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  • Trek Fuel EXe reviewed (finally)
  • Mark
    Full Member

    The new Trek Fuel EXe is an important bike. It’s attracting a lot of attention from the e-curious who don’t think much of the current e-bike offering …

    By mark

    Get the full story on our front page at:

    Trek Fuel EXe reviewed (finally)

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    overend
    Full Member

    Great technical summary and introduction – but should I buy one. Or rather what rider / riding would I be to go for a great half day ride?

    overend
    Full Member

    Soz, that was supposed to say half fat ride….thanks again 👍

    julians
    Free Member

    I bought the 9.5 version (and upgraded a few bits) , and posted some thoughts here

    New (e)bike day – Trek fuel exe 9.5

    Not quite sure what you mean by this bit

    There isn’t a visual display confirmation of the assistance level you’re getting either (a la Shimano or Bosch displays).

    There is a permanent part of the display showing what assistance mode you are in , plus you can switch to a screen that shows what power you are generating and what power the motor is generating.

    julians
    Free Member

    Or rather what rider / riding would I be to go for a great half day ride?

    I would say that if you find on a full fat ebike you’re usually coming back from a ride with 25-50% battery remaining , or you think that you dont get enough of a workout on a full fat bike, then something like this bike could be for you.

    or if you do quite a lot of lifting the bike over stiles & gates, or possibly a lot of hike a bike , or you prioritise downhill handling and playfullness over the ability to fly uphill – but not so much of a priority that you’ll stick with a bike with no motor…

    I get that some of the above is quite hard to determine, if you havent actually ridden a full fat bike for a while in the first place.

    I think a full fat bike will please more people more of the time, but in an ideal world you’d have a full fat and a lightweight ebike (along with a normal bike or two;-) )

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    but it’s the weight that is the

    Birrova typo?

    overend
    Full Member

    Thanks for that – helpful 😊

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    I had a think about this in it’s cheapest spec, but in the end went for the alloy Rise- it’s 540Wh battery, coupled with the Trek price increase, simply made the Trek less attractive.

    Further to that, I like my bikes to feel individual- my uplift bike doesn’t have much overlap with my 29+ which is substantially different to the gravel bike. I’d like my e-bike to still feel like an e-bike.

    towzer
    Full Member

    Maybe one day I’ll read a review on a bike with a new motor where somebody provides info about out of warranty motor support, clarifies if the motor is rebuildable, if motor spares are available, if there is a uk motor repair centre, if they’re going to partner with an existing uk repairer etc etc, even how much a new motor costs, and how (*if required) any manufacturer/bike model specific settings get applied to the motor.

    As an xc map explorer who prefers long term ownership I was really interested in this bike – lighter (so easier over fences/stiles etc), removable battery (charging at hotel/b&b), large brand so hopefully spares available but I’ve not managed to get any info on how out of warranty support will go so going to sit on the fence till that gets clarified or something else similar comes along.

    stanley
    Full Member

    Similar to Vinnyeh, I looked at these Treks but decided to go with a base model Hydro Rise (540wh battery and under £4k).
    I was put off by reports of early motor failures on the Trek, but also by the smaller battery (That put me off the carbon Rises too). I don’t want a lot of assistance, but I do want to ride a long way.

    Lighter is always nicer imho, but the Trek is really only slightly lighter because of that new (and unproved) motor. And if you are going to save a bit of weight, the bottom bracket area is the last place to save it from: weight here doesn’t make much difference, and it’s where durability is needed most.
    The Trek keeps the rest of the weight down through having a small battery and a £14k price tag!

    Sounds like it pedals nicely, but so does the RS motor.
    A £5k Trek EXe with a 500+Wh battery, option of range extender and solid warranty support would be more attractive 🙂

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @towzer

    Those are really good points and ones which I intend to address in a series of online articles in this fine publication when I do a long term test on the Pivot Shuttle SL. Range, repairability, support post warranty, cost to fix, suitability for big mountain adventures, how it handles, fun – all matter to me. I’ve held off on buying one as the technology is advancing so quickly. I suspect that the technology from bikes like the Trek will filter down to a much more affordable price level. For me, full fat e bikes are generally just too darn heavy for the riding I do.

