On descents, the Fuel was capable, controlled, and tracked
terrain effortlessly at high speeds. The faster our test riders
pushed, the better the bike felt, inspiring more confidence than a
bike in this suspension category should. The Thru-Shaft treatment
is very regressive at the top of the stroke, but still offers plenty of
small bump compliance. Once the shock opened up the mid-stroke
and bottom end, were incredibly responsive. The larger 29-inch
wheels rolled quickly and conquered roots and rocks with ease.
The sporty geometry made for a balanced yet playful feel, and the
bike wasn’t afraid to get rowdy.
Braking: Trek developed its Active Braking Pivot (ABP) to
prevent brake jack on the trail. The combination of ABP and the
Thru-Shaft treatment allowed for very controlled braking and
increased traction, especially in emergency situations. The Guide
Ultimate brakes had more than enough power and didn’t give us
any unwanted issues during our testing.
No more front derailleurs:
Our test bike came with a
SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain
that gave us plenty of gearing
for climbing and descending.
Dial in the geometry: Trek’s Mino Link allows riders to
tweak the geometry. The Fuel ships in the “high” setting, but
if riders want to they can opt to run the linkage in the “low”
Walk a straight line: Trek’s StraighShot downtube was
designed to increase the frame stiffness and allowed for
Trek to use their KnockBlock headset that restricts the
handlebars from over rotating into the toptube.