Trek Fuel EX Mountain Bike Review

4.69 out of 5
WHERE TO BUY    MSRP: $5,249
By Jeff Barber    on Sep 21, 2009

By Jeff Barber    on Nov 16, 2016

By Aaron Chamberlain    on Sep 12, 2016

By Greg Heil    on Sep 19, 2016

By Jeff Barber    on Aug 17, 2017

By Jeff Barber    on Aug 21, 2019

By Singletracks Staff    on Jan 15, 2018

Rider Questions


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Product Options (25)
Trek Fuel EX 9.5
Trek Fuel EX 9
Trek Fuel EX 8
Trek Fuel EX 7
Trek Fuel EX 6
Trek Fuel EX 5
Trek Fuel 70
Trek Fuel EX 5.5
Trek Fuel EX 9.9
Trek Fuel EX 9.8
Trek Fuel EX 7 29
Trek Fuel EX 8 29
Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29 XTR
Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29 XX1
Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29 XO1
Trek Fuel EX 9 29 XO1
Trek Fuel EX 9 29
Trek Fuel EX 9.7 29
Trek Fuel EX 8 26
Trek Fuel EX 6 26
Trek Fuel EX 5 29
Trek fuel ex 8
Trek Fuel 98
Trek Fuel EX 8
Trek Trek Fuel EX 8 XT

April 14, 2020
Model/Year: 2020

Pros: Gold Fork, Rear Susp, Frame, Versatility

Cons: Brakes can be a bit sharper in cold weather

Recommendation: PURCHASE THE 2020 and FEEL THE GNAR!

September 18, 2017
Model/Year: 2017

Pros: Strong Bike, Great Components, Superb Company Service and Warranty, Dropper Post, XT Groupset, Very Fast and Confident downhill, Excellent Suspension sticks to ground, MTB all the way!

Cons: Heavy Bike, Doesn't Accelerate well, Rear suspension lockout doesn't feel like a hardtail, Front pulls up on ascent, bike is backheavy, Too much bike for XC.

Recommendation: Switch out 2x11 to 1x11, Get lighter seat, lose dropper post, Get lighter tires, 29x2.25 instead of 2.4", Go tubeless!

September 6, 2017
Model/Year: 2016

Pros: great

Cons: price

Recommendation: good

August 17, 2017
Model/Year: Trek Fuel EX 8/2008

Pros: Easy to handle, good frame and shocks

Cons: None

Recommendation: Still in good condition

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.

July 23, 2017
Model/Year: 2017 27.5 Plus

Pros: This bike is faster than expected. The plus tires allow for great handling.

Cons: None

Recommendation: I would recommend this bike to anyone riding rocky or rough trails.

March 26, 2017
Model/Year: 2016

Pros: Switched to this as my first full squish bike. this thing is a smooth as butter and glides down trails. my riding immediately improved, i'm riding trails much faster and with way more confidence.

Cons: I have no real complaints. I love this bike!

Recommendation: Highly reccomended for anyone looking for a high-end, mid-level all-around bike who doesnt want to shell out the money for carbon.

November 25, 2016
Model/Year: 2014

Pros: Handling Fox Forks Cable Management Weight Balance

Cons: I really dont know if I have anything bad to say about this bike. This is my first upgrade to a bike of this caliber. My only gripe would be there are no numbers on the gear levers, I know amateur right.

Recommendation: Love the bike. Its light and the shock system used on the 2014 model allows the bike to flow at speeds down ruff trails.

September 2, 2016
Pros: Fox float suspension lockout option for short climbs. Good suspension. Solid brakes and decent tires.

Cons: Uncomfortable seat while on my sit bones. Overall bike geometry felt off, seemed squished and pushed forward even though I'm 5'7" and rode the Medium frame at 17" which is usually about right for me. Seat tube length was also a little on the short side and had to lengthen the seat post. Okay grips.

Recommendation: Good, versatile bike.Would definitely upgrade the seat and grips. Wasn't blown away, though I was expecting to be. Maybe my expectation was too high, but this isn't the bike for me.

June 12, 2016
Model/Year: 2016

Pros: Amazing handling. Great gear ratio.