Trek’s new cross-country bikes have been announced and look set to challenge the competition. The Fuel EX 29 range receives incremental changes, and the new Top Fuel replaces the Superfly FS. Trek also announce the all new Procaliber XC race machine, a bike that takes the IsoSpeed technology from the company’s road line.
2016 Fuel EX 29
Trek’s new Fuel EX 29 boasts lots of new features, including adopting the new Boost hub spacing – Boost110 at the front and Boost148 at the back – for the Fuel EX 8 29 and above. Trek are claiming greater wheel stiffness thanks to shortened chainstays, while providing better tyre and chainring clearance. Trek has chosen to use the new Fox Float EVOL shocks, doing away with its previous custom-bodied (and costly) DRCV dampers. The cost savings mean the models from the EX 8 and up get RE:aktiv damping systems in the rear shock.
The new carbon Top Fuels come with Di2 compatibility, meaning those with a penchant for electronic gears can easily upgrade their current drivetrain, or carry over from an existing bike. ‘Control Freak’ cable management helps keep all of your cables routed internally through the frame – there’s a port under the downtube allowing you to secure cables, stopping that annoying rattle some bikes are plagued with.
Mino Link comes to the Trek Fuel EX 29
The Fuel EX 29 range also comes with the Mino Link that Trek’s longer-travel bikes have donned for years. This means riders can adjust the bike’s geometry half a degree at the head tube approximately 8mm at the bottom bracket. The Fuel EX also gets a geometry overhaul. The head angle has been slackened out to 68.8 degrees from 69.4, and the bottom bracket height sits at 335mm. Chainstays have been shortened to 437mm – the same as the 27.5in Fuel EX. Trek claims that this has made the bike more playful.
The largest tyre you can run on a Fuel EX 29 is a 2.4in, the biggest 1X front ring you can crank is a 36t. The EX 8 29 and up have ISCG 05-tabs for riders wishing to run a chainguide or bashguard.
The new Fuel EX 29 OCLV carbon gains just 30 grams from the previous model – Trek claims the weight-gain is eclipsed by the increase in stiffness. Trek claims an 11 percent increase in bottom bracket stiffness and 14 percent increases in stiffness across the whole frame. In addition to stock models, the carbon Fuel EX 29 will be available in Project One, Trek’s in-house spec and paint customisation, this August.
The Procaliber 9.9 SL
The brand new Procaliber SL (Super Light) touts itself as a ultra-compliant XC race bike, using Trek’s seat-tube decoupling IsoSpeed technology brought over from Trek’s road bikes – the 2012 Domane and 2014 Boone (and now 2016 Madone).
Trek’s IsoSpeed reaches mountain bikes
The IsoSpeed allows substantial flex at the seat tube for improved seated compliance, meaning the bike still rides like a hardtail when out of the saddle. Trek claim the Procaliber SL offers up to 11mm of ‘travel’ at the seattube to remove trail buzz and harsher hits. Trek boasts a 70% improvement of compliance over the Superfly SL.
The Procaliber’s IsoSpeed system can be used with a traditional 31.6 seat post, not the specialist se