Powered by Outside

2022 Pinkbike Awards: Mountain Bike of the Year Winner

Dec 29, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  
photo


Mountain Bike of the Year Winner

The finalists for the 2022 Mountain Bike of the Year were the Trek Fuel EX, Deviate Claymore, Santa Cruz Nomad, Allied BC40, and the Canyon Strive.

There was one bike that stood out from the rest, epitomizing just how capable a modern trail bike can be. The Mountain Bike of the Year award goes to...







Trek Fuel EX


Trek completely transformed the Fuel EX for 2023 by giving it more travel, updated geometry, and a whole host of adjustments not found on the previous version. It's still a trail bike at heart, except that its overall level of capability has increased, both on the climbs and descents.

The 140mm of travel is served perfectly, with plenty of support for climbing and pumping through rolling terrain mixed with a hearty dollop of traction for dealing with loose, slippery trails. Trek also added a flip chip that adjusts the bike's leverage ratio, which can be used to run a coil shock, or to add additional end stroke ramp-up with an air shock. That's on top of the wide range of geometry possibilities made possible by a flip chip on the seatstay, and an headset cup that can be used to change the head angle by 1-degree. Yes, in a perfect world that cup would be included with the bike rather than needing to be purchased separately, but realistically most riders will probably be very happy with adjustments available out of the box.

2022 Trail Bike Field Test photo by Satchel Cronk.

Trek Fuel EX photo by Satchel Cronk
Trek Fuel EX photo by Satchel Cronk


Price doesn't play as large of a role as on-trail performance in this award category, but it is great to see that there's an aluminum version of the Fuel EX that has all of the same features as its more expensive carbon sibling. It's also worth mentioning that there are multiple other frame colors available, including black or blue options that look much classier than the yellow paint scheme pictured here.

It's the sum of all the Fuel EX's features and ride characteristics that gave it that little extra bit necessary to take the win this year. Honestly, its a bit of a sleeper – the looks aren't outlandish, and there's not one particular geometry number that really stands out, but all it takes is one ride to realize that Trek have created one incredibly fun (and versatile) machine. This is a bike that could be used to head out for a big meandering backcountry adventure one day, roll up to the starting line in a local enduro race the next, or even head into the bike park for a lap or three without missing a beat.







Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,750 articles
Report
Must Read This Week
Sign Up for the Pinkbike Newsletter - All the Biggest, Most Interesting Stories in your Inbox
PB Newsletter Signup

239 Comments
  • 248 22
 So it's a Trek that looks like a GT,rides like a Specialized and it's priced like a Santa Cruz. Got it.
  • 19 2
 (I'm fine with my GT....)
  • 81 4
 Not a Trek fan, but you're crazy. Sure you can get a super expensive build (just like every manufacturer), but you can get a very respectable XT build for $6,500... you really don't get anything respectable component-wise on Santa Cruz until you spend way more than that.
  • 26 1
 @nozes Have you seen Santa Cruz prices for the build? The Trek offers a way better price point. Top of the line is going to be expensive regardless, but Trek has aluminum options and good builds for what you pay. SC starts at like $5,500 for a Sram NX groupset.
  • 3 10
flag mininhi (Dec 29, 2022 at 20:28) (Below Threshold)
 That's the Trek mentality....Their bikes are anything but a Trek
  • 24 3
 Deviate Claymore got robbed!
  • 21 1
 @Chippps: So 6,5k is a respectable price?
  • 14 2
 @dark-o: Comparatively, yes. For that price with Trek you get a full carbon frame with in frame storage, carbon wheels with a high engagement hub, one pice bar/stem, full XT group set and brake set, performance Fox suspension, and all the geo adjustability that comes with it. I understand that direct sale bikes have better prices, but for every other company that is a tough price to beat. Most other companies will give you the suspension and maybe drivetrain for that price, but they cut out good wheels or brakes. Don’t get me wrong 6.5K is no small amount of money, but if you willing to fork out the cash you’ll be hard pressed to find a better build for your money.
  • 23 24
 @Chippps: Just want to remind you that you can get a Honda CRF 300 Rally for just about 6000$... So tell me why a mountainbike with an XT build for 6500$ should be respectable.
  • 20 3
 @Phipu: This is also $6K. Its a handbag.
And to others in this world, $6K is more then they’ll earn in a life time of proper hard graft.
There’s a whole world of better / worse value stuff that $6K could buy you, but so what? Nothing new there…
Value itself is ultimately subjective, but it helps to keep the comparison’s category the same across the item being compared.
Compared to other $6K, LBS sold FS bikes, that Trek seems like a pretty nice deal.

