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2022 Trek Fuel EX 5

trek fuel ex black

A 27.5″ / 29″ aluminum frame full suspension trail bike with upper mid-range components. Compare the full range

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Revolution Mountain Bike Magazine

Jun 2023 · Scotty Prendergast

Arguably one of the all-time most popular bike models of any MTB on the planet, the ‘Fuel Ex’ has been at the peak of Trek’s MTB line-up for as long as anyone can remember and it has had no fewer than six major design overhauls during that time. Late last year Trek unveiled their newest reinvention of the ‘do it all trail bike’ which rolls out of the store boasting a ton of rider customisation features, including a choice of [...]

Read Review

Loam Wolf

Apr 2023 · Drew Rohde

While the new Trek Fuel EX may have alienated a few riders, it will no doubt be a welcome redesign for a lot more riders!

Fast, confident and ready to rock!

More capable than ever

Great downtube storage solution

Adjustable and versatile geometry options

Med/Large size

Bar/Stem combo

SE5 Tires in the wet

Some may not like the newer, burlier bike’s transition


Dec 2022 · Ian Collins

A couple months ago, I was on the hunt for a new mid-travel personal bike and found myself largely unconvinced by most of the offerings on the market. Then a new, highly adjustable and longer in the tooth Trek Fuel EX was announced. When I reached out to Trek to inquire about testing one they offered to send a frameset for me to build out. On paper given that it had my ideal geometry, loads of adjustments (including leverage rate!), internal storage and the options of  air or coil and mullet or straight 29″, this was the ultimate Swiss army


Dec 2022 · Mike Levy

The downtube storage compartment is on the new bike, and while it seems like Trek has put all the things onto the latest Fuel EX, there's one that they didn't: Knock Block.

Wide range of effective geometry adjustments

Just as much fun on smooth trails as it is on scary trails

Great climber, efficient pedaling

One-piece handlebar might be too stiff for some riders

Paint chips easily

Flow Mountain Bike

All-new for 2023, the Trek Fuel EX is no doubt the burliest yet. How does it compare to the competition? Read on for our Trek Fuel EX review.

Sturdy, flex-free chassis

Superb geometry with adjustable head angle

Efficient & comfortable climbing performance

Coil shock, big fork & mullet compatibility

Mechanic-friendly frame furnishings

Internal storage

Frame is on the heavy side

Rear shock tune lacks small-bump suppleness

Rattly rear thru-axle lever


New geometry, more travel, and even better suspension improves Trek's mid-weight trail bike.


Trek's top-tier Fuel EX 9.9 XX1 AXS delights on the climbs and tackles downhill terrain with it's slack (and very adjustable) geometry.


Sep 2022 · Tom Marvin

Does the benchmark trail bike retain its reputation as a solid choice?

Excellent suspension

Solid feel to the frame

Great geometry

Doesn’t feel as sprightly on climbs as some

Tyres give up corner traction too easily in loose or muddy conditions

99 Spokes on YouTube

Last updated June 28 Not listed for 591 days

Trek Fuel EX 2023 Review | A bigger, musclier & hugely adaptable trail bike

The not-so-minor details.

2023 Trek Fuel EX

$4,999 AUD - $8,999 AUD

- Sturdy, flex-free chassis - Superb geometry with adjustable head angle - Efficient & comfortable climbing performance - Coil shock, big fork & mullet compatibility - Mechanic-friendly frame furnishings - Internal storage

- Frame is on the heavy side - Rear shock tune lacks small-bump suppleness - Rattly rear thru-axle lever

Wil reviews the Trek Fuel EX 2023

Having undergone a ground-up redesign for 2023, the Trek Fuel EX has entered its burliest and biggest travel form yet. This latest model represents the 6th generation of Trek’s popular mid-travel trail bike, with the original having debuted all the way back in 2005. Trail riding has evolved a lot since then, and the new Fuel EX aims to keep up with that evolution by incorporating almost every mod-con you can think of.

Of course it’s big news whenever Trek releases a new Fuel EX, and given how important this bike is for the US brand, we were curious to see how the raft of updates would play out on the trail. We had a bit of an idea, having thoroughly enjoyed riding the electrified Trek Fuel EXe over the past few months. Would the muscle-powered version deliver the same good vibes? And how would it compare to the previous models that have given us so many fond riding memories over the years? We’ve been putting the Trek Fuel EX 2023 to the test to find out!

Watch our video review of the Trek Fuel EX 2023:

trek fuel ex 2023

Along with the downtube storage, generous frame armour and size-specific chainstays, the Fuel EX appears to pack in almost everything you could possibly want in a modern trail bike.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

An overview of the Trek Fuel EX 2023

For 2023, the Trek Fuel EX is built around an entirely new frame that’s produced in carbon and alloy variants. Suspension travel has increased by 10mm at both ends, with the new Fuel EX now sporting a 150mm fork and 140mm of rear travel via the ABP four-bar suspension design.

It’s worth noting that the frame will handle a 160mm travel fork, and thanks to the two-position Mino Link, it can also be run as a mullet. Borrowed from the Session downhill bike, there’s a two-position flip chip at the lower shock mount that offers linear and progressive settings. The latter option is what makes the new Fuel EX coil shock compatible.

On top of that, Trek will be offering aftermarket headset cups to steepen or slacken the head angle by a degree. Along with the downtube storage, generous frame armour and size-specific chainstays, the Fuel EX appears to pack in almost everything you could possibly want in a modern trail bike. It’s certainly an appealing package on paper, and one that’s ready to take on contemporaries like the Specialized Stumpjumper , Merida One-Forty , Canyon Spectral and Giant Trance X .

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Trek Fuel EX price & specs

There are a number of different models available in the Trek Fuel EX 2023 lineup, though availability will vary depending on where you are in the world.

In Australia, prices currently range from $4,999 AUD for the Fuel EX 7, and go up to $8,999 AUD for the Fuel EX 9.8 XT model. The cheapest option is actually the Fuel EX 5, though that model carries over the previous generation frame. For a closer look at the specs, prices and all the new details, check out our Trek Fuel EX 2023 overview article for more.

Here we’ll be diving into our experience of testing the Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XX1 AXS model, which will be available in Australia in limited quantities through the custom Project One bike builder. It’s a media bike that was provided to us by Trek, and of course it comes dripping with lots of gold, carbon and wireless bits. However, as usual with our reviews, we won’t be going into detail about the Gucci-level spec. Instead, we’ll be concentrating on the important aspects that are shared throughout the Fuel EX lineup; the frame design, suspension performance and its on-trail handling.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

2023 Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XX1 AXS

  • Frame |  OCLV Mountain Carbon Fibre, ABP Suspension Design, 140mm Travel
  • Fork |  Fox 36, Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 44mm Offset, 150mm Travel
  • Shock |  Fox Float X, Factory Series, 185x55mm
  • Wheels |  Bontrager Line Pro 30, OCLV Carbon Rims, 29mm Inner Width
  • Tyres |  Bontrager SE5 Team Issue 2.5in Front & Rear
  • Drivetrain |  SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS1×12 w/30T Crankset & 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes |  SRAM Code RSC 4-Piston
  • Bar |  Bontrager RSL Integrated, OCLV Carbon, 27.5mm Rise, 820mm Width
  • Stem |  Bontrager RSL Integrated, OCLV Carbon, 45mm Length
  • Seatpost |  RockShox Reverb AXS, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (S), 150mm (M-M/L), 170mm (L), 200mm (XL)
  • Saddle |  Bontrager Arvada, Austentite Rails
  • Confirmed Weight | 14.4kg
  • RRP |  $TBC

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

The chassis feels near-bombproof, and combined with the supportive suspension, powerful brakes and high volume rubber, you’re served up plenty of confidence for pushing the front wheel into steep chutes and over technical A-lines.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Trek Fuel EX size & geometry

From X-Small through to XX-Large, the Trek Fuel EX is produced in no fewer than seven different sizes. Seven! Given that many brands only offer four or sometimes even just three frame sizes, that’s impressive.

