Get to know your Remedy from your Fuel

We have a look over the 2018 range of Trek mountain bikes to see who suits what in a range featuring the Fuel EX, Remedy, Marlin and Powerfly models.

>>> All our recent Trek mountain bike reviews

Getting to grips with 2018 Trek mountain bikes

If you pop over to Trek’s website and click on ‘mountain bikes’ more than 120 bikes appear in front of you. It’s rather daunting. Choice is good but can be bewildering. So we’ve boiled Trek’s MTB range down to the basics to get you started.

>>> Trek road bikes: which model is right for you?

trek mountain bikes

What type of bike do you want?

We think it’s best to split the whole range into three categories and then go from there: hardtail, full suspension and electric.

What type of riding will you be doing?

Once you’ve chosen one of the three categories you can refine it to the type of riding you want to do: cross-country, trail or downhill.

With those two category types chosen you’ll be left with a much smaller pool of Trek models to consider.

We’re going to assume that you already know the type of mountain bike you want. We’re not going to go into any debates or theorising (hardtail vs full suspension, 27.5 vs 29, Plus vs Fat etc etc).

trek mountain bikes

Trek hardtails

There are five hardtail models in Trek’s range: Marlin, X-Caliber, Roscoe, Procaliber and Stache.

Trek use their own proprietary frame materials. Their aluminium stuff is called Alpha. Their carbon stuff is called OCLV.

Some of their high end hardtails have the ‘IsoSpeed Decoupler’ configuration where the seat tube is designed to flex for compliance.

The Trek Marlin is an entry level cross-country focussed hardtail ranging from £370 up to £550. Thee are four models in total (the Marlin 4, 5, 6 and 7). The frame is Trek’s ‘Silver Alpha’ aluminium.

The Trek X-Caliber cross-country range starts from £650 and tops out at £1,150. The frame is Trek’s ‘Gold Alpha’ aluminium. The frames have internal routing for stealth dropper seatposts. The components are of a higher quality than the Marlins.

The Trek Roscoe range of Plus-tyred trail hardtails running from £800 to £ 1,250. The frame has internal routing for dropper posts and is made from Trek’s ‘Alpha Gold’ aluminium.

The £1,300 to £6,500(!) Trek Procaliber cross-country race bike range can look a a bit confusing; there are aluminium Procalibers, OCLV carbon Procalibers and Super Light OCLV Procalibers. Although the frame material varies the intent of Procalibers is the same: xc racing. The geometry remains the same. All Procalibers have the ‘IsoSpeed Decoupler’ feature of deliberate flex.

The Trek Stache bikes are rather unique in that they are 29er Plus bikes. They roll on some seriously large rubber! Monster trucking hardtails. Price: £1,300 to £3,500.

Trek full suspension bikes

There are five Trek full susser types: Fuel EX, Remedy, Top Fuel, Slash and Session.

All Trek full sus bikes use a version of the ‘ABP’ suspension design. ABP stands for Active Braking Pivot. The rear wheel axle is also the rear pivot. The idea is to prevent the suspension from locking up during rear braking.

Fuel EX, Remedy and Top Fuel bikes also have RE:aktiv rear shock damping. This damping design claims to ‘know’ which forces are coming from the pedals/rider and which forces are coming from the trail, and it reacts accordingly.

The Trek Fuel EX 130mm travel, full sus, all-rounder, trail bikes come as either 29er or as 27.5 Plus. They can be run with either wheel size but are initially purchased with one or the other. Starting from £1,800 for aluminium versions they top out at £6,500 for the top end carbon version.

>>> Trek Fuel EX Plus 9.8 27.5 (2017) review

The Trek Remedy is the 150mm travel trail-cum-enduro bike. Prices range from £2,300 to £6,000. There are aluminium Remedy models and carbon fibre Remedy models. For 2018 they are all 27.5in wheel.

The Trek Top Fuel bikes are full suspension XC race machines. 100mm of travel at either end. Begins with the aluminium Top Fuel 8 for £2,400 and goes up to the £7,800 carbon Top Fuel 9.9 RSL.

>>> Trek Top Fuel 9 (2017) review

trek mountain bikes

2018 Trek Slash

The 160mm travel enduro racing Trek Slash range is all 29in wheels and carbon only for 2018. It’s a bold move by Trek but one that makes the Slash arguably the most defined model in their range.

>>> Trek Slash 9.9 29 RSL (2017) review

The Trek Session is the downhill bike. Aluminium or carbon. And now available as a frameset as a 29er with 190mm of travel. Complete build Sessions are all 27.5in wheel and deliver 210mm of rear travel.

trek mountain bikes

Trek electric mountain bikes

There are three electric mountain bike types: Powerfly, Powerfly FS and Powerfly LT Plus.

The Trek Powerfly hardtails start at £2,300 and go up to £3,300. Aluminium frames with 100mm travel forks up front. The motors come from Bosch. There is also a £4,200 Powerfly Plus with 2.8in tyres.

On the Trek Powerfly FS bikes the ‘FS’ stands for Full Suspension, 130mm of suspension to be precise. The Powerfly FS bikes are aimed at cross-country riding with a bit of rougher stuff every now and then. All but the entry level £3,500 Powerfly 5 FS come with Plus tyres.

trek mountain bikes

Trek Powerfly Launch in Verbier, Switzerland

The Trek Powerfly LT Plus models have more travel (150mm) and fatter tyres (2.8in Plus tyres). These e-bikes are up for a bit more aggro riding and technical trails. Prices: £4,200 to £5,250.

>> Trek Powerfly 9 LT (2018) first ride

Trek Women’s mountain bikes

Even as stalwarts of the whole Women’s Specific Design thang, Trek (along with most other bike brands) are now seemingly moving away from design theories that assume that women’s body proportions are different to men’s.

Bikes fit humans, not genders. Rider height is the only thing you should really be factoring in when choosing a bike. It really is only saddles that need to be a bit different to men’s.

It’s fine to opt for a supposedly ‘men’s’ Trek model if it fits your height. Get the saddle swapped out for a ladies saddle at time of purchase. Sorted.

Having said that, if you want a Women’s bike because you prefer the different colourway and decals, fair enough.

  • Trek Skye – entry level cross-country hardtails
  • Trek X-Caliber Women’s –  lighter and fancier cross-country hardtails
  • Trek Roscoe Women’s – Plus tyred trail hardtail
  • Trek Procaliber Women’s – XC racing hardtail
  • Trek Fuel EX Women’s – 130mm travel full suspension all-rounder
  • Trek Remedy Women’s – 150mm trail/enduro full susser
  • Trek Powerfly Women’s – entry level e-bike hardtail
  • Top Fuel Women’s – XC racing 100mm travel full suspension

trek mountain bikes

Race Shop Limited models

You may spot some Trek mountain bikes with ‘Race Shop Limited’ (or ‘RSL’) in their model name. These are essentially super high spec models. Often limited edition. And sometimes with slightly tweaked designs (a bit more travel, slacker geometry etc etc).

trek mountain bikes

Mark Webber’s Top Fuel Project One

Trek’s Project One

This is Trek’s custom paint and decals option. Yep, if you have the funds and are prepared to wait a bit for your bike, then you can get a Trek in pretty much any colour scheme you want.

Be warned: you can waste hours (days!) tinklering away with the online Project One dream bike builder.

It’s only available on a few mountain bike models: Top Fuel, Fuel EX and Procaliber.