2022_TopFuel_CQ-2.original.jpg
First Impressions REVIEW

2022 Trek Top Fuel

Words Cooper Quinn
Photos Cooper Quinn
Date Feb 9, 2022
Reading time

The Trek Top Fuel has historically been a platform focused on winning World Cup Cross Country races under the likes of Emily Batty and Jolanda Neff, garnering 17 wins from 2016-2018 alone. From there, it morphed into a bit of a marathon bike - a bit more relaxed and comfortable geometry - where it was probably a bit less put out if you wore baggies or had a couple extra pints after the local beer league XC crit. Forget most of that, though. The press kit for the new Top Fuel outlines everything you’ve come to expect in 2022: it’s a 120mm (+5mm) platform that’s now longer (~10mm), slacker (1.5 deg), steeper seat tube (1.0 deg) with internal storage, internal routing, a flip chip, and rolls on 27.5” wheels in size XS and 29s for the six sizes above that. And yes, even the XS fits a water bottle, and is adamant it's no longer cross country.

As far as genre goes… apparently it's “Fast Trail.” Sure.

2022 Trek Top Fuel Highlights

  • 120mm rear / 120mm front suspension travel
  • 26.4 lbs – size large review bike, with XT M8020 pedals
  • Rubber downtube & chainstay protectors
  • Knock Block 2.0
  • Alloy Pricing: C$3,479.99 – C$4,829.99
  • Carbon Pricing: C$5,899.99 – C$14,699.99
Top_Fuel_Geo_Comparison.jpg

All the hallmarks of a new bike: longer, lower, slacker, and a bit more travel.

2022_TopFuel_CQ-4.original.jpeg

Top Fuel is not an anagram for Fast Trail.

Model Range

There are a lot of options across the Top Fuel range of stock builds: pick your price point (and thereby frame material), preferred drivetrain and suspension manufacturer from the big two in each, and you’re set. Or, if you fancy yourself a connoisseur, go factory custom with Trek’s Project One configurator where the world is your oyster with components and sparkle paint. Unlike some brands, Project One configuration is only available for higher-end builds, so you can’t get too aggressive with your min/maxing.

2022_TopFuel_CQ-18.original.jpeg

The frame here is what we'll try to focus on for the scope of this over the long term - most of the componentry is pretty well known and understood. And top tier.

Component Spec

Fork RockShox SID Ultimate, 44mm offset
Shock RockShox Deluxe Ulitmate RCT, 185mm x 50mm
Wheels Bontrager Line Pro 30, OCLV Mountain Carbon
Tires Bontrager XR4 Team Issue, 120tpi, 29.x2.40"
Derailler SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
Crankset SRAM XX1 Eagle, DUB, 30T alloy ring, 55mm chainline
Cassette SRAM Eagle XG-1299, 10-52, 12 speed
Saddle Bontrager Arvada, austenite rails, 138mm width
Seatpost Bontrager Line Elite Dropper,34.9mm, (S - 100mm; M, ML - 150mm; L - 170mm; XL - 200mm)
Cockpit Bontrager RSL Integrated handlebar/stem, 27.5mm  rise, 820mm width, 45mm stem (S - 35mm)
Brakes SRAM G2 Ultimate hydraulic disc

The review bike I’ve got is the 9.9 XX1 AXS build (sans AXS Reverb, welcome to media bike spec oddities), which would retail for an eye watering 13,974 CAD. The upshot to this is there probably isn't going to be much to comment on during the review period – the components are top tier and we’ll focus on the frame that holds it all together.

Frame Geometry and Suspension

Two years ago, a 66 degree head tube angle on anything with a SiD was very cutting edge; in 2022 it’s de rigueur. If we’re splitting hairs – which we’ll have to here – the Top Fuel geometry is slightly closer to its cross country roots than some of its competitors with significantly less stack height. This is down to a combination of a higher bottom bracket and shorter head tube. Will this mean it’s less comfortable at speed descending than some of its competitors like the new Rocky Mountain Element, or a personal favourite of mine, the Transition Spur? The Top Fuel seems aggressive enough to tread dangerously on the heels of its bigger sibling the Fuel EX.