The two smallest sizes feature 27.5in wheels, while the Medium and above come standard with 29in wheels. The Small is the only option that is available in either wheelsize.

At 175cm tall I’ve been riding a Medium, which features a 450mm reach. Thanks to the use of short seat tubes, a rider of my height could easily upsize to the M/L size to get a longer 470mm reach. Personally, I’ve found the fit of the Medium to be spot-on.

As for geometry, the Fuel EX features a 64.5° head angle and approximately a 77.5° effective seat tube angle in its stock configuration. The rear centre length varies between sizes, going up to 450mm on the largest frame. On the Medium I’ve been riding, the rear centre is a compact 435mm.

Coming off the Fuel EXe, I found it easy to settle into the Fuel EX. The only modification I needed to perform was to chop the comically wide handlebars from 820mm down to a more reasonable 780mm.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Suspension & tyre setup

Getting the Fuel EX set up is made easy thanks to Trek’s detailed online suspension calculator . Input the bike model and your riding weight, and out spits suggested air pressure and rebound settings for both the fork and shock. It even suggests tyre pressures, giving you a good place to start before hitting the trail. When brands like Canyon struggle to provide any recommendations at all, Trek should be commended for helping riders to get the most out of their bike.

For my 68kg riding weight, Trek suggests setting up the Fox 36 fork slightly softer and slower than usual. Recommended rear shock sag is 29%, and the calculator’s suggestion of 158psi got me to exactly that figure. Initially I set the rebound at 6/15 clicks as recommended, but while everything felt quite balanced front to back, the suspension was a little sluggish and duller than I wanted. Speeding up the rebound by a couple of clicks in both the fork and shock helped to make the whole bike feel a bit more lively, while improving small-bump reactivity.

Although the Bontrager SE5 tyres feature reinforced Core Strength casings, I still fitted a CushCore Pro insert to provide some additional pinch-flat protection and insurance for the carbon rims. Tyre pressures were set as per Trek’s recommendations with 20psi in the front and 22psi in the rear.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Trek Fuel EX weight

Confirmed weight for our Trek Fuel EX test bike is 14.4kg. That’s with the tyres set up tubeless, but without the CushCore insert or pedals.

It’s on the heavier side for a high-end carbon trail bike, though the 2.5in tyres, stocky carbon wheels and AXS components aren’t exactly the lightest going. Of course weights do vary throughout the Fuel EX lineup depending on the spec, and you can see the weights for all the different models in our range overview .

A contributing factor to the overall weight is the new frame, which has gained almost 700g over its predecessor. Trek claims the carbon frame weighs 3.4kg with the rear shock, making it a bit of a porker alongside some of the competition;

  • Scott Genius HMX Carbon: 2,249g
  • Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon: 2,280g
  • Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29: 2,498g
  • Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Carbon: 2,750g
  • Canyon Spectral CF: 3,047g
  • Trek Fuel EX Carbon: 3,400g

The new alloy Fuel EX frame is heavier again, coming in at a hefty 4.6kg with shock.

Of course weight isn’t everything, and it’s unsurprising that the new frame has gotten heavier given how much longer and slacker it is. Still, for those who are especially concerned by grams, there are certainly lighter options on the market.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

What do we dig about the Trek Fuel EX 2023?

With its added heft and updated geometry, the Trek Fuel EX 2023 is no doubt the burliest iteration yet. The chassis feels near-bombproof, and combined with the supportive suspension, powerful brakes and high volume rubber, you’re served up plenty of confidence for pushing the front wheel into steep chutes and over technical A-lines.

Indeed it’s massively capable for a 140mm travel bike, with the slack 64.5° head angle and roomy wheelbase giving it a purposeful stance on the trail. The geometry is superb, with welcome updates that have brought the Fuel EX right up to speed.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

The steeper seat angle is particularly noticeable over the old bike, providing a much improved seated position on steep climbs. Pedalling efficiency has also levelled up. Trek has lifted the main pivot above the chainring to increase anti-squat, which helps to reduce pedal-induced bobbing. The Float X shock has a two-position climb switch, but I never once needed to use it while riding off-road since the rear end is so well behaved.

It rips through the turns

Once up to speed on flower singletrack, the taut chassis means the Trek Fuel EX is highly responsive when rounding corners and pushing into berms.

With its boxy downtube, split top tube and the supporting strut for the lower shock mount, the front triangle is heavily braced to resist torsional flex. Along with the wide main pivot and boxy one-piece chainstays, the Fuel EX possesses a strong spine from its shapely head tube to the rear thru-axle. The muscly frame effectively translates handling inputs while resisting lateral deflection through the turns.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Likewise, the short rear end and generous 38mm BB drop are fantastic when threading your way through twisty sections of trail, keeping you connected to the terrain and contributing to the playful ride quality. The low-hanging BB did mean I caught the pedals occasionally, so those who frequent off-piste terrain and technical climbs will want to consider flipping the Mino Link into the High position to indulge in an extra 7mm of pedal clearance.

Otherwise the riding position and weight distribution are totally sorted. The handling is approachable, and the Fuel EX doesn’t demand a whole lot from you as the rider. Compared to the old bike it does need a more concerted lean when entering tighter corners, though this is a part of the natural evolution of modern trail bike geometry. Even if you’re coming off a 5-year old bike, you’ll only need a few rides to get accustomed to the Fuel EX’s steering behaviour.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs


In addition to the Mino Link, we’ve also been experimenting with the lower shock flip chip on the Trek Fuel EX. Requiring just a single 6mm hex key, it’s a quick adjustment to make trailside, and the change in suspension behaviour is noticeable.

I ended up preferring the ‘Less’ setting, which provides a more linear leverage rate. With the shock set at the recommended sag, this position provides great pedalling support, along with more comfort and activity deeper into the stroke. There’s still a good deal of progression though. Combined with the large bottom-out bumper in the Float X shock, hitting full travel proved to be a well-controlled affair.

One of our fellow testers, who generally spends more time in the air than on the ground, preferred riding in the ‘More’ setting. This increases progression, providing a stronger ramp-up in the latter half of the travel. He also reduced the shock pressure by 5psi to further enhance small-bump compliance, while still being able to enjoy the additional big-hit support. Pedal efficiency isn’t as stable in this setting, but it does mean the Fuel EX takes to jumps like a duck to water, popping off lips enthusiastically and absorbing hard landings with a solid and flex-free touchdown.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

One thing to note on the More/Less flip chip is that while you are altering the progression of the air spring, you’re also affecting the damper too. As well as adjusting air pressure, we found we needed to tweak the rebound and low-speed compression settings between the two positions. It is indeed a useful tuning tool, but it doesn’t dispel the need for air volume spacers entirely.

What does it struggle with?

With the Trek Fuel EX adopting a beefier frame, the added weight is noticeable compared to lighter bikes in this category. That’s compounded by the heavy-duty brakes, stocky wheels and chunky tyres, which mean there’s more inertia to overcome during micro-accelerations on an undulating climb.

For those who are looking for a sharper and sprightlier trail bike to whip through the trees along smoother singletrack, the latest Trek Top Fuel will be a better fit. In comparison, the new Fuel EX is a burlier beast that thrives on steeper and more technical terrain.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Curiously, it does feel stiffer than the electrified version, the Fuel EXe . Despite both our test bikes featuring carbon frames with a near-identical build kit, I’ve found the Fuel EX to transmit more trail feedback.

Some of this may be due to structural differences, and perhaps the more favourable sprung-to-unsprung mass ratio on the electric version thanks to the added weight of the motor and and battery. Either way, the Fuel EX doesn’t exactly exude off-camber compliance. As a lighter rider on very rocky terrain, I’ve found myself getting knocked around a little more than I would like.

This sensation reminded me of the Canyon Spectral 125 , which proved to be overly stiff and quite uncomfortable at slower riding speeds. The Fuel EX is more compliant overall than the Spectral 125, but it’s still pretty stiff.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

It’s not as supple as Fuel EX models gone by

Contributing to this sensation, the suspension isn’t as plush as previous Fuel EX models, particularly those that featured the Thru Shaft shock. Those bikes did require the rider to make use of the compression lever to provide pedalling support, but it meant that in the open mode the rear end absorbed the terrain like melted butter.

