Trek Fuel EX 9.5 All Mountain Full Suspension

4.59/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $5500.00

Product Description

  • Front Suspension
  • Bontrager Race X Lite Disc
  • Shimano Deore XT
  • Bontrager Race Lite

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

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ZX10Rrider a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2012

Strengths:    Carbon frame made in the USA, sweet brakes, top shelf components, super light for full suspension, scary fast down hill, climbs like at goat with better than OE tires.

Weaknesses:    OEM tires, seat and grips are a joke. Pricey MSRP. Brake rotors are bent easy and need constant tuning.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the 2008 fuel 9.5 EX model. Picked up from a local bike shop for half off MSRP. This is the best shifting, handling, braking and riding bike I have ever owned. The bike is LIGHT for FS setup only 24 lbs. It's a rocket down hill, and rolls over single track stuff with ease. The original tires were to skinny and not up for serious traction situations. Switched for Maxxis High roller and Advantage tires. No regrets.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $2998.00

Purchased At:   local shop

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Rush Lefty

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

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2012

Strengths:    Light, strong, fast, responsive

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
This review is a little different than other because I didn't buy buy this bike as a stock setup. I purchased the frame used on eBay and it was stripped down but still had the RP-23 rear sups. I then built it upnwith the components I wanted, which consisted of a full XT drivetrane, a 2012 Fox Talas Fit RLC 140 mm fork (15 QR) Avid Elixir CR break system (185 mm front, 160 mm back), FSA headset, Easton EA70 handlebars, Easton Havoc seat post, DT Swiss M1800 wheels, and Panaracer Fire XC pro wheels.....this setup may not be the XTR, etc that came on it but let me say it is fast, and will respond like no other bike I have ever owned..even under my 225 lbs of weight...this is an awesome set up.....oh and the total weight of my bike is a mere 26 lbs...not to shabby!!

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Favorite Trail:   Kickapoo State Park, IL

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Mostly on Ebay!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Keith Skytta a Cross Country Rider from Steamboat Springs, Co,/Green Valley, Az.

Date Reviewed: December 28, 2010

Strengths:    Great turning in tight situations (ie Aspens and Cactus), sucks up everything that is nasty (rocks, babyheads, roots etc), outclimbs anything else around(no pogo),gobbles up rocks and uneven terrain on downhill sections. Durable except for Bontrager Race Lite rims. Fellow Riders (DR's& BMW&M)* always want to borrow the bike. *Desert Rats and Burly Mountain Women & Men. Recommend bike to x-c and climbing addicts. Not meant for flatlanders below 7000 feet.

Weaknesses:    Rims were destroyed within 3 years, TREK replaced them no questions. I now ride Swiss DT's.

Bottom Line:   
Will replace this bike with another identical model when it's time comes, in........2020 or so.

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Favorite Trail:   S, Fork, Elk river, S.B.S, Fantasy Island, Az.

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $3400.00

Purchased At:   Steamboat Bike & Ski

Similar Products Used:   TREK STP(Soft Tail Pro)

Bike Setup:   Stock except for rims.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Titus Schroder a Weekend Warrior from Seattle, WA

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2009

Strengths:    The Bike is a climbing machine, it just pops right over rocks and roots with no problem. I was also surprised that you could stand and climb without the back tire spinning out. The bike performed great when the hills pointed down. I'm going over wet roots, rocks and and logs like there not even there. If I was on my old hardtail it would feel like I was going at warped speed and fearing for my life but the Trek Fuel 9.5 is a blast. At first the Fox Float was pretty mushy but I pumped it up to 150 lbs which is a little stiff but coming from a hard tail this feels good and works really good on the climbs. I wish there was 3 different setting on the Fox Float rear shock instead of just 2. My old bike had XTR V Brakes so the new disc brakes are like going from a Model T to a Hummer.

Weaknesses:    I'm getting a bunch of squeaking in the rear suspension I put a few drops of tri flow on all the linkages but still get the squeaks. I think I have narrowed it down to the Carbon Fiber seat post. It's hard to not get chips and scratches on the carbon frame. Have had a few issues getting the front deraileuer dialed in.