    There is also a feature in the next issue where Mark, Nick Craig and I rode High Street and Skiddaw as a day ride where Nick and I were on normal bikes and Mark on a Levo SL.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    iainc
    Full Member

    ^^^ that will be an interesting read Sanny 👍. I love my Levo SL but reckon if I tried the Trek I’d be hankering after one !

    endoverend
    Full Member

    £14k…ha, ha, ha. Perfectly suited to the new economic climate. How many 1%ers are keen mtb’ers I wonder. Plus that guy up thread with half my username, are you my brother from another mother?

    towzer
    Full Member

    Ianc and Sanny, we’ll anybody really

    See also the haibike Lyke – lower weight e, with removable battery
    – fazua 60, more power and battery
    – *seems** to have better range
    – seems to be cheaper
    – probs?
    Well motor as my post above
    Cables thru headset, but this seems to be getting more common
    Frame Plug hole appears to be in a ‘well’ at the bottom of the frame – ? Water ingress
    Weird air hole above motor on frame tube up to seatpost – ? Mud/water ingress onto motor

    julians
    Free Member

    Those haibike Lykes are a bit 2018 in their geo, long seat tube for any given size,relatively short reach,longish chainstay, but they look decent value if the geo suits what you want.

    They’re also using very lightweight tyres on them to hit those headline weight numbers.

    The focus jam2 sl looks really good though, fazua 60 motor, decent geo, decent value etc. But they have takenthe bizarre decision to not put a charging port in the frame , meaning that you have to remove the battery from the frame in order to charge it.

    doomanic
    Full Member

    Maybe one day I’ll read a review on a bike with a new motor where somebody provides info about out of warranty motor support

    It’s brand new so far too soon to know anything about out of warranty support. I also think it’s unreasonable to be quizzing a magazine that gets or loses the chance to test new bikes on the whim of the manufacturers.

    nickc
    Full Member

    I know it’s “not about the price” but honestly, how is that bike £14 grand, really?

    doomanic
    Full Member

    There’s more than a few bikes out there that don’t have motors, or even suspension in some cases, that cost the same. It’s absolutely ridiculous, regardless of the economic climate, but as long as the bikes sell the manufacturers will keep on making them.

    iainc
    Full Member

    It is crazy pricey though. I have a 2020 Levo SL carbon expert. It now has XT four pots, a Fox 36, AXS shifting and dropper and all in, allowing for selling the bits I upgraded, was around 10k…

    johnnystorm
    Full Member

    Yeah, it is a daft price but you aren’t supposed to buy it. It’s like an S Works Levo. Twice the price of a normal one just to act as a halo and attract attention.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Tell that to what must be dozens of folk I’ve seen riding sworks and plenty other 5 figure ebikes in the wild. Not just ‘1%ers’ buying them either.

    doncorleoni
    Free Member

    Can’t wait for a year or two when all these pop up on the second hand market so I might have a chance of actually affording one 🙂

    Crazy how many <1 year old e-bikes on pinkbike and other FB sites etc. With very few miles are popping up now (mind you might be out of the lockdown impulse purchase period so maybe not)

    Trek have opened a store really near me and they offer transferable warranty to subsequent owners (as long as bike is registered) and I also have a spesh turbo store also local so for me I would only consider either of these two brands currently as for such an expensive purchase I would want to be able to take it back to a real shop.

    johnnystorm
    Full Member

    @tomhoward

    Oh well, in that case the price still isn’t crazy then as they seem to fly off the shelf into normal punter’s hands.

    julians
    Free Member

    Interest free credit,init

    ampthill
    Full Member

    I think an article on warranties and future support is vital.

    I’ll be on an e-bike at some point. I don’t need something for nothing or a warranty that covers crashes. But I’ll need to know I can keep the thing running. A fixed cost motor exchange program. Send in you motor and get back a used rebuild for £500 available for say 8 years from purchase

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Oh well, in that case the price still isn’t crazy then as they seem to fly off the shelf into normal punter’s hands.

    Without wishing to be rude, just because you can’t afford it or, rather, you have other things you’d rather spend your money on, doesn’t make a price crazy. The average price of a new car in the UK is £42k. I would never spend that on a car (well, I would, but I can’t afford it now and am unlikely every to be able to. Plus I can’t drive.), but I’m not gonna call anyone that would crazy.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    Without wishing to be rude, just because you can’t afford it or, rather, you have other things you’d rather spend your money on, doesn’t make a price crazy. The average price of a new car in the UK is £42k. I would never spend that on a car (well, I would, but I can’t afford it now and am unlikely every to be able to), but I’m not gonna call anyone that would crazy.

    +1 and have you seen how much ordinary folk spend on phones/contracts, watches, holiday to Disney etc etc

    julians
    Free Member

    Without wishing to be rude, just because you can’t afford it or, rather, you have other things you’d rather spend your money on, doesn’t make a price crazy. The average price of a new car in the UK is £42k. I would never spend that on a car (well, I would, but I can’t afford it now and am unlikely every to be able to. Plus I can’t drive.), but I’m not gonna call anyone that would crazy.

