The premiere cross-country racing mountain bike in the Trek line up has been updated. The primary goals were to reduce weight and increase stiffness. These are conflicting goals that have to be attacked with better design and new technology. The end result is a frame that weighs 2027 grams or 4.46 lbs. This is a savings of 431 grams from the 2008 Trek Top Fuel.
Stiffness has been improved significantly as well. On the axle to axle torsional test, the 2009 Top Fuel scores 33% better stiffness than the 2008 model. In addition, a new seat mast design gives them an 11% improvement over the previous year.
How was all this accomplished? Well here are the key technologies:
- No Cut Seatmast – This is an integrated seatpost technology Trek has developed to achieve 100 grams of savings. Common in road bikes, Trek adapted it to fit the needs of mountain bikes where seatpost height adjustability is an option. Also, cutting the frame for fitting is avoided with this design. Two seatpost lengths are available, 185 mm and 245 mm and they fulfill the needs of about 90% of the users of regular seatposts.
- Net molded BB and head tube and pivots – This technology allows bearing sockets to be molded in the carbon fiber frame with extreme tolerances of +-.001 inches. Thus bearings can be dropped in with no threads or additional aluminum structures that add weight.
- BB90 Bottom Bracket – This allows the use of drop in bearings for less weight. Also, using a 2×9 crankset developed in collaboration with FSA, a very low Q-Factor is achieved. The Q-Factor is 10 mm narrower than the Shimano XTR setup
Other improvements to the 2009 bike are:
- Active Braking Pivot System (ABP) – a lighter ‘race’ version of this technology was developed for the Top Fuel. The result is a more active rear suspension during heavy braking.
- Travel increased to 100 mm – This is up 10 mm from the previous version.
- Full Floater + Custom Tuned Shock – The quality of travel is improved to be more usable with better small bump sensitivity and improved mid-stroke control.
- Carbon wheels – The 9.9 model is spec’ed with Bontrager XXX Carbon Wheels. The rims are carbon and weigh less than 330 grams each. They are tubeless compatible as well.
So there we have it. Trek has surprised as with a completely redesigned XC Race bike. The result is a sub 21 lb. full suspension bike (with Triple Ti Eggbeater pedals). Price is around $6500 for the top of the line 9.9 model.