Bike Check: Christina Chappetta's Trek Top Fuel

Nov 4, 2021
by Sarah Moore  



Pinkbike presenter Christina Chappetta just returned from the desert in Utah where she was filming bike checks with the athletes there, but since she just got her hands on Trek's new Top Fuel downcountry machine, we thought it would be the perfect time to turn the tables and do a bike check on her bike.

Christina calls Whistler home, and while she may have spent most of the summer riding the Whistler Bike Park and Whistler trails on the Trek Session and Trek Slash, she says she's looking forward to using the 120mm Top Fuel as a training tool this winter and maybe even taking it out on some pedal-heavy sufferfests.

Christina has built it up her size small Top Fuel frame with an assortment of Marzocchi, Shimano, and OneUp components and is looking forward to taking it on some adventures soon.
Rider Name Christina Chappetta // Pinkbike Presenter
Age: 32
Height / Weight: 130 lbs / 59 kg; 5'4"/ 162cm
Hometown: Whistler, BC
Instagram: @cchappetta1

bigquotesSuper excited to have a "small" bike back in my life! It's been a long time coming. The Top Fuel will be a great training tool for the long winters here in BC. When I'm too tired or lazy to get out for a pedal, I just look over at this little whipper snapper and get immediately excited. I hope to take it on some grand adventures, big days in the saddle and a few sufferfests as time goes on. Maybe it will even take me on an overnight bikepacking trip. The options are endless with my newest pal.Christina Chappetta

Shakedown day as Christina sets up the new Trek Top Fuel on her home trails.

Trek Top Fuel Details

Frame: Trek Top Fuel Carbon
Size: Small
Wheel size: 29"
Fork: 120mm Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork
Shock: 120mm Fox Factory Float DPS shock
Wheels: Bontrager Line Comp 30
Seat Post: OneUp Components, 170mm drop
Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29 x 2.4 (Addix Speedgrip compound and Super Ground casing) (20psi front, 21psi rear, tubeless, no insert)
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR 12 speed, 170mm cranks, 10-51 range & 32T front chainring
Pedals: Shimano XTR clipless
Brakes: Shimano XTR 4 piston with 180mm front rotor & 160mm rear, metal pads
Cockpit: OneUp Components carbon handlebars, grips, and 50mm stem & EDC tool;
Grips: OneUp Components
Supported by: Trek, Shimano, Marzocchi, OneUp Components, Bontrager Wheels, Schwalbe, Troy Lee Designs, Ride 100%, Garmin
More info: trekbikes.com

She runs her fork's low speed compression 1/3 of the way from fully open to help with big compressions on that 120mm of travel, which she may upgrade to 130mm after some testing time this fall.

Christina runs 62 psi in her Marzocchi Z2 fork with 2 volume spacers and 13 clicks of rebound from closed. In the rear, Christina is using the Fox Float DPS shock with 131psi and also runs the rebound 13 clicks from closed.

She likes to run a few tokens and spacers so that she can run less pressure while keeping the beginning of the suspension soft but still firm enough to handle big hits and G-outs. She says she generally has to run faster rebound than bigger people because it takes more force for her to get the same result as a heavier rider. She prefers fast and technical trails so having the suspension dialled is crucial.

Getting inspiration from traditional XC, Christina is running her bars lower than usual with only a 5mm headset spacer. That headset spacer is paired with a 20mm rise OneUp Components carbon handlebar, cut to 750mm length.
The 50mm stem gives the cockpit a bit of extra space. Christina never leaves home without her OneUp Components EDC tool.

The Top Fuel is mostly built up with Shimano's XTR 12 speed drivetrain, but includes the XT 10-51 range cassette.

Christina runs a 32T chainring up front and 170mm XTR cranks with XTR clipless pedals.

Christina's front and rear tires are the Schwalbe Nobby Nic's with Addix Speedgrip compound. She's running 21 psi in the rear and 20 psi in the front, both with Super Ground casing in the 2.4" width.
The Bontrager Line Comp 30 wheels keep the bike rolling and despite running low pressures, Christina has never had the need to run tire inserts.

