Strengths: This bike is a monster. Climbs well. It will descend like a champ.
Weaknesses: The handlebars are way to wide for a medium and small frame. I have a medium size, the handlebars need to be cut some. The brake rotors are also to big for the medium and small frames. A person on a medium-small is going to weigh roughly 110-160 pounds. We don't need 180 mm front and 160 mm back rotor to stop us. It is a waste of weight to have all that extra rotor.
I would most certainly recommend this bike to a friend. Besides the brakes and handlebars this bike has no drawbacks.
Strengths: XR4 tires, DCRV shocks, full floater rear setup, component choices for the price, e2 headset,
Weaknesses: No A/C, power windows or door locks.
Previously, I had an EX5 and EX6. When the demo 2012 Fuel EX8 became available, I jumped at the chance to buy one at a great value. A world of difference between EX6 and EX8. When I took it first the first ride, I noticed how quiet it was (not much chain bounce) and this bike has been used a few times being a demo. It felt brand new yet well tuned. The best part I like is the front end. Together with the e2 headset, DCRV fork, XR4 tires and sturdy frame gave me confidence going fast downhill. It's not bad going uphill as well. The shifting was solid and responsive. The matte black color makes it a mean looking bike and easy to clean. I can just stare a this bike in the garage for hours but I'd rather ride it. Awesome bike!
Similar Products Used: Specialized Stumpjumper, EX5, EX6, Turner 5-Spot
Bike Setup: Stock. Not sure if I need to change a thing.
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2012
Strengths: Great bike for the price. Solid components (LX brakes, LX/XT deraillers, DRCV Fox RP2 shock and DRCV Float RL shock). XR4 are solid tires. The bike climbs well and feels fast and light on the trail. It has 120mm of travel but it feels like a lot more on the trail.
Weaknesses: None so far....maybe a shorter stem...if you want to get picky.
Have ridden this bike for 8 months now and it rocks! It climbs extremely well and the DRCV allows full travel of the fork and shock making it feel very smooth on descents. Tires are grippy (ride tubeless) and like others I agree on this bike making you want to ride.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2012
Strengths: This bike loves to be abused and man handled in the technicals. Components, brakes.
Weaknesses: No navigation system.
I made this purchase a year ago and have come to realize it has been one of the best purchases I have ever made. First off the color is amazing black with grey. It has good components for the price. One year and the first thing that went was my tire. so I switched to tubeless and it's a dream! I have rode several bikes around this same price range and realize that this bike was one of the best. Located out in San Diego I have used this bike through dirt, dust, mud, woods and must say it handled it all nicely. This is my first serious mountain bike and I did extensive research before purchasing and found it had many benefits like low brake jacking, great climbs, comfortable cruising and strong descents due to the 68 degree head unit. To be honest the bike makes me want to go out and ride. Not to mention the nice absence of brake jacking when rolling down big hills. This bike is good for someone who just wants to have a nice bike for the singles, and maybe do some technical along the way(although technical is all I use it for). Great beginner mountain bike for someone trying to build their skills. I don't plan on letting this bike go...ever.
Richard Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2012
Strengths: Suspension works great. All components seem to work well.
Weaknesses: none yet
This is the 2010 model. I've had this bike for about 6 months and am still getting used to mountain biking (I used to be a road racer). The bike was in beautiful condition when I bought it and almost everything was perfect. The only flaws were that both the front and rear rims had one spoke bent on each (both were true). I've taken this bike on several pretty long rides (up to 30 miles long) on a variety of trail and terrain. The bike has performed flawlessly. The bike came with G3 rotors (185mm and 160 mm) which made a gobbling sound under braking. I changed to new HS1 rotors (180mm and 160mm) and the brakes perform very well.
