We had the opportunity last weekend to check out Trek’s exciting new models for 2016 over at Trek World. One of the whips on show was the all-new Fuel EX 29, a trail bike with XC genes that is reported to have united the best characteristics of the two disciplines. For 2016, both the spec and geometry have been revised and the Fuel EX 29 should be better than ever.

In sechs Größen erhältlich: Das Trek Fuel EX 29, hier in der Topausstattung für 7999€.
Available in six sizes: The Trek Fuel EX 29, pictured in its top-end build kit for 7999€.

A long-travel XC bike or an efficient trail bike? An initial glance at the geometry stats places the bike firmly in both categories. For 2016, the reach has been extended by 5mm to 437mm (frame height 18.5″, low position). Thanks to the BOOST standard, the chainstays were in a position to be shortened by an entire 15mm. With a length of 436mm, the Fuel should have cinched that sought-after nimble, playful riding style. The XC genes come to the fore with its steep 68.8° head angle and the low bottom bracket positioning. Moreover, the Mino Link allows riders to alter the geometry, rendering it yet more agile. By simply turning a bolt, the head angle can be changed by 0.5° and the bottom bracket height by up to 10mm without any impact on the performance of the suspension.

An overview of the revised geometry for the Trek Fuel EX 29.
An overview of the revised geometry for the Trek Fuel EX 29.
Der neue FOX EVOL-Dämpfer löst das DRCV-Federbein ab und soll die selbe Performance zu einem günstigeren Preis liefern.
The new FOX EVOL shock replaces the DRCV suspension system, promising an equal performance at a lower price.

The suspension has seen some significant changes for 2016 too, and next year bids farewell to the DRCV shock that FOX developed for Trek with its linear spring curve. In future, the EVOL shock with 120mm travel should deliver a performance to rival its predecessor without causing any excesses given the special air chamber. As of now, the same shock can be fitted as stock to all the models. When designing the new rear end, Trek didn’t have to compromise in the slightest with regards to the spring curve, which had previously been required given the differing performance of the dual shocks.
In line with last year’s top model, the Fuel EX 9.9, the front takes the proven FOX 34 Kashima-coated forks. On the more affordable models, the choice of forks ranges from FOX 34 Performance to FOX 32, via the RockShox Revelation or Recon – in essence, any with 120mm travel.

Edle DT Swiss XMC1200 Carbon-Laufräder übertragen die Kräfte auf den Untergrund.
Sexy DT Swiss XMC1200 carbon hoops transfer the power to the ground.
Die Race Face Next SL-Kurbel spart beim XTR-Antrieb weiteres Gewicht ein.
The XTR drivetrain featuring the Race Face Next SL cranks shave off yet more weight.
Auch die Bremsen kommen aus Shimanos XTR-Reihe. Sogar auf besonders filigrane Schrauben wurde Wert gelegt, um das Gewicht auf ein Minimum zu reduzieren.
The brakes come from Shimano’s XTR collection too and Trek have placed worth on lightweight screws to keep weight to a minimum.
Das komplett aus Carbon gefertigte Cockpit und weitere Anbauteile stammen von der Hausmarke Bontrager.
The fully carbon cockpit and other components come from Trek’s own Bontrager brand.

Just like the design of the Fuel – which now boasts a wider rear end – the other models in the range remain largely unchanged. There are six different build specs to choose from, ranging from the fully-carbon top model Fuel EX 9.9 with the high quality DT Swiss XMC1200 carbon wheelset, Shimano XTR 11x drivetrain with lightweight Race Face Next SL cranks and Shimano XTR brakes. With 125mm of adjustability, the RockShox Reverb seat post provides sufficient flexibility for the trails. Their own in-house quality Bontrager components do little to keep the cost of the Fuel EX 9.9 down, but it does cash in at under 8,000 € – a decent price given its uncompromising spec.
The other models are set to cost between 1,899€ and 4,999€, and the specific build specs can be seen here.

Nur das Beste vom Besten: Bei der Ausstattung des Topmodells Fuel EX 9.9 wurden keine Kompromisse eingegangen.
Only the best of the best will do: when it came to speccing the top model Fuel EX 9.9, Trek were never going to make any compromises.

All of the Trek Fuel models are available for pre-ordering from your chosen dealer. We haven’t had chance to take it out for a spin just yet, but as soon as we do then you’ll be the first to see it here at ENDURO.

For more information, visit: trekbikes.com.

Words: Daniel Schlicke Photos: Klaus Kneist

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