didn't have a number 4 allen key to use and when I went to ask them for one to use they saw I had a rental and wouldn't let me adjust it myself. I guess they have a policy on that for rentals to protect themselves in case someone didn't put it back together right then had a wreck and tried to blame them. I just thought it was weird that they made such an issue out of it and wouldn't adjust it.
  • + 7
 This genre of bike is super fun!! Manualing through rollers and whipping it all over the place is a normal occurrence!! Surprisingly stable in the air as well! Great writeup.
  • + 2
 I can't wait for the full review of this thing to see wheat PB thinks about the Scratch. I just able to demo the Air 9 from the Trek fatorydemo thing through my LBS. If anyone is from Asheville, NC area - hit up Liberty Bikes, they can get you one no problem. But this thing absolutely RIPS. I had a Yeti 575 and it just can't hold a candle to how well the Air 9 handles, how stable it is, or how stiff it feels. The 575 was probably a bit faster on the uphills, but I liked the floating shock and ABP way more on the Scratch and it had way more traction when climbing (or anything else actually!). The faster I went on it, the more it asked for more, and I had just a killer killer time on it
  • + 8
 ah so unlike pinkbike you've actually ridden one! why aren't you writing the reviews?
  • + 3
 The bike has been ridden plenty, but we have to do a product preview to get some of the technical specs out of the way. Otherwise the review would be too long to hold anyone's attention. Wait a couple more weeks for the review!
  • + 1
 I work at a Trek store, I've ridden all the full suspension rigs available and I even own a few. Of all the bikes, this has got to be the most "playful" bike out there, and I just love it in general. The suspension is perfect, just like the rest of the Trek bikes, and the ABP is really noticeable whenever you bomb a hill. Great review of the bike, everything seems to fit the experiences I've had with them.
  • + 3
 This is just a preview, the review is still a few weeks out - just letting readers know what is in the works. So far the experience is going really well.
  • + 4
 Interesting that people don't actually read what is said but rather make their own conclusion about what is being said. Clearly not a review, just an intro for sure. Reviews require critical thinking and analysis of the facts, not just regurgitation of information. Look forward to what the reviewer has to say about this particular bike.
  • + 1
 I considered getting a scratch last year but after much deliberation bought an orange alpine 160 which I've had no problem with whatsoever. This bike is however more aesthetically pleasing and had this review been about and I hadn't had the same problem by demo riding a 19.5 remedy I would of ended up with this same model. Good write up brad.
  • - 6
flag cikudh (May 3, 2011 at 1:15) (Below Threshold)
 the facts is, RaceFace is on the bike
  • + 5
 em..why?..i already had 2 or 3 race face cranks and never had no problems whatsoever...are u just saying this because RF shut doors? i dont get it..
  • + 1
 Still seeing RF all over the place...early days yet I 'spose.
  • - 2
 i had 3 sets of race face cranks and they have all failed. I was gutted because I really liked them but they all had the same problem i.e. ended up wobbling like hell on the drive side. Even the set that was on my commuter failed and it copped absolutely no abuse. I just cant pay for a crank that connects the drive side crank to the axle. Having the non-drive side crank arm bolt to the axle seems much stronger and makes more sense to me. Its a massive pity and I wish RF would have changed their crank design as they are sexy looking units.
  • + 10
 "woobling side to side".
Well, that sounds more like lack of maintenance (check every single bolt before you ride) than product fail. You fail buddy, cause if you look around, most people never had any problems with Race Face cranks, as long as you make shure everything is nice and snug before every ride.
  • + 2
 yep, I would cop that on set number one. Set number two and set number three were checked and tightened every single time. I cant explain the failure other than that I have had absolutely no problems with my XTs and Truvativs that are designed differently
  • + 3
 I second that. I had two sets of RF cranks start wobbling on me after 2 years of (ab)use. Sadly, i never received a replacement although a 2 year warranty in Europe is common..
  • + 4
 lock tite?
  • + 2
 RF changed their interface design in the past 2 years (on all but the Atlas cranks) to EXI so the wobbly issue was no more. Also, if you install the Atlas cranks properly (read the instructions, use enough torque and crank to a hard stop) you won't have this issue. I have 3 sets of Atlas and never had a prob. The newer Deus, Turbine, Next, Evolve, Ride and Respond cranks that use the EXI interface are solid.

