Trail and Enduro Bikes


For 2017, the latest version of Trek’s long running Fuel EX model is stiffer, lighter, and lower slung than the previous model. With 130mm of travel on the 29 inch wheel frame it’s only 10mm short of last year’s Remedy 29.

The Fuel EX is Trek’s mid travel 29er and also comes as a ’27 Plus’ option. If you want more travel then the recently launched Slash 29 will give you all you need…

Anyway, one spin and you realise the angles, weight and tightness add up to make this Trek a trail hammering speed machine. It’s lightweight, incredibly well built and so beautifully constructed. With a Fox 34 leading the charge, this Fuel EX is a fine example of a trail bike, which can now be pushed into tough terrain, yet never lacking the urgency or punch of a shorter travel machine. Your average speed has just increased, a bike with verve and on a similar wavelength to the Intense Primer.

Trek have been working with carbon for many years and a recent trip to their Wiscon HQ highlighted the quality and consistency in their frames. With good dimensions and a wider range of frame sizes than many brands, you should get a great fit, with only the tallest of riders needing a larger size than 21.5”.

This Fuel EX is packed with Trek’s latest features and technology – The integrated bump stop or “knock block” headset adds frame defence and allow a stiffer ‘Straight shot’ down tube. 1x specific stays, carbon armour, Re:aktiv rear shock (a Trek/Fox collaboration on this bike) and the ABP (Active Braking Pivot) all show thorough attention to detail with no area being overlooked or compromised. With Trek’s Mino-link adjustment system now in place on the Fuel EX you are able to adjust between a high and low geometry setting. With a bottom bracket height of 335mm in the low position we left it there as we felt this was perfect and it sits well with the 67 degree head angle.

‘It’s a bike with fire in its belly this one, and it delivers in heaps in terms of quick drive through the crank, a superb poise in corners and a good balance on descents and faster steeper terrain’

Trek’s unique Project One programme lets you custom spec your Fuel Ex 9.8 or 9.9 on their website and purchase it through one of their P1 authorised dealers. Paint and decal colour choice is huge – with thousands of combinations available, you’ll be riding a ‘one off’ version of the bike and built to your spec.

The kit on this 9.8 model features a 2x Shimano transmission for example but you have the option of both SRAM or XT in single ring set-ups or even electronic XT Di2. Prefer a RockShox Pike or a Fox 34 up front? Your choice, even down to the colour of the graphics… DT Swiss XMC1200 wheels are a good choice – light, fast rolling and stiff enough with Boost hub spacing front and rear. But you may well stay with Trek’s new Bontrager Line option. Bontrager kit finishes the bike by default and although we didn’t take a shine to the shape of the handlebar, we were impressed with both the action and the ergonomics of their new Drop Line dropper seatpost.

A well finished trail bike with incredible attention to detail (and with plenty of custom options if you plump for the Project One option), but how does it ride?

This 2017 incarnation of the Fuel EX has an excellent feel to it, arguably on the stiffer end of the spectrum but it needs it, for it’s a bike that will be (and should be…) ridden at speed. Trek has built a genuinely quick and balanced trail bike here, one that is bang up to date in angles and ride dynamic. This latest take is not just about performance though – as a complete package it’s hard to fault. This carbon Fuel EX is a great example of a trail bike where the quality, design and finish reflect the price tag.


[monetizer101 search=’Trek Fuel EX’]


Selected for Dirt 100 2017

View the full 100
Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.