You may have seen the new e-bike from Trek launch this week. It’s called the Trek Fuel EXe and it’s a Very Interesting Bike. We’d go as far to say that it’s probably going to be the most significant bike launched this decade.
We’ll explain why shortly. In the meantime, a quick 101 about what the Trek Fuel EXe actually is.
The headline news is that it only weighs around 18kg (40lbs) but still gives out 50Nm of pedal assist power. And it gives out this power by a new-to-MTB player in the motor scene, called TQ.
The bike itself is a 140mm rear travel trail bike with 150mm forks up front.
For those of you not yet au fait with Nm, the Fuel EXe’s top power level of 50Nm is pretty much like a full-power e-bike’s middle assist setting.
You can think of the Fuel EXe as a regular e-bike that’s had its Boost/Turbo mode removed.
You can also think of it as a regular e-bike that’s had its half its battery lopped off. The battery is 360Wh, which is around half the capacity of modern e-MTBs that come with 720-750Wh capacity.
The TQ drive unit is significantly more compact than other motors too. The claimed weight of it is 1.85kg. Regardless of its weight, it’s clearly really flipping small. This has allowed Trek to make the back end of the bike (chainstays in other words) very normal, at 440mm in length.
You can pop to Trek’s website to read all the detail you want. We’re here to discuss what this bike means for the bigger picture.
Here’s why we think the Trek Fuel EXe is most important bike of the decade…
1. It looks like a normal bike
Not only that. It looks like a really nice normal bike. There is no aesthetic reason to dislike this bike.
2. It sounds like a normal bike
Okay, so the bike is technically not silent in its motor operation but away from tarmac you’d be hard-pressed to actually hear the motor above the general noise of offroad riding alongness.
3. It’s not too heavy
From a practical point of view (putting on a car roof rack, lifting it over gates) through to a bike handling point of view, 18kg is perfectly acceptable.
4. It’s designed for normal riding
It’s just a trail bike. Not a self-shuttler. Not a SUV MTB. Not an underpowered restricted diet e-MTB. It’s arguably even a trail bike that can be ridden amongst normal non e-bikes.
5. It’s from a big brand
Orbea must be looking at all the fuss about the Trek Fuel EXe and scratching their head a bit. Isn’t it pretty much just like an Orbea Rise? In all kinds of ways, yes it is. But not in one crucial regard: Trek is one of the biggest bike brands in the world. And this bike is very much a shot across Specialized’s bows. The ball in now in Specialized’s court. What direction that brand decides to do with its SL range of e-MTBs is going to be what everyone has their eye on now.
All of the above reasons mean one thing. The Trek Fuel EXe is going to be a whole lot of people’s First Ever E-Bike. And people generally don’t go back to non-assisted once they’ve had an a-bike as their main bike.
The Trek Fuel EXe is the bike (e or otherwise) that plenty of people have been waiting to see. Aside from the price, the Fuel EXe removes the final few issues that the e-curious crowd had.
What about you? Do you want one?