2022 Trek Top Fuel Review | All-new frame & geometry, with a whole new attitude

The not-so-minor details, 2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt.


- Brilliant trail-ripping geometry - Active and supportive suspension - Masses of cornering grip & stability - Refined and practical frame design - Downtube storage is a welcome addition

- Dropper post is sluggish - Wheels are solid but quite heavy - Carbon bars are harsh - Heavier than many of its competitors

Flow reviews the 2022 Trek Top Fuel

The Trek Top Fuel has long been known as the American brand’s flagship full suspension XC race bike, purpose-built to to compete at the very highest level of the sport. In more recent years however, the Top Fuel has steered in a different direction. With the short-travel Supercaliber taking over duties for World Cup XCO racing, Trek has softened the Top Fuel’s serious, race-focused persona, adding travel and bulking it up in the process.

For 2022, the Trek Top Fuel makes its biggest move away from its XC racing roots. Equipped with a brand new frame, an updated suspension design and some thoroughly modern geometry, the Top Fuel aims to retain the pert pedalling performance of its predecessor while significantly boosting its all-round capability. So, has Trek succeeded?

Watch our video review of the new Trek Top Fuel here:

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Along with the active ABP suspension design and chunky tyres, there’s an exceptional amount of grip and support on offer for a 120mm travel bike.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Trek Top Fuel overview

Despite being all-new, the Trek Top Fuel retains its position in between the Supercaliber (the 60mm travel XC race bike) and the Fuel EX (the 130mm travel trail bike).

It’s equipped with a 120mm travel fork just like its predecessor, but rear travel has actually lifted by 5mm up to 120mm. This increase has been achieved with a longer stroke shock (50mm vs 45mm), and Trek has also flipped the orientation of the trunnion-mount. The rocker link now drives the shock via two sealed cartridge bearings to improve sensitivity.

You’ll no longer find a dual remote lockout on the Top Fuel, which leads to a vastly cleaner bike with fewer cables occupying your view from the cockpit. Along with the bigger shock, slacker geometry and 2.4in wide tyres, it is without doubt the most trail-oriented Top Fuel we’ve seen yet.

To put it into context, that sees it move away from the likes of the Orbea Oiz TR and the Canyon Lux Trail , and more towards the direction of the Santa Cruz Tallboy and Pivot Trail 429 .

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

A new, burlier chassis

Though it looks pretty similar, the Trek Top Fuel frame is all-new for 2022. It’s not so much a radical overhaul, but rather a collection of many small refinements that add up to a more practical package.

The chassis is notably beefier than its predecessor, with the seat tube diameter swelling to the new-school 34.9mm size. As well as increasing frame stiffness, the fatter seat tube is also shorter, allowing it to swallow a modern long-stroke dropper post.

The downtube is also larger, and it now features the integrated storage design we’ve seen employed on the latest Fuel EX and Slash. A latch underneath the bottle cage removes the trap door, providing you access within. A neat tool roll is included with the bike so you can carry a spare tube, levers and CO2. You could also fit a lightweight jacket in there along with some snacks.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Trek has updated the Knock Block headset, increasing the available turning radius from 58° to 72°. This provides you with greater freedom of movement on the trail, but still prevents the handlebar controls from smashing into the top tube. If you’re not into it though, the Knock Block is removable.

Also nice to see is a threaded bottom bracket shell for ease of maintenance, and the rear ABP pivot can now be tightened with a cassette tool. Also new for the Top Fuel is guided internal cable routing – poke the cable in at one end, and it’ll pop out the other, no fishing required.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt rockshox sid select+

Trail-leaning geometry

The 2022 Trek Top Fuel has received a series of geometry updates over the outgoing model, bringing it up to speed with other boundary-pushers in this travel bracket. Here are the key numbers;

  • Head tube angle: 66°
  • Seat tube angle: 76°
  • Reach: 420mm (S), 450mm (M), 465mm (M/L), 480mm (L), 500mm (XL)
  • Rear centre length: 435mm
  • BB drop: 36mm

Compared to the old Top Fuel, the head angle has kicked back by 1.5-degrees and the reach measurements have gone up by 10mm. The seat tube angle has also steepened by 1-degree to improve the climbing position, while the chainstay length and BB drop remain the same.

The Top Fuel still features a Mino Link, but it’s now located at the lower shock eyelet. Bikes will come setup from the factory in the Low position. Flipping that into High will lift the BB height by 7mm and steepen the angles by 0.4°.

You can get even rowdier by fitting a 130mm travel fork, which will kick the head angle back to a very-slack 65.6° in the Low position. And for those wanting to push the needle further, there’s clearance to run 2.5in tyres.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Trek Top Fuel price & specs

We’ll see four Trek Top Fuel models coming into Australia this year – two with alloy frames and two with carbon. All Top Fuel models feature the same geometry, suspension design and travel. They’re all equipped with 29in wheels, and there are five frame sizes available from Small through to X-Large (the XS size with 27.5in wheels won’t be available in Australia).

Pricing kicks off at $3,499 AUD for the Top Fuel 5 and goes up to $8,299 AUD for the Top Fuel 9.8 XT that we have on test here. Additionally, Trek will offer a 9.9 spec via the Project One bike builder program.

You can check out the specs and prices for all those models down at the bottom of the page. Right now we’ll be diving straight into our experience of testing this bike here; the Top Fuel 9.8 XT.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

  • Frame | OCLV Mountain Carbon Fibre, ABP Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox SID Select+, Charger 2 RL Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | RockShox Deluxe Ultimate RCT, 185x50mm
  • Wheels | Bontrager Line Elite 30, OCLV Carbon Rims, 29mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Bontrager XR4 Team Issue 2.4in Front & Rear
  • Drivetrain | Shimano XT 1×12 w/XT 30T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XT 4-Piston w/Ice Tech Rotors
  • Bar | Bontrager Line Pro, OCLV Carbon, 27.5mm Rise, Width: 750mm (S), 780mm (M-XL)
  • Stem | Bontrager Line Pro, 45mm Length
  • Seatpost | Bontrager Line Elite Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (S), 150mm (M-M/L), 170mm (L), 200mm (XL)
  • Saddle | Bontrager Arvada, Austentite Rails
  • Confirmed Weight | 12.88kg (Large, Tubeless)
  • RRP | $8,299 AUD

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

This differs from some other brands that utilise a single frame, and simply up-fork and up-shock it to create a slightly longer travel bike (like the Specialized Epic EVO and Orbea Oiz TR). The Top Fuel is not one of those bikes.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt ben

Trek Top Fuel sizing & fit

We put the new Trek Top Fuel into the hands of our tester Ben, who owns the current Top Fuel and has also spent considerable time on the Fuel EX. At 181cm tall, Ben’s been riding a size Large across all three bikes.

The Top Fuel is well-proportioned out of the box. The 480mm reach is very long, but it’s balanced nicely with a 50mm stem and the 76° seat tube angle. The Bontrager saddle is totally inoffensive, and we haven’t needed to shunt it into an extreme position just to get it comfortable.

The 760mm wide riser bars are a great match for this bike, and while it may not be totally necessary for all riders, the 170mm stroke dropper post is fashionably long for such a short travel bike.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Suspension & tyre setup

With the anodised sag gradients on the fork and shock, suspension setup is made easy. Weighing 80kg loaded up, Ben’s been running 180psi in the rear shock (26% sag) 80psi in the fork (20% sag).

The factory rebound tune for both the RockShox SID fork and Deluxe shock is quite light, so each rebound dial was set a couple of clicks slower than halfway.

Tubeless rim strips and valves come pre-fitted to the Bontrager wheels, and Trek kindly includes two bottles of sealant with the bike, making tubeless setup the breeze it should be. Pressures were set at 20psi on the front and 22psi on the rear.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Trek Top Fuel weight

Given its swollen proportions, the new Trek Top Fuel has gotten heavier. With the tyres setup tubeless, our test bike came in at 12.88kg without pedals. To put that number into perspective, here’s how it compares to some similarly-priced XC and Trail bikes we’ve recently tested;

  • Canyon Lux Trail CF 9 – 11.22kg
  • Merida Ninety-Six 8000 – 11.63kg
  • Scott Spark 910 – 12.43kg
  • Specialized Stumpjumper Pro – 12.84kg
  • Trek Top Fuel 9.8 XT – 12.88kg
  • Giant Trance Advamced Pro 29 1 – 13.38kg

trek top fuel 2022 9.8 xt

Trek claims a carbon Top Fuel frame weighs 2.7kg including the rear shock, which puts it on the heavier side of things for a 120mm travel bike. The alloy frame is purportedly a whole kilo heavier again, with a claimed weight of 3.74kg.

The Top Fuel’s rolling stock is also a significant contributor to its overall mass. The Bontrager Line Elite wheels are heavy at 2,071g for the pair (with tubeless strips and valves). Incidentally, these are exactly the same wheels that came on the Slash 9.9 X01 , which is a full-bore enduro race bike.

Trek has also plumped up the rubber. The previous Top Fuel featured semi-slick XR3 tyres, but the new bike is now spec’d with 2.4in wide XR4 Team Issue tyres. They’re not overly heavy at around 800g each, though they do offer significantly better grip across a broader range of conditions.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

What does the Trek Top Fuel do well?

From the very first ride the new Trek Top Fuel proved to be easy to get used to, with no quirks to the fit, handling or suspension.

The proportions are significantly broader compared to the outgoing Top Fuel, with the front wheel sticking out much further ahead of the rider. Despite the long reach however, the effective top tube length is basically identical to its predecessor, so the overall cockpit length remains the same.

The steeper seat angle is noticeable though, providing an improved climbing position with your hips placed further over the bottom bracket. As a result, less bum-shuffling is required on stem-chewing ascents.

Pedalling performance is also superb. Despite its burlier exterior, Trek is still prioritising pedal efficiency with the Top Fuel, with the main pivot positioned high and quite far forward of the bottom bracket. Anti-squat is claimed to hover around the 100% mark, and indeed the rear suspension clenches tightly under chain torque, propelling the whole bike forward with minimal energy loss.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Active suspension performance

Despite the trunnion bearing mount and the longer shock stroke, the rear suspension doesn’t feel radically plusher than its predecessor, which already offered great performance. It is noticeably more supportive though, particularly when absorbing square-edge hits at speed, and when returning to earth after boosting off a lip on the trail.

