The day is approaching when you can go on bike rides with your friends without them noticing that you’re going electric. Manufacturers have made great strides lately, and not in the range one might imagine. No, not that of batteries, which depends entirely on progress in the industry (lithium-ion batteries are leveling off in energy density). But more on the engine side. An industry where engineers’ minds are boiling and delivering great results. Especially as applied to this brand new Trek Fuel Exe.
An e-bike, where?
My colleagues from Vojo Mag called it a (r)evolution. A perfect summary of what the Fuel Exe can be, which is both an evolution of Trek’s eMTB line and in the form of a true technological revolution. Granted, it’s getting harder and harder to spot e-bikes, especially at the high end. Especially as traditional bikes are getting heavier, with sometimes generous sections of tubing (in both carbon and aluminum) to provide rigidity on certain axles.
Also Read: Transition Relay: Is the Lightweight and Modular E-Bike the Future?
But before starting the technical sheet of this novelty, a return to the profile of the current UAE market. We’re talking athletes here, not rear hub motor city riders. There are now two (or even three, for some, but let’s keep it simple…) very different categories: high power, with torques sometimes going up to 100 Nm, 22 to 25 kg). And then this new line of VAE with less powerful motors (30 to 40 Nm) but also much lighter and more compact, accompanied by less generous batteries. A certain frugality that allows to have more agile bikes and come close to a classic frame without support. This is exactly the niche of this Fuel Exe.
A small electric motor
Trek has partnered with German industrial company TQ, which specializes in electronic products. Which has resulted in a tiny 1850 gram motor that can still develop 50 Nm in a super compact format. The design of the motor itself drastically reduces friction and especially noise, the hallmark of electric bikes. It’s almost non-existent on the Fuel Exe. Disturbing!
This motor fits a (removable) 360 Wh battery that can be connected to a “range extender”: an additional battery in the form of a container that adds 160 Wh and simply connects to the frame. A similar system to Specialized. A capacity that is definitely quite enough to have fun without having an anvil between your legs: the high-end versions are just over 18 kg. The weight of a “muscle” downhill bike from yesterday! But more versatility, agility, balance and integration.
To finish the technical part, we mention the full integration of this Fuel Exe, which includes a control screen in the top tube and a mini controller on the handlebar to manage the assistance modes. Of course, from a distance it is very difficult to tell whether it is an electric bike or not. Trek even went a step further and connected the batteries from the SRAM AXS rear derailleur to the main battery on the bike. In other words, you don’t have to worry about recharging those little batteries. Simple, effective.
The price of the Trek Fuel EXe
You can imagine that with a spec sheet like this, this mountain bike doesn’t come cheap. With Rockshox damping and Deore 12-speed transmission, the entry ticket costs 6,499 euros. It’s expensive, very expensive for this range and components. Those who want tighter damping and more adjustments (rebound, low and high speed rebound, etc.) should look at the higher levels. From € 7,999 there is an XT shifter (the penultimate level at Shimano) and a Fox fork/shock absorber combination. The following ? €10,999 for the SRAM GX with AXS technology (wireless transmission) and the look of carbon wheels, and even €14,999 for the Top of the Top with the SRAM XX1 AXS or Shimano XTR groupset and the AirWiz sensor in the shock absorber to control the pressure Real time. Crazy prices, but unfortunately we’re getting used to it in the upper tiers of the little queen.