Field Test Review: 2024 Trek Slash - Rides Like a Session

Oct 24, 2023 at 14:41
by Dario DiGiulio  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Trek Slash



Words by Dario DiGiulio; photography by Tom Richards


Trek has a careful approach to bike development, rarely taking things too far for the sake of innovation. With this year's Slash, they pushed that envelope a bit further, pulling out a lot of the more traditional stops in service of making what they see as the ideal pedal-access descent-focused bike. It certainly is a far departure from prior models, now featuring a high pivot 4-bar layout and the requisite chain accoutrement, but in many ways it's still a Trek.

The geometry is progressive without being extreme, the kinematic isn't unusual or radical, and the frame still carries typical Trek lines and accessory elements. As the bike is fairly new, you can dig into the fresher tech details in our First Ride article. This all paints a pretty rosy picture, but with a truly impressive fleet of bikes at this year's Field Test, the Slash had its work cut out for it.
Trek Slash Details

• Carbon fiber frame
• Travel: 170mm / 170mm fork
• Mixed wheel or full 29"
• 63.3° head angle
• 77° seat angle
• Reach: 432, 448, 468 (test), 488 (test), 513
• Size-specific chainstays
• Weight: 36.1 lb / 16.4 kg
• Price: $9,399 USD
trekbikes.com

In keeping with the updates made to the Fuel EX last year, the new Slash has a ton of baked-in adjustments that can be made by the end user. Press-in headset cups allow you to slack out or steepen the head tube by 1° in either direction, a replaceable lower shock mount accommodates either a 29" or 27.5" rear wheel, with a flip chip contained therein to switch between high and low shock progression modes. All this makes for a bike that can really transform, but for the sake of this test we kept things in the mixed wheel, 63.3° head angle stock setup.

photo
Editor's Note: You might spot a rear tire that differs from the rest of the test rubber - that was a quick flat fix done before the beauty shots were taken, but all of the riding was done with control tires fitted.

The seat angle sits around 77°, depending on the size, with chainstay length also varying to match the front end growth. Those chainstay lengths depend on whether you're running mixed or matching wheel sizes, but assuming the former the dimensions are as follows: S, 429mm; M, 429mm; M/L, 434mm; L, 434mm; XL, 439mm. Those might seem a bit short on paper, but it's important to remember that due to the high pivot layout, they grow quite a bit at sag and through the travel. At sag, the wheel is about 11mm further back, and at full extension the chainstays are a full 19mm longer than the static number. With 27mm of bottom bracket drop, the center of gravity is quite planted on the Slash, adding to the cornering stability that the growing wheelbase can provide.

Both the carbon and aluminum models get well sorted in-frame storage, in addition to some top tube bottle bosses, should you want to carry all the stuff in and on your bike.




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Climbing

With 170mm of travel front and rear, it's safe to assume that climbing the Slash would be a bit of a bear, but quite a bit of work was done to make sure that it wasn't a major chore to get up to the top of your chosen descent. With very consistent anti-squat across the entire gear range - hovering just above 100% at sag - the Slash climbs comfortably and consistently, offering enough support to ride high, while still absorbing bumps along the way.

There's definitely some extra drivetrain noise accompanying the idler pulley and lower chain roller, but thanks to the high tooth count on that upper idler it's not too extreme. I spent some long pedal days on the Slash, and never found myself hating the experience - it's more than happy to motor along on logging road climbs just as it's excited to rally up technical bits of trail.

We've done the monster math, and though idler bikes do appear to be a bit slower over the course of a long climb, the Slash offsets that extra drag with an even-keeled pedaling platform and good body position that keep you comfortable for the long haul.

photo

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Descending

There's a broad assumption that the bump-eating gains of a high pivot bike are won at the cost of the overall maneuverability and pep in slower terrain. There are a few exceptions to this claim, and chief among them is the new Slash. This bike can happily mow through chunky sections of trail, but is equally capable feeling when things get tight and slow, thanks in large part to the carefully-considered geometry and very predictable suspension feel.

That predictability is key to the overall versatility of the bike, as you can push into the suspension in more flowing terrain without feeling like you're losing too much energy to the rear end. This support ramps up nicely in the middle of the stroke, meaning the bike retains a soft top-end feel for excellent small bump performance and grip. The overall feel biases towards that latter end of the spectrum, which to me is what you're probably after if you're in the market for a 170mm high pivot.

Jumping feels natural and intuitive on the Slash, and though the bike might lack some of the pop of the Ibis, it still manages to feel fun and energetic on smaller side hits and natural doubles. The Trek does feel like its penchant for speed dictates some of the terrain you'll want to point it down, as it truly comes alive when you're pushing hard on seriously challenging trails.

As a whole package, the Slash is a stiff and precise feeling bike, perhaps too much so for some who want a more forgiving chassis. The one-piece carbon bar/stem combo plays a big role here, transmitting quite a bit of feedback compared to traditional cockpits, but the Bontrager Line 30 wheels are also rather stiff. The latter didn't bother me, as they held their line nicely and shirked off plenty of the hard hits and corners that the bike is keen to carry out.

Trek did a very good job making the Slash a quiet bike, then seemingly lost the plot when they specced a hard rubber chainslap protector that does little to mitigate the drivetrain noise in bumpy terrain. I replaced the stock rubber with a bit of STFU tape, and found that the bike went from clattering through successive hits to performing in near silence, making the ride all the more sweet.

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Technical Report

MRP MXg Chain Guide: This innocuous seeming lower roller may have proven to be the most controversial element of the new Trek, given the issues quite a few early users had with the chain dropping off the roller during fairly normal riding scenarios. I had this happen quite a few times during testing, both in the bike park and on lower speed tech trails in the area - all to some frustration.

After reaching out to Trek and MRP, it became clear that the guide had been improperly installed from factory, with 5mm instead of the intended 7mm of spacers between the frame and the guide. 2mm didn't seem like it would make much difference to me, but after changing the spacing and taking the bike to Pemberton for a huge weekend of riding, I was unable to get the chain to drop again. The trails up there are rough, fast, and full of good chain-challenging moments, so it's possible things are fixed for good.

RockShox Vivid Ultimate Shock: In many ways the Slash feels like the showcase bike for just how well the Vivid can perform. Its dead silent operation and excellent damping suit the bike nicely, and the shock tune feels perfect for a wide swath of riding styles. With relatively simple and visual adjustment, finding a happy place in the clickers is easy and intuitive.

RockShox AXS Reverb Seatpost: The Slash has an impressively long insertion depth, but none of that was taken advantage of in speccing an AXS post, which really only wins points in the cockpit tidiness department. Additionally, the AXS posts are prone to developing sag, which ours did within the first few days of testing. You can bleed the post fairly easily, but not having to do that in the first place would be a better proposition.


photo




Pros

+ Excellent geometry and balanced ride
+ Composed, capable, and predictable suspension
+ Climbs well for such a downhill-focused bike
+ Excels in challenging terrain


Cons

- Chassis may be too stiff for some
- Chain drop issues due to improperly spaced lower idler (fixed)
- Stock chainstay protector did very little to manage noise




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The 2023 Enduro Field Test is presented Bluegrass



Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
168 articles

363 Comments
  • 325 22
 I used to love watching Lew, but then he became an absolute mad lad of a click baiter.

Video Title: "This is why I'm binning my 5k trek!"
Video Thumbnail: *Throwing a Trek in a dumpster*
Video Content: "Yeah, my chain dropped a bunch but found out the tensioner wasn't applying proper tension, so it's probably fixed."

lol
  • 90 98
flag j-t-g FL (Oct 30, 2023 at 8:06) (Below Threshold)
 It's what you have to do to get the algorithm to show your stuff. No views? No job. I can't be too mad at him.
  • 221 7
 But it was a “CATASTROPHIC FAILURE”!!! - chain drops. Followed by the next bike “First ride and it SNAPPED!!!” - part of headset fails.

