I don’t like to say I told you so, but…
Trek have already started rolling out their 2018 Fuels, and it’s interesting to see what they’ve changed and compare this to the tweaks I’ve made to my bike.
They’ve switched the wheels to a wider set and added their excellent Team Issue XR4 tyres as standard, just like I did in 29er mode. More importantly, the problems I had with the rear suspension seem to have been sorted, with Trek ’fessing up to an issue with early-batch 2017 shocks, including mine.
While you still get the standardlayout Fox Re:aktiv damper on the 9.7, not Trek’s radical new ‘Thru Shaft’ design, it should now feel similarly great to my Mojo-fettled shock. The one fitted to the 2018 EX 8 we tested last issue certainly did.
The Fuel’s back end is still pretty mobile, because of the axleconcentric ‘ABP’ rear pivot and the ‘Full Floater’ design, which mounts the shock between the linkage and chainstay tips. While this easy movement looks inefficient, the Trek is actually really good at getting power down, particularly over rough ground, and it delivers good results on the climbs.
My only concern at the moment is the Kinesis Maxlight wheels, which are starting to make an ominous banging noise. Thankfully I’ve got some Halo Vapour 35s waiting in the wings. www.trekbikes.com