On the other hand I've bent a set of Truvativ's and stripped pedal threads out of a set of XT's, so every crank has issues from time to time. For me RF has been nothing but solid.
  • + 2
 so pinkbike did buy raceface?
  • + 3
 yeah they did. didnt you get the email?
  • + 1
 i've been using a 2009 reign X2 with almost the same numbers (67 HTA, 170" rear travel, 160" fork travel). it only lacked the stiffness of a tapered head tube and thru axle rear hub and my bike weighs 38 lbs. makes me wonder if i can get any better if i use a DH bike on a bike park.
  • + 1
 i totally agree with the use of direct mount front derailleurs. its about time they changed the seat tube's shape near the bottom bracket. make it more stiffer by hydro forming that end of the seat tube. of course, the part where you insert the seat post should remain the same.
  • + 1
 I like the color scheme but it bums me out that there is no dropper seat post and, AND I want more real name brand parts. Race Face cranks, sure thats a start. Trek don't piss me off. Still, I would rather have a Carbon Jekyll 3 for a small bit more.
  • + 2
 I agree. Same with the session 88. If you're going to build the whole bike up with in-house parts... give me in-house pricing. Session 88 was high on my list for next bike, but it's falling off based soley on the price tag vs. the in-house build.
  • + 4
 Good write up Brad. This bike looks to be on my short list of new rides.
  • + 0
 I like the frame, the Remedy seems very dialled but this the Sratch to me seems confused, in either is coil or this air version! BB too high for light All Mountain hardcore bike, the routing to the FD is terrible in fact routing in general looks pretty sloppy for a bike frame of this quality, the downtube route is good but seems to get weird around the bottom pivot of the frame and rear swingarm, maybe going internal from at that junction would have been better, in this day and age routing still seems a poor after thought, what about ISCG, a single ring 10 speed setup or a Hammerschidt also would suit this category much better imo. High stack and long stems also cheapens it and shows they're not serious. With theyre posse of test riders and quality in FR and Dh surely they could have specced and aimed this even at a price point way better, high frame, low cheap specc, 90s marketing! Dual rings for mini DH, no, or slopestyle not likely, and if ya a true Am all mountain rider then HS is hard to go past, and an RP shock surely a Vivid air would have been a better shock option if weight saving, they got the Remedy so dialed, this one seems a poor confused cousin to me which is unfortunate because it has such potential I reckon with just a few basic and up to date requirements that many others have sorted out over the last few years.
  • + 0
 First of all, most of the "upgrades" you mentioned would put this bike way above its intended price point. Secondly, I'm unclear on why a high stack — and therefore more adjustment options — and a short stem cheapens the bike, If you're a gravity-inclined rider who wants an am/xc bike, then you're going to lean more towards a short stem anyway. I have my xc bike set up with a 60mm stem and it rides great.
  • + 2
 It's nice to see bike companies with AM frame designs with steep seat tube angles. Great when you want to get-on-it pedaling wise. Especially when used with dropper posts.
  • + 0
 14.5" bottom bracket seems a little tall for a 7" bike? - something Dirt Magazine here in the UK put down as a big negative when they tested this bike earlier this year, they preferred the shorter travel Remedy and longer travel Session in that respect

my Devinci Dixon (all mtn) is running 66.5 HA and 13.7" BB and feels just perfect for aggressive riding, I'd like to see Trek drop their BBH a little?

