TREK has expanded its FUEL EX range with a line of Plus bikes that sport new frames and the first METRIC SHOCK we’ve seen on a production bike.
Photos: Matt Delorme
The first thing you’ll notice is the new frame shape. Most strikingly, the curved downtube of the Fuel Ex has been straightened and the toptube has a slight hunchback, which Trek claims adds stiffness without extra weight, but it did cause a design problem.
The wider fork of the bike was hitting the downtube if the bars were turned too far. As a compromise, Trek has introduced Knock Block that combines spacers, a keyed headset top cover and a chip in the steerer tube to stop you turning the bars past a certain point. This protects the downtube in the event of a crash and even if it fails there’s a protective bumper to prevent too much damage.
The Fuel EX Plus frame will also get a boost of travel up to 130mm to be complemented by a 140mm fork (up from 120/120), to produce a bike that seems more focussed on fun than its skinny-wheeled, mile-munching predecessor. We were interested by the metric shock that has been fitted as we think it’s the first we’ve seen on a production bike. The shock is slightly longer than the one used on the current Fuel models at 210 x 52.5, whether it performs better is something we’ll be keen to find out as soon as possible.