I'm a conservative rider and have only had the bike up to about 35 mph on some downhills and it has performed very nicely. On climbs, the pro pedal works fairlly well. The bike originally came with bontrager tires and I changed them to WTB Velociraptors and they seem to grip pretty well. I'm going to enjoy growing into this bike!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2012
Strengths: Active Braking Pivot. Floating Suspension. Brakes and suspensions work independently. High-low chain stays make the frame look cool. Very light aluminium material.
Weaknesses: Mine's a 2008. The headangle is not descend friendly.
Very little/minimal pedal bob thanks to the Fox RP2 propedal and the floating suspension system. Weight of the whole bike will never be an issue I just love going trails with this bike. Climbs very well. Traction and braking is excellent. If you are planning to get a trail bike this is the answer. Don't have to look elsewhere.
Similar Products Used: Haro EX0 2000, Giant Warp 2003.
Bike Setup: I am not using anything stock except rear shock. Fork is Van RLC 140mm and Pro 2s laced on Sun Single Tracks. Shimano XT shifter, rear derailleur, crankset. Avid Juicy 7 brakes.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2012
Strengths: Very solid bike, not only in feel but in build quality. It takes corners very well, and the DRCV technology works very well and inspires confidence. I love everything about the bike, the color scheme, parts, look and I find it to be light. It climbs great, and is a true head turner out on the trails. Takes anything you throw at it!
Weaknesses: Most are complaining about the stock tires, mine came with the X4 Bontragers and I find them to very solid.
If you have the money, definitely get this bike, great bike from a great brand. I looked at similarly priced bikes from other manufactures within the same price range like Giant, Specialzed, Cannondale etc but the Trek won me over, not just based on looks.
Strengths: I've taken this bike on numerous single tracks like El Prieto, Mt. Wilson, and Chantry Flats and it's been great, except for a few things. I had to replace the seat since it got shredded up on a high speed slam on a fire road. Also, the grips are terribly uncomfortable so I changed those out for some ODI lock-on's which are holding up great. And finally, make sure to run tubeless! You won't regret it, I've had to buy 4 new tubes for this damn thing because of thorns. So the bontrager tires and tubes just suck, so if you can get Kenda tubeless they're amazing. Other than that the shifters are smooth and crisp and the suspension is a dream. Great bike overall and I'm riding it until it dies.
Weaknesses: Tires and tubes it comes with are absolutely pathetic, seat is weak and isn't very comfy, and the grips are all uncomfortable. But those are mainly just small problems that are easy to fix by running tubeless, buying a WTB Rocket V seat, and buying ODI lock-ons. That's my opinion.
Great bike for intermediate riders who are looking for a good, reliable, full suspension. And it can handle any terrain you throw at it so I give it a 4 1/2 out of 5 flamin' chilis!
Strengths: Great value with nice parts. Solid construction. Very versatile.
Weaknesses: Bad stock rims and tires. Uncomfortable seat.
I bought a used demo bike(size 17.5) from my lbs.
The suspension was still intact after multiple demo rides, one spoke was bent and the tires had some life left.
The price was right. I am still learning to adjust the suspension and make changes accordingly.
I keep the suspension unlocked at all times. I find that leaning forward keeps the bike steady.
I am still adjusting my new seat to find the best riding position. I have a short inseam, 29 and short reach, but I can still keep up with my friend's 29er.
The Fuel EX8 can climb and descend better with tire changes. I changed out to Maxxis Highrollers. This made a huge difference. The stock Bontragers would slip and slide the bike out and resulted in a few close calls. I hope Trek will change the stock tires.
The brakes, shifters and derailers work like a charm. They make it a great value.
I did break the used chain due to a stray rock. A new SRAM chain and I was back on the trail.
Overall, this bike is an excellent purchase for the beginner to intermediate rider.
The aftermarket has dozens of parts to lighten or personalize your ride.
I love this bike. I will ride this thing into the ground.
Favorite Trail: Lake Hodges and Penasquitos Canyon
Purchased At: Trek Superstore
Similar Products Used: A very old KHS mtb that beat the tar out of me.
