We've managed to get some spy shots of the latest and greatest from Waterloo, Wisconsin. Trek's newest suspension platform, dubbed R1i, will be used on all of next year's Fuel EX bikes—everything from this OCLV carbon to the hydroformed aluminum Fuel EX 9, 8 and 7 models.
The big news here is the redesigned linkage layout. Note the rear pivot, which shares its axis of rotation with the axle of the rear wheel. Trek is calling it ABP, for Active Braking Pivot. The idea is that the rather unique pivot placement will keep the suspension active and independent of braking, keeping the rear wheel in better contact with the ground.
The new Fuel EX bikes also feature a floating shock pivot and a redesigned rocker link that is made from two welded halves rather than three bolt-together pieces.
If you pay attention to this kind of stuff you've probably noticed that Dave Weagle has recently released a very similar, concentric pivot/rear axle design. If you don't pay attention to this kind of stuff, Weagle is the suspension designer behind the DW-Link systems found on Iron Horse, Independent Fabrications and Ibis bikes.
Apparently ABP and Split Pivot were developed independently of each other, and there is no licensing going on either way. Split Pivot will be found on two yet-to-be-named bike brands next year. For more check out our coverage HERE.
Stay tuned for more on Trek's new bikes. The company’s official product launch is happening later this month, and there likely will be a lot more than the Fuel EX to talk about.