-All the awesomeness of Fuel EX, now in a 29er version
-ABP keeps your suspension active while you’re on the brakes
-DRCV shock gives you smooth, predictable all-terrain control
-Trail-optimized G2 29er geometry is fast, agile, confident
Frame Alpha Platinum Aluminum, ABP Convert, Full Floater, E2 tapered head tube, internal derailleur & dropper post routing, press fit BB, ISCG 05 mount, magnesium EVO link, down tube guard, G2 Geometry, 120mm travel
Fox Factory Series 32 Float w/CTD (climb-trail-descend) adjustable FIT damper, rebound, E2 tapered steerer, Kashima coating, 15QR thru axle, custom G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 120mm travel
Fox Performance Series Float w/DRCV, CTD (climb-trail-descend) damper, rebound, tuned by Trek in California, 7.25×1.875"
Strengths: Full floater suspension, XT components, dropper seatpost, 2X10 drive train, active braking pivot design, XR-3 Team Issue tires
Weaknesses: Stock Bontrager grips
This bike is an excellent trail bike. Very smooth ride that rolls over obstacles with ease. Suspension with CTD is very effective and efficient while climbing and descending. XT brakes are powerful and very quiet. XT shifting is flawless with the 2X10 drivetrain. Reverb Stealth dropper post is very smooth and reliable. This bike inspires confidence when descending rough trails. Almost bought a superfly 100 but I am glad I got this bike for all mountain riding.
Strengths: Stock Spec is overall great: Stealth Dropper, Full XT with 180mm Ice Tech Rotors front and rear, Kashima Fit Fork, XT 2x10 drivetrain; geometry.
Weaknesses: Low engagement rear hub, no stock tubeless strips, 28 hole rims, grips, stem could be shorter and bars wider.
The bike is overall very good. The geometry makes for a very stable and forgiving but fun quick feeling ride. The bike climbs very well with the long stays and rear suspension keeping great traction. Descending is also strong and it rolls through tough rocky technical terrain like a bike with much more travel, being very stable on the downhills, which is helped by the long wheelbase and stays. The bike looks steep on paper, but steering doesn't feel too fast even on steep rough downs. The rear suspension does feel bottomless and is very plush. On singletrack there is no perceptible pedal bob, none. I had to run my previous bike (Superfly 100) at a higher than needed pressure to keep pedal bob minimized, but here, there is none running where the rear should be run. It is pretty remarkable how efficient the rear suspension is with no movement while pedaling, and great compliance for small and larger bumps. Under braking, the suspension remains active. The front is easier to lift than my previous bike, and fairly easy to lift on the trail. Slow speed handing is solid and the bike seems to go where you want it to go. It is a long bike, but I have no problems with tight switchbacks. Acceleration feels almost like an XC race bike so it is fun on the flat singletrack and capable on very rough stuff. I don't do big jumps and only 3-4' drops and it handles those well, but I think the bike likes to be planted v. being in the air. The spec is nearly perfect from the XT 2x10 drivetrain to the XT brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear for great power on a trail bike. The FIT fork with Kashima seems plush and very responsive. The only things I would change on the Spec (and did) are the saddle which looks good but didn't work for me; the wheels because I prefer a high engagement hub, and a trail bike with a long top tube like this needs an even shorter stem than the stock 80mm to handle even better, like a 60mm. The 720mm stock bars are decent, but 750mm would be a better spec on a bike intended for what this one is. I ordered the aluminum 9 over the carbon 9.7 because I read reviews of flex in the carbon models, and Trek rep told me aluminum was stiffer in this bike. I feel no lateral flex in the frame front or rear as of yet and the frame seems solid. The bike looks fantastic with the raw aluminum frame and a decent amount of internal cable routing. It runs nearly silent with no cable noise and limited chain slap with the clutch rear derailluer. I wanted a general use trail bike (I will only own 1 bike) that I can ride fast on rough steep trails, and also occassionally (1x a year maybe) race either XC or Enduro/Super-D, so I had to split the difference. I think this bike will handle that 1 bike quiver role with lots of rough trails, but few jumps or big drops really, really well.