He’s gone weapons grade these days
  • 36 2
 @j-t-g: Yep. let's hope the early 20s will be remembered as that ridiculous phase when you had to be a performing seal to market products... like all the previous decades of TV advertising. It's the same as it ever was sadly.
  • 75 11
 the moment he got sponsored by OF everyone dropped him..surprise surprise. he sold out
  • 37 1
 @mashrv1: or riding 'the biggest jumps in Whistler' when he rode Dirt Merchant (and went around the infamous hip for added insult lol)
  • 49 3
 Unfortunately for Trek the clickbait titles have done some damage, in these days of quick consumption media the majority just see the headline and take that info away and it become the gossip in the bike cumminity "did you see the new Slash drops it's chain" even tho those who have watched the full video or read this article can see it's relatively minor and fixable (fualt is on trek for not sorting it earlier but it has been blown up) the majority now seem to have a poor view of this bike.
  • 18 0
 "I am binning my slash!" It appears in the background of his canyon video.
  • 13 3
 @mashrv1: just like weapons grade boobies on OnlyFans
  • 32 0
 @j-t-g: oh no he might have to get a real job
  • 25 35
flag alienator064 FL (Oct 30, 2023 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 valid criticisms, but I'm sure all of you would """sell out""" (yes, even to OF) as he did if presented with the opportunity to be a pro.
  • 3 0
 @zanda23: lots of his stuff clearly isn't published in chronological order.
  • 114 1
 @milanboez: Or "Can I beat Jackson Goldstone down MSA on an Enduro Bike?"

No.
  • 8 1
 Vital had the same problem it seems
  • 8 0
 @CaMKii: Lol this one had me dying.
  • 16 45
flag Jaybirdy (Oct 30, 2023 at 10:38) (Below Threshold)
 Waaa waaa someone I “used to like watching” is now playing the social media games that any creator must play with thumbnails and titles… cry me a river! He’s done such an impressive job remaining completely honest and natural in his new role! Love the Lew man ;-p
  • 20 28
flag LaXcarp (Oct 30, 2023 at 10:44) (Below Threshold)
 Yall need to learn how youtube works. It aint Lew's fault he's just playing the game youtube created.
  • 9 4
 Proper set up didn’t fix it though
  • 57 1
 @LaXcarp: retaining some dignity is also an option
  • 14 0
 The green site released their review today and complained of dropped chains.
  • 19 19
 @j-t-g: Exactly. All these pinkers mad at a guy like us who just wants to make a living riding his bike, rather than Google for tilting their algorithm towards stuff like this. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
  • 3 16
flag LaXcarp (Oct 30, 2023 at 11:29) (Below Threshold)
 @TommyNunchuck: Didnt think one could lose all dignity through the title of a video about bikes.
  • 21 17
 I think the buch dawg needs a new mechanic. I did think it was a mis alignment from day one.

It’s a bit shit that these guys are making a living by trying to trash a brands reputation. I would like to see any of these guys manage a brand from 0 to selling bikes and see how they go
  • 36 9
 @Beyond-The-Tape: He's not 'trashing the brand' though? He's legitimately criticizing an issue with the bike that he, Pinkbike and Vital all found.

Or would you rather this issue was glossed over?
  • 15 13
 @alienator064: @alienator064: a "pro" what? Curious what your definition of pro is...cos he ain't a pro. He's trying to be Remi (also not a pro, apparently due to arm pump), but isn't as good at it.
  • 37 0
 @LaXcarp: it's not just the title of one video though is it? It's a whole industry of vloggers churning out endless garbage in a desperate attempt to stay on the gravy train. It gets to the point where it's much less embarrassing to just have a job
  • 13 7
 @ReformedRoadie: ugh you guys are so annoying. he's a paid sponsored athlete who races. how much more strict do you want to be on the definition of pro? how is he not a pro? is any mtber a pro?
  • 5 2
 @alienator064: By the definition of professional, he is. By whatever goalpost arrangement commenters can come up with, no.
  • 14 3
 @kiksy: I guess that’s the difference between professional reviewers and you tubers. One finds the fix. One throws it in the bin
  • 3 1
 @phazedplasma: I saw that too. It's not a fluke. It's a real problem.
  • 3 1
 @phazedplasma: I saw that too. It's not a fluke. It's a real problem.
  • 10 11
 @alienator064: I honestly didn't think he was still competing at a high level. Not really keeping tabs. Don't care enough.
To me, so called "influencers" are not pros. sorry (not sorry)
  • 8 2
 @nickkozak: exactly. If riding bikes pays your bills, you're a pro. Actually riding them, not working on them, not promoting them, not selling them, but riding bike.
  • 6 2
 @ReformedRoadie: if you don't care, then don't comment; you just make yourself look dumb (no offense)
  • 2 8
flag LaXcarp (Oct 30, 2023 at 13:23) (Below Threshold)
 @TommyNunchuck:you do you I guess, whats there to be emarassed about? we're all just trying to make it and all he's doing is ripping bikes way better than any of us ever can and giving his thoughts on various subjects and bikes. Yes, his titles are clickbait, but he hasnt lied about anything.
  • 10 7
 Have blocked him on Youtube. Absolutely cannot be bothered with him anymore. Loved him back in the day on Forbidden ( even bought one because of ). Think it's time he stopped working on his own shit too.
  • 6 2
 @maglor: it was Treks fault

they should communicate that openly, get fixed bikes to the reviewers...
  • 6 12
flag Ruttee (Oct 30, 2023 at 13:54) (Below Threshold)
 @gearbo-x: he didn't sell out, he got a stable income
  • 15 4
 @LaXcarp: Dress it up however you want, but whoring for youtube clicks is still whoring.
  • 7 2
 @gearbo-x: give me a break. Every single industry person is a sell out in one way or another.
  • 3 0
 @kiksy: MRP mentioned in the GreenBike comments that it was the same issue... they needed to have 7mm of spacers.
  • 4 1
 @alienator064: there's actual ranking to race that's why u see top world cup guys doing local races u need to have a pro card with to race world cups and that card has to have enough points
on it for u to race world cups
  • 24 1
 I'm no fan of his clickbait, overdone titles & thumbnails but the videos themselves aren't terrible. He's trying to make a living, those titles drive views evidently well.

His Slash, like Vital's test Slash, had chain drop issues no matter how the tensioner was set up.

It seems like Slash's drivetrain setup is finicky at best, and non-functional at worst. I think it is very valid to be concerned about this bike, especially when you might put hundreds of miles on that drivetrain. What if wearing it out a millimeter or two at the cogs, upper guide, chainring, jockey wheels, or tensioner has the same effect?
  • 8 4
 @LaXcarp: Nobody forced him to play the game.

@succulentsausage: "Don't hate the player, hate the game" is always such a cop-out.
  • 19 1
 Just block him from your feed using this one simple trick the pros don't want you to know about.
  • 5 3
 @ReformedRoadie: He is a pro. He's just not a racer. He's still paid to ride his bike
  • 8 0
 @Beyond-The-Tape: at what point does it become valid critism. The bike drops chains constantly it probably is fixable but should you have to fix it. The guy is bloody hard on bikes he's broken multiple frames this year and has had issues with the trek and canyon so maybe his riding style has something to do with his issues. But if you buy something that expensive is it acceptable that you need to rebuild it to make it work?
  • 3 1
 @ryanandrewrogers: Dario in the video for this briefly mentions he dropped a couple of chains so I've now seen multiple reviews with the same issue to varying degrees
  • 4 1
 @LaXcarp: It's not Lewis or Googles fualt really, although Lewis could choose not to be that guy and over exaggerate so much, but the algorithm is influenced by what people click on and provided we all continue to be sucked in by clickbait titles (its hard to fight that natural curiosity) then that is what will continue to be fed us.
  • 4 1
 @CaMKii: Exactly. That’s why Jackson is on a top team getting well paid to race rather than making clickbait videos
  • 2 1
 @alienator064: I thought he was a video creator of clickbait
  • 13 5
 Lew is the boy, honest reviews and not watered down. His Trek failed him in a race, multiple times, then they could not fix it! Best review your gonna see is someone without an agenda. Well done Lewis, keep the real reviews coming.
  • 12 0
 Reading these comments it’s clear to me that many of you have NO idea how hard it is to pay your bills, travel, race, and just overall stay relevant as an MTB Pro at ANY level. Sponsors are always squeezing you to do more to get what you already had last year. YouTube and having content on every social out there is sadly just part of the way it is these days. I manage a team and it’s a part time job to just remind and encourage pros to post about their ‘journey’ and tell their ‘story’. For old dogs like me : we remember a time before this madness so our opinions are different. My sons generation : the click bait is what he WANTS. Just my two cents.
  • 3 7
flag Beyond-The-Tape (Oct 31, 2023 at 3:51) (Below Threshold)
 @briain: you take it to a good mechanic or trek dealer who understands the issue and spends time diagnosing it. I predicted this was the issue without even seeing the bike so any good mechanic would have picked it. Any sensible racer would have checked the bike over or tested it before racing as well.
  • 1 0
 @Joeypalmer: It can get to be a lot for them though, in terms of content, precision, dedication and even things like becoming disillusioned. It's hard for the youngsters, they create the content then it gets ignored by a specific sponsor, a specific manufacturer and they feel all 'down' about it. They then sit and question what they're doing, whether they're doing it right... THEN you get a person who posts 15s clip of their feet and get 30,000 likes... Or someone eating candyfloss getting 100,000 views...
The problem being that MTB and DH/Enduro are very very niche and finding and making the 'right' content is incredibly hard for the athletes. Even kids/people who are doing insane things, still get next to no views. A mate of mine did a video of his 7 year old daughter doing the simplest section of trail and got 5000 likes for it... You don't see pros getting numbers like that when posting WC top 20s...
  • 5 0
 @Beyond-The-Tape: It's a brand new bike. It should work out of the box. Why should any customer be expected to take it to a Trek dealer (which may be hundreds of miles away) or PAY a mechanic to fix an issue that is of zero fault of the customer?

