Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Gear

Trek’s 20-pound full suspension bike

For 2009 Trek will offer six models of their venerable flagship cross-county full suspension bike, the Top Fuel. Trek will also offer two new carbon models of their Fuel EX trail bike. Both lines will also feature women’s specific models. Toss out the bearing press![nid:80670] The 2009 Trek mountain bike line will receive a number of significant manufacturing upgrades designed to reduce weight and increase stiffness. Perhaps most notable is Trek’s new Net Molding technology that allows for a much more precise fit when manufacturing sockets on their carbon bikes.

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By Ophir Sefiha

Trek 2009: The 2009 aluminum Top Fuel.

Trek 2009: The 2009 aluminum Top Fuel.

Photo: Courtesy

For 2009 Trek will offer six models of their venerable flagship cross-county full suspension bike, the Top Fuel. Trek will also offer two new carbon models of their Fuel EX trail bike. Both lines will also feature women’s specific models.

Toss out the bearing press!

Trek 2009: Cutaway of Trek's Net Molding process.

Trek 2009: Cutaway of Trek’s Net Molding process.

Photo: Ophir Sefiha

The 2009 Trek mountain bike line will receive a number of significant manufacturing upgrades designed to reduce weight and increase stiffness. Perhaps most notable is Trek’s new Net Molding technology that allows for a much more precise fit when manufacturing sockets on their carbon bikes.

This process eliminates the need for aluminum inserts and allows for drop-in, rather than press-fit bearings. Trek says this process creates a lighter and stiffer pivot and guarantees no bearing distortion under load. It also largely eliminates pivot creaking. The Net Molding process is applied to the headtube, rocker arm and main pivot. The bottom bracket of the carbon Top Fuel and the EX frames feature carbon bearing races net molded into the frame.

Trek’s Active Breaking Pivot (ABP) technology is found on all Top Fuel models as well as some of the WSD and EX models. This technology puts the rear suspension pivot concentric to the rear wheel axle, which allows the suspension to remain active while braking. A consequence of the design is that the skewer must be removed to take out the rear wheel. However, with racers in mind, Trek engineers designed the ABP technology found on the Top Fuel’s to allow for one-handed release. The narrower profile also fits wind trainers.

The EVO rocker link found on all Top Fuels and many of the EX models is now a single piece, which is both stiffer and lighter than previous iterations. The Top Fuel’s rocker link will be magnesium while the link is carbon on the Fuel EX 9.8 and 9.9.

Trek 2009: The SSL's no-cut seatmast.

Trek 2009: The SSL’s no-cut seatmast.

Photo: Courtesy

Fuel EX Carbon
With 120mm of rear travel, the Fuel EX line sits between the larger Remedy and the cross-country oriented Top Fuel. For 2009 Trek will offer two carbon models, the 9.9 and 9.8, and a number of aluminum frame options including a women’s specific model. The Carbon EX’s and top end aluminum bikes will come with Fox’s RP23 XV rear shock, which retains the Propedal three-way adjustment and adds a larger air canister. Fox says the larger air can makes for a less progressive shock and offers a wider range of rebound adjustment. The carbon models will incorporate Trek’s E2 1 1/8 to 1 1/2-inch tapered headtube.

Weights for the new Fuel EX Carbon bikes are competitive, with the 9.9 unpainted frame in a size 17.5 coming in at 2,250 grams including shock. A complete 9.9 with Fox’s new 120mm RP24 fork will tip the scales at 23.5 lbs (pedals included). This sheds a half pound from the ’08 model. Despite the weight reduction, Trek designers say the frame is 27 percent stiffer than last year’s model. The aluminum models also shed weight as the entire line will enjoy a 50-gram reduction in frame weight from the previous year. The 120mm travel Fox RP24 fork uses a Trek-exclusive platform feature similar to the RP23 rear shock to offer multiple levels of platform compression damping.

Trek 2009: The Top Fuel 9.9 SSL.

Trek 2009: The Top Fuel 9.9 SSL.

Photo: Courtesy

Top Flight, Top Fuel
Trek’s cross-country racer-oriented Top Fuel line also receives significant innovations. For ’09, Trek will offer 6 Top Fuel models (3 aluminum and 3 carbon) including a women’s specific design. In addition to the innovations common to the Carbon EX, the carbon Top Fuels take a page from Trek’s Madone road technology by adopting a no-cut seatmast, which will be offered in 185 and 245mm lengths. Both are 34mm in diameter. Also derived from the Madone is the BB90 integrated bottom bracket system which allows for a narrower Q-factor. Most Top Fuels will be spec’ed with the RockShox SID Race fork and Fox’s RP23 rear shock. Travel will increase to 100mm and full frame weight will decrease to just 2,027 grams, yet according to Trek be 33 percent stiffer than last years’ model.

The 20-Pound full-sus racer
Perhaps the most dramatic bike in the Top Fuel line is the 9.9 SSL, which tips the scales at a hair above 20 pounds including Crank Brothers pedals. Designed with the cross-country racer in mind, this no holds barred, top flight rig boasts an XTR drivetrain, a DT Swiss carbon rear shock, RockShox SID World Cup and a host of carbon Bontrager bits including Bontager’s new carbon Race XXX Lite wheelset. Also unique to the SSL is the FSA K-Force Light 2×9 crankset with ceramic bearings that have been manufactured exclusively for Trek.

Trek officials indicate the Fuel EX line will be available domestically by early fall of this year while the Top Fuel line should see shops by late fall. The EX 9.9 will retail for $6,600 while the Top Fuel 9.8 will be in the region of $5,000 with the 9.9 SSL at approximately $7,000.

Photo Gallery