Bikes of the Epic: Fabian Rabensteiner's Trek Top Fuel

Fabian Rabensteiner's luminous orange Trek Top Fuel SL more than caught our eye at the Absa Cape Epic. He and his partner Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez sit 13th overall in their first Absa Cape Epic for Team Trek-Selle San Marco B.

It's not just the paint job that is unique. Fabian's Trek Top Fuel is fitted with an array of unusual components, most notably the Alchemist X-Sense wheelset. Aside from looking like a Batman accessory, the radical rim design serves a few purposes. With spoke nipples exposed maintenance is said to be easier and the clean rim surface ideal for tubeless. Alchemist also claim that the shape is engineered to provide some flex and forgiveness.

 

The Italian made PMP crankset was something new to us. These alloy cranks feature a titanium axle which helps them to a claimed weight of 563 grams (excluding bottom bracket).

 

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Specification list:

  • FrameTrek Top Fuel SL
  • ForkFormula 33
  • ShockRockShox Monarch XX
  • RimsAlchemist X-Sense X9.26 (26mm internal width)
  • HubsAlchemist
  • Front TyreMaxxis Ikon 2.20
  • Rear TyreMaxxis Crossmark 2.1
  • HandlebarsDeda Cross
  • StemDeda Cross
  • HeadsetFSA
  • BrakesFormula T1 Racing
  • ShiftersSRAM X1
  • DerailleursSRAM X1
  • CassetteSRAM XX1
  • CranksetPMP XP-R1
  • ChainringPMP XP-R1
  • ChainSRAM X1 Shimano HG-X11
  • PedalsXpedo M-Force 8 TI
  • SeatpostDeda Cross
  • SaddleSelle San Marco
  • Bottle CageBontrager RL
  • BarendsSamurai Sword

 

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43 Comments

TheJ, Mar 15 2016 06:30

Old school Crossmarks still popular.

Jaco-fiets, Mar 15 2016 06:50

Interesting! X1 and not top end (not even 2nd from top). Says plenty to the amateurs out there wondering what groupsets to buy

Rick Sanchez, Mar 15 2016 07:08

Who doesn't love exposed nipples?

Rick Sanchez, Mar 15 2016 07:09

X1 should be very reliable

Dieter ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), Mar 15 2016 07:18

Who doesn't love exposed nipples?

I actually never knew how much I loved them until now <3

gummibear, Mar 15 2016 07:27

Weird looking rims 

tubed, Mar 15 2016 07:30

Again, nice feature Nick, thanks

BSG, Mar 15 2016 08:27

Old school Crossmarks still popular.

I like the toughness of the crossmark.........albeit the weight penalty.

Nick, Mar 15 2016 08:38

Interesting! X1 and not top end (not even 2nd from top). Says plenty to the amateurs out there wondering what groupsets to buy

 

The Italian mechanic working on the bike said something along the lines of the weight not being much different to the top end components. I couldn't make out much more than that.

Spoke101, Mar 15 2016 09:54

The Italian mechanic working on the bike said something along the lines of the weight not being much different to the top end components. I couldn't make out much more than that.

No rear brake adapter either. Saving grams.

tubed, Mar 15 2016 10:22

I like the toughness of the crossmark.........albeit the weight penalty.

Agreed, if its a big deal to have a disaster, then these are dependable ones.

 

My choice for Freedom Challenge previously and if I head out anywhere now where there is no help coming - super reliable.

TheJ, Mar 15 2016 10:44

I like the toughness of the crossmark.........albeit the weight penalty.


I use the non-UST versions. Not overly heavy.

DJuice, Mar 16 2016 05:37

Thanks Nick for the review.
Personally I think you have a winning formula, I do not see other media covering the bikes.
Can you perhaps try for a review of the Superior and the Centurion bikes.

CogitoErgoSum, Mar 16 2016 05:57

Supersport is missing the mark of having a cycling dedicated program. I am NOT interested in the sponsors, and not interested in the towns or whatever. That is if you can get anything on tv.

Why not bring rider profiles, behind the scenes footage, actual bike reviews.

Thanks Nick for the reviews

BSG, Mar 16 2016 06:06

I use the non-UST versions. Not overly heavy.

The Crossmark is the only tyres I used since I began with tubeless, on the 26" and for the last few years on both my 29" bikes as well. I just have so much faith in them. But I only use them on the rear tyre.

CogitoErgoSum, Mar 16 2016 06:30

The Crossmark is the only tyres I used since I began with tubeless, on the 26" and for the last few years on both my 29" bikes as well. I just have so much faith in them. But I only use them on the rear tyre.


My sentiments too. But I made the mistake of fitting Crossmarks front and rear. Terrible front tyre - skidding all over the place. You just cannot take speed into corners. But a very strong and reliable rear tyre.

I will be replacing the front in due time with something with more traction.

Good to see the top guys choosing "common" components above the fancy pansy stuff!

mtbride, Mar 16 2016 07:06

Would be interesting to get the weights on these bikes, it seems they are not all out on weight saving and even less of a "weight weenies" than some amateurs!

SilverSurf3r, Mar 16 2016 08:30

looks like xx1 cassette and chain - x1 is black only ?

Maybe the derailleur is the only x1 thing there ?

Hilton., Mar 16 2016 08:58

looks like xx1 cassette and chain - x1 is black only ?

Maybe the derailleur is the only x1 thing there ?

 

I was thinking the same thing. Cassette looks like XX1 to me as well. Great to see the X1 though!

Hairy, Mar 16 2016 09:47

Nick, can you also note the frame sizes please when you do the spec .... any chance of doing a dirty and haggard rider pic next to the bike too .... you know, that really "used and spent" rider with his bike pic :)

 

Thanks for the articles, makes good reading

Admin, Mar 16 2016 12:55

looks like xx1 cassette and chain - x1 is black only ?

Maybe the derailleur is the only x1 thing there ?

Good catch! The cassette does appear to be XX1. From a closer look at another photo the chain is actually a Shimano HG-X11 (XT 11 speed). 

As Nick mentioned, conversation and interaction with the Italian mechanic / manager was tricky... "All X1" he said as he wheeled the bike off and Nick scrambled to jot down remaining specs. He must have been suspicious of leaving us alone with the bike ;-)

 

The rear derailleur and shifter were most definitely X1 though.

Reden, Mar 16 2016 02:32

The cassette does appear to have a expander sprocket. Looking at the photo of the rear brake.

"Shimano XD Compatible only" what I can make out.

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Mar 16 2016 02:36

The cassette does appear to have a expander sprocket. Looking at the photo of the rear brake.

"Shimano XD Compatible only" what I can make out.

Nope, that's the standard SRAM 11sp XX1 cassette. It says "SRAM 11-42 11sp XD Compatible only"

Jaco-fiets, Mar 16 2016 02:41

Good catch! The cassette does appear to be XX1. From a closer look at another photo the chain is actually a Shimano HG-X11 (XT 11 speed). 

As Nick mentioned, conversation and interaction with the Italian mechanic / manager was tricky... "All X1" he said as he wheeled the bike off and Nick scrambled to jot down remaining specs. He must have been suspicious of leaving us alone with the bike ;-)

 

The rear derailleur and shifter were most definitely X1 though.

Interesting! I thought you can't run a XT 11sp chain on the sram system because of shifting issues?

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Mar 16 2016 02:50

Interesting! I thought you can't run a XT 11sp chain on the sram system because of shifting issues?

No, that's bollocks.