www.chanel.com/us/fashion/p/AS1160B0485294305/chanel-19-handbag-shiny-lambskin-gold-tone-silver-tone-ruthenium-finish-metal
  • 13 1
 @Chippps: remember when XT builds were 4000? And the 6500 build came with Enve wheels 240 hubs, kashima and XTR?
  • 4 0
 @ihsik: aluminum EX frame is 3lbs heavier than the carbon and somehow only $1000 less
  • 2 0
 @5afety3rd: Okay? Aluminum does tend to be heavier than carbon. I don’t know why you would want to just buy the frame.
  • 6 0
 @5afety3rd: LOL yeah, but I also remember when houses were half the price, you could get a new car for $10K, and you could get a decent lunch with a drink for $10... Everything is more expensive now!!
  • 2 1
 @ihsik: when you’re not into build kits, you buy frames and build how you want. I’ve never bought a complete bike. Ever.
  • 1 0
 @dark-o: especially when it loses so much value in such a short time!!
  • 2 0
 @Phipu: its idiocracy in real life....hype inflates pricing, 5 years back top graphic cards were $1k and now you have ppl ready to spend more than double the price due to the hype around gaming
  • 1 0
 @5afety3rd: I sell.bikes every week to someone who tells me they bought their first house for 5k.... Everything goes up in price all the time, you can't change it so move with it...
  • 3 0
 @5afety3rd: I also remember when minimum wage was $6.25 but still I managed to save enough to buy a $5300 norco team dh, which was complete garbage compared to today’s $4000 bikes. The world moves on, try to keep up.
  • 1 0
 @Chippps: I'm done with Santa Cruz, they must think everyone gets California type wages.
  • 1 0
 @Phipu: dammmmnnnn, the bike x moto guys always apear!! A plague!!!
  • 120 11
 Makes sense. It's the bike that out stumpjumper evo'd the stumpjumper evo.
  • 55 3
 I would call it a tie. So we MUST HAVE a head-to-head test.
  • 37 7
 two years after the MY2020 SJ Evo first debuted, better late than never I suppose
  • 17 12
 @nozes: the Stumpy has that stupid yoke to hold the shock causing side load, easy win for the trek here, even if it's trunnion
  • 23 7
 Definitely not. It's two years later, heavier, uglier, and more expensive than the SJ EVO.
  • 13 0
 I don’t think it “out-evoed” the evo. It’s just newer
  • 2 1
 @skywalkdontrun: It borrowed from the Evo it's traits. Also how does a 2023 bike receive 2022- Award for BOTY? Shouldn't this be a bike that has been out for a whole year 2022? How Stupid!
  • 96 35
 Is it just me or is there a recurring pattern of Trek copying Specialized, then winning a "______ of the year" award. First, the blatantly ripped off Specialized's in frame SWAT storage.... they win innovation of the year. Next the completely copy the Stumpjumper EVO's adjustable geo..... they win bike of the year. Trek must pay there engineers top dollar for all of their "innovations".
  • 42 1
 and the frame is 1k more than an evo.
  • 80 4
 But Trek was smart enough to omit that...yoke.
  • 66 25
 It’s the Apple method. Let someone else innovate, copy it and improve, then release it to fanboys.
  • 45 3
 @2pi: much bigger deal than many people realize. I won’t buy a bike with a clevis yoke because they destroy shocks.
  • 23 0
 Get what you are saying, but this happens for just about every product in the economy when there is competition. This is how marketplaces are supposed to work. Manufacturers will add or "copy" features that add value. I don't think anyone is crediting Trek for innovation.
  • 49 3
 While Trek did copy the SWAT from Spesh (when did they win Innovation of the Year for it as you said?), they absolutely did not copy adjustable geo. My 2014 Trek Session has a flip chip. Different headset cups or adjustable chainstay lengths have been around for many years before the EVO.
  • 5 2
 @Edgibson: don't forget, it's also almost 1 kg havier))
  • 45 3
 @wpplayer18: You reckon there are Trek "fanboys"?
  • 7 1
 This is nothing new for Trek. They used the URT suspension design but changed enough without having to pay to use the patent. They use the split pivot suspension design, get sued, and win in their home state. They make a beach cruiser like Electra and instead of being sued, they buy the company. And add the other stuff peeps are saying. I’m surprised Specialized hasn’t sued them.
  • 24 6
 Trek may have won this award, but I spent my hard earned dollars on an SJ Evo.
