The Trek Top Fuel was already a sorted package when it first came out at the end of last year, but it’s been updated to be even lighter and stiffer for 2011.
We first spotted the likely changes that Trek had planned for it’s top-level XC race bike when Levi Leipheimer rode a prototype to success in the legendary Leadville Trail 100 event a while back, but at Eurobike in Germany recently we got up close and personal.
I’ve a soft spot for the Trek Top Fuel. I raced one at the Absa Cape Epic stage race in South Africa earlier this year, and the bike was an absolute blast. Fast, supple and comfortable and a fantastic climber, it was perfect company for the demanding race. So I was looking forward to seeing what changes Trek had made.
The most notable change is a subtle one: all cables and rear brake hose are now routed internally which makes for a cleaner look and with no cable guides saves a bit of weight, as well as optimised routing for the cables.
Stiffness is an area of improvement too. The seemingly standard tapered headtube makes an appearance on the Top Fuel, with a 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in E2 tube. This has allowed the Trek designers to enlargen the downtube for added stiffness in the front triangle.
Trek has switched from the previous OCVL Red carbon for OCLV Mountain, which is said to be bare a small weight penalty but in return is tougher and should withstand rock impacts and such like. The chainstays and seatstays, last year made form aluminium, are now moulded in carbon fibre.
The rest of the bike remains as last year. A no-cut seatmast, Full Floater suspension platform with ABP Race axle and a one-piece magnesium EVO link, oversized replaceable bearing and Fox Float RP2 shock.