First Look: 2022 Trek Top Fuel - A Classic Reimagined

Oct 6, 2021 at 12:07
by Henry Quinney  


The Top Fuel had a period of 15 years where it was not only Trek’s staple XC race bike, but also arguably one of the most renowned and name-checked models you would find at the highest level of World Cup competition. However, in 2019 a new bike broke cover to potentially replace the Top Fuel as the Trek Factory race team's bike of choice. We subsequently came to know this new bike, with its interesting sliding suspension design, as the new Supercaliber. It’s a bike that occupies the space between the Procaliber, Trek's hardtail that features a decoupling link around the seat tube junction, and the Top Fuel, the bike that we’ll be looking at today.
Trek Top Fuel

Frame material: Carbon or Alloy
Intentions: Trail/Downcountry?
Travel: 120mm (120mm fork)
Wheelsize: XS 27.5” - S / M / ML / L / XL / XXL 29"
Head Tube Angle: 66° (low)
Reach: 480mm (large)
Price: $2,559 - $10,999 USD
More info: trekbikes.com

So, what was to become of the Top Fuel? Had it been superseded or dare I say replaced by the Supercaliber? Well, no. In fact, the Top Fuel has undergone a whole raft of changes in recent years that aim to keep it at the forefront of short travel full suspension bikes that pack a punch. The new 2022 version is no different and sees many of these ideas developed further.

When I spoke to some of the team at Trek, they were very comfortable with the fact that this wasn’t a race bike anymore and isn’t there to try and satisfy the brand’s racing aspirations - they have the Supercaliber to do that. This is a bike, if you were to race it, that will be more suited to the BC Bike Race, but all in all is aimed squarely at trail riders who want something very efficient that can also enable them to ride more technical trails with confidence.

Frame Details

The new Top Fuel’s travel increases by 5mm to a 120mm platform, with the option of a 130mm fork, but now features far more progressive geometry and some refined features. For instance, the new model features Knock Block 2.0 that gives you a larger 72 degrees of turning radius. You can also remove this feature, should you wish to. However, in the few rides I’ve had on this bike I have never found it to be a hindrance.

Payson McElveen on the new Trek Top Fuel in Durango
Bringing snacks to the people, in both alloy and carbon frames.

It also has features internal storage on all bikes, including the alloy ones. This is via a door in the downtube that you might have seen on Trek’s other models. It seems more robust than other some other brands' versions and has a reassuringly sturdy lever. The frame also sees a seat tube internal diameter increase to 34.9mm. As the travel of droppers gets longer, having a larger diameter can increase the post's reliability and performance from associated gains in stiffness and reducing the load on the bushes inside the post.

The bike uses fully guided internal routing inside the front triangle. However, as with a lot of brands in recent years, this means they forgo neat routing for any left-hand-rear-brake riders. With mechanics in mind, the Top Fuel has a 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket.

The frame also has a rather healthy 2.5” rear tire clearance for more aggressive or comfortable rubber. 29” wheels will be found throughout the range except for the extra small which uses the smaller 27.5” size.

Payson McElveen on the new Trek Top Fuel in Durango
The bike is meant to be particularly fun and fast on fun and fast trails, as piloted here by Payson McElveen

Geometry

The geometry undergoes the slacker treatment to reduce the head angle by a degree and a half to 66-degrees. There is a flip-chip that can steepen the geometry by 0.4 degrees.

The Top Fuel's geometry with a 120mm fork and the chip in the low position.

The seat tube on the previous version was already comparatively steep compared to some other short travel bikes, but now sees it steepen by a degree to 76 degrees in the low setting. Again, with that chip this could increase to 76.4 degrees.

The bike is also compatible with a 130mm fork. Assuming all other things are equal, the additional 10mm would reduce the head and seat tube angle by around half a degree.

All bikes use a 435mm length chainstay and, when using a 120mm fork, that’s matched to reaches that start at 400mm on the 27.5” wheeled XS and go all the way up to 520mm for the XXL. In fact, Trek offers 7 different sizes, including a very well-placed ML with a 465mm reach. This should mean everyone can find a bike that works well for them. On average, these reach values have grown by about 10mm per size compared to the outgoing model.

It's hard to imagine a Trek full suspension bike without ABP. What would it even look like, if not a Session?

Suspension Design

The bike, rather unsurprisingly, uses Trek's Active Braking Pivot suspension design. The system, which essentially comprises a chainstay that doubles as a swingarm and also incorporates a bearing system to connect it to the seatstay on the same axis as the rear axle. This, Trek say, is the best way to maximise braking performance by keeping the forces independent of one another and letting the brake caliper essentially float. It’s become a staple of Trek’s design over the last decade and features on their bikes of all travel categories.

The seatstay then drives a rocker link which in turn drives the shock.


Models

The Trek Top Fuel range will feature a whole myriad of different models. In fact, there are 9 in total thanks to Trek offering both Shimano and SRAM build kits on their higher end carbon build. I think this is great and means that whatever your flavour or drivetrain preference, you’re probably going to find something that suits your needs.

The bike is also available through their Project One system. This essentially means you can customise everything from the componentry to the paint job on your new bike.

The alloy models start with the Top Fuel 5, which features a Rockshox Recon fork, XFusion XPro2 shock and a Shimano Deore drivetrain. There is also the Top Fuel 7 which see’s upgrades across the board, including the Recon Gold fork, an SLX and XT mix and Bontrager Line Comp wheels. The highest spec alloy bike, the Top Fuel 8, features a similar spec but higher level RockShox suspension, a SID fork and Deluxe Ultimate shock, and better Shimano M6120 4-pot brakes. These bikes range from $2,599.99 to $3,799.99 US.