Mistakes happen, I think people can deal with that. But the ownership of this issue is fully on Trek, same as the X2 issues are purely on Fox etc.
  • 1 0
 @Beyond-The-Tape: yes and no. While I generally agree that a proper bike mechanic could of got it working and you should have a run down test before racing. I really don't think it's acceptable that the bike has these issues for the factory particularly as its from one of the really big brands like Trek the other side of this is every other bike is this price range and segment doesn't suffer these issues even the other high pivot offerings
  • 6 1
 @Beyond-The-Tape: you have not watched the video then!

Lewis tested the bike before racing it, not at full race pace as he states in his video, he then had it at a mechanic and with the trek support folk to try and fix the issue, further testing showed that the issue was still present.

Maybe watch the video before making a guess!!!
  • 1 0
 @TommyNunchuck:
They don't seem too embarrassed driving their super cars and other toys around their freaking estates in England!
  • 1 1
 @maglor: Right, instead of blaming the creator, I think "ah darn ya got me" and I've become wise to their ways and now have more accurate understanding of what a video may show me.
  • 5 1
 @Joeypalmer: As a slightly older dog, I remember when pro's main job was...winning races. You're right, many of us do not know how hard it is to make a living from riding our bikes. \
We have full time jobs, mortgages, kids, etc. And little sympathy for someone who has some, but certainly nowhere near enough talent to stay at near the top. If they choose to try to eek out an existence with click bait YouTube stuff, hey, good luck. And if some companies want to fund part of it, great.
But don't call them 'Pros'.

Even JKW, who puts out great content, and gets support from sponsors, refers to himself as a former pro.
  • 8 1
 All of y’all are sitting here talking about Lew days after this post came out which didn’t even mention him. He’s doing something right.
  • 7 2
 @alienator064: "but I'm sure all of you would sell out". No
  • 6 2
 @kiksy: you have clearly never worked in a shop. Stuff like this happens on all brands all the time. Probably not acceptable but, it is everywhere and no bike is without it’s own little mistakes. Heck, 90% of flat mount brakes need facing to get them working correctly. This is the level our industry is at.

To go and literally say your throwing the bike in the bin and it’s garbage because you couldn’t take 5 minutes to work it out is wild. I don’t think you would see that from any legit media source.

Ah well I guess I have to accept this is what the world likes now.
  • 4 2
 @pisgahgnar: us talking about Lew doesn't translate to views though. It just calls out how clickbait his suff is.
  • 3 4
 @Beyond-The-Tape: what are you talking about! Lew literally took the bike to trek themselves and they couldn’t fix it! EVERY single review says this bike drops the chain constantly. Also it’s noisy as hell even with all those extra pulleys and that ridiculous frame protection! The frame is flawed and that’s been proven by every one who’s reviewed it. It looks shite and appears to ride shite too. That’s pretty much what I’ve taken from every review of this bike. If it can’t hold the chain on then it’s not fit for purpose. It’s literally a chain driven push bike!
  • 4 2
 @mikelee: it’s literally 2 washers and there is a fix. Pretty simple
  • 1 0
 @briain: I reckon the plastic headset assembly on the Canyon seems to be the culprit - no way should the high load area of a head tube contain all the plastic. Bi-product of internal cable routing i guess. I was suprised he wrote off the Nukeproof Giga early on - that bike he "actually" crashed, and crashed hard in the urban downhill race and it only seemd to have a chipped frame.
  • 1 0
 @michaelbevege: yeah totally agree, I actually googled to see if anyone makes a metal replacement for that spacer and they don't seem to. Also your right about the Giga putting it down hard on cobblestones would test the strength of a lot of frames. The Giga always seemed to be a purchase to compete in an event. Regardless of what happened I don't think he was hanging on to it
  • 141 3
 I bet Trek product managers are banging their heads against the wall after seeing a closeup pic with a Specialized tire on the rear!
  • 89 2
 They'll want someone to get butchered.
  • 28 1
 @bigtim: Eliminate them
  • 11 4
 I CANNIBelive they did that
  • 2 0
 ha! good catch.
  • 67 0
 The broken spoke on the bontrager wheel is a nice touch as well
  • 2 0
 Haha, that's hilarious! I was actually thinking the same thing too!
  • 17 1
 @bigtim: Ground Control to Trek management: Wisconsin we have a problem...
  • 26 0
 Probably, but there's no secret meaning behind that ending up on the bike - it was simply the only remaining 27.5" tire we had on hand up in Whistler.
  • 12 3
 @mikekazimer: 27.5 is dead...??
  • 6 3
 I considered a Cannibal and Hillbilly combo for my Session but it feels wrong. Like pepsi in a coca cola glass
  • 3 0
 @tom666: with a username containing 666, I would assume you would relish brand mixing.
  • 115 0
 I like the broken spoke wrapped around another spoke in the first picture. Reminds me of all my bikes.
  • 36 0
 those Bonty wheels are known for their quality after all.
  • 21 4
 Strange this wasn’t mentioned with tire and more on tye drop chain issues, whereas on the smaller brands every nuisance was discussed
  • 5 0
 @Monkeyass: I agree, surely that's an issue
  • 7 5
 @Monkeyass: Because it could have been anything... if they didn't mention it, it was probably something as simple as a stick getting launched into the wheel.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: What are other o
  • 4 0
 Went through three of these wheels under warranty in 18 months, the spokes and nipple's from factory are absolute trash, couldn't be bothered to get them rebuilt with decent spokes and nips so sold them on when they were replaced the third time and bought some nukeproof alloy wheels which have been bombproof and cost half the price
  • 2 0
 @jimyg: Yep, I can confirm that experience. I've had two Trek bikes in the past, both started with Bontrager wheels that had to be replaced within 6 months of riding.
  • 1 0
 I had a stick come off my front wheel and go through the rear, ended up running into the seat stays and breaking a spoke and bending another. It was on a brand new Bontrager Line Elite first real ride. I was about 2mi into my ride, I finished the remaining 12mi with the wheel in that condition. The wheel wasn't out of true, there was a tiny high spot, but it rode fine. Took it back to the shop, sent a picture to Trek and three days later I had a new wheel. I replaced the broken and bent spoke and it trued up instantly. Trek wants the damaged wheel back, so I don’t get a spare.
  • 97 33
 Man. Levy really provided ALL of the personality in the Pinkbike Field Test. It’s like listening to 3 chatgpts talk about the marketing brochures.
  • 32 26
 Not very nice, why be mean?
  • 43 2
 Levy was by far the most comfortable on camera and did a good job engaging the other testers in a way that they didn’t sound like AI. These 3 write good reviews though.
  • 37 4
 @motdrawde: sometimes opinions arn't nice...doesn't make them wrong.
  • 12 24
flag Monkeyass (Oct 30, 2023 at 14:18) (Below Threshold)
 @bmied31: sometimes people should just keep their opinions to themselves too
  • 48 2
 I miss Levy, too. However, Kaz, Henry, Dario and Matt are knowledgeable, competent and engaging, too. I‘m enjoying their reviews!
  • 15 2
 @Monkeyass: well, you didn't keep yours... how did that played out Big Grin hehe
  • 2 3
 I`m afraid to ask, but still. Did he left PB?
  • 48 3
 Pedant alert - it’s not a high pivot four bar, it’s a linkage driven high single pivot with semi-floating brake mount (concentric pivot on rear axle makes the brake squat like a four bar whilst the pedal squat is the same as a single pivot). High pivot ABP, which is the same as high pivot SplitPivot, or like that Hope bike.
  • 77 0
 Rolls right off the tongue
  • 8 0
 I think of the split pivot (and ABP) as single pivot suspension where the floating brake mount is integrated with the seatstay, or you could also say seatstay linkage.
  • 13 0
 PB calls ABP a 4-bar in every article... Maybe they could enlighten us why?
  • 6 2
 I like how they call it a "far departure" when it's the same as all their other bikes just with the main pivot slightly higher.
  • 15 2
 Thank you.

