What are Trek Mountain Bikes?

Trek mountain bikes have been around since the early 1980s. Trek Bicycle Corporation was established in 1976 in a red rented barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin. At that time, there were 5 people on the payroll. In 1980, the Trek company needed a bigger place so they constructed a new facility just down the road from the barn in an old cornfield in Waterloo.

The first Trek mountain bike, the 850, was created and competed in the Whiskeytown Classic in California in 1983.

In 1993, Trek bought the Gary Fisher company, bringing on board Gary Fisher's mountain bikes, knowledge, and experience with mountain biking.

Today, Trek still has its their main factory in Waterloo and they are the largest bicycle company in the United States, with subsidiaries in over 90 countries.

Trek Bike Technology

Each bicycle manufacturing company has specific technologies and materials that they use to make their mountain bikes. The following are explanations of some of technology that the Trek company uses to make Trek mountain bikes.

OCLV Carbon - Optimum Compaction, Low Void Carbon: Trek's method of producing carbon mountain bike frames, during which heat and pressure are applied to compress multidirectional layers of carbon fiber.

There are 3 different rankings for Trek carbon mountain bike frames:

  • OCLV Red - lightest with the highest quality carbon fiber

  • OCLV Black - high performance carbon fiber that is slightly heavier than OCLV Red

  • OCLV White - used in their less expensive entry-level bikes

Alpha Aluminum: The type of aluminum alloy that Trek uses for their frames.

Trek mountain bikes come in 3 different types of alloys:

  • Alpha Red - Trek's premium alloy. The strongest and lightest of the 3 alloys. Hydroformed or mechanically formed with optimized butting.
  • Alpha Black - some hydroforming and butting.
  • Alpha White - straight gauge aluminum with little or no forming.

EVO link - rather than a plate and bolt rocker assembly, the rear mountain bike suspension is a simple one piece design. This design reduces flex for extra stiffness and is lighter than a plate and bolt rocker design.

ABP: Active Braking Pivot - Rear suspension pivot is through the center of the rear axle to allow mountain bike suspension to remain active when braking.

Full Floater - Rather than attaching the shock to the frame with a fixed mount, Full Floater lets the mountain bike shock float between points. The purpose is to provide greater bump compliance, midstroke control, and a feeling of more travel.

No-cut seatmast - The clamping is moved further up the bicycle frame to increase rigidity and decrease weight while still having a range of adjustment options. 2 sizes of seatmast tops are available.

BB90 Bottom Bracket - Available in the OCLV Trek mountain bike models. The distance between the pedals is reduced for better pedaling efficiency. Ceramic bearings fit right into the carbon fiber frame so there are fewer parts and less weight.

E2 System - The bicycle fork steerer is tapered so it is lightweight, but yet strong where it is needed in the lower part. Designed to be stiff, but still very efficient and nimble for tight corners.

WSD: Women's Specific Design - WSD Trek mountain bikes have narrower handlebars, a shorter top tube, and a steeper seat tube angle to fit a woman's geometry. Trek offers several full suspension and hardtail womens mountain bike options, including models in the Top Fuel, Fuel EX, and Racing Trek Hardtail line-ups.

Trek Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

Trek mountain bikes come in a large variety of options and prices. The main models in their full suspension lineup include the Top Fuel, Fuel EX, Remedy, and Session 88.

Top Fuel

The Top Fuel is the lightest and most efficient of the full suspension Trek mountain bikes. This bike is built for racing. This is the bike of choice and victory for Chris Eatough, six-time 24-hour World Champion.

The Top Fuel Trek mountain bike models have better components and increasing prices the higher the model number.

The frames of the 9.8 and 9.9 series are made of OCLV Red carbon. The 8 and 9 series have alpha red aluminum frames. They have 100 mm of front and rear travel.

Women Specific Design (WSD) options are available in the Top Fuel 9.8 and Top Fuel 8.