Bottom Line:   
The Trek Fuel 9.5EX is a great bike and a lot of fun to ride. You can really push your skills to the limit and still feel like your in control. I need to get rid of that squeaking sound.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tiger Mountain

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Similar Products Used:   First full suspension bike I have owned. My old bike was a Merlin Titanium with full XTR, Chris King Headset & Hubs, V Brakes top of the line 10 years ago but now it's a relic.

Bike Setup:   Frame - OCLV Black Carbon w/R1i Trail Tuned Suspension, ABP pivot, Full Floater, Magnesium EVO Link, Hi/Lo chainstays, oversized sealed bearings, 140mm rear wheel travel
Front Suspension - Fox Talas 32 w/air pressure, travel, rebound, compression, lockout, alloy steerer, 90-140mm
Tires - Bontrager Jones XR, 26x2.2/2.25"; 120 tpi, folding
Whelset - Bontrager Racelite Tubeless
Shifters - SRAM X-0, 9 speed w/MatchMaker
Rear Derailleur - SRAM X-0
Crank - Shimano XTR 44/32/22
Cassette - Shimano XTR 11-32, 9 speed
Saddle - Bontrager Race X Lite Pro
Handlebars - Bontrager Race XXX Lite, 40mm rise, 31.8mm
Stem - Bontrager Race XXX Lite, 12 degree, 31.8mm
Brakeset - Avid Juicy Ultimate, hydraulic disc; 185mm front, 185mm rear rotor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jetdog a Weekend Warrior from Boyne City,MI

Date Reviewed: December 13, 2008

Strengths:    Components; light overall; can tune the suspension for custom ride; climbs well

Weaknesses:    Creaky Frame/pivot points -need constant attention. Grips are light but very uncomfortable. Tread is not aggressive enough. Swapped out stock seat

Bottom Line:   
Once you get the suspension tuned this bike is a great ride. The stock tires were converted to tubeless but the tread is not good unless riding hardpack. The suspension pivot points started "creaking" after a short time of use and it was difficult to find the problem. NCCS shop took care of the problem. Components are the best I've used -SRAM shift is fast & reliable. Overall bike is good/best for long rides in varying terrain. I was primarily riding my road bike but now its a 50/50 split because of this bike I'm enjoying the trails again.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   North Country Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $4400.00

Purchased At:   NCCS

Similar Products Used:   Topfuel 8

Bike Setup:   ergo grips, tubeless setup XL Frame w/ 110mm stem, crank bros sl pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jughead a Weekend Warrior from COLORADO

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2008

Strengths:    Weight, ride, components, wheel set

Weaknesses:    Grips, Tires

Bottom Line:   
This is a very light cross country ride with pretty good manners on the downhill and a great ride uphill. I have a standard 5 mile loop I do, and with this new bike, the time on the loop is down about 25%, due to quicker climbs. The Talas shock and the RP23 on the rear combine to make it feel like a hard tail, and with the carbon frame, the weight is very light. The down hill is nice as well, especially the 130 mm travel on the front. After several rides, however, I will be keeping the downhill rig. It is not a big hit bike, but it is not sold as one either. The frame is very rigid, with minimal flex, and the pedal bob is minimal with the propedal off and zero with it on.

The Sram shifters take a little getting used to (I have been riding Shimano for about 20 years, yes I am that friggin' old) , but are infinitely adjustable, and after a few rides I got the hang of it. The components are close to top of the line, and after a few rides and a couple of falls, I have confidence that I will get good service from them. All the other parts look good (if you like the carbon look), but a little fancy if you are looking for a basic ride. A few guys have made fun of it at the trail head, the highest form of flattery in my mind.

Two things bug me about the bike. The grip feel like styrofoam and will be replaced VERY soon, and the tires are too narrow and without much in the way of tread. They will also be going on the scrap heap. These are small points , but for a top line bike I would have expected better.