  • 25 0
 There's the old joke of R&D standing for Rip-off and Duplicate. But seriously, nothing wrong with what trek did. Spec deserves some credit for taking a bunch of adjustments that existed and putting them onto one bike in a clean and smart way, but they didn't invent any of them (I think, but could be wrong). Are you mad that lots of car companies make awd vehicles other than Subaru (which google says was the first car manufacturer to mass produce an awd car)?
  • 8 9
 @wpplayer18: I think you meant Microsoft
  • 10 4
 R&D = Rip-off & Duplicate
  • 12 16
flag jokermtb FL (Dec 29, 2022 at 9:16) (Below Threshold)
 not to mention how Specialized stole the horst-link suspension design from Dave Turner.....they ain't no angels
  • 22 5
 Look at the bikes... it's a huge stretch to say Trek copied the Evo. Plus it's not like Specialize invented adjustable geo. Everyone is doing in-frame storage now - since geo stabilized, that's what the companies are doing to make you think your 3yo bike is obsolete.
  • 21 0
 @jokermtb: do you know about the AMP research bikes from Horst. Thats where Specialized purchased the design from
  • 4 2
 @wpplayer18: you mean everyone copied the original iPhone right??? Interesting.....
  • 2 0
 @WalrusRider: Is there an article on this? Stumpjumper owner here.
  • 5 3
 @andrew8404: iphones suck.
  • 2 1
 @andrew8404: iPhone 1 copied the Nokia N97
  • 6 4
 @jokermtb: Or how Specialized stole the design of the mountain bike from Mountain Bikes.
  • 7 0
 @WalrusRider: I mean, I have over 120 hard rides on my ‘22 evo and all I’ve done is replace brake pads and do the air sleeve once.
  • 1 1
 @jlizard: iPhone 1 was introduced January 2007 while the n97 was introduced December 2008.
  • 1 3
 @WalrusRider: I’m already two rebuilds and one new shock into my stumpjumper and I’m pissed. I love how it rides, so I’ll just have to make sure I keep up with the service intervals….every 50 hours.
  • 8 0
 you can't patent a hole. lol besides, Trek's version is caled a TWAT. totally different.
  • 3 0
 @Chippps: exactly, I think some commenters lack perspective on things like this. The real story here IMO is that the two biggest brands in MTB are somehow making some of the best, most-progressive trail bikes on the market. Wouldn't have bet on that five years ago.
  • 3 0
 @wpplayer18: Trek has fanboys?
  • 2 1
 @mtblol: capitalism is a sham, friend
  • 3 1
 @kcy4130: Mercedes made the first production AWD (and all wheel steer) car in 1907. Subaru wasn’t around back then.
  • 1 0
 @ripridesbikes: Doesn’t every brand?
  • 2 0
 @ridebikesyall: likely a Fox shock?
  • 2 0
 @ridebikesyall: I’m a year and a half into my 2022 stumpy evo. Keep up on maintenance and have no issues with shocks. Curious if your running coil or air? Apparently it eats coils more so than air. I broke a seatstay from jumping but specialized warranties it.
  • 2 0
 @Rubberelli: integrated cups haven't been out before the Stevo did in 2021 sorry! Angular headset cups have been out, yes. Those angular cups fit all bikes with specific headsets. The integrated cups are uniquely shaped to fit the Stevos frame and no other. This in addition to an adjustable rear triangle was a first for any company. Specialized best everyone to the adjustability concept and the Stevo rules the day still!
  • 1 0
 @MutleyAdams: Sorry, but both those technologies have been around for awhile. The Intense Uzzi and the Canyon Sender had adjustable chain stays in the mid 2010s, and I don't think they were the first. The integrated headset has been around seemingly forever and manufacturers have offered different cups for adjusting the head angle. I'm not sure if you're speaking of a specific patent on these, but functionally, these technologies have been around for awhile. IDK if the Evo was the first to have all these adjustments in one bike or not (I'm betting some European brand had some radically adjustable bike years ago though).
  • 2 0
 @Rubberelli: nope, frame specific angle headsets were never heard of before the Spevo. Meaning the angle cups are shaped for only the Spevo. Yes, angle headsets have been around but not integrated and frame specific angle headset cups. And they came OEM which NO other bike manufacturer has ever done.
  • 1 1
 @5afety3rd: indeed. capitalism sucks*


