First Ride: Trek's New Fuel EX Has More Travel & More Adjustments

Sep 6, 2022 at 14:06
by Mike Levy  
Photo by Alex Hinkson

The Fuel EX name first showed up in Trek's catalog way back in 2005 with just 100mm of suspension, but, like other long-lived models, every iteration since has either gained travel, gotten slacker and longer, or received other updates to make it a more capable trail bike. Seventeen years on and the 2023 Fuel EX gets a similar treatment, with an all-new 140mm-travel frame paired with a 150mm fork and sporting much more adjustable geometry.

For riders looking to get even more out of their trail bike, that adaptability even extends to it being compatible with a 27.5" rear wheel and a coil-sprung shock. And just in case you hadn't noticed, it sure looks a lot like their also-new Fuel EX-e.
2023 Fuel EX Details
• Intended use: Trail riding
• Travel: 140mm rear / 150mm front
• Frame material: Aluminum, carbon fiber
• Wheels: 27.5" and 29"
• Sizes: XS - XXL
• Reach: 400 - 545mm
• Weight: TBA
• Price: $2,699 - $10,749 USD
www.trekbikes.com

Photo by Alex Hinkson
The 2023 Fuel EX gets all new frames in both aluminum and carbon flavors.


Frame Details

The Fuel EX's frame is entirely new and looks quite different from the bike it's replacing, especially the meatier front-end and more complicated design at the seat tube and bottom bracket area. There's also a lot more adjustability built-in to the new frame, including aftermarket angle-adjusting headset cups, two shock positions, coil-shock compatibility, and flip-chip pivot hardware that you can read about below.


Photo by Alex Hinkson
The new bike still uses ABP suspension, but it gets 140mm of travel (a 10mm increase) and more adjustability.


Suspension: When it comes to the Fuel EX's back end, there are a few things you'll recognize and a couple you won't. Starting with what's new, Trek has bumped the travel on both ends up 10mm compared to the previous version, with 140mm being paired with a 150mm fork making this the biggest Fuel EX ever. And while none of the eight complete bikes come stock from Trek with one fitted, it's also the first version that's compatible with coil-sprung shocks. Helping on that front is a flip-chip at the lower shock mount that tweaks the leverage curve; one setting adds bottom-out resistance or works better with a coil, while the other is less progressive to suit an air can's inherently rising spring rate.

You probably won't be surprised to see Trek's ABP suspension layout on the back of the new Fuel EX. Those three letters are short for 'Active Braking Pivot' that describes the claimed advantages far more succinctly than I ever could. Instead of a Horst Link or having the pivot on the chainstay, ABP rotates concentrically around the hub axle.


Photo by Alex Hinkson
The rear pivot rotates concentrically around the hub axle.
Photo by Alex Hinkson
You can run an air or coil spring, and this flip-chip lets you increase the progression if you need it.


Wheel sizes: Trek is selling the Fuel EX with both 27.5" and 29" wheels, putting the former on both the extra-small and small-sized bikes. They're also doing a small-sized frame on 29" wheels, while medium, medium/large, large, extra-large, and extra-extra-large will call come on 29" wheels.

And if you want to put a 27.5" wheel on the back of your Fuel EX, you can also do that thanks to all this adjustability. With the smaller wheel lowering the bike, Trek says you'll need to run a 160mm-travel fork and have the Mino Links set to the high position to keep the bottom bracket from feeling too close to the ground.

Increased Adjustability: If you're familiar with Trek's full-suspension bikes, you've probably already seen the flip-chip pivot hardware that connects the seatstays to the rocker link. Trek calls these the Mino Links and you'll find an updated version on this bike that offers the same 0.5-degree head angle and 8mm of bottom bracket height adjustment. I've always thought those were relatively conservative changes to the geometry, but a larger variance would require a more independent adjustment...


Photo by Alex Hinkson
The new headset cups let you run the bike as slack as 63.5-degrees or as steep as 66-degrees. Our test bike came with Trek's hidden multi-tool.


That's precisely what Trek has done for 2023, with Trek offering headset cups that can be swapped out to change the steering angle by a degree in either direction. The stock cups supply a 64.5-degree head angle, but those who want to go slacker (or steeper) can buy a set of cups that does both. You install them one way for 63.5-degrees or the other way for 65.5-degrees. The upper cup will drop in, Trek says, but you'll need a headset press for the lower one.

Those three head angle options and two Mino Link settings make for six geometry set-ups, which is why Trek has a new geo configurator tool on their website to help you sort out where to put what. They suggest using the Mino Links to fine-tune things: "You can install the headset cups in the slack position and use the Mino high setting to maintain BB height and avoid pedal strikes, all while keeping a 64-degree head tube angle. Need even higher and steeper? Use the Mino high setting and the steep head tube cup setting for a 66-degree head tube angle."


Photo by Alex Hinkson
The Mino Link hardware provides 0.5-degree and 8mm of bottom bracket height adjustment.
Photo by Alex Hinkson


Other details: There's also a 34.9mm seat tube, a threaded bottom bracket shell with an ISCG-05 chain guide mount around it, and the world's longest downtube protector that should prevent damage from both rocks and tailgates. It's also nice to see full-length internal housing guides from front to back that should make maintenance easy while also giving the frame a tidy look. The downtube storage compartment has been carried over to the new design, of course, and they also added it to the new aluminum Fuel EX frame as well.

While it seems like Trek has put all the things onto the latest Fuel EX, there's one that they left off: Knock Block. The headset-integrated steering stop is designed to keep fork crowns from smashing into the straight downtube (that Trek says makes for a stiffer frame) on some of their bikes, but the 2023 Fuel EX has gone back to a curvy downtube that provides plenty of clearance. This is a good thing.


Photo by Alex Hinkson
Photo by Alex Hinkson

Photo by Alex Hinkson
Photo by Alex Hinkson


Geometry

There are no surprises when it comes to what's changed: the new Fuel EX gets a longer wheelbase, longer reach, a steeper seat angle, and a slacker head angle.