You may have noticed that Trek has been making a conscious move away from proprietary suspension components lately, and that’s coincided with building bikes that offer more neutral pedalling performance. The increased anti-squat is one part of the equation on the new Fuel EX, and the other part is the custom-tuned Float X, which Trek has configured with a digressive compression tune on the main piston. This creates a decent low-speed threshold, which provides a level of support that sits between the Open and Medium settings on the previous RE:aktiv damper.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

The result is that you can ride with the shock fully open, and the Fuel EX still offers great stability under pedalling inputs, with no real need to activate the climb switch. If you detest remote lockouts and having to flip shock levers all the time, this will certainly be appealing.

The downside is that the suspension isn’t as supple over smaller rubble and at slower speeds. Along with the stiff chassis and carbon wheels, more of those vibrations are transmitted to the rider. As such, careful consideration with tyre pressure is needed to maximise grip and comfort.

Because there is more support however, the Fuel EX gives your feet a stronger platform to push off of, with greater feedback during high-load scenarios. Indeed the harder and faster you push, the better the Fuel EX responds. In that sense, it’s less of a comfy cruiser like its predecessors, and more of a mid-travel bruiser that loves to ride hard and fast.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Component highs & lows

As a complete bike, the Trek Fuel EX is a solid package that puts the emphasis on capability over light weight.

The Bontrager SE5 tyres are a good example, coming in at 1,100g each on our workshop scales. They roll reasonably well given their weight and size, and we’ve found them to provide consistent grip on rocky, hard-packed soil, which will suit most Aussie trail riders. The tread is a little shallow though, and the compound isn’t the softest, which sees them struggling to latch on when the conditions are wet and loose. We’d prefer something a little stickier and toothier up front, like a Maxxis Minion DHR II with 3C MaxxGrip rubber.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

While the carbon Bontrager Line Pro rims are quite stiff, they have proven to be plenty tough. We’ve tested five of these wheelsets across various bikes over the past few years and we’ve not encountered a single issue. The y also come with a two-year crash replacement guarantee, which is great insurance given the hell that you can put this bike through. Furthermore, the frame itself comes with a lifetime warranty for the original owner.

There’s still plenty of real-world protection though, including a generous two-piece armour plate that bolts to the underside of the downtube. There’s also a metal chain-suck guard behind the chainring, and a full-coverage chainstay protector. Along with the fully guided internal cable routing, the Fuel EX is an impressively quiet and rattle-free bike on the trail. Well, except for the rear thru-axle lever, which I removed after the first ride.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Otherwise the finishing details are all sound. The adoption of a bigger 34.9mm seat tube diameter is welcome, as it accommodates a stiffer and stronger dropper post, particularly for the larger sizes. Mechanics will be happy to see a threaded BB shell, and we’re fans of the downtube storage. The trap door has none of the play that we encountered on the last Fuel EX we tested, with a tight fit and a nice lever action.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

It’s certainly a high quality chassis, and many riders are likely to appreciate the in-built versatility. We’re looking forward to trying out the adjustable head angle once the aftermarket cups become available, and we’d also be keen to try out the Fuel EX with a coil shock. Setting it up as a mullet will be more straightforward, especially as you only need to buy an air spring to extend the Fox 36 up to 160mm of travel.

Trek Fuel EX vs Specialized Stumpjumper

Alongside the Trek Fuel EX, the Specialized Stumpjumper is one of the most popular and well-known trail bikes in this category. In terms of travel and the overall build, the Fuel EX sits right in between the regular Stumpjumper and the Stumpjumper EVO. However, it’s the regular Stumpy that I’ve been spending the most time on lately, both in its stock configuration and with a burlier mullet setup .

trek fuel ex vs specialized stumpjumper

Compared to the Fuel EX, the Stumpjumper has a touch less travel with a 140mm fork and 130mm at the rear. It also uses a simpler suspension layout, with the carbon models employing a flex-stay design. Combined with its slimmer tube profiles, the carbon Stumpjumper frame is very light. Specialized claims it weighs just 2.28kg including the shock, which is over a kilo lighter than a carbon Fuel EX.

This theme extends to the Stumpjumper’s build kit, with Specialized electing for the skinnier Fox 34 over the 36. Along with an in-line shock, lighter brakes, wheels and tyres, there’s a considerable difference in the overall bike weight. For example, the Stumpjumper Pro we tested weighed 12.84kg.

While the geometry is pretty similar between the two bikes, the Specialized Stumpjumper rides much lighter on the trail compared to the Trek Fuel EX. It offers more comfort, with its lithe chassis and smooth suspension performance providing better compliance over rough terrain. It’s quite sporty and sprightly, though its active suspension design does need taming on the climbs by making use of the rear shock’s compression lever.

2022 specialized stumpjumper comp carbon

In comparison, the Fuel EX is more naturally efficient. It’s also more planted at speed, with its sturdy chassis and supportive suspension providing better big-hit capability. It feels more like a short travel enduro bike, which will suit heavier and harder riders.

Both bikes will handle a longer fork and can be set up as a mullet, though Specialized makes a specific link for the Stumpjumper to maintain the stock geometry. There is greater versatility in the Fuel EX chassis, with the option to adjust the head angle and fit a coil shock.

As for value, the Fuel EX offers a more appealing spec package. A Stumpjumper Expert sells for $9,800 AUD and comes with a Fox 34 GRIP2 fork, SRAM G2 brakes, an X01 drivetrain, alloy wheels and handlebars. In comparison, an equivalent Fuel EX 9.8 XT sells for $800 AUD less. It gets a simpler GRIP damper for its Fox 36 fork, though it does feature a piggyback shock, a Shimano XT groupset, a carbon one-piece RSL cockpit and carbon wheels with that 2-year crash replacement guarantee.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Flow’s Verdict

For many trail riders, the Trek Fuel EX 2023 is likely to tick just about every box on your new bike wish list. It’s as up to date as it gets, featuring loads of adjustability, internal storage and a nuanced approach to its size-specific geometry. Along with the increased travel and muscly frame, it offers greater stability and big-hit control over its predecessor, while still being a fun and involving bike to ride on modern flow trails.

It is a bit of a chonker though, so those who are looking for a lightweight and speedy trail bike may be better served by the latest Top Fuel .

The stiff chassis and supportive suspension also mean the Fuel EX tends to transmit more feedback, making it less comfortable to ride over rocky terrain. We’d be curious to try out a lighter shock tune to see how much of a difference that would make to the overall ride quality, but in its stock form the Fuel EX isn’t as plush as competitors like the Giant Trance X and Specialized Stumpjumper .

It is impressively efficient though, and the stable suspension gives you a load of support when you’re really giving it the beans on the descents. In this sense, the Fuel EX is closer in feel and performance to an enduro bike. You’ll still want to look towards the Slash if you’re serious about racing, but outside of the tape the Fuel EX will handle just about everything a modern trail centre or bikepark could throw at it. And for those who really want to up the limits, the adaptable chassis can easily be configured for some pretty aggressive riding.

Indeed for those who are chasing maximum capability without going to a big, spongy enduro bike, the Fuel EX is a mighty appealing option.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

You’ll still want to look towards the Slash if you’re serious about racing, but outside of the tape the Fuel EX will handle just about everything a modern trail centre or bikepark could throw at it.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

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The new trek fuel ex review.

Photos & Words by Dario DiGiulio

As mountain biking has evolved into what it is today, the trails we ride on have slowly but surely raised the bar of what modern bikes have to keep up with. Sure, some tracks have been sanitized over time, but there’s no question that the pointy end of the sport has kept pushing forward. As a result, trail bikes have had to pick up the pace to match the expectations of the average rider, leading to more capable and confident rigs with every new model. Stepping up to the plate, we have the evolved version of the Trek Fuel EX, Trek’s mainstay trail bike. This time it’s really meant to do it all, riding anywhere and doing anything. Being this adaptable can be a tricky task though, so has Trek painted themselves into a corner?

