Bike Check: Christina Chappetta's Trek Fuel EXe

Sep 21, 2022
by Sarah Moore  



As a huge fan of a gruelling sufferfest, a proper slog up a forest service road to the alpine, and good old-fashioned bike park laps, Christina didn't jump on the eMTB train right away. And while she's definitely not throwing in the towel on her trusty Top Fuel, Slash, and Session just yet, she has made some room in the stable for a bike that provides her with some additional power.

Since Christina received the Trek Fuel EXe earlier this summer, she's spent some serious time in the saddle on it on big, steep Whistler climbs under the midday sun, the janky Whistler trails that are less ridden due to their distance off the beaten path, and just cruising to the lake for an afternoon dip. We take look at how Christina has set up her small Trek Fuel EXe.


Christina Chappetta // Pinkbike Presenter
Age: 33
Hometown:Whistler, Canada
Height: 162cm / 5'4"
Weight: 58kg / 128 lb
Instagram: @cchappetta1


Trek Fuel EXe
Frame:Trek Fuel EXe
Size:Small
Shock:RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, AirWiz, 140mm travel
Fork:RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, AirWiz, 150mm travel
Tyres:Schwalbe Big Betty Front and Nobby Nic Rear
Wheels:Zipp 3Zero Moto 29'r
Chainring:SRAM XX1 32T
Pedals:Time Speciale 12
Cassette:SRAM XX1 10-52
Derailleur:SRAM XX1 AXS
Shifter:SRAM XX1 AXS
Brakes:SRAM Code RSC
Rotors:200mm
Handlebar: OneUp Components 35mm rise
Stem:OneUp Components 50mm
Grips:OneUp Components

bigquotesAs someone who had never properly thrown a leg over an eMTB and seen their capabilities first hand, I was a little hesitant to take on the Fuel EXe, but after our first ride that took me on over 1200m of climbing in one battery charge, it was clear my hands would be calling it quits long before my legs would, and I'm not upset about that at all!Christina Chappetta


Christina runs a very similar cockpit setup on the Fuel EXe as her other bikes. She has paired the 750mm wide OneUp Components handlebar with a 35mm rise to OneUp's 50mm stem. She's got a 10mm spacer below the stem to keep the front end where she likes it.

Another familiar feature with the cockpit is the OneUp EDC tool and all the fixings to fix a puncture, broken chain or any sneaky loose bolts.
The TQ motor and LED display tell Christina the most important details, like estimated battery life in each of the 3 modes, speed, and cadence. Pretty vital information when considering whether to do another lap or not!


Christina settled on the Big Betty up front in 2.4" width and a Super Trail casing. She runs it tubeless with 20 psi.

Christina has been running the speedy Nobby Nic in the rear in a 2.35" width. It's also got a Super Trail casing, is set up tubeless, and she runs it at 21 psi. The tires are mounted on Zipp 3Zero Moto carbon wheels.

The RockShox Lyrik Ultimate is doing the heavy lifting up front. Christina set it up with the help of AirWiz and runs 65 psi with 10 clicks of rebound, 1 LSC, and 2 HSC. As for the rear, Christina runs a RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate with 125 psi 10 clicks of rebound, and 2 LSC.

Christina runs 200mm rotors front and rear with SRAM Code RSC brakes. The size small frame fits a 150mm drop OneUp Components dropper post which is topped with the Fizik Terra Alpaca X5 saddle.

Letting her go on a recent photoshoot in Squamish, BC.
Making the suspension work.




154 Comments

  • 184 5
 Hey Pinkbike it's about time under the Bio information (name, age, hometown etc...) you start to include sponsor information. It will help with the integrity of the site.

Maybe Christina just loves Treks.
  • 49 3
 This is a slippery slope and quite insidious to see... It calls into question pinkbike editorial practices.
  • 59 1
 They used to disclose "industry affiliation" in the rider profile but that line of text seems to have misteriously vanished.
  • 14 56
flag captainclunkz (Sep 21, 2022 at 16:16) (Below Threshold)
 At the end of the day most of the reviews are irrelevant as the PB testers are scrawny (85kg-), under 6ft riders. So really have no relevance to the average readers of this site. But yeah I agree that sponsorship should be declared when reviewing products who sponsor the reviewer.
  • 13 4
 @dThass: slippery slope?--PB is at the bottom of the payola chasm.
  • 2 0
 butt its yellow
  • 23 0
 @captainclunkz: what is the average weight and height of pinkbike readers?
  • 12 0
 @thisc*nt: 5' 7" and 211 loaded down with a parka full of bud heavy.
  • 4 0
 @thisc*nt: huge. We’re all monsters.
  • 12 5
 Christina does not review bikes, not sure how sponsorship really could influence her integrity as a professional. Most anchor type hosts in sporting events are hooked up with a gear program of some sort.
  • 5 1
 They used to list industry affiliations..
  • 10 0
 @Muscovir: yep , it used to make me laugh.
Industry affiliation: none.
I'm an employee at pinkbike, the industry's most important website, the industry's biggest media company, and I have no industry affiliation.
Right, got it.
I understand what they are trying to disclose, and the striving for transparency, but it really was not seeing the forest for the trees.
  • 2 2
 @thisc*nt: 220lbs and 5’8”. But talk like they are the reincarnation of Adonis
  • 2 1
 Jesus, 85kg and under 6ft puts you a decent way into the overweight category.
Thats not by any definition scrawny.
At 6'1 and 84kg I'm just inside healthy weight, and trying (not hard) to lose some more, to make myslef better at my chosen hobby.
  • 2 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: That's going by BMI stereotypes. I'm 6' and 80kg, but my son is 5'10 and 90kg. There isn't much fat on him. His bones are just twice the size of mine. His legs and knees make me look like a chicken.
  • 5 0
 @sarahmoore any insight onto if Christina has a deal with trek?
  • 2 0
 @rclugnut: She clearly has had one in the past www.pinkbike.com/news/video-bike-check-christina-chappettas-trek-session and I would imagine still does but if we could go back to the format of this previous article from pre-outside times that'd be great, or sell the sponsorship info as a package of like premium content, hmm before putting that out though might go through a beta phase.
  • 1 1
 @akaye: fair point - heavily muscled athletic people can get into ‘overweight’ on the BMI scale.
I was more complaining about the view that someone of normal build and healthy bmi being ridiculed as scrawny and also implying that they are a long way from the average rider.
I guess referring to the two mikes, Matt and Alicia from the group tests who are all about the same size.
  • 1 0
 @tkroz: yes! This!
  • 87 5
 Since I've been riding a ebike I got my a1c down a bit and my diabetic ulcer looks better
  • 14 0
 Awesome! Congrats!
  • 17 13
 The opposite sex love e-bikers too!: You go really fast so it makes you look fit and healthy (perfect to procreate with), it indicates you are a person of some means (additional procreation bonus points), your e-bike will also make your friends so jealous that they'll fall in to a deep well of despair which will destroy their relationships.... their newly single significant-others will be interested in trading up to someone with an e-bike (doesn't matter procreated).
  • 8 1
 Good for you man. As much as people hate on eBikes, we need more people out there riding, having fun and staying fit.
  • 7 12
flag robomatic (Sep 21, 2022 at 19:27) (Below Threshold)
 Remember folks, correlation does not equal causation. Buying an e-bike will not cure your diseases, solve world peace, or make your parents love you, etc etc
  • 14 1
 @robomatic: but, if an ebike helps get someone exercising for a longer duration and more often, good things tend to happen. I know a guy who lost 100lbs riding an ebike..
  • 3 1
 ok am i crazy or are precious few people picking up on the satire here
  • 2 0
 @robomatic: Correlation does not equal causation? You sound very smart, are you a scientist? Here is an interesting fact: you can improve chronic illness like diabetes with exercise and diet. I see it all the time
  • 1 1
 @MT36: That's exactly what I'm saying man. That's related to, but not directly caused by e-bikes. It's about regular exercise, and can be achieved any number of ways. That's what correlation not equaling causation means.