Christina may have spent the season on the Slash and the Session, but she quickly got up to speed on the Top Fuel.

Brakes are something Christina is particular about. While still runs the 4 piston Shimano XTR brakes on this short travel bike, she did downsize the rotors. She runs a 180mm rotor up front with a 160mm rotor in the rear.

Christina chose to run the Mino Link in the Top Fuel in the slacker setting to get a lower bottom bracket and head tube angle of 66 degrees.

Christina putting the Top Fuel through its paces.

Stay tuned for videos from Christina where this bike gets to shine.


Christina's Pinkbike content is supported by Trek, Marzocchi, Bontrager, Schwalbe, OneUp Components, Shimano, Garmin, Troy Lee Designs, Ride 100%.




148 Comments

  • 150 10
 Maybe it's me but that top tube is a hard pass.
  • 78 0
 Look like a......Niner!!!
  • 57 0
 One of the negatives of being short...
  • 15 0
 It's got some definite Lapierre vibes.
  • 26 0
 I was going to say, it's amazing how quickly I become conditioned so certain design aesthetic.

My brain decides anything without straight tubes is from 2014 haha.

Fashion goes in cycles but I have to say I really like the transition/norco/raaw design style and these bikes with curvy tunes like like they got melted in the dryer or smashed into a tree.
  • 15 0
 I also love how not being able to edit posts from my phone makes me look borderline illiterate. Guess I need to proof read more. Hahah.
  • 20 1
 @KennyWatson: Its ok, us mericans don't have the best education system, we know what you mean.
  • 12 0
 Funny looking aint it. It's only curved like that on the XS & S sizes though. Larger sizes have a straighter top tube.
  • 9 0
 @rustiegrizwold: , Yeah it looks way different in larger sizes. I'm not going to hold it against them because they seem to have a decent size run on the frame.
  • 5 0
 I dislike it too but it’s only curved like that on S size
  • 13 1
 Fits a bottle tho!
  • 18 0
 @AckshunW: Full size bottle! Winning!
  • 8 4
 top tube is fine, just please remove or dial down the LOGO
  • 6 0
 Couldn't agree more. I'd rather be dehydrated.
  • 2 1
 i've had two treks and they really mess with that top tube when it's a size small. looks so weird
  • 2 1
 Most brands in an XS have odd top tubes.
  • 21 4
 @crys-vb: I always say "It's only weird if YOU make it weird"...applies to so many things in life really.
  • 3 2
 @christinachappetta: The last time I was beach ready, Spice Girls were Top of the Pops....Now that's weird
  • 9 5
 going to have to disagree! that's a great looking bike
  • 5 6
 @christinachappetta: For the record the tan rubber is a nice touch!
  • 1 1
 @plume: The H has been stolen! That's how people know it's a Honda! Why would you drive a Honda if you can't show it off?
  • 1 0
 @Davemk: Looks like a Super 8!
  • 1 1
 @joshbm1: it's only trek and rocky mountain that does that ugly top tube swoop.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: people saying it's weird are only being polite and not calling it ugly design, hehehe
  • 1 0
 @rustiegrizwold: eff you Rustie! *Merica rules!!