The new Trek Fuel EX breaks just about every mold that the prior generations had fit into, with a full-on redesign for the new model. The name of the game here is adaptability, whether in the geometry, the suspension kinematics, or even what size wheels you’ll run. Thanks to their Mino Link flip chip and two sets of press-in headset cups, you can shift the character of this bike drastically to suit your terrain and preference. As a result, it’s a bit hard to parse out the specific geometry of the bike (however Trek’s site features a geometry tool to let you do so), so I’ll just speak to it in its most neutral form, which is where many will likely settle. There are a whopping 8 size variations to this bike from XS to XXL, so it’s worth digging through the geometry tables to see which might suit you best. They’re all sporting 140mm of rear travel with a 150mm fork, upping the numbers on the prior generation by 10mm.

I’ve been testing the large frame, which puts the reach and stack at around 485mm and 621mm, which are in line with the majority of the industry right now. In keeping with the new Trek Fuel EX’s theme of being adaptable and capable. In its neutral-low setting, the bike comes with a 64.5-degree head tube angle and the effective seat tube angle sits at 77.2-degrees. Chainstays shift with the frame size, and on a large come in at 440mm. Thanks to the Mino Link flip chip, you can adjust bottom bracket height by 8mm up from the slammed 38mm drop in stock configuration, with a 0.6° steeper head tube and seat tube angle. The more significant head tube adjustment comes from the independent press-in headset cups that Trek supplies, which can steepen or slacken things by a full degree, giving a very wide range of handling characteristics. The last frame toggle is the progression flip chip, offering a simple more or less option to tailor the suspension feel and offer uncompromised coil shock compatibility.

As is trend right now, you can set the Fuel Ex up as a mullet, simply by popping a 27.5” wheel in the rear, swapping the Mino Link to high mode, and bumping up fork travel to 160mm. The bike comes stock as a 29er front and rear (or 27.5″ in XS and Small), so you’ll have to make this change on your own accord.

A notable thing lacking from the newest Fuel EX its the Knock Block – you’ll find no such thing on this frame. X-up fans take note, as this is a big move for the engineers in Waterloo, Wisconsin, and was necessary to achieve the headset adjustment range they wanted. Trek has also moved away from the RE:aktiv damper shock, now simply relying on an off-the-shelf model. Still included in the frames are the handy-dandy stash box in the down tube, with what I think might be the best weather sealing of any of the options on the market at this point, and a neat BITS tool roll.

Build kits come in as many flavors as the sizes, and the range of options is quite extensive, beginning at a respectable $3,699. I’ve been on the highest end build, the 9.9 AXS especial, coming in at a healthy $10,749. From Bontrager Line 30 carbon wheels, to the RSL one-piece carbon cockpit, to the XX1 drivetrain, just about everything is as nice as it gets, as you’d hope for this kind of money.

At my height of 6’3”, the geo combination of the Neutral-Low-More flip chip configuration on the large size makes for a really comfortable fit,  one that feels stable enough at speed while still remaining lively for your average trail. I started my time testing the bright yellow Trek up in Whistler, riding some gnarly rocky pedal-access trails around the Valley. This was a great context for deciding where I stood on the less or more progression debate, and I settled on the latter end of the spectrum. Increased bottom-out resistance and a more supple top of travel were worth a slightly punchier suspension feel, and I stand by that choice for most of the riding I have around me. On my home trails in Bellingham, the Fuel has been a choice companion for fast and fun rides in our local trail systems, where technical and engaging climbs lead to fast, rooty, and jump-filled descents. My general synopsis is that this is a bike that loves to ride fast, both up and down.

The climbing characteristics are comfortable and neutral, without wallowing too much or lacking grip in trickier terrain. Like many of the take-aways of the bike as it comes stock, things are extra-medium, in the best way. Compared to the new Hightower, the bike has slightly less support, but is significantly better in rough terrain and successive hits. Compared to the Stumpjumper EVO, the Fuel EX is definitely more of a trail bike, less of the all-mountain enduro-lite ride that the Specialized offers. All three bikes serve as a nice gradient from the lighter and sportier end of the trail spectrum to the burlier and more capable side of the category. Sitting pretty right in the middle is the Fuel EX, but I’m sure one could tweak it to either of the other extremes, given how much variability is baked into this frame.

Build kit notes are mostly positive, which you’d hope to see from the highest end build. My main gripe is with the Bontrager SE5 tires, which are some the least confidence-inspiring I’ve ridden in recent memory. The casing and tread pattern are fine, but the compound doesn’t seem to want to hook up anywhere, whether it’s dry loose terrain, rock slabs, and especially wet roots. This would be an immediate swap in my book, and I’d just keep the stock tires to run in the rear when conditions are dry and beat at the peak of summer.

The removable shuttle pad doesn’t seem to want to stay close to the frame, and bows out slightly when attached, giving the downtime a funny bulged look to it. One other frame annoyance has been a recurring suspension knock, despite chasing through every bolt in the linkage with a torque wrench. I still have yet to find the culprit, but luckily it’s not very noticeable when riding.

As a system, I’ve been more than impressed by Trek’s work on the new Fuel EX. Not only does it feel quick and confidant in the stock configuration, it also offers a whole host of layout options to better cater the bike to your preferences.


To close out our review of the new Trek Fuel Ex, it’s clear that Trek’s engineers and designers set out to design a bike that caters to that wide center of the market – the trail bike – where most riders spend their time, and where a bike can take many forms. In that goal, they found success. Sure some riders may feel the new Fuel EX has departed from what they were used to and liked about the bike, but many other riders will likely welcome the advancements in capability and confidence on the trail. The Fuel EX is a highly adaptable bike that feels comfortable in a really wide variety of terrain but doesn’t confuse itself for anything more or less. Bike riders, rejoice.


Price: $3,699.99

Frame: Alpha Platinum Aluminum, internal storage | 140mm Fork: RockShox 35 Gold RL | 150mm Shock: Fox Performance Float EVOL

Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT Brakes: Shimano MT420 4-piston

Wheelset: Bontrager Line Comp 30, Rapid Drive 108


Price: $4,299

Frame: Alpha Platinum Aluminum, internal storage | 140mm Fork: Fox Rhythm 36 | 150mm Shock: Fox Performance Float X

Drivetrain: Shimano XT M8100 Brakes: Shimano Deore M6120


Price: $6,249.99

Frame: OLCV Mountain Carbon, internal storage | 140mm Fork: Fox Rhythm 36 | 150mm Shock: Fox Performance Float X

Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT Brakes: Shimano Deore M6120


GX AXS Price: $7,699.99 XT Price: $6,749.99

Frame: OLCV Mountain Carbon, internal storage | 140mm Fork: Fox Performance 36 | 150mm Shock: Fox Performance Float X

Wheelset: Bontrager Line Elite 30, OCLV Carbon, Rapid Drive 108

GX AXS BUILD Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle AXS Brakes: SRAM CODE R

XT BUILD Drivetrain: Shimano XT M8100 Brakes: Shimano XT M8120


XX1 AXS Price: $10,749.99 XTR Price: $9,749.99

Frame: OLCV Mountain Carbon, internal storage | 140mm Fork: Fox Factory 36 | 150mm Shock: Fox Factory Float X

Wheelset: Bontrager Line Pro 30, OCLV Carbon, Rapid Drive 108

XX1 AXS BUILD Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS Brakes: SRAM CODE RSC

XT BUILD Drivetrain: Shimano XTR M9100 Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120


Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top  mountain  and  electric mountain bikes .

trek fuel ex

The New Trek Fuel EX Puts On Weight, Punches Harder, and Expands Its Reach

Trek's new Fuel EX is bigger, more capable, and more adjustable

The Takeaway: The new EX is bigger and more capable. It faces tougher competition, but its performance, features, and adaptability make it a compelling option.