the Trek is a beautiful looking bike, and I know from my experience with the Dixon's Split Pivot that the ABP suspension on the Trek is gonna be dialled, but the geo is just a little 'off' and it seems that Dirt Mag agrees in this respect?
  • + 1
 It's 14.5" at the high setting, 14.2 at the low/slack setting.
  • + 1
 i have a scratch8 coil and i sometimes wish that the bb was a little lower, when i race with it it doesnt corner quite as well, but its not very noticable. i absolutely LOVE mine, use it for everything.
  • + 1
 Really wished I could demo the Scratch, more of the coil than air. Looks like a real do it all gravity sled. Wanna get a feel of how this ABP thing does, and how smooth the full floater is.
  • + 4
 Is it just me or do in house bikes components make a bike look cheap?
  • + 1
 It's just you.
  • + 2
 I'm not particularly fond of Bontrager, I wouldn't mind Specialized components though.
  • + 2
 I have the Bontrager Rhythm Pro bars and a Bontrager Race X Lite stem on my Chameleon and they are great components. Strong, light, good looking, and affordable.
  • + 1
 I by no means think they are bad components, for some reason I'm attracted to Thomson components and other 'boutique' brands more than Bontrager. If I were to buy a Trek I'd probably leave the parts, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get them.
  • + 1
 Thomson makes great stuff, but for the money Bontrager is a better deal. Take the X4 stem vs the Rhythm Pro stem for example. The X4 in 70mm length is roughly 170g and costs about $100. For the same price, the Rhythm Pro is 40g lighter. I think the only reason most people choose Thomson over Bontrager is that the latter haven't put themselves out there enough as a component manufacturer.
  • + 2
 Awesome bike, i've had mine for a while now and love it. So stable and planted, so much so that im racing the downhill season this year on it. Fun as!
  • + 2
 i tried to get one in the uk last month,more chance of pigs flying , looks like my cash is going to orange
  • + 1
 I'd much rather have an Alpine 160. Or even commencal mini dh
  • + 1
 Just got one for resorts, mini dh and fun. I love it, very steady, great suspension, pretty good package for a bike at that price with 160 to 170mm suspensions
  • + 1
 This is my complete dream bike. I am currently contemplating weather I want to get the Air 8, or for less, get the Enduro comp. I am in love with this bike.
  • + 3
 Awesome spot to shoot the pics btw.
  • + 1
 is raceface gone because there was that article on PB saying they were going out of buisness but im still seeing their stuff on new bikes all over the place
  • + 1
 I thought Race Face went out of business? Then how come do bikes still get equipped with Race Face components, and Atlas cranks on CRC are yet to come in stock?
  • + 1
 It all depends on what models and what RF products got sent out prior to the company closing it's doors.
  • + 1
 nice overview. Definitely interested in your take on the bike and how it compares to other suspensions designs of that travel and weight.
  • + 1
 own one (2010 model), great bike! but Bontrager parts suck (especially the wheelset)
  • + 1
 Loving the integrated chainstay slap-protector. About time a company introduced that concept. The whole bike looks awesome.
  • + 1
 Reminds me a lot of a Reign X. Who's got the patent for this suspension design?
  • + 3
 Trek recently landed the patent for the ABP suspension design.
  • + 0
 Unless I'm confused, I'm pretty sure that Dave Weagle got the patent for that design.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the link, Dave got his before, I wonder if they actually conflict? www.bikeradar.com/news/article/dave-weagle-awarded-split-pivot-patent-27186
  • + 0
 no like, bontrager and defunct RF for 3900! lol that;s a good one Trek. I wonder if the rubber piece on the downtube is going to prevent the frame from failing...
  • + 1
 Looking forward to the review, I really enjoyed your TransAM piece and swayed me toward that purchase. Big Grin
  • - 2
 really an RP2 on the back? this bike is seriously a remedy only i would rather buy a remedy over this i think. I mean dont get me wrong i love trek but this is a freeride bike not an all mountain bike. at least put a dhx air or coil on that thing and give it a 180 VAN RC2 up front, thats what this bike is designed for
  • + 3
 ...this is the SCRATCH 8 AIR. If you put a coil shock on it it would be the regular Scratch coil model.
  • + 0
 i just think its a little silly that they made this, cuz i feel it serves the same purpose as a remedy. I like the scratch but i think making it an all mtn bike is kind of silly since they have the remedy, and if your wanting more travel i think you could run a 160 up front
  • + 3
 The Remedy is designed around a 150mm fork. Putting a longer travel fork on it would raise the BB, slacken the head tube, and increase the wheelbase. If you wanted a longer travel bike you should probably just get the Scratch Air. What part of that equation is confusing?
  • + 2
 It serves a similar purpose to the Remedy, but as Seraph said, the Scratch Air series fills a small gap between all mountain and freeride. With the Scratch Air, you can do both. A sturdier frame for larger hits and harder riding, yet light enough to handle long climbs. It depends what kind of riding you are most into. If you like to do it all, this is Trek's bike for that.
  • + 1
 agreed bro. agreed.
  • + 2
 this side of the pond its called gravity enduro which is slightly different from all mountain riding.kinda strange bike for an american company to produce but then again they do sponsor some of the top euro gravity enduro racers.
  • + 1
 It looks solid and well equipped. Race face crankarms, glad to see some of its components still on the market.
  • + 2
 this bike is so sick, everytime they come out with a new bike a want one.
  • + 2
 down tube protector is my favorite part!
  • + 1
 Awesome bike. Does anyone know why they have brake hose mounts on the derailleur side chainstay?
  • + 2
 Those are actually derailleur cable housing guides.
  • + 1
 u sure. It looks like the derailleur cables are internally routed, unless the intent is to have the housing from the shifter down to this area. Seems kinda strange IMO.
  • + 1
 Yes, I am sure. Look at the bike on the Trek website.
  • + 1
 race face components on a 2011??? the company just went under
  • + 3
 2011 bikes were released around July of 2010.
  • + 1
 How'ed they get the bike to stand up in the last photo?
  • + 1
 look @ the first pic, i think the stick is behind the tire.
  • + 1
 I love my scratch air 8. shit is the bomb
  • + 1
 God Damn thats a sexy bike!!
  • - 3
 everyone still trying to catch up to the Intense 6.6 and Uzzi, personally i don't think it matters what you do to the pivot or where you place it, the moment you have a pivot in your rear triangle you will have brake jack plain and simple, VPP all the way (or DW)
  • + 5
 lol, brake jack with Treks ABP, yeah... not really ahah!
  • + 1
 hahahah
  • + 1
 I think Trek have copied my Remedy 8 build!
  • + 1
 how wide is the bar in vids it doesnt look very wide?
  • + 1
 stillllll its a sick asss bike
  • + 1
 The stock width on the Rhythm Pro handlebar with 50mm rise is 710mm.
  • + 1
 oh ok kl
  • + 1
 whats your thoughts on the Bontrager XR4 Expert tyres..
  • + 1
 Good question. At first, they seemed fast but quite sketchy. Side lugs are on the top of the tire, not so much on the side. These are not great in the wet, but after several sloppy rides I am used to them and they are quite predictable. That being said, they do let go, you just have to get used to when. I have to run pretty high pressure to keep them stable in hard corners, but I am 200 lbs and used to 2-ply dh tires. No flats yet so that's a bonus! Works better as a front tire, but a great dry conditions tire on both ends in my opinion.
  • + 1
 I like the write up but what can we expect for weights? Thats a big factor in my selection this year over price. Could you haller back at me ???
  • + 1
 Personally i've found the XR4 tires to be fantastic. Slightly softer than normal compound, not quit a soft as slow reezay but not all that far off. Heaps of grip in pretty much all conditions, clears mud like a champ and grips up in the wet. Front will grip forever and the rear will do the same unless u really push, then it will drift predictably. As for weight mine is about 14.8kg.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the reply man. Could you send me a picture of your ride as I'm curious about the build. Thanks!
  • + 1
 Agreed with malvern. They are not a hard compound, just a low profile, which does clear mud well.
  • + 1
 sure ill post a pic of it soon. set up for downhill racing Razz
  • + 1
 Bontrager XR4 Expert tire are okay rear trail-riding tire. Throwing one in the front is a poor choice in my opinion. I had a 2010 Trek Scratch 9 that they came on. I broke the bike in on a local DH trail in Utah Valley and as I was taking the last corner my front tire completely slide out on the dirt/grass that I was riding on. I throw a Maxxis Minion on it the next day and it was a night and day difference.