It’s worth noting here that many bikes in the 100-130mm travel bracket make use of a carbon flex-stay design, including the Canyon Lux Trail, Merida Ninety-Six, and Specialized Stumpjumper. As well as being simpler, flex-stay designs are typically lighter too.

canyon lux trail cf 9

In comparison, the Top Fuel sticks with a genuine four-bar platform based around the ABP suspension design. Trek claims the ABP pivot helps to isolate braking forces from the suspension, and indeed it does result in less skipping and skidding when you’re on the brakes on loose, rocky descents.

With all the pivot points rolling on steel ball bearings, the suspension is more active and possesses a more consistent feel to both compression and rebound damping when compared to a flex-stay design. Yes it’s heavier, but the Top Fuel offers notably more active suspension performance, with excellent traction on loose climbs and better reactivity across chattery rock gardens. It’s very impressive for a 120mm travel bike.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Look out Fuel EX!

The geometry is also brilliant, and the handling really sets it apart from the outgoing Top Fuel.

Cornering performance has improved, with more grip courtesy of the longer front end and those XR4 tyres. These are great all-rounders, with a supple casing and surprisingly decent rolling speed given their size and tread pattern.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

The new Top Fuel is also much more composed on rough and fast descents. Thanks to the longer reach and slacker head angle, the overall wheelbase length has grown by almost 40mm. That’s huge, and it offers a vastly more planted feel at speed. Along with the big tyres and active suspension, this really is a solid little trail bike.

In fact, the geometry updates kind of make the Fuel EX look a little outdated. The two bikes now share the same head angle, and the Top Fuel has a 10mm longer reach and a steeper seat angle. The front end is quite a bit higher on the Fuel EX though, and that does inspire more confidence on really steep descents.

As mentioned earlier though, it’s possible to fit a 130mm fork to the Top Fuel, which would lift the front end and actually make it slacker than the Fuel EX. Indeed there’s now quite a bit of overlap between the two platforms, leaving us to ponder what could be in store for the next generation Fuel EX.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

What does it struggle with?

You’ve likely gathered that the new Trek Top Fuel is more of a muscly trail ripper than a spindly XC featherweight. While it may carry over the name, it’s evolved into quite a different bike compared to its racier ancestors.

The lack of a remote lockout results in a much cleaner cockpit, and we like how it signals the Top Fuel’s commitment to its trail riding intentions. However, it may disappoint those riders and racers who prefer having an instantaneous sprint button at their fingertips.

Indeed with all the updates, and the fact that the new Top Fuel has double the travel of the Supercaliber, there is now an even bigger gap between these two bikes. Riders who are still interested in some part-time XC racing, but aren’t sold on the Supercaliber’s sharp geometry and proprietary IsoStrut suspension design, may be turned off by the Top Fuel’s new attitude.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt bontrager line elite carbon wheel xr4 team issue tyre

Of course you could easily inject some speed with some lighter and faster-rolling tyres, like Bontrager’s XR2. There’s also around half a kilo to be saved in the wheelset, which would make a significant difference to the Top Fuel’s acceleration and climbing enthusiasm.

You could also flip the Mino Link into the High position to steepen the angles. In that guise, with lighter wheels and faster tyres, the Top Fuel would make for a comfortable and confidence-inspiring option for those wanting to sign up for the odd endurance race or multi-day event. If you’re serious about your XC racing though, this is not the bike for you – you’ll be wanting to look at the stupendously efficient Supercaliber for such endeavours.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Component highs & lows

The 2022 Trek Fuel 9.8 XT is a solid package out of the box, especially when you consider it comes in $1,600 cheaper than the 2021 model. And that’s with a pretty much identical build kit. How has a new bike gotten cheaper in the midst of a global pandemic and industry-wide component shortages? Heck knows!

There’s not a lot to be said about the Shimano XT groupset – it works, it’s solid, and it’s easy to tune. The I-Spec mounts offer plenty of adjustability for getting the brake and shift levers into the right spot, and the integrated dropper lever is a nice touch too.

The RockShox suspension isn’t quite as sensitive as the Fox equivalent, particularly the SID Select+ fork, which felt a little stickier than we expected. Otherwise the fork and shock perform well, and the ease of setup is great.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

The Bontrager dropper post works fine, but the action is sluggish compared to some of its competitors. And while the carbon handlebars offer a nice profile, having spent a lot of time on OneUp handlebars lately, the Bontrager Line Pro feels considerably harsher in comparison.

We’ve had excellent long-term experience with Bontrager’s latest Line Pro & Line Elite carbon wheels , which feature thick carbon beads that are designed to increase impact strength while also reducing the chance of pinch-flats. They’re totally solid and come with an excellent crash-replacement guarantee, while the buzzy 108pt engagement freehub delivers rapid pickup at the pedals. As mentioned earlier though, they are heavy, providing an opportunity to drop significant weight with a wheel upgrade.

Otherwise we’ve been impressed with the frame finish so far. The Mino Link is simple and effective, the Knock Block is totally unnoticeable on the trail, and we’re big fans of the built-in storage from the Burrito Box. Or is it the Kebab Cave? Maybe a Sausage Roll Hole? Sushi Shaft? Cannoli Cavity? Hot Dog Hollow? Spring Roll Room?

Alright, alright! We’ll show ourselves the door…the door that leads into the Spring Roll Room – ha!

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

Flow’s Verdict

Tying together a whole suite of updates to the frame and suspension design, there are no doubts that the new Trek Top Fuel is a more capable bike than its predecessor. It’s still very efficient, but having adopted a more progressive approach to its geometry, it delivers a significant improvement in stability. Along with the active ABP suspension design and chunky tyres, there’s an exceptional amount of grip and support on offer for a 120mm travel bike.

With all those changes, the Top Fuel moves even further away from the Supercaliber. And for some riders, that gap will be a little too wide.

Trek seems happy to have a clear delineation between the two platforms though. This differs from some other brands that utilise a single frame, and simply up-fork and up-shock it to create a slightly longer travel bike (like the Specialized Epic EVO and Orbea Oiz TR). The Top Fuel is not one of those bikes.

Instead of being a long-legged Supercaliber, it’s really a shrunken-down Fuel EX, albeit one with more contemporary geometry. And having ridden both bikes, unless you really need the extra travel of the Fuel EX, this is arguably the better option.

Sure it may have put off the weight-weenies and lockout-lovers, but there’s no denying that the Top Fuel has broadened its appeal to an even wider range of riders, and we reckon it’s more fun as a result.

2022 trek top fuel 9.8 xt

2022 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR

  • Fork | Fox 34 Step-Cast, Factory Series, FIT4 Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float DPS, Factory Series, 185x50mm
  • Wheels | Bontrager Line Pro 30, OCLV Carbon Rims, 29mm Inner Width
  • Drivetrain | Shimano XTR 1×12 w/e*thirteen TRS Race Carbon 30T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XTR Race 2-Piston w/Ice Tech Rotors
  • Bar | Bontrager RSL Integrated, OCLV Carbon, 27.5mm Rise, 820mm Width
  • Stem | Bontrager RSL Integrated, OCLV Carbon, Length: 35mm (S), 45mm (M-XL)
  • Saddle | Bontrager Arvada Pro, Carbon Rails
  • RRP | $14,199 AUD

2022 trek top fuel 9.7

2022 Trek Top Fuel 9.7

  • Fork | Fox Rhythm 34, GRIP Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float DPS, Performance Series, 185x50mm
  • Wheels | Bontrager Line Comp 30, Alloy Rims, 29mm Inner Width
  • Drivetrain | Shimano SLX/XT 1×12 w/Deore 30T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano SLX 4-Piston
  • Bar | Bontrager Line, 27.5mm Rise, Width: 750mm (S), 780mm (M-XL)
  • Stem | Bontrager Elite, 45mm Length
  • Seatpost | TranzX Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (S), 150mm (M-M/L), 170mm (L), 200mm (XL)
  • Saddle | Bontrager Arvada, Steel Rails
  • RRP | $6,299 AUD

2022 trek top fuel 8

2022 Trek Top Fuel 8

  • Frame | Alpha Platinum Alloy, ABP Suspension Design, 120mm Travel
  • Fork | RockShox SID, Rush RL Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Brakes | Shimano Deore 4-Piston
  • RRP | $5,299 AUD

2022 trek top fuel 5

2022 Trek Top Fuel 5

  • Fork | RockShox 35 Silver RL, Motion Control Damper, 44mm Offset, 120mm Travel
  • Shock | X-Fusion Pro 2, 185x50mm
  • Wheels | Bontrager Alloy Hubs & Alex MD35 Rims
  • Drivetrain | Shimano Deore 1×12 w/Deore 30T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT200 2-Piston
  • Bar | Bontrager Comp, 15mm Rise, 750mm Width
  • Stem | Bontrager Rhythm Comp, 50mm Length
  • Seatpost | TranzX Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (S), 150mm (M-M/L), 170mm (L-XL)
  • RRP | $3,499 AUD
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Trek Top Fuel 8 review: a progressive rather than podiuming XC machine

Trek’s top fuel delivers superlative short-travel suspension performance but it’s definitely a trail bike not an xc bike.

Trek Top Fuel 8 review

Bike Perfect Verdict

Awesome suspension, agile swagger, grippy kit and practical frame updates build a brilliant rally bike, but high weight buries any XC aspirations

Infectiously agile and playful vibe

Superlative suspension feel

Seriously tight tracking frame

Trail tough kit

Internal storage

Too heavy for XC racing

Simple fork damper

Tight internal storage access

Yawning gap between this and the Supercaliber

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We\'ll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

Top Fuel used to be Trek’s out-and-out best full-suspension mountain bike for racing, but with the soft-tail Supercaliber under its sponsored riders now, the Top Fuel has developed a burly rather than race character. 

The latest frame, suspension and spec changes to the 8 make the most of its short-travel agility and gripped tenacity to create a proper rally racer. Excess weight shows on climbs and acceleration though.

Design and geometry

The alloy Top Fuel frame not only has the same geometry, shock and suspension layout as its carbon counterpart but Trek’s engineers have also worked super-hard to give it the same extensive, updated feature lineup. That includes the lever-locked trapdoor into the down tube for internal storage, threaded bottom bracket shell with chain guide tabs. The Knock Block 2.0 inset now allows 72-degrees of steering lock (not 58-degrees as before) or you can fit a blank insert for full rotation if the bars aren’t slammed. 