I'm continually frustrated by the writers incorrectly calling single pivots like this '4-bars'.
An they usually say things like how good that is on a Trek or Orbea but pan single pivots on any 'value' bike.

You're writing technical reviews people, get the (simple) tech right!
  • 4 0
 @BarryWalstead: I can tolerate them calling it a faux-bar, but agree.
  • 7 0
 @ranchitup: To be fair, the rear axle does depart a fair bit from the normal axle path you're used to on Treks, as it's a lot more rearward. That's not insignificant. And having them as a mass market brand doing something fiddly with idlers is also a bit of a departure from their normal buttoned down MO.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: agreed, that's a fair description.
  • 4 5
 @g-42: no, you mean it departs from mid-single-pivot designs. But it's still just a single pivot, you know, like Orange...
Placing that single pivot higher does give a different segment of that arc, but it's still a perfect arc.
  • 2 0
 @g-42: Yes that is what raising the main pivot does thank you. High pivot bikes are hardly unique in the current enduro bike landscape and this suspension design was already in place on one of their other bikes (the session).
  • 5 2
 You can use whatever nuances you like to describe that layout on the Trek, but in the most simple mechanical engineering terms, that is indeed a four bar linkage.
  • 3 1
 @threehats Can you explain why a ABP/Split Pivot is NOT a 4 four bar? My understanding was that because the Chainstay and Seatstay are both moving independently and not a solid unit, this makes the suspension design have four "bars" - Chainstay, Seatstay, Frame, and Linkage.

Also, is ABP and Split Pivot literally the same thing? I can't figure out the distinction...
  • 5 2
 @nnowak: engineering wise, yes. however, when discussing mountain bike kinematics, we only “count” links that contribute to defining the axle path. in this case, the axle path is that of a single pivot bike since the rear axle is connected to ground (the frame) by a single link. these are called linkage driven single pivots as you’re right there is a four bar linkage in there but it only affects leverage ratio and not the axle path.
  • 2 0
 @nnowak: furthermore, in the most precise mechanical engineering terms, it’s a 6 bar mechanism as the shock adds 2 additional links joined by a prismatic joint. that means 6 bar bikes are actually 8 bar, and the only true 4 bar bike is a single pivot. weird.
  • 2 0
 @alienator064: Ok makes sense I think. We describe a MTB suspension by the axle path not necessarily the physical layout...do I have that correct?

So if we put on our MTB nerd hats, this is a linkage driven high single pivot with concentric blah blah blah.
But if we put on our engineer hats, this suspension is a 4-bar layout. Well, maybe an 8 bar depending on how pedantic we want to be, as you've described.
  • 47 2
 The AXS dropper post is just pointless. Short AND heavy AND expensive AND ugly.
  • 85 0
 Sounds like my ex-wife
  • 11 1
 Given that it's from the people who brought us the rather pointless hydraulically actuated OG Reverb in all its ever-saggy/finicky glory, the fact that it's only short and heavy and expensive and ugly but at least seems to function OK (over it's too-short adjustment range) should almost count as progress.
  • 8 2
 @JonnyTheWeasel: oooo you’re going to hell for that comment. And she will be there with you for all eternity.
  • 2 0
 But way easier to install. Where are the new wireless droppers, seems like it was a long time ago that they were being teased?
  • 2 2
 @Snowytrail: those with cable-actuation (e.g. OneUp, Bikeyoke etc) aren't that difficult to install.
  • 3 0
 @Snowytrail: You install them once and forget about it no? You can even pay someone to do that for you for much less than the price difference with a cable-actuated one.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: haha, good point: you can then forget about them, since they don't need charging...
  • 31 0
 I've had mine for a while now, bought the al frame only. Had to fiddle with the MRP bash/guide a bit too, and I'm using Hope cranks but got the chainline perfect and zero chain drop issues with an XTR derailleur. And the bike itself is super quiet, I didn't have to use anything to dampen the chain slap. Climbs great, descents superbly.
Feels good man.
  • 2 2
 climbs great compared to what? Trek single pivot is not that good at climbing compared to DW bikes. So I am genuinely curios what are you comparing with?
  • 5 0
 @valrock: numbers don't lie though, how are you going to beat just over 100% anti squat throughout the travel range? More drag from the idlers sure, but mathematically that's how you reduce bob but still let the rear wheel be active over bumps.
  • 2 0
 @valrock: coming from a gen 5 Slash with a SPRDLX Ultimate coil. It also climbed very well, and descented like a beast but the gen 6 feels even better! I still have my gen 5 frame just in case I would had ended up not liking the gen 6, but now I can sell it.

I'm also running 29" wheels both end and a 180mm fork. I downsized from L on the G5 to M/L on G6. I'm 183cm with very long arms, the ape factor is real.
  • 2 0
 @Lanssi: so yeah, that was my question, you are comparing Gen 6 to Gen 5, which makes sense based on numbers as @NellyG123 said.

I am more interested in how it compares to DW bikes if anyone here has ridden both because I have ridden Top Fuel, Fuel and Session as well some other single-pivot bikes like Stumpy, Status, Spur and etc and DW link bikes are always better at climbing, IMHO

The reason I am asking - I want heavy hitting enduro bike, but that I ENJOY on the way up as much as on the way down, in fact I would sacrifice some of it's down performance to gain in climbing ability ( looking at you Revel Rail and Ibis HD6 Big Grin )
  • 32 0
 But how does it compare to the current Spec Enduro?
  • 30 1
 Based on what Vital MTB just put out...the Enduro is still excellent.
  • 18 2
 I guarantee the current Enduro requires less drivetrain maintenance. I've had a couple of them now and they are bomb proof.
  • 16 0
 @incognito29: Yep - of the lot of bikes vital tested, they seemed to enjoy the Nukeproof, Spec and Trek most.

Given that the Spec was released in 2019, kinda makes one wonder if we're pretty darn close to "peak bike".

As an owner of the current Enduro, I will say that it does suffer from lots of chaingrowth/pedal kickback in the last 40% of the stroke. This can sometimes lead to a slight "hang up" feeling on the rear wheel when smashing through chunky stuff. If they could magically clean up that chain growth without ditching the solid antisquat at 30-40% or the initially rearward axle path, it would be hard to fault that bike.
  • 18 2
 Well, it can’t crack any more than the current Enduro, can it?
  • 14 0
 @singelton: Why have you had a couple of the current enduro?
  • 6 0
 @pisgahgnar: Cause they weren't nukeproof?
  • 13 0
 @KJP1230: An O-chain would eliminate kickback on any non- HP bike - at the expense of hub engagement. Personally, I'd rather go that route than deal with the weird handling of a growing wheelbase on high pivot bikes.
  • 2 0
 @pisgahgnar: hahaha this made me laugh as well
  • 3 0
 @fentoncrackshell: agreed. I was on a v1 Druid for about 8 months before I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. Now on a Madonna and I’m much happier.
  • 2 0
 @KJP1230: Wonder how the Ochain would help, I have the same observations of my Enduro - I feel like I made it worse with a cascade link even with an EXT Storia :/
  • 33 10
 I don’t know these field test are not the same with out Mike Levy. It feels like a cheap knock off. I miss so badly the Mike and Mike's relationship
  • 5 4
 agree. i dont watch the videos anymore now that it's not mike and mike.
  • 1 0
 And that Aussie guy... what was his name?
  • 8 0
 @islandforlife: Steve Irwin?
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Paul Hogan’s Mick Dundee Wink
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: Yahoo Serious?
  • 17 0
 Slash 9 owners review - The bike differs from what a "conventional" bike feels just enough to require an adaptation period. The upside is that it has an unreal cornering grip, great technical climbing ability, and is as supportive (Not wallowy) as a 170mm HP bike gets. Inspires a lot of confidence once you realize how much trouble you can get yourself into and the bike will stay composed. The downsides are that the chain noise is rampant and the bike requires significant effort to jib. Mine is 41lbs. Feels very well developed / engineered, especially the linkages. Bike should've been spec'd with a better downtube protector and tires.
  • 5 0
 Thanks - that's a nicely nuanced and reasoned take.
  • 2 3
 >The upside is that it has an unreal cornering grip, great technical climbing ability, and is as supportive (Not wallowy) as a 170mm HP bike gets.

