We don’t often shut up shop for a day on the trails, but when Trek invited to test their latest E-MTB’s, well, how could we say no? On the Tuesday, after closing we drove up the M6 to stay in Peebles ready for a full day of riding the following day. Glentress is nestled in the Scottish countryside, an awesome old school MTB centre with gnarly descents and great views over the Tweed Valley. The perfect stomping ground to test Trek’s brand new Fuel EX-E and Gen 5 Rail, two very different takes on mtb electrification. Here’s what the team made of them.
Trek Fuel EXe
The Fuel EXe 9.7 gives you a natural experience of mountain biking – it’s a playful, lightweight bike. The latest model gives a little extra power for those climbs courtesy of the new motor from TQ and it comes with an upgraded suspension package.
"It’s incredible bike weighing not much more than a normal full-suspension bike. – it’s nice on the downhills and surprisingly quiet. It was super smooth with electronic shifters. Quick too." - Joel
"This e-bike is lightweight and feels much more like a normal bike. It’s really nice on the downhill and super-smooth through the gears" - Jamie
"You wouldn’t know it was an e-bike apart from the fact there’s still something in your legs and lungs at the top of the hill! It’s surprisingly playful for a 29’er" - Dan
"I really liked this bike. Lightweight, giving moderate assistance when gaining height whilst still feeling like a normal bike. On the descent, it’s light and nimble. There’s just enough power to assist you gaining height which enables you to do more of what you enjoy. For me it’s the perfect balance giving what feels like a very natural ride between a regular bike and full Fat E-Mtb." - Mike
Trek's Rail 9.9 is a long-travel Full power electric mountain with the latest Gen 5 motor and smart Performance system from Bosch. This bike is built for ultimate trail performance. With a light carbon frame, RockShox suspension set-up, the latest wireless electronic drivetrain tech and the superb powerful e-MTB drive system with long range battery.
"The motor gave quite a lot of support, but it didn’t feel like a heavy bike. It’s a good bike for the uphill and so much fun. It’s big, sturdy, and powerful and I felt the updated geometry improved the handling down hills. It’s quite an upright bike giving a comfortable ride – although I would change the saddle." - Joel
"When riding, you feel planted & stable. The Rail 9.9 is an awesome bike" - Jamie
"The Rail 9.9 is a super powerful bike with aggressive acceleration. It tracked amazingly well over ridiculously bumpy terrain. It was poised during descents and surprisingly manoeuvrable, the additional weight allowed the suspension to work surprisingly well. You could do power wheelies with ease too." - Dan
The Rail 9.9 is a super powerful bike with aggressive acceleration. It tracked amazingly well over ridiculously bumpy terrain. It was poised during descents and surprisingly manoeuvrable, the additional weight allowed the suspension to work surprisingly well. You could do power wheelies with ease too. - Dan
A good day on the trails
Two very different bikes – the quiet, super-smooth lightweight Fuel Exe that barely feels bike an electric bike and the Rail 9.9 is solid, and powerful giving a very planted, stable fun time on the trials.
We had a great day on the trails testing two very different mountain bikes. As ever, the team at Trek were great hosts taking us, and other independent retailers to the trails with plenty of coffee & food pitstops. We had a great mix of gnarly rides for all ability and fitness levels, offering a range of loops each around 6 miles long.
The facilities at Glen Tress were excellent from jacket potatoes to nachos, and of course, good coffee. Our team really enjoyed the day out testing new bikes – everyone there was enthusiastic and enjoyed the day.
If you’d like to talk about the best MTB for you, come on in and chat to the team.
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