We're actually in agreement.
  • 3 0
 @robomatic: That's fair. cheers
  • 43 4
 In my head, the "As someone who had never properly thrown a leg over an eMTB..." quote is being read in a trembly voice, off a dirty piece of paper, with a shady Trek marketing guy standing nearby holding a gun.
  • 11 0
 *Marketing Girl. She spicy.
  • 10 1
 HA! I'll take that as a compliment to my writing skills. I've ridden an e bike in a car park before and that's about the extent of that haha
  • 7 33
flag Justfucnsmash (Sep 21, 2022 at 15:27) (Below Threshold)
 Yup. Cool moped. Enough with trying to shove this down everyone's throats....
  • 13 1
 @Justfucnsmash: You took the time and effort to come here and read about an e-bike, and then comment on it. "Don't shove things down my throat" you say *winking cheekily.
  • 1 0
 How many very thick long green bananas fit in the frame storage?? E bikers need to know!
  • 20 2
 SRAM AXS derailleur? I swear I'm seeing a cable housing on that thing, but the shifter is wireless. Please help me understand what I'm seeing.
  • 32 1
 Bike battery powers AXS.
  • 6 1
 Hmm can’t really tell but looks like the detachable battery is gone. Probably integrated with the bike’s battery now?
  • 3 2
 Its plugged into the bikes battery.
  • 2 1
 Plug axs derailleur into e-bike battery
  • 17 1
 @brojohns: that's actually pretty cool! One less battery to worry about!
  • 8 0
 If there is a giant battery you may as well use it rather than have a small one directly on the derailleur that you always forget to charge.
  • 23 0
 Everyone addressed below haha but yeah, it's an AXS derailleur with battery and it's connected to the main battery so I never have to charge the little one separately!
  • 2 0
 @brojohns: Ahh..I heard about that - never saw it before and didn't think of it. Thank you!
  • 2 2
 Nah, that's just the antenna that you're seeing! The antenna picks up the signal from the shifter.
  • 4 2
 That's crazy - next thing you know, your thumb will power a tiny generator that moves electricity down to the derailleur... oh wait.
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: hypothetically if your main battery died than you couldn't use your derailer... if you ran out than you can pedal back up
  • 3 0
 @cz7JXcRq: yes, then you're well f*cked. But I think the tradeoff is worth if for the remaining 99.9% of scenarios.
  • 1 0
 @cz7JXcRq: as I understand it, you can unplug that wire and put a regular SRAM battery on..
  • 4 0
 @cz7JXcRq: the brains in the circuit turn off the motor with enough power to shift 200x so you can get home in any gear you so wish. The TQ motor is ridiculously frictionless and quite easy to pedal when turned off.
  • 1 0
 @handynzl: gotcha didn't know that thanks
  • 21 3
 Short travel E bikes seem a bit pointless. Give me all the travel and burliness if a motor is doing some of the work for me.
  • 15 1
 I've ridden most black trails here in Whistler already with this bike and gotta say, I don't neeeeed a bigger bike. There is always the Rail if folks need something burlier but it's possibly too much bike for a lot of other places in the world IMHO.
  • 5 1
 It’s a pretty small motor. Get a full ebike with long travel. These things manual and pop like regular bikes.
  • 2 7
flag Monkeyass (Sep 21, 2022 at 23:07) (Below Threshold)
 You can also buy a bike not made by trek. Particularly if you want your wheels to last longer than 5 rides
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Same where I live, 140/150 rips most blacks super well, 170/160 is a bit nurfed out IMHO.
  • 19 1
 Shock news. Sponsored rider loves their new bike they are paid to promote
  • 16 2
 Sponsored content? Cool bike though, I'm hoping Trek makes a Slashe.
  • 12 3
 You mean like a Rail?
  • 12 0
 @rmbarrows: No, that's full powered. I mean a lightweight E Slash. Like this is to the Fuel EX.
  • 1 0
 and we're going to top that, with a little, Trek Slashe uhhhh
  • 8 0
 Usually they have a little "Sponsors" sections on the writer's bio... weirdly missing here
  • 1 0
 They should have named this bike fuel.exe though
  • 10 0
 Sick bike but I don’t quite like ads disguised as an article. It just seems like “empty” even tho it is only a filler.