There are lots of small upgrades over the previous Top Fuel. Both aluminum and carbon frames get an internal storage compartment in the downtube, there's a 34.9mm seat tube, and the Knock Block 2.0 gives a wider turning radius than the previous edition, as well as the option to remove it entirely. In theory, the Knock Block was originally conceived by engineers as a way to protect downtubes from fork contact, however this isn't the case here, which begs the question; "If the Knock Block doesn't need to protect the downtube, why is it there?" Personally I'd run a system like this on all my bikes given the option. It would alleviate concerns about brake hose damage in case of a crash, can make for tidier cables, and generally prevent some banging around and shuttle damage.

2022_TopFuel_CQ-21.original.jpeg

The flip chip (Mino Link, if you speak Trek) now sits at the lower shock mount. I don't love trunnion, but engineers love the packaging. I've got a lot of time on the SiDluxe, and it's wildly impressive especially considering there's roughly a thimble full of fluid inside.

Top Fuel Geometry

  XS - 27.5 SML MED ML LRG XL XXL
Reach 400 420 450 465 480 500 520
Stack 558 595 595 600 605 618 627
Effective Top Tube 539 568 598 615 631 654 676
Chainstay Length 435 435 435 435 435 435 435
Headtube Angle 66 66 66 66 66 66 66
Headtube Length 95 100 100 105 110 125 135
Effective Seat Tube Angle 76 76 76 76 76 76 76
BB Drop 20 36 36 36 36 36 36
BB Height 336 338 338 338 338 338 338
Standover (alloy) -- 715 735 740 745 755 765
Standover (carbon) 695 715 735 740 745 755 --
Wheelbase 1122 1151 1181 1198 1215 1241 1265
Front Center 688 718 748 765 782 808 832
Fork Axle-to-Crown 512 531 531 531 531 531 531
Offset 44 44 44 44 44 44 44
Trail 110 118 118 118 118 118 118

Geometry listed here is for the low ‘Mino Link’ position, with 120mm fork. Flipping the chip yields a roughly 0.5 degrees steeper head tube angle, and 6mm higher bottom bracket. Trek also suggests the Top Fuel is fully compatible with 130mm forks which yields numbers roughly 0.5 degree steeper.

There’s a broad range of sizing, and the extra effort that went into the XS is good to see, but it's a bit disappointing to see the same chainstay length and seat tube angle used across the full range. Reach grows by 120mm from XS-XXL and it’d be nice to see rear centres change proportionally. But for me, as a very average-sized male, 435mm chainstays are pretty standard for a size large. I might like to see something slightly longer, but being in the middle of the bell curve has its advantages.

Trek bills the Top Fuel as focused 60% on climbing, 40% on descending, and unsurprisingly it’s built around their split-pivot ABP system that's meant to decouple braking from suspension movement. Anti-squat is relatively constant at a touch over 100% throughout the range of travel in the hopes that whenever you put watts down, it motivates you forward.

2022_TopFuel_CQ-14.original.jpeg

Trek's suspension pivots concentrically around the rear axle, which they claim gives them the best of both more complex linkage designs, and single pivot simplicity.

Early Impressions

This is a first look and I don’t have more than a handful of rides on the Top Fuel. So far, getting acclimatized has been simple and I've felt comfortable straight away. I’ve settled in around 30% sag in the rear and 25% up front. This may seem like a lot for an XC derived platform, but I’ve found there’s enough progression in the suspension and air springs that this is a good balance of traction, stability, and efficiency. I’ve ridden some pretty aggressive trails so far and I can’t say the lower stack is noticeably detrimental yet, but I’ll be doing some back to back days with the Spur to refine that opinion.

2022_TopFuel_CQ-6.original.jpeg

Internal storage is a really nice feature - both aluminum and carbon models get it. Flip the lever open and the lid pops right off.

2022_TopFuel_CQ-19.original.jpeg

However, stuff tends to rattle around. Trek doesn't include ferns with the Top Fuel, but if you cram some in it'll help tame the rattle. Beware, the storage compartment is bottomless. It can be hard to fish your flat repair tools out from the bottom bracket... or so I hear.

