Say hello to the all-new Trek Top Fuel, returning with plenty of fresh features and a new attitude! Trek have resisted the temptation to use the term ‘down-country’ but the Top Fuel is definitely that type of bike, squeezing into a gap between a full-on cross country bike on one side and a playful trail bike on the other, this bike is a quick, short-travel 29er MTB that suits riders who like to blast up AND down the trail.
Trek saw an opportunity to take the previous Top Fuel and evolve it further, blurring the lines between traditional trail and XC categories and as you’d expect this involves updated geometry with a slacker head angle and longer reach as well as a slight increase in travel, adding on an extra 5mm to the rear suspension to strike more of a balance with the 120mm travel fork upfront.
Trek have peppered the new Top Fuel with lots of little features that all point you towards pushing your gravity-influenced riding as much as your climbing and xc performance. There’s a larger 34.9 seat tube that accommodates a longer, oversized dropper post and they’ve included their Knock Block 2.0 to help prevent frame damage or cables ripping out in the event of a crash. It’s good to see the inclusion of a storage door on the downtube too; located underneath the bottle cage this space is perfect for storing a spare tube, multitool or similar and brilliantly this feature is not just on the carbon options, it’s on the alloy frames too.
As well as more progressive geometry changes Trek have included a Mino Link on the rear shock to allow you to fine tune how you want your Top Fuel to ride. A simple flip of the Mino Link changes the geometry from slack and low to slightly steeper and responsive for quicker handling; stay in low for a slack 66-degree head tube angle, flip it for a quicker 66.5-degree head tube angle and a 7-mm higher bottom bracket for more ground clearance.
The rear suspension configuration provides efficient pedalling and near-constant anti-squat through the bike’s entire travel. That means the bike accelerates every time you push on the pedals regardless of where you are in the suspension travel; all this makes the Top Fuel perfectly suited to long days on the bike when you’re testing your fitness and endurance levels as much as your technical bike-handling skills. With climbing in mind it’s worth pointing out that Trek have steepened the seat angle too so when your sitting in the saddle and pushing down on the pedals it’s easier to keep your front wheel weighted.
Lighter and more spritely than Trek’s Fuel EX but now more capable on rough and rowdy descents the all-new Top Fuel will feel more responsive on the climbs and pedals efficiently during long days in the saddle compared to a full-on trail bike but then keeps you out of trouble when you point it downhill and take on the sort of loose, tight rocky and unforgiving trails that we ride here in the Lake District. We’re eagerly awaiting the first drop of 2022 Top Fuels into the UK; in the meantime check out the full range and prices below…
Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XX1 AXS RRP £11,100.00
Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR RRP £9,200.00
Trek Top Fuel 9.8 GX AXS RRP £7,100.00
Trek Top Fuel 9.8 GX RRP £6,550.00
Trek Top Fuel 9.8 XT RRP £6,000.00
Trek Top Fuel 9.7 RRP £4,600.00
Trek Top Fuel 8 RRP £3,750.00
Trek Top Fuel 7 RRP £3,100.00
Trek Top Fuel 5 RRP £2,600.00
Written by Johnny Dodgin
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