I bought this bike as a replacement for a Rocky Mountain element, and I was in the unique position of not having to worry too much about price. Combine that with a great deal at the end of the year, and I am riding more bike than I need, but one of the nicest bikes I have ever even seen.

If you can afford one, go for it. I don't regret the outlay one bit. Shop around as Trek has changed the '09 a bit and there are deals to be had on the '08. As the ad says, ".... you're worth it." At full retail, I would give it four chilis for value but at the price I paid, definitely top value.

Hope this is useful, keep on ridin'.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   APEX, FRONT RANGE

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3600.00

Purchased At:   Lee's Cyclery Fort C

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale (owned), Rocky Mountain Element (owned) Giant (Ridden)

Bike Setup:   18.5", XTR/X-O Drive, Bontrager Carbon all over (Stock from Dealer)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by lcirino a Cross Country Rider from Belo Horizonte MG Brasil

Date Reviewed: August 14, 2008

Strengths:    Components, carbon frame, ABP

Weaknesses:    Some brake issues in the first month

Bottom Line:   
Great bike, as fast as the Epic but much more confortable. The Talas is amazing. Took me some time to get the front brake working fine (rubbing was constant) but now it's really nice.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mingu

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $6000.00

Purchased At:   Pedal Verde

Similar Products Used:   Epic 2006

Bike Setup:   WTB Rocket V seat and tubeless.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by moshe a Weekend Warrior from Israel

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2008

Strengths:    the most comfortable! lightest! and fastest! bike i ever had

Weaknesses:    maybe the fact that the name is still related to older models

Bottom Line:   
Best Bikes for 2008

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $5000.00

Purchased At:   Latroon Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Rush 3000

Bike Setup:   Trek Fuel EX 9.0 full carbon and full XT Tubeless

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Dan a Cross Country Rider from California

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2008

Strengths:    It's light and looks good.

Weaknesses:    Flexy rear end
Weak paintjob. Picks up scratches so easily
Frame cracked from one foot drop.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is only for smooth terrain. Don't buy if you intend to do anything other than light cross country. I cracked the frame at the usual spot on the seat tube. I've heard of this numerous times with these frames.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Similar Products Used:   Titus, Giant XTC

Bike Setup:   Mainly XTR, DT Swiss, Sram

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Don Pedro a Racer from Crested Butte, CO

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2007

Strengths:    Weight, Looks, performance

It's a trek. They have been doing carbon for a long time and have it figured out.

Weaknesses:    ?????

Bottom Line:   
This bike rocks. It climbs every bit as good as my other bike and has 2X the travel. Sure it bobs a bit, but every suspension bike does. If you want less bob you can choose what ever level of pro pedal you want. I use 2 on smoother road climbs. Everywhere else I use full plush.

I can climb EVERY LUNG BUSTING GRANNY GRANNY CLIMB that I could EVER climb on a hard tail with this bike, and I have NO arm fatigue at the bottom of big downhills.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lots of climbing, fast downhill

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Employee Purchase

Similar Products Used:   Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Moots.

Bike Setup:   XTR everything.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JD Baldwin a Cross Country Rider from Kalamazoo, MI, USA

Date Reviewed: August 14, 2007

Strengths:    Almost unbelievably light, yet rugged as anything out there.
The shifting is the smoothest I've ever seen on ANY bike, ever.
Some harder-core guys will tease you over the suspension lockout lever, but I have found it very useful for technical climbing and the flats.
The suspension, even when not locked out, is pretty stable and I haven't yet detected "pedal bob" to any significant degree.

Weaknesses:    I would probably like to have another inch or so of travel on the rear. I disagree with those who have written that they'd like more up front, but then I like it bumpy. I'm a 240-lb. rider and I keep my suspension fairly stiff.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike for a big guy who doesn't mind a little bumpiness in the ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Potowatomi, Pinckney, MI

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $4200.00

Purchased At:   Breakaway Bicycles, Kalamazoo

Similar Products Used:   Had a Trek Y-11 until last year.

