Trek has been busy this year, with the Re:Aktiv shock technology we covered a few months ago. Now on the gravity end of things, we are seeing the anticipated release of carbon version of the well regarded 160mm Slash, and the Session splits into two models in both carbon and aluminum, the 26-inch Session Park and the 27.5 Session DH.
Coming in at a claimed 1.4 pounds lighter than the aluminum frame, the Slash carbon will be available in 9.9 and 9.8 configurations. It features all the latest glitz, including internal derailleur and dropper post routing, carbon armor, ISCG mounts, and Shimano Di2 compatibility.
One of the more interesting component choices is the the new RockShox Monarch Plus with DebonAir, instead of the Trek’s proprietary DCRV equipped Fox Float rear shock. Trek says “The newly designed air sleeve increases the volume in both the positive and negative air springs. This design results in a spring rate curve that very closely resembles that of Trek’s proven DRCV shock, but in a package better-suited for the high-intensity rigors of enduro racing with separate rebound and compression circuits and a piggyback reservoir to combat heat buildup on long technical descents.” This seems like a wise move for a bike as capable as the Slash. Some enduro races include stages with more than 20 minute descents, which is well past the design intent of any non-piggyback shock.
Both 9.9 and 9.8 are well equipped. The 9.9 goes the Fox and Shimano route, with a Fox Factory 36 Talas, XTR 1×11 drivetrian and XTR Trail brakes. A somewhat surprising DT wheels spec (EX1501 Spine 1) is paired up with the typical Bontrager components and an Reverb Stealth dropper post. It will retail for $8,399.99 when it goes on sale in December.
The 9.8 gets an almost full SRAM treatment, with a Pike RC fork (cheers!), X1 drivetrain, and Reverb Stealth dropper. Shimano sneaks in with XT Trail brakes, sounds like someone is still a little gun shy about spec’ing SRAM brakes…. Bontrager gets the nod for wheels and cockpit, which is nothing to complain about. It will retail at $5,769.99 and will be available in October.
Originally designed for Trek’s atheletes competing in events like Redbull Rampage, the Session Park, was in the lineup last year as a frame only, but at about $4,700, one has to wonder how many made it into the wild under non-sponsored riders.
The Park bike has shorter chainstays (420mm vs 445mm) and less travel (190mm vs 210) and smaller wheels (26 vs 27.5) than the DH version. It shares the front triangle with the previous-generation Session, but the rear end is completely different.
The Session 9.8 Park has an OCLV carbon frame with 420mm aluminum chainstays, a RockShox Boxxer Race coil spring fork, a Fox VAN RC shock and DT Swiss wheels. It will retail for $6,829.99 and will be available in October.
The Session Park 8 has a full aluminum frame, Boxxer Race coil spring fork, RockShox Kage RC shock and DT Swiss wheels. It will retail for $4,199.99. It should be available in November.
The Session grows for 2015, with the introduction of 27.5 wheels and 210mm of travel—and has been race proven at the World Cup level all season long. The 9.9 DH has a carbon frame and stays, Fox Factory 40 FIT RC2 fork, Fox VAN RC4 shock and DT Swiss wheels. It will retail at $8,929.99 and should be available in September.
The aluminum Session 88 DH has a Boxxer Race fork, Fox performance series DHX RC2 shock, and DT Swiss shock. It will retail at $5,249.99 and should be available in November.
Expect all these bikes to hit dealers in the fall.