In fact, it’s one of those bikes where we continually found ourselves riding how we always want to ride, not how we actually ride. That inevitably builds into an addictive upward spiral of confidence and insolent speed that often ended with us snapping at the heels of more expensive longer travel bikes even on really rowdy trails. Picking a larger, longer frame will settle it even more at speed, but for flow trails, it was refreshing to really rip those big Bontrager side tire lugs round on a compact, close combat chassis. Just be careful you don’t get too carried away, as however good it feels, less travel inevitably means the tires are having to cope with more impact force and we soon put a couple of splits in the rear tire despite the ‘inner strength’ casing.

When that happens the narrow neck of the storage hatch can make getting your spare tube out awkward and the high cage position means you won’t get a large bottle in either. There’s space for a 2.5in tire in the rear swingarm which pivots co-axially around the rear axle according to Trek’s ‘Active Braking Pivot’ wisdom. While it limits choice, the switch to a 34.9mm seatpost size should mean stiffer, smoother dropper action, especially on larger frame sizes which get up to a 200mm shaft stock. The new trunnion style shock pivots more smoothly and is the right way up now compared to last year’s inverted shocks. That means the MinoLink geometry flip chip to change angles by 0.5-degrees is now at the base of the shock but it’s still easy to get too. Significantly all RockShox spec Trek bikes from the 8 upwards get the same ‘Ultimate RCT’ spec Deluxe rear shock.

The alloy frame is a kilo heavier (3.74kg vs 2.7kg) than the carbon option according to Trek’s weights. This saves you $1,400/£1,500 if you buy the frame separately, although it still retails for $2,319.99/£2,350. Those numbers prove it’s neither affordable or light for a bike that you’ll find listed in the XC section of Trek's website, not the trail pages. In fact, the 130mm Fuel EX Al frame is the same weight although that doesn't have internal storage.

A 66/66.4-degree head tube definitely suggests progressive riding rather than traditional podium hunting vibes too. The 465/469mm reach on our M/L size is more trad than rad though so riders after a stretch should make use of the short 450mm seat tube and opt for the L with a 480/484 reach. All bikes get the same 76/76.4-degree seat tube angle and 434/435mm chainstay length though so while having six (S-XXL) sizes is great, the balance is definitely centered around the M - M/L - L models.

Components and build 

The Top Fuel 8 is the most expensive alloy bike, above the 7 at $3,529.99/£3,200 and the 5 at $2,629.99/£2,700 (we don’t know what 6 did to offend them but its missing from the line-up), but below the carbon-framed 9.7 at $4,229.99/£4,700.

The highlights of the package are the lightweight SID fork (albeit with the simplest Rush Damper) and Shimano XT rear mech and shifters. The Bontrager XR4 tires are some of our favorite welterweight all-rounders too. The SLX crank is a great piece with a 30T ring for easy climbing, but muscle Mary’s will find a 36T fits the frame too. You get a 150mm Trans-X dropper with a Bontrager Arvada saddle on top and 35mm diameter Bontrager Elite 45mm stem and 780mm wide bar.

Deore four-pot brakes just about do the job adequately via 180/160mm rotors but together with the wide rim tubeless Bontrager Line Comp 30 wheels they’re an obvious area where extra weight creeps in and adds up to nearly 14.5kg without pedals. 

Trek Top Fuel 8's Shimano XT drivetrain


Add that weight to chunky treaded, relatively grippy tires and however Trek categorizes the Top Fuel, the 8 clearly isn’t the best choice for charging climbs and ripping round simple XC laps. Now we’ve got rid of the people who’ll likely love the 12.2kg Trek Supercaliber for the same money, we can start talking about what the Top Fuel does do really well – and that’s riding properly rowdy.

While bikes like the Evil Following , Santa Cruz Tallboy , and Norco Optic have already established that short-travel bikes can feel awesome, the Top Fuel definitely goes into the small travel, BIG capability hall of fame. Like most of its peers, it doesn’t squander initial shock movement and can feel slightly sharp in the car park unless you drop tire pressures low. 

Once moving though it’s both amazingly fluid and connected over ruts and roots whether climbing janky tech or sucking onto stutter bump/root ripple turns or off-camber high lines. The wheel path and rear pivot position mean there’s minimal pull back through the pedals as it hoovers up chunder so you can stay on the gas without getting jacked or stalled out. While we’re always suspicious of acronyms and a 160mm rotor doesn’t generate much torque anyway, the braking performance of the ABP rear end is impressively grippy compared to the same hardware on other bikes. 

Trek Top Fuel 8 with a RockShox SID fork

The RCT damper also has plus and minus low-speed compression settings to fine-tune support sensitivity depending on personal/terrain preferences. Even in the plus setting the mid-stroke mobility does mean you’ll want to flick into the much firmer ‘pedal’ mode if you’re stood up slow cadence churning on a climb or don’t want distracting bounce on long smooth climbs. The SID fork gets a similar firming option via the fork top lever though we rarely touched it unless we were really hanging on a road climb.

While the superlative suspension performance is definitely the heart of the Top Fuel’s ‘have a go hero’ character, the rest of the bike definitely exploits it rather than squandering it. The alloy frame might be heavy but it’s seriously stout when it comes to squaring up to the trail when things get punchy.

While the simpler Rush damper starts to get seasick and inconsistent well before the back end, the 35mm stanchions do a great job of staying on track. Shorter travel means less dive too and together with well-balanced cockpit dimensions and steering angle gives a really predictable and tenacious target lock.

Despite the hefty weight and relatively slow rear hub engagement the fact you can keep the power down or brake really late meant the Top Fuel always felt hyped to be hitting trails and tweaking lines as fast as possible. The shorter M/L size made it a proper joyride on tighter, twistier trails but you can still drive it really hard, heels down, feet level through turns and it loves to pump downslopes.

The Trek Top Fuel 8

Trek’s Top Fuel 8 is a brilliant example of just how good short-travel suspension can feel, and less stroke always means a more responsive, visceral ride than a leggier bike. The geometry and proper trail tires really let you exploit the hooligan that’s hiding in the frame along with your pump, tool and spare tube too. 

As much as we’ve loved ripping around the trails on it, there’s no doubt it’s heavier and harder to accelerate/elevate than we’d like for its supposed XC/downcountry range placement though. If you’re about the overall vibe, not outright velocity, that doesn’t matter though.

Test conditions

  • Temperature: -2 to 8 degrees
  • Surface: Mixed blue-black trail center, moorland tracks, off-piste wooded tech and DH

Tech Specs: Trek Top Fuel 8

  • Price: $3,829.99 / £3,850
  • Model: Trek Top Fuel 8
  • Discipline: XC/downcountry/trail
  • Head angle:  66/66.4-degrees
  • Frame material: Alpha Platinum Aluminium
  • Weight: 14.46kg
  • Wheel size: 29 x 2.4in 
  • Suspension: RockShox SID 120mm travel, 44mm offset/RockShox Deluxe Ultimate RCT 120mm travel
  • Drivetrain:  Shimano XT M8100 mech and shifter. Shimano SLX M7100, 10-51 cassette, chain
  • Cranks:  Shimano XT 30T chainset
  • Brakes:  Shimano Deore M6000 brakes with 180/160mm rotors
  • Cockpit:  Bontrager Line 780mm bar and 45mm stem
  • Wheelset:  Bontrager Line Comp 30 wheels
  • Tires:  Bontrager XR4 Team Issue 29 x 2.4in tires
  • Seatpost:  TranzX 150mm dropper post
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada, steel rail saddle

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since launch in 2019. He started writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg

RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 2025 suspension fork review – top tier, tough trail model gets a damper upgrade and other refinements

Why do I think the new RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 is potentially the best midweight trail MTB fork ever?

Bespoken Word – Everybody loves a rebel alliance, but is UK mountain biking playing into the Empire’s hands again?

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trek top fuel trail bike

trek top fuel trail bike

2022 Trek Top Fuel

Wheel Size:

  • XS: 27.5’’
  • S–XXL: 29’’

Travel: 120 mm rear / 120 mm front

Material: Aluminum and Carbon versions available

  • Aluminum frame w/ Fox DPS Performance shock : $2,300 USD / $2,900 CAD
  • Carbon frame w/ Fox DPS Factory shock: $3,700 USD / $4,600 CAD
  • Complete bikes $2,600 to $11,000 USD / $3,450 to $14,650 CAD; see below for details

David Golay Blister mountain bike review on the 2022 Trek Top Fuel

When Trek first launched the Top Fuel in 2004, it was a dedicated XC race bike, and it stayed in that camp through several subsequent generations. In 2019, Trek nudged the Top Fuel a bit closer to the Trail category since the Supercaliber took over as their XC race full-suspension bike, but with just 115 mm of rear travel and XC-oriented geometry, that Top Fuel didn’t stray too far from its roots.

However, the all-new 2022 Top Fuel looks to add a big dose of Trail-bike capability, and features a bunch of interesting design details, too.

The overall layout of the Top Fuel hasn’t changed much from the prior iteration. It still uses Trek’s ABP suspension layout (a four-bar arrangement with a pivot concentric to the rear axle) with a vertically-oriented shock, and it’s still available in both aluminum and carbon versions. Both feature threaded bottom bracket shells, internal cable routing, and a storage port in the downtube. A water bottle does fit inside the front triangle on all sizes, but Trek says the XS is limited to a 15-oz one, and the Small can only accommodate a 20-oz bottle.

Both frame versions also feature Trek’s Knock Block 2.0 steering limiter, which has now increased the turning range to 72 degrees. Trek originally introduced the system to allow for a bigger downtube that would interfere with the fork crown if the bars got turned too far, but the new Top Fuel has no such limitation. Similar to the latest Trek Slash , the Knock Block system carries over on the Top Fuel to protect the cables from getting yanked on in a crash, but it can be removed if desired. There’s also ample rubber protection on the chainstay, seatstay, and downtube. A flip chip (Trek calls it a “Mino Link”) toggles between two geometry positions, which we’ll outline in more detail below.