Our test bike arrived with the gorgeous one-piece Bontrager RSL Trail Handlebar-Stem. One-piece bars can be a crowd divider but these seem well executed.

Any higher spec than that and you’re onto the carbon models. These chiefly feature a Fox or RockShox build depending on your preferred model and also give you the choice of XT, GX, GX AXS, XX1 AXS or XTR. The Fox and RockShox models climb the spec-chart accordingly, starting with Fox Performance and RockShox Select+ models and going all the way to Factory and Ultimate respectively. The carbon bikes range from $4,199.99 to $10,999.99.

There are frame only versions, in both alloy and carbon, for $2,299.99 and $3699.99.

Payson McElveen on the new Trek Top Fuel in Durango
McElveen putting the bike he helped develop through its paces.

Initial Impressions

I’ve been lucky enough to ride the Trek for a few days and some things have become immediately apparent. However, I’m excited to put it through its paces in an upcoming field test so I’ll keep it brief.

Firstly, this bike has transitioned smoothly from a World Cup race bike to a marathon bike and now trail ripper. It’s certainly happy to be pushed hard and benefits greatly from both progressive geometry and modern, adequately supportive damping. It’s a bike that feels alive, precise and efficient. Whether it’s been on longer rides that have constituted hours in the saddle or shorter rips that involved reasonably technical and chunky trails, the Trek has risen to the occasion.

The one-piece bar and stem, while not being everyone’s choice, on first impressions suits me quite well and I like the geometry of them. Interestingly enough Trek have done blind testing with riders to see if people can consistently set up their own bars in regards to the roll and found that people aren’t often as accurate as they think - they often failed to get them to within a handful of degrees. Personally, I think they're a pretty good shape and I like the short 45mm effective stem length and clean look. Either way, I'm looking forward to arguing their case, or maybe even their drawbacks, with the team at the upcoming field test.


233 Comments

  • 229 2
 Top fuel is now the fuel ex, fuel ex is now remedy 29. We're going in circles, people.
  • 151 1
 It is my dream that the industry is able to catch its collective tail someday. I have only managed it once and it could have been in a trash-induced fever dream, but it was amazing.
  • 3 0
 Yes, but faster than ever.
  • 5 0
 Bicycle chairs.
  • 75 7
 Companies love to over build bikes because the reviewers do 10,000ft of elevation in a week so they want a burlier bike. Then the normal rider thinks they need a super beefy enduro bike when they really need a light trail bike or XC bike. SO many riders nowadays are overbiked.
  • 4 0
 "Innovation"
  • 42 0
 @PivotPoint1: when you have one bike that needs to last a few seasons and you do XC rides with the trail dog, enduro with the homies, freeride, the odd urban ride and you have a season pass to a bike park… sometimes you have too much and sometimes not quite enough.
  • 11 3
 @PivotPoint1: depends what you mean by overbiked. Bigger travel always helps you go faster downhill safer and more comfortably so it really depends what you prioritize
  • 7 0
 same thing that automobile companies do. The Nissan Sentra is now the size the Altima was 4 years ago, the Altima is the size of the Maxima, etc etc
  • 4 0
 @PivotPoint1: got to admit i have a supercaliber , anything else and i wish it had as many lockouts as a scott
  • 9 0
 I'm overbiked for my local trails, but I like having a bike I'm familiar with capable of going to the park.
  • 4 2
 @nicktapias: BMW is another example. The M3 of yesteryear is even smaller than the M1 of today and whereas before it was just the 3, 5, and 7 series now they’ve done all the numbers to sell more cars.
  • 1 2
 @blackthorne: only in the US really. BMW made a RWD hot hatch called the M135 only sold across the pond. the other numbers have kinda always been there, but weren't as performance based like the 3, 5, and 7
  • 9 10
 @PivotPoint1: I think the normal rider needs a burlier bike because they are normal and they screw up. XC bikes are horrible for your average joe weekend warrior. I'd say most enduro bikes are better for an average joe just because they sit up straighter and therefore have an easier time looking down the trail.
  • 6 3
 @ICKYBOD: What do you base this on?
  • 18 3
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: my experience and the experience of others I have known. The best bike for people who don't ride much and for new riders is the easiest bike you can find to ride. XC bikes tend to pull your torso down more putting your wrists and hands lower then on a larger bike and putting your neck in a position that you have to physically move your head back further to look up the trail as far as you should.

If you aren't riding much, and you get tired (ie an average joe) you'll start to get lazy with where you're looking and your posture. You'll not see obstacles as early and your lines become bad. You're already compromised with your weight on your wrists and torso forward instead of balanced and likely steeper steering angles. Which leads to less fun and intimidation.

A trailbike is probably the best choice IMHO, but not a light trail bike. Just a solid average 130-140 rear. But it's a lot easier to deal with a bike that weighs 5 lbs too much than a bike that makes you feel like you're going to pitch forward when you're not on point.

