It’s been over twenty years since the original GT Fueler frame made it’s debut as one of just a handful of mid 90s frames that bridged the gap between the era’s flimsy race frames and overbuilt freestyle frames. Having grown up riding in that time period and experiencing first hand the self destruction of a race frame at the trails, frames like the Fueler definitely appealed to me. Something with the longer top tube and geometry of a race frame, but with some design attributes like beefier tubing and thicker dropouts taken from freestyle frames. While I personally opted for an S&M Dirt Bike, I knew many people back then who went with the less costly and more readily available (on this coast at least) GT Fueler. Those who did loved them and with good reason, though GT may no have been one of the super cool rider owned companies, the Fueler was a quality US made frame that was on par with the S&M Dirtbike/Holmes of the time. The Fueler had a good run for a couple of years but it’s popularity eventually waned as other “jumping frame” options emerged from rider owned companies such as Soul, Standard, DK, TNT, etc.
Fast forward to the present day and those original GT Fuelers still hold a special place in the heart of a lot of riders who grew up in that era. That’s why it was no surprise that there was A LOT of buzz when GT announced this past spring that they were coming out with a new aftermarket frame that would bear the Fueler moniker. With the reins of the GT BMX program being held firmly in the hands of product designer Ben Ward, I knew that this new Fueler would be done right.
GT was kind enough to send us one of the new Fuelers to check out and I was even more impressed after seeing it in person. With its clean welds, top and down tube gussets, tapered stays, integrated seat clamp and chain tensioners, mid bb, removable brake hardware and room for 2.4″ tires, the 2017 Fueler frame is spot on with what you would expect a modern day trails frame to be. Of course I’d like to see that brake hardware welded on, but do I understand that having it be removable helps the frame appeal to more people.
As far as the geometry goes, the Fueler takes what we would consider the typical modern trails frame geometry and tweaks it a little bit. While the BB height, stand over and rear end length are pretty standard, both the head tube and seat tube angle are a little steeper than what we are used to seeing, 74.75° and 72.5° respectively. Though the frame has a 21.25″ top tube, with those steeper head and seat tube angles pushing the front end out, the Fueler is going to have ride characteristics more akin to a frame with a 21.5″ top tube.
Appearance-wise the new Fueler definitely gives a nod to the Fueler of old. It’s available in one color, chrome of course, and the graphics are very similar to those found on the Fuelers of the mid 90s. Ben and GT definitely didn’t do the legendary Fueler of old any injustice with what they brought to the table with this new modern version. Just like those original Fueler frames, the 2017 Fueler is a frame that’s on par with other frames on the market. Hell, it’s actually cleaner and built better than some I’ve seen!
Like I said earlier, GT was kind enough to send us one of the new Fuelers so that we could check it out in person. Their generosity didn’t stop there though, because they let us donate it to Catty for their raffle to raise money for the trails at last weekend’s Halloween Jam. It was cool seeing how stoked people were on the new Fueler and hearing all the stories about the Fuelers they once owned. At the end of the day OG Mike Brown was the one who ended up with the winning ticket that took the frame home. Scroll on down for more pics of the frame and to see just how psyched Mike was on winning it. I should probably warn you that it may not be NSFW, so be careful when you get to that last pic!
The 2017 Fueler frame is available worldwide from GT dealers worldwide for right around $350.
Top Tube Lengths: – 21.25″
Chainstay Length: – 13.5″-13.875″
Head Tube Angle: – 74.75°
Seat Tube Angle: – 72.5°
Standover Height: – 9″
BB Height: – 11.61″
BB Type: – Mid
Dropouts: – 14mm
Brake Mounts: – Removable on Chainstays
Weight: – 5lbs 9oz
Colors: – Chrome
Country of Origin: – Taiwan