Up front, the previous Fuel EX could be set as slack as 66-degrees with its 140mm-travel fork, whereas the new bike can be relaxed all the way to 63.5-degrees if you're using the aftermarket headset cups explained above. Are your trails too flat and slow for that number? You can also steepen the bike up to 66-degrees using the same cups, all without drastically messing with the bike's seat angle. Speaking of seat angle, those are steeper across the board, with the large sitting at 77.2 versus the old large's 75.5-degree number.

There are six different geometry settings. This is with a 150mm fork and set to Mino low.

Front-end length has grown a bit as well, with our large-sized test bike being 485mm (Mino low) versus 470mm for the old bike. It starts at 400mm for the smallest bike and goes all the way out to 545mm for the biggest size. Effective top tube length has done the opposite, however, going from 634mm to 626mm for a large due to the steeper seat angle.

This is also the first Fuel EX that gets size-specific chainstays, and four lengths are used between the extra-small and extra-extra-large sizes. Much like Norco does, Trek accomplishes this by using slightly different main pivot locations rather than manufacturing different chainstays; extra-small to medium sizes get a 435mm rear-end, medium-large and large 440mm, extra-large 445mm, and the big boi has 450mm chainstays.


The aluminum EX 8 costs $4,300 USD and comes with a Fox Rhythm 36 fork, an XT drivetrain, and Deore four-piston brakes.

9 (ish) Fuel EX Models

There are nine different 2023 Fuel EX models that range in price from $2,699.99 to $10,749.99 USD, but only eight of them are new bikes. That first price is for the EX 5 that's actually a carry-over using last year's aluminum frame, which means it has 130mm of travel and a 140mm fork in the shape of a RockShox Recon Silver.


The $4,699 USD EX 9.7 is the lowest priced carbon Fuel EX.
$10,749 USD will get you the top-of-the-line 9.9 XX1 AXS.


The new bikes start with the aluminum EX 7 which costs $3,700 and aluminum EX 8 that goes for $4,300 USD. These get the same features as the pricier carbon bikes, including the storage compartment, angle-adjusting headset, and coil-compatibility. The EX 8, spec'd with Fox Rhythm 36 fork, an XT drivetrain, and Deore four-piston brakes, looks like a smart choice. Carbon fiber shows up next with the EX 9.7 which gets a similar-ish spec but costs $4,700 USD.

If you have more than twice that to spend, the 9.9 XX1 AXS gets all the expensive parts and will set you back $10,749 USD.



Ride Impressions
bigquotesI was able to sneak away from the hustle and bustle of Crankworx Whistler to get in a ride on the new Fuel EX. There's an aggressive trail bike Field Test in the works, so this yellow machine will be battling it out against other similar contenders in the near future.

The downhill portion of that first ride started off with a steep, chunky section of trail filled with rocky stair steps, followed by a blind drop into a very dusty chute. Luckily I'd spent a few extra minutes bedding in the brake pads beforehand, and the tricky move went off without a hitch. In its stock configuration the Fuel EX's geometry feels ready for just about anything – nothing about the fit or handling of the bike immediately struck me as being out of place.

There's plenty of traction on tap for climbing, but there's also more support than the old Fuel EX – it's not as eager to sink into its travel, with a better platform to push against when standing up out of the saddle. The fact that the amount of progression can be increased without opening up the shock is also a nice feature – that first ride was in the more linear mode, and since then I've switched to the progressive setting in order to get more end-stroke ramp up. I'm able to use full travel when necessary, but the extra progression helps keep a few more millimeters in reserve for bigger hits.

That grip on the climbs translates over onto the descents, where the Fuel EX has a nice fluttery feel, calmly smoothing out the trail chatter. I did notice that the integrated bar / stem combo felt stiffer than I would have preferred. Granted, my hands were a bit beaten up from several really big days of riding earlier in the week, but I wasn't the only rider who noted the extra-stiff feel.

The Fuel EX does feel like a bigger, more capable bike than its predecessor, which isn't exactly surprising considering that it has 10mm more travel to go along with that longer and slacker geometry. Realistically, the new Top Fuel has trail manners that are closer to the previous version of the Fuel EX, and the 2023 Fuel EX rides more like an updated, big-wheeled Remedy.

With so many adjustments and possible configurations it's going to take more than a few rides to really figure out the Fuel EX's strengths and weaknesses. We'll dig deeper in the upcoming Field Test, and I'll also be putting together a mixed-wheel version with a 160mm fork to see how it holds up over the long term.
Mike Kazimer



290 Comments

  • 356 1
 first comment before the hate starts flowing. It looks like trek made some good changes, and there is a decent price range for different build kits. I'll be in my bomb shelter.
  • 77 2
 You gotta give it to Trek for all the sizing/material/wheel size/suspension/storage/pricing options here - this is like a Pinkers christmas list. They'd probably sell a lot more of them if it looked more like the old Fuel EX, though...
  • 46 4
 Yeah. On paper, it appears to be a pretty fantastic all purpose mountain bike, with a lot of adjustable options to make sure it works for riders who like to set their bike up for their own terrain and riding styles as well as the general public. This seems like a really good thing. I'm also excited to see the MX wheel compatibility for those of us who like to ride bikes for fun, not in order to see if we can shave off .8s on our race run. Seems like this bike has something for both of us, which is great! Curious to see how the reviews turn out. Hopefully good, because fuck that thing is ugly and it's going to need all the help it can get. It looks like a niner.
  • 19 3
 Ya everything seems pretty great but the looks! Legit surprise that seat and toptube junction business made it past the drawing board.
  • 12 5
 didnt we cover all of this in the santa cruz press release yesterday
  • 20 0
 I'm not sure any brand is safe on the PB comments section. I can say that I'm glad to see more companies making aggressive geo bikes without tons of travel.
  • 7 4
 @BiNARYBiKE: Agreed. All the sizing, geo, and features are impressive but from an industrial design perspective, it's a disaster.
  • 27 0
 THis is the first Trek that I've been seriously interested in in years. Seriously, what would anyone change on this?
  • 69 0
 Holy crap, I am not AT ALL a Trek guy, but both this and the Fuel EX-e seem to have knocked it out of the park (on paper).
- Chainstays vary by frame size
- Wheelsize varies by frame size
- Knock block is gone
- Adjustable headset
- Adjustable progression
- Adjustable bb-drop
- 34.9 seatpost
- threaded bb

