Trek goes ultra stealthy with Fuel EXe electric mountainbike
Instead of piling on extreme eMTB power for its 2023 Fuel EXe trail bikes, Trek has focused on offering more natural assisted-riding courtesy of a compact and light – and super quiet – mid-mount motor and slim downtube battery combination.
The Fuel EXe is built around a new stealthy HPR50 mid-mount motor developed in partnership with German robotics company TQ, which is tucked in behind the front chainring for a compact, clean look.
HPR translates to Harmonic Pin Ring transmission and is described as "a relatively simple, yet ingenious, drive mechanism that operates similarly to a rotary motor, but more refined. Internally, there are three concentric precision pieces, an elliptical wave generator, inner flex spline, and a circular spline, that come together to propel you forward, while remaining small and lightweight."
The motor weighs in at just 3.9 lb (1.8 kg), and has been deigned to offer assisted trail riding without the usual high-pitched electric whine of the motor, with Trek saying that the Fuel EXe "sounds 5x more pleasant and 1.8x quieter than other popular eMTBs" as a result.
It's reported capable of producing 36.8 lb.ft (50 Nm) of torque for "mid-level assist" over three power modes – with walk-assist included as well – and offers pedal assist up to 20 mph (32 km/h).
The 360-Wh battery integrated into the downtube is reckoned to be 39 percent slimmer than those installed in "a traditional eMTB" yet should have enough juice for between two and five hours of assisted riding per charge. It tips the scales at 4 lb (1.835 kg), has a built-in carry handle and can be removed with included hex keys.
A 2-inch OLED display is mounted in the top tube for quick-look status checks, with mode selection controlled via a handlebar remote. A full top-up takes around two hours.
Riders looking for more time between charges can opt for a 160-Wh bottle-cage range extender that plugs into the charging port on the upper face of the downtube for another 2.5 hours on the trail.
All of the Fuel EXe models feature a carbon frame with internal cable routing. There are model-specific RockShox or Fox suspension fork options with 150 mm of travel, and RockShox suspension to the rear for 140 mm of travel, with Mino Link geometry adjustment to tune the eMTB for different terrain and riding style.
The eMTB rides on 29-inch wheels wrapped in 2.5-inch-wide Bontrager tires, and stopping power comes from either Shimano or SRAM hydraulic disc brakes. The ebike also works with a new mobile companion app, for customizing the performance of the motor, mapping rides, monitoring such things as tire pressure and suspension, tracking activity and calculating remaining range in real time.
There are six models in the Fuel EXe range, with either Shimano or SRAM mechanical drivetrains. Pricing starts at a cool US$6,499.99. The video below has more.
Product page: Trek Fuel EXe