There is a bike from every year in the past decade that has these characteristics, and for quite a few years it has been Nicolai/Geometron.
  • 3 0
 @KickFlipABike: Yup, but they are just terms, every bike rides differently. While I don't have any experience with those brands, I can say that this bike is very versatile compared to a typical bulldozer bike those brands are associated with. This bike definitely has the most fantastic rear kinematics I have ever felt for racing.
  • 20 4
 >After reaching out to Trek and MRP, it became clear that the guide had been improperly installed from factory, with 5mm instead of the intended 7mm of spacers between the frame and the guide.

Or you know, make the upper pulley wheel narrow-wide, instead of trying to do some bullshit with the guide?

This is what you get when your industry is choc full of "industrial designers" with no engineering talent.
  • 3 1
 remember the eminent bikes(most reviews said they rode great) but commenters destroyed it because the did not like the looks

so maybe to much risk to build function first(i dont think eminent was fuction first)
  • 9 0
 3 bikes with idlers and lower chain devices, all 3 run 100% never drop chains. Non of them have narrow wide idlers but have good idler guides. Yer mans lost the plot lol
  • 11 0
 The main benefit of the lower pulley is not for chain retention in this case, it's there to stop the lower chain run growing when the suspension compresses so that the mech arm doesn't need to move when the suspension compresses. Essentially trying to give you the "no chain" suspension feel by removing the influence that the clutch and spring on the rear mech has on the suspension.
  • 2 0
 That would have made the bike sound horrible
  • 8 1
 @RobinLaidlaw: Too bad most commenters will just jump to conclusions before understanding how it actually works. Lower idler, and the very strategically positioned upper idler make this bike like 2 deg of kickback and almost no chain growth. It's kinda impressive.
  • 1 0
 @mitchbike: It is impressive. It is also a lot of effort/cost/additional moving parts to achieve a bike that seems to be right up there with the cream of the crop, but not necessarily so good as to make its competition irrelevant.
  • 1 0
 @bat-fastard: Just because its done a certain way doesn't mean its right. There is no reason not to have a narrow wide idler which guarantees no chain drops, rather than relying on some mm precision of chainguides that go out of whack with the first crash.
  • 1 4
 @mitchbike: There is chain growth, because the chainline is below the pivot, which gives the bike anti squat characteristics (which exactly equates to chain growth) which is what gives it climbing performance.

he lower idler is there only for chain wrap on the chainring - part of the problem is the electronic shifting that also flops around a lot more due to lack of cable housing pressure, so is pretty necessary.
  • 2 0
 Narrow wide on the upper wouldn't stop it from dropping off the lower. FWIW my XT drivetrain hasn't dropped in 96 miles and is dead silent in the rough. They complained about noise and had drops with T-Type so I think something is up with the transmission clutch compatibility with this frame.
  • 2 0
 @KickFlipABike: The idler isn't the problem, it was lower chainguide wasn't in line with chainring. Any DH bike will drop chain if not lined up right. The lower guide is massive, to me it need made smaller like a normal lower guide with a 12t jockey wheel.
  • 1 0
 @RobinLaidlaw: it does surprise me that so few high pivot bikes have that lower idler. They help with two things - the chain growth, as you mention, and also getting enough chain wrap on the chain ring. This little wrap means there's more risk of wear to the ring and chain. For the chain growth, I'd love to see a test with and without the idler, ride it over rough terrain, see how it feels and get a GoPro pointed at the drive train, see what the chain and mech do. Also huck to flat. Would also be interesting to pop it on a "normal" pivot bike and repeat - see if it feels more "chainless"
  • 2 0
 @bat-fastard: Buchanan was dropping chains from the upper guide. The idler is most definitely the problem. You don't have any tension when coasting in the entire upper portion of the chain. There is a reason why every single 1x system out there uses narrow wides on the crank, even with chain guides.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: The lower guide does nothing for the chain growth. If the distance between the rear derailleur and chainring changes (which it does especially on high pivot bikes with rearward wheel paths), you will get chain growth on the bottom that is taken up by the derailleur cage. The lower guide is simply for wraparound.

The only way to get zero chain growth is to run a concentric idler pivot or bb pivot.
  • 1 0
 @KickFlipABike: To be fair it seems to drop from both. Which to me would speak of a misalignment in the system. Particularly if you back pedal
  • 1 0
 @KickFlipABike: lower span chain growth is a function of the pivot point being above the bottom of the chain ring (somewhere near the top of the chain ring typically, regardless of rear triangle layout, for circa 100% AS). The higher the pivot point, the more the lower span grows, and the upper span too, unless you use an idler, hence kick back. By putting in a lower idler, it moves the front chain line "pivot point" further up, nearer to the suspension pivot point, probably making the geometry there pretty similar to a traditional low pivot chain line. Now how much that affects suspension action and clutch life, compared to all the flapping around during hard riding in that area, I don't know, hence saying it would be interesting to run an experiment. I don't have a high pivot bike or any friends with one, so I can't do it myself
  • 1 0
 @Ktom3001: I had to run a Frankenstein gx cable setup on mine waiting for a warranty T type mech. Even with a mix of random second hand parts , it was quieter than the complete brand new T type.
  • 1 0
 @Spicy-McHaggis: Yeah I rode with a guy over the weekend and he was on a V2 Megatower with T-Type.
His chain dropped and mine didn't. I think SRAM is doing something to limit the clutch tension to improve shifting and battery life.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex:

I get what you are talking about, but for this effect, you have to use a large diameter idler that winds and unwinds the chain through significant angle to take up the distance when suspension extends (i.e in the extended state the distance is taken up by the circumference of the idler, in the compressed state where the axle moves back, that distance is unwound and is going to the extra length needed for the chain). For this small ider, you are getting maybe like 5mm total of unwound chain, and the distance increase between it and the rear wheel is much more.

Even then, you allways have the positive derailleur cage pressure, so there is no way to get rid of that, so you will never get the chainless feel.

The kickback is a whole separate issue on the top of the chain having to do with anti squat and pedal power. When pedaling, the chain tightness, and it should actually help prevent dropped chains. When coasting however, the kickback doesn't really play an effect.
  • 2 0
 @KickFlipABike: The ability to eliminate chain growth isn't anything to do with the size of the idlers, just where the idlers hold the chain. Imagine the top and bottom length of the chain weren't wrapped round a chain ring but simply pinned to the center of the rear suspension pivot. As the suspension move, the whole rear wheel and chain assembly will move together and there will be no change in chain length on top or bottom. The closer the upper and lower idlers get the chain to being on the pivot, before guiding the chain to the chainring (or off it), the closer you will be to that situation and the mech will not move as the suspension compresses. In practice, a lower idler that holds the chain on a line drawn from the lower mech jockey wheel to the suspension pivot and pretty close to the chainring will get 95% of the effect, and that's what they are aiming for here, and if you have a look at videos of the suspension being cycled through it's travel in reviews when the bike was released, it works, the mech arm doesn't move significantly. Compare with a high pivot bike without a lower idler and you'll see the mech arm move a lot more.
That all said, a much bigger idler would run much smoother, and keeping it perfectly aligned and with a small stop over the top of the chain to keep it from bouncing off the idler would make it all more robust.
  • 1 0
 @RobinLaidlaw:

Here is a video of a non high pivot, no idler design where the rear derailleur mech does not move.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iRnJiSnaeU

To be more specific, yes, the idler can be used to mitigate chain growth if you make the lower chainline in line with the pivot, but the design has to follow 2 constraints - have the chainlines running through the pivot like in your pinned example, and radius between the pivot and the bottom chainline cannot grow. Neither of which is true for the Slash.

The video of the Slash does show smaller cage movement, but its not as a consequence of an innovation of the lower idler, and more so of the entire suspension platform. Also, the gear you are in will determine growth as well, because the cage has significant vertical position changes which can affect chainlines
  • 16 1
 That chain is far too straight. Maybe add a couple jockey wheels to the seat stay?! Maybe even the seat tube. Then SRAM can integrate the shifter and the dropper and make it chain gears while raising and lowering the dropper - all while coasting of course.
  • 19 1
 Can't wait till they slash those prices.
  • 11 18
flag dillpicckel FL (Oct 30, 2023 at 8:10) (Below Threshold)
 They won't. Inflation is fueling prices to a caliber we've never seen before.
  • 13 2
 @orangebike275: In that case, best to buy a new bike now, before inflation pushes prices to supercaliber levels.
  • 3 5
 it's not gonna happen, unfortunately...prices are insane
  • 1 2
 @mi-bike: you better have a paycheck of pro caliber, not MTB pro caliber, rather tarmac slicing roadie pro caliber.
  • 3 0
 Any Trek “8” model is what you’re looking for. Aluminum frame, race quality but value priced wheels and suspension.

