Trek Procaliber SL, Top Fuel and Fuel EX 29 revamped

Significant changes made to line-up of cross-country race bikes

27.5 29er All Mountain Trail Cross Country
Smoke rises as the new Trek models come down from the skies. Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Smoke rises as the new Trek models come down from the skies (click to enlarge). Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Editor’s Note: Mtbr was invited to the launch of the new Procaliber SL, Top Fuel and Fuel EX 29 in Zeist, the Netherlands. This is a relay of what we’ve learned, talking to the Trek product managers. We got to ride two of the bikes (Procaliber SL and Top Fuel) during a four-hour test session and we’re able to give first impressions. As we get the bikes in for longer term tests, we’ll provide a more detailed view.

On a very sunny afternoon Trek presented three new mountain bike models at an exclusive location in the Netherlands – the castle of Zeist was used for the venue of the presentation of the new Procaliber SL, Top Fuel and Fuel EX 29 cross-country bikes.

Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL whole bike. Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL (click to enlarge). Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Trek Procaliber SL

According to Trek, the new Procaliber SL is the fastest, most supple and smartest hardtail on the planet. For cross country racing, you expect a hardtail to have a maximum of stiffness and efficiency. The big innovation came from the road bikes: The new Procaliber SL has been equipped with the IsoSpeed decoupler. This way, the seat tube can move independently of the connection between the seatstay and the top tube. The flexibility increases, but only on a vertical plane, so there’s almost no extra weight or loss of pedal efficiency. Specially for mountain bike use, the pivot point is in front of the seat tube, so there’s the possibility to mount a dropper post. When the rider is seated on the saddle, pedaling is more supple because the IsoSpeed decoupler gobbles up the small bumps.

Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL whole bike. Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL (click to enlarge). Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Trek Top Fuel

After almost a decade of success in the World Cup races, the 100mm Top Fuel makes a glorious comeback with a series of race worthy updates.

The new Top Fuel will replace the Superfly SL as a more multi-purpose race bike. By using the Full Floater suspension system, the suspension curve has been optimized to have a better performance walking through the suspension travel and in a great number of different kinds of terrain. The one piece EVO Link takes care of some extra frame stiffness.

Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL DT Swiss Boost 148 rear hub. Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL DT Swiss Boost 148 rear hub (click to enlarge). Photo by Jeroen Tiggelman

Common features of the Procaliber SL and the Top Fuel
  • All wheels have Boost 110/148 hubs
  • Smart wheel size (the smallest frame sizes have 27.5” wheels and the larger sizes automatically have 29” wheels – Trek uses the principle “use the largest wheel that fits”
  • Mino Link adjustable geometry (Top Fuel – now there’s adjustable geometry from the most extreme downhill model to the full suspension cross country models)
  • Control Freak cable management system, which integrates all cables inside the frame and which locks the cables on the entrance and exit ports, but also has a fixation in the middle of the down tube (the holes are quite tight and almost no water should be passing through). No rattles heard during the test rides.
  • Optionally, there’s a Project One version for the ultimate customization.
Continue to page 2 to learn more about the new Fuel EX 29, first riding impressions and a full photo gallery »
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About the author: Jeroen Tiggelman

Jeroen is a contributor based in Belgium. He is expert in the field of photography and a fan of local beer.


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  • Olivier says:

    Great to see you folks from mtbr were here in the Netherlands! I was not aware of this event or I would have loved to attend. I live nearby and am happy that these trails have now gotten some international attention!

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