Strengths: All around greatness, best brakes in the business in this category, rear suspension with DRCV feel way more plush than 120mm!
Weaknesses: DRCV fork is good but definitely not great and it's a challenge to dial it in right.
I bought my 2012 ex8 in December of 2011. This was my first new mtb since I purchased a Pro-Flex Beast new in 1996. Obviously, comparatively speaking the Trek is LIGHTYEARS ahead of my old Pro-Flex. But, after riding it now for going on 4 years, I've come to truly love this bike. It isn't perfect as it took way too long to get the fork set up the way I like it. And even now it's not quite exactly as I want it but the rear suspensions excellence more than makes up for it. As many posters have proclaimed, the bike just does everything well. What stands out to me is how well it goes downhill! 120mm "trail bikes" shouldn't be able to do what this bike has done for me. It just RIPS! Especially after I went wide and short in the cockpit layout and upgraded the tires from the abysmal old design XR3s to the phenomenal Frank Stacey designed XR4 Team Issue rubber. And of course tubeless. The bike is a monster and so playful on every little rock and bump on the trail if you so desire. If you want the suspension with eat it up for you. I LOVE this bike!
Seeing as I gravitate to more DH centric rides, my next bike will almost certainly be a new Remedy. If my ex8 is this good I can imagine the Remedy will be that much better for All a Mountain riding.
Bottom line is; if you're in the market for a used trail bike r you're lucky enough to find a 2012 ex8 NIB, GET IT! You won't be disappointed.
Bike Setup: Atom Lab flats, Thompson 750mm carbon bars, 50mm Thomson X4 stem, Odi Ruffian grips, X4 Team Issue tires set up tubeless running 26psi front & 30psi rear.
Date Reviewed: December 30, 2014
Strengths: hydraulic disk breaks that respond quickly, 26" wheels, its very lightweight, the wheels and tires are tough and can take a beating.
Weaknesses: The chain flops around to much on rough terrain and jumps.
I have a 2012 ex 5 with 26" wheels, the only way to go, handles very well on any terrain. Handles down hill bombs, jumps and turns with ease which you won't get with a 29er. 26er 's rock and roll and 29er's are a macho fad that is fading fast.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2014
Strengths: It's lightweight, the drcv shock and fork is amazing, eternal cable routing, rims are tough, most people I ride with are on 170mm travel bikes and I do everything on this bike they do and also the things they can't like really technical rock gardens and long rooty climbs.
Weaknesses: 3x10 should be 2x10, handlebars to flat, bonty race light grips only good if you have tiny hands
The people I ride with are all on 170mm travel bikes and I do all the downhills they do 5 foot drops etc but faster and also the stuff they can't do like technical rock gardens and steep rooty climbs. My next bike purchase will be a dh bike from trek just for the lift assisted runs that I plan on doing but for everything else I ride it's the fuel ex 8
Weaknesses: Tires, though tread pattern is good I lost count of flats. Don't attempt a rock garden with these. Fork, no compression damping. QR rear axel. Elixir 3 brakes, very noisy.
I'm critical with some of the component choice but must admit it is a Fuel EX level 7 so the value for price is good. I knew I would have to change stuff gradually to turn the bike into something special: fork, out Float 32 evolution 120 RL OB; in Float 32 factory series 120 FIT RLC. Drivetrain, out Deore cassette, cranks, shifters and SLX rear derailleur; in X9 type 2, race face NW 32t 1x10, XT cassette with 42t cog. Brakes, out with elixir 3; in shimano XT ice tech. Tires, out with XR4 experts 2.30; in MAXXIS Ardent 2.25 rear, Minion 2.40 front, tubeless (best investment ever). Add Reverb dropper plus wtb saddle plus ODI grips plus wider handle bar, and last but not least swap the 90mm stem for a 60mm. These upgrades have transformed the bike. Now I will not give up this 26er. Although it could use a bit more travel it's still awesome on the trail. I would not use for XC though, too heavy at 29.7 lbs. EX7 has turned into more like EX10 if Trek made one. But the value was in the frame and rear shock. The investment was worth it. The bike was good, now it's really something else. In the end it's the little things that count (I knew the first day the grips had to go).
