Bikes That Just Work

One of the spec standouts on the Slash 8 is that you get the same rear shock as you get on the top of the line Carbon Slash. This shock is a colaboration between RockShox and Trek which is the next level of their RE:aktiv rear shock that was developed with Penske Racing (who have a background in high performance F1, Indy and Nascar racing). This next level includes what is called Thru Shaft (which gives you a much smoother and less restricted rear shock) giving you that same small bump absorption out of your air shock that you often find related to coil rear shocks, without the weight penalty.


From here you will find some of the industry’s standard go to specs which provide some great value and equally abundant performance. This comes in the form of SRAM GX Eagle – perhaps one of the most common group sets on the market and for good reason : it’s reliable, quiet and does not cost the earth to replace when the time comes.

See how a pro enduro rider Ben Forbes sets his Trek Slash up for racing HERE


You will also find the ever popular Guide brakes – a favorite among riders these days and they have proven to be very reliable and are just as easy to work on. However, the Guide R is perhaps also the biggest downfall of the Slash 8. Bike manufacturers please please please stop putting organic brake pads in bikes that are going to be pushed extremely hard by riders. Or, at the very least, put metal pads in the front. Yes they make noise, but the power and performance gains far outweigh this. For the same money a set of Guide RE brakes (Guide lever on the old Code caliper rebranded for E-bikes), even with organic pads, would have been a much smarter choice. Bikes like the Trek Slash 8 are so good at descending, they need the brakes to match. Time and time again we are finding ourselves not being able to push the bike to its potential due to poor spec choice when it comes to brakes by bike manufactures.


For this one, however, we’re on the fence: Trek’s tyre selection for the Slash 8. The Bontrager XR 4 Team Issue are very fast rolling but with fast rolling comes fast turns and likewise the need for grip – which the XR 4 was somewhat lacking. Switching the XR 4s for a set of SE4 Team Issue would do wonders for offering better grip and more peace of mind in the rocks with a thicker sidewall.


Other spec highlights for the Slash 8 include the Line Dropper Post from Bontrager which has been improved so much from the first time we used one and the 150mm travel from it was a nice option on our 19.5” bike.

Other standouts included the RockShox Yari RC Fork with the new DebonAir spring. This fork is a bit of a head-turner and offers so much smooth performance across its 160mm of travel, you do have to check to see you didn’t happen to get a Lyrik on your bike by mistake in the factory. It really is that good for the price. Do yourself a favour, and with some of the money you saved going for the Slash 8 over one of the carbon models, buy the Yari Charger 2 Damper Upgrade Kit and you will find very little that will stand in your way of a good time, every time, when you hit up some rough sections on your new Slash 8.

Like we said at the beginning – Trek’s Slash 8 is a great bike and you really need to ride one to understand why it’s so hard to put into words and much easier to put into smiles, laughs, weird hand gestures and even stranger noises when talking about what you liked about riding the Slash 8.

Brand: Trek
Model: Slash 8
RRP: $4,499.00
Available Sizes: 17.5”, 18.5”, 19.5”, 21.5”
Frame Material: Alpha Platinum Aluminium
Fork: RockShox Yari RC, DebonAir, Motion Control RC, Boost 160mm
Shock: RockShox Deluxe RT3, RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft 3-position damper, 150mm
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle
Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle
Crank: Truvativ Descendant 6k Eagle DUB
Bottom bracket: SRAM DUB Press Fit, 92 mm
Chain: SRAM GX Eagle
Cassette: SRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 10-50, 12-speed
Hubs: Bontrager Line Comp 54T Rapid Drive, Boost110 front, Boost148 rear,
Spokes: steel
Rims: Bontrager Line Comp 30 alloy, Tubeless Ready
Tyres: Bontrager XR4 Team Issue 29x2.4”
Brakes: SRAM Guide R 200/180mm
Stem: Bontrager Line, 35mm clamp, 50mm
Handlebars: Bontrager Line, 35mm clamp, 27.5mm rise, 780mm wide
Seatpost: Bontrager Line, 150mm drop (size 19.5 frame)
Saddle: Bontrager Arvada, hollow chromoly rails