*=Touch of sarcasm
  • 9 0
 Props to Trek for actually giving the small sizes of the bike better standover while still fitting a water bottle rather than just building it for the looks.
  • 1 0
 Yeah like light weight Tool.
  • 1 0
 first thought. Just not a fan of swoopy. Never have been.
  • 60 5
 God I love XC Bikes! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 29 3
 When's Mike Levy's gravel bike check coming out?
Can you do Jason Lucas' ultimate Zwift setup for crushing King Kong in the Metaverse?
A top 10 pannier bags with matching kits for an espresso fueled weekend of gravel riding?
Can you review the best tiny brimmed cycling caps coming out in 2022, only organic fair trade non-gmo "green" cotton though?
I love the direction you all are taking this, who needs Radavist when you have Pinkbike! Looking forward to the paywall.
Be safe, be well.
- Wink
  • 5 1
 Sorry, I didn’t mean to downvote you. I like XC bikes too!
  • 30 0
 I notice when Marzocchi supported riders have a Fox rear shock on their bike they always have the Fox branding removed. Curious why this matters since they're the same company now.
  • 9 3
 My suspicion is Marzo riders get paid less than Fox riders so when they get Fox shocks they say "I'm not advertising this at my paygrade" and take the stickers off themselves. It's just a theory straight outta my arse though, don't quote me.
  • 5 0
 Doing what the sponsors tell you when they pay the bills
  • 8 1
 Fox for the racers only, Marzocchi for everyone else and there's no overlap allowed. That's what I think is going on.
  • 7 0
 @xxinsert-name-herexx Marzocchi sponsors Martha Gill who races EWS
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70 definitely get that from the rider's POV but just confusing from Fox's standpoint if they don't want the two brands seen together. Its not exactly a secret that they're under the same roof. Guess they don't want people seeing that you can shred just as hard on their budget products as their top spec stuff?
  • 2 1
 I don't know why they wouldn't just stick a marzocchi sticker on and say it's a prototype
  • 5 0
 @jaame Fox should just take their performance level shocks they only offer OEM and sell them aftermarket with Marzocchi decals as their budget line. Would be extra cash for them and cheap air shock alternatives for consumers who can't drop $500+ on a factory one. Win win.
  • 12 0
 In this particular case, it was my decision to remove the sticker from the air can. I actually planned (and still do) to paint the air can black for a super special aesthetic look and to match the bike better. There is no gold on the bike, aside from the Trek logo up front, so I thought it could be a cool and different look. Will share some pics when I finally take the time to disassemble the shock...maybe when it snows...
  • 6 0
 @christinachappetta swap the CSU with a factory 34 one. Have the world's only kashima z2. Would be rad.
  • 3 1
 @WY228: good idea. Why not?
  • 17 1
 Second staff bike this week described as a “whippersnapper.” Is that the new hip term? Is “downcountry” on the outs?
  • 27 2
 It's not a staff bike, it is a sponsored bike check, the difference is quite huge Smile
  • 15 0
 hahaha of course Mike Kazimer and I have a similar affection for small bikes. Perfect timing if you ask me!
  • 8 0
 Oxford Dictionary: whippersnapper- a young and inexperienced person considered to be presumptuous or overconfident.