Bontrager makes the majority of components on this bike. The first ones I would swap out would be those Bontrager tires...
  • + 1
 i was a bit skeptical riding them on the shore but i've been on them all winter and think they're great! they aren't so good on wet rocks, but hook up really well in the dirt - soft or hard packed. its like each knob acts like a little shovel. i wasn;t really expecting much as i am used to minions but they've proved me wrong.
  • + 1
 For those of you interested in trying out some XR4 I have a brand new set for sale: www.pinkbike.com/buysell/835814. I have a few other parts as well off a brand new left over 2010 Scratch Air 8 so check it out.

Nice to see that for those who have ridden the bike your opinions seem favorable. Can’t wait to finish building mine and put the bike to the test.
  • + 1
 Agreed with Joe, and I'm used to Minions as well. The real difference is in the wet, but the XR's roll so much faster.
  • + 1
 Oh joy another axle standard 142 x 12. why not just use a 150.
  • + 5
 because a 150 needs a completely different hub, and usually wider BB, etc. With the 142mm width, you can retrofit many existing 135mm hubs, yet it is a much more stable platform. BUT, if you still don't like it, then all Trek bikes (and most others from my understanding) that have 142 rear spacing come with adapters to fit a standard 135 width!
  • + 0
 I believe you'll find that the head angle is adjustable between 66° and 66.5°, not 66.6°.
  • + 2
 Not according to the Trek website.
  • + 0
 It says it right there on the link itself. I definitely wouldn't trust the information on the Trek website.
  • + 2
 Regardless, it would be impossible to tell the difference.
  • - 2
 Still, right is right.
  • + 9
 Wow, you must be really fun at parties.
  • - 2
 There's no shame in being correct.
  • + 1
 well you can tell its produced by a giant factor
  • + 1
 Hahah, I build one of those at work today...
  • + 0
 That's why I'd never buy a Trek

Bontrager. They Make some Alex Wheelsets look like I9's :p
  • + 4
 how much experience do you have on bontrager wheels? they aren't that bad. i have two years on rhythms and one year on big earls. the hubs were fine and the rims lasted longer than my 721.
  • + 2
 bontrager wheels may not be the prettiest wheels on earth but they certainly can take a beating for years.
  • + 1
 Agreed. Sexy, no. But they are functional, reliable and good quality. I've had a pair of Bontrager wheels for 3 years now that I've been wanting to "upgrade", but I haven't been able to justify it because they still work.
  • + 1
 yeah I seriously have a 2005 bontrager earl front wheel. I have pounded that thing senseless since 07 at Highland mountain. I have trued it probably 3 times, and the hub still spins smoother and longer than any other front wheel I have owned.
  • + 1
 i want
  • - 1
 Looks awesome - but I'll keep my single speed hardtail.

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