Would definitely give this a demo
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: clevis pivots on the seat stays. Other than that, it's a blinder
  • 12 2
 @hamncheez: Simplify the frame design so it looks like the last one? I'm sure it would be lighter. However it wouldn't look like the eBike which I think is the main concept.
  • 12 2
 @jclnv: Ya, I'm a fan of simple tubes like steel bikes, but this design certainly isn't ugly.
  • 2 2
 @jclnv: Yep. I presume the design is so that they could route the derailleur cable and rear brake hose inside the top tube, freeing up space in the downtube for the battery (although presumably the dropper post cable is still routed via the downtube).
  • 17 0
 I think this shows that we are at a golden age of trail bikes. With manufacturers finally understanding that adjustability should be at the headset, we can have bikes that can be tame for the average shop to feel comfortable stocking while having aggressive geometry for fun trails that doesn’t end up with a Lazyboy seat position. Strong work, Trek.
  • 5 1
 @whambat: And the overall length of the bike. Short bikes are really only fast in limited situations, like attacking a short technical section. A slightly longer wb is sooooo much better for sustained speed.
  • 3 0
 27.5 complete bike & a 29” complete bike. Nice.
  • 4 0
 Not a Trek fan by any means but they nailed that black/bronze color way
  • 10 1
 @bishopsmike: Honestly, I don't hate my 21-22 Fuel's knock block. It does take time to get used to, but it does help prevent damage to brake/shifter cable housing, avoids frame damage from the brake levers hitting the top tube, and can be helpful when performing a no-handed wheelie. I'm joking, I can barely wheelie with both hands, but seriously, knock block isn't that horrible. I'll prepare for the army of haters!
  • 15 0
 We are all missing the most important part of the Fuel's design:


No headset cable routing!
  • 3 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: it might be a tribute to the Y Bike! I could be reading too deep into the design cues
  • 4 0
 @charlesnunez: I dig it on my Treks because I can run shorter cables. It’s a lot tidier looking. Plus, no TT or brake level damage when (not if!) I hit the eject button.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: -what would be the REASON they did that - I mean there has to be reason for just about everything whether it's performance, cost,estheticscetc.
  • 11 20
flag enduroNZ (Sep 8, 2022 at 14:41) (Below Threshold)
 What amazes me is the blatant rip off of frame technology from specialized. The frame compartment and headset tool for a start. Makes you realise how innovative specialized are
  • 8 3
 @enduroNZ: They really are, especially if you look back over 30 years. Even if you hate them. They have done a lot in the biking world (and I don't own any of their bikes). I personally don't really feel like frame storage and accessory mounts are really that important...but I think mtn biking marketing is built around carrying as much crap with you as possible as if you're going to be gone for 2 years. The more things mountain bikers can attach to their bikes or bodies, the more they love it.
  • 6 3
 @enduroNZ @foggnm Remember about 2008ish when Trek had hired a new lead engineer and completely revamped their mountain bike line? Thats when they introduced the ABP, the floating rocker, and the "Trek Session" look. The first Trek Fuel Ex 9 of that line was black carbon with red lines/accents, JUST LIKE the Stumpjumper from the previous year.

2007 Specialized Stumpjumper: i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjgzWDEwMjQ=/z/sf0AAOSwUH5aUntp/$_86.JPG

2008 Trek Fuel: coresites-cdn-adm.imgix.net/bikemagic_new/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/trek08_fuelex_side_hi-680x423.jpg?fit=crop&w=680&h=423
  • 2 1
 Wow, that’s a superb update. Deserves to be a popular & frequent sight on the trails over the next few years. Chapeau to Trek.
  • 8 1
 @enduroNZ:

What’s amazing is that we are swimming in a sea of comments that “it looks like a “blah, blah, blah, not specialized” and they clearly copied the Stumpy evo concept to a T.

But whatever. It actually looks awesome! And as much as I hate to admit it Specialized are still at the forefront of innovation.
  • 6 0
 @hamncheez: How about the crap Rockshox 35 Gold on an AU$4,999 price point?
  • 3 3
 @hamncheez: totally agree. I think this is the ideal “flagship” mountain bike from any brand. I’d put this against specialized’s stumpjumper evo, and the TranceX from Giant. Obviously SC is trying for the same thing with the 5010, but I think we all know it’s not working. I guess if Rocky didn’t suck now you’d put the Instinct in that class too, but I’d rather be hit by a poutine truck than ride one of those dumpster fires now.
  • 1 3
 @enduroNZ: well, specialized did rip off the tool stash from One-Up, I believe.
  • 2 0
 @adamszymkowicz: I’ll bite, what don’t you like about the new Instinct/Altitude platform?
  • 1 0
 No comments on the integrated bar and stem on the 9.9 …
  • 6 1
 @BiNARYBiKE: someone at Trek really, really misses their old Y bike
  • 1 0
 @tiedirrideit: Guessing it has something to do with bearing durability issues?
  • 1 0
 @BrianColes: it's not the best value build...
  • 3 4
 @tiedirrideit: It's not the bike, it's the company I don't like. Terrible to their employees, really awful quality control, absolute shit builds for the money. Rocky is just Canadian Santa Cruz.
  • 3 6
 Tru, but it’s really just an ugly rip off of a stumpy evo with 10mm less travel out back. What bothers me about trek is they don’t innovate any more, they just copy. I can’t respect that in a brand. Especially where so many brands (small and large) are trying rad stuff
  • 1 0
 @a-knight-gring: We do love the Y... and the how, what, where, when, who...
  • 1 2
 @trek: not to hate on trek too much. They sponsor some of my favorite riders and their bikes are super fun to ride. I just wish they’d push the envelope more. I’m very happy to see this bike and it’s a big step for trek. Just do something rad and a little wild in both the industrial design and geo departments!
  • 2 0
 @trek: and for the love of all that is holy. Send some bikes to us 6’3” dudes in the pnw to test your seat tube angles. Slash and remedy still too slack.
  • 3 0
 Saving money by not having goodyearblimp size logos
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: you can’t do knockblock with an adjustable headset
  • 3 1
 @charlesnunez: Agreed. I have a 2017 Fuel (which is apparently unrideable there’s days due to its 74 degree STA and 66.5 HTA) and the Knock Block has never been an issue for me on tight technical switchbacks or in any other situation.