  • 10mm more travel: now 140mm rear and a 150mm fork
  • Two different geometry adjustments, plus adjustable shock rate
  • Most aluminum frames now get internal storage
  • Eight builds with the new platform starting at $3,700

Price: $2,700 to $10,750. As tested $10,750 (EX 9.9 XX1 AXS) Weight: 30.2 lb. to 35.2 lb. (claimed. 31.2 lb. as tested (EX 9.9 XX1 AXS, size medium)

Trek tries to cover a lot of ground with this one bike, which is why it has so many features and adjustments, plus a wide range of models and sizes. By trying to do so much with one bike, I worried that in making a bike to satisfy everyone, Trek made a bike that satisfies no one. After riding it I don’t think that’s the case. It’s no Holy Grail, but it is a fine machine for many riders, and a variety of terrain.

Trek Fuel EX Gallery

trek fuel ex

Trek Fuel EX—Builds, Prices, and Weights

The new Fuel EX launches with eight stock builds (three aluminum models and five carbon). The least expensive model, Fuel EX 5, uses the old frame platform (130mm rear travel with 140mm fork), while the rest use the new 140/150mm platform. Prices start at $2,700 for the EX 5 and top out at $10,750 for the EX 9.9 XX1 AXS.

Claimed frame weights are 3.4kg (7.5 lb.) for the carbon frame and 4.6kg (10.1lb.) for the aluminum frame. Complete bike weights start at 13.71kg (30.2lb) for the 9.9 XTR and go up to 15.96kg (35.2lb).

trek fuel ex

If you’re not feeling the stock options, the Fuel EX will drop into Trek’s Project One customization program (eventually) if you want to pick your paint and parts.

Trek Fuel EX – What’s New

Comparing the previous generation Fuel EX to this one, it is obvious this bike isn’t a mid-cycle refresh but a ground-up redesign of the brand’s mid-travel trail bike.

Outwardly, the Fuel EX displays a new frame design direction for Trek. First seen on the sibling EX-e electric bike , the new frame is more swole, with additional trusses linking the top tube to the seat tube and the seat tube to the down tube.

Part of the reason for the stouter-looking frame is a 10mm bump in travel at both ends: The rear increases to 140mm, paired with a 150mm fork. An additional change to the suspension is a two-position leverage-rate flip chip which offers a more and a less progressive setting. This is much easier than swapping volume spacers inside an air shock and also (in the more progressive position) makes the EX compatible with coil-spring shocks for the first time. But note that changing the leverage rate on the shock affects the spring and damper while changing volume spacers affects only the spring.

trek fuel ex

Trek also approved most of the new EX frames for the stouter RockShox Zeb and Fox 38 forks in up to 160mm travel.

With the bump in travel, the EX features revised geometry. The TL;DR: A 10 to 20mm longer reach, 1.5-degree slacker head tube angle, about a two-degree steeper seat tube angle, and size-specific chainstay lengths. As before, the EX has Trek’s two-position Mino Link in the rocker (which alters head and seat angles and BB drop.) New to the party are angle-adjusting headset cups which offer three head angle possibilities with no effect on bottom bracket drop/height. And if you like your wheel sizes mixed, the new EX is rated for that too.

The seat tube sees revisions that help it fit longer-travel dropper posts, and the post diameter was bumped up to 34.9mm. Your mileage may vary, but I’ve found the 34.9mm droppers operate more smoothly and are less likely to bind than 31.6 or 30.9mm droppers.

Trek added full-length guides to the EX’s internal routing to make assembly and maintenance easier, plus they can’t slap around in the downtube anymore. The guides also mean the hoses and hosing don’t interfere when you’re stuffing the repair kit burrito into the EX’s downtube. And talking of that downtube storage, it’s now built into the aluminum frames, in addition to the carbon.

The bottom bracket shell is now threaded, and there is a whole mess of plastic bolted to the downtube for impact and shuttle protection. Features carried over from the previous generation include Trek’s ABP suspension system, ISCG ’05 tabs, and the Mino Link flip chip in the rocker link.

Trek Fuel EX—No More Proprietary Shocks

One of the less conspicuous (but very significant) changes to the new EX is the adoption of a stock shock. Gone is the Thru Shaft design —which required a screw-in lower extender for the shock shaft—and the regressive Re:Activ damper tune . In its place is a standard shock, although it is custom-tuned for the frame (a step that all reputable brands take).

trek fuel ex

Abandoning suspension features has been somewhat of a theme for the Fuel EX. Follow the progression of EX since its debut in 2005, and you will see Trek adding new rear suspension technologies only to remove them for later iterations. This includes Full Floater (dynamic upper and lower shock mounts), DRCV (dual rate control valve) shocks (some EX forks had DRCV also), RE:Activ, and Thru Shaft. If you add in other since-abandoned features like Knock Block (a stop which limited handlebar rotation), and Press Fit 92 bottom brackets, previous generation EXs are a boneyard of forsaken technologies.

Why are Thru Shaft and Re:Aktiv gone? I asked Trek that question and am yet to receive a response. I sense that Trek will say the same thing they said when I asked why they eliminated Full Floater from the 2020 Fuel EX : That the newest generation of shocks (like Fox‘s Float X ) make those proprietary technologies redundant.

The benefit to the rider is the new Fuel EX uses a standard trunnion mounted shock, which means they can choose to ride a wide variety of options. Trek says they’ve confirmed fitment of all Fox, RockShox, and DVO air and coil shocks. Plus, it fits the Push ElevenSix and EXT’s Storia coil.

Trek Fuel EX—Updated Geometry, More Adjustments, Mullet Compatible

As previously mentioned, the Fuel EX receives all-new geometry. And it gets expanded geometry adjustment options. There are now two geometry adjustments: Head tube angle cups (three options: zero, plus-one degree, minus-one degree), and Mino Link (two positions: alters head and seat angles +/- 0.5 degrees and bb height +/- 8mm). That results in six configurations in total.

There are seven frame sizes (extra small, small, medium, medium/large, large, extra-large, and double-extra-large) in aluminum and six in carbon (no double-extra-large). And the EX now has size-specific chain stay lengths and seat tube angles. And the extra small and small come with 27.5-inch wheels, while the rest come with 29-inch wheels (size small is available with either 29" or 27.5" wheels.) AND Trek made the EX (with 29" wheels) compatible with mixed wheel sizes, but when running a 27.5 rear wheel, Trek recommends 160mm fork travel (10mm more than stock) and putting the Mino Link in high mode.

trek fuel ex

Is it any wonder that Trek has a dynamic geometry tool on its website to help you parse all the different configurations?

All this makes comparing the geometry to the previous EX difficult, but to get a flavor of the changes, I’ll compare the old size large to a new size large. With both in “stock” geometry configuration (Mino Link in low for both, the new frame with the neutral headset cup), the new bike measures up as follows:

Reach - 15mm longer (485 vs. 470mm) Stack - about eight millimeters taller (621.3 vs. 613mm) Effective seat angle - 2.5 degrees steeper (77.2 vs. 75 degrees) Head angle - 1.5 degrees slacker (64.5 vs. 66 degrees) Trail - almost 10mm longer (129.3 vs. 119mm) Chainstays - three millimeters longer (440 vs. 437mm) Wheelbase - almost 40 millimeters longer (1250.2 vs. 1211mm)

I’m not going to bother pasting the nine different geometry charts Trek sent me into this story (because that would be ridiculous.) The stock head angle is 64.5 degrees: If you want to nerd out on the rest of the numbers, dial-up Trek’s geometry tool and dig in.

Trek Fuel EX—Ride Review

The biggest mistake I made during my first rides on the new EX was comparing it to the outgoing 130/140mm EX. I loved the previous generation , and I liked its somewhat unique positioning between 120mm trail bikes like Evil’s Following and bigger trail bikes like the Pivot Switchblade.

But the new EX is not the old EX: It’s a bigger and more capable bike. It can be ridden harder and in rowdier terrain. But because it is heavier, longer, slacker, and has more travel, the new bike doesn’t feel as snappy as the outgoing bike. And it doesn’t feel as crisp on the climbs either. If you’re looking for a trail bike more like the old EX, the closest you’ll get in Trek’s current line is a Top Fuel with a 130mm fork upgrade.

trek fuel ex

Once I got my head straight about what the EX was all about, I began to groove with it. The Fuel EX is an excellent trail bike. Well, I have one complaint. I was getting some noise from the front end. I solved this by pulling the entire headset assembly, cleaning, greasing, and reinstalling it—chuckling to myself the whole time because Trek’s product team said they designed the system the way they did because they found competitors' adjustable head angle systems were noisy.

