Trek Fuel EX 29 29er Full Suspension

4.53/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $2499.00

Product Description

-All the awesomeness of Fuel EX, now in a 29er version
-ABP keeps your suspension active while you’re on the brakes
-DRCV shock gives you smooth, predictable all-terrain control
-Trail-optimized G2 29er geometry is fast, agile, confident

Frame Alpha Platinum Aluminum, ABP Convert, Full Floater, E2 tapered head tube, internal derailleur & dropper post routing, press fit BB, ISCG 05 mount, magnesium EVO link, down tube guard, G2 Geometry, 120mm travel

Front suspension:
Fox Evolution Series 32 Float w/CTD (climb-trail-descend) damper, rebound, E2 tapered steerer, 15QR thru axle, custom G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 120mm travel

Rear suspension:
Fox Evolution Series Float w/DRCV, CTD (climb-trail-descend) damper, rebound, tuned by Trek in California, 7.25×1.875"

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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by donow a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2017

Strengths:    Fast over varied terrain, smooth and fast on flats. Strongest in cross country settings. All good stock set up except for tires.

Weaknesses:    This is a cross country bike and not a downhill nor a climbing bike - its set up in the middle. So its averageness climbing and on fast decent is is a 'weakness' sort of. The stock tires (Bontrager XR3 Expert) are not great. Tires are fast on flat dry but very dicey on roots and rocks and dangerous in wet conditions. I have a concussion and broken toe from two different falls in wet conditions were the wheels slid out from under me. The adjustments to the shocks are a reach down so you have to get used to that. The dropper post adds weight and I have yet to see it as an advantage worth the weight.

Bottom Line:   
Reviewing the 2016 Fuel EX 29er: Overall I like this bike very much. After 2 years of riding everything (except tires) has held up very well. It is a beast but the extra weight of a 29er is offset by its inertia and wheel size. Brakes, shifting and suspension are all quite good. I did have my handle bar width reduced as they come very wide. Dropper post trigger is too far from grips to be useful in stock so you can remove the shifter gear indicator (useless anyway) and slide the Dropper trigger over. If you are coming from a 26 inch ride like I was get ready for a very big change in riding.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $2700.00

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   stock except upgraded tires to Maxxis High Roller II's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cleanneon98 a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2016

Strengths:    Suspension performance and comfort over rough terrain
Climbing abilities
Dropper Post
Reactiv rear shock really works

Weaknesses:    I came from an XCaliber 6 29er and I thought that felt big, so of course I got another 29er haha. In reality, its probably just my riding that needs improvement.

One gripe with the shock is that it seems to sag more than I expect it to in climb mode, but again, could be that I need more air in it.


Bottom Line:   
This review is for a 2015 TREK FUEL EX9 29er 17.5" frame.

I picked this up used for a great deal, drove 12 hours to get it, but so far it has been a great bike for me. It has tackled all the terrain I wanted it to, even better than I expected. SO far, I have not fallen off the bike at all. Mine has all original equiptment and as soon as I brought it home, I took it to my LBS for a checkup, and they said it was in great shape, so the whole year that the prior owner was riding it, nothing wore abnormally.

There are noticable differences between all 3 of the shock damping settings, but I have not played with rebound yet.

Two things I wish TREK did differently

1. Mounted the dropper post actuator UNDER the handlebars, not over. This is a specific part so you can't just flip it upside down. This I suppose is a matter of preference.
2. Equipped it with a remove shock adjuster. I can reach the front while riding, but sometimes if I want to switch up something on the rear shock, it's quite a PITA reaching down looking for the toggle. I've also noticed when in climb mode and I try to switch down to Trail, it bumps me right into descend mode if I just push the toggle over, and don't grab it from both sides and move it. Again, not so much a problem off the bike, but while riding.

I know that at any price-point, there will always be someone who wants more stuff. However, can't help but feel that this remove shock adjuster feature should have been standard on what is the highest end bike in the FUEL EX family, both in the Carbon and Aluminum versions.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Core Creek Park

Duration Product Used:   3-4 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   2014 TREK XCaliber 6 29er

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Silent Shark a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2015

Strengths:    Light weight for a metal frame 29er, slacker head, maneuverable for a 29er, 1x11 is the real deal.

Weaknesses:    OEM tires are craptacular, rear XT brake fade, initial stealth dropper post clicking noise issue.

