When Trek unleashed the Slash two years ago, we knew then that it would be the standard
against which all other 6-inch bikes would
be measured. Trek’s ABP suspension
design, matched with 6 inches of travel
front and rear, made for a ground-leveling
machine that could still be pedaled back
to the top of the hill. Well, two years later,
Trek decided to kill off the 26-inch-wheeled
Slash. The 2014 Slash still sports the same
suspension design as its predecessor but
uses 27.5-inch “tweener” wheels. Can the
new wheel size improve what we deemed a
nearly perfect bike? Only the trail will tell.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Slash is built for aggressive trails.
When used for enduro or all-mountain riding, the Slash will feel right in its element.
For long cross-country rides, the bike feels
a little sluggish, and for pure gravity runs,
this bike will feel a little under-gunned.
For anything in between, however, it’s the
weapon of choice.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Trek uses aluminum for the front and
rear triangles on this bike. The Active
Braking Pivot (ABP) suspension design is
held together with an aluminum rocker and
a floating shock mount Trek dubs the “Full
Floater” design. The 6.3-inch-travel bike
also features everything a trail rider needs,
including a tapered head tube, 12x142-
millimeter rear axle, and ISCG tabs for
mounting a chainguide.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
SRAM and Fox come together for the
build on this bike, and it’s clear that Trek
has cherry-picked their favorite components
from both companies. The Trek-specific
DRCV (Dual Rate Control Valve) shock is
made for them by Fox.
The SRAM XX1 drivetrain has been a
wrecking crew favorite for this type of bike
since it was introduced two years ago. The
stealth routing for the dropper post is just
the cherry on top.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: Our size-large Slash looked
a little small right out of the box, but that’s
because Trek designed in tons of standover
height with this bike. In the riding position, this bike feels perfectly true to size.
Setup on this bike is a breeze, thanks to the
included sag meter on the rear shock and
air-sprung suspension front and rear.
DRCV we love thee: Trek’s custom
DRCV shock has an extra air chamber on
top of the shock that only opens on big hits.
This means small-air-chamber efficiency
with big-air-chamber control on drops and
hard hits. The best part is that the rider
doesn’t even have to think about reaching
down to switch a lever; the shock does this
all on its own.