The Fuel EXe 9.8 XT comes with a cutting-edge, harmonic pin ring transmission motor made by German robotics company TQ. The TQ harmonic pin ring motor is designed to be lightweight and unobtrusive. It is a full 4.5 lbs lighter than a Bosch Performance Line CX, at the expense of some torque — this has 50 Nm of torque compared to the Bosch85 Nm.
As for the battery? This is a relatively tiny 360Wh, signaling that this is a machine where the battery and motor will only be used occasionally in a day’s riding. While the 8-lb battery weight is noticeable, it’s nothing compared to the 625Wh lump on most other current big eTMBs.
As can be seen in the specs table above, this is otherwise an all-carbon, top-end competition mountain bike. From RockShocks forks to best-in-class Shimano XT brakes and drivetrain, this is a mountain bike first and foremost and an electric bike second of all.
Reasons to Buy
You’ll need to be an expert mountain bike rider to even think of finding nearly $10,000 for an e-bike of this type. The reason you’d buy it is if you need a little extra “go” up the hill between practice runs. Or, if you’re not into competition, because you can’t be bothered with sweating to get back up and just want to have fun on a thoroughbred downhill beast!
Another selling point is the ease of pedaling. Generally speaking, when e-bike motors are off, it can feel like pedaling through quicksand. The TQ design team recognized this, and with this motor, you’ll hardly notice it when the bike is in analogue mode.
Things to Consider
If you’re moving away from analog MTBs and into the world of electric bikes, you’ll definitely notice the extra weight and different balance. This weight is lower down (as with all good eMTBs) and is admittedly a lot less than an all-in electric mountain bike. Still, it’ll require some adjustment in your riding to account for the new center of gravity and bulk.
The only other drawback of this bike is the price. At nearly $9,200, the Trek Fuel EXe 9.8 XT can be cost-prohibitive for casual riders.