Strengths: Plush, light, climbs/descends/corners well. Both front and rear suspension adjustable to trail conditions and the rockshox reverb stealth seatpost was the bomb!
I was on a layover in SFO and had the chance to meet up with the mtbr crew for an Annadel ride. I was expecting to ride a Jamis 650b FS rig, but instead this bike showed up. I can't say I was disappointed, but I had a chance to ride the Jamis at Downieville last summer, and it was a blast! Fortunately, the Trek fit me well (17.5) although I usually ride one size smaller (hmmm...may have to rethink what size bike I should ride). Well, we started the ride and I was able to play with the suspension adjustments and found the middle setting to work well for most of the ride. I did "lock" it out for the longer non-technical climbs and left it full open on the longer technical descents. I was not the least bit disappointed in the Trek's performance. The carbon OCLV frame was light, responsive and climbed nimbly. But the suspension with the C-T-D (climb-trail-descend) technology, the ABP linkage, and the geometry along with the dropper post made this bike a dream to descend on. It hugged the turns and soaked up all the bumps and rocks and I even let it fly off a few small jumps. The XT hydro brakes were spot on and reliable for our 20 miler. Overall, this bike is worth looking into if you're a xc type looking to bomb some more technical descents.
Weaknesses: stock tires are terrible, frame chips easy, cable rub(added anti rub strips from road bike, rear hub has extremely loud pawls
I picked this bike up as a DEMO for a great price and it was in excellent condition. So far I have loved everything about it except the stock tires and loud rear hub. I only upgraded other parts because I got really good deals on them. Frame is extremely strong and has handled many drops and jumps without a hick-up. The climbing is outstanding. I highly reccommend this bike to anyone that can afford it, if you cant then I say save up.
Bike Setup: Upgraded to XTR shifter pods, XTR front/rear derailler, Tires are schwalbe Hans Dampf(2.35), ODI Rogue grips
a Cross Country Rider
from Atlanta, Georgia
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2011
Strengths: Very light and fast. I have a 19.5 inch. It climbs very well, jumps well and on fast turns- the rear holds the line very well. I had a Gary Fisher HiFi Pro before- and the 9.8 smokes it- even on tight climbs. I love the Avid XO brakes. I'm 195 lbs and the bike fits me nicely. Forks and rear shock system are amazing- this bike loves the 1 to 2 foot drops and the single-track north GA mountains. I love the feel of the carbon and overall bike stiffness. This bike is made in the USA.
Weaknesses: I don't like the seat. I never tried the wheel set- I put my old ones on.
The paint chips very easily.
If you are serious about your ride- it's worth the price. Don't buy it if your price range is $3K or so. If you are on more of a budget you wouldn't go wrong with a Fuel EX 9.0. Other good bikes for the money I'd buy include Santa Cruz Blur, Yeti 575, and many others- there are a lot of good bikes for the money. I like Trek's warranty and overall customer service.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher HiFi Pro- which broke in the usual place and thanks Trek for giving me $2300 toward a new bike.
Bike Setup: Stock plus $1200 wheel set. Industry 9 Enduro with ZTR Arch rims.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2010
Strengths: Frame and rear suspension works very well! Climbs like a mountain goat. Light weight frame. Good components. Trail and marathon race worthy.
Weaknesses: Tires are mostly suitable for dry conditions. cassette is SRAM of a lower level than an XT - the only component in the drive train that is not Shimano XT.
I am not too happy with the Fox fork. Lacks feel in midrange of travel.
Needs some protective patches to protect the frame from cable rub.
I wanted to buy a custom bike (Ibis Mojo SL was at the top of my list), but after riding the Trek Fuel EX 9, I was sold on the design. Very happy with the bike, except the fork. For marathon racing I will get a set of light weight wheels, but the stock wheels will do for trail riding and training.
The fork was a disappointment. I have heard so much praise of the Fox fork, but I found it torsionally soft and does not provide any feel of the terrain in midrange of the travel.
I find that it climbs incredibly well with the rear shock fully open. I don't use the platform unless I ride on paved roads for a long time.
Similar Products Used: Razorback RS Team, Proflex 855 and 857, Trek Top Fuel 90, Trek Fuel EX 9, Specialized FSR, Iron Horse Trail, BMC Fourstroke, Gary Fischer Sugar
Bike Setup: Stock + tires: Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.2 + pdeals: Shimano XTR
a Cross Country Rider
from Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2009
Strengths: Very responsive in and out of turns. I have found hill climbing on this bike to be smooth yet downhill I have also found it to stick to any line I choose to ride especially with the lockers off of the suspension.
Weaknesses: Althougn some folks may complain about the wheels being tubeless ready but not really set up for it, I really do not see this as an issue as I still ride with tubes. The tires however, suck in any weather other than very dry conditions. One other thing I have noticed is the lack of protection on the frame to guard against cable rub. I have had to add small piece of electrical tabe to eliminate any potential issues with cables rubbing the clearcoat off...something Trek should really consider for future models.
This bike is awesome in every aspect. The gruppo is solid. It handles great on any type terrain. It has turned a lot of heads and made a few friend very jealous. I would recommend this bike to anyone.
Bike Setup: Stock so far...I might upgrade with a carbon stem and XTR derailleurs in time.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 9, 2009
Strengths: Light, Responsive, 5" travel, Body position(relaxed but not too much). Test rode Trance x2, Mojo SL, Blur XCc, Stumpjumper before deciding on this bike. Best combination of features(carbon, travel) and components (full XT) for the price. Love this bike it sucks up bumps, climbs awesome, body position and suspension help conserve energy. Did 80km ride recently and while the legs were tired I didn't have that whole body fatigue that often comes with long rides and rougher trails. Would recommend this bike to anyone.
Weaknesses: Biggest on are the TERRIBLE stock tires. The XDX 2.2's are extremely skittish and slide out in looser trails especially with cornering. Will be changing these right away. One beef for all bike makers, Tubeless wheels should come Tubeless when you buy it. I spent nearly $4K I think they can spring for the parts to make my bike fully tubeless. Aluminium rear triangle vs. Carbon (They've remedied this for next year)
Awesome bike!! I've had a grin on my face for the whole month since I bought it. Fast, flowy and climbs awesome. I couldn't ask for more.
Weaknesses: It's white. It's going to drive me crazy. I can't wait until I get this thing scratched and too filthy to keep clean. It is a nice paint job, though. I bought white gloves and grips to match.
This bike is like a coach telling you to GO GO GO! The handling, traction and suspension are so good that as soon as you hit the apex of a turn it's ready for you to hammer. There is no time to catch your breath as on other bikes if they have to be corrected or wallow on bumps. This bike isn't even upset if you have to go off trail to avoid an on-coming rider. This is suppose to be Trek's best bike for non-racers who don't want to pay another $2750 for XTR. The handling wasn't as twitchy was the Top Fuel I also tested. You're suppose to be able to ride this bike all day.
Weaknesses: Advertising - tubeless ready means ready to buy additional parts so you can go tubeless.
This is a very nice bike. The ride is supple without losing efficiency, the component specs are outstanding, XT, Fox, and Bontrager Race Lite, and the bike has a neat way of going where you point it no matter what the terrain. I do not really think this is an all-mountain bike, however. It is more of an Epic XC bike than anything. I am certainly using it to race XC this year with no problems.
Only a 3 for value, since any bike over 4k is silly, but 5 overall, b/c it is, again, a really, really fun bike.