... certainly not a Trek approved term.
  • 2 0
 @chrsei: i find my own bike to be quite presumptuous and overconfident about my ability to pilot it through technical terrain.
  • 15 2
 I get the sponsored bike check thing, but speed grip tires for winter??? There is a thin line between advert and suggestion to commit suicide Smile
  • 8 1
 Having ridden them for the past few weeks, gotta say, I am a fan! I do have some softer ones I'll throw on when it's really mucky out but that isn't yet.
  • 3 0
 That's actually the grippy XC compound. The "speed" version is faster and some XC racers even run that through the winter. At least on the back wheel.
  • 1 1
 @Ttimer: Yeah, but I though that BC's XC is other peoples enduro Wink I believe you can run them on a nice blue signletrack, as anything else, but rocks, roots?
  • 16 4
 Tan walls, so hot right now
  • 35 4
 They're polarizing for sure. Some like them. Personally, I find them godawful hideous.
  • 4 3
 My mother had tan walls on her bike in the 80s. 'nuff said Smile
  • 12 0
 @2pi: Yeah she did!
  • 15 0
 @2pi: Cool mom
  • 4 3
 @Explodo: Curiously-but-not-so-much, tan walls tyres do match pretty well with full black bikes. Look at the Kazimer's Spur: it's a beauty. A perfect example of the "less is more, more is less" philosophy.
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: I don't like them there either, but at least they're the darker colored ones, which are less terrible.
  • 8 0
 anyone remember the Michelin WildGripper tires back in the day (2001??)? Tan walls and green/red tread? Ran a red on the front and green on the back...bike was yelllow. It was a hot mess and I loved it.
  • 3 0
 @Explodo: This color of Tan-wall (classic skin)is now discontinued for most of Schwalbe's MTB tires, it's replaced with a much darker one (officially called Bronze-skin).
  • 2 4
 @nzandyb: I've got some classic skin tyres on my all black bike and it looks awesome. Annoyingly I am wanting to get a different tread pattern up front for winter but choice is very limited compared to blackwall tyres. I am hoping this changes over the next year as classic tanwall comes back into fashion.
  • 4 1
 @nzandyb: This is true. I don't have them yet so I put these ones on and plan to run them until they die because I don't see the point in changing it up just for the sake of colors.
  • 2 0
 @nzandyb: So, more like Continental's skinwall color of old(maybe still current, don't know)? The darker color is more acceptable...enough so that I rode Conti skinwall tires for many years in the old days.
  • 1 3
 @Explodo: the new ones are the same colour I think, but it's now called "Bernstein" or something
  • 8 0
 Looking at getting myself a similar rig in the hopefully not too distant future (downvote me all you like folks!), the obvious choice being the Transition Spur. That being said, can't see myself ever having the cash for one... anyone got any experience/recommendations for similar alternative frames, preferably cheaper?
  • 9 0
 Banshee Phantom, Giant Trance 29
  • 4 2
 @50percentsure: Banshee's aren't cheap for an alloy frame, but they sure are nice. I'd be willing to bet the Phantom rides every bit as nice as the Spur.
  • 6 0
 @50percentsure: Trance is like buying the generic brand version. Same thing, but way cheaper.
  • 2 2
 @mobiller: big difference in buying a Trance and buying Phantom. Definitely not like buying the generic version which implies that you're getting the same thing under a different name.
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: Ah sorry, should have clarified. Didn't mean those two bikes in particular at all. Though coincidentally they do have nearly identical numbers. I was referring more to the short travel 29 category in general. Lots of relatively expensive options, and a few very similar but cheaper options.
  • 3 3
 @mobiller: numbers may be similar, but construction and quality I suspect are quite a bit different.

Banshee says you can upfork the Phantom.

I know a guy who upforked his Trance once, and broke the headtube off. In the process, he nearly ripped his scrotum off as well, and needed to go to the hospital to get stitched back up.
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: That sounds...bad lol

Wonder who makes Banshee's frames? I had a Scream back in the day and a Rune recently, great bikes both.
  • 6 1
 @privateer-wheels: Like the difference in manufacturing quality between say Specialized, Trek and Giant? Hint, Giant manufacturers the frames for the first two. Only difference is Giant frames come with a lifetime warranty.

That's what I'm saying, maybe if someone can't afford a more expensive brand, there's the possibility of shopping around and finding something cheaper with similar numbers and quality, which is what the OP is looking for.
  • 1 1
 @50percentsure: Banshee was at one point, made by Pacific. Not sure if they still are.
  • 2 2
 @mobiller: Just because Giant may weld together Specialized and Trek, doesn't necessarily mean they are all the same quality in the end. Sure they are welded in the same factory, but the tubesets used bike to bike will have different profiles/gauges/butting. Different engineering behind them.

But totally yes you are right. If you cannot afford the Spur, you can probably get a similar ride from something cheaper. And I don't really have anything against Giant - I just would recommend not up forking a Trance! Lol
  • 2 0
 Ghost Lector FS with works components -1.5° or -2.0° angle headset. Affordable, reasonable light frame (~2.3 Kg), efficient rear suspension.
  • 2 0
 @Be-visual: Did exactly this, great ride! Reasonable priced for a carbon frame
  • 2 0
 Bought the cheapest spec, added a 8pins and the angleset. The "cheap" parts on this bike will be ridden until broken and then replaced by lighter parts. Core of the spec is great, wheels, tires, derailleur, and cassette are of the heavy but cheap variant Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: I did not enjoy your story, at all!
  • 8 0
 Maybe, some of us don't need too much travel on our bikes, downcountry bikes are being made very capable, something to consider for my next bike
  • 4 1
 Probably true for most of us - a lot of us are riding more travel than we need for weekly rides.
Some of us started riding in the early 00's when more travel was a compensation for good geo
Big dudes and aggressive riders benefit from long-travel bikes: similar energy absorbed per mm
And if you want one bike for the park and local trails, then you still want a bit more travel

