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Trek releases the Fuel EXe, a lightweight, yet feature-packed e-MTB

Trek Fuel EXe
(Image credit: Trek)

Trek has added a brand new e-MTB, the Fuel EXe. Based on Trek's lightweight trail bike platform, the new e-MTB platform is designed to give a more natural e-MTB riding experience than Trek's existing high-powered, bike battery Rail e-MTB.

Trek teased us with a new e-MTB claiming it to be 'dawn of a new era' and the new Fuel EXe will take its position as one of the best electric mountain bike in Trek's range. Trek has now released the full details of the new bike so let's dig into the details.

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

While the Fuel EXe shares the same name as the trail human-powered Fuel EX, Trek says that the new bike has been built from the ground up.

The frame is built from Trek's OCLV Mountain Carbon with an alloy rocker link. Trek has stuck with its proven ABP (Active Braking Pivot) suspension system and there is a Mino link, which is a flip-chip that can be flipped to make small geometry adjustments. 

Travel has been increased to 150mm front and 140mm rear and the bike rolls on 29in wheels front and rear, rather than a mullet setup which has gained popularity of late.

In terms of geometry, a fairly neutral 65-degree head angle is paired with a 485mm (large) reach and a 77-degree seat tube which should hit the sweet spot for general trail riding.

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

Rather than spec one of the more commonly seen motors, Trek has gone for a TQ HPR50 transmission. While the brand from Germany might not have much of a history in the mountain bike market, TQ has built motors for moon rovers and robots performing surgery so they have plenty of experience. TQ's Harmonic Ping Ring motor is said to be lighter, quieter, and smaller than other motors on the market.

This bike is designed to enhance the rider's abilities rather than overpower them, the TQ motor only puts out 50Nm of torque. Trek reckons that's enough power to assist riders up climbs without the ride feeling too unnatural.

Small motors don't require as much power either and Trek reckons you can get between two to five hours of battery life from the 360Wh battery – obviously this very much depends on the conditions and terrain. The battery weighs 1,835g and is bolted into the downtube although Trek says it is easily removed by sliding it out without needing to unbolt the motor. Battery life can be boosted with a 160Wh range extender that mounts on the inside of the downtube in the water bottle cage. 

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

The concentric motor design means the motor can be easily tucked away into the bottom of the frame and when combined with the slim downtube, it's hard to tell that the Fuel EXe is in fact an e-MTB.

That's helped further by integrating the display screen and buttons too. Trek has mounted a screen in the top tube, the screens aren't as detailed as the Forestal e-MTBs we saw at Core bike, and feature four display screens showing motor/battery, speed, or rider power data.

A slimline handlebar mount with two rocker buttons is neatly positioned next to the grip allowing easy on-the-fly toggling between modes. There is a walk mode as well to help push the bike up steep inclines.

Not only has Trek tried to lower the weight of the Fuel EXe to try to keep the riding experience as close to a standard bike but Trek has also thought about the audio experience. Claiming that the Fuel EXe has a perceived volume up to five times as quiet as a standard e-MTB, although Trek doesn't specify which motors they tested.

Trek has a tuning app that pairs which the motor (Bluetooth and ANT+) and gives users the options to customize the motor settings, monitor battery range, provide setup info, and navigation. The app also pairs with third-party apps too as well as GPS units.

If you plump for this 9.9 model, you also get TyreWiz and AirWiz which monitors tire, fork & shock pressure. Providing on the fly tire pressure readings as well as a green light that allows you to quickly see your suspension is set up properly.

Trek Fuel EXe availability, range, and specs

Trek has six different build options for the Fuel EXe, plus the fancy custom Project One options on certain models (9.7, 9.8 XT, and 9.9 XX1 AXS).

They are pricey though, with the Trek Fuel EXe starting at $6,499.99 / £5,750 and topping out at a whopping $13,999.99 / £13,250.