Bottom Line:   
I've rode a 2008 Fuel EX 9.5 for several years and most recently a Excalibur 8. I've used the 2016 Fuel EX 9 29 for a month now and am very impressed with it's capabilities. Riding the Tunnel Springs and Mueller Park trails in Utah, I can testify the 1x11 SRAM is genius and the real deal. The bike has more of a slacker head which I preferred for both climbing and descents. Somehow the bike feels very light and maneuverable for a metal framed 29er. Initially, the Stealth dropper post had some clicking noises, the noise has since disappeared after putting more than 50 miles on the bike.

I have found the OEM tires not up to task (climbing over roots, large rocks and braking down hill in the lose stuff), Maxxis High Rollers would take the bike to another level. The rear XT brake fade for a unknown reason.

As of this review Trek has yet to posted the 2016 suspension set specs for the Fox 34 performance fork and rear Fox shock for this bike. The dealer set up the shocks, but I find the rear shock overly plush.

The 2016 Fuel EX 9 29 is a winner, but four chili's due to some of the 2016's components being down graded from the 2015 model and weak OEM tires.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mueller Park

Duration Product Used:   2 months

Price Paid:    $3650.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Trek Excalibur 8, Trek Fuel EX 9.5, Cannondale Rush Lefty

Bike Setup:   Bone stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tom F a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2014

Strengths:    Fast, great suspension, great geometry.

Weaknesses:    Still working on ideal setting for fork, not there yet

Bottom Line:   
I had a 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. What a great bike! I had it dialed in, but after 3 plus years wanted a 29er. I had tested a few. I bought a Trek SuperFly 100 AL Elite. I hated it. Put better tires, shorter stem etc and spend a lot of time trying different suspension setting. It never felt smooth and always fought you.

I sold it a got the Fuel Ex 8 29er. It felt like home on my first ride! No more fighting the bike around turns and down technical parts. The suspension is feels much better, even though travel is only 10mm longer. The angles are perfect, Instead of riding corners I can rail them. Also, this feel just as fast or faster than the Superfly. Kills it going up hills. On the Superfly, I would drop a chain half the time down technical trails, the shadow on this works great, no more dropping chains. I have not have to do any adjustment or change parts (other than shock adjustment). This is my favorite bike

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Aliso Viejo

Similar Products Used:   SuperFly100 AL ELITE, Stumpjumper FSR 2010

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BikingDaddy a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2014

Strengths:    great value for money
stock tires are good for dry to slightly damp conditions
Shimano SLX plus derailleur (no chainslap)
colour scheme (allthough at first I wasn't impressed by it)
up till now the bontrager duster wheels hold up really good
BIG WHEELS just keep on rolling!

Weaknesses:    really DO NOT like the CTD up front(works well in trail setting)
handlebars(but that is a personal choice)
stock brake rotors tend to disform at hard braking into corners
No X12 x 142 rear-axle

Bottom Line:   
After getting used to the bike it really is a great bike.Was looking for a bit longer toptube and thought,why not go for a 29-er.It is different to my old bike in the way that the handling is a little more backwords as supposed to a 26-er with more suspension.You can really feel the difference in wheelbase and the larger wheels.
My main use of it is a lot of XC (can't say all-mountain because off the lack of mountains in the Netherlands),some small bikepark use and back and forward on tarmac.
Suspension set-up is easy with the fox/trek calculator and after finetuning it a bit I find myself running only trail setting.Found the descent-setting a little to light for my kind of riding.Still miss the easy tuning of the compression damping like I had with my Lyrik.Feels like the Fox evolution 32 fork blows through the 120 mm off suspension with ease allthough it beiing setup as recommended.Actually.I now got 5 psi more into it.Rides better
The big wheels really roll over all the small bumps and in combination with the right suspension set-up the bike rolls over anything.
Handling is friendly when you understand that there is a lit bit more power and body movement needed to get the bike to do do what you want.This is due to the larger wheels and therefor the larger rotating mass.
The rear-suspension works really well and feels butterly smooth.
I am NOT a true XC-racer but All-mountain would be a lie.
This really is a XC+ bike.Not a raceXC. If you're not into racing and also not into jumping or big-mountain riding but just want to have fun on your bike and get around with ease this is the right bike for you.Peddling is easy and it really holds speed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   7 months

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   fietsshop uitgeest,N

Similar Products Used:   none,came from a Banshee Rune V1.0,GT I-drive 1.0

Bike Setup:   stock but chanced the stem and handlebars cause i just couldn't get used to the feel of it.Now running a Truvativ AKA stem 80 mm and a Truvativ boobars 740 mm.Got a RS Reverb on it as well and running only 32/22 up front.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by carl Hungus

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2014

Strengths:    well spec'd bike, solid handling, DRCV shock w/full floater linkage- abp rear brake. Great FOX suspension, die hard slx/xt drivetrain, xr3 tires, affintity saddle, dropper post ready. super refined aluminum frame.