*sent from my Iphone, on vacation I took a ludicrously affordable flight on a 500mph aeroplane to get to.
  • 1 0
 @Douglas4130: Running an air shock. I have a 2022 stumpjumper frame only build that came with a bottom of the barrel Fox Float DPS. The DPS would randomly get squishy and spongy in a bad way. Got it serviced twice, each time it only took a couple rides before it misbehaved again. Ended up buying a Float X for it which is faring a hell of a lot better, but I don't quite have the hours on it yet to give a strong verdict on whether or not it will have issues.

Fox just serviced the DPS "under warranty" but they won't tell the shop that sent it in for me exactly what they did to it. I don't plan to ride the DPS again except for when I have to send the Float X for service.
  • 2 0
 @bogey: Bingo. It was the stock Fox Float DPS that came with my frame only Stumpjumper (not Evo). Barely made it six months before I started looking to replace it. Apparently the side loading made the damper shaft unhappy and it was just mixing air and oil and felt like a microwaved sponge. Not fun Frown
  • 2 1
 @Mtbdialed: all those things you suggested would be completely normal under a socialist economy, broham.
  • 1 2
 @5afety3rd: sure sure. cuba is a thriving beacon of cutting edge tech and propserity, and China...What an example for the world China is!

socialism is the idea that you can tax and control a society into prosperity.
  • 1 1
 @ridebikesyall: that isn't the shocks issue. that is your bikes issue. I had a Pivot Firebird that did the same thing. no shock, and I went through 3 different brands and 5 models in total I think, will survive it for long.
  • 1 2
 @Mtbdialed: socialism and communism aren't the same thing. Democracy makes a difference.
And I know for a fact that you can patent a hole. There is a famous Dutch patent law case about a hole in a biscuit (Tempels VS Continental Bakeries) . It is also a nice example of what is to me the essence of socialism: how a government, through laws, can protect individuals from being screwed over by big corporations.
  • 2 5
 @ak-77: socialism is the underpinnings of communism. just like whiskey is the underpinning of an old fashioned. intrinsically linked. socialism always leads to communism, if left unchecked.

democracy also sucks. it's two wolves and sheep voting on what's for dinner.

one of the saving graces of the USA is that it is not a democracy.


and yes, let the government screw over everyone to keep some people from being screwed by corporations. very sound logic.
  • 2 2
 @Mtbdialed: socialism nor communism are the threats the capitalist christian overlords want you to believe. you know, the corporations that own the government. Educate yourself on what socialism actually is, you know that American dream portrayed in the 50s, it's that, for everyone. It's not possible under capitalist economy. Only the death of everything is. It's already happening. We needed capitalism to get wealthy enough to achieve a socialist society though.
  • 1 1
 @MutleyAdams: Your wording of about the headset cups may be accurate; however, functionally different headset cups to change the head angle of a bike has been around for awhile. The Trek Session in 2018 had different cups you could buy that changed the HA, for example. I think you are talking about very specific patent technologies, rather than what that tech actually does. I'm certain the Box drivetrains have some patented tech that is different from a Shimano or SRAM drivetrain, but to the user, it is still a derailleur and shifter.
  • 1 2
 @5afety3rd: dude, shut up.
  • 3 3
 @skywalkdontrun: you scared of sharing the world with others? Or just consumed by your greed to take from anyone you see as beneath you? That’s really the capitalist vs socialist argument to the core.
  • 1 3
 @5afety3rd: No, man, I'm all for socialism. I'm just tired of listening to you.
  • 1 4
 @skywalkdontrun: you can always just f*ck off instead of typing
  • 1 1
 @5afety3rd: I would take capitalism over the current system any day.
  • 2 0
 @mtblol: we’re in late stage capitalism. Time machine perhaps?
  • 2 1
 @5afety3rd: it's not possible at all. there will always be the haves and havenots. it's natural. some people are smarter, more driven and have more ability to create things other people want.

lastly, thank you for getting to the root of screeds here. anti-christian bigotry is still bigotry. saying the quiet part out loud makes it easy for eveyone!

ALSO LOL@ we need capitalism to achieve socialism. JUST>>>>>>>LOL. literally the single dumbest thing I have ever seen written here. Which is truly saying something.
  • 2 0
 @5afety3rd: What part of capitalism involves government debt monetization and fixing interest rates at zero? We live in a world where losses are socialized and gains are privatized. We have the worst of both capitalism and socialism at the same time. Clown world
  • 56 2
 Nice, congrats Gt
  • 30 0
 Watch out, you are going get an Avalanche of Fury for that comment.
  • 51 2
 It won because it’s “Outside” yellow
  • 28 0
 I think the actual color is Outside Plus
  • 36 3
 @koz-ak: Outside Piss
  • 3 1
 Weird thing is I really dislike the colour yellow, but I actually like this colour a lot. Go figure.
  • 1 2
 Correction! I just went on the Trek website. That yellow is awful! If it was the yellow that is shown in this pic, I'd be all over it. I think the "Outside" yellow would be a sweet colour for a bike.
  • 3 0
 @koz-ak: You need an Outside Plus subscription to look at it
  • 5 0
 You'd prefer it "Inside" Brown??
  • 37 6
 Let the Trek ad revenue flow...
  • 30 3
 a proper mountain bike powered by bacon and eggs... yay!
  • 8 1
 and the same colour as omega 3 egg yolks!
  • 8 1
 Can you imagine if they award an e-bike mountain bike of the year? There will be violence in the streets.
  • 6 6
 @plustiresaintdead: it'll happen in the next 5 years. Then everyone on PB will forget how they hated ebikes, just like how they forgot how they hated 29ers.
  • 2 4
 @BorisBC35:

Pinkbike will lose a lot of followers if they award bike of the year to a motorcycle.