With six possible geometry settings—nine if I fitted a 27.5 rear wheel, which I, so far, have not—there wasn’t time to evaluate them all adequately before today’s launch. So, I’ve done all my rides on the EX in the stock setting (Mino Link in low, headset in the neutral position). And in that setting, the EX is a well-rounded trail bike.

I did my first ride on the EX in Whistler, British Columbia where I ground up the steep climbs and then pointed down tight, rough, and frequently very steep and technical trails that dot the landscape. The EX held its own, offering a comfortable climbing position and an efficient and supportive pedaling platform on the climbs. On the descents, it was reassuring; equal parts precise and confidence-inspiring. I decided to run the shock rate in the progressive position for this ride and was happy I did as the rear end returned suppleness with plenty of support and bottom-out resistance.

I expect some riders will find the EX, even with its new and more muscular body, is not quite enough bike for Whistler-style riding, which I can understand. But it can hold its own while the old EX would be out of its element.

I got the rest of my rides on the new EX in Durango, Colorado. Compared to B.C. riding, the climbs in Durango typically aren’t as steep, and the descents are faster, more open, and not as consistently technical, but the altitude is much higher. The EX felt a bit more in its sweet spot here, and I used the less progressive shock rate, which gave me a deeper-feeling suspension. With the lightest EX coming in at over 30 pounds, I’m not going to say I’m thrilled to hammer out a multi-hour singletrack climb at five-figure altitudes on this bike. It is efficient and accurate enough on climbs that I will ride it up because the payoff on the descents is so worthwhile.

trek fuel ex

I can’t say that I found any one thing, or things, in my testing of the EX so far that rocked my world. It seems to do everything it is supposed to do well. It’s appropriately stiff and feels solid, the suspension works well over a wide range of situations, and the pedaling and braking performance is good also. Performance-wise, it seems to be in the same ballpark as the other good trail bikes of similar travel I’ve ridden.

But I think this EX will be a slow burn. A bike I enjoy more and more as I spend additional time on it. I have no science to back that feeling up, just a gut sensation based on years and years of testing bikes. I have experienced other bikes sneak up on me and become a favorite after being lukewarm about them at first. And I do love how much Trek built into this bike: There’s a ton going on with it when you dig into the details, and much of it will help riders dial in the bike better for their conditions and preferences. In the long run, this should make the new EX easier with which to live.

Sometimes it’s the quiet ones that are the most special.

Headshot of Matt Phillips

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling , Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race. 

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  • Fuel EX 5 Deore Gen 5

Trek Fuel EX 5 Deore Gen 5

Trek Fuel EX 5 Deore Gen 5

Fuel EX 5 is the gateway to full suspension trail bikes. Trail-taming front and rear suspension, a Shimano 1x12 drivetrain, a dropper post for getting low on descents, and hydraulic disc brakes make Fuel EX 5 a high-value, high-performance mountain bike with exceptional versatility. It's right for you if… You're ready to go full suspension, and you want a versatile trail bike at a great value. You want a ride that's sure-footed, capable, and responsive so you can stay in control no matter where you're riding. The tech you get A lightweight aluminum frame with a Knock Block steerer stop to protect against spinning bars. A 140mm RockShox Recon Silver fork, 130mm of rear travel with an X-Fusion Pro 2 shock, a durable 12-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, dropper post, and hydraulic disc brakes. The final word You get full suspension performance without the sticker shock. Fuel EX 5 has the same frame technology as our higher-end alloy Fuel EX models with parts chosen to keep the price tag low and stoke level high. Why you'll love it: - You get a high-end ride at an exceptional value with frame features like Boost148 and ABP that give you confident handling and room to upgrade parts as your skills grow - It has the capability of far more expensive trail bikes: it shreds singletrack and can even handle the occasional XC or enduro race - The dropper post lets you lower your saddle on the fly so it's out of the way on descents - The RockShox fork's DebonAir spring can easily be adjusted for a specific rider weight, and it's lighter than a coil spring - We expanded our size range to ensure a better fit for all riders. And, you get the fastest wheel that fits your frame: XS frames get 27.5" wheels, S frames get to choose between 27.5" or 29", and sizes M to XL get 29" wheels

Geometry (27.5-inch Wheel Size)


Geometry (29-inch Wheel Size)


Will my bike have a curved top tube?

trek fuel ex black

Smaller frames (XS and S) have a top tube that dips down as it approaches the seat tube. This design makes for a lower standover height, which is good for shorter riders because it allows them to straddle their bike more easily. Larger frames (M and up) have a straight top tube because taller riders with longer legs typically don’t have the same issues with standover height.

Due to supply-chain issues, Specs are subject to change without notice.

* Subject to change without notice.

Part Numbers

Trek Fuel EX 5 Deore Gen 5 Color: Lithium Grey/Marigold

Trek Fuel EX 8 review – still one of the best trail MTBs?

Trek’s alloy fuel ex trail mountain bike lacks the latest features but is the overall package still a winner.

Trek Fuel EX 8

BikePerfect Verdict

Heavy frame that misses the latest features but still a great package for fast and precise all round mountain biking

Tight, precise frame

Sorted all round handling

Very efficient suspension feel

Durable Shimano kit

Excellent sizing options

Heavy frame

No internal storage

Press fit bottom bracket

Top Fuel is more playful

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We'll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

Trek’s Fuel EX has been one of the best mountain bikes in the world for years, but the alloy-framed 8 is lacking some of the features the latest alloy and carbon Treks. High-durability component spec matches the vibe of a really well-balanced bike. One that plans ahead, hands its homework in early (having double checked it) and rarely puts a wheel wrong or goads you into being silly yourself. So how has Trek done that and is there a better option in the range if you want something short on travel but big on fun?

Design and aesthetics

Trek has been using a rocker link-driven, vertical shock suspension design on its bikes for so long that “Looks like a Trek Session” is a cliche on most MTB forums. No surprise then that the Fuel EX continues the clean looks which leave plenty of room for a big bottle on the down tube and strap-on storage. You don’t get the internal storage of the newer Top Fuel alloy frame though and this older frame still uses a press-fit bottom bracket rather than reverting to a more reliable threaded  format. There are ISCG chain keeper tabs on the BB though, a wider-angle Knock Block steering limiter to stop bars hitting the frame in a crash and rear axle concentric ABP rear suspension pivot. Cunning zip tie tabbed ‘Control Freak’ internal cable routing and rubber frame armor including molded chainstay sleeves keep things quiet. 

You also get the 0.5-degree geometry change ‘Mino Link’ flip chip at the seat stay/rocker pivot. That changes head angle from 65.5- to 65-degrees and effective seat angle from 75.5- to 75-degrees on the Large I tested. Reach also shifts from 475 to 470mm and BB height drops from 346 to 340mm. The big win with choosing a Trek though is the sheer range of sizes from XXS to XXL including a sweet spot ML in the centre. Smaller bikes also run 27.5in wheels for proportional balance, too, although the chainstays are the same length on all frame sizes. The Fuel EX 8 is also available in three different two-tone color options.


Trek acknowledges that the ‘priority is on the parts’ with the EX 8 and the highlight is an almost complete Shimano XT drivetrain (the chain is SLX). The Fox Float shock is a custom unit, too, using a Penske race car derived RE:aktiv damper setup for a pert-pedaling feel on top of the 130mm travel. The 140mm Fox 34 fork is the stock Rhythm spec though and the Shimano brakes are basic four-piston MT400s. Bontrager’s functional Line component range completes the bike in well-judged, size-specific cockpit options although dropper post strokes are short on the larger sizes. Big volume versions of Bontrager’s XR5 and XR4 tires on Bontrager Line Comp 30mm internal rims put plenty of air between bike and trail for protection, too.


