The qualities that make Session a killer race weapon also make it the ideal gravity big-hit machine.
Frame:Alpha Platinum Aluminum w/ABP Convert, Full Floater, E2 tapered head tube, AngleSet compatible, internal control routing, alloy EVO Link, Mino Link, replaceable derailleur hanger, 210mm travel
Front Suspension: Fox Factory Series 40 Fit RC2 w/steel coil spring (S, M blue; L, XL green), hi/lo speed compression, rebound, 1-1/8" steerer, 20mm thru axle, 203mm travel
Rear Suspension: Fox DHX RC-2 w/externally adjustable velocity sensitive damping, bottom-out force adjust and bottom-out progressiveness, external rebound; 8.75x2.75" (S 400lb; M 450lb; L 500lb; XL 500lb spring), tuned by Trek in California
Strengths: I have bought the Trek Session 88 FR version. This bike is the best full suspension bike I have ever had and I have had a few. The way the rear end absorbs the bumps is amazing and the travel feels bottomless, I have never bottomed this bike out. The angles are real slack and took some getting used to but they are spot on and the bike is really stable at high speed and the bike rails the turns too. The spec on the bike is excellent and in my opinion is better than the DH version since it gets nearly a full shimano saint package on it. It looks great too and turns a lot of heads on the trails. I have changed a few thing on it no and have got the bike down to just over 35 lbs which is superlight for a bike of this kind.
Weaknesses: The tubing is quite thin which is why I didnt want the DH version as it comes with Fox 40's and as the previous guy said I can damage your frame quite easily in a crash. The freeride version comes with Totems which are great. The standard pads in the shimano saint brakes are crap, ditch them and get some Goodrich pads and they are fine. Also the saddle is crap and the chain device weighs a ton. I have since got rid of both of these and put much lighter replacments on. I have also got rid of the bontrager bars and seatpost and replaced them with Renthal on FSA components. The frames come up real small, my size small (16.5") frame only has a 19" top tube! I have a 14" hardtail and that has a 22" top tube. This may be a problem for some as I found it too short but now I have changed the bars and seatpost its fine.
This is a great bike and with a nip and tuck here and there it turns into an awesome bike. If you crash a lot and use duel crowns it may not be the bike for you.
Strengths: build weight was very good. built the frame up with good tried and tested reliable components, which resulted in a very good ridable bike.
Weaknesses: frame is too weak really if your not using it for racing. running direct mount stem on boxxers, had a crash where i came down on the bars and went over, which i have done and im sure you all have in the past on different frames. though when i got up the forks "with bump stops fitted" had dented the left had side of the frame which then pulled the head tube out of alignment, gutted. trek uk said you cant get replacement front ends and i would have to buy a new frameset complete, i dont think so !!!!! dont buy trek hydroform frames there too thin. local shop had customer in with a failed seat stay as it was to thin and you could see material missing from the forming process, air bubbles.
if you want it to last a couple of seasons look else where.
Similar Products Used: ROCKY MOUNTAIN SWITCH but even that swedish tank is not comparable
Bike Setup: everything stock i have three of them though one is all after market besides the frame and the other is my test bike
from Morro bay CA
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2009
Strengths: overall handling and light weight.it seems to float over everything. fit and finish is excellent. all componenents work well. i didnt give the bars stem or seat and seatpost a chance. i changed brakes from avid to saints as i am picky. stability is great as is the cornering. do yourself a favor and get the 88 it will be a great bike for everyone.
Weaknesses: a little slow getting up to speed compared to nomad but that makes perfect sense. it just bugs me.
the best overall dh bike of the year i believe magazines have raved about it and so do i get the bike.
Similar Products Used: v1o2nd gen, socom, scott highoctane nomad, vpfree.all these were owned and tested thoroughly the session is the best overall
Bike Setup: fox 40 dhx5.0 deemax wheels after a period of time. fsa gravity light bars WIDE. thompson post sunline direct mount stem, saint brakes. other than that stock
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2009
Strengths: light, well made ish, good design, three year waranty
Weaknesses: Seems it could be easly damaged due to thin material construction! But that's how you get a light bike i guess.Fox damping.Bearings of poor quality, need replacing after winter riding.
As good as they say. But it is a race bike, hence the thin and light frame, so live with it. Had mine since last Sept and some bearings need replacing, but sill rides good. Just bought the frame set though.
Rode the production bike and the 40's let it down. Also rode my mates with a vivid shock, This is a worthy upgrade. Made the 37lbs build more controlable. Don't belive the hype about the special fox tune. There is a lot more potential in the frame. I'm currently thinking of a Crane Creek, as i can live with the extra weight, that's why i like the bike, it will still only be 38lbs. Nice to push up the hill as well.
Weaknesses: Until now,the only weakness seems to be the rider (me) :)
I waited about 4 months for this frame!
This is a cost AND weight-controled build,and I managed to build an excelent bike weighting 17.4kg and costing me under 3500€.
I've raced it last weekend for the first time,and was blown away by how good it really is,the ABP system realy works,the suspension feels bottomless and the geometry feels just about perfect
Can I give my bike 7 chilis?
Well,it deserves them!!
a Weekend Warrior
from bristow, va
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2008
Strengths: Impressive suspension kit and heavy weight bomber feel. Gorgeouse frame and overall design, look and feel.
Weaknesses: None so far
Bought this bike less than a month ago, just getting into downhill after breaking into Mountainbiking less than 6 months ago...the bike is a stunner, looks gorgeous, read the reviews and product development articles in Dirt Magazine prior to its release, dropped the 6k with no problem after hearing Shandro was on the development team and reading the Dirt magazine assessment of this bike. Used it a couple of times so far, and have to say, it sucks up bumps and all while maintaining a tall in saddle feel with no problem (meaning standing up on the pedals). I will write another review after breaking it in at Snowshoe in the spring and other places. So far, no complaints, very solid bike.
Strengths: Very stiff frame
Very light frame/bike (Complete weighs 36lbs out of the box)
Dialed out of the box
Finally a competitive downhill bike from Trek
Weaknesses: Expensive, but the completes are pretty much ready to go out of the box.
Bike has a very good initial feel; it is instantly confidence inspiring, there is nothing to 'get used to'. Very good parts spec - bontrager stuff works extremely well, unless looks are more important than performance to you, there is nothing you need to change. Bike is light and on top of that it carries its weight low. Very stable/corners very well. ABP works, you can brake VERY late into very rough corners with minimal adverse effects. Pedals incredibly well. So for their first legitamate downhill bike, Trek has done an incredible job. In my opinion, it is the best bike on the market right now unless you 'need' 10 inches of travel.