The Trek Slash already secured the best in test in one of our earlier group tests. At the time we were testing the more expensive model, however. With the lower entry Slash 9.7, you get the same high-end carbon frame, but you have to accept significant reductions in the spec – how big of a difference does it make?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Love at first sight – 8 enduro bikes under € 4,500 in Review

Trek Slash 9.7 | 14.60 kg | € 3,999

Wow, what a beauty! The frame of the Trek Slash 9.7 is stunning! The design, paired with the matte black and beige paint job almost brings us to our knees. The bike features Trek’s distinctive straight shot down tube for more stiffness. And of course, there’s the Knock Block to prevent the fork from damaging that down tube. Trek use a custom RockShox shock with RE:active and thru-shaft technology, which is supposed to be extra sensitive while remaining active under all circumstances. The spec on the bike is low-end, there’s no other way to put it.

A SRAM NX drivetrain (no Eagle) is a let-down on a bike costing almost € 4,000. On top of that Trek uses a 32T chainring, which is sure to make long climbs feel even longer. Also, the SRAM Guide brakes quickly become overpowered by the speed the bike picks up. Trek relies mostly on Bontrager components for the rest of the build, and they offered nothing to complain about, except for the Drop Line dropper seat post. Since Bontrager tyres are currently not available, the bike comes with Schwalbe Magic Mary tyres with the thin Snake Skin casing.

  You’ve just got to love the Trek Slash! The handling is outstanding, and it’s sexy as hell.

Helmet Specialized Ambush | Jersey ION Tee Scrub_Amp 2019 | Shorts ION Bikeshorts Scrub_Amp 2019 | Shoes ION Rascal

The Trek Slash 9.7 in detail

Fork RockShox Yari RC 160 mm
Shock RockShox Deluxe RT3 Thru Shaft 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide R 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM NX
SeatpostBontrager Drop Line 125 mm
Stem Bontrager Line 50 mm
Handlebar Bontrager Line 780 mm
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35″
Wheels Bontrager Line Comp
Weight 14.60 kg
Price € 3,999

The best in test
The rear end of the Trek Slash is in a class of its own. It sensitively filters out the smallest bumps, offers sufficient reserves and provides good feedback.
The Slash frame is prepared for mounting the Wolftooth B-RAD system. You can use it to mount brackets to secure a spare tube or other essentials on the top tube. Genius!
Good grip, but…

The Schwalbe Magic Mary offers excellent grip thanks to the Addix-Soft compound, but the thin Snake Skin casing can’t match the bike’s potential. You’re bound to puncture despite running tubeless.
Replace immediately
We would exchange the SRAM NX for the new NX Eagle before we even left the shop. Otherwise, the gear range is too small.

The geometry of the Trek Slash 9.7

Sizee S M L XL
Top tube 590 mm 605 mm 635 mm 661 mm
Head tube 100 mm 100 mm 110 mm 125 mm
Head angle 65.6° 65.6° 65.6° 65.6°
Seat angle 64.8° 64.8° 64.8° 64.8°
Chainstays 433 mm 433 mm 433 mm 433 mm
BB Drop 10 mm 10 mm 10 mm 10 mm
Wheelbase 1171 mm 1186 mm 1219 mm 1247 mm
Reach 416 mm 431 mm 459 mm 481 mm
Stack 608 mm 608 mm 618 mm 631 mm

The seat tube angle of the Slash becomes very slack with the dropper post fully extended, so you will need to push the saddle far forward to avoid having your weight hang too far over the back wheel when climbing. Once that is done, the Slash climbs amazingly well. The rear end is unaffected by pedalling, and the Schwalbe tyres roll fairly easily despite their aggressive tread pattern. The Slash’s moment of glory comes on the descent, where you soon forget about the entry-level componentry – apart from the brakes. The short front triangle makes the bike very easy to handle and gives it lots of agility. The Slash changes direction directly and precisely, making the bike a lot of fun to ride, even on less demanding trails. Thanks to the super sensitive and yet defined rear suspension, it doesn’t mind if you go big either. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a trail that will upset this bike. The RockShox Yari works well enough, but it can’t quite keep up with the performance of the rear end.

– Retrofit SRAM NX Eagle
– More powerful brakes


Should you choose to buy the Trek Slash 9.7, you’ve got the perfect basis for your future dream bike. The rear end is outstanding, and the geometry is well balanced. With the build, however, there is lots of room for improvement. You should budget for upgrades in the near future.


+ outstanding rear linkage
+ easy to ride and yet very potent
+ super stylish look


– seat tube angle too slack
– low-end build

Uphill Downhill Stabiliy Agility Value for money 

For more information head to:

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: Love at first sight – 8 enduro bikes under € 4,500 in Review

All bikes in test: COMMENCAL META AM 29 Team Replica | CUBE Stereo 150 C:68 TM 29 | Giant Reign SX | Norco Range C3 29 | Nukeproof Mega 290 Factory | ROSE Pikes Peak 2 EN | YT CAPRA 29 CF PRO

This article is from ENDURO issue #034

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