Far from their humble roots in Waterloo, Wisconsin, Trek has slowly become a global player in today’s bike market. As such, with increased European sales Trek is also increasing their focus and attention towards European dealers. Recently, we were invited to Mayrhofen, Austria for a preview of the currently ongoing Trek World Mayrhofen, the first full scale Trek World Europe. Trek brought us nearly half way around the world so that we were able to see what they have been up lately, and in some cases what they have been up to for the past few years.
Trek has been busy for 2012. There are new bikes, completely revised bikes, new geometries, new paint, new product, and a few truly new technologies. Quite possibly the one that stands out the most, for me anyways would have to be the integration of Trek’s DRCV shock technology into suspension forks. Yes, Trek once again partnered with Fox to produce a what could be another suspension game changer.
So, how does it work, and more importantly, ride?
Find out after the break!
If you’ve had the chance to ride a DRCV rear shock equipped Trek or Fisher bike before, then you know that it does indeed work. For those uninitiated to DRCV, it stands for Dual Rate Control Valve which is essentially a two stage air shock with a position sensitive valve. While in the extended position the air canister utilizes the smaller volume to make the best of small bump absorption and provide a pedal efficient ride. Once the suspension is cycled to a certain point the plunger is depressed and the air canister is effectively increased in size. This larger air volume helps keep the stroke more linear, without the harsh ramp up at the end allowing the bike to use its full travel and increases control.
Since Trek first introduced DRCV with the Roscoe, they haven’t looked back, integrating it into the Fuel EX, the Remedy, Rumblefish, and the new Lush and Slash (more on those later). It works so well on the rear, the logical question is why not on the front? Typically, it can be fairly difficult to really tune a suspension fork so that it is pedal efficient, but still remains extremely plush throughout the full travel of the fork, which is where DRCV steps in.
Similar to a DRCV shock, at the heart of the DRCV fork is a plunger that controls the balance between the two air chambers. As the fork compresses only the first air chamber is active, but once the plunger actuates, the entire air chamber is ready for action.
So how does it actually work? Well, with Mayrhofen being right in the middle of the Austrian alps there was no shortage of incredibly steep, gnarly trails that would put any suspension fork to the ultimate test. During my short stay in Mayrhofen I was able to ride both the new Fuel EX and Remedy, which under normal riding conditions felt like they had a fairly standard fork up front. However, as soon as the trail pointed down, that’s when the DRCV really made it self apparent. Huge square edged impacts were instantly swallowed by the fork, but without the typical harshness of such a hard hit. With proper suspension settings, the DRCV equipped forks made quick work of laughably hard, technical descents all the while seamlessly transitioning back under smooth trail conditions. So does it work? Absolutely.
There is plenty more coverage of our trip to Mayrhofen, including the new bikes soon to come. Stay tuned.