Trek’s Slash replaces the outgoing Scratch Coil and Scratch Air in the 160mm-travel category. We reviewed a 2010-model-year Scratch 9 and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I’ve been intrigued by the Slash from its announcement. With the Slash, Trek is hoping to deliver technical tra,il aptitude equal to that of the outgoing Scratch, but with better pedaling performance.
A Fox 36 Talas delivers 160mm and 120mm travel settings up front. Out back a floating, long-stroke DRCV RP3 rear shock damps 160mm of travel with Trek’s Active Braking Pivot between the chainstays and seatstays.
The Slash also takes advantage of the “stealth” hydraulic line routing option for their Reverb seatpost, which runs up through a hole in the seat tube then interfaces with the seatpost inside the seat tube, eliminating excess housing visible.
The top of the line $5,500 Slash 9 offers up a SRAM XO group, while wheels and cockpit are provided by Bontrager.
Trail conditions improved markedly at Bootleg Canyon today, thanks to a heavy rain this morning. Given the tackier dirt, we were able to push bikes a bit harder today, and the Slash was certainly up for the challenge, inspiring confidence with a predictable ride. Slash geometry promises stability with headtube angles adjustable from 66º to 65.5º thanks to Trek’s Mimo link. Bottom bracket height varies from 14.4” to 14.17” respectively.
Pedaling up, the Slash feels fairly efficient, but does benefit from platform damping in the rear shock. Said RP3 offers three settings: open (for descending), “ride,” and “climb.”
In aggressive terrain, the Slash comes into it’s own with balanced suspension throughout the stroke and stable handling dynamics that encourage you to rip technical terrain. I’m told the complete Slash comes in just about 30 lbs, making it a decent candidate for all-day trail rides in gnarly terrain.
Slash models should be hitting showroom floors in early November.