Two component quibbles have arisen: the Team Issue TR4 tires are a hard compound that’s sketchy here in the winter and on my first ride I ripped a hole in the centre of the rear tire. I patched it and kept riding, but I’ll be swapping tires around to find something a bit more comfortable and, if I still have this bike once it dries out, I’ll try them again. They do roll quite fast, considering I’m out of shape (holiday beer drinking, snow, COVID, etc…) but still managed to set a bunch of climbing PRs. The Bontrager seatpost is also glacially slow and I’m guessing there’s an issue.

Overall I’ve been getting along well with the Trek Top Fuel in its stock form, but it’s time to swap a few personal component preferences around and get some more saddle time to see where it excels (or doesn’t), and why you’d pick this over the myriad of other 120mm travel dadcountry bikes out there for your Shorecountry (or Othercountry) adventures.

2022_TopFuel_CQ-1.original.jpeg

This'll be my view for a while - let me know what you need to know about it!

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn

Size medium millennial.

Reformed downhiller, now rides all the bikes.

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Comments

fartymarty
fartymarty
6 months, 1 week ago
+13 Tim_Clayton Agleck7 Justin White Vik Banerjee Andrew Major 4Runner1 mrbrett bushtrucker DancingWithMyself Pete Roggeman Tremeer023 kcy4130 Lu Kz

We don't talk about Downcountry, no, no, no....

Sorry my kids have been playing the Encanto cd too much and it's stuck in my head.

Reply

Bikeryder85
Bikeryder85
6 months, 1 week ago
+4 Justin White Andrew Major 4Runner1 Pete Roggeman

Bahahahaha...almost spit out my coffee!

Curse you! Now it's stuck in my head again!

Reply

fartymarty
fartymarty
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 mrbrett

No worries (or I could quote Moana and say "You're Welcome")

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
6 months, 1 week ago
0

At least he didn't go all Baby Shark on you...

Reply

craw
Cr4w
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 mrbrett

I'd almost forgotten about Encarta.

Reply

rnayel
RNAYEL
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Bad things happen when you talk about downc*y

Reply

just6979
Justin White
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 TristanC Timer

What the heck are "austenite rails"? Do they mean austenitic stainless steel, because you couldn't make saddle rails out of austenite, at least not at this planet's surface temperature and pressure.

Reply

TristanC
TristanC
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Justin White

I thought the same thing. Either the saddle rails are >910 degrees C, or it's a marketing ploy to avoid saying "steel."

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+7 Justin White TristanC PowellRiviera kcy4130 Pete Roggeman DanL Timer

This would explain the horrible burns I got during installation.

Reply

Bikeryder85
Bikeryder85
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Vik Banerjee Suns_PSD

Fastshore? Downtrail? Othershore?....

Seriously excited to hear your comments on this bike, esp. compared to the Spur. I do wonder why this and not an updated EX though....Trek has always had way too much overlap.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+11 Andrew Major Jan JVP 4Runner1 HughJass Nologo Velocipedestrian DancingWithMyself trumpstinyhands Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer Timer Justin White

I guess it makes sense given they also have the Supercaliber. 

Buy yeah you really have to drill down into exactly where on the bicycle spectrum you want to be. Trek bills the Top Fuel as 60/40 uphill/downhill and the Fuel EX is 40/60. Whereas I find myself right in the middle with all my rides at 50/50 uphill/downhill, because that's how geography works.

Reply

Bikeryder85
Bikeryder85
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Enter the micro niche!

On a side note, I have enjoyed the resurgence of regular mountain bikes for us mere mortals not on the shore. I don't care what the industry decides to call them, they are intriguing and I like them. I just wish somebody outside of Marin would make a 120 27.5 bike.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Totally! It's just... a mountain bike, and so far a pretty good one. 

Most of "these" type bikes will do most you want to in most places, fast.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
6 months, 1 week ago
-3 HughJass Nologo DancingWithMyself

I think they mean how much you care about up vs down, not necessarily how much of each you ride.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+5 Joseph Crabtree Cr4w Nologo Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer Dan Justin White

The internet really needs a sarcasm font.

Reply

mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
6 months, 1 week ago
+8 Cooper Quinn Ripbro kcy4130 mrbrett Nologo Justin White Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer

comic sans?

Reply

gdharries
Geof Harries
6 months, 1 week ago
+3 Cooper Quinn Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman
cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman Justin White

Someone will accuse you of having bad taste in fonts because they missed the ironic use case. 

This is the internet, after all.