David Golay reviews the 2022 Trek Top Fuel for Blister

Fit & Geometry

One of the most exciting details about the Top Fuel is that it’s offered in a whopping seven different frame sizes, ranging from XS through XXL, with a M/L snuck in the middle. This means that there’s both an especially wide range of sizes available, and that the jumps between sizes are a little tighter than average in the middle part of the range. And like we just saw from Rocky Mountain on their new Element — a bike that is squarely in competition with the new Top Fuel — the XS size Top Fuel gets 27.5’’ wheels, while the rest of the range rolls on 29’’ ones. That makes a lot of sense, for all the same reasons that we talked about in our First Look of the Element — shorter riders generally have less butt-to-tire clearance, and a shorter front wheel and fork makes it a lot easier for shorter folks to appropriately weight the front wheel, too.

The Top Fuel’s headtube angle sits at 66° in all sizes, and that’s paired with a 76° effective seat tube angle and 435 mm chainstays across the board. Reach ranges from a very short 400 mm to 520 mm across the size range. Interestingly, instead of doing neat 20 mm jumps between each size, Trek opted for a 30 mm jump between the Small to Medium, then tightened things to 15 mm between the Medium to M/L and the M/L to Large (the M/L frame’s reach clocks in at 465 mm). All those numbers are stated in the low position with the stock 120mm-travel fork; the high position steepens things by 0.4°, and Trek also condones running a 130mm-travel fork, which slackens both angles by 0.5°. For reference, here’s the full geometry chart:

David Golay reviews the 2022 Trek Top Fuel for Blister

There’s a huge range of geometry in modern ~120mm-travel bikes, from heavily XC-derived models to quite aggressive options (usually spec’d with a longer-travel fork), and the new Top Fuel sits somewhere in the middle of that range. Given how Trek has talked about the bike, that makes a lot of sense — this is supposed to be a bike for people who want a very sprightly, efficient bike with a solid dose of downhill capability for when things get rougher, and the Top Fuel slots in neatly there. It’s notably similar to the Transition Spur and Pivot Trail 429 , and just a touch less aggressive than the brand new Rocky Mountain Element and Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol — all strong contenders in this category.

Trek offers the Top Fuel in nine different builds, with prices ranging from $2,600 to $11,000, and there’s a great range of SRAM and Shimano options across a big spectrum of price points. And bonus points to Trek for sticking to Shimano on the least expensive few options — as we’ve discussed several times this past year , SRAM’s mid-to-high-end options work great, but Shimano has a clear advantage on the more budget-oriented end of the spectrum.

David Golay reviews the 2022 Trek Top Fuel for Blister

For reference, the complete build options are as follows:

  • Fork: RockShox Recon Silver RL
  • Shock: X-Fusion Pro 2
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore
  • Crankset: Shimano MT512
  • Brakes: Shimano MT200
  • Wheels: Bontrager Alloy
  • Dropper Post: TransX
  • Fork: RockShox Recon Gold 130 mm
  • Shock: Fox DPS Performance
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX shifter / XT derailleur / Deore cassette
  • Crankset: Shimano Deore
  • Brakes: Shimano MT4100
  • Wheels: Bontrager Line Comp 30
  • Fork: RockShox SID
  • Shock: Fox Float DPS Performance
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT w/ SLX cassette
  • Brakes: Shimano M6100
  • Fork: Fox 34 Rhythm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT w / SLX cassette
  • Fork: RockShox SID Select+
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe Ultimate
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT
  • Crankset: Shimano XT
  • Brakes: Shimano XT 4-piston
  • Wheels: Bontrager Line Elite 30 Carbon
  • Dropper Post: Bontrager Line Elite
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX
  • Crankset: SRAM GX
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RS
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX AXS
  • Fork: Fox 34 Factory Step Cast
  • Shock: Fox Float DPS Factory
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XTR
  • Crankset: e*Thirteen TRS Race
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR 2-piston
  • Wheels: Bontrager Line Pro 30 Carbon
  • Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 AXS
  • Crankset: SRAM XX1
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 Ultimate
  • Dropper Post: RockShox Reverb AXS

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About

(1) On paper, the Top Fuel looks like it’ll slot in somewhere between the most XC-derived 120mm-travel bikes and the most aggressive options in the class, but does that prove true on the trail?

(2) As shorter-travel Trail bikes get more and more capable, should more people who’d previously be shopping in a longer-travel category be looking at these sorts of options, including the Top Fuel?

Bottom Line (For Now)

Trek looks to have done a great job of modernizing their longstanding Top Fuel model, and in turn, bridging the gap between the Supercaliper XC race bike and the Fuel EX Trail offering. We’re hoping to get on one to see how it stacks up in a rapidly-growing field of contenders in that space, and will have a full review to come if we can make it happen.

2 comments on “2022 Trek Top Fuel”

Looks like a good all round option for up and down performance. I’d like to try it with a 130 mm fork in the high setting.

I have the 2022 Fuel EX7, I’m a xc type rider and do about one 50 mile ride per week on this bike. I went with the EX model because I like having the extra travel, however I wish I would have gotten the EX8 XT model and then just changed out the wheels and shifting for Sram GX 12 speed. The NX Sram has the DUB crankset and bottom bracket and there’s no thread together bottom bracket for this setup and the NX cassette is a boat anchor. So far I’ve put on lighter tires, seat post, and cassette and having a much lighter wheelset built for it now. I thought I would have been using the shock leavers but I just leave those full open 99% of the time these bikes handle great.

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trek top fuel trail bike

Trek Top Fuel 8 2022: first ride review

Danny Milner

  • Danny Milner
  • October 7, 2021

Trek Top Fuel 8 morphs from marathon racer to short travel trail ripper, but is there a high-octane ride beneath run-of-the-mill looks?

Trek's Top Fuel 8 offers a high-octane ride

Trek's Top Fuel 8 offers a high-octane ride Credit: Roo Fowler

Product Overview

Trek top fuel 8.

  • Sublime suspension, playful handling, fantastic size range, internal storage
  • Not particularly light for the intended use, inconsistent Shimano brakes on our test bike


Price as reviewed:.

New Trek Top Fuel 8 is a short travel – 120mm travel front and rear – down-country trail bike with internal frame storage for both alloy and carbon models.

The Top Fuel has been a bit of a forgotten model in Trek’s range in recent years. Originally conceived as an XC race bike, it slowly morphed into a marathon bike around 2019, right about when mainstream XC race bikes became mainstream enough, and capable enough to go marathon racing on (see Trek’s Olympic and World Cup winning Supercaliber). Which made the Top Fuel kind of redundant.

Trek Top Fuel need to know

  • 29in wheels on most frame sizes, but the XS gets 27.5in wheels
  • 10  bike range starts at £2,600 and rises to £11,100
  • Six frame sizes available

Trek's Top Fuel 8 gets new sizing. This is the M/L where there are two sizes below and three sizes above.

Trek’s Top Fuel 8 gets new sizing. This is the M/L where there are two sizes below and three sizes above.

Understated, verging on vanilla, there’s nothing aesthetically that’ll make a passing rider rubberneck Trek’s new Top Fuel, but to write off this new short travel ripper at first sight is to make a big mistake. In fact the Top Fuel is the two-wheeled equivalent of a Q car (sleeper to our friends across the pond) – the kind of unassuming, run-of-the-mill executive saloon that flies under the radar, but packs a knock-out punch under the bonnet. The kind of car you use to rob a bank, in other words. But before I elaborate on this bike’s unexpected pace, let’s take a look at what’s new for 2022.

So now the Top Fuel slides sideways for 2022, aiming to slot into the best down-country mountain bikes shortlists. But whatever you call it, it’s trying to balance pedal efficiency with downhill capability in a package that’s more about fun than finishing first.

RockShox Sid fork up front on the Trek Top Fuel boasts 120mm of travel

RockShox Sid fork up front on the Trek Top Fuel 8 boasts 120mm of travel

Backing up this role change is a raft of small but significant revisions to the Top Fuel. Firstly the geometry has seen a wholesale shift towards a better all-round balance between climbing and descending. The head angle has been slackened by 1.5º to 66º (the Mino link lets you steepen it back by 0.5º), and the reach has grown by up to 15mm depending on the frame size. Talking of which, there are now six, yes six, different frame sizes available, from S right up to XXL, making this one of the most comprehensive size ranges on the market. Trek has also steepened both the actual and effective seat tube angles to improve weight distribution for climbing, and it has increased rear wheel travel by 5mm to 120mm.

Trek Top Fuel's Mino Link moves from the rocker link to the lower shock mount

Trek Top Fuel’s Mino Link moves from the rocker link to the lower shock mount

Geometry adjustment has been a feature on Trek’s bikes for a while now, but for 2022 the Top Fuel’s Mino Link has moved from the rocker link (other Trek’s use locate it in the upper seatstay pivot) to the lower shock mount. The reason for this is that Trek has moved to a Trunnion Mount shock for 2022 – it’s no longer upside down – reducing room at the rocker link. In its new position, the Mino Link is still easy to access and still gives you a head/seat angle change of 0.5º and a BB height variation of 5mm (the reach will also grow very slightly if you put the bike in the high/steep position).

Trek Top Fuel gets the Knock Block steering limiter, but turning radius is now widened to 72º

Trek Top Fuel gets the Knock Block steering limiter, but turning radius is now widened to 72º

Moving along, the Knock Block steering limiter has been made slightly less limiting. Previous models used a 58º radius, now that’s been upped to 72º, but the system retains its compatibility with standard stems and there’s clearance for the forks crowns, so it’s more about protecting the top tube from controls if you run a super racy cockpit. Trek has also made the move to a larger diameter 34.9mm dropper post in order to ensure better stiffness and a smoother action with modern long drop posts (some models come with a 200mm dropper on the largest frame sizes).

Trek Top Fuel gets internal frame storage even on the alloy frames

Trek Top Fuel gets internal frame storage even on the alloy frames

Perhaps the biggest news, however, is that Trek has found a way to incorporate its down tube storage system on the alloy models as well as the carbon ones. Not without some engineering head scratching, due to the difficulty of reinforcing specific areas of an alloy frame, this is a bit of a coup for Trek, since Specialized still doesn’t have SWAT on its alloy bikes. Included with the bike is a bottle cage and a neoprene pencil case inside the frame that can be used to hold your tools and a tube without them rattling around. And while we’re on the subject of rider-friendly features, the BB is now a threaded unit, and the carbon frames get tube-in-tube internal cable routing.

