So I received delivery of a Trek Slash in July last year in anticipation for my journey to New Zealand in November, and been putting it through its paces for a little while now. It's currently out of action because of snapped main pivot bolt awaiting spare parts before it's back up and running. A few of the parts have yet to be ridden, awaiting that final change, mainly the new suspension package and the dropper.
Frame: 2017 Trek Slash 9.9 RSL
Rear shock: Fox Float X2 (230x57.5) / Cane Creek CCDBAir CS (230x60)
Fork: Fox HSC/LSC TALAS 36 160/130mm / SR Suntour Werx Durolux 160mm
Handlebars: Chromag OSX 35 (800mm/25mm)
Stem: Bontrager Line Pro 40mm
Headset: Knock Block
Grips: Chromag Squareweave XL
Saddle: Bontrager Line Elite / Fabric Scoop
Seatpost: Bontrager Drop Line 125mm / e*thirteen TRS+ 150mm
Front brake: Magura MT7
Rear brake: Magura MT7
Cranks: SRAM X01 Eagle 175mm, GXP
Chainguide: OneUp Components
Chain: SRAM X01 Eagle
Pedals: Shimano XT M785 Trail
Rear derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle
Rear shifter: SRAM X01 Eagle
Cassette: SRAM X01 Eagle
Wheels: Bontrager Line 30 Pro / Bontrager Line 40 Carbon (wCushcore front and rear)
Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 2.5 / Maxxis Aggressor EXO TR 2.3
Bontrager SE5 Team Issue 2.4 / Bontrager SE4 Team Issue 2.4
Total weight - 14kg-14.5kg (with pedals, bottle and spares attached per pictures)
First thing's first, the Guide Ultimate's had to go!
Although I am the only person in my immediate group of riding buddies to have no issue with Guide's "Sticky levering" them, I was going to be travelling with the bike, and didn't want to have to deal with that kind of crap overseas. On went the Magura Mt7's and haven't looked back (I've talked about my Magura's in other spots on the forum, so wont go into it here to keep this less wordy).
At the same time the brake lines got switched I also changed over the outers for the shifter and dropper and cleaned up the cable routing (came to me as a bit of a rats nest). The routing in the front triangle is amazing to work with!! Big ports that are really easy to feed through, with great securing methods once the cables are in, just intuitive, effective, and adaptable to whatever brake setup suits you.
The rear triangle however, is a fucking mess. The derailleur cable port is positioned in such a way that if you actually mount an ISCG Guide to the bike, the cable gets crushed between the mounting plate and the frame. This was originally resolved by putting a stand off onto the cable to stop it dropping down into the crush zone, but this puts a rather decent bend in the cable in order to clear the area safely. I later just routed it externally to save the hassle. The rear brake ports are extremely fiddly also, there's also a whole other brake line feed hold that makes NO sense to have at all.
I picked up a set of Bontrager Line 40 Carbon's for quite cheap in brand new condition. Same problem as always for running that kind of width on the rear, exposes sidewalls a bit and I immediately noted rear punctures and slashes, the front gives an amazing bag with a WT 2.5. They're a little outside the range of what the Cushcore can adequately protect against as well, so waiting for the wide rim version of those to come out and then might ride them more with some 2.6's. However for the NZ trip I kept the Line 40 up front and ran my alloy Line 30 on the rear.
Truth be told, I'm inclined to just grab a pair of the Bontrager Line 30 Pro Carbon's for it, or some DT Swiss EX1501's to round it out. The Bontrager stuff is seriously good though!
ClimbingThe bike is not the snappiest accelerator, especially noticeable when switching between the Slash and my Stumpy or (when I had it) the Sb5c. Where those bikes jump forward when you stomp the pedals, the Slash sits into its travel a bit and then spools its speed up. It's a very active suspension system, and even with the climb lever switched on the X2 and some decent LSC on the circuit, it would still bob a bit when putting any power through the pedals, in or out of the saddle.
It's much more a seated climber on the fireroad transfers and such. The payoff is that when things get rougher, it has unbelievable levels of traction, even on roots and fine dust covered and polished rocks. It just gets up and out of the way and keeps tracking.
The TALAS actually really made sense when I got to NZ, on some of those long and steep climbs it made an appreciable and welcome difference to the riding position, control and comfort levels. The climbs are manageable in both fork lengths, but definitely notice more front end wandering on the longer steep pinches and just having to sit more forward on the bike instead of more neutral and spinning.
DescendingIt's a 150/160mm 29er with aggressive rubber, long and slack numbers, active rear end and factory suspension; it descends exactly like you think it does. It's the most comfortable I've felt on a bike. Did I mention that it's red?!
I will note that I have yet to ride it with the Durolux, the e*thirteen dropper and Cane Creek DBAir CS on account of snapping the main pivot bolt on the threads right before christmas. So I can update later with what it's like, but I have had an extremely positive experience with the Durolux previously on my Yeti, to the point where I wanted to buy it again and switch out a Fox 36 for it (honestly, that good!).
With any luck, spare parts should arrive this week and I can get it tuned and ridden. Also have some cancelled flights that need using, so I might book another riding holiday to some larger hills for those purposes.
Also, Alice Springs action shots taken by Soul_Rider! Cheers buddy!