I’m not defending it as some Trek fanboy and don’t have a problem with them doing away with it if that’s what their engineers decided to go with with the new model. I just don’t understand all of the venom on PB.
  • 287 3
 Best looking GT to date
  • 31 1
 the downvote is from the trek rep in the UK obvs
  • 5 3
 I think you misspelled niner
  • 1 0
 Looks like a force
  • 4 1
 It's also got some last-gen Divinci vibes.
  • 1 0
 As a Fuel EX-e owner, I couldn't agree with you more, It looks exactly like a GT haha
  • 187 6
 Looks like a Honda Accord.
  • 16 1
 2003 Subaru Baja has entered the chat
  • 147 4
 This looks to be the ultimate Dad bike. As some have said, "Not particularly excellent for any one purpose, but comfortable enough to pedal around on longer rides and with enough travel to take on any feature that a man with a mortgage would willingly attempt."

This dad approves
  • 31 1
 The mortgage for the bike?
  • 28 0
 I'm with you on this, and think that the majority of riders would have a lot more fun if they embraced this. We aren't racing world cup downhill, xc, or enduro. Bikes built for those purposes end up being a little too specialized. A nice middle of the road bike ends up being a lot more fun for the trails that the average person actually rides.
  • 12 0
 This dad seconds this.
  • 10 0
 lol, this guy gets it
  • 7 0
 Just got an Orbea Occam and it's a great dad bike for all the reasons you just listed lol
  • 3 0
 This dad also approves. Heaps of adjustability, and capability. I’ll take one.
  • 7 0
 Ah yes, the minivan of bikes! Perfect for the typical family man.
  • 3 0
 This dad got one. Anyone want to buy my slash?
  • 1 0
 @dontcoast: the only problem with Occam that it can't be mulleted
  • 1 0
 @severniy: the Occam is really playful anyway, so I don't mind. I have a mullet hardtail and it's great...but might make it double 29
  • 2 0
 @dontcoast: Out of shape and outatime dad leans more towards Rise
  • 1 0
 @jollyXroger: lol I sell Rises and honestly should have gotten one ... ebike is just for commuting/errands for now.
  • 80 7
 Niner called….
  • 7 0
 That was my first thought... definitely looks like a Niner.
  • 29 2
 @needmoregears: Apart from not ugly
  • 3 2
 @stevemokan I thought, looks like Niner and Ellsworth had a baby...
  • 10 1
 Is "Looks like a Niner" going to be a thing now?
  • 11 2
 It’s looks a whole lot better than any niner I’ve never seen…
  • 2 1
 Personally, I like it. Though I did not expect they’d reduce the typeface size on the downtube. But I am seeing more and more of that with Specialized, SCOR, Evil, and Yeti. For some bikes now ya gotta really get up close figure out what make they are. (Maybe that’s exactly what the marketing wizards are aiming for.)
  • 1 0
 It was either that of have the seat tube come all the way down and make it look like a Knolly.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, not a good look the first time around. Why, with all of Trek's resources, duplicate it?
  • 54 1
 $10.5k and it has XX1 and an AXS dropper post, unlike a certain other company that gives you a regular Reverb. Very nice.
  • 16 6
 Oh yeah great $10.5k for a bike I wouldn't covet for $4k. There's another $6k bike I would like hidden in there...
  • 38 0
 You know things have gotten out of control when a trek bike priced at $10.5k seems almost reasonable compared to other options.
  • 5 0
 @ConMan05: Meh, I built up a Project One Speed Concept the other day, it was $14k.
  • 3 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Bet it will be heckin speedy tho
  • 4 0
 @tom666: but only conceptually
  • 1 1
 @tom666: Arriba Arriba Andale Arriba Yeppa.
  • 51 0
 Bright colour bikes are cool. Nice to be able to find them in the cabbage when you go ass over tea-kettle.
  • 53 1
 Just read this whole article thinking it was an ebike 

