-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
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
Fox Evolution Series Float w/DRCV, CTD (climb-trail-descend) damper, rebound, tuned by Trek in California, 7.25×1.875"
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.
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.
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2013
Strengths: Unbelievable traction up steep gravely inclines, Great travel, flows over bumps as if not there, I'm getting more power to the pedals but I don't now how. Solid lock out, The lever that reduces chain slap is a Godsend for downhill. I'm sorry but I just love this bike!!! This bike makes me want to ride and can do it all from climbing up very steep difficult terrain to the bomb. I'm sad I have to go to work
Weaknesses: Cant speak and reciprocate my love.
I don't know how you can be dissatisfied with this bike. This is my third mountain bike and I finally scored a winner!!!
Strengths: the valving on the rear shock is fantastic it uses all the travel in trail mode but you never feel it hit bottom.and the climb mode is perfect with no loss of power feeling when going up hill
Weaknesses: other than my personal dislike of the bars ,none yet
I weigh 230 lbs and this bike climbs very well turns very well and goes downhill without any fear.for the price of this bike it is going to be a huge seller for trek.my first 6 hours on this bike were at a ski mountain cross country course ,lots of up with twisty turns a fair amount of flat type flowing turns with small ups and down and then a good 5 minute downhill of twist rocky terrain small drops.i have been a 29er hardtail rider just waiting for this type of bike too come along,and for 2500 bucks I don't see how you can go wrong,cant wait to put on a new set of wheels and tires to drop a pound or 2. as I put more hours on I will repost my review