Trek Top Fuel retains ABP for improved suspension under braking

Trek Top Fuel retains ABP for improved suspension under braking

As the most lavishly specced alloy bike in the range, this Top Fuel 8 won’t set any pulses racing with its mix of Shimano XT, SLX and Deore components. However, it’s a functional collection of parts with the multi-release XT shifter being a standout selection, offering precise shifts and a nice rubber pad for thumb traction. The four-piston Shimano M6000 series brakes on our test bike were badly in need of a decent bleed, but offered plenty of power once we’d adjusted to their inconsistent bite point.

And while we’re moaning, we may as well raise the remote for the TranzX dropper post – slippery and difficult to position for ergonomic access, we’d be tempted to upgrade it with something from OneUp, Wolf Tooth or PNW.

Trek Top Fuel 8 2022 gets internal frame storage and RockShox suspension for £3,750

Trek Top Fuel 8 2022 gets internal frame storage and RockShox suspension for £3,750

How it rides

Trek has done a clever thing with the Top Fuel. Glance through the spec and you’ll see that there are basically two different shocks used across the entire range depending on whether it runs a RockShox fork or a Fox Fork. That means that the top of the line, XX1 AXS-equipped model at £11,100 will have exactly the same suspension characteristics as the £3,750 model I’m testing here. It’s levelling up in the truest sense, bringing the performance of the best models to the most affordable bikes in the range. And it also means Trek will have dialled the shock tune, since it has only had to do it for two different shocks, and not just the top model then hoped that the ride wasn’t too compromised with a lower-priced unit and a different damper bolted in. So you get a top spec RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RCT shock on this Top Fuel 8 with a pedal platform and three different low-speed compression settings for the open mode.

The 2022 Top Fuel rails turns and loves fast, flowing singletrack

The 2022 Top Fuel rails turns and loves fast, flowing singletrack

Up front there’s a RockShox SID fork with 35mm upper tubes and a basic Rush RL damper. Adjustments include a sweeping compression lever that gives you open through to locked modes and rebound via the pull-out knob at the base of the right leg.

I set the Top Fuel up with 25% sag at the rear and a firm 87psi in the fork (I weigh 76kg). The shock I ran in the most open of the three settings.

With a low top tube, you can really hunker down and shred turns on the Trek Top Fuel

With a low top tube, you can really hunker down and shred turns on the Trek Top Fuel

On the first climb out of the car park it was immediately noticeable how much softer and more comfortable the Top Fuel was than another 120mm travel, RockShox SID-equipped bike I’d ridden the week before. There’s more chassis movement both front and rear, so some energy is lost in the suspension, but it wasn’t so much that I instantly reached down for the pedal platform lever. Aboard the M/L size, the Top Fuel felt compact but not cramped, with a decent seated position over the BB. If you like a long bike and are of average height, definitely look at sizing up to the L frame, which has a 480mm reach, 15mm longer than the bike I rode.

Get out of the saddle in bottom gear to claw up a steep bank and the suspension really extends, which sounds bad, or weird, but actually feels spot on, because it lets the back wheel seems to dig into the dirt rather than spin when traction and power are poised on a knife edge. Bear in mind, as well, that I ran the bike in the most open setting, so changing the low-speed compression in the open mode, or making more use of the pedal platform, will produce a much firmer, sharper response.

But despite its meagre 120mm of travel, the new Trek Top Fuel can be rallied harder than the numbers suggest

But despite its meagre 120mm of travel, the new Trek Top Fuel can be rallied harder than the numbers suggest

My decision to set the Trek Top Fuel 8 up as open as possible was immediately rewarded on the first descent. The grip it generates is impressive, tracing every little contour of the trail with a hyperactive response. It’s incredibly supple, yet it also displayed a spooky ability to gain speed and accelerate just by loading up the suspension through dips and unweighing over crests. There’s a perfect amount of progression, giving up full travel, but never too frequently.

Being on the small side, my M/L Trek Top Fuel 8 was blessed with ridiculous agility. I could sling it into a series of direction changes and without emerging tied in knots, despite its very un-down-country-like 14.46kg weight. It was easy to set up for tight turns and contort through gaps, but the poise of the suspension let me hold it wide open on faster, more open sections. Equally the chassis and wheels seemed to have just the right amount of deflection to increase control in the rough and on off-camber sections without ever feeling like it was disconnected from my inputs.

Not as sharp or ruthlessly efficient as a YT Izzo, softer and more approachable than a Transition Spur, this new Trek Top Fuel brings high-octane entertainment and understated performance to the type of trails most widely ridden in the UK. Even if the looks might not leave a lasting impression, it’s unforgettable to ride. 

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Field Test Review: 2022 Trek Top Fuel - Same Name, Different Bike


Cool Features

  • Top Fuel AL Frameset

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MBUK’s Trail Bike of the Year 2022

“It’s easy to look at the bike from afar and assume this is just another downcountry rig... It wasn’t until I’d fired it over some jumps, nosed it down the odd steep chute and slung it through my test loops’ berms that I realised the Top Fuel is, simply put, a bloody brilliant trail bike.”

No image available

"Enduro’s Best Downcountry Bike of 2022"

"Top Fuel 9.9 XX1 AXS earned top honors in Enduro’s round-up of best downcountry rippers, thanks to the bike’s clean look, practical details, and progressive suspension."

No image available

"This is a really, really good bike"

"The Top Fuel is a very capable descender, but its well-proportioned geometry is just half the story. It manages to strike a great balance between grip, tracking, and precision. The whole bike seems to just will you on to hit things faster and with more precision."

No image available

"This thing rips"

"The new Top Fuel is also much more composed on rough and fast descents. Thanks to the longer reach and slacker head angle, the overall wheelbase length has grown by almost 40mm. That’s huge, and it offers a vastly more planted feel at speed. Along with the big tyres and active suspension, this really is a solid little trail bike."

Still have questions?

Service manual

Time to bust out the repair stand for some maintenance? Find a detailed breakdown of your bike with part numbers, torque values, and platform-specific tech instructions below.

Get faster on the trail in a week

When it comes to being a better trail rider, practice makes perfect. Get seven tips from Pinkbike’s Christina Chappetta that will have you setting PR's and riding with more confidence in no time.

How to pack for any trail ride

Everything you need (and nothing you don’t).

Product features

Quick and in control.

120mm of rear travel combined with progressive trail geometry gives you a fast, responsive ride that helps you keep your cool when the trail turns rowdy.

Hassle-free routing

Guided internal cable routing keeps Top Fuel quiet on the trail and maintenance a breeze.

Will my bike have a curved top tube?

Smaller frames (XS and S) have a curved top tube. This design makes for a lower standover height, which allows shorter riders to straddle the bike more easily. Larger frames (M and up) have a straight top tube because taller riders with longer legs typically don't have the same issues with standover height.

Suspension Calculator

This suspension calculator will help you optimize your suspension settings for your riding weight. Simply follow the steps to find your best set up.

Oversized 34.9mm dropper post

Bigger is better. The oversized seat tube diameter gives more support and strength for longer travel droppers, and allows for more robust, durable internals that work faster.

ISCG mounts

International Standard Chain Guide mounts offer easy chain guide installation and adjustment.

Threaded bottom bracket

More robust than pressfit, threaded BBs hold up in nasty conditions and make servicing easier.

Knock Block

Knock Block has your frame's back when things go wrong. It prevents your handlebars from spinning all the way around in a crash, so your hoses won't get yanked, and your controls won't hit the top tube.

How tall are you?

To measure your height, stand straight up, barefoot, with your back, heels, shoulders and head all touching a wall. While looking straight ahead, place a book or straight edge on your head and slowly push it against the wall. Your straight edge should be parallel with the floor. Mark the spot where the bottom of the book is touching the wall. The distance from the marked spot to the floor is your height.

What is your inseam?

How to measure: Stand barefoot with your back straight and against a wall. Tuck a ruler or something that extends to the floor between your legs. Using both hands, and keeping it level, pull the ruler up into your crotch as if you were sitting on the saddle. Measure the distance from the top edge of the ruler to the ground to find your inseam measurement. Your inseam is very important to your final bike size so please measure carefully.

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  • © Electra Bicycle Company 2024

ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine

Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 2021 in review – From XC-racer to our trail bike group test

trek top fuel trail bike

“The Top Fuel 9.9 flies through singletrack and rips descents, but it really shines when pushed to its full potential during gruelling endurance races.” That’s what Trek say about the Top Fuel 9.9 X01, but how did it fare against its bigger brother, the Fuel EX?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

trek top fuel trail bike

115 mm rear travel, 11.5 kg and a lightweight spec. At first glance, the specs of the Top Fuel 9.9 look impressive, but how much fun will you have onboard the carbon rocket from Wisconsin? Just like its bigger EX sibling, the Top Fuel features Trek’s ABP rear linkage, albeit with 15 mm less travel and a standard FOX DPS Factory shock without Trek’s proprietary Thru Shaft technology. On the handlebars, a dual remote lockout controls a 120 mm FOX 34 fork and, together with the brake levers, shifters and dropper remote, makes for a rather crowded and untidy cockpit. Trek include their proprietary Knock Block in the headset, which limits the steering angle and prevents the fork from damaging the frame and cables from ripping in the event of a crash. On the trail, the system doesn’t affect the handling in any way. A large TPU plate on the downtube protects the frame against stray rocks, while a reasonably sized and well-positioned chainstay protector prevents chain slap and paint chips. Unlike other Trek models, the Top Fuel doesn’t feature a storage compartment integrated into the down tube, forcing riders to carry their trail essentials in a backpack or hip pack instead.

trek top fuel trail bike

The spec of the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 – Lightweight components for a true high flyer

The € 8,999 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 is specced to ensure a lightweight construction and top efficiency. At 11.5 kg, it’s the lightest bike in our big MTB group test. However, Trek couldn’t achieve this without compromising on trail performance. While the FOX 34 Factory Step-Cast fork, which with its lighter chassis is significantly lighter than a conventional 34, unfortunately, it’s only suitable for particularly light riders. Fast and heavy riders will notice considerable flex in hard corners and compressions, which affects the handling of the bike and dents your confidence. Moreover, hard consecutive hits push the FIT4 damper to its limit. For the tires, Trek spec their own super light Bontrager XR3 Team Issue tires with a puncture-prone casing and shallow tread. While this setup reduces weight and rolling resistance, it generates poor traction in corners and under braking and could potentially result in irreversible damage to the Bontrager Line Elite 30 carbon rims. We recommend upgrading the tires the moment you pick up your bike from the store.

The Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 is great fun on fast, sporty laps and very comfortable on long tours, where it convinces with a comfortable pedalling position.

For better downhill performance, you should run a robust but fast-rolling semi-slick tire at the rear, paired with a grippy front tire with a more aggressive profile. Braking is taken care of by SRAM G2 RSC brakes with tool-free lever reach and bite point adjustments. The brakes run on small 180/160 mm rotors and tend to overheat easily, requiring strong fingers on long descents. The drivetrain consists of a high-quality SRAM X01 12-speed rear derailleur with a matching shifter but a cheaper (and heavier) SRAM GX 10–52 t cassette. The rest of the spec is made up of Trek’s in-house components, including the 750 mm Bontrager Line Pro carbon handlebars and 170 mm Line dropper post. The remote is combined with the lockout for the fork and shock – if you’re not careful you’ll activate the wrong lever!

trek top fuel trail bike

Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01


Fork FOX 34 FIT 4 120 mm Rear Shock FOX DPS Factory 115 mm Seatpost Bontrager Line Elite 170 mm Brakes SRAM G2 RSC 180/160 mm Drivetrain SRAM XO1 Eagle 1x12 Stem Bontrager Kovee Pro (35) 70 mm Handlebar Bontrager Line Pro OCVL 750 mm Wheelset Bontrager Line Elite 30 29" Tires Bontrager XR3 Team Issue 2.4

Technical Data

Size S M M/L L XL XXL Weight 11.54 kg

trek top fuel trail bike

The geometry of the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01

The Trek Top Fuel is available in six sizes, from S to XXL, which caters to riders between 153 cm to 203 cm tall. Typical for Trek, there’s also an intermediate ML size, which allows many riders to choose between at least two suitable frame sizes. The smallest S size has a modified frame shape with a slight kink in the top tube. A flip-chip in the seat stay allows you to switch between the high and low settings and adapt the geometry of the bike to your needs and preferences. Needless to say, we rode the bike mostly in the low setting, which drops the bottom bracket by 7 mm, slackens the head angle by 0.5 ° and shortens the reach by 5 mm. The size L in the low setting has a reach and seat tube of 470 mm. The reach is in the midfield of our test fleet while the seat tube is on the long side. Despite the low top tube, this restricts the insertion depth of the dropper and thus your freedom of movement, as well as making it hard to upsize if you’re between sizes – what a shame! At 603 mm, the stack height is the lowest in the entire test field. Trek compensate for this by stacking an odd-looking spacer tower under the stem and increasing the handlebar height.

trek top fuel trail bike

Can the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 with its XC-racing DNA convince on the trail?

Uphill, the Top Fuel lives up to its name. The bike is damn fast and the neutral suspension makes it a great option for long rides too. On flat terrain, it convinces with a comfortable pedalling position, which is suitable for both fast, sporty laps and long rides. The Top Fuel accelerates fiercely and is extremely efficient even with the shock fully open. While you’d expect the active rear end to provide plenty of traction on technical uphills, the low-profile tread of the tire causes the rear wheel to spin out of control. On very steep climbs, the bike forces you to actively lean forward, while the slack seat tube angle positions you far back over the rear wheel, causing the front to lift off the ground. Nevertheless, the Top Fuel overtakes its direct competitor, the Merida NINETY-SIX 8000, without breaking a sweat – in all situations. On fire roads, the climb switch ensures extremely stiff suspension, ensuring excellent acceleration together with the lightweight wheelset. Even strong climbers like the YT Izzo and Yeti SB115 struggle to keep up with the American carbon rocket.

If you’re not too fussed about downhill performance, the Top Fuel is a great option for long rides and lots of fun on easy, flowing singletracks – provided you’re running the right set of tires. Nevertheless, its bigger brother, the Fuel EX, is the better all-rounder.

trek top fuel trail bike

Tuning-tips: more robust tires with more aggressive tread | 180 mm brake rotor at the rear

Downhill, the Top Fuel loses its advantage over the competition, suffering from a significant lack of braking traction and cornering grip – not least because of its tires. As a result, it’s hard to unlock the full potential of the bike without pushing your own limits. While the tall and stiff cockpit conveys huge amounts of confidence, the stiff suspension passes on vibrations and hits to the rider almost unfiltered, making for vague and undefined handling and causing fatigue and arm pump. The Top Fuel shows its strengths on flowing singletracks with flat sections, where it’s intuitive and easy to ride. On faster and rougher trails with big steps, it quickly reaches its limits, falling behind bikes like the Yeti SB115. On very technical descents it also has to admit defeat to its bigger sibling, the Trek Fuel EX. On top of that, the Fuel EX is only slightly slower uphill but offers more reserves downhill and suits a wider range of applications.

trek top fuel trail bike

Riding Characteristics

Value for money, intended use.

In a direct comparison, the Top Fuel 9.9 X01 has to admit defeat to the Fuel EX. While it has a small advantage uphill, downhill it can’t keep up with the smooth handling and superb suspension performance of its bigger sibling. All in all, the Fuel EX suits a much wider range of application and delivers far more riding fun – even in the significantly cheaper 9.8 GX version we tested. If you’re not too fussed about downhill performance, the Top Fuel is a great option for long rides and still great fun on easy, flowing singletracks – provided you’re running the right set of tires.

trek top fuel trail bike

  • accelerates willingly
  • easy, intuitive handling

trek top fuel trail bike

  • Bontrager XR3 tires generate poor traction
  • remote cluster in the cockpit area is confusing
  • odd-looking spacer tower
  • no Trek storage compartment
  • very few advantages over the Fuel EX, which suits a much wider range of applications

Find more information here: trekbikes.com

trek top fuel trail bike

The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

All Bikes in this group test: Canyon Neuron CF SLX 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 29 LTD (Click for review) | Canyon Stoic 4 (Click for review) | FOCUS THRON 6.9 (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo V2 (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K (Click for review) | MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Reactor 290C (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | RAAW Jibb XTR Build (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz 5010 X01 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 (Click for review) | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned AXS (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.8 GX (Click for review) | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 | Yeti SB115 TURQ3 (Click for review) | YT IZZO BLAZE 29 (Click for review)

trek top fuel trail bike

This scale indicates how efficiently the bike climbs. It refers to both simple and technical climbs. Along with the suspension, the riding position and the weight of the bike all play a crucial role. ↩

How does the bike ride and descend? How spritely is the bike, how agile is it through corners, how much fun is it in tight sections and how quickly can it change direction? ↩

Is the bike stable at high speeds? Is it easy to stay in control in demanding terrain? How composed is it on rough trails? Stability is a combination of balanced geometry, good suspension and the right spec. ↩

This is all about how balanced the bike is and particularly about how well it corners. Balanced bikes require little physical effort from the rider and are very predictable. If a bike is unbalanced, the rider has to work hard to weight the front wheel to generate enough grip. However, experienced riders can have a lot of fun even with unbalanced bikes. ↩

How sensitive is the suspension over small bumps? Can it absorb hard impacts and does it soak up repeated hits? Plush suspension not only provides comfort and makes a bike more capable, but it also generates traction. The rating includes the fork and the rear suspension. ↩

This aspect mainly comes down to the suspension. How much pop does it have, does it suck up the rider’s input or is it supportive, and how agile and direct is the bike? ↩

We don’t calculate value for money in an excel spreadsheet or based on how high-end a bike is specced. We are more concerned with how a bike performs on the trail and how the bike benefits the rider. What good are the best components if the bike doesn’t perform well on the trail? Expensive bikes with a lower-end spec can offer very good value for money – provided they excel where it matters. Just as supposedly cheap bikes with good components can get a bad rating if they don’t deliver on the trail. ↩

No, it’s not about racing, it’s about efficiency. Fast, fleet-footed and efficient – those who want to speed along flowy singletrack and gravel roads need a defined and spritely bike that accelerates with ease and efficiency. Nevertheless, reliable components are important too. We interpret XC more like the Americans do: big back-country rides instead of a marathon or XC World Cup with the ultimate in lightweight construction! Uphill-downhill ratio: 80:30 (not everything has to be 100%!) ↩

...also known as mountain biking. Classic singletrack with roots, rocks and ledges – sometimes flowy, sometimes rough. For this, you need a bike with good all-round qualities, whether climbing or descending. Uphill-downhill ratio: 50:50 ↩

Even more extreme and challenging compared to Trail riding, riddled with every kind of obstacle: jumps, gaps, nasty rock gardens, ruts and roots. For this, you need (race)proven equipment that forgives mistakes and wouldn’t look out of place on a stage of the Enduro World Series. Climbing is just a means to an end. Uphill-downhill ratio: 30:70 ↩

Strictly speaking, a 200 mm travel downhill bike is the best choice for merciless tracks with big jumps, drops and the roughest terrain. Those would be the black or double-black-diamond tracks in a bike park. But as some of the EWS pros (including Sam Hill) have proven, it’s the riding skills and not the bike that define what you can ride with it. Climbing? On foot or with a shuttle, please! Uphill-downhill ratio: 10:90 ↩

You can find more info about our rating system in this article: Click here! ↩

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more .

Words: Peter Walker Photos: various

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About the author.

trek top fuel trail bike

Peter Walker

As editor-in-chief, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!

Jack of all trails, master of fun

Fuel EX is up to get down

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scor 2030

Scor’s 2030 Is a Brilliant Blend of Speed, Capability, and Playfulness

If riding the 2030 doesn't make you smile, you might be dead inside.

The Takeaway: Scor’s 2030 is a little bike with a big attitude. It is lively, poppy quick, and crisp. The suspension is excellent and it offers well-balanced handling in most terrain. It is very capable when the trail turns steep and technical, even if this sort of riding isn’t its specialty. Ultimately, the 2030 is a bike for everyday trail riding that blends efficiency and shred into one of the most entertaining and rewarding bikes on the planet.

scor 2030

Builds and Prices

Ride impressions, notes from the field, .css-1dxgn05{-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;background-color:#ffffff;border:0;border-bottom:none;border-top:0.0625rem solid #e5e5e5;color:#000;cursor:pointer;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;font-style:inherit;font-weight:inherit;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:flex-start;justify-content:flex-start;padding-bottom:0.3125rem;padding-top:0.3125rem;scroll-margin-top:0rem;text-align:left;width:100%;}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-1dxgn05{scroll-margin-top:3.375rem;}} .css-b4ahb2{border-radius:50%;width:1.875rem;border:thin solid #737373;height:1.875rem;padding:0.4rem;margin-right:0.625rem;} .css-jlx6sx{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;width:0.9375rem;height:0.9375rem;margin-right:0.625rem;-webkit-transform:rotate(90deg);-moz-transform:rotate(90deg);-ms-transform:rotate(90deg);transform:rotate(90deg);-webkit-transition:-webkit-transform 250ms ease-in-out;transition:transform 250ms ease-in-out;} details (click arrow to expand).