Also: I still don’t like 29ers, I keep riding different brands and types. Everytime it’s always the same thing: I wish the bike/ center of gravity wasn’t so high off the ground…
  • 3 0
 @Saidrick: u small people get a 27.5 in some cases.
  • 2 0
 @Saidrick: all things being equal, a 29er's CoG is like .25-.5" higher than a 27.5 bike. if the rider in downhill riding position is factored in at a nominal 170lbs, its like .1" or less, higher.

I am just going to tell you straight out, that you cannot tell the difference. what you may or may not be feeling(imagining perhaps) is not CoG.
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed:

The front tire will always be taller, regardless of how rock-smashingly low you drop the bottom bracket…

It’s always going to be taller, heavier and more work to turn. Your mileage may vary, but don’t try to tell me what I have experienced on four different 29” bikes with 4 different travel ranges and 3 different types of bikes.

P.s. My gravel bike is 29” and it’s fine, but has a FS mountain bike it’s too big/ too tall every time.
  • 27 1
 I love the yellow. I apparently stand alone.
  • 7 1
 And everyone can see you from a mile away...
  • 11 1
 @Sscottt: Gaze upon my mediocrity! Bike looks good, tho.
  • 4 0
 @Sscottt: That's not a bad thing when surrounded by cars and/or hunters
  • 1 0
 My only problem with the yellow is it's not bright enough!
  • 21 1
 Have to say, I'm a bit surprised it wasn't the Claymore. All the reviewers were absolutely gushing about the Claymore during the enduro bike test - meanwhile, this one seemed to be just an incremental percent above an otherwise "all the bikes are good" field.
  • 16 32
flag Lololmalol (Dec 29, 2022 at 11:04) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah but deviate don’t have the budget to pay pinkbike for advertising like trek do… it’s all about the $$
  • 55 7
 @Lololmalol, no it's not. The winner is picked by all of us editors based on our ride time on the bike, and advertising has nothing to do with it. Just like with our reviews, there's no cost at all for companies to be included in the Pinkbike Awards - all of the decisions are those of the editorial team.
  • 6 4
 It would have made waaaaaay more of an impact for a small independent bike company, that's for sure.
  • 12 0
 There’s a foam tube included with every Claymore frame, not sure who built the one you guys had but they skipped a step! Also the axle path does grow but by 22mm which is conservative for a high pivot bike. I think it’s one of the reasons it’s so well rounded.

Sincerely a Deviate Dealer who feels like he’s somehow wronged here but isn’t. The Trek does look like one hell of a bike as well.
  • 4 11
flag bigmeatpete420 (Dec 29, 2022 at 14:54) (Below Threshold)
 @SmithCreekCycle: not everyone wants to only go fast. Some people just wanna have fun
  • 3 3
 @readikus: if that small independent company made the bike that won boty then yes it would, but they didn't.

You're arguing the exact opposite point to the numpties arguing that trek won because of their PB advertising budget.
  • 5 0
 @freeridejerk888: all of the reviews of the Claymore would tell you it does both. They’re not lying.
  • 1 1
 @SmithCreekCycle: not as fun as trek. I know it’s the cool
Thing to hate bikes like this but you don’t know till you know Smile
  • 15 1
 Well done Trek, this is really a fantastic design. Any person commenting on this post would find a way to enjoy this bike, and the price points are very impressive, especially at the carbon wheel price point.
  • 12 0
 @AndrewHornor: Bold of you to assume PB commenters enjoy bikes.
  • 22 7
 Ladies and Gentlemen,

The real Bike of the Year: Trek Fuel ExE!

Send your comments to Outside.com
  • 16 10
 I actually agree with this. The exe is a pretty compelling concept. It’s the first ebike that’s seriously got my attention.
  • 5 4
 I'll take one of each!
  • 5 5
 I also totally agree, its the first e-bike that's got my money And I'd take one of each also
  • 3 2
 @haen: I mean, it is the "Bike of the Year" with "Innovation of the Year" added...how can it not be???
  • 3 3
 @smartyiak: true! PB was probably worried about the endless backlash if they gave the ExE the title
  • 16 14
 it isn't eligible... it's a moped, not a mountain bike
  • 6 11
flag GeneralGroovus (Dec 29, 2022 at 18:01) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: No Throttle on an eMTB. Mopeds have Throttles.
  • 9 12
 @GeneralGroovus: Old school gas mopeds typically actuate the motor with a hand throttle. Most new electric mopeds actuate the motor with the pedals, mostly the ones that are posing as mtbs, but there are examples of more utilitarian style e-bikes with hand throttles too. So, what's your point?