DaveSmith
Dave Smith
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Papyrus is less obvious and some how more ironic in both form and tone.

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
6 months, 1 week ago
+3 Cooper Quinn Justin White Nologo

";-)" it's kinda got a solution for that.

Reply

SlurpyTurkey
Julian Sammons
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Justin White Cam McRae

I'm okay with some people not getting when it's sarcasm, like in real life. Kind of makes it better IMO.

Reply

flattire2
Brian Tuulos
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Andrew Major Dogl0rd

Love how geometry is converging across disciplines.  Barley any difference between this and a hard hitting enduro bike.  One geo chart to rule them all.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Andrew Major

Its pretty wild to consider... how niche/nuanced bike genretization has become (eg, 130mm trail bikes vs 120mm "downcountry" bikes), yet they're comfortable in terrain alongside 170mm bikes, and vice versa because a lot of 170mm bikes pedal well enough for all day epics. Neither is ideal in the extreme case, but the overlap is wild.

Reply

mrbrett
mrbrett
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Perry Schebel Suns_PSD

Thank you for including a weight WITH pedals!

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

I even put *exactly which pedals* in case you run different ones!

Reply

Hollytron
Hollytron
6 months ago
+2 Cam McRae Cooper Quinn

Flow country for old men.

Reply

sweaman2
Sweaman2
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Timer

Even the XS with 27.5 wheels has same chainstay length as the 29? That seems weird?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cr4w

Its fine for me but the rest of you outliers be dammed.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

It's just weird if I don't pop in whenever this comes up.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cr4w Andrew Major

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't baiting you.

Reply

4Runner1
4Runner1
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 blackhat

I once spent a day riding Squamish on XR4 tires. Scariest day of my life.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 4Runner1 Andy Eunson Justin White

The compound is something approaching UHMW plastic. 

Rolls like hell uphill, though.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Timer

50a is approaching plastic? Then MaxxTerra must be even harder than p-tex.

Or is there just nothing non-sarcastic to be expected here?

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

There's more to a compound than a durometer rating, and durometer ratings aren't always consistent with what is printed on a sidewall. Also, different compounds (and durometers) respond differently at different temperatures, and right now of course it's cold and wet on the Shore.

Deniz and Tim have both played around a little bit with durometer and temperature and some of the results were unexpected.

Reply

trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
6 months, 1 week ago
0

I've heard people say that these tires are scary but I've ridden most of the Slabs in Squamish (In and Out Burger etc) with them and I found them fine. Sure, they are no Assegai but the tread compound is soft enough for 'elbows out / chin down' slab riding style. Might not be so great if you lean back but still expect the same level of front wheel traction?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

I mean most of the slabs in Squamish have gobs of traction unless you happen to find one that got hit by glaciers. 

I'm OK with scary tires but I find these... scarier? I think its partially compound, but also tread pattern. I'll likely try a dissector/rekon or something till the roots dry out a bit around here.

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Suns_PSD

The same chainstay length for all is just being lazy and cheap.

Reply

Suns_PSD
Suns_PSD
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Andy Eunson

Like others, I look forward to direct comparisons to the Spur. I sure enjoy my Spur but there are several things about it I would change. Higher AS, UDH, Mino-link, higher BB, internal storage, internal rear brake line are the large preferences I have for the TF. 

The very low stack height on the TF is concerning however.

If the size L TF had a 440mm CS length, I would have already ordered a frameset.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
6 months, 1 week ago
0

What is it about the internal brake line that appeals?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Agreed - to me external routing is a feature not a bug. 

But some people like it. [shrug]

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

You have a UDH on the Spur! 

...its just a Transition UDH... which is universal... to Transitions. [facepalm]

I'll say the external rear brake line goes in the 'pros' column for me, but everyone's different. Internal storage is super handy, though. 

I'll have more thoughts, but overall I'd say the stack isn't a massive concern so far. And you could always use a higher rise bar. Certainly on paper, the Top Fuel is slightly to the left of the Spur on the XC-DH spectrum of bicycles.

Reply

oliver-burke
Oliver Burke
2 months ago
0

Really keen to hear more on the how it compares to the spur. Trying to decide between these two. Want a fast bike that's can handle the ups just as well as the downs. Be keen to hear which is more capable and how the different suspension set ups compare

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 weeks, 5 days ago
0

Piece is up today - but fire away with questions in the comments section over there.