Price as tested: $6,499 (2030 GX) Weight as tested: 29.6 lb. (size medium) Sizes offered:  S, M, M-L, L, XL Model price range:  $4,999 to $7,999 Frame only:  $3,499 Fork travel: 140mm Frame travel: 120mm Recommended shock sag: 28-30% Max tire clearance:  64mm/2.5” Bottom Bracket:  Press Fit 92 Seatpost: 31.6mm Shock Dimensions: 185 x 47.5mm trunnion Piggyback shock compatible: Yes Coil shock compatible:  Yes Derailleur Hanger:  UDH Warranty:  Three years on frame (extended to five years if registered with BMC within six months of purchase), two years on Scor components and paintwork.  Crash replacement:  Upon registration, a one-time discounted crash replacement is offered

Features and Details

Scor’s 2030 is the BMC sub-brand’s shortest travel (120mm rear, 140mm front) full suspension bike. The brand states it created a shorter travel bike that rides like a “slimmed down enduro bike” rather than a “bulked up XC bike.”

In stock form, it boasts 120mm rear travel paired with a 140mm fork. However, while Scor designed this bike around a 47.5mm stroke shock, riders can swap in a 52.5mm stroke shock which bumps rear wheel travel up to 130mm. Nevertheless, the brand says, “We think 120mm hits the sweet spot though and we’re pretty sure once you’ve tried it you’ll agree.”

scor 2030

The 2030 utilizes the same dual-link rear suspension system as Scor’s other bikes. It’s a very compact linkage, with the lower-link driving the shock. This in turn places the shock very low in the frame as well. The result is a very tidy and low-slung package. And it allows for a small rear triangle and a quite open front triangle.

The front triangle features a cargo mount under the top tube—also suitable for a water bottle with a very secure cage or Fidlock system —as well as a water bottle mount atop Scor’s Stash Hatch storage system built into the downtube.

Brake hoses, rear derailleur cable, and dropper housing do not route through the headset. Instead, they dive into the frame at the downtube and run through full-length tunnels. The dropper housing takes quite a twisty path from where it exits downtube to where it enters the seat tube, but it didn’t seem to compromise function on my review bike.

scor 2030

Smaller but notable details include a UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger) for SRAM Transmission compatibility, an angle adjust headset that lets the rider switch from the stock 64.5-degree head angle to 65.5 degrees for a sharper feeling front end, and a press-fit 92 bottom bracket. The 2030 also features an integrated top guide for extra chain security (it has the “lower” ISCG ’05 tabs if you want to mount a bash guard), and a little sneeze guard to keep gunk from piling onto the shock shaft.

SCOR 2030 GX

2030 GX

In the USA, Scor sells the 2030 in three complete builds, and as a frame. All builds feature mechanical SRAM Eagle drivetrain, Maxxis Dissector (rear) and Rekon (front) 2.4-inch tires, and WTB Silverado saddle.

Comparing prices, Scor’s bikes are on the higher end of the scale, and more akin to a boutique brand like Yeti than a big brand like Trek. The GX-equipped model I tested sells for $6,500: The same price as the similarly kitted Yeti SB120 Lunch Ride C2 (the Yeti is currently on sale for $5,525). In Trek’s line, $6,500 gets you a Shimano XT equipped Top Fuel 9.8 XT , or Fuel EX 9.8 XT —and both feature carbon rims.

SCOR 2030 X01

2030 X01

The 2030 X01 ($7,999) is the top of the line build and features Fox Factory 34 fork and Factory Float shock, SRAM X01 Eagle (mechanical) shifting and cranks, SRAM Code Ultimate brakes, and DT-Swiss XRC 1501 wheels with carbon rims.

The 2030 GX ($6,499) is the middle child. It features RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 fork and Deluxe Ultimate RCT shock, SRAM GX (mechanical) shifting with a X1 carbon crank, SRAM Code RSC brakes, and DT-Swiss XM 1700 wheels. This is the model I tested.

SCOR 2030 NX

2030 NX

The base build is the 2030 NX. It is kitted with RockShox Pike Select RC fork and Deluxe Select+ RT shock, SRAM NX Eagle shifting with Descendant 6K crank, SRAM Code R brakes, and “XDX-530” wheels.

SCOR 2030 Frameset

2030 Frameset

The 2030 frame sells for $3,499 fitted with a Fox Factory Float shock.


Continuing the theme laid down by other Scor bikes, the 2030 has a quite slack head tube angle (64.5 degrees, adjustable to 65.5° with headset cups) and rather short chain stays (429mm).

Among comparable bikes (examples: Yeti SB120 LR, Pivot Trail 429 Enduro, Knolly Fugitive 125, Commencal Tempo, Norco Optic), the 2030 is one of the slackest up front while also boasting some of the shortest chainstays. Reach and top tube lengths (based on comparing medium size bikes) are average. However, the stack is decidedly on the lower end of the spectrum. BB drop/height is in line with other bikes with similar travel.

Curiously, the 2030’s 64.5° head angle is the same as the 4060 ST, a bike with 140mm rear travel and 150mm fork.

Usually, the more travel a bike has, the slacker the head angle becomes, but that’s not the case with Scor’s bikes. Most likely this is a temporary overlap: The 2030 platform is several years newer than the 4060 (it debuted in September 2021). Although the pace has slowed significantly, mountain bike geometry is still evolving and I expect that when the 4060 gets redesigned or replaced (which should be soon), it will be slacker than 2030.

scor 2030

I fell in love with Scor’s 4060 (in both ST and LT variants) for its snappy, poppy, lively, and crisp feel. While it is not the most stable bike for plowing chunder at warp speed, at typical trail speeds it was a joy to ride. It is precise and plenty stable, an above-average climber, with well-tuned suspension that works in all conditions.

Those feelz are present in the 2030 as well. And with less travel, it is even more playful and efficient than the 4060. As I’ve noted in other reviews, I generally abstain from using the F-word (fun) to describe a bike because I think all bikes are fun. But there are a small handful of bikes that, for whatever combination of factors, feel more delightfully rambunctious and are more likely to make me shout out “yee-hah!” on the trail: The Scor 2030 is one of them.

This is a bike that finds a sweet spot between quickness and stability. With shorter travel and that compact rear end—plus what feels like a lower-than-average center of gravity—it is dynamic on the trail. The steering is light and changes direction easily but it’s locked in once you set it on a line.

The rear suspension is very good. It wrings impressive sensitivity, support, and control from a mere 120mm of travel. Of course, XC race bikes like the Specialized Epic 8 also have 120mm rear travel these days, but the character of the Scor 2030’s120mm is very different from an Epic’s 120mm. The Scor is plush and pillowy, and more eager to use its travel than an XC race bike.

scor 2030

The 2030 climbs very well too. The rear suspension feels firm and efficient under power but retains enough suppleness to maintain traction when it is scarce. And despite the ultra-short chain stays and slack head angle, the 2030’s front end was reasonably well-behaved on steeper climbs.

However, the stock cockpit (due to the 35mm stem) was a bit too cramped for my tastes and didn’t put enough weight on the front tire. I found the 2030 fit more comfortably and has even better handling with a 45mm stem.

The slacker head angle and longer front end give this little bike some impressive manners in steeper and more challenging bits of trail. If you’re precise and a bit daring, the 2030 can handle most anything (it works even better in nervy terrain if you install beefier tires and bump up to heavier-duty disc rotors).

scor 2030

But if you’re charging big terrain and bike parks on the regular, this isn’t your bike nor is it meant to be. It’s a fast and deft handling bike that’s well suited to long days and big climbs, but absolutely shreds most descents too. It’s a step up from an XC bike without the bloat of a longer travel trail bike, which is a wonderful compromise.

With 140mm and 150mm trail bikes seemingly getting ever heavier, I think bikes like this 2030 and other superb bikes in the same general niche ( Yeti SB120 , Pivot Trail 429, Knolly Fugitive 125, Commencal Tempo, Norco Optic, Evil Following , Ibis Ripley, Revel Rascal, Spot Mayhem 130, Santa Cruz Tallboy) are a better choice for everyday trail riding. Bikes like this 2030 are lighter, faster, and more engaging on the average trail.

Random observations and reports from my time testing the bike.

• I don’t know why Bike Yoke uses such long bolts for its saddle clamp. They stick up super high and, with a rider’s weight, contact the saddle base. I don’t want to think about what goes on with a lower-profile saddle that features a cutout. This is an issue with all Bike Yoke droppers. One can easily fix it with a hacksaw or Dremel, but a better fix would be for Bike Yoke to ship its posts with shorter bolts.

scor 2030

• I love in-frame storage, but Scor’s execution leaves much to be desired. The opening is small, and the shape of the downtube doesn’t offer much space so getting a standard tube in and out was a bigger struggle than it should have been. An (expensive) TPU tube fits much more easily. Perhaps because the space is small, Scor’s zippered pouch is, thin and unpadded: With hard metal objects inside (Co2 cartridges, mini tool) the rattling is loud and constant. I wound up wrapping things in some pipe insulation to maintain my sanity. Finally, the storage door doesn’t fit snugly and, with a water bottle on the bike, shakes and rattles. I used a few strips of athletic tape around the edges of the downtube hole to improve the fit.

• The shock’s shaft is hidden by frame members, which makes it very difficult to set and check sag. I had to use a flashlight and engage in spontaneous yoga to get a clear view of the etched sag gradients on the RockShox shock. I don’t know what riders on the 2030s with Fox shocks (which don’t have sag gradients) will do. If ever a bike needed a sag gauge integrated into one of the pivots, it’s this one.

