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Dauphiné Libéré
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On Test: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL, March 29, 2009

Trek's Top Fuel 9.9 SSL flagship racer
Photo ©: James Huang
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Just 100mm of travel is on tap at either end
Photo ©: James Huang
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Actual frame weight on our 17.5" tester
Photo ©: James Huang
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The integrated bottom bracket design
Photo ©: James Huang
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The integrated seatmast makes packing for shipment difficult
Photo ©: James Huang
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The top tube and down tube are both pushed
Photo ©: James Huang
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The top tube is fairly broad
Photo ©: James Huang
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The compact rear end is light yet impressively stiff
Photo ©: James Huang
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The main pivot would normally be lined up
Photo ©: James Huang
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Trek's Full Floater suspension design
Photo ©: James Huang
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The compact one-piece EVO rocker link
Photo ©: James Huang
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Torque settings are conveniently etched
Photo ©: James Huang
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The Top Fuel 9.9 SSL uses carbon fiber seat stays
Photo ©: James Huang
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Trek worked with FSA to create a narrower version of their K-Force Light 2x9 crankset
Photo ©: James Huang
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Trek have opted for an 11-32T cassette
Photo ©: James Huang
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Front suspension duties are handled
Photo ©: James Huang
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There's plenty of clearance with the narrow tires
Photo ©: James Huang
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The flat bars are just 580mm wide
Photo ©: James Huang
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Separate lockout levers for both the rear shock and fork
Photo ©: James Huang
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The DT Swiss rear shock lockout is somewhat hard to operate
Photo ©: James Huang
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A PushLoc remote is available on the left-hand side
Photo ©: James Huang
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Shimano's XTR 'Shadow' rear derailleur
Photo ©: James Huang
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The lightweight rolling stock
Photo ©: James Huang
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Bontrager have traded in the DT Swiss-made hubs
Photo ©: James Huang
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…but we had issues with both the bearings and the the freehub mechanism
Photo ©: James Huang
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The minimal Bontrager Jones XR Team Issue tires
Photo ©: James Huang
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The perfectly rounded tread profile
Photo ©: James Huang
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Interestingly, our bike came with a Shimano Dura-Ace chain
Photo ©: James Huang
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The latest edition of Shimano's XTR hydraulic disc brakes
Photo ©: James Huang
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Our Top Fuel 9.9 SSL came with a 160mm rotor up front…
Photo ©: James Huang
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…but a 140mm one out back to save a little weight.
Photo ©: James Huang
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Both the rear derailleur and brake lines criss-cross
Photo ©: James Huang
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Cable routing on the Top Fuel 9.9 SSL is good but not perfect.
Photo ©: James Huang
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