While the EX8 isn’t light at just under 15kg (a full kilo heavier than Trek claims) it’s in the ballpark for a mid-travel, alloy-framed bike at this price. What really stands out is how well it hides that weight when it comes to pedaling. The big tires don’t drag nearly as much as they look like they might, while the RE:aktiv shock and overall kinematic give it a really clean, crisp and stable platform to put down power from. That means even with three potential low-compression settings to play with, we rarely felt compelled to flick it out of full open unless we were hoofing uphill out of the saddle. Add the clean shifting, top-quality Shimano XT drivetrain and the Fuel EX is a great choice for high-mileage rides and riders. The fast-engaging ‘Rapid Drive’ freehub and relatively high ground clearance are a bonus for anyone who likes to kick hard out of corners or attack rough technical climbs, too. The efficient suspension feel still gives enough sensitivity to track the ground under power and you can drop pressures in the big tires if you’re into a proper ‘crawler/swamper’ feel. 

The 140mm fork/130mm rear travel feels well balanced on the trail and the Grip damper Fox Rhythm repeatedly proved why its our favorite cost-effective fork. Trek’s suspension calculator is accurate enough to get most people sorted on set-up for most situations. The angles and proportions of the model we tested were confident at speed on jumps but still turned in promptly on woodland twisters. Even the basic Shimano brakes feel better than normal through the neutral suspension responses created by the ABP pivot and the 200mm rotor up front boosts power, too.

While you could speed up reactions with a shorter stem, the stock setup probably suits its overall character better. That’s because while it will pop and play off trailside opportunities if you’re in the mood, it does tend to sit on top of an already relatively high ride height rather than sucking down onto the trail and railing. Interestingly that’s a big - and counter intuitive - difference to the Top Fuel 8. With slightly steeper angles, less travel, significantly different suspension kinematic and top-spec RockShox rear shock, Trek’s pocket rocket has an addictively playful charisma that’s very much at odds with it’s ‘XC’ categorization. 

In fact, despite it being heavier we’d probably opt for the Fuel EX for long marathon-style or efficiency-based events, especially as it’s significantly cheaper than its little brother, leaving you more cash for race entries and energy products. Just make sure you keep an eye on the press-fit bottom bracket and get it replaced as soon as it shows any signs of wobble/creak as that can eventually creates frame issues.

Trek’s Fuel range might be a bit backwards when it comes to assigning categories based on travel but the main thing is that the Fuel EX is still a really efficient, enjoyable and fitness/skill flattering all rounder. While it misses out on the internal storage, threaded BB and super-plush playfulness of the Top Fuel, Shimano XT will always bring a lot of hard riding boys (and girls) to the yard. Those are exactly the riders who’ll appreciate just how well this extremely well balanced bike covers ground and keeps a fresh and sharp feel long into the day, and down tough technical sections, too. 

Tech Specs: Trek Fuel EX 8 XT

  • Price: $3,929.99 / £3,200
  • Discipline: Trail
  • Head angle: 66/66.5-degrees
  • Frame material: Trek Alpha Platinum Aluminum
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, M/L, L (tested) XL, XXL
  • Weight: 14.9kg
  • Wheel size: 29 x 2.3in
  • Suspension (front/rear): Fox Rhythm 34, Float EVOL 140mm travel, 44mm offset/Fox Performance Float EVOL, 3-position RE:aktiv 130mm travel
  • Components: Shimano XT 10-51T, 12-speed gearing, shifter, chainset and cassette. Shimano SLX chain. Shimano MT400 brakes with 200/180mm rotors. Bontrager XR4 Team Issue 29 x 2.6in front and Bontrager XR5 Team Issue 29 x 2.5in rear tires on Bontrager Line Comp 30 wheels. Bontrager Line 780 x 35mm bar and 50 x 35 mm stem, Bontrager Line Dropper 150mm dropper post, Bontrager Arvada saddle

Guy Kesteven

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect 's since we launched in 2019. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Forbidden Druid V2, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg

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Field Test: Trek Fuel EX - Evolution Underlined

Trek Fuel EX photo by Satchel Cronk

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Trek Fuel EX 5 29

  • AUS $ NZD $ USD $ CAD $ GBP £ EUR €

Colour / Firebrand

Size / 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5, 23"

At a glance

Where to buy.

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  • Frame Alpha Platinum Aluminum, ABP, Full Floater, EVO link, E2 tapered head tube, down tube guard, PF 89.5, G2 Geometry, 120mm travel
  • Wheels Bontrager alloy 15mm front hub, Formula alloy rear hub, Bontrager AT-650 rims
  • Wheel Size 29"
  • Tires Bontrager XR3, 29x2.30" front, 29x2.20" rear
  • Crank Race Face Ride, 36/22
  • Front Derailleur SRAM X5, high direct mount
  • Rear Derailleur SRAM GX
  • Shifters SRAM X5, 10 speed
  • Brakeset Shimano M355 hydraulic disc
  • Handlebar Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 15mm rise
  • Saddle Bontrager Evoke 1.5
  • Seatpost Bontrager SSR, 2-bolt head, 31.6mm, 12mm offset
  • Stem Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, 7 degree, Blendr compatible
  • Headset FSA IS-2, E2, sealed alloy cartridge

Q: What size wheels does the 2016 Trek Fuel EX 5 29 have?

The 2016 Trek Fuel EX 5 29 has 29" wheels.

Q: What size 2016 Trek Fuel EX 5 29 should I get?

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Ural A320 at Omsk and enroute on Sep 12th 2023, hydraulic failure, ran out of fuel, forced landing in a field

Incident facts.

Date of incident Sep 12, 2023

Classification Accident

Airline Ural Airlines

Flight number U6-1383

Departure Sochi, Russia

Destination Omsk, Russia

Aircraft Registration RA-73805

Aircraft Type Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator A320

Aircraft Registration Data

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  • Airframe Data

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  • Fuel EX 8 Gen 5
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Omsk carbon group, our history.

10 000 tons

Start capacity of the plant

Omsk Carbon Black Plant Launched

Omsk Carbon Black Plant was launched on April 27, 1944. The large industial facilities were built in a record-breaking time in an empty steppe far away from residential areas. The plant was constructed «from the wheels». Prefabricated units, received by rail, were immediately delivered to the construction site. Much of the equipment was made and mounted on-site using own resources. The production capacity of the plant was 10 thousand mt per year. For 8 months of its operation, the plant produced 695 tons of lamp black.

of products produced over the year

Production Development

The plant produced active and semi-active grades of carbon black. In the period from 1944 to 1945, the production output increased 6 times! The blacks of Omsk Plant were used for the needs of the front in the production of tires of military and civil equipment.

40 000 tons

Plant capacity after redesign

Production Capacity of Omsk Carbon Black Plant Increased

Until the 1970s, carbon black was produced by the lamp method, which is one of the oldest. The quality of blacks produced in that way did not fully meet the requirements of the tire industry. Following substantial funds allocation by the government, the plant was redesigned for a more up-to-date furnance method. The capacity of the plant rose to 40 thousand tons per year.

the first export grade to Japan

Exports Began

The plant was the first in the industry to master the production of N-grade carbon black in accordance with ASTM standards and began exports shippment of N220 to Japan for Bridgestone.

were accepted between 1998 and 2000

Cooperation with Major Overseas Campanies Began

From 1998 to 2000 the plant achieved the required quality of N234, N299, N339, N347, N550, N650 and N660 and obtained their acceptance by major overseas companies

the power of the first own turbogenerator

Transition to Own Power Supply Made

The plant supply itself with electric power almost completely by utilizing tail gas. By 2004, the power of mini cogeneration plant increased from 6 MW to 18 MW.

the year when Volgograd Carbon Black Plant was launched

Volgograd Carbon Black Plant Acquired

During the construction of the Volgograd Carbon Black Plant, many of the problems existing at other carbon black facilities at the time were solved. Thus, for the first time in the USSR, carbon black production was in line with sanitary standards. By the late 1980s, the Volgograd plant`s nominal production capacity reached 200,000 mt per year. The plant was the largest in the country.

