After having gone full fat with the 27.5″ Farley back at Sea Otter, Trek thinks they can add more fun to more of their bikes with a bit of extra tire volume. So, now they are taking their popular Fuel EX trail bikes into midfat territory with a new 27.5+ iteration. The new Fuels bring bigger tires and bigger travel to the all-around trail riding platform for even more full-squish fun…
The new Fuel EX 27.5 Plus are built around an updated frame the gets comfortable clearance for 2.8″ tires and bumps ABP travel up to 130mm, paired with 140mm forks. The new suspension gets optimized leverage ratios that benefit from the larger negative air springs on the new Fox EVOL and RockShox Deluxe shocks, allowing them to keep pressures low and supple. The bikes also use the new slightly longer metric-sized shocks which were touted earlier in the year.
Key to the new bikes is new version of Bontrager’s Chupacabra tires, now in 27.5″ x 2.8″, and rolling on 40mm rims. The tire aims to keep weight (and rolling resistance) low so they are quick enough to compare with the non-Plus size Fuels, but deliver big steps in extra traction and control.
If you are still a fan of 29ers, don’t worry the 29″ Fuel EX isn’t going away, but you will be able to even run 29″ wheels and 2.4″ tires in the new Fuel EX 27.5 Plus, although it will raise the bottom bracket. At the same time Trek doesn’t recommend running standard with 27.5″ tires, as that will actually lower the BB too much and affect both handling and clearance.
The Fuel EX 27.5 Plus will be available in an OCLV Mountain Carbon frame, and an Alpha Platinum Aluminum option, both with alloy chainstays. Both frames use the same modern trail geometry, short-ish 433mm chainstays, ISCG05 tabs, and Boost spacing. They also get a DH-style steering stop to keep your fork from bashing into the frame, full internal cable routing (including for dropper posts), and integrated downtube protector.
The Fuel EX+ will come in three price points for now. The 9.8 will get the carbon frame, Fox suspension, and an XT double groupset for $5300. The 8 will get the alloy frame, Fox suspension, and a SRAM GX 1×11 for $3300, while the 5 will get the same alloy frame with Rock Shox suspension, and a Deore double for $2400. The Fuel EX 8 and 9.8 are available now, while the more affordable 5 should be ready to hit the trails in June.