New 2020 Trek Top Fuel Is As Much Trail Bike As Race Bike

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Trek Top Fuel 9.7
The new Trek Top Fuel 9.7

Trek has announced an update to its very popular XC bike, the Top Fuel, that takes it further into the realms of other fast trail/XC race/marathon bikes rather than it being a dedicated World Cup machine.

The new Trek Top Fuel is longer and slacker, with longer travel and room for bigger tyres. There’s even room for longer dropper posts and a flip/flop stem that instantly gives a more trail-ready riding position. All exciting stuff, so let’s dig deeper:

Trek Top Fuel 9.7 2020
The Team Issue 9.9. That makes it the Top Top Fuel, right?

Whereas previous Top Fuel models featured a 100mm fork and 100mm of rear travel, the new Top Fuel models have a longer 120mm fork and 115mm of rear travel. Reach has gone up by 5mm or so (a M/L is 461mm in ‘high’ and angles have been tweaked. The bike still features the Mino flip-chip adjustment for a lower/slacker ride or a higher/steeper setup, but angles overall have changed a fair amount, with the new slack/steep seat and head angles respectively now being: 75°/67.5° in ‘Low’ and 75.5°/68° in ‘High’.

As you might expect, the frame is 29in only and comes with a Twistloc dual remote lockout that locks front and rear shocks for sprinting and endless climbs. Each of the models in the new Top Fuel lineup features a wider handlebar and shorter stem and a size-specific dropper post. The smallest size (with a 39.4cm seat tube) gets a 100mm dropper, but the Medium and M/L sizes get a 150mm dropper, with the Large and XL sizes getting a full-on 170mm dropper post.

Trek Top Fuel 9.7 2020
The alloy frame-only version for you to build up as you like.
Trek Top Fuel 9.7 2020
And the OCLV carbon job in stealth steely grey

The bike will come in either (Trek’s Alpha) aluminium, or in OCLV carbon and in four complete build options or as a frame-only.
The complete Top Fuel 9.9, Top Fuel 9.8, and Top Fuel 9.7 and the carbon frameset feature full OCLV Mountain Carbon mainframes and rear triangles.

Trek Top Fuel 9.7 2020 spec sheet list

The geometry chart is below:

Trek Top Fuel 9.7 2020
This is one of the aluminium models. Neato paint, right?

And while the bike looks pretty mean and purposeful with its -13° stem, it can also be flipped up when you’re not wearing your race Lycra. This raises the bars by 47mm or so to give a much more upright and playful position. With the travel now at 120/115mm front and rear, it’s trying to show that it can also be a fun trail machine too. You can even fit 2.4in tyres…

 

Trek Top Fuel 9.9 2020
Opinion is divided on the colour of this Trek Top Fuel 9.9 but overall, we like it!

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Chipps

Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (5)

    My missus would have liked to upgrade her 2017 Top Fuel frame (15.5inch) eventually, but it seems they’ve dropped the 650b on smaller sizes.

    Don’t know why it was expected for them to be all 29″ wheels.

    If this is the next Top Fuel then what is Jolanda Neff riding at Nove Mesto this weekend? Top tube mounted shock, looks hella different to this model. Take a hard pass on 2020 model and hold out for 2021?

    Same thoughts as Treyster Trek seem to be saying this bike isn’t the latest before it gives it goes on sale

    Having been watching the XC, I’m wondering if the Top Fuel is the new Trail/Marathon bike, and the hidden-shock one is the new race 100mm bike?

    I doubt they’d go to the trouble of redesigning the bike for one year.

    Wonder what it will be called?

    The new one with the shock integrated into the top tube is 60mm of travel. I heard it might be called the Super Procaliber. looking forward to it.

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