Product Range Development

The company started the production of a special series of high-purity grades intended for the use in critical items with regard to safety.

Extanding Geographic Reach

In order to improve the quality of customer service and ensure just-in-time deliveries, since 2012 the company has been implementing a program to established its own logistics and distribution centers. To date, representative offices have been opened up in Canada, Romania, Turkey and Germany.

Own Series of Special Grades Created

Efforts by the Research and Development Center of Carbon Materials, established jointly with the Institute of Hydrocarbons Processing in 2012, resulted in the development of a production technology for new grades of carbon black with specific, non-standard properties - a series of special OMCARB grades

Construction of Omsk Carbon Black Plant Commenced

On July 29, 2014, a time capsule was buried in the city of Mogilev (Republic of Belarus) marking the beginning of construction of a carbon black plant by Omsk Carbon Group.

Volgograd Carbon Black Plant Upgraded

Since the early 2000s, Omsk Carbon Group has been gradually implementing programs aimed at upgrading and putting new facilities into operation. Having the capacity 40 000 mt of material per year the 4th production line of Volgograd branch was commissioned in the middle of 2016

Company Structure

Omsk plant produces more than 250 thousand tonnes of high quality carbon black annually. The major part of the products is exported to worldwide renowned producers of tires and industrial rubber products.

The Volgograd plant is one of the fastest growing carbon black facilities in the European region.

Worldwide Locations


  1. Trek Fuel EX 8 XT 29er Mountain Bike 2018 Black

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  2. Trek Fuel Ex 8 XT Mountain Bike 2020 Matt Dinister/Gloss Black

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  3. Trek Fuel EX 8 Plus 2018 18.5 Zoll

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  4. Trek Fuel EX 5 Deore Mountain Bike 2021 Dark Aquatic/Trek Black

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  5. Trek Fuel EX 7 NX 2020 Mountain Bike Matte Dnister Black/Sunburst

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  6. Trek Fuel EX 7 matte dnister black/sunburst online bei

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  1. Fuel EX 5 Gen 5

    Reviews It's right for you if... You're ready to go full suspension, and you want a versatile trail bike at a great value. You want a ride that's sure-footed, capable, and responsive so you can stay in control no matter where you're riding. The tech you get A sturdy aluminum frame with a Knock Block steerer stop to protect against spinning bars.

  2. Fuel EX 7 Gen 6

    $3,199.99 $3,699.99 Model 5271995 Retailer prices may vary. Fuel EX 7 is a do-anything trail machine evolved to eat up singletrack. Upgraded 150mm front and 140mm rear suspension smooth out rough and technical descents, while a lightweight aluminum frame keeps things lively on the climbs.

  3. Fuel EX

    24 Sort by Featured NEW Compare Select a color Fuel EX 9.8 GX AXS T-Type Gen 6 $6,999.99 New lower price Compare Select a color Fuel EX 9.9 XX1 AXS Gen 6 $9,749.99 $10,749.99 New lower price Compare Select a color Fuel EX 9.9 XTR Gen 6 $8,749.99 - $9,549.99 $9,549.99 - $9,749.99

  4. 2022 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Reviews Geometry Rider Notes 2022 Trek Fuel EX 5 A 27.5″ / 29″ aluminum frame full suspension trail bike with upper mid-range components. Compare the full range View on Learn about Trek Report data problem Add to Comparison Where to Buy Similar Bikes For This Bike Accessories Top Comparison View more similar bikes → Insights Ride Feel

  5. Trek Fuel EX 2023 Review

    There are a number of different models available in the Trek Fuel EX 2023 lineup, though availability will vary depending on where you are in the world. In Australia, prices currently range from $4,999 AUD for the Fuel EX 7, and go up to $8,999 AUD for the Fuel EX 9.8 XT model. The cheapest option is actually the Fuel EX 5, though that model ...

  6. First Ride Report: The New Trek Fuel EX Review

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  7. Trek Fuel EX 5 Review

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  8. Trek Fuel EX Review

    Price: $2,700 to $10,750. As tested $10,750 (EX 9.9 XX1 AXS) Weight: 30.2 lb. to 35.2 lb. (claimed. 31.2 lb. as tested (EX 9.9 XX1 AXS, size medium) More Info View Gallery I knew this bike was...

  9. Trek Fuel EX 5 Deore Gen 5

    Details Fuel EX 5 is the gateway to full suspension trail bikes. Trail-taming front and rear suspension, a Shimano 1x12 drivetrain, a dropper post for getting low on descents, and hydraulic disc brakes make Fuel EX 5 a high-value, high-performance mountain bike with exceptional versatility. It's right for you if…

  10. Fuel EX

    "Fuel EX is a masterpiece" Fuel EX is a highly adaptable bike that feels comfortable in a really wide variety of terrain, but doesn't confuse itself for anything more or less. Bike riders, rejoice. - The Loam Wolf Ready for anything Fuel EX's geometry feels ready for just about anything.

  11. Trek Fuel EX 8 review

    published 9 May 2022 (Image: © GuyKesTV) BikePerfect Verdict Heavy frame that misses the latest features but still a great package for fast and precise all round mountain biking Pros + Tight, precise frame + Sorted all round handling + Very efficient suspension feel + Durable Shimano kit + Excellent sizing options Cons - Heavy frame -

  12. Field Test: Trek Fuel EX

    There are nine 2023 Fuel EX models that start at $2,699.99 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 ...

  13. Trek Fuel EX Bikes for sale

    Get the best deals on Trek Fuel EX Bikes when you shop the largest online selection at Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices. ... 2022 Trek Fuel Ex 5 Brand new, black, size large. $2,500.00. or Best Offer. $247.40 shipping. 5d 15h. Trek Fuel EX 7 29" Wheels Full Suspension Mountain Bike ...

  14. 2018 Trek Fuel EX 8 29

    The 2018 Trek Fuel EX 8 29 is an Trail Aluminium / Alloy mountain bike. It sports 29" wheels, is priced at $3,200 USD, comes in a range of sizes, including 15.5 in., 17.5 in., 18.5 in., 19.5 in., 21.5 in., 23 in., has Fox suspension and a SRAM drivetrain. The bike is part of Trek 's Fuel-Ex range of mountain bikes.

  15. 2016 Trek Fuel EX 5 29

    Colour / Firebrand Size / 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5, 23" At a glance The 2016 Trek Fuel EX 5 29 is an Trail Aluminium / Alloy mountain bike. It sports 29" wheels, comes in a range of sizes, including 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5, 23" and a SRAM drivetrain. The bike is part of Trek 's Fuel-Ex range of mountain bikes. Where To Buy Trek

  16. Fuel EX 7 Gen 5

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  17. Ural Airlines Flight 1383

    165. Ural Airlines Flight 1383 was a scheduled flight from Sochi/Adler to Omsk in Russia. On 12 September 2023, the Airbus A320-214 operating the flight and carrying 159 passengers and 6 crew made an emergency landing in a field. Everyone on board survived and no injuries were reported.

  18. Ural A320 at Omsk and enroute on Sep 12th 2023, hydraulic failure, ran

    A Ural Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration RA-73805 performing flight U6-1383 from Sochi to Omsk (Russia) with 161 passengers and 6 crew, was on final approach to Omsk's runway 07 (length 2500 meters/8200 feet) when the crew initiated a go around from about 600 meters MSL (2000 feet MSL) due to a hydraulics failure at 07:41L (01:41Z).

  19. Russian-carbon-black-maker-plans-base-in-U.S.

    The Russian carbon black producer said it expected full operation by early 2016. However, the location of the base is yet to be finalized. The business will organize all services, such as shipping, storing, transloading and delivery, through its facility to final customers in the U.S., said Mike Halinski, North American director of Omsk Carbon ...

  20. Fuel EX 8 Gen 5

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  21. Company Structure

    About. Omsk Carbon Group manufactures carbon black in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, sells the products on the domestic and foreign markets and makes considerable contributions into competitive growth of the Russian economy. The company aims towards intensive growth based on the expansion of its product-line and the ...