Tough choices nowadays - long-travel bikes are getting so good on the uphills that there's less of a penalty to riding a big bike all the time. And on the other hand, short-travel bikes are so capable that you can use them for 95% of your riding. #modernproblems
  • 1 0
 Stoked to have this now to compliment the Slash. I love the Slash in all conditions but the Top Fuel will get me more excited for winter sufferfests. It rips black trails now with the 120mm fork but I miiiight upgrade to the 130mm if I find I'm riding it a ton. My hands noticed the difference last weekend on some bigger laps.
  • 9 0
 The people want the ability to vote on if they'd rather have Mike's Spur or Christina's top Fuel.
  • 4 0
 I second this!
  • 3 0
 .... or Levy's forthcoming 29/26" mullet push-bike (with tan wall tyres) that he usually rides when he doesn't feel like pushing on his Grim Donut.
  • 3 0
 @danstonQ: Yeah, curious to see what oddball Levy has been riding too
  • 6 0
 What does an Upcountry bike look like I wonder?
  • 23 1
 It has a battery and motor.
  • 6 0
 looks like an EBike
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: lol sounds about right Wink
  • 1 0
 You mean Crosshill?
  • 4 0
 I’m 30 pounds heavier than Christina and run the same tire pressure on my Top Fuel. Seems to work fine- she’s probably going bigger than me lol
  • 2 0
 Nice! I was worried about going too low to my usual numbers without the burlier sidewall protection but so far I've had no issues and don't see the need to add more pressure.
  • 2 0
 Interesting choice in the Z2 vs a 34 for the “Downcountry” application. That’s a lot of trek only in the lineup vs some of the other staffers who seem to prefer a more diverse mix? Either way it’s a great looking bike a choice setup!
  • 6 1
 Z2 feels like a strange choice of fork for that build.
  • 21 0
 gotta keep the sponsor happy
  • 11 0
 @jlauteam1: Such an obvious reason why the bike was built with that fork I feel dumb for not instantly recognizing it. I'll put the blame on lack of coffee.
  • 1 0
 @DeoreDX: But even if it wasn't the sponsor's choice, would it be that strange? I mean if a 34 is fine on a "downcountry" bike like Kaz's Spur, then so should be a Z2. Or do you mean that it's a bit low end for a bike decked out with XTR?
  • 2 0
 Yes it does, but 1st: Christina is sponsored so...., and 2nd: this fork is not ridiculous: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-marzocchi-bomber-z2-fork-is-impressive.html
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: It's not that the Z2 is a bad fork, it's just that has a pretty significant weight penalty over it's 34 brothers (regular and double the penalty over a step cast) and any bike with XTR over XT usually means weight at all costs.
  • 2 0
 According to the Pinkbike article, Brett Rheeder to Ride Without A Suspension Sponsor in 2021, Fox moved all non-racers to Marzocchi. It's also supposed to be a bit stiffer, which some people enjoy. I had one last year, it's a great fork. Edit. Assuming danstonQ is correct.
  • 4 0
 Who knew that the PB staffers were such suckers for a tan wall. Each to their own, I guess
  • 2 0
 I seem to remember them talking trash on tan walls on the podcast.
  • 1 0
 @ichabodchain: I definitely have the same memory
  • 7 1
 @ichabodchain: I don't think it would be fair to group us "all" in one category hahah there are a LOT of people that work for Pinkbike and we all get our kicks in different ways. Personally, I LOVE a good tan sidewall. Always have and always will, on the right bike...
  • 1 0
 I wouldn't think is affecting the pinkbike staff as much, but I know a fair number of riders who are running a random tanwall tire right now just because that was what was available for the tread pattern they wanted at their local shop with the parts shortage.
  • 1 1
 @jwestenhoff: Ah yes! Fair assessment. Beggers can't be choosers. Run what you've got and don't stress on colors and sidewalls. That will drive a person insane!
  • 1 1
 @christinachappetta: Good for you Christina, you do you!
  • 2 0
 @jwestenhoff: I currently have a grey sidewall Vittoria on the back and a all black Magic Mary in front so I have the slightly more subtle version of this. Rides great so I think Ill just keep it that way.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: I agree, they look great on certain bikes. I don't run them on my mountain bikes but I run them on my vintage road bikes (-:
  • 3 2
 Definitely opposite to my bike setups, prefer to go SLX and XT for drivetrain because its expensive to replace XTR drivetrain pieces every year. And better suspension and wheels as opposed to christinas lower end wheels and fork.
  • 4 0
 Perhaps I'll get fancier wheels some day but for now, the aluminum ones have been great. I was blown away that I could run an entire season on ONE XTR drivetrain so that was part of the decision making here. I want this bike to stand the test of time.
  • 1 0
 My cheap self immediately noticed that the cassette is XT not XTR.
  • 1 0
 That’s what happens when your paying yourself v sponsored
  • 2 0
 @chrsei: I did mention that in the article as well. It's the newest cassette I had one hand so it's what the bike got.
  • 4 0
 Kudos to this mentality: if you want to ride longer and further, get a lighter bike that is designed for pedaling.
  • 5 0
 Nothing like the smell of downcountry season in the air.
  • 3 2
 2.4" on both wheels and run that high pressure at 130lbs rider weight?
Front and rear tire at similar pressure rather than front much softer than rear?