Madder
  • 7 2
 Its not?!
  • 8 2
 My thoughts going through the article: "Sweet bike... I didn't know they could make ebikes with frame storage... Amazing price now days for an ebike with xx axs!" Got to comments.............
  • 40 0
 *SLAPS THIGH* ITS AN EBIKE WHEN THESE PONIES ARE POWERING IT jk I'm old and out of shape.
  • 5 1
 It is their latest E-Bike, they just put the motor out (hence the whole under the shock) and, judging by the weight, let the battery in.
  • 43 2
 looks like a Devinci Troy
  • 10 1
 Looks like a 2020 Devinci Spartan
  • 4 8
flag pakleni (Sep 8, 2022 at 8:33) (Below Threshold)
 Didn't like Devincis, don't like this EX
  • 31 0
 Looks like a taxi.
  • 2 1
 I was going to say the same thing. It is basically a Troy
  • 1 0
 @jmhills: Minus the terrible rear axle and BB spacing.
  • 1 1
 The way the top tube attaches to the vertical tube is definitely Spartan 2020
the way the rear shock attaches to the bottom bracket is Troy 2021... copy-paste.
What are Devinci 's lawyers waiting for?
  • 3 0
 @TZAK: For Devinci to ever be popular/profitable enough to take on Trek....not happening.
  • 34 0
 Shame it doesn't look like a Session. Awesome geometry and features though.
  • 28 0
 I think we saw this in the parallel 2 edit, kade and semenuk we're both on this thing.
  • 32 0
 You most certainly did - an early sneak peek of the Fuel EX in action
  • 10 1
 When I saw that edit I knew it was a new bike, just didn’t know if it was this or the Remedy. Now we know, and IMO it looks awesome! It appears Trek spent some time in the PB comment section and then gave the people what they want
  • 1 4
 They definitely were on 27.5 versions tho
  • 35 7
 Could this design be part of a conspiracy to make normal bikes look so ugly, that we come to terms with how ebikes look?
  • 4 2
 That was kinda my first thought when I saw the downtube.
  • 2 3
 It is the frame of their latest E-Bike, they did simply recycle that frame minus the motor.
  • 31 9
 No motor? As a obese American I think it is ridiculous companies expect us to pedal uphill
  • 2 0
 If you’re obese, they expect you not to use anything you buy other than food and tv/internet.
  • 22 0
 They said Trek could be anything, so it became a Specialized EVO.
  • 2 1
 Hahaha THIS
  • 18 1
 Feels like trek did something good here. Clean looking bike, lots of adjustments(maybe too many), and what seems like some solid specs for the prices. Not much to complain about.
  • 14 0
 I know it's largely a "modern bike prices" problem, but AU$6k for a Rhythm fork seems a bit rich.

Drop the drivetrain from XT to SLX and up-spec the suspension please Trek!
  • 5 0
 @boozed: Exactly my toughts!
Whats up with that Rythm, 6k bike and have to throw in another 1k on a fork.
  • 3 0
 @boozed: unfortunately dropping from XT to SLX buys nothing on suspension.
  • 3 1
 @boozed: Ditto. Had a 2022 Fuel EX 9.7 and didn't care for the Fox Rhythm up front. Would have rather seen SLX full group and a Performance Elite with the GRIP2 damper.
  • 17 0
 I'm so proud of Trek for downsizing the downtube logo!
  • 15 0
 the best change is that the seat tube ist straight which means that you can put a looong dropper post. Good decision Trek.
  • 5 0
 Was about to comment on what appears to be greatly increased seatpost insertion length. It also appears to be one of the reasons for the overly complicated area around the seat tube, rocker etc. Function over form then.
  • 11 0
 It isn't beautiful, but no knock block or weird shock tune is a huge improvement for Trek. The adjustability is neat, though it seems like it's really try to keep pace with the latest Stumpy's. I'd ride the shit out of it.
  • 14 0
 $3700 for a bike with a 35 Gold RL fork, yikes
  • 3 0
 Came here to say the same thing... Would've been much better off with a Bomber Z2
  • 9 0
 "0.5-degree head angle and 8mm of bottom bracket height adjustment. I've always thought those were relatively conservative changes to the geometry"

You guys really need to get onto some different terrain. On many New England/East Coast trails, 8mm of BB height is HUGE. Can mean the different between pedaling everywhere vs like 60% of the time just ratcheting (or just trying to carry momentum and probably failing to). Even the 4-6mm of adjustment on Santa Cruzes and Specialized is enough to allow _much more_ pedaling, proven by me switching my Stumpy to low and hating life and then back to high and not even noticing. Granted I'm used to high on these trails and I could eventually get used to low, but I would have way less fun in low while dealing with just a 5mm lower BB.

I've even talked to other locals and many wish for a kind of East Coast specific build: [strong] bash-guards as stock (and/or a return to 104 BCD cranks with an "outside" position for a bash-ring, for the very strongest configuration), more adjustments for BB height (maybe "normal" and "high", instead of "too low" and "still to low"), and DD/DH casing and/or inserts on the rear wheel as stock, for example.
  • 3 0
 You'd think there's probably a market, Cannondale sold a fair few M800 Beast of the East's with raised BBs back in the day
  • 2 0
 @Woody25:
I’d say there’s a large contingent of riders on the East Coast that are looking for a bike that is quick handling, but can also handle larger hits and drops. We have some tight trails and when the bikes get slacked out and low, maneuvering some of these trails can get troublesome.

I’m searching myself for the East Coast all arounder.