The Top Fuel Trek mountain bikes are loaded with EVOlink, ABP, Full Floater, No-Cut Seatmast, and BB90

Fuel EX

The Fuel EX is Trek's cross country trail bike that is built for versatile all day riding in a variety of conditions. The Fuel EX models have better components and increasing prices the higher the model number.

The frames of the 9.8 and 9.9 Fuel EX have OCLV Black Carbon frames. The 5 Fuel EX to 9 Fuel EX have Alpha Aluminum frames. The The Fuel EX has 120 mm of travel in the front and a Fox Float RP-23 or Fox Float RP-2 (depending upon the model) for a rear shock.

Features of the Fuel EX include EVOlink, APB, Full Floater suspension, and E2 system.

Women Specific Design options are available in the Fuel EX 8 and Fuel EX 5 Trek mountain bikes.


The Remedy is Trek's all mountain option. This mountain bike is made for drops, jumps, and challenging descents, but light enough for efficient climbing.

The frame is constructed of Alpha Red aluminum. Suspension is 150mm of matched front and rear travel, including a DRCV rear shock. Front fork travel is adjustable. The models have better components and increase in price as you go up the line.

Other features of the Remedy include EVOlink, ABP, Full Floater suspension, and E2 System.


The Scratch is Trek's new freeride mountain bike. Models include the Scratch 9 and Scratch 7, which come with coil shocks front and rear, and the Scratch Air 8 and Scratch Air 6, which come with air shocks front and rear.

The Trek Scratch comes loaded with 170mm of rear-wheel travel, Active Braking Pivot, Full Floater, EVO Link, and E2 System.


The Session 88 and Session 8 are Trek's downhill mountain bikes. Both have Alpha Red aluminum frames.

The Session 88 has a 203 mm Fox DHX RC4 rear shock and Trek World Racing team paint. Dirt Magazine called the Session 88 DH "the best production downhill bike by a mile" .

The Session 8 is Trek's more affordable downhill mountain bike, featuring the same frame as the Session 88.

Trek Hardtail Mountain Bikes

There is large range of hardtail trek mountain bikes, ranging in price from very basic to lightweight racers. Trek hardtail bikes include the Classic Hardtails, Racing Hardtails, and Elite Carbon Hardtails.

Classic Hardtails

The Classic Hardtails are Trek's entry level hardtails that are designed for beginners. These hardtails have longer, lower, and slacker frames so they feel stable and comfortable for beginners

The Classic Hardtail models include the 4 series, the 3 series, and the Skye series. The 3 series have Alpha White frames, and the 4 series have Alpha Black frames. The Skye series is the Women Specific Design (WSD) line-up and comes in Alpha White or Alpha Black.

Most of these hardtails have v-brakes rather than disc brakes, except for the 4300 Disc model. This lineup has several WSD models.

Racing Hardtails

The Racing Hardtails are optimized for efficient climbing and fast descents. They include the 8 series and 6 series.

The frames are constructed of lightweight hydroformed Alpha Red aluminum in the 8 series and Alpha Black aluminum in the 6 series.

WSD models in the racing hardtails line-up include the 8000, 6700, and 6000.

Elite Carbon Hardtails

The Elite Carbon Hardtails are the most expensive and highest quality of the hardtail Trek mountain bikes. These bicycles are built for racing and are designed to be very light and precise.

These hardtails include the 9 series, which have OCLV Carbon frames. The 9.9 has the no-cut seatmast and all models have BB90.

29er Mountain Bike and 69er Mountain Bike

Trek does not yet have a 29er mountain bike, but rumor has it they are coming out with one soon, possibly in the Fuel EX line-up.

Trek did come out with a 69er, which had a 29-inch wheel in the front and a 26 inch wheel in the back,, but this was discontinued in 2010. The idea behind this design was to have the advantages of both a 29er and its 26-inch counterpart.


Trek is a large and reputable company that has been around for many decades. They have a nice range of full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes in their line-up. They have not come out with any 29ers yet. They recently came out with the Scratch line-up, which is their new Freeride mountain bike. Trek has a fairly nice selection of womens mountain bikes in their full-suspension and hardtail line-ups.

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