Strengths: - The best looking bike for the past almost 5 years since I bought them among all the other.
- Light, can pull the with one arm, made from lightweight red aluminum.
- Fast uphill or downhill 26' wheels are FAST, don't buy the 29 ' macho crap, 26' rules. 29's are heavier!
- I weight 120k"g and they didn't break once! very tough.
Weaknesses: Well, I haven't found a reason to buy something else them for 5 years, so... they are perfect for me.
I rode cross country, sports 22km"h average speedaround the town, on hard terrain in the mountains (all mountain), they are really good bike. Looks awesome, color scheme is the best around from Trek for the last years , fast and light.
Strengths: Plushness, rear suspension design, G2 geo, looks, once it has speed it holds it very well.
Weaknesses: A tad heavy (30-32lbs) Sram X5 not the highest level shifters but still crisp wheels are kinda heavy and feels sluggish when you start out.
Suspension on this bike feels very plush to the extent I almost am afraid of bottoming out the rear suspension a lot, the full floater rear suspension pivots on the 2014 version does feel like the advertised "bottomless" even without the DRCV fox shock. I'm kinda tall (6'1") and so 29ers feel more natural for me and this one takes the cake, the G2 geo allows me to keep the fun flickable style of riding. My friends are turning over to 29ers slowly and currently my friend who normally beat me (he rides a 2013 GT Karakoram) now will be next to me or behind me. By the way this bike looks sooooo much better in person. getting up to speed can be kinda hard as it feels sluggish due to rear suspension bob and weight but once the bike gets going on either a downhill or a flat it keeps going and is rather hard to stop but the brakes do a swell job. My cross country biker friends beat me on the climbs but once we turn around the trail and go down I slaughter them if your looking for a Fuel EX bike look at them in person first and demo one then make your mind.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2014
Strengths: Plush, light weight, Agile, easy and smooth to ride. Wide handle bars for better control, brakes are actually very good, Suspension system and Suspension components are solid.
Weaknesses: tires are garbage!
I like to ride rocky rough downhills because of the technical challenge and pure enjoyment I get from it. This bike handled it quite well besides the tires. It was smooth and light making it very easy to control. Peddling up the hills with the suspension and how light this bike is makes it easy. I would have given this bike a solid 5 stars but the tires are absolutely terrible. This bike is awesome and when my wife rides with me she gets it and loves it. Replace the tires and you have a great bike.
Strengths: The CTD coming standard is great..well made bike...
Weaknesses: Tires are pathetic I know they have to put as much Bontrager items on this bike but those tires are horrible for my terrain, no pedals included.
Overall I like this bike much better than my Haro hardtail, I am though rather disappointed in the value for the money, I mean for $2000 and you do not even get pedals!!!! I had to buy a set at local dealer on top of the bike cost, yes there are many choices in pedals etc but at least allow $125 of the total price to go towards any pedals the rider would like in the bike shop. The tires are pure junk in place of mass producing every bike with XR3 how about you do research and find out if in a region such as Nevada that Kenda Nevegals are top choice here slap those on the bikes for shipping to all your NV dealers. I am happy overall with the bike and love it but for the price, put some real tires on it and allow the purchase of good pedals as well.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2013
Strengths: Climbs well gos down single track like a rocket...groupset a tad naff but I've now put an xtr chainset on and a dropper post nice short stem and some raceface atlas bars...new set of wheels next then this steed will be awesome
Weaknesses: None really maybe the forks ??
This was my first introduction into the carbon world and I'm glad I got my trek....went from downhill to this I love it....but now I want a carbon downhill bike ??
Weaknesses: I do not think that it will support heavier riders. I broke the top tube along with the seat post tube on both a 2011 Fuel Ex and the replacement 2012 Ex while riding the same trails. I am a 230 lb 47 y/o nurse trying to keep his blood pressure down. I'll let you decide how aggressive I was.
I upgrade to the Santa Cruz Solo C (aka 5010) and I am issue free after 130+ miles on the same trail
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: November 1, 2013
Strengths: Small jumps, and climbing. The propedal on the rear shock works really well
Weaknesses: None as far as I can tell
This is a great bike for someone who is breaking in to the world of full suspension. I ride a mix of cross country and all mountain and have no problem with climbing or jumps up to 2-3 feet. I love this Bike.
