Trek unveils new Session DH bike with high-pivot suspension design

Trek Session 2022
(Image credit: Trek)

Trek has unveiled its new Session downhill bike, one of the most recognizable downhill bikes in the sport that's been ridden by the best downhill and freeride athletes over the years. 

The design of the bike keeps the classic Session look seen on previous iterations, so riders can keep using the "looks like a Trek Session" meme. However, the bike now uses a high-pivot suspension design, something that isn't typically seen as often from mainstream brands like Trek. 

The high-pivot suspension design creates a rearward axle path. On a more traditional suspension design, the rear axle and wheel move forward, against the forces of trail impacts. With a rearward axle path, the bike isn't fighting against trail forces and is therefore thought to be faster. This leads to "smoother suspension that maintains more forward momentum and provides more grip," according to Trek.

High-pivot designs also use an idler pulley to eliminate unwanted chain tension that's created by the cogs on the bike's cassette moving away from the chainring, which creates chain growth.

Another new feature on the bike is a 'Mino Link' that allows riders to adjust the suspension progression. A firmer 25 percent progression is ideal for racers, while the plusher 20 percent progression setting is meant for everyday bike park laps.

Bikes will come stock as a 29er, but the frame is also compatible with 27.5-inch wheels, and riders can go with a mullet setup too.

Sizing is based on reach, and the bigger the size, the longer the chainstay. Riders looking for more high-speed stability can ride a bigger size frame, while freeriders seeking maneuverability might ride a smaller size.

The frames are made from Alpha Platinum Aluminum and come with frame protectors to guard against rock strikes and other damage. Plus, cables can be routed internally or externally.

Two complete bikes are being sold, the Session 8 and Session 9, as well as a frameset option. The Session 8 build uses a Fox rear shock, RockShox Boxxer fork, SRAM GX DH drivetrain, and SRAM Centerline brakes, and retails for $4,999.99. The Session 9 features RockShox suspension, a SRAM XO1 DH drivetrain, Centerline brakes, and retails for $6,999.99. The frameset retails for $2,999.99.

Is the new design actually faster? That's what Trek's engineers and marketing staff will claim, but we can see for ourselves how Trek Factory Racing's downhill athletes perform on the World Cup circuit this year.

Ryan Simonovich

Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California, where he cultivated his love for riding all types of bikes. Ryan eventually gravitated toward enduro and downhill racing but has also been found in the occasional road and cyclo-cross events. Today, he regularly rides the trails of Durango, Colorado, and is aiming to make a career out of chronicling the sport of cycling. 

Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower, Specialized Tarmac SL4