Weaknesses:    cockpit is short- needs longer stem- abp loosens easily- would like 34mm stanchion fork.

Bottom Line:   
A great mid range model where value is high. The custom FOX rear shock and front fork are great esp with Trek's "full floater" linkage. - The 7 is the first model in the lineup to include the FOX set up so that bike to me is the best value in the lineup. This is a great 29er from Trek that pedals great and is capable enough for almost any terrain you can throw it down.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andrew a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: February 10, 2014

Strengths:    Shimano SLX brakes, XT shadow plus RD, rear suspension efficiency, ABP, DRCV, tubeless ready

Weaknesses:    Front fork, CTD setup, heavy flimsy duster wheels, XR3 expert tires, average weight

Bottom Line:   
PROS: In my opinion, Trek did a great job coordinating this bike's color scheme (grey & red). The bike's spec is about average for this price point, but Trek did a good job with keeping the cost down without sacrificing durability or performance. The rear suspension feels like more than 120mm of travel partially because of the Horst link esque setup, and partially because of Fox's "dual rate control valve" which remains closed for smaller bumps and only opens up on bigger hits. Trek's active brake pivot prevents braking forces from affecting suspension performance. This means when you are hard on the brakes, the rear suspension keeps working to keep the wheel planted, thus, giving you more traction. Also, the wheels are pretty easy to set up tubeless BUT the stock Bontrager XR3 expert tires are not tubeless compatible.

CONS: I set up the suspension according to Trek's recommendations for my weight and did not mess with it at all. The front fork has a lot of braking dive in trail mode, and comes close to bottoming out under normal riding when in descend mode. The fork does not feel particularly smooth through the travel BUT the seals are bomb-proof so far. It seems like this fork is not as high performance as other forks in the price range, but it is very durable. Fox's climb trail descend setup is a good idea, but can be a pain in the butt to reach down and switch while riding. I keep the suspension in trail mode for everything besides road riding & gravel trails because trail mode is very efficient and descend mode bottoms out very quickly. I taco'd my rear wheel on the second ride after landing hard on a rock. I do not have enough experience with 29er wheels to say whether another brand would have survived the impact, but it just kind of ticked me off. The XR3 tires have a great tread pattern, but the expert level compound is not very durable. After about 150 miles of normal Pennsylvania riding, the rear tire had 4 separate cuts showing threads, so I replaced it with an XR3 team level tire. I guess the higher thread count made a big difference because I have put twice the miles on the same trails without a problem. My 19.5 comes in around 28-29 lbs which is not particularly impressive for this price point.
OVERALL: It is a fun, efficient, and sensible trail bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 25lbs & Counting

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2013

Strengths:    Compared to other bikes in the same price range, this is a great bike. Suspension works like a charm, I like Shimano parts all around with proper size rotors for a trail bike.

Weaknesses:    Stem feels thin, Fox DRCV shock leaks a lot of oil, although no issues, just never had a fox shock do that.

Bottom Line:   
Haven't owned a Trek bike since 1996. Nothing against the company, just never found a bike that I really liked until now. Never bought a bike over the 100mm travel range, so really nothing to compare to in the same range. What pushed me over the fence is once I rode this bike I quickly figured out that could have a longer travel XC range bike that could be my quiver killer. Local trails were fine for a 100mm travel bike, but found myself out matched on more technical trails. Really wanted a light weight trail bike that can ride both disiplines.
That is where I saw the light after my first ride. On top of that the price was right! Before the bike left the store had them swap the wheels, tires, rotors for my King/Crest wheelset, tubeless with Specialized ground control 2.1 tires. Changed the saddle, post, stem, handlebars and crank. Dropped that weight down to 27lbs. with XT pedals. Not the lightest, put light enough to accomplish any trail ride.
Suspension tracks really well, surprised the hell out of me. Both braking and climbing, got my A+ on Trek's ABP technology. Using the trail settings on both front and rear suspension. Combination of 29er wheels and 120mm just smooths out trail clutter.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike T

Date Reviewed: November 29, 2013

Strengths:    Weight, Shocks, Brakes, rear derailleur, price.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Simply put, this bike works well. I have had this bike for about 4 months and just love it. I am real happy with the component group that comes with this bike. I Replaced GF HiFi 29er with this bike and I can tell a big difference. Bike is stiffer, and has much more travel. It is built for all mountain, but rides like a cross country bike.

