Bike Check: Grant Usher’s Custom Trek Top Fuel

Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
The man in the flow.

Grant Usher has been racing and tinkering with bikes since those early days of elastomer forks, 3 x drivetrains, and sketchy geometry. A prolific endurance rider, he has a fair share of incredible stories, insights and advice on bike racing and equipment choices to offer.

These days he operates an experience-centric bike store Sprocket and Jack located near Jozi’s Greenbelt. They offer custom builds, suspension services, more regular over-the-counter bike goods and a chilled vibe. This is Grant’s current ride:

Bike Check: Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Grant Usher.

BN: What’s on your bike yet not easily available in South Africa? 

Well, it had a Shimano XTR12s Rear derailleur on but we needed it for a customer so before riding it we put a SLX one on and it hasn’t missed a beat!

BN: If you sold the bike, what component would you keep for your next bike?

The brakes and I-Spec integrated dropper lever, the ergonomics of the lever are the best I’ve used and I love the positive feel and modulation of the new generation brakes. Also my custom cut-down twist-loc lockout. The standard one is too wide and rigid in the hand.

BN: What surprises you the most about this bike?

It’s versatility. It is now my only mountain bike which will handle week-long stage races and my Enduro riding or events. The 120mm travel is the sweet spot for a one-bike-for-all-option and the mino-link flip-chip helps change its personality just a little for the application, along with some rubber swap-outs. It’s light enough, but also capable enough for what I throw at it, at the speed/manner in which I ride.

BN: Any imminent component upgrades?

Always had the XTR Rear derailleur on the list but after using the SLX it’s definitely not a necessity.

BN: What do you enjoy the most about this bike? 

It doesn’t take much thought as to which mountain bike to take out the garage to make sure you maximise the bike-to-trail conundrum that comes from multiple bikes.


Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Grant rides a size M/L (yes that’s a medium / large) Trek Top Fuel 9.8
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Fox Float DPS shock controls the 115mm rear travel.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
DMR grips with XTR brakes.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
There’s been no crashing with these grips.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Shimano dropper lever.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
By cutting down the lockout the cockpit is tidier and it’s easier to switch from open to closed settings.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Blingy XTR calipers.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
The Top Fuel is Trek’s do-it-all’er. A marathon race bike, mates race bike, trail or light enduro rig.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Bontrager Kovee Elite carbon wheels with a 30mm inner diameter.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Grant runs the mudguard through dry and wet seasons to keep the suspension seals as grit-free as possible.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Shimano cranks with a 34t chainring…
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
….and 10-45 cassette.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
Look X-Track race pedals.
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
A 150mm Bontrager dropper post….
Grant Usher's Custom Trek Top Fuel
… and he uses a Bontrager Montrose PRO saddle.

Thanks for showing us your rig Grant!

| IMAGES: Dom Barnardt |