At some point when a mtb'er decides they are going to up their game because they love the sport and start practicing those fundamentals., then the xc bike comes into it's own.
  • 3 13
flag TheOriginalTwoTone (Oct 7, 2021 at 15:37) (Below Threshold)
 @ICKYBOD: You said normal rider and don't even take into account terrain.
Pretty bad generalization.
  • 7 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: No I do take terrain into account, I just don't feel like writing a book. I assume a normal rider is going to want to progress and not just ride green trails all their lives. In my opinion, it's easier to learn skills on a more relaxed bike then apply those skills later to a more focused bike. I've helped a number of people progress through some tougher obstacles and I've seen what holds them back. Comfortable upright balanced body position is huge in making people comfortable enough to progress.
  • 3 0
 Did you all know McElveen has a moustache? It's, like, super cool!
  • 7 0
 @Compositepro: Boldly declare your unconditional love for that ripping Supercaliber! Do not fear the PB bro-borg!
  • 6 1
 @ICKYBOD:
Totally agree with your opinion of new riders liking a trail bike with upright riding position. My first few MTB rides ever were on an old Stumpy with a Fox 32. That Noodely, flexy 32 felt so bad when I took a bad line that I almost wrote off MTB for good..

A little bit of time passed and I rode a friend's nomad with a 36, and it was night and day. I could actually ride over rocks on purpose without feeling like a tool, and take a bad line without my hands feeling like they were going to fly off the bar.

These guys are tripping if they think brand new riders would like a whipetty XC bike vs a trail bike.
  • 1 3
 @ICKYBOD: Change the stem and handlebar on the XC bike and Voila, upright position without the extra weight.
  • 4 0
 @bungalogan: problems with that: 1st the stack height on xc bikes is usually low enough that it can be difficult to find the right combo. 2nd, if you're taking an average Joe biker-they may not even realize that this is an issue. Asking someone who doesn't ride much or know what they need to fix their geometry probably will end in frustration, Finally why not just get the bike that fits casual riders the best up front instead of trying to fix it. A regular trail bike is the best casual bike in most areas for most people.
  • 6 0
 @kosmoHR: i look at my collection of bikes and realize i definitely should be on gravelbike or oldmanpasthisprimebike. But am trying to hang out with the cool kids in an effort to stave off the care home thats rapidly heading my way
  • 1 0
 AKA marketing
  • 3 1
 this is what happens when you ask people how they want you to improve a bike, they just ask you to make it a more capeable descender until you make it so burly you no longer have an agile short travel bike anymore, and that when you launch a new model (see supercaliber)
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: I hear you...sitting here with broken collarbone. Sigh
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: I think that’s what ebikes are for, right? They just need to make ones that run completely silent and don’t look like are pregnant with a litter of kittens. Wink
  • 155 2
 how many taquitos can fit in the internal frame storage?
(taquito standard of 2x10cm, not sramito 1.98cm x 4in)
  • 44 0
 ^^^ this guy asking the important questions
  • 3 1
 @bman33: for sure, but what about all that extra weight those taquitos are going to add?
  • 8 0
 @Supergirl56: while they may add weight, the energy they provide will make up for it.
  • 16 0
 Don't forget to account for guacamole between the taquitos. Keeps them from rattling around in there.
  • 5 0
 Add hand warmer pack to keep taquitos warm until mid-ride
  • 30 0
 Unofficial (and nonexistent) statement from Trek Bicycle:

"While we strongly believe in all Hispanic and Latino cuisine in our downtubes, we continue to focus our effort on burrito storage. Our R&D team strives to expand the Trek downtube menu going forward in the next major update to Top Fuel."
  • 17 0
 @Bikesbecauserunningsucks: It's a fair statement since burritos are the top fuel choice of riders everywhere.
  • 1 0
 @kaiserschmarrn: This. Best idea in months!
  • 139 8
 "The bike is meant to be particularly fun and fast on fun and fast trails"

We have reached peak bicycle journalism folks.

Props for not using the term "paradigm shift" lately. That one was a eye roller.
  • 35 0
 Yeah, that's a load of guff there to be fair. I thought about it being as such as I wrote it. I was using the "Clarkson monologue" method of writing and sometimes she bites back.

"This cold and refreshing water is best when it's cold and you're in need of refreshment" etc. Nonsense really.
  • 6 0
 At least he didn't use the word "steed".
  • 1 0
 "Playful" "Poppy"
  • 3 0
 @dcaf:
SuPpLe
  • 2 0
 @codypup: but where will this steed fit in a quiver?
  • 66 1
 chuckled at the blind test of the bars. Its so true- we whine and complain about bar angle but 90% of us can't actually tell the difference.

"If I don't have them at this angle I get sore hands. No, I haven't serviced my 5 year old fork ever, of which I'm the 3rd owner. Why do you ask?"
  • 7 0
 I think I can tell.
  • 3 0
 But what’s considered to be correct? Because it certainly isn’t the same for everyone.
  • 1 0
 Have you ever taken off your bars and tried to put them back on the same way? You can immediately notice even a small angle shift, those alignment marks need to be like, 1/4 the size they normally are
  • 32 0
 I know it’s a first impression, but would love to know the weight of this. Don’t really care on enduro bikes, but kind of important in this segment of bikes.

Also can’t wait to see how this compares to the new element, and hopefully they can compare to older bikes like the spur and epic evo.
  • 11 0
 All I can tell you is that the alloy Top Fuel 8 weighs about 30 lbs in size M.
  • 18 1
 Only one water bottle mount is a miss for a bike designed with long races / marathon rides in mind. That's my comparison to the Epic Evo ;-)
  • 3 0
 Weights for most of them are on the Trek site. Basically 26-28lbs for the carbon builds and around 31 or so for Aluminum.
  • 13 1
 The 2022 top fuel 8 is almost a pound heavier than the 2022 fuel ex 8. How is that even possible?
  • 2 0
 @islandtrader: SLX vs. XT cassette? Internal storage makes the frame heavier maybe?
  • 6 0
 @islandtrader: Progress.
  • 2 0
 Trek site lists the AXS build a little over 26 lbs, which coincidentally is right about what my Fuel EX weighed with XC tires back in 2019. I run a Spur now, and it's under 25 lbs.
  • 1 0
 @d1amonddave: thoughts on the spur as an XCM bike?
  • 3 0
 @pcledrew: I own a Spur. I don't race XCM, but I imagine it would do very well on courses with a lot of wide open downhills (i.e. not a lot of tight, slow corners). It really shines as a west coast bike. I am less confident it is the best bike for NE tech.
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: agreed. I bought an Epic Evo pretty much because it had two bottle mounts. It's been amazing to head out for longer rides with no pack, just a Bontrager spring roll attached to my saddle.
  • 1 0
 @HB208: Spur it's good on the east coast. Since, I got the Spur I keep passing riders and saying "on your left."
I don't participate on time trials or hang out with any roadies pretending to be mountain bikers. So it's a shocker for me that I'm beating some of them at their game.
  • 2 0
 @PJSANAB: Fair enough, I live in the west. I just figured the long, kinda slack nature of it would hold you back on tech. I don't actually think it is the best tech climbing bike in the world.
  • 1 0
 @HB208: I added more psi to the shock and replaced the 175mm cranks with 165mm to reduce rock strikes and help it climb better. The SidLuxe shock canister seems like it was sealed with red loctite because the canister will not open, been trying to install larger volume reducer to make it sit higher on it's travel.
I firmly believe a light Ripley V4 will out climb a Spur (I own a Ripmo V1). Descending, it will depends on the skills of the rider. Just wanted to try a different suspension other than DW-Link.
In the meanwhile, I also bought the Float X for the Spur. Hoping, the rain goes away to see how it handles fast rocky descents.
  • 4 0
 @PJSANAB: Hi FYI...loctite plastic bond start to break down at approx 110C. Thus poring boiling water over the affected joint will help a lot, that and a rubber grip on a strap wrench will help
  • 1 0
 @pcledrew: I love it. I feel like the geometry is perfect going up and down. It's super light and also very stiff which I think is missing from a lot of bikes in this category (i.e. scalpel, blur). XCM is my primary focus around here in Pisgah.
  • 1 0
 @d1amonddave: Thanks for the feedback, I have a 'pre order' in for one right now, though i have considered cancelling and going for the new Element instead. Sounds like the spur is a winner still. Can't go wrong either way really.
  • 21 0
 2018 Top Fuel RSL owner here. Praying my bike lasts another 10k miles of XCM racing, as Trek has nothing in their lineup with which to replace it. Supercaliber is too short travel and stack so low only Anton Cooper can ride it without a smokestack of spacers, and this 28# bike is a rehashed 2016 Fuel EX.
  • 19 0
 Are you sponsored by Trek? I assume not if you're riding a 2018 bike; but there's lots of other brands out there nowadays ;-)
  • 14 1
 @yupstate: perfect, I'll tell the Trek warranty dept to send me a Blur when this frame cracks.
  • 1 1
 Pick up a 2021 on close out if they’re available (admittedly a very big if).
  • 1 1
 @davidccoleman: How long is the frame warranty?
  • 4 2
 I would very much encourage you to ride a Supercaliber. Obviously finding one at a shop or someone who'll let you ride theirs is extremely challenging, but I own one and have been very impressed. I've never bottomed out the shock other than while casing jumps. The stack height hasn't been a problem for me (you are the first I've heard bring it up) and I race it every other weekend. I've won on both fast and and technical courses despite not being especially talented (I ride only 5-6 hours a week). For reference I have a 9.8.
  • 7 0
 @Bikesbecauserunningsucks: I rode the Supercal 9.9 when they first came out and wasn't stoked on it, but a 20 min test ride isn't a definitive evaluation. The last XC oriented top fuel (2015-201Cool was such a small frame I can easily ride the XL at 6'1" because it has a stand-over designed for someone 5'3". The Supercaliber sizing is weird so I'd probably stretch to fit an XL with 50mm stem which seems odd for the intended use. There's a pretty big hole in the Trek XC lineup now honestly, I wish the supercal would grow to 85mm rear and a pinch in stack and reach and then come out with a true XC hardtail built like an Emonda (they've got 3 carbon road frames, can we get at least one race hardtail?). Maybe I'm not their target client and they'll sell whatever they make even if it's a rolling turd because of the current shortage, but I just think they're missing the mark right now.
  • 3 0
 @yupstate: lifetime as far as I know. Broken two carbon Treks and they replaced both quickly with no hassle. Great to deal with.
  • 2 0
 @davidccoleman: You are actually the second person I've heard say that the Supercaliber should be 85mm so maybe they should start considering it.
  • 1 0
 @Bikesbecauserunningsucks: me too sold my remedy
  • 1 0
 @davidccoleman: the procaliber perhaps?
  • 1 0
 @davidccoleman: i've shattered 3 treks, no warranty fulfilled. to top it off, i've sold over a million dollars of their product. trek sucks.
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: who needs a hardtail frame that weighs 50% more than Scott/Specialized/etc? Overpriced and overweight 1300g hardtail.
  • 1 0
 @5afety3rd: brutal man, that sucks.
  • 19 1
 Henry when writing this:
"Don't use the word downcountry...
Don't use the word downcountry...
Don't use the word downcountry..."
  • 62 0
 “BC Bike Race” is the code word. I do not know what the bc bike race is, but I now know it would be best done on a downcountry bike.
  • 8 0
 @Chafingdish: BCBR new shorthand for downcountry, that's a great observation.
  • 2 0
 Except it's in the details summary box. Doh!
  • 6 5
 @Chafingdish: BC Bike Race is just cross country, not to be confused with XCO which is just cyclocross with bigger bumps. Or XCC which is gravel crit racing. Downcoutry is marketing for what used to be called trail bikes, but works quite well for intermediate riders at cross country races.
  • 10 8
 Downcountry is such a stupid, cringe term that needs to die. In fact, classifying bikes by their travel is a stupid thing that needs to die. Dirt jumpers hit 50 ft doubles on a hard tail, people do XC loops on a slacked out 170mm bike. Hell, even BMXers are doing 20+ ft. drops. It's all just biking. You can do anything on any bike.
  • 12 0
 @Chafingdish: You're onto me. Bloody hell.
  • 3 0
 @Chafingdish: Hei Hei that seems to be the Element of the BC Bike Race.
  • 2 3
 @ko-d: I think "XC" and "Cross Country" have diverged and become very different things. Personally I feel like Downcountry is the new "Cross Country", while "XC" is purely racing.
Soon Downcountry will become DC and then we will start having DC races........
  • 3 0
 @Chafingdish: BCDC = good name for a ACDC cover band
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: After reading the tire review today it appears I have lost this battle. I tip my hat to you good sir.
  • 16 0
 Isn't this just a Fuel Ex now?
  • 4 9
flag seraph (Oct 7, 2021 at 8:40) (Below Threshold)
 The Fuel EX is 130mm rear 140mm front, so no. This is 120/120, though most will probably run it as 120/130.
  • 6 2
 Probably not. While the geometry looks very similar, the kinematics are probably quite different, giving it an entirely different ride feel. Since it is supposed to occupy the space between an XC bike and a true trail bike, it will probably be tuned more towards the XC side, meaning higher efficiency and a more supportive ride. But at this point we can only speculate since Trek has a habit of not showing any graphs, numbers or leverage curves. Their marketing usually solely relies on buzzwords.
  • 6 1
 @seraph: I mean... my Fuel Ex is 120/120 Big Grin
  • 4 1
 Up it to 130mm front and you basically have a 2016 Fuel Ex.
  • 2 1
 @BenTheSwabian: The suspension AS curve is shown boldly on the website.
  • 2 0
 @seraph: so you're saying it's a fuel ex? Haha
  • 2 1
 @Fullsend2-13: No. The Fuel EX is 130/140. This is 120/120. Those two sets of numbers are not the same.
  • 16 1
 Not a bad looking machine..nicely done Trek.
  • 4 6
 Looks like a session
  • 2 0
 I'm impressed too. Nice job trek, and prices aren't ridiculous for lower end models. All in all, 5/7.
  • 14 2
 RIP XC racing capable Top Fuel. The $6000 2021 9.8XT was already heavy at 26 lbs, now the 2022 version cost $6500 and weighs in at 27.8 lbs!!! The 2022 Top Fuel is heavy as f**k.
  • 4 1
 I certainly won't be replacing my 2020 Top Fuel with one of these. I was hoping they would go to a slightly lighter bike with slightly slacker angles not heavier and more of a trail bike. Also agree that the best improvement they could have made was for two drink bottle holders and maybe some more water ingress prevention in some parts of the frame.
  • 2 0
 I have to agree, the 2020 & 2021 versions are looking good weight wise.

I ride a Druid that weighs 14kg, (that’s 30.8 pounds). It’s waaay burlier than a 2022 top fuel , why so porky, trek?
  • 4 1
 The 2022 9.9 XTR has a claimed weight of 25.9 lbs. Not bad for a 120/120 bike with 2.4 tires stock. I could pretty easily drop that to around 23 lbs with a few simple parts changes if you wanted the bike to be more XC and less downcountry.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: well, that’s quite good. But I imagine it comes at a price
  • 3 0
 @seraph: lol, please share how you would drop the weight by 3 lbs on this build I would love to know, you already have factory shocks, carbon bars, carbon wheels, carbon cranks, full XTR drive train and XC brakes (not 4-piston)! How muchl more will it cost you to get it down by 3 lbs? Might as well get an S-Works Epic Evo.

Not bad for a 120/120 with 2.4 tires? 2.4 tires are pretty much standard for XC these days. For comparison: Epic Evo Pro is $1000 less and comes in a little over 23 lbs. The Trail Blur is 120/115 is 23.9 lbs with 2.4 tires and XO1 AXS build with carbon wheels and costs the same.
  • 1 2
 @mrkkbb: E.13 XCX cranks (40g), E.13 Helix R cassette (24g), SC Reserve 28 wheels (460g), and the rest is up to you if you're willing to go with narrower tires and a more XC build to save weight.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: Whats the point? Why not just buy a lightweight bike to start?
  • 9 0
 Wasn't the 2020-21 top fuel a downcountry bike? Its not been an xc bike since 2019. www.pinkbike.com/news/first-ride-treks-2020-top-fuel.html In 2020 the travel was bumped from 100/100 to 115/120. This is hardly a reimagined bike, in fact, its a minor update from the last model.
  • 6 0
 Totally agree with this. I have a 2021 top fuel which was indeed marketed as a downcountry bike. IMO the 2022 model is a very minor upgrade (5mm increase in the rear?!?!) and the line doesn’t have quite the same value dollar for dollar as the 2021 line did. Certainly not enough of an upgrade to make me want to sell off my 2021 for a 2022.
  • 2 0
 @owlsmyles: Agreed, them saying that they're moving on from a "classic" to full downcountry is just weird. I'm running a 2020 9.7 and the 2022 kind of seems like the worse bike. I'd take the steeper seat tube angle, but the whole reason I went for it and not some other bike is because they didn't go crazy with the angles and it's still a super flickable/agile bike, that can still handle just about any descent. I guess we just have to wait for the Supercaliber EX now for a proper full sus racing rig again?
  • 1 0
 @Paluzas: well, I guess now we have a set of numbers that define DC—5mm + 1.5º
  • 2 0
 @owlsmyles: yeah, apart from the frame storage (I’d like a place to stow an AirTag), and I like the single main pivot bolt design better than the two little stub bolts on each side of the 2020, this 2022 seems like a flop compared to my 2020. I don’t want 66 head angle.
  • 11 0
 Same chainstay length on a XS27.5 and an XL 29? Seems strange?
  • 3 0
 That's 1 way the maximize profits.
  • 4 0
 If sizing goes from XS to XXL there should be at least 2 chainstay length options. ESTA should get a little steeper for the bigger sizes too. I don't understand what's so hard about this to figure out.
  • 9 0
 Not a huge Trek fan, but that is a sweet ride!
  • 17 0
 Not a huge Trek fan, but this looks way better than the No Fuel i was able to buy at a UK forecourt recently
  • 5 0
 Nod to the old school Fisher Pro Caliber paint job. A classic from the past. I remember getting one circa 1990 and really thought that was the bike. A beautiful steel frame with a 1" head tube. I'll bet this thing climbs like a hungry monkey going for a coconut!!
  • 7 1
 Is it just me or is every other bike company out there Spur-i-fying their short travel trail bike? I guess if you can't beat them, join them. A medium Spur and medium Top Fuel have nearly identical geometry.
  • 4 1
 I welcome all Spur competitors. Transition so far does it best. Love that Trek continues to hang onto the stupid knock-block. Now less restrictive than before. Awesome.
  • 3 0
 And yet the spur keeps the weight way down compared to this
  • 3 1
 @bronco5: I actually love knock block—it allows you to trim cables & hoses tighter.
  • 8 0
 I just called about this and its not available until NOVEMBER 2022! on release date wtf bro what a joke
  • 4 0
 Could be worse, they just released the new Boone CX bike and I called on release date and they said January 2023 at the soonest! It's almost like why both even releasing bikes until there's enough stock built up to actual delivery them?
  • 5 0
 @Thisisbenji90: yeah I dont get it, seems silly to essentially announce a product over a year in advanced
  • 1 0
 Reason would be that the marketers are more worried about keeping the brand relevant than actually maximizing revenue from the launch. By the way, there are some of these in shops.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBrent: link me that shop bro, looking for a ML 9.8 XT
  • 10 4
 Hats off to the trek design team for sticking with knock block.
  • 6 3
 yep they must have ordered millions and darent scrap the remaining stock
  • 2 0
 Thankfully Knock Block 2.0 can be fully removed now.
  • 2 0
 What's the head angle?
Top call out says "Head Tube Angle: 65.0 - 65.8°"
But the chart and this statement say "The geometry undergoes the slacker treatment to reduce the head angle by a degree and a half to 66-degrees."
I assume the latter?
  • 2 0
 That looks sweet, and a great update too.
Its interesting to see that you can now pick up a full sus Top Fuel 5 with a Recon fork & Deore, for a very similar price as an Recon/SX equipped alloy SC Chameleon HT… I love hardtails, but I know which I’d have.
  • 4 0
 Me reading any and all bike releases: This looks pretty but I have the do it all, one bike to rule them all, aesthetic af, santa cruz 5010
  • 6 0
 chunky
  • 1 3
 Super chunky. Looks like shit because of that to me.
  • 6 1
 Is it still a 2022 if you can't get them until May of 2023??
  • 6 1
 We've had them at our shop for about a month now actually. Just couldn't talk about them until recently.
  • 5 2
 Yep, if you want to order one now from a shop that is not getting preferred delivery from trek - May 2023 for most Top Fuels except the 9.8 and 9.9 they are "just" 387 days out.....that brand is a joke...remedy 9.8 - order now get a couple in 2022 the rest in january 2024.
  • 3 0
 @DoctorWatson: maybe you didn't notice the pandemic going on, it's kinda affecting the supply chain.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: Do you work for a factory store then? They would sell big time at our shop if they would just show up!
  • 1 2
 @seraph: wow thanks for your education without you I wouldn’t have noticed it!
@bikesbecauserunningsucks must be or a sales rep that pulls away from other stores cause our stores don’t want to be trek only! Not the first time it happened in 16 years of bike business!
  • 1 0
 @DoctorWatson: What's kinda funny is that my shop chooses to only sell Trek even though we are private.
  • 1 0
 @Bikesbecauserunningsucks: oh wow. I mean if it works out at the end thats good but if you not a concept store there are so many other cool brands out there that can deliver in a shorter time frame. That said support from trek is great. Trek U is a bit of a brainwash thing, which makes me laugh all the time. Unconditional guarantee on bontrager is great and works.......if even the bikes would be proper built and not start to creak after 2-3 rides around the main pivot bolt. Who's company is perfect these days though - none! Bikes ride great - delivery times and shipping are a bit of a joke. Fingers crossed for a good 2022 season to every bike shop owner!
  • 3 1
 So geo chart looks good but there is a pretty big kink in the seat tube, so actual seat angle looks pretty slack, will likely be an issue for the taller riders (element for example has much less of a kink).
  • 4 0
 This is an issue with most (maybe all?) Trek MTBs. I'm all legs, so it consistently prevents me from considering their bikes.
  • 2 0
 Interesting that they have gone back to a BSA bb on this bike while some of their other bikes (Boone cx) are going to a T47. I wonder why they didn’t use a T47 bb on this bike?
  • 2 0
 It would be nice if they offered T47, but my guess is that it was done on the Boone so CX racers can run either geared or single speed with an EBB - reduces cost as there's no need for two separate molds (one PF and one BSA). No need for single speeding here so they went straight BSA.
  • 1 0
 Reconfirms I didn't make a bad choice (massively) over-biking myself on a '21 Slash 8
Still better spec'd than the Fuel EX 8 and this new '22 Top Fuel 8, was cheaper and only #2 heavier.
Climbs like a beast, destroys everything on the descents and I get to ride terrain I never thought I would
Win-Win-Win
  • 1 0
 I have a 2019 fuel ex and a 2020 top fuel. I am not keen on the shift of the fuel ex into burlier territory as it now feels too much like my Remedy I didn't get on with.

