Trek seeks race wins with new XC full-susser
Need to Know
- Replaces the Superfly in Trek’s line-up
- XC full-suspension race bike with smart wheel sizing
- Adjustable geometry
- Uses technology from Trek’s trail bikes to assist descending performance
- Claimed frame and shock weight of 1.9kg
- Developed on the World Cup XC race circuit this season
Another 2016 bike?
Is it a new bike entirely?
Not quite. The original Top Fuel was produced between 2007 and 2012, before being phased out in favour of the Superfly. It is now returning to become Trek’s premier 100mm XC bike after a three-year absence.
Why bring it back?
Trek has noticed that cross-country racing has become more technically demanding, and the Superfly wasn’t quite up to the challenge any more. The Top Fuel uses trickle-down technology from the trail-focussed Fuel EX range to help it tackle tougher descents. Trek claims that this does not come at the cost of any pedal efficiency.
Prototype versions of the Top Fuel were first seen under the Trek World Racing XC team back in February, and several prototypes later, we have the Top Fuel ready for consumers.
So, is it going to be fast?
On paper, it looks like it could be. The total weight of the frame, shock, paint and hardware is a remarkable 1.9kg. It also comes with Di2 shifting compatibility and the option to run a 36-tooth chainring up front, if your legs can take it.
Add on top of this Trek’s Active Braking Pivot (which claims to keep the suspension active under braking) and the EVO link rocker (as opposed to the top-tube mounted swing link) and Trek’s claims of technical speed may be accurate.
The geometry is adjustable, thanks to Trek’s Mino link, which alters the head angle by 0.5 degrees and raises or lowers the bottom bracket by 8mm. It’s still a very steep bike though, so we wonder how adaptable it will be outside the World Cup circuit.
What about wheel size?
Trek has decided to use smart wheel sizing on this bike. So, any frames 17.5in and upwards get 29-inch wheels and come with Boost 110 front, and Boost 148 rear, hub spacing. 13.5in and 15.5in frames will roll on more proportionate 650b wheels
What about for women?
As Emily Batty is the flagship rider for Trek World Racing’s XC team, it is only right that the Top Fuel caters for women. Having said that, the Trek Top Fuel 8 Womens’s is little more than a different saddle.
What about prices?
The carbon frameset will cost £2,400. A range of aluminium and carbon builds will be available from £2,250 to £6,800.
Anything else to know?
What else is Trek offering?
Trek has revamped the Fuel EX line to focus more on 29er wheels. Similar to on its new Stache hardtail, Trek has decided that short chainstays are the way to go and has cut them by 18mm, making them now as short as on the 650b model. They have also adopted the new Boost standard axles, which are claimed to provide extra stiffness.
Trek has also got rid of the DCRV and replaced it with Fox Float EVOL shock, this allows the RE:active platform to be transferred to the Fuel EX 8 and above.