(Waterloo, WI) – Trek has expanded one of the world’s most popular trail bike lines with the introduction of the Fuel EX 27.5 Plus. The popularity of mid-fat tires has shown riders how a little extra tire volume can yield a lot more traction and a lot more fun. Now the benefits of wider tires are being combined with full-suspension capability in the all-new Fuel EX 27.5 Plus.
A stiffer, more confidence-inspiring frame gets the mid-fat tire treatment along with an increased 130/140mm of suspension travel. The key feature of the new model is its freshly updated 27.5 x 2.8 Bontrager Chupacabra tires, rolling on 40mm rims. This setup significantly increases traction and stability, but keeps weight and rolling resistance low enough to maintain the nimble handling and quick acceleration that fans of Fuel EX have come to expect. Fans of 29” wheels need not worry as the Fuel EX will still be available as a 29er.
Novice and intermediate riders will instantly feel more confident aboard Fuel EX Plus with increased stability and traction on any trail. Advanced riders will find themselves clearing more technical trail features than ever thanks to the added grip in extreme situations like ultra-steep blown-out climbs and rowdy off-camber roots.
To go along with all that extra fun, we added more travel to Fuel EX with 130mm out back and 140mm up front. Of course, we still use our proven suspension technologies including ABP, Full Floater, and RE:aktiv for a chassis that’s ready for the plus-sized party. Boost hub spacing makes room for those meaty tires and allows us to keep the chainstays to a playful 433mm.
The new frame is available in either Alpha Platinum Aluminum or OCLV Mountain Carbon to cover a wide range of riders. The new bikes feature updated slacker, low and long geometry and a robust straight downtube producing the stiffest frame in its category. For an added measure of protection, we developed Knock Block frame defense, which keeps the fork crown and handlebar controls from hitting the frame. All of the new Fuel EX 27.5 Plus frames come with our Control Freak internal routing system for a set up that’s versatile and easy to use, while Mino Link allows riders to further fine tune their geometry. The Fuel EX 27.5 Plus is backed up, as are all Trek bicycles, with Trek Care, the industry’s best warranty.
Fuel EX 27.5 Plus FAQ
We tested every rim and tire combo out there and found that 27.5x2.8 tires on 40mm rims gave us that extra traction and stability we wanted, but also kept the weight and rolling resistance low enough to maintain nimble handling and good acceleration.
Will standard 29” wheels fit? What about standard 27.5 wheels?
The frame will accept standard 29” wheels, which will raise the BB slightly. We don’t recommend running standard or smaller 27.5” tires, as that would lower the BB too much, and the handling will suffer.
What is the max tire size?
27.5x2.8 or 29x2.4
Will there be any new Fuel EX’s spec’d with 29” wheels?
Not at this time.
What is new with the suspension?
We still use our proven suspension design with ABP, Full Floater, EVO Link, and RE:aktiv, but we’ve refined the system in two ways. We’ve adjusted the leverage ratio to optimize the performance of the larger negative air springs on the new Fox EVOL and RockShox DebonAir shocks without having to resort to higher-than-ideal air pressures.
We also went to a slightly longer metric-sized shock. This allows for better compatibility and it also gives us a more space for the shock’s internals for optimized performance in a more svelte package.
What’s new on the frame?
The geometry gets lower and slacker for better stability at high speeds and on steep terrain. We’ve also straightened the down tube and eliminated the curve behind the head tube to gain stiffness without adding weight. This frame is boasting an added level of frame protection with our Knock Block steerer stop, which protects the down tube from fork crown impacts and the top tube from handlebar controls. While our Control Freak internal routing system isn’t new on the carbon frame, we have added this slick feature to the alloy models as well.
What is the head angle? Chainstay length?
Low Mino Link position: 66.6-degrees or High Mino Link position: 67.2-degrees
Chainstay length: 433mm
Does the fork feature G2 Geometry?
Yes. Since the overall diameter of a 27.5x2.8 tire is close to that of a 29er, this platform benefits from the quick slow-speed handling and stable high-speed handling offered by G2 Geometry.
Is there a recommended starting tire pressure?
As always, the ideal tire pressure depends on many factors such as rider weight, riding style, and terrain. However, these higher-volume Plus tires will perform best at lower pressures than a standard mountain bike tire. For most riders, the ideal tire pressure will be between 13-18 psi. Keep in mind that even a half psi can make a big difference in finding the sweet spot between traction and sidewall stability.
Will new Fuel EX be offered as a frame only?
Not at this time.
2017 Fuel EX 9.8 27.5 Plus Spec
- Frame: OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame & seatstay, alloy chainstay, ABP, Boost148, Knock Block steerer stop, Full Floater, EVO link, E2 tapered head tube, Mino Link, Control Freak internal routing, Carbon Armor, PF92, ISCG 05, G2 Geometry, 130mm travel
- Fork: Fox Performance 34 Float, FIT4 3-position damper, E2 tapered steerer, Boost110, G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 140mm travel
- Rear Shock: Fox Performance Float EVOL, RE:aktiv 3-position damper, tuned by Trek Suspension Lab, 210x52.5mm
- Hubs: DT Swiss 350 centerlock disc, Boost110 front and DT Swiss 350 centerlock, Boost148 rear
- Rims: SUNringlé Duroc 40 SL 28-hole
- Tires: Bontrager Chupacabra, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 27.5x2.80"
- Bottom Bracket: PF92
- Cassette: Shimano Deore XT, 11-40, 11 speed
- Chain: Shimano Deore XT
- Crank: Shimano Deore XT, 36/26
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT, high direct mount
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT, Shadow Plus
- Shifter: Shimano Deore XT M8000, 11 speed
- Brakes: Shimano Deore XT hydraulic disc
- Handlebar: Bontrager Line Pro, OCLV Carbon, 35mm, 15mm rise, 750mm width
- Headset: Knock Block Integrated, cartridge bearing, sealed, 1-1/8" top, 1.5" bottom
- Saddle: Bontrager Evoke 3, titanium rails
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth, 2-bolt head, 31.6mm, zero offset
- Stem: Bontrager Line Pro, Knock Block, 35mm, 0 degree
- Grips: Bontrager Race Lite Lock-on
- $5499, Available now
Trek Fuel EX 9.8 27.5 Plus Geometry Low / High Settings