Whilst I wouldn't replace my top fuel with this (they are just too different bikes) it does seem like a potential replacement to my old fuel ex if the need arises. Nice to have an alternative other than the izzo.

As someone who has been riding for over 20 years I'm also moving to the camp of bikes becoming too burly. I rode 5' drops on an aluminium bike with 120mm travel and geometry which would make most people squirm (which was considered huge in the day). Getting my 130mm 29'er I was blown away with how capable it is. Problem being is that it has saved me when I should have come off. These bikes are allowing people to ride well above their skill level, and with that I'm seeing worse potential problems.

Yeah your 160mm travel is saving you when you case that jump... for now... but keep going bigger and it runs out eventually.
  • 1 0
 last year's xc/dc is something I tell all my nica kids to watch.....The bike can only do so much but it made a pinkard nerd. So how about some insight on who is in this year's shoot-out? is the lux trail in the mix? Looks exactly like my epic evo? wonder how they compete head to head,
  • 3 0
 nnice, good alternative to stump jumper;
kudos to implementing storage in alu frames
  • 2 2
 Looks good and a proper downcountry rig. However, did they really need to put those tiny fractions of mm in the geometry charts instead of just rounding up or down? Like 0.2, 0.5, or 0.7 mm will really make a difference. Lol.
  • 5 0
 That seems like they measured everything in inches and then converted to mm and didn't bother to round.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: I just think it is funny. Think of how small 0.2, .05, or 0.7mm actually is. If anyone was able to distinguish fractions of mm or even 1 to 2mm difference in different setups, I'd be extremely surprised. I can tell the difference of 2-3 mm in seat height, but in reach or top tube would be very difficult.
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney It’s the seatstays that connect to the rocker link not the chainstays.
  • 1 0
 Bloody hell. Thanks for that. Good catch.
  • 1 0
 Any reason to choose the alloy TopFuel over a Ripley AF or alloy Scott Spark? The alloy TopFuel frame is about 1lb heavier than the Scott and .8lb heavier than the Ripley AF.
  • 2 0
 When Pinkbike did the huck to flat on the Ripley AF, the rear tire was hitting the frame. I'm not an engineer, but I'd imagine something like that happening could drastically increase wear on all the moving parts of the frame, over time.
  • 1 0
 @Glory831Guy: Damn, I'll have to give that review a closer read.
  • 1 0
 Its pretty close to my 2017 Fuel EX, except my bike has 140 up front and 135 rear with DPX2. Geo numbers are real close but mine still has the full-floater and a bit shorter rear center....both of which I like.
  • 1 0
 I am gonna bet I would be faster on this or another middle ground bike than a superlight xc bike in any terrain that is above gravel or cx territory. But I also like to sit on my ass when tired late in a ride.
  • 3 1
 Looks great, would love to see it with a 130 fork for a bit more aggression
  • 6 7
 Coz ten mills will hold you back?

