Hunter Tumbleson takes on Trek Fuel EXe and Ibis HD6.
Trek Fuel EXe:
My job involves riding a lot of different bikes. Sometimes electric, sometimes regular. While the EMTB market is growing faster than ever and equally as confusing, in my opinion,Trek has knocked it out of the park with its lightweight offering, the Fuel EXe. The Fuel EXe was the first time I rode an EMTB where I truly forgot I was riding a power assisted bicycle, as the silent TQ motor is something that is worth pedaling even for the EMTB skeptic. Of course on the climbs it's tough to forget you’re drawing additional power, but riding the Fuel EXe downhill the suspension design is so well orchestrated this bike truthfully allows you to forget the motor between your feet. The Pine Mountain loop is a perfect place to test out the capabilities of the Fuel EXe. I tell customers this is a good bike first and foremost, EMTB second. I don’t think I can say that about a lot of the EMTB’s I get to ride, no matter how fun they might be.
Ibis Cycles HD6:
While the Ripmo has been hugely popular for us since its release, customers have long been asking for a more aggressive, longer traveled Ibis. Well Ibis has delivered with the Ibis HD6. Keeping its distinctive Ibis traits such as the DW Link pedaling platform that feels ever so dreamy and applying them to a longer travel race machine, Ibis introduced a new look straight top tube, that brings Ibis into a new era. While the bike may have lost some of Ibis’s infamous curviness it’s fast and more agile than ever. Boasting 180mm of front travel and 165 rear, this mixed wheel setup is meant to go fast and turn even faster. I recently rode this down the Flow trial and Broken Dam in Camp Tamarancho and couldn’t believe how much fun I had. While it’s intended for more aggressive terrain, it managed to pedal very well on the Tamarancho switchbacks and maintained its playfulness on the not necessarily steep Tamarancho dowhills. I’d say anyone looking for an Enduro Race Bike, a bike for bigger mountain terrain like Downieville, Tahoe, or just an overall fast bike should look no further.