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS

  • Suspension: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate (150mm) / RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate (140mm)
  • Groupset: SRAM XX1 AXS drivetrain, 12sp
  • Cranks: E*thirteen E*spec Race carbon, 34T, 165mm length
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC brakes
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Line Pro 30 carbon wheels
  • Tires: Bontrager SE5 29x2.5in tires
  • Handlebar: Bontrager RSL - piece carbon handlebar/stem
  • Stem: Bontrager RSL
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS dropper, 170mm
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada
  • Weight: 18.45kg
  • Price: $13,999.99 / £13,250

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XTR

  • Suspension: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate (150mm) / RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate (140mm)
  • Groupset: Shimano XTR M9100, 12 speed
  • Cranks: E*thirteen E*spec Race carbon, 34T, 165mm length
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120 4-piston
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Line Pro 30 carbon wheels
  • Tires: Bontrager SE5 29x2.5in tires
  • Handlebar: Bontrager RSL - piece carbon handlebar/stem
  • Stem: Bontrager RSL
  • Seatpost: Bontrager Line Elite Dropper, 200mm
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada Pro
  • Weight: 17.47kg
  • Price: $12,999.99 / £11,500

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Fuel EXe 9.8 GX AXS

  • Suspension: RockShox Lyrik Select+ (150mm) / RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ (140mm)
  • Groupset: Shimano XT M8100, 12 speed
  • Cranks: E*thirteen E*spec Race carbon, 34T, 165mm length
  • Brakes: Shimano XT M8120 4-piston
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Line Elite 30 carbon wheels
  • Tires: Bontrager SE5 29x2.5in tires
  • Handlebar: Bontrager RSL - piece carbon handlebar/stem
  • Stem: Bontrager RSL
  • Seatpost: Bontrager Line Elite Dropper, 200mm
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada
  • Weight: 18.17kg
  • Price: $10,999.99 / £9,750

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Fuel EXe 9.8 XT

  • Suspension: RockShox Lyrik Select+ (150mm) / RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ (140mm)
  • Groupset: SRAM GX Eagle AXS, 12 speed
  • Cranks: E*thirteen E*spec Race carbon, 34T, 165mm length
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R 4-piston
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Line Elite 30 carbon wheels
  • Tires: Bontrager SE5 29x2.5in tires
  • Handlebar: Bontrager RSL - piece carbon handlebar/stem
  • Stem: Bontrager RSL
  • Seatpost: Bontrager Line Elite Dropper, 200mm
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada
  • Weight: 18.10kg
  • Price: $8,699.99 / £8,500

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Fuel EXe 9.7

  • Suspension: Fox Rhythm 36 (150mm) / Fox Performance Float X (140mm)
  • Groupset: Shimano XT M8100 Derailleur, SLX M7100 shifter, 12 speed
  • Cranks: E*thirteen E*spec Race Alloy, 34T, 165mm length
  • Brakes: Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc, M6100 lever, M6120 caliper
  • Wheelset: Bontrager Line Comp 30 wheels
  • Tires: Bontrager SE5 29x2.5in tires
  • Handlebar: Bontrager Line
  • Stem: Bontrager Elite
  • Seatpost: TranzX JD-YSP39, 170mm
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada
  • Weight: 19.05kg
  • Price: $7,599.99 / £7,100

Trek Fuel EXe

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Fuel EXe 9.5

  • Suspension: RockShox 35 Gold RL (150mm) / RockShox Deluxe Select+ RT (140mm)
  • Groupset: Shimano Deore M6100, 12 speed
  • Cranks: E*thirteen E*spec Plus, 34T, 165mm length
  • Brakes: Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc, MT4100 lever, MT420 caliper
  • Wheelset: Alex MD35 wheels
  • Tires: Bontrager SE5 29x2.5in tires
  • Handlebar: Bontrager Rhythm Comp
  • Stem: Bontrager Alloy
  • Seatpost: TranzX JD-YSI-22PLQ, 170mm
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada
  • Weight: 19.93kg
  • Price: $6,499.99 / £5,750
Graham Cottingham
Graham Cottingham

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg