The last few months have produced a fresh crop of long-travel 29ers from the likes of Nukeproof, Evil, and Yeti, just to name a few, and now Trek is joining the fray with their new Slash 29. Designed to be even more capable than the Remedy 29 that preceded it, the Slash was built with the menacing tracks found on the Enduro World Series circuit in mind.
The full carbon frame's 150mm of rear travel is paired with a 160mm fork, giving the Slash a 65.1º head angle in the low geometry setting - that's one seriously slack big wheeler. Trek also claim its the stiffest non-DH bike they've ever created, thanks in part to the front triangle's massive downtube.
Slash 29 Details
• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro race
• Rear wheel travel: 150mm
• Wheel size: 29''
• 65.6º or 65.1º head angle w/ 160mm fork
• Frame material: carbon
• Metric shock sizing
• 148mm Boost hub spacing
• MSRP: $3,700 USD (frame w/ Float X2), $5,500 - $9,000 USD (complete bikes)
There will be two complete bike options, the 9.8 and the 9.9 RSL, along with a frame only option when the Slash hits stores in October. The 9.8 is equipped with a dual position RockShox Lyrik RC fork that can be switched between 160 or 130mm of travel, a RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 shock, and a SRAM X1 11-speed drivetrain for $5,500 USD. The 9.9 RSL (RSL stands for Race Shop Limited) is the no-expenses-spared version, which uses the same carbon frame as the 9.8, but receives a 160mm Fox 36 TALAS, a Float X2 shock, SRAM's 12-speed Eagle group, and Bontrager's Line Elite wheels for $9,000. For those who want to build the Slash from the ground up, the frame alone will go for $3,700. Frame Details
The Slash shares many of the same frame features as the recently announced Remedy 29.5 and Fuel EX
, including the Straight Shot downtube and the Knock Block system, which relies on a stop chip located on the top tube that works with a keyed headset top cap to prevents the fork from turning too far. Trek's Control Freak internal cable routing design keeps everything neatly tucked inside the frame, including the housing for the new Bontrager Drop Line dropper post that's found on both models. Somewhat surprisingly, especially given the type of terrain the Slash is meant for, even the largest frame sizes come with only 125mm of drop, even though there's plenty of room to run a 150mm post.
In order to get the chainstays as short as they'd like Trek's designers had to eliminate the front derailleur, but with the advent of wide range 1x11 or 12-speed drivetrains that's likely to be of minimal concern for most riders. There are ISCG 05 tabs for running a chain guide of some sort in order to make sure a dropped chain doesn't dash those podium dreams, and downtube and chainstay protection are in place to protect the carbon frame from trail shrapnel.
12x148mm rear spacing creates a generous amount of tire clearance, and the Slash will fit up to a 29 x 2.6” tire. What about running the bike with 27.5+ wheels? The official line from Trek is that “We designed Slash around 29 wheels and tires for maximum speed. Running any other wheel/tire size will adversely affect handling and speed.” In other words, it would probably work, but it'd be like putting a donut tire on a Ferrari - not ideal for achieving maximum velocity.
The Slash still uses Trek's ABP suspension design for its 150mm of rear travel, with the rearmost pivot located concentric to the rear axle, but notably absent is the Full Floater layout, where the shock is positioned between two moving links. That design is found on Trek's other full-suspension frames, including the Session downhill bike, but according to Trek, using a fixed lower shock mount gave them more room in the lower frame area, which in turn allowed for the creation of a stiffer main frame and beefier chainstays.Geometry
The Slash has two different geometry settings, and by flipping the chip found on the bike's seatstays riders can select from either a 65.6º head angle and 433mm chainstay length in the high setting, or kick it back to 65.1º with 434mm chainstays. In the low setting this is one of the slackest long travel 29ers out there - for comparison, the Yeti SB5.5C checks in at 66.5º, the Evil Wreckoning at 65.5º. It's also worth mentioning that there's a 15.5” frame in the lineup, something that's often overlooked with longer travel 29ers, since it can be tricky to balance the amount of suspension travel and wheel size in a frame that's small enough to accommodate smaller riders.Keep an eye out for the Slash on the EWS circuit, and we'll report back with ride impressions as soon as we get our hands on one of these enduro race weapons.