Trek Breaks Ground With New Electric Fuel EXe 9.5: The Burn Is Back With This Two-Wheeler

2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 16 photos
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
2023 Fuel EXe 9.52023 Fuel EXe 9.52023 Fuel EXe 9.52023 Fuel EXe 9.5 Motor2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 Display2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 Controller2023 Fuel EXe 9.52023 Fuel EXe 9.5 Linkage2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 Shock2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 Battery2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 App2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 Range Extender2023 Fuel EXe 9.5 (Color Option)2023 Fuel EXe (Action)2023 Fuel EXe (Action)
Even though you don't see them, Trek is always working on their legacy, finetuning and searching for perfection. This time around, the result is short of a miracle, and they've done this by dropping the overly powerful motors they've used in the past.
We all know Trek as one of the world's cycling powerhouses, and they've achieved this through constant R&D since 1975. Well, just when you thought that electric mountain bikes couldn't get any better, efficient, and natural, here's Trek with their newest addition to the family, the EXe, six e-MTBs designed to bring back the feeling that riders look for when riding.

Let's face it, there is such a thing as too much power, and for the masochistic rider like myself, you don't want a motor doing all the work; it takes the burn out of things. Don't get me wrong, strong assistance is nice and all, but for exploring, if you're looking for a natural feeling...just read on, as Trek has done a number with this one.

Now, six machines are available in the 2023 Fuel EXe lineup, so I'll focus on the least expensive, the 9.5. Why the least costly? Simply because we can use it as a baseline for what the class has to offer and, oh, how much they do.

To hop right into the thick of things, the most important aspect of the new lineup is the motor manufacturer. I honestly thought the day would never come when I see a manufacturer other than Bosch powering a Trek MTB, but here we are, in late 2022, locking eyes with a German e-system manufacturer I've never heard of. What? I'm, but one human and can explore so much.

2023 Fuel EXe 9\.5 Motor
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
Nonetheless, TQ (Technologie in Qualität) is a crew that's been around since 1994, and today, they focus their attention on an array of industries ranging from agricultural to e-mobility, transportation, and aerospace and aviation; they're all over the place, and that's a good thing. You'll see why shortly.

With the knowledge they've amassed over the years, TQ has created a drive system called a Harmonic Pin Ring, which is said to work similarly to a rotary motor. That's right, Trek's going full automobile on their bikes, sort of, and why that is, has to do with what this little powerhouse can squeeze out, 50 Nm (37 ft-lb) of torque, to be precise. It may not be a big deal until you consider that this motor weighs just 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds), and it's quite as hell.

Now, I know what you may be thinking, all that power you've been used to is gone. Yes, and no. While we are being presented with a less powerful motor, there are clear benefits, and one of them is the ability to suck less juice out of your battery pack, leading to a slimmer down tube, too. With the right tuning, a smaller motor means more riding, and yes, the burn you've missed out on with those 90 Nm buggers seems to be coming back.

2023 Fuel EXe 9\.5
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
Another benefit is that you no longer need a large battery pack to power this motor, and with this in mind, Trek adds a 350-watt-hour battery into the frame. Yet, there's nothing on the range except the words "power for 2-5 hours." then there's a range extender that can be added for an extra 44% ride time or distance. Once the pack is drained, in up to 2 hours, this bugger is back on its feet with a full charge. A couple of things you can take note of are the app that Trek is pushing forward, the display integrated into the frame, and the rather slim controller mounted to the handlebar.

As for the rest of this mountain-crushing EV, it's equipped with a RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 150 mm (6 in) of travel, a rear shock with 205 mm x 60 mm (8 in x 2.4 in) length, and a stroke that's responsible for the rear's 140 mm (5.5 in) of travel. Then there's that adjustable Mino Link, letting you play around with the BB placement, and of course, Shimano is handling the shifting experience. With all that and a few others, a 19.9-kilogram (43.8-pound) bike is what we're being given for a measly...$6,500 (€6,630 at current exchange rates)!? Yup, that's what the 9.5 is going for, but wait till you see the $14K version.

At the end of the day, take the time to really explore what Trek has in store with this new lineup, but the question remains: is a new motor really enough to justify this sort of price tag? Only one way to find out; test one at a local dealership. Just make sure you bring your checkbook, as you may be leaving with a new e-MTB.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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