Trek's Slash entered the market of long travel 29" enduro bikes in 2017 and straight away collected all kinds of awards including the Pinkbike's Mountain Bike of the Year. It has set the benchmark for enduro racing and aggressive trail riding. The new 2021 Slash is meant to keep its DNA while enhancing all the strenghts even more.
The new Slash keeps its wheels within trends and comes on 29" wheels in all sizes. This makes the bike roll really fast over rough terrain, like a monster truck while the chunky 2.60" and 2.40" tyres boost the traction and control of the bike. Biggest update on this year's model is the suspension. Slash now comes with 10mm more travel, both front and rear, meaning you'll now have 170mm up front and 160mm travel down back. Apart from that, Trek cooperated with Rockshox on an exlusive rear shock Super Deluxe Ultimate with a Thrushaft shock, developed specially for Slash. Front end is then equipped with the brand new Rockshox Zeb fork with 38mm stanchions for ultra-responsive steering. This fork comes on models 9.8 and 9.9, while the lower models get the Lyrik.
Just like any other enduro bike, Slash excells at descending and the new updated geometry takes this factor a step further with a 0,5° slacker head tube angle, which is now 64° (size M). On the other hand, Trek has also managed to make the seat tube angle 2° steeper to 66,5° (size M) in pursuit of improving the pedalling efficiency and keeping the front wheel planted on steep, punchy climbs. There is also the option to move the Minolink, which gives you the option to enhance one of these abilities. During my test I had the Minolink set to the more aggressive setup and I have to honestly say, that pedalling felt absolutely horrible. Hard to say how much would the other setting help to change my view, but one thing is for sure - the new SLash is an excellent descender!
Riders who pay a lot of attention to detail will really like the new Slash. Trek hasn't brought all the upgrades only to geometry and suspension, but focused a lot on serviceability and protection of the bike and also on-bike storage. All models of Slash now come with a downtube storage to keep all the essentials while the downtube itself has much beefier frame protection to protect the most exposed part of the frame. This protection covers the full length of the downtube and includes a removable shuttle guard. Transfer from pressfit bottom brackets to much more robust threaded bottom brackets then makes the maintenance much easier, especially for the home mechanics. More reliability should also come from the wider 34.9mm seat tube, which now accommodates bigger and more reliable dropper posts.
Final major upgrade has touched the Trek's own invention - Knock Block. This is a steerer stop that prevents cables and hoses from getting ripped out in a crash. However in previous models the turning radius was only 58°, which I found very limiting and if you removed the Knock Block, you'd hit the downtube with the fork crown because of the awkward frame design. The new model, however, has an increased turning radius to 72° and the frame is desinged so that even without the Knock Block, you won't damage the frame. Personally my favourite upgrade and I have to say, I haven't even noticed the Knock Block on the new Slash, which is awesome.
Slash is available in Trek's customization app Project One, where you can customize it to your own likings. So wheter you like it or not, the new Slash is here and I'm sure we'll hear a lot about it!