I did not think I would like the 140mm travel, but have not noticed the pedal bob that I thought I might get, and never use the lockout on either shock. I have noticed that the bike eats up obstacles and just keeps rolling without much loss in speed. I am much faster on this bike than on my other full suspensions, and faster than the 29er hard tail I have.

The brakes are top notch. I have changed from 2 fingers on the brake lever to only one finger on the brakes which helps with technical descents.

The handle bars are MUCH wider than anything else I have ridden. I have not changed them yet, but do find that I need to ride the center of the trail to miss trees in tight areas.

I removed the big chain ring and added a rock guard. This give the bike great bottom bracket clearance.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ZionPow a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: November 23, 2013

Strengths:    Full floater suspension, XT components, dropper seatpost, 2X10 drive train, active braking pivot design, XR-3 Team Issue tires

Weaknesses:    Stock Bontrager grips

Bottom Line:   
This bike is an excellent trail bike. Very smooth ride that rolls over obstacles with ease. Suspension with CTD is very effective and efficient while climbing and descending. XT brakes are powerful and very quiet. XT shifting is flawless with the 2X10 drivetrain. Reverb Stealth dropper post is very smooth and reliable. This bike inspires confidence when descending rough trails. Almost bought a superfly 100 but I am glad I got this bike for all mountain riding.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Price Paid:    $3999.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Hi Fi Deluxe

Bike Setup:   Stock except for ODI grips and tubeless setup

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lynchnaut a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2013

Strengths:    Inspires confidence, feels stable yet easy to steer, decent component group

Weaknesses:    While test riding, the front and rear suspension felt a little out of sync with each other but I think I have a little too much pressure in the forks. I still need to dial it in for my weight and how I position my weight.

Bottom Line:   
I have spent a lot of time lurking here and elsewhere on the net studying the difference in suspension design and application. Based on my pseudo-scientific analysis and seat-of-the-pants experience, I have concluded that I should make a selection based on looks and how it rides! It looks good to me, feels good - so I bought it. I'm happy with it.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Old Cannondale super-v 700, Old Specialized Stumpjumper, Old Giant Trance

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gordon a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: October 31, 2013

Strengths:    Suspension, brakes, drivetrain

Weaknesses:    weight

Bottom Line:   
I picked this bike up in the middle of June and after four and a half months I have come to know this bike very well and am very impressed. I bought mine for a very good price so I can not complain about value, but I do think quality bikes overall are pricey.

The brakes are amazing and blow the avid elixir 1, 3, and 5's out the water. Felt better than some formulas I tried too. They use the same lever design as slx, xt, and xtr I believe which is world class. The stock rotors could be better though. I bought the xt ice techs after chewing through half my pads on a thirty minute 4000 ft descent that was mildly technical. With the new rotors and a day of shuttling with two plus hours of descending the pad wear was negligible. So overall amazing brakes.

The suspension is amazing. While not using fox's factory fork, the evolution is more than capable on this bike for a mix of xc, trail, all mountain type riding. The rear is even better though. The dual chambered shock is responsive enough in the beginning of the stroke yet provides a good pedaling platform even when in full open. Climb is a lockout with blow off and trail is a good set and forget option or for someone needing more dampening. Initially I had my suspension set up a little low front and rear according to the trek suspension calculator, but as I came to know the bike and riding more aggressively I added air which came closer to their settings, which are often viewed as firm by other riders. Now running around their recommended settings I still find my self getting full travel after an aggressive descent that can be demanding on suspension.

The drivetrain is nothing fancy but it is a true work horse that has performed well. Xt will yeild better results, but the reliability is there and I found it to perform well for some racing. The shaddow plus rear mech is great too and really does prevent chain slap.