Reply

stinhambo
Steven Hambleton
2 months, 1 week ago
+1 Oliver Burke

Hi Cooper! When's the Transition Spur comparison coming?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
3 weeks, 5 days ago
0

Today!

Reply

stinhambo
Steven Hambleton
3 weeks, 4 days ago
0

:)

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Up Trail?

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

It will do that! And then it goes down trail! 

Sometimes it's just across trail though.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Dogl0rd

Around Country?

Reply

Timer
Timer
6 months ago
0

A true Aroundhill bike?

Reply

NotEndurbro
Dustin Meyer
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Weren't some people calling that Upduro?

Reply

Dogl0rd
Dogl0rd
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Down shuttle

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

I've shuttled with a Transition Spur twice and both times it felt really silly.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
6 months, 1 week ago
0

This comment has been removed.

skua
skua
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Trek includes a storage roll thingy which works pretty well at preventing rattling and losing stuff in that big black hole. Perhaps it was missing from a media loaner?

Looking forward to your long term insights!

My XL TF recently arrived. I have nothing but good things to say so far (other than I wish it had a 2nd bottle mount, picky I know), but my ride time has been limited and only on studded tires owing to a season fondly known as 'east coast slop'.  Lots of rides planned elsewhere in the next month though.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

My 'storage roll' is usually just an old coozie (multipurpose and great to have at apres!) with pump, dynaplug, and multitool. A tool roll would help with this box for sure. I've also found stuffing a spare tube down at the bottom seems to provide a decent stop, but then I discovered if you use that tube...

Reply

stinhambo
Steven Hambleton
2 months, 1 week ago
0

How tall are you Skua? I'm 6'5" and I ride a hardtail (Ragley Big Al) with a 653mm stack and a 50mm riser bar!

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
6 months, 1 week ago
0

i'm trying to wrap my head around what a (contemporary) 26lb bike on the shore would be like. i assume tires would be the biggest liability, but otherwise i imagine something like this could be pretty damn efficient on a good chunk of our trails (excluding the supertechgnar bits, obviously, which would be terrifying).

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Perry Schebel Andrew Major

Its super fun. A different experience to be sure, but as long as you're not a Regular Tire Slasher its great. I'd argue that for most sanctioned trails, the term "underbiked" applied to something like the Top Fuel is a misnomer, as geometry > suspension.

Its wild how much faster you can get to the top. Tires are generally the limiting factor for what gets really scary - you've got less grip (also, less travel doesn't help here) - and less ability to slow down when things get hairy. But that's... you've gotta be places that are somewhat uncomfortable to begin with. Like... I take the ride around on a two spots on Cambodia (three if you count rock spine, but I don't usually ride that on any bike), but the rest is all good.

Reply

Timer
Timer
6 months ago
+2 Suns_PSD Cooper Quinn

Unfortunately, tires are often also the limiting factor for going uphill fast. For me, as a medium fitness human, anything with Maxxgrip instantly puts an end to the marriage of Mrs. Fast and Mr. Uphill.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months ago
+1 Timer

Yep. Going from fast tires to my big bike with maxxgrip (especially if there's an assegai on) feels like you're dragging a piano up the hill.

Reply

jan
Jan
6 months, 1 week ago
0

trade for a day? for science :)

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Yours is probably an XL though?

Reply

joseph-crabtree
Joseph Crabtree
6 months, 1 week ago
0

" I've got a lot of time on the SiDluxe, and its wildly impressive especially considering there's roughly a thimble full of fluid inside."

Looks like a DeLuxe Ultimate. I have a SidLuxe on my XC bike and can agree that it is impressive despite it's size.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
0

Yeah another media spec oddity noted by someone in my DMs too, haha. 

Truthfully I didn't notice, I assumed the different switch than my other bike was because it's a trunnion mount.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
6 months, 1 week ago
0

I was also really impressed by the SiD Luxe Ultimate that came stock on the Blur. At 100mm it wasn't plush, but it was more...accommodating than the 120mm stroke Fox Float Factory DPS that replaced it. The Fox let me ride faster, but didn't feel as nice.

