Trek Fuel EX 5 Mountain Bike Review

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AVERAGE RATING
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4.00 out of 5
WHERE TO BUY    MSRP: $1,210
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July 25, 2017
 
Model/Year: 2017

Pros: Great handling, Climbs nice, fairly well equipped stock, Great customer service from Trek, comes with Tubeless kit

Cons: Some BAD stock components, Pivots all loosen and need to be tightened

Recommendation: I picked this bike up at the end of February 2017 and absolutely loved it right away. Mind you, I was coming off a Weyless SP (Supergo's Heckler knockoff) that I rode into the ground over 11 years. It climbs well, is fast downhill and feel very stable. With Trek owning Bontrager, this bike comes pretty well equipped out of the box with many Bontrager components. However, this may be more of a curse than a blessing. Five months into owning this bike, I have blown up 2 rear hubs (Bontager Alloy Boost 148 hubs). I have NEVER in over 25 years of riding blown up a hub, and I've made a hobby out of building bikes with low to mid-range parts. At 44 years old, I am not launching anything, not hucking the bike off 20 foot drops - pretty much just your standard cross country, New England single track. I'm currently waiting for my 3rd wheel to be delivered to my LBS from Trek (under warranty). Also, the stock cassette is junk (Shimano HG 50). I bent two in the span of 2 weeks, which again, was a first for me. I've never bent a cassette. After the 2nd time, my LBS offered me to pay the difference on an upgrade to a better SRAM cassette and I haven't had a problem since. I've since heard of one other person having this problem on the 2018 version of this bike as well. Another issue I've had with this bike is that almost every pivot has come loose at one time or another. The main pivot just below the seat stay was the first one. After that came loose on me a couple times I took it out and applied some locktite. Since then I brought into the shop to have them put locktite on the rest of the bolts and it hasn't been an issue since. I was riding with someone a couple weeks back that had the exact same bike as me and had only ridden it a couple times and said the bike felt like it had a weird rattle. I told him I knew exactly what it was, and sure enough that main pivot under the seat stay was loose. Seem like this might be an issue for Trek. I realize in this day in age of mountain biking, this is considered a lower end bike and that I'd be upgrading parts over time. However, I'm still in the mindset that $2,300 is a decent chunk of change, and I assumed that I'd get at least a year out of this bike before I had any major issues. I guess they don't make components like they used to. Would have been 3 stars, but Trek has been great on quickly taking care of replacing the broken parts under warranty. UPDATE! Picked up my 3rd wheel from the shop after breaking 2 rear hubs, went for a ride and noticed that the FRONT hub is junk! I'm SO SICK of bringing this thing into the shop to be fixed!!! Very disappointed in Trek's choice of components on this bike and it will most likely be my last Trek.

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April 21, 2011
 
Pros: Great response, Pro-Pedal, fast handling, excellent value for price, quality components (especially shocks)

Cons: Not a fan of the stock tires, saddle

Recommendation: This is my first FS bike after having been on a Trek 4300 HT for several years. The Fuel EX line is a great value for bikes, and the Fuel lower end features a lot of the same geometry and features as the 9s. The Pro Pedal lock out on the rear shock is great once you realize how to use it, and the aggressive handling of the bike reacts well to you really pushing it. This is a rider's bike, and I'm very happy with having it!

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March 26, 2011
 
Pros: everything

Cons: nothing

Recommendation: Get this MOFO

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Trek Fuel EX 5 4.00 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 3 user reviews.