Trek Fuel EXe : léger, silencieux et discret, le VTT électrique qui ressemble à un vélo classique

Trek Fuel EXe : léger, silencieux et discret, le VTT électrique qui ressemble à un vélo classique

The day is coming when you can go for a bike ride with your friends without them noticing that you are riding an electric one. Manufacturers have made great progress recently, and not in the area one might imagine. No, not batteries, which totally depends on the evolution of the sector (lithium-ion batteries are stabilizing in terms of energy density). But rather on the engine side. A sector in which the brains of engineers are about to explode, and they are giving great results. In application, in particular, in this new Trek Fuel Exe.

An electric bike, where?

The Trek Fuel EXe battery is removable© Trek

My colleagues at 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 a true technological revolution. Admit it, electric bikes are getting harder and harder to recognize, especially at the top end. Especially since traditional bikes are becoming more massive, with sometimes generous tube sections (in carbon as well as aluminum) to provide stiffness on certain axes.

Also read: Transition Relay: is the lightweight, modular electric bike the future?

But before starting the technical sheet of this novelty, a return to the profile of the VAE market today. We are talking here about athletes, not urban rear hub motors. Now there are two (or even three, for some, but let’s keep it simple…) very distinct categories: high power, with torques sometimes reaching 100 Nm. 22 to 25kg). 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 sobriety that allows to have more agile bicycles and closer to a classic frame without assistance.. This is precisely the niche of this Fuel Exe.

a small electric motor

Trek has partnered with German industrialist TQ, which specializes in electronics. What has given rise to a tiny 1850 gram engine, also capable of developing 50 Nm in a super compact format. The very design of the motor dramatically reduces friction and above all noise, the signature of electric bikes. In Fuel Exe, it’s almost non-existent. Disturbing!

To accompany this motor, a 360 Wh (removable) battery that can be associated with a “range extender”: an additional battery in the form of a container, which adds 160 Wh and which is easily connected to the frame. A system similar to that of Specialized. A capacity in any case quite sufficient to have fun without having an anvil between your legs: the high-end versions barely exceed 18 kg. The weight of a “muscular” downhill bike from yesterday! But more versatility, agility, balance and integration.

To finish with the technical part, mention the total integration of this Fuel Exe that includes a control screen on the top tube and a mini control on the handlebars to manage the assistance modes. Clearly, from afar, it will be very difficult to tell if it is an electric bike or not. Trek even went a step further by linking the SRAM AXS rear derailleur batteries to the bike’s main battery. In other words: there is no need to worry about recharging these little batteries. Simple, effective.

The price of the Trek Fuel EXe

You can imagine that with a technical sheet like this, this mountain bike is not cheap. The entry price is set at €6,499 with Rockshox damping and a Deore 12-speed drivetrain. It is expensive, very expensive for this level of range and components. Those who want more rigorous damping and wider settings (rebound, high and low speed rebound, etc.) should look for the higher levels. Starting at €7,999, you’ll be entitled to an XT drivetrain (the penultimate level at Shimano) and a Fox fork/shock combo. What’s next? €10,999 for SRAM GX with AXS (wireless transmission) technology and carbon wheel look, and even €14,999 for the top of the top, with SRAM XX1 AXS or Shimano XTR groupset, and AirWiz sensor in the shock for monitor pressure in real time. Crazy prices, but unfortunately we are starting to get used to it in the upper echelons of the little queen.

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