    The prices are a bit crazy though,when you can buy the bottom of the range version of the bike, then buy all the other bits at full RRP, fit them to the bottom of the range version that you just bought and have the exact same bike for several grand less than buying the ‘official’ version

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Without wishing to be rude, just because you can’t afford it or, rather, you have other things you’d rather spend your money on, doesn’t make a price crazy.

    Agreed, however the price is crazy. Objectively speaking it is nuts.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    The average price of a new car in the UK is £42k

    Wow! That’s proper bonkers

    You sure?

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    You sure?

    that was the figure quoted on top gear last week, so as sure as that.

    The prices are a bit crazy though,when you can buy the bottom of the range version of the bike, then buy all the other bits at full RRP, fit them to the bottom of the range version that you just bought and have the exact same bike for several grand less than buying the ‘official’ version

    Is that from the same shop, or does that take some savvy shopping around, finding stock, navigating possible compatibility pitfalls etc. not everyone has the time for that. Hell, my last couple of bike builds took between 6 & 12 months just assembling the parts, two year wait for brakes not included so if I were as minted as some of you think I am, an extra few quid just to have everything I ultimately want, right from the off would be a price worth paying. But I’m not, so it isn’t. It may be to others.

    Pricing it so not enough folk would buy it is crazy.

    doncorleoni
    Free Member

    I don’t know… When you can get one of these for the same price… Seems crazy to me!

    https://www.ducati.com/gb/en/bikes/monster/monster-sp

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Or a Rolex with the Dominos pizza logo on it.

    Different people have different priorities.

    doncorleoni
    Free Member

    Very true Tom. That watch is hideous! Preowned too. Different strokes for different folks.

    julians
    Free Member

    Is that from the same shop, or does that take some savvy shopping around

    No need to seek bargains,just pay full retail pricing and you still save a truckload over buying the top end bike.

    Each to their own though, they obviously do sell the top end versions or they wouldn’t make them.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    No need to seek bargains,just pay full retail pricing and you still save a truckload over buying the top end bike.

    I did edit to say just finding stock, which has been a challenge of the past few years. So a whole top end bike with top end parts (not just what you can get hold of) is more of a commodity.

    johnnystorm
    Full Member

    @tomhoward

    Reading my post back again I can see that my wording comes across as being sarcastic when that wasn’t what I intended.

    If indeed every other bike out there is a range topper then I’m wrong and so is anyone who says it’s crazy because people are buying them!

    b33k34
    Full Member

    I appreciate that the whole battery capacity versus system weight is something of a vicious circle. Would adding one or two kilograms to the bike’s weight significantly impair the bike’s handling? Maybe it would. You do have to draw the line somewhere and it can’t have been an easy or quick decision made by the Trek team.

    I think personal preferences come into play a great deal here too. I am a bit of a Boost* fan. I can’t help it. I don’t have the discipline to stay in Eco or Trail modes. With a different rider on board, one who switches to Eco for flat road linking sections, and keeps it in Trail for pretty much everything else

    I think a lot of people reviewing bikes like this or the Rise, coming from full power e-bikes, kind of miss the point. I’m guessing it probably gets a very similar range to an Orbea Rise if you don’t thrash it in Boost. That equates to about 1400m climbing (+/- 200m) which is a good chunk more than most people would ride on an unpowered bike on a full day out. For really big days add the 252wh range extender and you’re well over 2000m at which point you’re going to be exhausted anyway. (This might be where Trek *have* missed a trick – their range extender looks expensive and undersized at 150wh). So you only carry the extra weight when you plan to use it.

    What these bikes are *less* suited for is shuttling up a fire road to ride downhill runs or chasing people on full-fat e-bikes. That’s when the temptation comes to whack it in boost to keep up and you rinse the battery. But I think they’re a lot more ‘bike like’ and a lot more fun to ride the rest of the time.

    julians
    Free Member

    This might be where Trek *have* missed a trick – their range extender looks expensive and undersized at 150wh

    its actually 160wh, but your point still stands. I suspect there will be a larger range extender in the works. The Trek rationale for this says that the range extender has been sized at 160wh because that is the max size that is allowed in aeroplanes, so you can take your bike abroad, leaving the main battery at home of course, and still get some assisted riding in.

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    its actually 160wh, but your point still stands. I suspect there will be a larger range extender in the works. The Trek rationale for this says that the range extender has been sized at 160wh because that is the max size that is allowed in aeroplanes, so you can take your bike abroad, leaving the main battery at home of course, and still get some assisted riding in.

    a modular battery would be a great idea- 2, even 3 160wh batteries that could be connected in parallel, clipped together like lego, and separated for air flight

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