•Big thumbs up for etching the torque specs on the pivot bolts. Unfortunately, I needed them because a few worked loose during my first rides. I torqued them to spec and they remained tight for the remainder of my testing.

scor 2030

• Tires. Oh boy… Mountain bike tire choice is hard; it’s a big world with many different trail surfaces and conditions. No tire is ever perfect, and there’s a good chance a bike’s stock tires are one of the first things you’ll change. A product manager once told me he wished he could sell bikes without tires and leave it to the dealer or rider to pick the best ones for the local trails. Anyway, I saw the EXO casing—Maxxis’ lightest trail casing—on the 2030’s stock tires and figured I was in for it given the abundant square-edged chunk on my trails. Sure enough, I pinched the front’s casing in the first rock garden. Once home I swapped over to tires with the equivalent of Maxxis’ EXO+ casing and had no more issues. YMMV, but when a shorter-travel bike has the capability of this 2030, you’ll carry more speed and hit stuff harder which may challenge the stock tires.

• Other than my issues with the tire casing (which won’t be universal) I think the 2030 GX’s build kit is almost perfect. It’s simple, no bullshit, high performance, and lasts. You can spend more to upgrade to electronics and carbon which may save weight and add polish if you want, but this build has all the performance you need for everyday riding. Even the Bike Yoke Divine dropper which I find sluggish and notchy did its job well over the many months I tested this bike

Headshot of Matt Phillips

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling , Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race. 

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  • Top Fuel AL Frameset

Trek Top Fuel AL Frameset

Trek Top Fuel AL Frameset

Top Fuel AL is an aluminum full suspension frameset ideal for building up a seriously fast, seriously fun down-country mountain bike. It's made for multi-tasking, so you can spec it to shred singletrack, crush flowy trails, and more. It's right for you if... You want to build up one single full suspension bike that's super fun to ride on a wide variety of trails. You're looking for a frame that's designed for both efficiency and shred-ability. The tech you get A lightweight Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame internal storage, Mino Link adjustable geometry, a 120mm Fox Performance Float shock with 2-position DPS damper, Knock Block 2.0 headset, 35mm Bontrager Elite stem, and internal cable routing. Designed for a 120mm fork, but can handle up to 130mm of fork travel. Fits 2.4" tires. The final word If you want a high-value foundation for a full suspension bike that's fast and fun on both flow trails and technical descents, Top Fuel AL is the place to start. Why you'll love it - Alpha Platinum Aluminum is lightweight and trail-tough - Efficient and capable: you can build up this frameset to suit a wide range of trails and terrain - Mino Link lets you make small adjustments to your geometry quickly and easily, even mid-ride - A sleek internal storage compartment gives you a versatile spot to stow tools and gear - New, removable Knock Block has a bigger steering angle to keep cables and hoses safe without sacrificing turning radius

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Due to supply-chain issues, Specs are subject to change without notice.

* Subject to change without notice.

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Trek Top Fuel AL Frameset Color: Mulsanne Blue


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    The Trek Top Fuel 9.8 XT comes with a 120mm travel RockShox SID up front, but the frame will take a 130mm fork if you want to kick the angles back further. Trail-leaning geometry. The 2022 Trek Top Fuel has received a series of geometry updates over the outgoing model, bringing it up to speed with other boundary-pushers in this travel bracket.

  4. Trek Top Fuel 8 review

    At 14.89kg (32.83lb), the Trek Top Fuel 8 isn't that much lighter than a 150mm bike. So if you want one bike to conquer all trails, it wouldn't be our first choice. It's still a great 29er trail bike though, and if bike park laps and enduro racing don't fall under your trail bike remit, the Trek Top Fuel 8 offers a fast, fun and ...

  5. Top Fuel 9.7

    Top Fuel 9.7. 8 Reviews / Write a Review. $3,499.99 $4,699.99. Model 5261026. Retailer prices may vary depending on location and delivery method. The final price will be shown in your cart. Top Fuel 9.7 is a quick and nimble full suspension carbon mountain bike that fuses the flat-out speed of a cross country bike with the trail-munching ...

  6. Top Fuel 8

    Model 5259799. Retailer prices may vary depending on location and delivery method. The final price will be shown in your cart. Top Fuel 8 fuses the speed of a cross country bike with the capability and forgiveness of a full suspension trail bike. It's quick, nimble, and dishes out serious fun on flow trails and techy descents alike.

  7. Tested: Trek Top Fuel

    Takeaway: Trek's latest edition of the Top Fuel moves from being a big cross country racer and becomes a short travel trail bike. With new longer and slacker geometry, plus 5mm of extra travel ...

  8. Trek Top Fuel 8 review: a progressive rather than ...

    Trek's Top Fuel 8 is a brilliant example of just how good short-travel suspension can feel, and less stroke always means a more responsive, visceral ride than a leggier bike. The geometry and proper trail tires really let you exploit the hooligan that's hiding in the frame along with your pump, tool and spare tube too.

  9. Trek Top Fuel 9.9 Trail Bike Review

    Aluminum frame Top Fuels start at $3,300. The most expensive carbon model is $10,000. Weight: 24 lb. (9.9, size small) Throughout its life, Trek's Top Fuel was the brand's cross-country racing ...

  10. 2022 Trek Top Fuel Review

    When Trek first launched the Top Fuel in 2004, it was a dedicated XC race bike, and it stayed in that camp through several subsequent generations. In 2019, Trek nudged the Top Fuel a bit closer to the Trail category since the Supercaliber took over as their XC race full-suspension bike, but with just 115 mm of rear travel and XC-oriented ...

  11. Trek Top Fuel need to know

    Price as reviewed: £3,750.00. New Trek Top Fuel 8 is a short travel - 120mm travel front and rear - down-country trail bike with internal frame storage for both alloy and carbon models. The Top Fuel has been a bit of a forgotten model in Trek's range in recent years. Originally conceived as an XC race bike, it slowly morphed into a ...

  12. Field Test Review: 2022 Trek Top Fuel

    Maybe Trek will roll out yet another bike that sits between the Supercaliber and the Top Fuel--but the jump between the two is pretty massive. A 60mm XC race bike up to a 28lbs (stock with pedals ...

  13. Trek Top Fuel 8 review

    A versatile and fast full-suspension mountain bike that can handle any terrain. Read our review to find out why we love the Trek Top Fuel 8.

  14. The 2023 Trek Fuel EX is a Poised, Do-it-all Trail Bike [Review]

    Trek Fuel EX. Price: $7,700 (as tested) Buy from Trek Bikes. The Trek Fuel EX has always had a little more EXtra than the Top Fuel, and as the most recent Top Fuel rooted itself even deeper in the 120mm trail/XC department, Trek thickened the borders between the two. The sixth generation of the Trek Fuel EX gained 10mm of travel, with 140mm in ...

  15. Top Fuel AL Frameset

    Top Fuel AL Frameset. 1 Reviews / Write a Review. $2,399.99. Model 5265514. Retailer prices may vary depending on location and delivery method. The final price will be shown in your cart. Top Fuel AL is an aluminum full suspension frameset ideal for building up a seriously fast, seriously fun down-country mountain bike.

  16. Trek Top Fuel 7

    Top Fuel 7 is an awesome and affordable bike that's a blast to whip around on and easier on the wallet. It's fast and fun and perfect for riders who want to test their mettle on all types of trails. Why you'll love it. - This bike's killer suspension setup is both efficient and ready to party. - Mino Link lets you make small adjustments to your ...

  17. Top Fuel 9.8 XT

    Top Fuel 9.8 XT. 11 Reviews / Write a Review. $5,299.99 $6,649.99. Model 5283672. Retailer prices may vary depending on location and delivery method. The final price will be shown in your cart. Top Fuel 9.8 is a full suspension carbon mountain bike for riders who don't settle. Not for parts nor for one style of riding.

  18. Trek Top Fuel Review

    Date Jul 22, 2022. Reading time 7 min. Editor's note - Cooper's Trek Top Fuel review starts just a few paragraphs down. Before getting to that that, Cooper wanted to highlight a few notes about sustainability, high end mountain bikes, and how we use them. This is an SEO nightmare but a great way to put you in a certain frame of mind.

  19. Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 2021 in review

    The spec of the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 - Lightweight components for a true high flyer. The € 8,999 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 is specced to ensure a lightweight construction and top efficiency. At 11.5 kg, it's the lightest bike in our big MTB group test. However, Trek couldn't achieve this without compromising on trail performance.

  20. The 9 Best Trail Mountain Bikes

    The Trek Fuel EX 9.8 is the best mid-travel bike in our test, with well-rounded performance and capabilities beyond its travel class. The Specialized Fuse 29 was easily the best all-around trail riding hardtail we've tested, and those seeking a great value should be sure to check out the affordable Polygon Siskiu T8 .

  21. Mountain bikes

    If you are looking for a mountain bike that can handle any trail, any terrain, and any adventure, you need to check out Trek Bikes Mountain bikes. They offer a wide range of models, from trail to enduro, with features and details that will enhance your riding experience. Whether you want a fast 29er, a plush suspension, or a reliable disc brake, you will find it at Trek Bikes. Don't miss this ...

  22. Trek Top Fuel 5

    Details. Top Fuel 5 is a full suspension mountain bike that's equal parts efficient and capable. It soaks up rough, rugged descents but still flies like a rocket up hills and on flat stretches. The light and sturdy alloy frame is built with parts picked for performance and value, making this bike perfect for your first full suspension trail bike.

  23. Trek Top Fuel 8

    Details. Top Fuel 8 fuses the speed of a cross country bike with the capability and forgiveness of a full suspension trail bike. It's quick, nimble, and dishes out serious fun on flow trails and techy descents alike. It's right for you if... You're looking for a do-it-all full suspension mountain bike that balances efficiency with shred-ability.

  24. Scor 2030 Trail Bike Review

    In Trek's line, $6,500 gets you a Shimano XT equipped Top Fuel 9.8 XT, ... With 140mm and 150mm trail bikes seemingly getting ever heavier, ...

  25. Trek Top Fuel AL Frameset

    A lightweight Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame internal storage, Mino Link adjustable geometry, a 120mm Fox Performance Float shock with 2-position DPS damper, Knock Block 2.0 headset, 35mm Bontrager Elite stem, and internal cable routing. Designed for a 120mm fork, but can handle up to 130mm of fork travel. Fits 2.4" tires. The final word. If you ...