Remember that sweet Trek 4x bike from Sea Otter that Neko Mulally was riding? The one with no plans for production? Well, with the introduction of Trek’s new Race Shop Limited program, consumers will have access to pro race level products previously unavailable. The first bike in the line up is the Ticket Slopestyle bike, a bike ridden by Semenuk, McCaul, Ryan Howard (above), Mulally (in 4x trim) for years but have never offered…much to consumers’ chagrin. Each bike will be a limited edition, with only a certain number of units produced.
Called the Ticket S, Trek’s slopestyle bike builds on the performance of the Ticket hardtail. Get the details next!
The first Ticket S was a chopped down version of the Session 77 made as one-offs for sponsored riders. It worked, and the next year they made it a bit better, then a bit better, then finally it was where they wanted it. So they thought. In 2009, Ted Alsop, Trek’s suspension engineer, said he could make it better. The first step was giving it the same geometry as the Ticket hardtail (shorter chainstays, lower standover, etc.) so athletes could jump from one bike to the other without any adjustment period.
The Ticket S is built around a 110mm to 140mm fork with a pretty high spring rate to give plenty of pop off the lips, but still cushion the impact on hard landings. It uses their C3 gravity-oriented geometry and Full Floater ABP suspension design, which is the same as on the Fuel and Remedy.
It also has their Mino Link at the back of the rocker link, which will change the head angle about half a degree, with the steeper setting making the shock a bit more progressive. Most of the pros present at launch said they ride it in the steeper setting, with Semenuk saying he liked it better because it made it less likely to buck up on rebound.
The Ticket S will be available in November as a small run, coming in black first.
In addition to the black on black scheme will be Signature Rider Editions. The first of which will be Ryan Howard’s Stars and Stripes edition, complete with white wall Bontrager tires and red rims. Howard said he switched from his Dukes of Hazard theme from last year to an Evel Kneivel concept to celebrate his American-ness and the fact that he likes to jump things. Merica. Race Shop team liaison Vance McCaw says they give the riders plenty of freedom to develop their own concepts, starting with the colors available through the Project One program then customizing it to match their personalities.
What’s really cool is that each rider’s frame will mostly mirror their own bike’s spec. So, as in Howard’s case, it’ll come with Rockshox Monarch, and Fox sponsored riders will run Fox Float, and so forth. Unfortunately, no complete bikes will be offered, so you can’t get the matching forks and other parts shown here.
All of the custom paint jobs are done in Waterloo, WI, by the same team that does Project One. Look for Howard’s bike to come in Spring 2014 in a limited run. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and then they’ll bring out the next signature edition.
They’re also bringing back the Ticket DJ hardtail. It’ll hit stores in Spring 2014 and is also part of the Race Shop Limited program, so it won’t be a permanent fixture in the catalog.
The Ticket offers the same C3 geometry with sliding dropouts for a 12×142 rear axle, meaning you can run it geared or singlespeed. No signature series options planned for these.
Lastly, they’ll be doing a special edition called the Session Park. Semenuk and McCaul have been using it for things like the Red Bull Rampage, and they helped develop the bike to meet their needs for those types of events. Semenuk was riding the Ticket S for most events, but as he started practicing for bigger jumps and drops, he knew he needed something bigger but still just as tight. He did what he could be swapping parts, but it wasn’t enough. So, he went to Ted to make the necessary changes.
The result is something with 20mm shorter chainstays than the Session (now 420mm), a more progressive suspension rate, shorter travel (190mm versus 210mm), and a burlier alloy chainstay assembly. The seatstays will have a bigger yoke that looks more like a fork arch jutting up, and the driveside chainstay yoke and bridge is one-piece. Both are shorter.
The “C3” stands for Creativity, Cinematics and Competition and isn’t an official geometry nomemclature like their G2 XC-oriented geometry name, but it gets the point across succinctly.
Otherwise, it’s using the same carbon front triangle and seatstays as the DH version. That means it uses the same OCLV InTension construction with integrated cable channels and internal ports. It’s available as a frameset only in Spring 2014. They said past experience showed them that putting a complete bike on the market for such a specialized discipline would end up pricing it out of reach, so the frameset was the way to go.
Semenuk says it it stands up really well and pops in and out of corners and jumps really well.
So, what’s the future hold for Race Shop Limited? Look for things like a one-piece XC carbon handlebar/stem combo coming soon, and look to their pro bikes for clues as to what else is in the pipeline. And not necessarily part of the Race Shop program are Bontrager parts that’ll work well on these new gravity bikes…look for more on those soon, too. After all, if you’re going to buy a Trek, they’d love for you to build it up with Bontrager parts.
- Ticket DJ frame – $700
- Ticket S frame – $1,500 (stock and team editions)
- Session Park frame – $4,500