Bike Setup: Fork- Rock Shox Recon Coil Spring 120mm
Rear Shock- Fox Float RP2
Brakeset-Avid Juicy 3
Shifters- Sram X5
Front Derailleur- Shimano Alivio
Rear Derailleur-Sram X5
Tires- Front: Kenda Small Block Eight 26x2.3
Rear:Specialized The Captain 26x2.2
Pedals-Wellgo Flats probably will upgrade to clip-ins
Date Reviewed: October 7, 2013
Strengths: For the amount of riding I do it's great! I beat my bike up and it takes a great beating. You get great components for the price you pay. The Fox Susp is awesome and the bike is lighweight!
Weaknesses: The stock Bontrager tires are terrible!!!!!
Strengths: Light, nimble, great cornering, well equipped
Weaknesses: SLX Rear derailleur is not the clutch type
Love this bike. Usually riding twisty single track, this bike corners very well, absorbs bumps with ease and the DRCV shock seems to be as good as they advertise it. Everyone bashes the Elixir 3s but for now they are fine, responsive. Bike comes with 180mm front and 160mm back, and it provides good stopping power with decent modulation.
I usually lose my friends with 29ers in the twisty parts of the track, and they seem to be a bit better climbers. Tried the 29s but I like the way I can move and turn on the 26.
Great prices to be found on the 2013s, this was a bargain for me. Only thing I replaced were tires for fall/ winter/ spring, I put on a set of Forte Pisgah 2.3s.
Strengths: Geometry - does not lift front wheel at ascends, does not want to get rid of rider at steep descends, or ,,unexpexted,, drops.
Rear shock - DRCV works well, but need precise set up.
SLX brakes - uncompromise breaking power (but cheap stock discs)
SLX/XT drivetrain - good enought for most riders
Weaknesses: DRCV fork - too linear, undermining bike´s potential...Definitely doesnt work.However, can be tunned by PUSH tunnig kit to be more progresive.
For rough trail ridig long stem.
no ICCG mounts and using BB90 - so I use Bionicon C.guide(it works, but sometimes chain drops...)
weird sounds from front wheel and frame (I learned to ignore)
For me personaly I needed to upgrade gear pads for xt, changed drivetrain to 2x10 (3x10 for trail ridind makes no sense.)
This bike is not equiped with dropper post, bought RS reverb.
Very well for amateur XC racing(not fastest) and can handle some trails in bike parks. Perfect as a first full suspension bike, when you cant decide, what you want to ride. You can remain XC rider or... It is very capable descendant, so in short time you can gain trail-all mountain skills and will be looking for most demanding local trails and become ,,trail adicted,, as me:) So there is one more weakness of this bike - after one year of riding - you are looking for longer travel bike.)
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 14, 2013
Strengths: when setup right and if parts are replaced under warranty it rides really well
Weaknesses: Trek Warranty not worth a pinch of Troll Snot !!!!
I bought the 2009 EX9 brand new here in Perth, Australia. After 6 mths the bearings went in the rear Bontrager wheel and as they are a special design was told to wait 5 weeks for replacement from O/S. (5wks ??? WTF?). After much heated complaining they found a set and sent it to me within two weeks. Now four years down the track and having replaced worn out components I have discovered a crack in the bottom swing arm. The Trek website states swing arms are covered for 5 years,so I have submitted a warranty claim through my LBS. Trek have come back to say that they will supply the swing arm but in a different colour. And due to changes in axle sizes etc they have told me they cannot help further with a newer piece...... Take it or leave it. Why state and sell a 5 year warranty of replacement parts if they cannot meet the needs????? I'm not a 14yr old punk who wants a bike that looks like graffiti, with pieces that don't match. Its not a $4,000 Kmart bike!
Would I buy Trek again?? I don't care how many rocket scientists they employ, if the cant meet warranties, and in a timely manner then the warranty really isn't worth anything.
You have been warned!! ...... look elsewhere for better value as other brands, with quality bikes will bend over backwards for good service to retain existing customers.