Merriam-Webster definition of moped: : a lightweight, low-powered motorbike that can be pedaled

Mopeds have been around for a long time. This isn't a new thing. Just own it... you're embarrassing yourself.
  • 11 8
 It takes some real mental gymnastics to convince yourself that the defining characteristic of a moped is the location of the throttle, and not the fact that it has a motor for propulsion. Bicycles don't have motors.
  • 9 18
flag GeneralGroovus (Dec 29, 2022 at 19:27) (Below Threshold)
 @thegoodflow: Got it, in your world eMTB's are Mopeds - run with that! I was embarrassing myself trail building today. Had a lot fun too!

I was operating the Throttle on my eMTB by pedaling, Soooooooo embarrassing! Big smile embarrassing all day long. Up and Down no less.

I love owning my 190/187 embarrassment, In fact as soon as a 200/200 TQ Motor eMTB comes out I'll be owning that embarrassment too.

The TQ Innovation Award was great - it is a first in the Light, Quiet generation of eMTB motors to come. Or for you, Moped motors to come, allowing plenty of lighter, quieter embarrassment.

Don't think your woke semantics attempting to rename eMTB's is going to move the needle, but you do you.

Re actual Mopeds, I owned a Motobecane Moped in the 70's...a ton of fun to thrash. Broke the Throttle cable though. That was embarrassing. Looped it in front of a bunch of girls.

Ride On GoodFlow and enjoy what ever bicycle you like!

Just never, ever embarrass yourself, you'll hate it.
  • 9 10
 @GeneralGroovus: woke semantics, lol! That five paragraph essay you just wrote must be kind of embarrassing, but I'm glad to know you had a nice day!
  • 12 4
 @thegoodflow:

These people can’t be reasoned with bro. Nothing particularly against e bikes (as in electric bikes with MOTORS) myself but they are distinctly different beasts than actual bikes. People who pretend otherwise are delusional or suck at climbing (likely both).
  • 14 0
 Trek means a long walk.
  • 8 0
 I like it until I see the weird bulge in the downtube above the bottle cage - like a snake that just ate lunch - and now I can't stop looking at it.
  • 2 0
 I believe that's the frame protector bulging, I see some Fuel owners remove it because of that bulge.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: Frame protection extends all the way to the BB, but it is only bulged above the bottle cage. Probably made the tube bigger up there for the in-frame storage. Whatever, looks weird.
  • 1 0
 @BenLow2019: The frame protector is split into two pieces. It's definitely the frame protection that sags/bulges. This review has the top piece removed it does not have a bulge. I've also seen it in person.

flowmountainbike.com/tests/trek-fuel-exe-review-2023
  • 1 0
 @zarban: that article is for the exe. Different bike. But thanks.
  • 1 0
 @BenLow2019: You're welcome
  • 10 1
 GT and Niner were so close Wink
  • 1 0
 I've been on a Niner WFO (180/170 f/r) for about three months now. What a blast! (It looks far better in person than it does online too.) Such an interesting bike to ride after being on a Norco Sight for two years.
  • 18 9
 I'm sure it rides great but it's still FUGLY!!
  • 4 1
 Bruh, the word FUGLY was only invented for that Scott Smile
  • 15 8
 But is it $1000 better than a Stumpjumper evo frame? Trek is leaning into the Santa Cruz price ranges now.
  • 20 0
 That's just for frame prices. You, however, can get a Carbon 9.7 with SLX/XT and Fox Performance/Rythm Suspension for $4,700. The EVO that's similar but uses GX is $5,400. Not really Santa Cruz prices for completes.
  • 4 1
 True. But sucks for people like me who build from the frame up. Stumpjumper alloy frame is priced low but for 2700$ for trek alloy I'm going to go commencal or banshee or carbon propain.
  • 6 1
 @Edgibson: Might be cheaper in the long run to buy the complete bike and sell all the takeoff parts you don't like?
  • 9 5
 @Edgibson: I guess I don't really understand why anyone would build up from a frame on a run-of-the-mill 4-bar bike like a Specialized. Seems like building up from a frame is something you'd reserve for something unique like a Contra, boutique high-pivot, etc. Why put all that effort and money into an unremarkable bike when you can buy a complete bike cheaper and swap out parts? There are so many companies that make 4-bar bikes that you should be able to find a complete bike that has 90% of what you want already.
  • 2 0
 @Chippps: true. I ride a v2 banshee am gonna build up a new prime or titan from all my parts in the fall. But have ridden the Evo and like it a lot and the trek looks pretty nice too. But you're right-- probably wouldn't buy frame only unless it was a screaming deal.
  • 4 0
 @Chippps: Personally (and I've griped about this to no end on Pinkbike) I have been able to save a lot of money by building my bikes than buying complete. My shop gives me 20-30% off all parts if I buy/build a frame with them.