Just run it stiffer and then you have more available travel Wink
  • 5 1
 You could always buy a Fuel Ex Wink haha
  • 1 0
 I run a 130mm fork on my Top Fuel and it feels great. Makes the head angle about 65 or 64.5 degrees and lengthens the wheel base a bit.
  • 2 1
 That would indeed slacken the HTA by ~0,5° but then it would also be like the 10th bike to copy the geometry chart of the current Santa Cruz Tallboy.
  • 3 0
 I don't know if they know what reimagined means.
  • 3 0
 Still doesn't excite me as much as Levy's Trance 29er with DVO suspension.
  • 2 0
 The paint job looks sick, until you chip it right where the colour fade is...which is everywhere on this model. haha.
  • 1 0
 I like the really Trek bikes I've owned but the paint is sooooo thin. I chipped a massive section my last frame by slow speed running into tree bark. Gonna go with user error on that one though.....
  • 1 0
 @Bikesbecauserunningsucks: want to talk about thin paint? Try owning a Subaru! Wink
  • 1 0
 Good to see the right rear brake only routing was pointed out. Real shame, would have been the perfect bike for me to race XC on.
  • 3 4
 I've always looked at Trek whenever shopping for a new bike, but every single one of their frame designs limits the length of dropper I can run. I fall into their M/L size and the biggest dropper I could run is 100mm. Looks like the same story with this one
  • 6 1
 Trek is improving in this category. Still not quite as much insertion as say a Transition, but the size large Top Fuel ships with a 170mm dropper post. Not too bad ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 4 0
 thats funny. maybe we are just into different models but i'm able to slam a 175 reverb in a m/l remedy.
  • 3 0
 Do you have really short legs? At 173cm I could run a 170mm dropper in both my slash and my top fuel.
  • 3 0
 Even a Medium 2021 Topfuel can fully slam a 150mm dropper post inside the frame
  • 1 0
 @dhridernz: I do have really short legs which is part of the problem. Just for comparison the seat tube length on this bike is 435mm vs 405mm on a SC Hightower. Makes a huge difference for short legged people
  • 2 0
 Let's just wait for the new Trance, 140/120 with stash box, for half the price of the Fuel whatever.
  • 2 2
 How can this bike and Giant Trance E+ have same seat tube angle? Trek is still stuck in 2010s with that, personally as a tall rider on XL bikes, the straighter the seat tube the better.
  • 3 0
 No Flight Attendant? Lame. 2021 called they want their bike back.
  • 1 0
 I was solely a Trek f-boy for years but then got bored of them for the past 6 years or so; however, I would definitely ride one of these just not in this rainbow color.
  • 2 0
 Surprising restraint to wait until the third paragraph to mention the BCBR.
  • 1 0
 Still riding 2016 Fuel ex's here. 1 @ 25.4lbs w/dropper, 1 @ 24.2 no dropper. This bike would be a downgrade...change my mind
  • 2 0
 This bike looks really nice! Perfect for what I want to ride. I’m getting one as soon as they’re available in 2026
  • 1 0
 "Payson McElveen" Bond villain, porn star or a name we'd give to the cops years ago, regardless, it's name of the week for me.
  • 1 0
 I am slightly uncomfortable with the idea of the top fuel and the fuel ex having the exact same head angle. Will the 2023 fuel ex have a 65 deg head angle?
  • 3 0
 The paint jobs are dope!
  • 2 0
 Am I blind or did they forget the seat tube length?
  • 1 0
 Is it possible to mount lights or anything to those bars? The shape looks pretty square?
  • 2 0
 Yes, there’s a bolt hole at the front that’s designed to work with Bontrager’s Blendr mounts. Like this: www.pinkbike.com/photo/20917373
  • 1 0
 I am going to see if I can find the bushes in my seatpost. Do you have to water them? Do they bear fruit?
  • 2 0
 Looking like a value build compared to the entry-level SC chameleon.
  • 1 0
 The chunky seat tube seems like overkill for this class. Otherwise, I'm digging it. Proper short travel ripper.
  • 2 0
 I'll probably wait for something a little more Slopecountry
  • 1 0
 I cant wait to see next generation of fuel ex... It will be the bomb!
  • 3 1
 Yawn.
  • 2 0
 The geo chart looks like a copy/paste job from the Transition Spur, which was an exciting bike way back a year ago.
  • 3 0
 @sledshed:

Well nobody wants their homework copied, and variety is better than same-same...but.... I’m always curious about comments like this.

Does a bike have to be 1 degree slacker and 20mm longer, every time, to be exciting?
  • 6 2
 @sledshed: because they got it right with the Spur. Or actually the Smuggler before that, since the spur is simply a Smuggler on a diet. I do love my Smuggler....I was always afraid they were going to make a 25lb version to activate my bike lust again. Then comes the Spur.

And don't forget reduced offset forks. Transition/Kona be some forward thinking folks.
  • 2 0
 @sledshed: was an exciting bike? I still love my Spur.
  • 1 0
 @extratalldirtrider: haha I own a Spur too and I love it!!! Was trying to make a silly
  • 1 0
 @AckshunW: I currently own and ride a Spur. It’s a rad bike. As far as differences go between the two I’m curious to ride a Top Fuel too as they’ve got a thicc shock on the Fuel. I have been surprised at how robust the SidLuxe is but will be cool to see how the Trek linkage feels in comparison with a larger can and shock stanchion.
  • 1 0
 I'll probably wait for something a little for Slopecountry
  • 1 0
 No f*cking stupid fad Mullet to be seen here thank f*ck.
  • 1 1
 Bikes like this just affirm my belief that mountain bike trail building organizations are killing mountain biking.
  • 2 3
 Hard to see where the value is here. There are so many great bikes from top brands at this price point; why would I want to spend Ibis or Pivot $$$ for a boring ass Trek?
  • 1 0
 $3700 for the frame? S-Works Stumpy frame is $3000!
  • 1 0
 jeez just roll out 200mm XC race bikes already
  • 1 0
 Glad I bought my Top Fuel in 2021 instead :-)
  • 1 0
 whos in the shoot out all I want to know?
  • 1 0
 99.999% of people DO NOT want that bar/stem combo...
  • 1 0
 10k at minimum here in Brazil
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Session
  • 1 1
 Looks like a Session.

...Am I doing this right?
  • 1 0
 Bring back the 69'er
  • 1 4
 Super rad love it! But Trek needs a true, fully suspended bike
  • 1 0
 Xc racing bike
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