However, sick bike! If I was in the market for an ebike this one would probably be it
  • 11 1
 Nice! I want one as well. But as a 100 kg man I am a little hesitant on that 360 watt battery..
  • 2 0
 mmmm interesting... good point. It's nice being on the smaller side bc I can run eco mode for quite a while with this thing!
  • 1 0
 But... are you ready to dish out 170 000 NOK?
  • 2 0
 Yup. 190 lbs here. I get significantly less battery life vs even my 160 lbs buddy - both on 'full power' e-bikes. Both riding same year/model/weight/tires trek rails in the same power mode. Like 20% less battery life.
  • 4 1
 Don't be, I'm 107kgs ready to ride and this bike copes beautifully.

Climbing and range / pedalling support is just what you'd need.

Try to get a ride on one if you can.

And no, I don't work for Trek.
  • 1 0
 @Alexdeg: that is about a few cubic metres of gas... no worries for the Norries, as you have plenty Smile
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: How do you have enough steerer tube length to run the EDC tool? Extra spacers above the end of the steerer? I have one that I can't run on my medium Spur with the little Rock Shox.
  • 3 0
 I’m with you. So far, my experience on a half dozen different full power eMTBs is that they’re not *preventing* me from doing anything. I ride all my favorite trails and there’s been no downside. That said, I applaud this kind of innovation. Just isn’t the bike for me.
  • 1 0
 @probi: math works out!
  • 11 0
 $14,200 CAD! Approaching $15k, taxes in... crazy money.
  • 14 0
 True but free when your sponsored and can write an advertorial for PB
  • 13 5
 Since I am also "a huge fan of a gruelling sufferfest" .. I don't use a motorized bike =)
  • 2 0
 Aside from the display and a thin wire tied to the brake hose, there is no way I could see that this is a bike with pedal assist. Yes the downtube is maybe a bit thicker by modern standards, but not even as thick as an unassisted Orange. I can't even see anything of the motor!
  • 3 1
 You must earn a lot of money at Pinkbike when you can have a ".. trusty Top Fuel, Slash, and Session " and a Fuel EXe. Or wait, is this just a sponsored rider that gets paid to love their free bike in a paid review? Wink
Christina does a good job though and makes me want one ...
  • 6 2
 The TQ HPR motor that Trek is using is the best one imo. Can hardly wait until this motor makes it into some bigger bikes.
  • 4 0
 It's suuuuper quiet! You'd never know it was an eeb until you see me not sweating (for once) on the climbs.
  • 13 12
 Most “new” ebike riders have the same thing to say. “ got some much more vertical,or laps in”. I was just the same, but it wears off within a couple of months. The weight penalty just doesn’t get you the same “quality” laps or riding that a regular bike does. Nothing against them in the least, and I know I will be riding one in the next few years again, but my first ebike made through the winter and then I got rid of it.
  • 13 2
 Clearly you did not read the specs on this bike. It's under 40 lbs, which means it actually weighs less than my human powered 2021 Rocky Slayer Alu.
  • 3 0
 It depends a lot on the trails. I work remote and travel a lot, and some places my ebike collects dust, and others it's the only bike I ride.
  • 8 1
 I'd beg to differ. The laps aren't the same, but they are as "quality" as you make them. Our group rides are routinely more adventurous and varied, combining routes that normally would not connect or doable even in my best condition on my previous Slash. It is what you make it. 2 years and counting and it's not boring at all.
  • 3 3
 Seconded. No hate. Just it ain’t the same on the descent and the novelty of it wore off pretty quick.
  • 2 0
 Have an Fuel EXE and an Optic which has very similar geometry. Downhill the difference in ride is subtle.
  • 1 0
 @voleman: I perceive this quality difference as well when pointing it down the hill.
Yes, you can vary and interconnect routes and, basically, cover more ground exploring the mountains... buuut, when you point it down the hill, there is a perceivable difference.

