Trek 2011: The new Top Fuel

by Chipps 24

Here's what all the fuss is about. The 2011 Trek Top Fuel

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.

Great view. Oh, and Emily Batty zipping past it.

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.

You know you've made it when...

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.

A lineup of box-fresh bikes.

Singletrack through the Aspens.

We knew that Chipps was a tree-hugger. Pic by the very friendly Emily Batty.

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.

Pinch bolts at the head tube and BB shell keep the internally-routed brake hose taut to stop it rattling. Clever.

The biggest different in 2011 - internal cable (and hose) routing. Keeps the frame clean and amazingly quiet.

New carbon chainstays help drop the weight even further.

The great (and very friendly) Travis Brown.

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.

Don't take the left turn ahead!

Sandstone 'hoodoos' formed by zillions of years of wind and water erosion.
Sandstone 'hoodoos' formed by zillions of years of wind and water erosion.

The benefits of a guide service, a trail-end feast. Thanks Hermosa!

Could be any Welsh trail centre, eh? But it isn't.

Credit goes to James Richards for finding this trail for us. It's called the 'Color Country Trail' if you're ever passing Brian Head.

Why not just stand and chat while staring at the view?

They do OK for scenery in the USA...

Travis adopted his 'instant photoshoot attack position' every time he saw a camera.

Emily Batty zipping through the dust

Ladies and Gentlemen! Your Junior World Champion Mathias Fluckiger
Marketing managers ride bikes too. Here's Michael Browne

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Comments (24)

  1. Hay Chipps, its not going to be like that this weekend at D2D, better find your mud tyres

  2. It isn’t? Probably a good thing. I managed to flatten myself on a flat, dry, gravel corner – my excuse was that we don’t have terrain like that where I live.

  3. More Emily Batty please!!

  4. I’ll say it again; what a s**t job you guys have. Get any good swag?

  5. looks amazing out there.
    that a lockout on the rear shock? – i wish more fs xc bikes came with lockouts….

  6. I’m dissapointed Chipps, not nearly enough Emily.

  7. the view from your office are slightly nicer than the ones in the hospital I work in.

  8. Emily Batty is looking HOT in Novembers MBA

  9. Emily Batty = MTB Barbie = Yummy :oP

  10. There are some pics of her in the premier section.
    Those bikes are already in the shop here in Spain!

  11. interesting that Trek have gone for maxxis crossmarks and nothing from K.Bontrager, noticed lower end bikes in Cheltenham cycles were sporting these too, so not just purely a for the show thing

  12. There will be more Emily in our ‘Pro’s Bikes’ irregular feature, so stay tuned for that. Her bike has a few super-neat touches.

    The Crossmarks were put on the test bikes because the Top Fuel normally comes with Bontrager race tyres and as we were riding some pretty tyre-slicey, rocky terrain, Trek thought that Crossmarks would be better for the test riding.

    I didn’t mention the lockouts, so will do now: The Top Fuel now comes with two Fox/Shimano handlebar lockouts. One does the rear shock and one does the front. It’s a little more complicated, but it means you can lock out the rear (actually, it’s heavy ProPedal rather than full lock) for a climb, but keep the front active, or you can lock out both. Both have instant releases too.

  13. I’m amazed at the comparitive lack of calls for pics of Ms Batty.

    Brian Head – Lucky boy, Mr Chipps. Was a Rocky Mountains Locals area only a few years ago when I was last living in CO; Now Trek are Demo-ing there.

    Is that 2×10 XTR it was running with? This bike is clawing it’s way up my list of bikes to demo in prep for a new bike later next year…

  14. The bike was indeed fitted with 2×10 XTR. In the thin air (but on a light bike) the bottom gears were just enough. In a race situation, I reckon the gearing will be spot-on.

  15. Moan, moan, moan “I had to sit through a PowerPoint presentation. Yeah and some of us with REAL jobs then have to discuss the technical merits of a new form of sewage aeration technology or discuss business initiatives. Not 2 days riding fancy, smancy new FS Trek in Utah in the sun.

    You Bugger!

    Not envious obviously. I’m just glad to be getting a job for 3 weeks starting on Monday.

    Love the look of that machine and the paint/decal jobs. Makes a nice change from all the predominant monotone finishes.

  16. Is that Tracey Moseley serving up the grub at the post ride beano?

    So much for being World Champ, bloody souless US Corporations wanting their pound of flesh from their slav…er professionals.

  17. No, that was one of our fine mountain bike guides serving up the food. Tracy actually wanted to come and do the big XC ride on the second day, but her bosses told her she had to ride the lifts and play on downhill bikes. She has a tough life too 🙂

    Session pics coming shortly.

  18. “Pic by the very friendly Emily Batty.”

    You lucky lucky lucky …

  19. brian head is a fantastic mountain to ride. bunker creek is one of the best trails i have ever ridden aprox 12 miles of rocky singletrack descent!!! fantastic. colour country is good but the one that i think was called timberline was probably the best of the lift assisted trails. would recomend the resort to anyone.

  20. Who scratched the carbon in the first close-up shot of the head tube? Some hamfisted alley key usage?

  21. Internal cable routing is a bollocks-up waiting to happen. Not clever ….. at all.

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