in the middle where the bike tends to sit. The Slash moves quickly
through its travel, both up and down, matching the terrain and
delivering a lively feel at the same time. It’s very active but lacks
the “dead” feeling that most overly plush suspension designs suffer from.
Braking: Active Braking Pivot (ABP) had better deliver. It’s in
the name. ABP is designed to eliminate “brake jack.” It does, and
we love the design. The rear suspension remains active under hard
braking efforts, so you can brake later and ride faster into corners
with more control and traction. Our XT brakes performed well
throughout the test and provided a perfect complement to the rest
of the bike’s performance.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
Trek sells the 9. 8 with TLR wheels and tires, so all the rider
has to do is remove the inner tubes and replace them with
tubeless valves and a splash of sealant. Doing this immediately removed half a pound of rotational weight from our test
bike, and we’d have a hard time not recommending that to
anyone with this option, whether it’s on a Slash or any other
late-model Trek that comes with this technology.
Trek did a nice job keeping the price of the 9. 8 out of the
stratosphere, although at the cost of some weight compromises. The Mustang wheels held up well for the duration of our
testing but would be the first place we’d look for a hard-part
The Bontrager Rhythm Pro Carbon bar looks a little too much
like a flat bar for this type of bike. It is surprisingly comfortable,
but more aggressive riders on the larger sizes will likely swap it for
Not afraid: With a weight well under
30 pounds the Slash is surprisingly
capable as a climber, although the
pedaling platform switch on the
shock proved fairly difficult to use
for most riders. We still found the
technique that put this bike up the
mountain with relative ease.