Hump
  • 10 0
 I'm not a fan of the asthetics of this bike, but Trek made some good changes too, eliminating the knock block and the giant TREK logo down the side!
  • 9 0
 I have to admit that I like what Trek is doing for sizing. Growing the chain stays as you size up but it doesn't increase on every size seems much better than what Santa Cruz is doing. Also, for me a M/L is pretty spot on.
  • 1 0
 Why is that better? If SC _can_ make it grow with each size, why wouldn't they want to? Reach grows with each size, front center grows with each size, seat tube length grows with each size, head tube length grows with each size, why shouldn't chainstay length? At least if you want a more consistent feel between each size.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: For me I don't think every bike should grow so much, some for sure but not all. Especially light trail bikes like the 5010, having longer stays on the XXL vs the S makes sense but I disagree that it needs to grow so much on that bike. The Fuel grows the stays but it does it more conservatively, by changing it on every other size. There's nothing wrong with having some bikes with a little shorter stays and then having some others with a more aggressive change. I liked my Wreckoning with short stays, for where I live things are more tight except at the bike park where it's nice that my new bike can adjust the length of the stays. That's the best way if you ask me, not all trails are the same, some are long, steep and flowing and some are tight with shorter steep sections and chunk.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: Wanting a bike with short stays is different than wanting a consistent ride throughout the size range. You like your Wreckoning with "short stays" but on a smaller size they're not as short relative to the shortened front, and that's going to change the ride feel more than just the shorter wheelbase and front-center would alone, that's my point.
  • 11 0
 I have a hard time deciding on tire pressure. I am guaranteed to mess up the settings on this bike.
  • 8 0
 I'm a fan. With the aftermarket headset adjust cups it has "bail my ass out of stupid line choices" geo, which, awesome. It's got the amount of travel I would most likely use up on anything I'd willingly ride here in CO. It's all relative of course, but yeah, I could see this being my "big" bike in the future. Signed, a mediocre dadcore rider who's constantly tilting at the N+1 windmill...
  • 8 0
 Wow a properly proportioned XXL. It took long enough but great work nonetheless.
Why can't they just make the ESTA on the bigger sizes steeper to accommodate the taller seat height?
  • 2 0
 Idk. A 545 reach? I'm 6'7 and honestly I would go for the XL. It's huge tho. That's probably someone's preference
  • 1 0
 @Levitatefanatik: Oh wait look. No XXL in carbon, alloy only.
I'm on 535mm reach now and at 6'6" it's fine but I'm still running a 50mm stem. I'd try 545 to be able to go back to a 35mm stem. The XXL has a very reasonable wheelbase considering the long rear center and huge reach, still manages to be 2.5cm shorter than my XL Geometron G1.
  • 12 1
 No more re:aktive shocks? What's going on...?
  • 5 0
 Would love to hear the answer to this.
  • 7 0
 They were as reliable as Cheeze Whiz is good.
  • 2 2
 @Whataboutism: they blow up like every 5 rides.
  • 1 2
 This comment deserves more.
  • 2 0
 Basically it's a whole new 'platform' that gives you the choice to run either an air or coil shock (of your choice), without having any proprietary issues, stuck using that one shock etc etc.
  • 4 0
 That marketing gimmick has outlived its novelty value. Just like "straight-shot" and other buzzword non-features they had over the last decade.
  • 4 0
 I for one am glad to see them using off-the-shelf shocks. My old rumblefish uses a very specific DRCV trunion mount shock and when I blew it up a few years ago it was quite difficult to find a replacement. I can only imagine others have had similar issues with proprietary parts/sizing over the years.
  • 6 0
 During a short quiet moment at work, I spent a reasonable amount of time riding the still under embargo (at the time), 9.7 out in the work carpark. Jumping over the judder bars, adjusting the shock link, more jumping it over carpark things, pulling wheelies.

Yeah I know it's not riding it up in the hills but damn it really is that good.

Definitely feels and rides like a "big wheeled Remedy."

Probably won't be buying that Slash now.
  • 3 0
 "Big wheeled Remedy" is more or less what I was hoping for.

So, this is now a solid contender for my shopping list.
  • 2 0
 Slash is only really fun in the really chunky stuff. probably a good choice.
  • 7 0
 Bummer that they have all that space to fit a regular metric shock, but went with trunnion. Fix that and steepen the seat angle on the larger sizes and this bike could be perfect.
  • 5 4
 The hole under the shock is were the motor sits as this is their latest E-Bike frame reused
  • 6 0
 I'm very glad they got the actual STA up to reasonable values, too long ETT and too far back from the BB was a deal breaker for me when I was last shopping for bikes. Now, the XL looks pretty spot on for my long-legged body. I think they should make side covers for that weird hole beneath the shock. Instead of mud, you could store tools or a tube or recreational plantware down there.
  • 2 1
 Funnily enough I think my only complaint is that the seat tube angles (both actual and effective) are still too conservative. Compared to an XL Norco Sight, which has the same reach as this in XL (and which I found quite comfortable), the ETT on this is 20mm longer and I think that would be a problem.

However everything else about this bike looks just great. I don't even dislike the appearance.
  • 7 0
 Article posted by @mikelevy . First ride impressions by @mikekazimer .....Is this the long awaited return of Mike vs Mike where one tries to combats the others journalism with heroic feats of strength on the bike?
  • 9 5
 34.5 lbs for an aluminum trail bike. A 4 lb gain over the previous Aluminum fuel ex. The carbon gains 3 lbs over the previous version it looks like. Context to my previous comment.

Design an e-bike, remove the motor call it a mountain bike. RIP to any R+D for actual mountain bikes I guess
  • 3 1
 This. Probably a first?

So far it was mostly E-Bikes recycling real bikes frames and geos?
  • 8 1
 looks like a trek fuel ex-e
  • 7 0
 140/150mm Trek?

Looks like a Remedy.
  • 4 0
 Too soon. RIP Remedy!
  • 5 0
 Glad to see Trek back on the sharp end rather than a cycle behind. This ticks all the boxes I'm looking for in my next trail bike - looking forward to a review!
  • 8 2
 Design an e-bike, remove the motor call it a mountain bike. RIP to any R+D for actual mountain bikes I guess.
  • 3 0
 Good to see Trek return to the travel bracket the prior Slash filled. These days, that's more all-mountain than enduro, which is great for a daily driver in mountainous terrain. Downtube storage and ditching the knock block AND (looks like) ditching the reAktiv rear shock are all positive changes.

