Trek’s great-looking new electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) offer riding support with a sleek frame that looks like a regular bike — but if you want one of these streamlined rides, you’ll have to pay an arm and a leg.
The new Fuel EXe range (opens in new tab) is designed around the brand new HPR50 mid-motor, 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 motor works in the same way as a more typical rotary motor, but in a smaller package. An example of this is that it weighs only 1.8 kg.
Plus, Trek says it should be quieter than a regular eMTB bike with a sound that’s “5x more pleasant and 1.8x quieter”. We’d have to try this bike ourselves to determine if it’s really more pleasant to listen to, but a quieter motor would certainly be appreciated – so you can absorb more of the sound of nature as you trek wilderness trails.
As for the battery, you get 360 Wh as standard, with an optional add-on of a 160 Wh range extender. The normal battery will give you between two and five hours of powered ride – with the length of time depending on the level of boost you’re using – and the battery pack will reportedly add up to two and a half hours of extra juice to your tank.
When the assistance is on, you can hit up to 32 mph in three different modes that can be controlled with a 2-inch OLED screen on the top tube and a remote control on the handlebar.
All of this is clad in an internally wired carbon frame, with solid 29-inch wheels with 2.5-inch-wide tires brought to a stop by SRAM hydraulic disc brakes. Each model comes with different suspension fork options, so you can be sure it’s the best eMTB for your needs.
Definitely not dirt cheap
The catch? Well, as we mentioned before, buying one of these impressive e-bikes will set you back at least $6,500 (about £5,400 / AU$9,400). In comparison, the best e-bike in the world right now – the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.00 – starts at just $4,000 / £3,900 / AU$5,000.
The Turbo Vado 4.0 comes with some 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 bigger (albeit heavier) 710Wh battery for you to ride with support for longer.
For those of you looking for an e-bike for everyday travel, such as commuting and biking to the shops, the Turbo Vado 4.0 is perfect if you can afford it. As for off-roading, while the price is certainly a letdown, Trek’s Fuel EXe is certainly an impressive beast based on what we’ve seen. But unless you regularly go on wild trips, you might want to look for a more budget-friendly option.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly e-bike, why not check out our picks for the best cheap e-bikes out there?