My current enduro bike was built with I-9 wheels, Fox Factory suspension, a combination of Sram AXS + Shimano XT drivetrain, top end brakes, and Deity components - cost me $7k out the door vs. $9-10k for an equivalent build kit from the same manufacturer.
  • 5 0
 @KJP1230: a lot more fun picking everything and building it too.
  • 12 4
 This looks like Niner designed it and said "that's too ugly, even for us!"
  • 4 0
 I have no issue with Trek, I think they do make really good bikes. My first full sus was a Scratch Air 9 which I rode for 5 years....Fuel EX/EXe have terrible lines and are ugly IMO. I built up a Claymore shortly after their review. Great bike, fastest I've ever owned, Climbs better than my Rallon, descends better than my Wreckoning V3/Calling/Insurgent/Rallon all did. Mine is definitely built up lighter....31.8lbs w/ a Float X.
  • 5 2
 Two points that need correction PB. One, Allied is not mentioned as a nominee in the text but is in the video. I'm sure they could use the business being a nominee will bring, let's give it to them. Two, you have 'color incorrected' the Fuel photos to make the bike orange, when you speak of the awful mustard yellow as it's biggest drawback!
  • 2 0
 I didn't see the article when it was first posted, but it looks like they've corrected the Allied omission now.
  • 9 2
 Stumpy Evo is much better looking IMHO. It would still earn my dollars
  • 2 1
 I trust my dealer with my life and he sells Trek and Specialized. He's spent lots of time on both and says the Remedy is more of a plow bike and the Stumpy is a finesse bike. So I bought the Stumpy Evo. Very happy.
  • 1 1
 If specialized would move away from the shock eating, side loading, yoke suspension they currently run, I’d buy an evo in a heart beat
  • 2 1
 They're both quite aesthetically challenging IMO. I think I'd prefer to suffer the Trek's looks, but only because Spesh's asymmetric frames give me the ick.
  • 3 0
 I'm sure its a great bike to ride, but it is a 4/10 on looks. The colour isn't a problem for me, it's the way the top tube splits in two before the seat tube (why?), and that weird frame hole in front of the bottom bracket.

Heck I'm easily a 4/10 on looks too, and that is being generous.
  • 3 0
 Baja Yellow looks absolutely nothing like any of those Pics (they are lovely pics) but you have adjusted them to an entirely different color to how the bike looks from the factory.
  • 2 0
 Oh man, you're right! The photos from the Trek website are way different.
  • 2 0
 It's matte banana.....
  • 2 0
 @weirc: that’s the e-bike
  • 2 0
 Can we add a filter for people who piss and moan about the prices of bikes? Do they also frequent grocery store forums complaining about the price of a loaf of bread? Do they only buy brand new bikes and therefore completely miss that everything else in the world is 20% more expensive than it was 3 years ago?
  • 7 5
 engineers- Hey here is a banging new bike make sure it looks sharp! Graphics and paint dudes- Cool...we're going to go for the pumpkin diarrhea vibe... engineers- uh...ok we only know physics not fashion
  • 6 5
 I've snapped every Trek I've ever owned, while they ride great when new the frame goes soft and chain-stays start snapping within months. I feel the frames are under built for weight and under engineered for cost but they sell well because they pass the parking lot test with ease. This bike however looks great and hopefully proves to offer durability and longevity that has escaped Trek in the past.
  • 2 0
 I bought an EX gen 6 and snapped the chainstay(doing the kinda stuff you think you could do with a frame that weighs as much as a 2011 Session 9.9)in a little bit over a month, so yeah, these things still aren’t exactly… robust, at least not in the rear end.
  • 5 0
 Deviate really deserved this win.
  • 3 0
 Does this offer better seatpost insertion compared to the stumpy Evo? I love my Evo but that is one of the biggest drawbacks for a short rider like myself.
  • 1 0
 Not sure if it’s been mentioned yet but it’s worth noting that the design/geo is E/non-E compatible with plenty of room for a motor around that BB. The motor has become a design constraint in order to have a common denominator, and in this case it could be said that the analog version is the trickle down. Not making a value judgment here just an observation.
  • 3 2
 There’s a foam tube included with every Claymore frame, not sure who built the one you guys had but they skipped a step! Also the axle path does grow but by 22mm which is conservative for a high pivot bike. I think it’s one of the reasons it’s so well rounded.

Sincerely a Deviate Dealer who feels like he’s somehow wronged here but isn’t. The Trek does look like one hell of a bike as well.
  • 1 0
 The geo and adjustability looks great, be fun to try different rear wheel sizes, coil vs air.