A $4k aluminum frame with decent parts-looks like a winner!!!
  • 1 0
 You can’t have knockblock with an adjustable headset.
  • 4 1
 Curious how to mullet this without buying a new fork. Pivot used to - and maybe still does - have a spacer for in between the fork crown and steerer tube to go from 29er to 27.5+. Why not do the same here?
  • 1 0
 reverse-components.com/en/products/05°-angle-spacer-tapered-forks
Reverse Components does a 10mm tall race. I'm guessing this should work, without you having to buy a new fork.
  • 4 0
 Just get a 160mm airshaft for the Fox 36 and get it installed during your fork service.
  • 3 0
 As an ex trek owner whos 6'4" it was the seat angle that killed me on my otherwise excellent bike. This still looks wayyy slacker than 77 degrees eyeballing it , bet an xl fully extended is still super slack
  • 2 0
 Actual STA is listed in the geometry chart. I was hoping to see steeper actual STA angle for larger sizes. But I don't. Actual STA stays the same, effective STA slackens... Front triangles are already all different per size. Why can't they just make the STA steeper on larger sizes. Sigh.
  • 3 0
 I think this could be the future of bikes. Very much like the Stumpy EVO, super adjustable, one bike that can be adjusted to fit the needs of a large majority of riders and terrain.
  • 3 0
 I do Love a Goldilocks Bike, as it's the type of riding i do, no bike park in my area, just mountains that takes 2 to 3 hours to climb for some natural single tracks. A Neutral bike like the Fuel EX is the best for that.
  • 12 7
 So basically Stumpy EVO geo 4 years later being called Innovative.... Cool
  • 3 0
 But with less travel.

It is now the "mini" Stumpy EVO, as it slots between the normal stumpy, and the stumpy EVO in travel.
  • 8 2
 a quick search (CTRL-F) shows that your comment is the only one that uses the word Innovative. so . . . maybe you're just trying to stir up shit. It's a new bike release. The features on the bike will be shown in the article. What should have been done differently according to you?
  • 1 1
 I typed a long post and the saw your one sentence that summed it up. Yes.
  • 3 0
 Crazy how minimal the differences are between the new Fuel EX and Fuel EXe, have fun trying to figure out if it's the eMTB or regular version from far away!
  • 3 0
 Looks like they came up with a good solution to get a long dropper in there vs. their last gen frame design. Now they gotta do the same for the slash.
  • 1 0
 Seems like a good bike, large price range, but no shredder model in between the 9.8 AXS and the 9.9 makes me think one model is missing. The bike can handle a coil and a mullet set up. Would be pretty nice to see a mullet and/or coil edition. Looks like a missed opportunity there.
  • 1 0
 Hope they update the website or I can get smarter at navigating it….probably the latter, but couldn’t see it under the trail or enduro mountain bike drop down on their website. Not actually impressed with the looks but I love the fact that they have a shmedium size bike for those of us too big for a small and too small for most mediums in the ETT/climbing department. Usually either 430’ish reach with 585’ish ETT or 450-470 reach with 6-625 ETT. So far this from Trek and Tranistion Patrol seem dialed for both up and down.
  • 1 0
 I am price cautious consumer. When I was buying Fuel EX 7 in 2021 right after COVID price bump I thought 4099 CAD is a lot of money for this bike. This one is now 4399 CAD... still cheaper than Stumpy Alloy Comp which went from 3599 to 4549 CAD in the same time period ( the bike didn't change at all. At least the price can be justified by a bunch of adjustability upgrades

Both Stumpy and Fuel EX7 have been an amazing bikes
  • 1 0
 Bought a 2022 due to lack of pretty much anything else in stock, and while it was a fantastic bike it lacked in a few key areas: HTA a little steep at 66-66.5 degrees, 130mm rear travel, and PF BB. While I did set PRs on this bike going up and downhill, it was just a little too skittery and rough on chunky fast sections of trail. It seems like they've finally gotten around to updating the Fuel EX with modern geo and putting it solidly in the "trail bike" category with 140/150mm of travel.

I also really dig that they removed the knock block, press fit BB, GIANT LOGO, and ReAktiv shock. Just took a good bike and made it a great bike for pretty much any trail.
  • 2 0
 “ The upper cup will drop in, Trek says, but you'll need a headset press for the lower one. ”

If pressing in a new angle set is adjustability then every bike should claim such.
  • 8 3
 Looks like a…Niner?
  • 5 1
 The Offspring of GT and Devinci
  • 10 6
 Ugliest trek so far. Very sad thing
  • 5 1
 Looks almost exactly like a GT. Seriously.
  • 6 5
 Honestly, it was bad enough the first version didn't have a 720WH battery. Now it hasn't got a battery at all. WTAF is wrong with Trek?

