Just before Interbike, Trek Bikes kidnapped Chipps and bundled him into a van, releasing him several hours later in the high mountain resort of Brian Head, Utah. The reason was to show off its two new race bikes: The Session downhill bike, as ridden to Worlds victory by Tracy Moseley (see her actual bike here) and the new Trek Top Fuel, as ridden to World Championships gold in the U23 race by the diminutive Mathias Fluckiger.
A few of Trek’s pro racers were hand to model, guide, ride with and mostly thrash the poor journalists in the thin air. There were the current World Champions of Mathias Fluckiger and Tracy Moseley, as well as Trek World Racing pro Emily Batty (cover star of Singletrack Issue 58 too) and long time Trek fast-guy, Travis Brown.
We were treated to a late night Powerpoint presentation on the new bikes (hey, who said it was all fun?) and then let loose for two days on the trails of Brian Head. Did we mention that it’s at about 8,000ft? Over the course of the two days, we were able to put in some good miles on the Top Fuel and get a good feel of how well it works.
Overall, the Top Fuel frame is mostly unchanged. The geometry and 100mm travel is the same. The biggest changes are twofold: the frame has gained carbon chainstays and the frame now has internal cable and hose routing. Maybe a small thing, but it serves to neaten up and, more importantly, silence the cables as they now run taut within the frame. This makes the bike super quiet to ride and adds to the smooth ride.
We tested the Top Fuel in issue 50 and really liked the ‘together’ feel of the bike. The front and rear suspension work very well together and the bike rides and moves as a whole, giving the impression of far more travel. Just looking at the videos of the bikes on the Worlds course at Mont St Anne and you can appreciate how modern XC racers are beginning to really embrace (and require) full suspension bikes for racing. The 2011 bike carries on this tradition and it’s a very, very fun bike to ride on all terrain, whether racing or not.
Below is a big gallery of many extra action and scenic shots for Premier users. Brian Head is a fantastic place to ride. What are you waiting for?