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Gear & Tech: Trek 2011

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We managed less than a day on the ground in Madison, Wisconsin for the Trek World 2011 dealer show. But it was just enough time to score photos and info on some of the major improvements to Trek’s off-road offerings for the new year.

While the major frame platforms don’t get wholesale changes, they all get varying degrees of refinement. The subtle improvements promise to add even more functionality to their already successful foundations.

Here are some of the highlights we saw:

Trek Elite 9.9 SSL hardtail

Even though 26-inch hardtail race bikes are less popular than they might have been before the explosion of 29ers, they’re still in Trek’s lineup. The flagship hardtail gets internal cable routing and an E2 tapered head tube for 2011.

Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL

Trek’s short-travel cross-country race bike, almost a dinosaur among more sophisticated competition just five years ago, is now a paragon of carbon and suspension technology. For 2011, the venerated bike gets a tapered E2 head tube for more front end stiffness, internal cable routing for brake and shifter housing, and a one-piece carbon fiber chainstay to join the carbon seat stays. The signature ABP Race low-profile rear axle pivot stays the same, as does the rest of the suspension geometry, but the rear shock gets some fine tuning.

Trek Fuel EX 9.9

The 120mm travel EX bikes are the most popular of Trek’s 26-inch suspension bikes. The flagship carbon model is updated for 2011 with a new ABP rear pivot system called ABP Convert. Now riders can swap out the 135x5mm standard quick release skewer system for the increasingly popular 142x12mm thru axle system first pioneered by Syntace and DT Swiss. Trek says that the standard quick release ABP system is already 35-percent stiffer than normal quick releases on non-ABP bikes, but the fatter 12mm thru axle adds another 10-percent on top of that. Also on the EX carbon bikes, armor under the down tube will help prevent rock damage.

Trek Superfly and Superfly 100

Formerly part of the Gary Fisher brand, the Superfly and Superfly 100 are now folded into the Trek family but remain part of the Gary Fisher Collection. The Superfly 100 gets carbon armor under the down tube. Superfly carbon hardtails get a number of upgrades, including E2 tapered head tubes, BB95 internal bottom brackets, new tube shapes and dropouts, and carbon armor under the down tube. The Superfly Elite is the bike Subaru/Trek rider Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski rode to a second-place finish at the 2010 Leadville Trail 100, beating Lance Armstrong’s 2009 record by more than three minutes.

Check out the photo gallery for more details and a few, fun surprises for 2011 in the Trek line.

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