Those are competitive price wise. This test bike is deeeeep in fancy bike territory.
  • 3 0
 @orangebike275: mid level bikes are back to “normal” prices. Top shelf builds cost more than they used to, but are waaaaaaay past any diminishing return performance-wise.
  • 4 0
 @orangebike275: if sales are poor they will reduce prices
  • 2 0
 My lbs is already discounting theses
  • 14 1
 Those assemblers in Waterloo are probably getting a good tongue lashing for using the wrong spacers... That, or the engineers/technical writers giving the assemblers the wrong instructions.
  • 40 2
 tongue *slashing
  • 14 3
 By Waterloo you mean Taiwan....or is Trek shipping Asian frames to Wisconsin just to be assembled incorrectly Stateside????
  • 10 2
 @wyorider: Yeah. They're assembled in Waterloo. Components and frames are sent to their "hub" to get bolted together and QC'd before being boxed up and sent to shops/customers. Pretty standard practice.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: I don't know if Trek assemble in Asia or in the US for the US market - but assembly in Taiwan is likely similar price to the US. Look up the GDP per capita in Taiwan. It's high. It's also more space efficient to ship at lower level assembly, rather than build it first and then ship it, so I wouldn't be too surprised to find out they do some assembly in the US
  • 1 0
 @mrbrighteyes: bummer they don’t build the frames there anymore…but I do like Trek’s current lineup!!
  • 1 0
 @tom666: there's a sticker "Assembled in the Unites States" right below the downtube storage door.
  • 17 1
 Looks like a GI Joe and a Tonka truck fucked and made a bike.
  • 12 1
 Based purely on the Pro's and Con's, this bike looks really interesting. 2 of the 3 Con's can be addressed with some extra chainstay protection and a chain guide fix. Not ideal, but easy enough.

Meanwhile, the Pro's seem to suggest this bike is pretty legit.

If you break it down on a cost-per-chain pivot perspective, this bike is cheap! Smile
  • 2 1
 If THAT stock chain stay protector did little to manage the noise, not sure what would help… that’s the biggest piece of rubber I’ve ever seen back there. Still, your point stands. That wouldn’t be a deal breaker to me.
  • 12 1
 I added some STFU tape to the bike, and the chainslap nose is pretty much eliminated - would strongly recommend to anyone interested in getting one of these.
  • 2 0
 @dariodigiulio: is that a product STFU makes? Or do you mean standard “mastic” tape?
  • 3 0
 @rhysarcher: it’s a STFU product. I’d imagine VHS Slapper tape would also work
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Everyone is focused on the bike being reason for the noise. My 9.8 XT is crazy quiet.
Someone should be looking into the T-Type clutch tension and the fact that it's not adjustable.
T-Type may just be a bad for this suspension configuration
  • 24 14
 Was this a press release or a bike review? Juxtapose to the other reviews, it seems like bending over backwards to be complimentary. Big sloppy high idler that is great on flat trail with tight turns, climbs like an XC bike and poppy on the side hits. Unicorn!
  • 8 0
 So far my predictions of how these bikes are reviewed is WAY off. I figured this bike would be well received, but I didn't think some of the others would be criticized to so much.
  • 1 0
 not surprising because the others are far from conventional, the Slash is much more closer to conventional than any of the other in this test
  • 15 10
 Leave it up to two size medium-large guys to tell you that a bike not offered in XXL fits everybody.
How is the chain derailing multiple times not a dealbreaker? It absolutely would have killed the Nucleon-Supre review if it had happened there.
  • 11 3
 "How is the chain derailing multiple times not a dealbreaker?"

Because they fixed it by adding the extra 2mm of spacers that it was supposed come with.
  • 3 4
 @islandforlife: I'm happy there's a practical solution. The fact that such a small spacer represents the difference between good and bad performance (almost every review of this bike mentions this) should make anyone who isn't very very diligent at maintaining their bike look elsewhere.
  • 4 0
 @islandforlife: But the bike *didn't come with them*, they've given enough attention to bikes with droppers which are too short, when those are trivial to change aftermarket. It seems like they've given Trek a lot more leeway than the smaller brands.
  • 4 1
 @alexsin: Move your derailleur 2mm out away from where it's supposed to be and see how well your bike performs. Maybe you should ditch your bike and look elsewhere because your derailleur doesn't work when it's not located properly?

2mm can be a long way in certain contexts.
  • 4 0
 @aMillenarian: But what's the point of completely panning an otherwise (by the sounds of it) good bike based on an issue that will almost certainly soon be fixed from the factory and retroactively for current owners? How are 2mm of spacers less trivial than replacing a dropper post worth hundreds of $,£ etc?
  • 2 0
 @aMillenarian: Yep, but this is a factory build mistake that has already been rectified for anyone that buys now or has bought probably in the last month or so. If this was how the bike was intended to be sold and there was no fix for it, or this was how is was designed and not just a factory build mistake, then ya, destroy them in the review.

In this instance you don't have to do anything once you've purchased the bike beyond maybe making sure your build came with the 7mm of spacers. As for bikes with too short of a dropper, that requires you having to buy (at significant cost) a new dropper.

In saying that... I do think they harp on the short dropper a little too much... any shop worth their salt that you're buying the bike from would usually happily swap the dropper out for you anyway. And also, it's a review, you can decide for yourself how much of a deal breaker the short dropper is for you or not.

But, at the same time I think it's also good that major review sites like Pinkbike call it out so that in the future, maybe the product managers will pay a little more attention to items like this.
  • 6 0
 Sadly when I rode this bike, it dropped 3 chains in 4 runs. At the bike park. So I guess they are all adjusted poorly from the factory?
  • 10 1
 Seems to be the case - the rotation clocking matters a bit too, but I think the spacer stack is just specced wrong.
  • 7 0
 All the Slashes I've seen locally had incorrect guide setups out of the box. Fortunately, it's an easy fix. There should be 7mm of spacing between the ISCG tabs and the chainguide. This aligns the lower pulley and chainring.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: can you expand on rotation clocking? Is that the timing of the teeth meshing?
  • 2 0
 @NoahColorado: mine magically fixed itself when I used a Zero offset oval and lightly bent my lower idler in a smidge .not cause of the fix but I did this when I built it and avoid getting new cranks..haven't come close to throwing a chain ever...but I always take chain line into account and ridden high pivots for years
  • 3 0
 @BrianColes: No, more just how it's positioned around the BB. Rotate it back (clockwise while facing the chainring), until there's only room for a 4mm hex key in the front part of the slot. I just stuck a 4mm in there and pinched it before snugging things up. Now that I've said this, seems a photo and it's thousand words is probably warranted.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: Funny enough, i've been spannering my lads GT Furys in the last 18 months. We and many others in the paddock have suffered with chain dropping, some people rarely manage a run without dropping it. A lot of that is down to alignment of the idler pully too, GT doesn't use spacers, but a sliding spacer with a captive nut and if you don't get that right, you're dropping the chain. The rotation of the lower idler seems to be less of an issue but it often confused me how it drops. We ended up using the largest idler wheel too which gives less ability for anythign to move about.
Since then we've now moved to a 2023 Session with idler and are yet to drop a chain in 3 month riding/racing.
  • 2 0
 @weeksy59: seems like the idler should be narrow/wide tooth profile
  • 1 0
 @Motivated: the Fury deffo isn't n/w.

It's funny thought with the GT as it's hard to tell why it's dropping and indeed HOW!
The chain ends up between the chain ring and guide, but you can't actually get it out as it's not got the clearance to remove it. So is it dropping off the idler, or off the bottom end, I never worked out.
The idler is different faced for SRAM and Shimano, one is flush, the other is offset by 4-5mm. I did manage to stop ours dropping but many racers still suffer. The new Fury has an additional guide, between the ring and idler.
Happily, the 2023 Session hasn't dropped the chain at all.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: Problem seems to be the derailleur that doesn't mov much forward. They solved the non adjustable clutch with a hardly existing one that can't take chain elongation.
  • 10 2
 It feels like each review is shorter than the previous one.
  • 12 4
 Agreed. The one bike with a potentially race-ending problem (chain drop) and it gets what felt like the shortest review, and the issue was glossed over. Weird.
  • 7 5
 @jadias: it wasn't glossed over. They fixed the spacing and didnt drop a single chain after that
  • 3 0
 @rjmogul: but does that sound right to you, a 2mm difference and it goes from chain dropper to not.