Apparently the motor only puts out a sustained 150W watts too. I'm seething.
  • 2 5
 If your sustained power is 150 watts you aren't seething, you're weak.
  • 2 1
 Battery is there judging by the weight. Only motor is missing, hence the hole over the bb
  • 5 1
 Why oh why a black bike with a black background?
  • 1 0
 Accidentally rereleased teaser shots
  • 2 1
 Question: I don't see a 5mm headset spacer above the stem. Have we decided that's not necessary anymore? Asking out of sincere curiosity, not snark. I thought we didn't want the upper stem bolt clamping air.
  • 3 0
 As far as I'm aware that's only a requirement on carbon steerers. I think it's good practice, but not necessary on an aluminum steerer tube.
  • 5 1
 Looks that only a mother could love
  • 3 0
 $1k more for the Deore build over last year’s model…to get 10mm more travel front and back, that’s pretty silly.
  • 2 2
 I feel like Trek took like 5 smart ideas from Specialized and then applied them to a frame with modern geo that looks like it's from 2015. SWAT box, swappable headset cups, and frame storage are all not an original Trek idea. I'm sure it rides good and I'd probably ride it, don't get me wrong, it just feels like Specialized came up with all the smart ideas and Trek just threw a frame together and used them. Downvotes incoming!
  • 1 0
 I said frame storage twice, I meant headtube tool storage.
  • 3 0
 Did you like "triple triangle" frames of yesteryear? Well, good news, you'll love penta-polygon.
  • 1 0
 Hum... This is what I actually call an ebike, with the eshifter and the epost. And the eXe, a motorbike. We need to ruthlessly expurge the power-assisted bikes off the "bycicle" denomination.
  • 4 1
 The fuel ex now a top fuel and the remedy is now a fuel ex
  • 3 1
 I think you mean the Top Fuel is now a Fuel EX and the Fuel EX is now a Remedy.
  • 1 1
 Ahh semantics. The fuel ex was a 120/120 trail machine, which is now the top fuel. The remedy was a 140 rear all mountain 29er, which is now the fuel ex. Works either way.
  • 1 1
 @j-t-g: and the Top Fuel was 100/100 back in 2010. Bikes evolve. Shrug.
  • 3 0
 Trek representative to SC rep
Yyea yea
I’ll hold your beer for ya
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy, any word on whether those headset cups work for the EX-E too? I'm thinking 63.5 degrees and a 170mm Lyrik might make for an interesting EX-E build...
  • 1 0
 You can buy an angleset to slacken it out. New lyrik tops out at 160mm.
  • 1 1
 @haen: last Lyrik goes to 180
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: true. I run the previous generation at 170.
  • 3 0
 No more cock block...I mean knock block ?
  • 4 2
 What's the need to expose the down tube to the rocks so much?? Sorry trek lover and owner here but this bike looks horrible
  • 3 0
 Mmmmm.....I can dig the yellow color
  • 2 0
 Not going to hate on this iteration of the fuel ex. It's actually quite pleasing to my eyes.
  • 3 1
 They really told devinci 'lemme copy your homework bro' on the current gen troy with the sand paint-job
  • 2 0
 First the came for split pivot, then they took the rest.
  • 3 0
 I really like everything about this I must say!
  • 1 0
 I hope Trek send out some alloy models for review, not everyone can afford a carbon version, especially with the price of bikes heading ever skyward!
  • 2 0
 will a full-size banana fit in the in-frame storage? a plantain? maybe a bag of plantain chips.
  • 2 1
 Many manufacturers now build the down tube so thick to take away our disgust at the e bike in the long term and not, as claimed, to stow stuff in it.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a slice of cheese.
  • 1 0
 Looks like fun to me. Put a 160 on it and drop it to a lower setting on the bb.
  • 4 2
 70deg STA on a 2023 frame, lol
  • 1 0
 I like it! Looks good in that yellow as well, geo looks good and the sweet spot in travel. Am I going to buy a trek?
  • 2 0
 You know what isn't pictured. A coil shock.
  • 2 0
 On the one hand it’s ugly, on the other hand, bet this thing rips.
  • 2 0
 I wish my YT Izzo was like this.
  • 2 0
 Doesn't look like a session!
  • 7 9
 Ugly! Sooooooo ugly!!!
Riding two generations of my loved trek Remedy for the past 10yrs, this will be definitely the end of my Partnership with trek.
How can you throw away this unique Design and build a bike like this, which is uglier than any noname bike!??
Byebye Trek!
  • 3 1
 Oh my gosh Pinkbike comment sections are toxic aF. Hahaha
  • 2 0
 Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. I still have my 2016 Remedy 8, but I actually think the Fuel EX8 looks better.
  • 1 0
 I’m so glad the knock block is gone, that was a pretty useless feature imo
  • 2 0
 Wait, can this take 27 front and rear?
  • 3 1
 A shape only a mother could love.
  • 2 0
 14.6 kg for the >10K top model
  • 2 0
 Love how the crank cleverly hides the downtube kink
  • 2 0
 The 2026 is gonna have 165mm travel with a 180 fork and a 673mm reach
  • 1 0
 Looks good. I like the changes. But I’ll still never buy a trek. Just not my cup of tea lol
  • 2 0
 I like this better than the 5010 all day
  • 2 0
 if the Evil Wreckoning, and NinerWFO had a love child....
  • 1 1
 Niner had a one night stand with an Evil, and this ugly offspring came about. it may have all the geo and stuff but it looks ugly, while previous gen looked good.
  • 4 2
 Solid looking bike
  • 6 8
 I guess it makes sense they design the ebike version of the bike then take the motor out and leave a hole, for the tiny market that remains for motorless bikes as they gradually phase them out.
  • 2 0
 Party boi
  • 2 0
 ebike inspired design
  • 2 0
 Hey look a GT!
  • 3 1
 Where is the motor?
  • 2 0
 Adjustability!
  • 2 1
 looks like a niner that copied the kenevo sl headset.
  • 1 0
 Not available..but you can order one for NXT summer..
  • 1 0
 WHAT rotors are those in the first picture ???!!!!
  • 1 0
 sram HS2
  • 1 0
 Resembles an evil frame a little
  • 2 2
 Damn, I was pretty set on getting a stumpy Evo but this is making me reconsider
  • 2 1
 545 reach on the XXL??! that is bonkers
  • 1 1
 R Doggy rides a fuel. Good enough for him, good enough for other people that also like R Doggy
  • 1 0
 More yellow bikes, please!
  • 1 0
 Why do all the new bike models come in the fall?
  • 2 1
 It’s almost like Trek listened to Pinkera and built a bike accordingly.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a Devinci
  • 1 0
 185mm eyelet your eyelet shock. Yikes.
  • 2 1
 Looks like a Devinci
  • 1 1
 Paving way for a new high pivot mullet slash me thinks
  • 2 2
 Is Shimano still in business?
  • 1 1
 That frame tho'. So many bends...so many cracks...
  • 2 2
 Looks like Niner and Spot had a baby, an ass ugly baby
  • 1 2
 Pretty boring colors. Could be interesting to see what can be done with 29" F/R and a 160mm fork.
  • 2 2
 Terrible color. So 2000lame
  • 1 0
 Did Trek purchase Ican?
  • 1 1
 Looks like there's no more KNOCK BLOCK or curved top tube?
  • 1 1
 Well, at least they tried.
  • 5 5
 Ewww
  • 2 2
 Cool Devinci Troy Bro
  • 1 3
 Frankly was all in until read 335 mm bottom bracket height?! *sigh* Nobody rides backcountry tech anymore I guess...
  • 1 1
 hello better looking GT
  • 1 1
 Looks like a troy ...
  • 1 4
 Looks like a great trail bike. Not a fan of the yellow. Everything trending yellow these days.
  • 3 4
 Eww
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