Bike Setup: Stock setup with WTB seat, Maxxis Highrollers and Shimano clipless pedals.
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2012
Strengths: The suspensions on this bike has not let me down over everything i have ridden over - loose gravel, ruts, boulders, my little sister.... Wish I had a little more travel and maybe a handlebar lockout option for the shocks, but I can always upgrade to a more downhill bike. I can't wait for the next line from Trek.
Weaknesses: Low clearance at the sprocket, but can be resolved with a bash guard setup. Not much else is wrong.
If you are just getting started and are unsure whether to get a full downhill or all mountain bike, this is a good setup right in the middle.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2012
Strengths: The DRCV Technology is great, I have been using all of my suspension in the rear without feeling any bottoming out. With the DRCV up front I have not had any washout or felt like it held me back. If anything its gave me more confidence over all. The Shimano Brakes have not made a peep, no squealing what so ever and I've put over a hundred miles on the bike with no real cleaning other than a good wipe down.
Weaknesses: The inner tubes have been my worst enemy. The factory ones are race thin, if your counting grams these are great. As a trail bike these tubes won't last long( in my experience ). EVO link pivot point is in line with seat post hole, it limits how far the seat can be put down. The only thing you can do is cut the post.( minor issue ) While this is not a major issue we are in the 21st century, this should be an easy design workaround. The tires have decent traction, but do roll over a bit at 30 psi.
This is a great bike, I plan to keep it around for a long time. Trek has my attention and I am waiting to see what improvements they come out with next year. Its hard to think that any serious improvements could be made to such a well rounded bike.
Strengths: This bike is by far the best bike i have ever had!!! Many people complain about the tires but if you put the psi to about 25-30 psi it handles pretty well on wet and dry terrain.Its suspension and forks make the ride exstremly nice. This bike might be a tad heavy but its SUPER smooth through all of the trails i have ridden it through.
Weaknesses: The only think that catches my attention is that there is a strange and some what loud ticking noise coming from the front end. I havent been able to find out what is exsactly causing it.
Over all this is by far the best bike i have ever had or ridden for that matter, this bike is so smooth on the trails. The Full supension is truly a smooth ride. The shifting is so fast and quiet, also i can hardley feel it.. The breaks are super responsive but a tad bit noisey at times. The weight is a little heavy side. The only weakness is a strange ticking noise in the front end, i have not been able to pin point where it is comming from. One of the thinks i like most about this bike is how well it handles because of the full suspension and just how well this bike is balenced. I highley recommend this bike for mid ranged to exstreme riders.
Weaknesses: Front hub has a strange clicking noise, I've not had the bike long enough to pin point the issue. Many complain about the tires but I've found if I reduce the psi to 28-30 then they handle well in wet and dry conditions.
My fork blew a seal after one ride however my LBS fit a brand new fork and returned my bike within 5 days, no issues since.
I traded in my Jamis HT 29er for the EX8. I've been blown away by the EX 8 so far. It spins up to speed very quickly and the drive train engages quickly. This has helped in many situations but is most noticeable in technical rocky sections. . The suspension has smoothed out the trail and it's great to carry so much speed through rocky sections. I've not timed my loops but it seems like i'm generally carrying way more speed through out. I've been impressed by the brakes (SLX 666) as i can slow into the turns and feather if need be instead of breaking and holding on with my lower spec Shimano's. The weightless feeling on drop off's put a huge smile on my face, in fact i find my self laughing while riding this bike often. I was very surprised at how well the bike climbed compared to my HT 29er. It actually seems quicker on the climbs. With the shock locked out the bike feels very similar to my old HT. I have not gotten use to the extra travel (120mm vs 80mm) when loading the front to lift and clear logs or tougher technical sections. This bike is much more responsive in tight technical and switchbacks are now a breeze. I can definitively recommend this bike, it will keep me involved in this sport for a number of years, my lower back is very thankful i moved to full suspension. I was able to trade my old bike in and got a great deal on this brand new 2012.