this is the reason I won't commit to an ebike now and probably not in the next couple of years. I am just waiting for them to get better. (trying to explain the difference it is like driving a C-class Mercedes... in isolation, a great, trully great car. If you step out of one and get into something like an S-Class.. well, still great but not THAT great; this is how I can compare/relate them.
Comparing my current bike with all the ebikes I tested, on mountain trails, dh tracks and in trips on footh paths over the mountains, the ride quality difference is obviously there. So, I'll wait and test every new ebike I can, hoping that one day they will make them better. Then, I will get one as, when you're not fully immersed in that special sensation of riding(full speed, full focus or in something like a local enduro race) and just getting out for a little bit of fun at no more than 60% effort and speed, then the ebikes are perfect even in the way they are now. It is what it is.
  • 2 0
 @eugenux: Still don't agree but that's just my opinion. I moved from a 2019 Slash 9.9 to my Heckler ebike when my knees finally gave up the ghost. I'm just as fast on that as I was on the Slash, and faster in the downs with my 22 Range VLT. My trail bike is currently an Orbea Wild LTD which is also a complete long day trail runner IMHO. I won't go back, even if lighter weights would be nice, I don't find it detrimental if you learn how to use the weight to your advantage.

Historically though, looking back to the 90's when my DH and "freeride" bikes were routinely 50lbs or more and we shuttled everything, my opinion on a bikes with more heft is tilted. Same reason I still love to throw a hardtail down tech trails a few times a season, reminds me of my trials days.
  • 2 0
 Sweet lookin whip, if that compact motor design holds true and proves to be reliable long term, I feel that tech will be the future and will own 70% market share of high end bikes...
  • 4 1
 Not a bikecheck but okay. At least kil the speed limiter or something interesting.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta sweet ride! I’m curious if you could have used OneUps eBike bars and ran the remote cable inside them. I heard elsewhere that the cable can be unplugged from the remote for easy re-routing.
  • 2 0
 The remote cable does unplug at the remote easily. Small diameter so assume could be run with internal routed bars.
  • 1 0
 Have her show us this process while her ebike is hooked up as a power source to illuminate her tent to show us a Tech Tina routing cables in Scotland.

