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Added a product review for 2014 Trek Remedy 8 27.5/650b 8/6/2014 2:50 PM
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Great ride for the money

Rating:

The Good: Solid components for the price, great balance of performance and cost. I haven't changed a thing from stock and it performs well on steep climbs, rocky trails, tight corners, and fast descents. A great do-it-all bike!

The Bad: Tires are a bit thin on tread for rocky areas and loose-over-hard conditions. They are just "OK', but I would have liked to see the XR4's fitted on a bike like this. To really nitpick, I'd say that Trek/Fox needs to lower the recommended shock pressures. They're too high for anything but smoother trails.

Overall:

For reference my last two bikes were a 2012 Blur LTc and Trek Fuel EX9. Both great bikes, but the Blur was the clear favorite. The trails I normally ride (Upper Bidwell Park in Chico, CA) are rocky, technical, and rarely maintained. It's a lot like Downieville, minus the smooth flow of some of the more loamy forest trails.  So keep that in mind with this review, as it seems to differ quite a bit from most mountain bike trails in other places I've ridden.

Component spec:Overall, the component selection on the Remedy 8 is excellent, especially considering the price tag of around $3,000.  A mix of SLX/XT components, tubeless compatible Duster wheelset, and suspension make this a very capable bike bone stock.  Aside from having my LBS convert the wheels to tubeless with rim strips, I've been running the bike stock for the past 3 weeks.  It's handled everything I've thrown at it incredibly well, and performs on par with my old Blur LTc.

Gripes: As I mentioned above, the tires leave a bit to be desired.  They're a light, lower tread design more suitable for trails with plenty of dirt to grip.  They don't inspire confidence on loose soil over hardpack or on loose rocks.  No surprise there, and before I even bought the bike I knew I'd be swapping those meats out eventually.  The only other change I'm going to make from stock is the addition of a dropper post; most likely the KS LEV.

Suspension: At stock recommended fork and shock pressures the bike rides a little stiff.  It's perfect for smoother trails, but the bike feels bouncy and unsettled on fast, rocky descents.  This was the case even in "Descend" mode I notice the front tire pushing out on loose corners and found I got kicked off my line more than usual.  Lowering the rear 15psi and the fork 10psi solved the problem immediately.  All modes feel as they should:  plush, medium, firm.

Fox Float CTD DRCV Shock: I was pleasantly surprised at the improvement of the latest revision of the DRCV rear shock.  I had a similar setup on my Fuel EX9, but could just never get it quite dialed.  Either it was too firm and nervous on the downs, or would bottom out on the hard hits.  And that impression seems to hold true for a lot of people on previous DRCV shocks.  That seems to have been resolved on the Remedy:  flip the shock into Climb and it's surprisingly firm, hardly moving when you're mashing out of the saddle.  Trail mode could be used all the time, and works well for a mixture of climbing and moderately rough descents.  On the rough and fast downhills though, the Descend mode is buttery smooth but with enough support to keep the tire hugging the ground.

Fox 34 CTD 140mm: Similar to the shock, the Fox 34 up front does a great job once you find the right pressure.  I rarely feel the need to flick it into Descend mode except on prolonged or really rough descents.  In Trail mode it works perfectly 90% of the time, so that's usually where it stays.  On out of the saddle climbs, I did notice some unwanted compression of the front end in Trail mode, but nothing too extreme.  I only have felt the need to use the Climb mode on fire road climbs, and it firms up the front end like a lockout.

27.5 vs. 26": Oddly enough, I've seen little difference between wheel sizes in actual riding.  The bike seems to have better traction up loose uphill scrambles, and maintains speed better than my Blur LTc.  Like 29ers I've tried, it feels like the wheels are harder to get rolling initially, but like to keep rolling.  But again, the difference is so small it's insignificant.  Just like any bike, the more I ride it the more the handling feels like second nature.  Chalk that up to wheel size, geometry differences, or just the fact that it's a new bike!

Last words: I think one term that defines this bike is "balance".  As far as decent full suspension trail bikes go, it seems the Remedy 8 strikes a perfect balance of price and performance.  There are some Bontrager house parts, but they're all solid and well chosen.  It literally needs nothing else other than some pedals and a rider to be a "ride all things" type of bike.  It feels very planted and comfortable maneuvering in tight corners or through rock gardens.  The 67.5 degree head angle is well balanced for climbing and descending.  It feels easy to track stand, or crawl slowly through technical terrain, and is a hell of a lot of fun on descents.  I suspect this will be a good ride for many years to come!

This product has 1 review

Liked a bike check Santa Cruz Butcher 2012 CUSTOM 7/8/2013 3:12 PM
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Liked a bike check Santa cruz blur ltc 7/8/2013 3:11 PM
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Liked a bike check NAYR's Santa Cruz Blur LTC 6/27/2013 4:11 PM
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Added a product review for Easton Haven Am Handlebar 6/21/2013 8:57 AM
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It's a handlebar!

Rating:

The Good: Strong, looks good, width is perfect for trail riding.

The Bad: Not as light as carbon?

Overall:

I've been running these bars (711mm wide) for over 2 years with the Haven 80mm stem. Definitely well made and strong, and have stood up to some fantastic abuse.  The width is ideal for the average rider on any trails from XC to AM.  For downhill I'd be looking for something a tad wider, but these are perfect for about anything else.  The paint and finish is on par with the higher end Easton stuff, and it looks good when paired with their Haven stem.

Bottom line is that these are strong, hold controls and levers, and help you steer the bike.  Sweet!

This product has 1 review

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Added bike check Santa Cruz Blur LTc 6/4/2013 10:18 AM
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Updated bike check 2012 Santa Cruz Blur LT 2/22/2013 10:05 PM
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Updated bike check 2012 Santa Cruz Blur LT 2/22/2013 10:05 PM
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Added a comment about video ALL or Nothing - the Full Length Feature 2/22/2013 2:00 PM
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I can't believe that kid is just 11 years old!

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This video has 3 comments.

Liked a comment on the item Tested: KS LEV Adjustable Seatpost - Best in Class 2/22/2013 1:42 PM

I've been riding mine since august, approximately 2x/week in the North East (Canada). We had a very wet fall, so I can confirm it works as well in the wet as in the dry.

I've had two issues with mine. First is that "it won't drop every once in a while" issue you guys experienced. I...more

Liked a comment on the item Tested: KS LEV Adjustable Seatpost - Best in Class 2/22/2013 1:42 PM

Yes. We probably had 15-20 days in the muck. No issues. The seal and stanchion are still in great shape.

Liked a comment on the item Tested: KS LEV Adjustable Seatpost - Best in Class 2/22/2013 1:42 PM

did you get to try this in wet conditions at all? It seems to me that most mtb products work well in dry/dusty conditions, its often not the case when the trails get wet and muddy.

Added a comment to NAYR's bike check 2/12/2013 10:52 AM
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Nice ride! How do you like that fork?

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This setup has 2 comments.

Added a comment to THB's bike check 2/12/2013 10:51 AM
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Although I loved my old Sektor Coil fork, the Revelation is slowly growing on me as it gets broken in. The seals were really sticky at first so while the big hits were butter, the small/fast chatter was rough and annoying. I would like a dual position Revelation RT3 at some point, just to take advantage of a better climbing position. The Blur LT is planted going downhill, but sometimes is feels almost too slack on those long sustained climbs. Dropping down to 120mm for a long climb would help a lot.

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This setup has 1 comment.

Added bike check 2012 Santa Cruz Blur LT 2/12/2013 10:43 AM
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