I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll never own a CDN$13,700 bike like this but it’s exciting to see these flagship bikes improve each year, and perhaps those innovations will appear on more affordable bikes in the future.
  • 1 0
 For all those grumbling about price,you can,with a bit of trawling the internet,find bargains.I've just put together a Devinci Spartan(new old stock carbon 29 frame but not high pivot) for less than $6000nz with all new parts.It took time and a lot patience but it can be done.
  • 1 0
 Neutral to the Fuel EX winning bike of the year but seeing the Allied get nominated over the Ibis irks me a bit, in that test it really seemed like they wanted the Allied to be 'the winner', I ride a Norco so am pretty neutral but they seemed to down play the performance of the Ibis and Trek and amplify the performance of the Allied, when the 3 seemed to perform fairly similar.
  • 2 0
 Sounds a good choice. We must be due an new stumpy EVO soon based on normal model cycles. It will be interesting to see where the stumpy goes next
  • 4 0
 Hopefully a downtube that doesn't crack when you look at it wrong.
  • 2 0
 Take note SC. If you had a halfway decent spec value you could have been a contender. I guess they are selling plenty of bikes anyway…
  • 4 4
 bike of the year with those ridicules prices , a joke ... you guys must get paid huge bucks .... what about the people that dont get paid a fortune , trying to find a good bike for under 3000 is impossible almost .. and you guys promoting that with giving them such awards , pretty sad to be honest
  • 3 0
 Value bike of the year is worth a look, and if that’s too pricey for you, the model down from the one that one is a great deal: www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/trail/fluid-fs/2023-fluid-fs-a2
  • 2 0
 A lot of people are also looking for good (used) cars below 10k $. However, those will not be on any shortlist for “car of the year”, and rightfully so.

This is award for the best bike, the one for best value is separate.

That said, I find Trek’s pricing quite reasonable. Of course, you still have to spend a lot of money for a top end mountain bike, but that was always the case.

And as I often say, people will keep telling me how expensive these bikes are - however, a car for ten times the money will barely raise an eyebrow when parked in someone’s driveway.
  • 1 1
 Unpopular opinion: adjustable geometry is a copout for people who don't feel adapting their cornering technique to take advantage of long and slack bikes. All mid/long travel bikes should have an HTA of 64.5 or preferably less. You're living in times when big bikes like a Spire or a Rocket Max can bust out 6,000 ft days like it's nobody's business and make every switchback on the way down.
  • 4 1
 It’s ugly, wouldn’t buy one
  • 3 0
 Rides great, looks ugly af
  • 3 0
 I actually like the yellow colour.
  • 2 0
 It doesn't look like a Session, but not gonna get a warm welcome from PBers as Bike of the Year.
  • 1 0
 Trek!? GTFO! No thanks PB. Save your new corporate-sponsored "editorials" for the suckers. Crap like this makes me miss Bike/BETA even more.
  • 2 1
 Fox finally makes a good shock and now a traditional single pivot design is celebrated. Wink
  • 2 0
 How to win bike of the year, add more adjustments.
  • 4 2
 First of all specialized sucks...and that's it
  • 1 2
 Trek winning .... Who would have guessed when some PB staff ride them.
It's not pretty, paint chips off and will probably snap.
Wonder that Vital would have as their bike of the year


(propain were robbed).
  • 2 1
 Still crazy that you can get a good solid 125cc motocross ride for less than a mid-level mountain bike.
  • 1 0
 There a many ways to present what has been determined to be “good geo”… this is not the most attractive way.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a good thing to me, a proper trail bike that can back itself for most of my riding duties.
  • 3 2
 Cool bike, terrible frame only pricing.
  • 3 1
 Ugly as sin.
  • 2 1
 I've done some absolutely beautiful sinning.

[Sigh] Those were the days.
  • 2 2
 Bike of the year my arse! I have a 1972 stumpjumper that mops the floor with this thing!
  • 1 0
 The real question is: Will the future session look like this bike…
  • 2 0
 Yawn.....
  • 2 0
 Really
  • 1 0
 I also like the John Deer theme.
  • 2 0
 how original.
  • 1 0
 People still bougth trek bikes ?
  • 2 0
 Yawn
  • 1 0
 I thought the Juliana was going to win…
  • 1 0
 I would name that color, the day after eating asparagus
  • 1 0
 Trek Fuel now 140mm travel.....Thats a 2014 Remedy then...
  • 3 2
 AND THE STUMPJUMPER EVO WINS AGAIN
  • 1 0
 Canfield Nimble 9 is the best.
  • 1 0
 Why do we never see whyte bikes any more in these field tests or reviews
  • 1 0
 The previously watched commercial was brought to by trek
  • 11 10
 Booooooooring!!!!
  • 3 4
 Wow and it does not even have the Rock Shox Super Ultimate Deluxe, amazing, we need a call in to Mike Lindell
  • 2 1
 Allied was robbed!
  • 2 2
 Needs more travel, more travel more goodness
  • 1 1
 Steve still a better bike, 2yrs strong!!
  • 2 0
 Did you mean Stumpy Evo? Because I've recently bought one and Steve is a great name for it, so thanks.

Actually, Stevo. Oh yeah.
  • 1 0
 GROSS
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.071276
Mobile Version of Website