Hmm. Interesting. Maybe she is riding much more aggressive than me that such a high tire pressure make sense.
  • 5 0
 I run 19ish and 20ish on my enduro bike with stiffer and burlier casing tires. It's not uncommon to add a few psi for xc tires (and in this case, on aluminum rims) in general and especially if they are thinner casing making the tire overall more pliable. And also, there are no "flow" trails here, everything is littered with roots and rocks so I won't be lowering my pressures any time soon, unless it's by accident.
  • 6 1
 Sick
  • 5 0
 How much does it weigh?!
  • 3 0
 Whaaat?! A down-country bike check and you're not going to tell us the weight?
  • 4 0
 Beautiful bike.
  • 3 0
 I'm assuming this the 2022 Top Fuel, not the 2021?
  • 5 0
 Correcto
  • 3 2
 @christinachappetta That bike is just HOT! At first I was thinking the 160 rear rotor was small but, so are you and the bike... so carry on.
  • 2 0
 Cheers! We've taken that rotor to the max already and it's not gotten too hot, which was my concern. This bike keeps me brutally honest on line and trail choices which will only improve my riding.
  • 1 0
 Sweet bike! Thinking about a new bike, and thought about the Slash. Might just beef up the ole' Fuel EX, and get the Top Fuel instead!
  • 2 0
 So what's the difference between 'supported' and 'sponsored'?
  • 4 0
 My take is; Supported = here's some free (or not) stuff to wear / ride plastered with our company logo. Go have fun. Sponsored = cash bucks paid to athlete to wear / ride stuff plastered with company logo.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a bottle holder.
  • 2 0
 Jeez, 170mm dropper on a small? That’s awesome!
  • 12 0
 It actually is! I have more drop on this bike than my Slash. Maybe that slopey top tube does make sense after all!
  • 1 0
 Someone else who’s seat height is miraculously at the full insertion of the seat post LOL!
  • 2 0
 One Up has an adjustable drop so most likely a 180 dropper optimized for her height.
  • 2 0
 @Joecx: True. 10mm off the 180mm worked out perfect…
  • 2 0
 Any opinion on the 2022 Top Fuel vs current Fuel EX?
  • 2 0
 How's the bushing play on that Z2?
  • 4 3
 great to see more women rip!
  • 4 3
 Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Out of curiosity, how are you getting on with the bombers?
  • 6 0
 This fork came off my previous "borrowed" Top Fuel so it's seen some use around Whistler and deals like a champ! Quite forgiving on the hands too with just 120mm of travel. I hope to share a fork servicing video soon so we can check how they're doing :-)
  • 2 1
 It puts the chain lube on the chain
  • 1 0
 …or it gets the hose again
  • 1 0
 ….she’s back…
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