Seriously, a little mud or wear and that chain is coming off, alignment be damned!
  • 3 1
 @rjmogul: Why are reviewers "fixing" a bike they have on test instead of actually pointing out the massive problem the bike was delivered with?
  • 2 0
 @aMillenarian: why wouldn’t they fix it? They did point it out, it was under the “cons” section.
  • 5 1
 @dariodigiulio This is not a four-bar linkage. It's a two-bar, aka single pivot - like all other Trek bikes. There's only two members to the mechanism that actually cause the desired effect, which is moving the rear axle. The rear axle moves on a concentric path around the main pivot. Thus it's a single pivot.

Please fix.
  • 4 0
 Every time I see that drivetrain I am surprised this bike came out of Waterloo. Looks much more like a solution cooked up in a garage somewhere. Sounds like it rides great though!
  • 3 0
 The lower chain guide spacing makes sense. I figured it had to be something like that because it seems you either got one that never drops a chain, or one that the chain won’t stay on.
It appears most of the chain dropping bikes were in North America from what I can see? Possibly a full production batch with the mistake. I know my small local shop has sold 3, in a extremely rough and rocky part of the world without issue.
  • 3 1
 I think the big takeaway is that these HPI bikes with extra pulleys really need to be well maintained to continue working as expected (pedalling with minimum extra drag, quietly, not derailing chains). That a 2mm spacer is the difference between good and bad on a brand new bike really speaks to what we can expect as these bikes age.
  • 4 0
 If I had to pick one from this round it would be the HD6. The Slash looks cool but thats a lot of chain stuff to survive an all day or multi day enduro stage race. One dropped chain and you've given up the time....
  • 3 1
 "We've done the monster math, and though idler bikes do appear to be a bit slower over the course of a long climb, the Slash offsets that extra drag with an even-keeled pedaling platform and good body position that keep you comfortable for the long haul."

Could say the same for any high pivot idler, tensioner, or gearbox bike, so what you're really saying is don't worry about it Smile
  • 8 2
 Well a gear box losses closer to 10% of input power, and most weigh in about 3 pounds more than a traditional mech setup, so I think you are stretching it by lumping it into the same lose category as a few added pulleys and some extra chain :-)
  • 6 0
 @numbnuts1977: Whenever I have an extra muddy ride and my chain and cassette are clogged with goo and making horrible noises, I wonder if it's approaching the drag levels of gearboxes yet.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: I run a belt drive SS for CX races, I get it. But, for the most part if you are caking your enduro bike up with mud that bad, may want to just call it a day and grab a beer regardless.
  • 3 0
 Putting everything else aside, I must say I applaud Trek for being brave enough to make their new bikes (this, Fuel EX *& Session) notably uglier than the last generation in pursuit of better performance.
  • 2 0
 I disagree that 27.5 only for small is a downside. Smaller wheels make more kinematic sense for smaller riders. If everything else about the bike scales to fit the rider, why shouldn't the wheels? 29ers can feel big and unwieldy for smaller people, even with perfect frame sizing, much like a 32" wheel might feel big and unwieldy for average or larger riders.

This of course isn't a hard rule, but there's clearly a reason other brands have decided to go 27.5 only for S and XS frames.
  • 1 0
 Glad to see the dropped chain issue is fixable. I'm a fan of recent trek products, though I've had two bontrager wheel sets where valve nuts would rattle loose on rocky descents. Both times, it was that they were installed backwards from factory. Great bikes, but honestly you need a good independent wrench to check everything.
  • 5 0
 The video reminded of the old Bike Mag with Travis Engel.
  • 2 0
 i said that on one of the other reviews
  • 3 0
 Love that Travis is over on The Radavist writing longform content about enjoying biking. No focus on fancy gears or why this bike is 3% better than that bike, just about getting off the grid and riding bikes.
  • 1 0
 @GTscoob: Didn't know about that site or that Travis was on there. Love his content. Thanks. Miss Ryan Palmer too.
  • 1 0
 @Caliwcm: Palmer for sure. He's running marketing at Yeti, not sure if we'll see him in print again.
  • 6 5
 Been seeing some criticisms creeping in with this bike. Chain popping off, shock tune compromises some of the high pivot advantages, heavy, noisy and the latest one was the hard edges in the carbon tubes causing some discomfort with some. The worst I saw was some pretty significant pedal kick back on tech climbing. Guess we'll see how things hash out but it seems the PB staff was being very nice.
  • 16 3
 The chain drop, noise, and weight are all mentioned here - the bike just rides nicely enough to make up for the frustration. I was able to fix the noise, and seemingly the chain drop as well, so they're not endemic issues.
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: Thanks, any chain kick back? Projectnortheast MTB on Youtube was able to demonstrate it pretty well.
  • 8 0
 @Tinshield: we really didn't have issue with pedal feedback, climbing or descending. The chain tug he's displaying may be present, but again I didn't find it hampered the climbing ability.
  • 4 0
 @dariodigiulio: great, thanks Dario. Appreciate the replies.
  • 6 2
 @trek Gotta make a TQ powered light emtb version of this bike.

That being said, I will see myself off below threshold.
  • 5 1
 So two or three years until all the overstocked 27.5" Covid wheels and tires get used up? Mixed wheels are for Freds.
  • 2 0
 Guys this is unreal ! you have liked the old model way more ...and this bikes cost a lot of money to have so many cons ...wtf is wrong with bike industry ...they just want money ...
  • 3 2
 This really solidifies my decision for getting my 2023 Specialized Enduro Expert, and making the customizations I have done. Easy, wicked fast, and will absolutely take a bashing out here in the U.S Southwest riding. FSR 170mm of squish without all the extra fuss! Yes please!
  • 2 0
 I reckon trek intentionally misaligned the chain guide so people would talk about that instead of the fact the slash cost more than an equivalent Santa Cruz nomad in most specs.
  • 2 0
 Yep it's crazy pricey. I'm also a little disappointed they didn't point out how high spec the Nicolai was when they gave a price for it
  • 2 0
 Looks like a well balanced ripper. Wonder how the Slash 8 does with less fancy suspension-the "8" models from Trek always seem to hit the value/performance ratio best.
  • 5 1
 I just can't get behind the mullet.
  • 3 3
 The slash looks damn very confident on the descents. I had an earlier comment on the HD6 review about nothing innovative with the HD6. Well, Trek did innovate. And it s loud, ugly, complicated, expensive, and contains proprietary parts. I guess you can't please an armchair critic. Thanks to all the engineers and marketers that make cool stuff for me to purchase. I'm glad the Ferrari 10K bikes exist. But bring on the gearboxes!
  • 4 2
 So the bike is built around a plastic chain guide to not drop chains..haha that's bull ..can't remember the last time I dropped a chain..
  • 4 0
 needs more wheels and cogs
  • 3 0
 Nice to see that even the top of the line AXS Reverb is keeping the family tradition.
  • 4 0
 This frame looks like a robot's turd
  • 3 0
 I can only say that the previus GEN is a solid bike, and very silent. this one looks seesshion
  • 1 1
 Ine must have shipped with a 7 or I addressed it by chainring and shims to get 55mm..mine hasn't dropped a chain , I did dent a rim trying though... It pedals better than I thought, I tore down and sold my nad after 3 rides on it to confo my positives werent purchase placebo. Love the bike
  • 4 1
 At no point during that very dry presentation did anyone laugh. Unthinkable in previous years.
  • 1 1
 I don’t understand why the words ”predictable suspension” is mentioned about a bike with a very progressive leverage ratio. It feels the expression was stolen from Paul Aston’s description of his custom bikes with a linear leverage ratio, which must the epitome of predictability. It doesn’t help to steal popular keywords for marketing if there is nothing in the engineering that can back it up.
  • 6 5
 Who's the OnlyFans rider who threw his Trek Slash in the trash over a chain drop issue? That was a pretty funny video series.
  • 5 0
 Lewis Buchanan?
  • 3 0
 @JonnyTheWeasel: poop cannon
  • 3 0
 goodness,,, looks like Toblerone has entered the cycling marketSmile )
  • 5 1
 Looks like a Kavenz
  • 10 1
 The Kavenz has a horst link, the Trek does not. The Kavenz comes in 7 sizes plus a semi-custom option so it does actually quite literally fit everyone. The Trek does not. None of the Kavenz reviews ever talk about derailing a chain. Most reviews of the new Slash do.
  • 3 0
 @alexsin: it’s ok - I have a Kavenz VHP16 and I love it. Was more a comment that Trek are finally catching up with a mid high pivot design that a small German company did years ago. As you point out, Kavenz did it right though by using a Horst link and engineering it properly…
  • 1 2
 @alexsin: Meh-inline service bulletin fixes the dropped chain. Custom sizes are great for people off the bell curve size-wise. Not sure how Horst Link is better than a pivot at the dropout (pros and cons both ways).
  • 3 0
 @Yuley95: Well I agree with you mate.
  • 2 0
 to gain a little in suspension performance, it gets complicated and ugly. great
  • 2 0
 $9400 and you don't get the adjustable headset cups that are proprietary to the frame? what a joke
  • 2 0
 Or the linkage or whatever to convert to 29in. Fucking disgraceful.
  • 1 0
 @mattberr what size did you ride? I am 179cm and I don’t know what size should I buy. Size Large is bit stretched on reach but overall size of ML seems good.
  • 2 0
 Matt was on the ML
  • 3 1
 Will hp bikes die out like hp computers?
  • 4 2
 Pants with no gloves look - so hip!!
  • 2 0
 It might ride like a Session. But it looks like a Kavenz.
  • 1 0
 I don't care for any of the bikes, but I adore your intros! Have to come back for them for any single test!
  • 2 0
 As wacky as the Trek is, it's still the most vanilla in the test.
  • 3 1
 Is this rim brake or disk brake? Article dors not say???
  • 1 0
 PB ... how do you know it rides like a Session ... when was you last Session bike review?
  • 3 2
 This bike does not pedal nearly as well as the gen 5 slash.
  • 8 2
 I disagree. I have had the last 4 generations of Slash and I think the Gen 6 is the best pedaling version thus far. I think this is mainly because of the FINALLY updated STA. @Tomp22
  • 2 1
 @dariodigiulio can you expand on what you did to silence the bike?
  • 7 0
 I added the toothed STFU tape in place of the stock frame protection, and removed the rear fender - it's very quiet now.
  • 2 1
 @dariodigiulio: Was the chain drop a deal breaker for you? Seems like a good bike unless it drops the chain a bunch during enduro races.
  • 4 0
 @Benfurby: as mentioned in the article, I haven't had the issue since changing the idler spacing - so no I don't think it's a dealbreaker.
  • 4 0
 @dariodigiulio: Cool, i think this thing will be the next steed
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: Thanks for the tips. Any comment on "pedal Kickback during tech climbs" that some bike reviewer elsewhere was talking about?
  • 2 1
 Is this generation of Slash rated for a dual crown fork?
  • 2 0
 No.
  • 17 3
 @ZSchnei: It sucks that companies are so adamant on speccing single crowns. rockshox should use the old 35mm boxxer chassis as a hard-hitting enduro DC fork. people are willing to sacrifice a pound or two for high pivot, why not for the stabiltiy and extra volume that a dual crown fork provides? modern EDR courses are getting wilder and gnariler
Video by rulezman
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LxYM8IOI3Q
  • 4 0
 @mior: I’ve got a 190mm BoXXer for my SB165, and it’s great. It really doesn’t weigh much more than a 38mm single crown, it’s stiff, and I get 10mm more travel than a single crown fork with an equivalent axle-to-crown distance. So far, I’ve only put the BoXXer on for park days, but I think I might give it a try for trail riding. I wonder if the pros would be riding dual crown forks if RockShox and Fox made 160mm and 170mm options.
  • 2 1
 @Helium89: try it! ill try to go that route if/when i get a bike thats not a hardtail/dh/dj
  • 4 0
 @mior:

This has been my exact feelings for a while.

You'd think it would be pretty cheap for RS to reuse lower castings/etc for the 35mm stanchions, and normal axle, and give us maybe a 170-200mm travel "lighter" dual crown fork that it might do well.

On the flip side, doesn't DVO have a fork that is just like that... that doesn't seem to have been a huge hit?
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: people have their issues with dvo, plus, things only really happen in the bike world when sram, shimano, fox and rockshox, adopt it
  • 1 1
 @mior: just put a dual crown on your hardtail
  • 1 1
 @xciscool: its an NS eccentric, saving up enough to build it. not recommened for this frame. super burly frame though. very tempted to put a shiver DC on it...
  • 2 0
 @mior: Why not run the MRP Baxter then? Same 35mm stanchion as the Ribbon but dual crown for the chairlift points.
  • 2 1
 @GTscoob: i am broke, just a volunteer mod. also heard some not so good things about MRP. I dont really own a bike to put it on, also marzocchi=cool
  • 1 1
 @mior: big fork won't allow bigger forks. 35mm boxer is lighter than a Zeb
  • 2 0
 Tested? Nope
Does it fit? Yep

Should you run one? Up to you, but the Slash is rated up to a 190mm single crown fork which is close to a dual crown and will give you a much better turning radius.
  • 2 0
 @trek: So you're saying the user won't void warranty if they run a dual crown fork?
  • 1 0
 @ZSchnei: If a bike is damaged from using any aftermarket product that wasn't original to the bike, it wouldn't be under warranty.
  • 1 0
 It changes colour too. Blue to silver.
  • 1 0
 Trek definitely should've included the tea-bag.
  • 1 0
 Can you run a dual crown on it?
  • 2 0
 Mulleted Devinci Spartan
  • 1 0
 I'd like to a comparison of this and the Jekyll.
  • 1 0
 high pivot bikes are a god awful ugly mess.
  • 1 0
 @Strenki: I think he's taking a break or something
  • 1 0
 @dariodiguilio has anyone run this as a full 29 yet?
  • 1 1
 I love that everyone is wearing matching riding costumes for this series.
  • 1 0
 Sleepovers are more fun with matching pj’s!
  • 1 1
 Looking at 4:48 ridding is interesting. Quite comited I should say!
  • 3 4
 Another carbon frame, another video presenters in front of parktool wall workshop, yawn!
  • 2 0
 Did you not see the other weird and wonderful stuff they had for this test?
  • 3 4
 Saw at LBS, absolute boner bike. Trek killing it
  • 11 9
 I just saw one in person on Saturday and even three cogs from the smallest on the cassette it appeared to have the chain sliding along the chainstay protection. How did that ever make it to production?
And I also feel like you're taking it way too easy on Trek for a bike that won't keep it's drivetrain on riding medium terrain.

Sure, it's fixable, but that's an inexcusable error from a company like Trek. If I NEED to change something just so it doesn't drop chains right when you leave the shop, that's a massive problem.
  • 4 1
 @BarryWalstead: this is common on a lot of high pivot bikes. Not a big deal
  • 2 1
 @BarryWalstead: 1st it's not a catastrophic issue..my broken frames (different manufacturers) were and my broken backs were...chain flying off from alignment ,eehh that's an easy fix..

All the negative press they got on a bike that rides like it's a lot lighter and flat out RIPS..
That's a load of crap, if you want it perfect on a new design 1st year out then I have a bridge to sell you from London..

Jeep has these issues, Ford has em and I know several products in off road truck racing that have shit tons of minor stuff first run
  • 3 1
 @BarryWalstead: Uhhhh......it's an inline service bulletin, like the ones car companies put out all the time on even really reliable stuff like Toyotas. It should have been caught in production, but it's a simple fix.

As for high pivots, they give up some pedaling efficiency to get the suspension right for long travel applications. Not worth it on a shorter travel bike, and I don't need it-but worth the tradeoff for the right conditions.
  • 1 2
 @wyorider: sure, for a car that is many multiples higher of complexity.
Like, how many parts are on that Toyota as compared to this Trek?
Not trying to say it cannot be a running change, but it's a bit of a black eye that it needs to be even that.

@bigmeatpete420 I get that, but the design can be pretty simply modified so that isn't true. Like look at the swingarm on most any mid-pivot bike on the chainstay side, it drops so the chain has clearance. Why isn't that done here? I just don't see why that isn't solved better than too hard of rubber that makes a racket.
  • 2 2
 Finally
  • 1 1
 The last to drop.
  • 1 1
 Looks like a Session.
  • 2 2
 Dario's vocal fry... Frown
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