Reply

Dogl0rd
Dogl0rd
6 months, 1 week ago
0

This has more modern geometry than my 2018 Process 153

Reply

T-mack
T-mack
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

Crazy

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
6 months, 1 week ago
+1 Dogl0rd

my first proper dh race bike (super-8) was both steeper & shorter. progress is rad.

Reply

Suns_PSD
Suns_PSD
6 months, 1 week ago
0

I don't understand the dislike for internal brake lines by some. 

Trimming and bleeding brakes is a brief and nearly always required procedure anyways,  why not have a better looking bike in the process?

For a bike tester that has to build bikes from the ground up and swap parts monthly,  I sort of understand.  Accept I'd probably just zip tie the brake line to the downtube externally anyways for my brief stint so doesn't matter anyways.

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
6 months, 1 week ago
+4 Cooper Quinn Andy Eunson Timer Andrew Major

Why  hate  internal routed brakes?

Example: last summer, a rear brake died. If my brakes were still external, like they used to be, I’d pull it off, pull the brake off my (unused at that time) fatbike, slap that in, and 20 minutes later, out the door, while I wait for the replacement brake to arrive, install that (and since I ride big bikes, I often don’t trim the hoses) 

And put the other back on the fatbike. 30 minutes.

Now, it would be: my hose on the fatbike would be shortened twice, used 2 olives, had to bleed twice, had to route it through twice. So, identity do that. So I miss rides while I wait for parts.

Reply

Suns_PSD
Suns_PSD
6 months ago
-1 Andrew Major

You could have just said: "Why hate internal routed brakes? Cause I'm a crap bike mechanic." 

More to the point.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months ago
+1 Andrew Major

I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion... that's a very valid example of why internal routing can be super annoying.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months, 1 week ago
+3 Tjaard Breeuwer Timer Andrew Major

Any time you remove your brakes you've gotta shorten your line. Which you can't really do very many times before you need to replace the whole thing, which is expensive. I'm not out there swapping brakes all the time, but enough that external lines are a benefit. External also makes bearing replacements and much easier. 

And besides, routing internal lines - even with good tubes in tubes - is just more fiddly than external lines.

Its not a deal breaker either way for me, but internal lines just seem unnecessary, especially if you look at something like a Scott where the lines run through the headset (see also: road bikes).

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
6 months, 1 week ago
+2 Cooper Quinn Andrew Major

Some internal lines rattle unless you have foam tubes or some other method of securing the line. And it’s fiddly the install when there’s no need for it. The frames with tubes inside often don’t support a left rear brake routing either. That’s a deal breaker for me.

Reply

Suns_PSD
Suns_PSD
6 months ago
+1 Cooper Quinn

I too run Moto style brakes, yet my lefthand style rear brake hose rattles less and fits cleaner on my internally routed SJ Evo than it does on my externally mounted Spur. 

On the SJ Evo I just have the brake line enter on the left side of the headtube and it causes no issues. On my Spur the rear brake hose  crosses over the front of the headtube as the kink is too sharp otherwise, goes through the triangle, misses 2 of the external hose mounts, then continues on. It also rattles (foam looks like crap, cause it's external) and it has to have so much excessive hose that the hose cast a moving shadow in front of my bike light. Pretty annoying. 

I do wish the manufacturers would either ditch the tube in tube (but still be internal), at least for the rear brake, or even offer a rear brake line entrance on both sides of the headtube with both converging in to 1 tube to exit in the correct place.

Dropper posts are 50x less reliable than brakes, do you all advocate for external dropper post cables as well?

The reasoning makes no sense to me, but there is nothing stopping you from zip-tying a brake line to the frame downtube externally, on any bicycle.

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months ago
0

Lots of manufacturers these days accounting for UK/moto style levers with their internal routing.

Dropper posts I can survive with internal routing - cables are less faff than hydraulics. 

And no, there's no reason you can't zip tie hoses to the outside.

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tungsten
Drinky Crow
6 months ago
0

> with 130mm forks which yields numbers roughly 0.5 degree steeper.

Wouldn't a longer fork make it slacker?

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cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
6 months ago
0

Typo. Slacker, yes.

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oliver-burke
Oliver Burke
2 months ago
0

Yep. Would love a propper comparison on these two as no one seems to have done that yet.

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