Trek Session 27.5 - First Look

May 23, 2017 at 14:02
by Mike Kazimer  



There's plenty of buzz surrounding Trek's new Session 29 (and for good reason), but the new Session 27.5 shouldn't be overlooked. After all, it's already garnered one World Cup DH victory under Rachel Atherton this season, and the updates should help to maintain its race-winning ways.

The new Session is longer, lower, and slacker, a now familiar refrain these days, and the carbon frame's design has been changed in order to eke out even more stiffness.
Trek Session 9.9 27.5 Details

• Travel: 210mm
• Full OCLV carbon fiber frame
• 62.1° - 64.4° head angle
• 157 x 12mm rear spacing
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Price: $4,000 USD (frame and shock only), $8,000 complete.
• Available: August / September
www.trekbikes.com


Trek Session 2017
Increasing the Session's stiffness was high on Trek's priority list, especially at the head tube and bottom bracket area.
Trek Session 2017
The shock is now secured to the downtube rather than using the Full Floater design seen on the previous model.


Frame Details

The rear shock is now fixed to the downtube, similar to the design of the Slash 29. According to Trek, advances in shock technology meant that the Full Floater design was no longer necessary to achieve the suspension feel they wanted. Trek worked closely with Fox on tuning the air-sprung Float X2 that the Session is spec'd with, but the bike's kinematics also allow a coil sprung shock to work without any trouble.

Overall, Trek claims the the new frame is 11% stiffer, with the bottom bracket seeing a 19% jump in stiffness, and the head tube stiffness increasing by 10%. Those are some significant changes, especially considering that the prior model wasn't exactly a wet noodle out on the track, but Trek wanted to create an even stiffer bike, one that could provide the cornering precision needed by elite DH racers.



Trek Session 2017
There's plenty of clearance for meaty DH tires.
Trek
Bontrager are working on a hub that takes advantage of the extra space created by running a 7-speed drivetrain, pushing the hub flanges out for additional wheel stiffness.



Session geometry

Session 27.5 Geometry

The Session's reach has grown by approximately 20 millimeters, up to 445mm for a size large, and the bottom bracket height has dropped 6 millimeters, down to 349mm. The stock head angle now sits at 63°, but it's possible to go even slacker thanks to the headset cups that Trek provides. Those cups can be installed to change the head angle by 1° in either direction, and combined with the adjustments provided by the mino-link chip on the seatstay it's possible to create a super-slack 62.1° head angle, or steepen it all the way to up to 64.4°.


Trek Session 2017



92 Comments

  • + 169
 Looks like a session.
(Sorry, I couldn't resist)
  • + 57
 Not sure whether to up-vote or down-vote...
  • + 90
 @Triber66: just follow your heart, mate
  • + 45
 I only opened the article to look for this comment.
  • + 38
 @DHMF: few years ago it was funny, then it became irritating, these days it takes balls to pull that off... slow clap Sir, slow clap
  • + 16
 Slightly resembles a Norco Aurum
  • + 3
 @DHMF:

Just don't try to follow Hart
  • + 6
 Seriously though this is probably the best looking Session I've ever seen..
  • + 2
 Dad? Is that you??
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: you too were funny years ago Waki....now you are just irritating. It only took a keyboard to pull this comment off
  • + 5
 @norcal77: But I am having such a wheelie, wheelie good time.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: It will always be funny. It is even more fun when I drop it to ppl who are not bikers and they dont know what I am talking about
  • + 3
 @endurzo: fewer things give me more joy than dishing out a horrible joke/comment to make my kids cringe.
  • + 73
 In 2018 there's gonna be a 26" version with 800mm rear spacing where you can basically use your handlebar as thru axle
  • + 7
 cleaning the coffee off my laptop and new red KNOLLY t shirt...
  • + 2
 Using backsweep to adjust length of chainstay and rise to alter BB height, you, my friend, are genius!
  • + 1
 PATENT PATENT @winko:
  • + 47
 Nice to see that in a world of bikes touting "shorter travel but more fun", Trek is like "Nah, let's up the travel" Somewhere the ghost of Bender is thankful.
  • + 13
 so is bender still dead
  • + 14
 hes alive and well bro
  • + 14
 @viatch: its a joke. He was a judge at the last Rampage. There was an internet newspaper that published a false story that he died a few years ago, and everyone thought he was dead.
  • + 34
 After all these years this bike never changes and never stops looking just perfect
  • + 12
 Gee, that was needed !!!
  • + 7
 Is it me, or on the homepage does the 29er look more new school... The 650b looks a bit high front end and short... Bit like my 1990s Dh rigs.
  • + 6
 This is the epitome of the MTB industry. I'm reading a "first ride" review of a bike that has its updated replacement model "first ride review" two articles above it........
  • + 2
 Or maybe it is just the choice in bike that everyone on here is saying the industry is taking away from them.
  • + 1
 @WolfStoneD: maybe but realistically the industry isn't taking anything away from anyone. All of the platforms still exist there just not being developed further. Anyone can still buy an insanely good 26" or 27.5" wheel bike in any discipline. Its just crazy how fast companies can get products to market now. Mules to production in 6 months.... crazy.
  • + 4
 I really want to know more about the end of the full floater. It's got to be more than improved rear shocks.

I know nothing but that's what seemed to set the session apart from the other "looks like a session" operators, glorys, aurums, khs', and others.
  • + 5
 The big difference with all of those is that the pivot by the axle is in different locations. Trek has the ABP which pivots at the axle. The glory has no pivot. And the others are either below or above the axle on the chain or seat stays. All that makes a huge difference in the performance of the bike. Look at it more closely than the silhouette from 10 feet away.
  • + 1
 Same here. It was the signiture of Trek's, that unique thing... Why did they stepped away??
  • + 3
 @BarnaK: fed up with trying to flush it..
  • + 1
 Full floater bike like to crack chainstays, that's why
  • + 3
 What's funny is I remember treks marketing when they started with the full floater. As I recall it was supposedly all to make the bike stiffer... no mention of suspension kimatics. Now they move away from full floater and the BB area gets 19% stiffer. I say the real reason for change is cause people aren't going to buy the same bike they already have.
  • + 1
 @BarnaK: if you think about it, the rear axle moves a certain amount, the shock compresses a certain amount... Whether the whole shock moves or remains fixed during that process is entirely irrelevant and affects exactly nothing, the whole thing was a marketing gimmick that lots of brands jumped on for a while with their own 'floating shock' variations, the idea was pointless but had all manner of ridiculous claims attributed to it... but you can believe whatever marketing shyte that appeals really.
  • + 2
 Does the rear brake still howl like a banshee? Every Session I've seen has issues, and the guys at Evolution in Whistler Village corroborated the story. Even the Atherton's have some funky little harmonic damper on the brake caliper adaptor using Bontrager vibration damping handlebar plugs to help kill the shrieking.
gzmyu4ma9b-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Trek-Session-RSL_Rachel-Atherton-pro-DH-bike_brake-damper.jpg
  • + 6
 Came here to see the price, wasn't disappointed.
  • + 4
 But really though for a US manufactured top end bike its actually not horrible. Decent warranty as well. Not saying I have 8k burning a hole in my pocket but...
  • + 3
 @ehvahn: Are Session's not mfr'd in Asia like the rest of Trek's bikes?
  • + 3
 @bforwil: Nope, built in Waterloo, Wi
  • - 3
 @Nathan6209: they are built in Taiwan
  • + 1
 @harrybrottman: Nope, not the 9.9
  • + 2
 @Archimonde: only the very top model all the rest are made in taiwan
  • + 4
 11% stiffness gain...as if 99.99 riders can tell something is 11% stiffer....but i know your mom can.
  • + 2
 Haha........I bet the professionals would notice. When you get thoroughly involved in sports, people will try anything even if it's a placebo like wearing their certain power necklace. 11% stiffness probably seems like an absolute gold mine to some athletes.
  • + 5
 27.5 ain't dead!
  • + 8
 You sure? PB told us just the other day there is "the non-existent need for 27.5'' wheels". Tick tock...
  • + 5
 @iammarkstewart:

does that mean the bike biz will bring back 26"?
  • + 8
 @a2lowvw: I don't know. Ask Mike Levy.
  • + 7
 @iammarkstewart: Ha, they wouldn't tell us even if they knew. Then 27.5 bike sales would plunge just like 26 did after all the rhetoric about the impressive gains going from one wheel size to the other. Worst case Oprah could give them away, You're getting a 27.5 bike and you are getting a 27.5 bike and you and you and you are all getting a 27.5 bike's
  • + 4
 @a2lowvw: Hopefully. If there is only room for two wheel sizes, please let it be 26".
  • + 2
 @a2lowvw: was it gone??
  • + 1
 @pinkdog321: still have a couple 26" bikes in the stable. Not much for new bikes being put out in 26 though unless you include fatbikes and Huffy's.
  • + 1
 Soooooo retro.
  • + 2
 I already get one 27.5 Session 88 2009, this is too late.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/14692009

www.pinkbike.com/photo/14691999
  • + 3
 So with the 29er now in pre-production, is anyone actually going to buy this thing?
  • + 4
 Hopefully all the people complaining that the industry is forcing them to ride 29.
  • + 0
 For what it's worth, I would. I still believe riding style and confidence dictates more than wheel size, I'm more comfortable on 27.5 and my own testing shows I ride consistently faster on the smaller wheels. I think EWS and DH will prove that point in the year ahead.
  • + 2
 If I'm gonna pay that much for a carbon dh bike, it better come with knockblock ....come on trek
  • + 1
 Was looking for this comment, where's the 'cockblock' feature, soooo revolutionary!
  • + 3
 Now get both the 27.5 and 29 and race 'em!
  • + 7
 You're in luck...
  • + 3
 @Bluefire: I spoke too soon, and was not disappointed!
  • + 3
 Propain had the same adjustable cups in their DH bike a while ago.........
  • + 3
 Looks like an Aurum
  • + 2
 I don't know what is more irritating, the expression "looks like a Session" or the fact that so many bikes do like like a fkng session...
  • + 2
 I wonder if this one comes with no brake fade?
  • + 1
 this thing is so stiff it barks at trees
  • + 1
 Has Shimano already abandoned Saint? It hasn't been updated for 5 years!
  • + 2
 27.5? Meh.
  • + 1
 This thing is going to cost your right nut and first born. Pass.
  • + 1
 The latest increment of longer, lower, slacker, stiffer.
  • + 1
 Is this a real mountain bike?
  • + 1
 Looks really clean! I like how trek has moved away from the full floater
  • + 1
 That bike look gorgeous!
  • + 0
 I would have this over the 650b and 1000 dollars saved
  • + 5
 Uhhhh what?
  • + 1
 @tgent: I ment I would have the 650b over the 29er and save 1000 dollars
  • + 4
 @christillott: Not really saving 1K as the 29er comes with the fork too.
  • + 0
 I ment I would have this over the 29er
  • + 1
 Hotness indeed!
  • + 1
 damn son, looks rad.
  • - 2
 So, TREK is showing that his system Full Floating does not work?, never worked?
  • + 1
 Worked with a coil spring and older generations of shocks to change the ramp curve. Now modern air shocks are catching up and you can tune the ramp curve with the shock.
  • + 1
 It's more beneficial for shorter travel Bikes (100-140mm). It's beneficial I'm sure on longer travel bikes but it may not be worth the added cost
  • + 0
 Beautiful looking bike
  • - 2
 Would love to throw this rig at a track and have a session. Hoho..
  • + 1
 No.
  • - 1
 @teamkr: oh I know you want it too.
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