Now that might be an interesting read…….
  • 2 0
 Trek needs to release the e-Carbon Stache with 29” 3.0 rubber and a rigid fork.
Downtube should fit atleast a sixpack of Heineken + 1 can of Monster energy drink.
  • 2 0
 Trek must have a helluva war chest. They're buying everything they can get their hands on. Riders, stores, websites. The rise of the megacorp. Boring.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: I am always impressed by your riding skills and fitness, enjoy your videos. Just wondering- where do you see the utility of an ebike? How do you use it in terms of training, in particular for enduro?
  • 14 11
 If a dropper cannot be slammed in the frame then wtf is the point lol
  • 5 6
 That seat drops to the level of the fork crowns. If that's not low enought maybe stick to your run bike.
  • 3 1
 It’s a trail bike not a bmx.
  • 5 0
 This internals of this bike are a little bit different but I run the 150mm drop on most of my bikes. With the bigger wheel in the rear, I find a slightly higher saddle keeps me from tire buzzing more often and getting lazy off the back
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: I know you have some sponsors but have you tried a saddle with 'whale tail' shape? I'm about the same size as you and found those type of saddle work much better when your size means a slammed seat results in tire-seat buzz. If it's full sus it's the only shape I'll use now, allows for more seat post insertion
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: what ya usin ??
  • 1 0
 @jjhobbs: SDG radar on one, WTB HighTail on the other
  • 4 5
 I think that yes ,not so heavy e-bikes (18/20 kg),is a good thing ,but when you think where they’re lost their weight,it’s a little bit EASY,tires,batteries,wheels,saddle,and yes the frame ,getting a little bit weak for reality (I guess),maybe 90% of the people only ride them for 100 km a week with mellow trails and weather,but if you really ride them ,that frame brakes ,tires ,wheels,and yes the bearings,they will be over very soon ,like transmission,it’s a good toy ,and for this society,that wants everything,more,more,more,more,it’s a thing ,I have try one for 4 rides it is a blast like ,you only are obsessed with the numbers ,but the ride just pass by you ,like yes I rode it for ,one ride 117 km with 1911 meters of climbing ,with an average speed of 19,7 km/h in eco mode (bike-Scott e-genious,920,bosh motor ,625w battery,tyres shwalble magic Mary dh casing 2,6 F,hands danft 2,6 something R ,a good am tire nothing more ,like no grip in braking )and I was impressed,cause in my bike my average speed will be like 15/16 km/h in that same ride ,but the feeling in the end is like I was a passenger,didn’t suffer a lot on the climbs (some I did ,but when faster than normal so ….)and in the downs it was like ok ,but ,in just like that ride just pass me trough,nothing remain ,except the ups ,the rest was just like ,boring I guess ,I think e-bikes are very excited when going up ,I did a ride in the e mtb mode and I was almost riding a motorcycle in the turns when going up ,it was like what the f*ck ,my rear wheel is sliding when climbing and turning ,I’m all for e mtb bikes ,for older people who still have that wish for the distance and riding with younger ones ,the some that have some disabilities,but for the ones that are just buying them for passing people on the ups ,congratulations you are a champion,it doesn’t bugger me ,they think they are the best ,let them be ,they make money for the industry,and that might not be a bad thing ,but hey Christina,how many km and ascend and average speed did you get ,that is the thing with this low weight bikes ?
  • 36 0
 longest sentence in Pinkbike history.
  • 11 1
 @gabrielbps: written with an e-keyboard
  • 9 0
 @Dogl0rd: the comma key activates the turbo mode
  • 5 1
 @gabrielbps: ha ha ha ha ha ,it’s the red wine and the cigarettes ,ha ha ha
  • 4 2
 @gabrielbps: yes it does but ,with 80 % assist ,65 % power ,35 % first pedal stroke ,100% all motor ,2 % humidity,70% when starting with the left pedal,66,3 when my phone connect and told the command center that I only drink half a bottle of wine ,and 200 % of stupid little things that people will like to see ,I’m amazed that they don’t make the horoscope in the riding ,like this day you will have a bad day because your moon is on the wrong stage and that Saturn or whatever planet is not in your side ,and that maybe if you sleep facing another direction that the motor will last longer ,ha ha ha ,it’s all a joke ,or maybe ………?
  • 4 0
 All in one sentence too. Damn impressive.
  • 3 2
 @generictrailrider: when you have something to say ,just say it forget about the rest
  • 6 2
 E bikes are fun!
  • 1 0
 I think you guys are all missing the boat completely. The Article is about her finally riding an ebike. This is not a bike review
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta - apologies if I have missed this in the article but what is the weight of the bike as shown here with pedals ?
  • 4 1
 Nice choice Chrtistina!
  • 2 2
 @christinachappetta For kicks .. have you taken it to the bike park? If so, how does it handle those faster types of trails?
  • 3 2
 If you don’t have anything nice to say, you’re probably reading another ebike article
  • 2 1
 Maybe add an advertorial filter in addition to the ebike filter? I can see that makes no business sense, but would be niceSmile
  • 2 0
 Christina have you tried a medium?
  • 1 0
 To maximize the benefits of an ebike you need the biggest battery and motor possible, no more range anxiety.
  • 1 1
 A female that doesn't run too wide of bars! I always see women with big ol wide bars and a tiny narrow shoulder with and frame. Doesn't make sense. 750 sounds just right
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta how tall are you i m seeking e MTB for my wife who is king of short ( in cm this soule help) thanks
  • 2 1
 Fergie approved evidently.
  • 1 0
 Is it a mullet or is does the first pic look funny?
  • 2 1
 no mullet here although I am a big fan of the mullet!
  • 3 2
 An ebike check, and no info on the battery and motor???
  • 3 1
 Uh oh. Lol
  • 1 0
 What kind of range, preferably in vertical climbed?
  • 3 1
 and.....
  • 1 0
 Nice bike @christinachappetta ! Enjoy !
  • 1 0
 Lil sketch without glasses but ur choice.
  • 1 0
 Unless I can power the sybian with it while I ride I don’t want it
  • 1 0
 jajj ez a csaj annyira szánalmas meg ez a hype körülötte...
  • 1 0
 You work for Trek and they want you to push eMTB, we get it
  • 2 1
 drip machine
  • 3 3
 Another one bite the dust... the eworld.
  • 1 1
 once a honda accord, always a honda accord.
  • 1 0
 Know your enemy!
  • 2 2
 Ah too bad its a Trek.
  • 1 1
 Humpy bike on hump day!
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