The reason I could not give it four starts overall was because it really is not a top shelf product. This is a great bike that can hold its own against the best but it does carry some weight, not enough to really hold it back though unless you are into serious xc racing, dirt jumping because it likes to stick to the ground but it is easy to control in flight and get it there with some body English. I imagine the fuel ex 9 29 would easily achieve the five star rating in my opinion though. The frame and suspension is worthy of it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hermits Gulch

Duration Product Used:   4.5 months

Price Paid:    $2050.00

Purchased At:   Brown's Bikes

Similar Products Used:   2011 trek fuel ex 8, 2013 Specialized Camber Comp 29, 2011 trek 6500, 2013 trek 4900, 2013 Marin Mount Vision

Bike Setup:   stock except for tubeless nobby nics 2.35, xt ice tech rotors. Stock tires did offer decent, predictable grip.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Yosef

Date Reviewed: September 3, 2013

Strengths:    Suspension is on the high lever of sensitivity cpmpare to my previous 26' EX8 but with all the options and more. Easy of pedaling. Speed.

Weaknesses:    Not found yet. Maybe some unsecure on navigation on singles with a lot of curves ang too long handlebar.

Bottom Line:   
It's my secend EX8, my current bike was 26' from 2010 and they was like part of my body. I expect the same feelings on 29' and so far it's great. A great change on the 29' version is the drive system. I think that the transfer ratio of the drive system is better and there is 30 Transmission System, one side effect is that there is no big different among the 3 steps of the front drailour.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Haymarket

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2013

Strengths:    Stock Spec is overall great: Stealth Dropper, Full XT with 180mm Ice Tech Rotors front and rear, Kashima Fit Fork, XT 2x10 drivetrain; geometry.

Weaknesses:    Low engagement rear hub, no stock tubeless strips, 28 hole rims, grips, stem could be shorter and bars wider.

Bottom Line:   
The bike is overall very good. The geometry makes for a very stable and forgiving but fun quick feeling ride. The bike climbs very well with the long stays and rear suspension keeping great traction. Descending is also strong and it rolls through tough rocky technical terrain like a bike with much more travel, being very stable on the downhills, which is helped by the long wheelbase and stays. The bike looks steep on paper, but steering doesn't feel too fast even on steep rough downs. The rear suspension does feel bottomless and is very plush. On singletrack there is no perceptible pedal bob, none. I had to run my previous bike (Superfly 100) at a higher than needed pressure to keep pedal bob minimized, but here, there is none running where the rear should be run. It is pretty remarkable how efficient the rear suspension is with no movement while pedaling, and great compliance for small and larger bumps. Under braking, the suspension remains active. The front is easier to lift than my previous bike, and fairly easy to lift on the trail. Slow speed handing is solid and the bike seems to go where you want it to go. It is a long bike, but I have no problems with tight switchbacks. Acceleration feels almost like an XC race bike so it is fun on the flat singletrack and capable on very rough stuff. I don't do big jumps and only 3-4' drops and it handles those well, but I think the bike likes to be planted v. being in the air. The spec is nearly perfect from the XT 2x10 drivetrain to the XT brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear for great power on a trail bike. The FIT fork with Kashima seems plush and very responsive. The only things I would change on the Spec (and did) are the saddle which looks good but didn't work for me; the wheels because I prefer a high engagement hub, and a trail bike with a long top tube like this needs an even shorter stem than the stock 80mm to handle even better, like a 60mm. The 720mm stock bars are decent, but 750mm would be a better spec on a bike intended for what this one is. I ordered the aluminum 9 over the carbon 9.7 because I read reviews of flex in the carbon models, and Trek rep told me aluminum was stiffer in this bike. I feel no lateral flex in the frame front or rear as of yet and the frame seems solid. The bike looks fantastic with the raw aluminum frame and a decent amount of internal cable routing. It runs nearly silent with no cable noise and limited chain slap with the clutch rear derailluer. I wanted a general use trail bike (I will only own 1 bike) that I can ride fast on rough steep trails, and also occassionally (1x a year maybe) race either XC or Enduro/Super-D, so I had to split the difference. I think this bike will handle that 1 bike quiver role with lots of rough trails, but few jumps or big drops really, really well.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Omicron

Date Reviewed: June 25, 2013

Strengths:    Suspension, braking. Seat is surprisingly comfortable. Stock tires seem solid. Nice paint even.

Weaknesses:    None that I can pick out.

Bottom Line:   
My second Fuel EX, my last one was the EX8 26". The suspension is out of this world. Using the recommended settings from the Trek website the bike just rolls over and through everything. Braking and shifting are very responsive. The bike just seems to want to go. I have been trying to hit more roots and rocks and other things with it just so I can feel the suspension soak up the trail it is so good.

Really great bike, I'm looking forward to riding this for years to come.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Fuel 80, Fuel EX8 26"

Bike Setup:   Stock

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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