Few can argue that the 2010 Trek Top Fuel wasn’t already a potent XC race weapon. It is rare that a bike that is on the razor’s edge of speed, is also referred to as confidence inspiring. Clearly, the previous Top Fuel was a much loved bike with loads of technology so how do you make it better?
Trek’s slogan for their bike line is “Every Detail Matters,” which clearly shines through with the redesign of the Top Fuel. Everything from the lock outs, to carbon, to cable routing has been reviewed and adjustments were made where necessary.
The result? Simply one of the best full suspension race machines, just better.
Check out all the new additions after the break!
One of the biggest changes to the bike might go completely unnoticed unless you ride it. While Top Fuel Carbons stick with the made in Wisconsin OCLV carbon, they get Trek’s newest version of OCLV, OCLV Mountain. OCLV is Trek’s proprietary carbon manufacturing method which produces Optimum Compaction Low Void (no gaps or fillers in between layers of carbon). You can see up above just how clean a frame is produced both inside and out with their methods.
Why is OCLV Mountain so great? What’s your first response to a carbon mountain bike frame? It probably has something to do with what happens when a giant rock strikes your precious carbon frame on that next down hill. To address the issue Trek created an anvil strike test in which a triangular hammer slams down into a bike tube at roughly 38 miles per hour. When put to the test, both aluminum and standard carbon frames developed cracks that after further stress testing rendered the bikes unrideable. However, after impacting OCLV mountain, the bike was put through the very same stress tests and passed meaning OCLV mountain frames have a higher impact resistance than aluminum.
More big news for the Fuel’s suspension is the inclusion of remote lockouts for both front and rear shocks for all the carbon Top Fuels. This makes sense as it is first and foremost a race bike, and fumbling for your lockouts mid race can cost you some time. The 9.9 and 9.8 both have Fox F-100 suspension in the front and Fox RP-2’s in the rear, while the 9.7 is equipped with a Sid up front and a Fox RP-2 in the rear.
The Fox/Shimano lockout lever is a slim unit, almost like the flange on a bmx grip. The thumb lever is to lock it out while you can “bump” the release button with you’re index knuckle.
The rear lockout assembly consists of a cable anchored at the bottom of the shock can, that actuates a cam mechanism to lock and unlock the rear shock.
Up front is the nicely shielded entry point for the front lockout cable, in addition to the smart cable routing. The unique routing ensures two things, one that the cable stays off of the crown to prevent cable rub, but more importantly it provides a point of stress for the cable so crashes don’t rip the cable from the fork.
With even more cables than ever, special attention was paid to the cable routing of the new Top Fuel as well. When investigating internal cable routing, Trek’s engineers were concerned about noise of the cables inside the frame and the brake hose migrating. To take care of the brake hose issue, the “control” part of the Internal Control routing includes tiny clamps that hold the brake hose at both ends. The shift cable are all captured on the inside of the frame, which all adds up to an even more quiet set up than standard routing creating a stealth set up.
So why go to all this trouble, especially with the internally routed brake hose which means bleeding your brakes if you want to remove it from the bike? For starters, one of the most prevalent warranty claims Trek fields for their carbon bikes is from customers that have had their cables or brake hoses rub holes through the frame. Cable rub is a fact of mountain biking, and affects aluminum frames as well. The new set up guarantees that there will no longer be the chance for cables to rub through the frame. Also internal cables clearly shield the cables from the elements creating a lighter weight system than full housing, but with all the same benefits.
On the left side of the headtube in this picture are the front derailleur cable, the rear derailleur cable, and the rear lock out cable (the lockout is not just an add-on as they integrate it into the frame). The right side shows the brake hose routing with the two small allen bolts which clamp down on the brake hose keeping it from migrating inside the frame.
Underneath shows the tidy removable window which houses the rear derailleur cable and the rear brake hose. The bolt up front is to remove the window, and the two bolts below are to again pinch down on the brake hose. The whole thing remains sealed and clean.
The super clean front derailleur cable routing which pops out right under the integrated seat mast, directly into the cable stop. Notice how the cable stop is angles to provide better cable angle to the front derailleur, nice touch.
All of the Top Fuels Carbon bikes get the Shimano Dynasys 10 speed treatment with the 9.9 of course receiving the brand new XTR 2×10 Group. The 9.8 and 9.7 get Dynasys 3×10 groups with XT and SLX respectively.
Check out the current line of Trek mountain bikes on Trek’s website for more info.