A photo gallery with images from this trip can be found HERE.
After offering a quick sneak-peak of its new Remedy, a 6-inch All-Mountain bike, at Interbike's Outdoor Demo back in September, Trek recently officially christened the new bike with a 3-day mass beating in the rugged terrain around Mexico's Copper Canyon.
Before we get to the juicy details, a quick primer (okay, a long primer): Trek began turning heads this season with its new Fuel EX 5-inch travel "Trail" bike complete with its new ABP (Active Braking Pivot) linkage system. Most of the fuss over this new design owes to the location of the design's rear pivot, located concentrically around the rear axle. The thinking here is that a pivot placed below the axle will both pedal and brake well, but that such a pivot falls under Specialized's Horst Link patent. Also take into consideration that above-the-axle pivot designs are subject to stiffened suspension under braking.
Enter ABP, a creatively positioned pivot design that minimizes brake jack while simultaneously eliminating the need to pay licensing fees to the Big Red S, as so many other companies do.
But Trek claims the design actually performs better than Horst Links, and they even have a snazzy way of presenting that argument: by looking at degrees of movement between the caliper and rotor through the rear suspension's travel. Sound confusing? It is but it isn't. (Reference the colorful diagrams to soothe that aching brain.)
The best way to visualize this is to nose a bike against a wall and then heft down on the saddle to activate the rear suspension. Watch the relative movement between the rear rotor and the caliper.
According to Trek engineers: "The higher the degree, the more the caliper moves, the more the suspension stiffens."
Less movement, less brake jack. Now with this in mind, Trek has charted out the degrees of rotation between the Remedy, Specialized's Enduro SL and the Santa Cruz Nomad—like-minded bikes it aims to compete against. Trek claims that the degrees of movement at half- and full compression, respectively, comes out to 1.9/5.6 degrees for the Remedy. Compare to the Enduro at 2.7/7 and the Nomad at 5.2/8.1.
So what's it all mean? Well, nothing unless you can feel it on the trail. Brake jack is no fun, but it's harder to discern with shorter travel bikes.
The second component of the new ABP design is its “full floater” element, found on both the Fuel and remedy, which basically amounts to a floating lower rear shock mount that gives Trek engineers two points to tune the shock to. Translation: rear suspension that's supple off the top, doesn't wallow in the middle but still manages to feel bottomless.