Trek Fuel EX 27.5 Plus joins wide wheel fray

Popular trail bike gets longer, slacker and gains gobs of traction

27.5 Plus
According to Francis, the new bike rides amazing. Stay tuned for his ride report after he’s smashed out a few more laps.

According to Mtbr founder Francis Cebedo, the new bike rides amazing. Stay tuned for his ride report after he’s smashed out a few more laps (click to enlarge).

We just received a new Fuel EX in for review, so stay tuned for a full length debriefing on tech and ride handling. Until then, check out this FAQ from Trek.

Why 27.5×2.8?
We tested every rim and tire combo out there and found that 27.5×2.8” tires on 40mm rims gave us that extra traction and stability we wanted, but also kept the weight and rolling resistance low enough to maintain nimble handling and good acceleration.

Will standard 29” wheels fit? What about standard 27.5 wheels?
The frame will accept standard 29er wheels, which will raise the BB slightly. We don’t recommend running standard or smaller 27.5 tires, as that would lower the BB too much, and the handling will suffer.

What is the max tire size?
27.5×2.8” or 29×2.4”.

Will there be any new Fuel EX’s spec’d with 29” wheels?
Not at this time.

What is new with the suspension?
We still use our standard suspension design with ABP, Full Floater, EVO Link, and RE:aktiv, but we’ve refined the system in two ways. We’ve adjusted the leverage ratio to optimize the performance of the larger negative air springs on the new Fox EVOL and RockShox DebonAir shocks without having to resort to higher-than-ideal air pressures.

We also went to a slightly longer metric-sized shock. This allows for better compatibility and it also gives us a more space for the shock’s internals for optimized performance in a more svelte package.

What’s new on the frame?
The geometry gets lower and slacker for better stability at high speeds and on steep terrain. We’ve also straightened the down tube and eliminated the curve behind the head tube to gain stiffness without adding weight. This frame is boasting an added level of frame protection with our Knock Block steerer stop, which protects the down tube from fork crown impacts and the top tube from handlebar controls. While our Control Freak internal routing system isn’t new on the carbon frame, we have added this slick feature to the alloy models as well.

What is the head angle? Chainstay length?
Low Mino Link position: 66.6. High Mino Link position: 67.2. Chainstay length: 433mm

Does the fork feature G2 Geometry?
Yes. Since the overall diameter of a 27.5×3.8” tire is close to that of a 29er, this platform benefits from the quick slow-speed handling and stable high-speed handling offered by G2 Geometry.

Is there a recommended starting tire pressure?
As always, the ideal tire pressure depends on many factors such as rider weight, riding style, and terrain. However, these higher-volume plus tires will perform best at lower pressures than a standard mountain bike tire. For most riders, the ideal tire pressure will be between 13-18 psi. Keep in mind that even a half psi can make a big difference in finding the sweet spot between traction and sidewall stability.

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