Bike Setup:   Stock, have added only a Polar 720i cyclocomputer

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Scott Hall a Cross Country Rider from Cleveland, TN

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2007

Strengths:    Carbon

Weaknesses:    Weak rear end design, I am VERY disappointed! Terrible design, with my weight at 270lbs this rear looses climbing ability due to sideways movement.

Bottom Line:   
Big disapointment! Try others before you buy. I have ridden Trek for years 9800, 9900 hardtails. I am going back to a hardtail from Specialized (Marathon Carbon). My next full suspension will be a specialized with the brain and not such of a gap in the suspension arm. This is the problem! Look at the 2007 arm take the back tire of a used 2007 Trek and look at the play in the rear wheel.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tansi

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Scott's Bike Shope

Similar Products Used:   Did not try others, bad mistake... Took the word that it was a good FS bike.

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mason smith a Cross Country Rider from medford, or

Date Reviewed: January 30, 2007

Strengths:    Sram shifting, very responsive stearing on the decents, and due to the longer top tube easier to keep front end on the ground with steep ascents. Very nice to be able to lock out suspension at the handle bar while on the fly. The bike feels comfortable with speed and makes you a more confident rider. Awesome braking power and they don't squeek like shimano products when heated up.

Weaknesses:    Looks,...I would recommend a 2.3-2.4 on the front to help roll over the larger obsticles and smooth out the ride. I came from a 5 inch travel bike to this four inch travel and a 2.4 front tire would make this ride just as smooth. A little heavy for that much carbon and that much money...

Bottom Line:   
First, coming from Shimano all my mountain bike riding life (25 years plus) it is refreshing to use the SRAM. Very clean shifting and you KNOW when you have shifted, and they look cool. Still waiting for a front deraileur X.0...Second, perhaps the best climbing bike I have ever ridden especially with the lock out, and aggresive geometery. Third, I would recommend a 2.4 or greater front tire for a smoother ride. Once the bike is set up correctly for you, a minimum of seven rides, you will totally love this bike and with TREK you know you're buying quality.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santa Barbara back country

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2700.00

Purchased At:   a great friend...

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Blur-XTR, Specialized Stumpjumper 120 Pro-XTR

Bike Setup:   All cool stuff, Avid Jucy 7 carbon, Bontrager everything (carbon), SRAM front X.9, rear X.0, Bontrager race lite X wheelset and stock otherwise.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Christopher Harris a Racer from Atlanta, GA

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2007

Strengths:    Weight, Fox Talas, new XTR setup, extraordinary suspension efficiency, comfort from carbon frame.

Weaknesses:    None at all.

Bottom Line:   
This is the most amazing bike I've ever set my rear upon. It climbs like a mountain goat, and descends like a speed demon. I have a friend who rides a Titus Racer-x I was once jealous of, but not any longer!!!!!! The new XTR brakes make my old Hayes HFX-9's seem outdated. All the new XTR stuff kills the competition-look out SRAM, I've turned to the dark side.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tanasi Trail System

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $6000.00

Purchased At:   Atlanta Cycling

Similar Products Used:   Fuel EX9, Titus Racer-x, Intense Spider, Cannondale Scalpel

Bike Setup:   Full XTR, Fox Talas and RP23, and Bontrager Race X-lite

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JOHN SHIELDS a Racer from JACKSONVILLE, FL, USA

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2006



Bottom Line:   
Rode several times at 2 different trails and cannot stop talking about how awesome this bike is. So light, VERY FAST, awesome suspension which leads to great cornering. I rode it plush and with Propedal and Lockout set. The blowoff works great, but the propedal is a little less accurate getting it to work when I wanted it to without sacrificing the rigidity over the flat sections. I am still playing with settings on the shock, so this may get better. Riding it plush is just to nice! I love this bike. It has single handedly re-energized my training routine.

I was winning races before, but now I am really going to fly - picked up 2 minutes on my training course over my old 30 pounder with tubes in the tires and heavy pedals! Can't wait to lighten it up even more. GREAT BIKE!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   reddick, fl

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   giant vt1, trance, GF Cake

Bike Setup:   XC

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

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

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