Trek’s new electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) offer power-assisted rides with a slim frame that looks like a regular bike – but if you want one of those sleek rides, you’ll have to pay an arm and a leg.
The new EXe fuel line (opens in new tab) is designed around the brand new mid-mount HPR50 engine, which was developed in collaboration with TQ – a German robotics company (via New Atlas (opens in new tab)). The HPR part stands for Harmonic Pin Ring transmission and means the engine runs similarly to a more typical rotary engine, but in a smaller package. Case in point, it only weighs 3.9 pounds (1.8 kg).
Plus, Trek says it should be quieter than a regular eMTB engine with a “5x nicer sound and 1.8x quieter” sound. We’d have to try this bike out for ourselves to determine if it’s actually more pleasant to hear, but a quieter engine would certainly be appreciated – allowing you to soak up more of the sound of nature as you hike the desert trails.
As for the battery, you’ll get 360Wh by default, with an optional add-on of a 160Wh range extender. The normal battery will give you between two and five hours of power-assisted ride – with time depending on the level of boost you use – and the battery reportedly adds up to two and a half hours of extra juice to your tank.
With assist enabled, you can reach up to 32 km/h in three different modes that can be controlled using a 2-inch OLED screen on the top tube and a remote control on the handlebars.
All of this is encased in an internally wired carbon frame, with solid 29-inch wheels with 2.5-inch-wide tires that are braked by SRAM hydraulic disc brakes. Each model also comes with different suspension fork options, so you can make sure it’s the best eMTB for your needs.
It’s certainly not very cheap.
The footprint? Well, as we mentioned earlier, buying one of these impressive e-bikes will cost you at least $6,500 (about £5,400 / AU$9,400). For comparison, the best e-bike in the world right now – the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.00 – is just $4,000 / £3,900 / AU$5,000.
The Turbo Vado 4.0 comes with a few downgrades over the Fuel EXe – the main one being that it’s not a specialist mountain bike – but it also comes with some upgrades, like a larger (albeit heavier) 710Wh battery that lets you pedal with power assistance. energy longer.
For those looking for an e-bike for everyday commuting like commuting to work and shopping, the Turbo Vado 4.0 will be perfect if you can afford it. As for off-road riding, while the price is certainly a detour, Trek’s Fuel EXe is certainly an impressive beast based on what we’ve seen. But unless you’re regularly going on wild rides, it might be best to look for a more budget-friendly option.
If you’re looking for a budget e-bike, why not check out our picks for the best cheap e-bikes on the market?