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|Travel||130mm rear, 140mm front|
|Fork||Fox Rhythm Float 34|
|Wheels||27.5″ / 29″|
|Drivetrain||1 × 12|
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1 × 12 — 12 speed
Fuel EX 8
The Fuel EX 8 is easier to ride up hills than similar bikes.
The Fuel EX 8 is geared about the same as similar bikes for riding downhill.
Based on build material and quality level of the frame, fork, wheelset, groupset, suspension system, and more. Learn more
The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 is an absolute classic in the trail bike segment. Could it also be the perfect bike for the next bikepacking adventure with its modern geometry and spare parts compartment in the down tube? We put the Fuel EX to the test.
The Trek Fuel EX is the most expensive bike in this group test, yet is still awarded our Best Buy – how is that possible? Read our review to find out what makes this bike so good.
As warmer temperatures hit the Pacific Northwest and the dirt starts to dry, I’m always eager to get out on some long rides with some big climbs. Naturally, when this Trek Fuel EX 9.9 showed up at the Freehub office, I knew it was time to put the nimble beast through its paces. I challenged myself to a 60-mile sufferfest on some of Bellingham, Washington’s toughest climbs and descents. It definitely didn’t let me down. Climbing on this bike was a joy. Trek equipped the 9.9 model with its proprietary RE:aktiv shock with a three-position damper, which I left wide open for the entire ride. The rear suspension had an overwhelmingly supportive feel while pedaling out of the saddle, yet as soon as I hit a bump it dived deeper into the travel, keeping the rear wheel firmly planted and providing excellent traction. The geometry is modern and balanced, with a long reach and a sensible 76-degree seat angle. On the descents, the bike inspired confidence, thanks to its long wheelbase and bottomless-feeling suspension. My confidence was further enhanced by the reliable stopping power of the Shimano XT brakes. As a 200-pound rider, I couldn’t have appreciated the ultra-powerful XT brakes and the 203-millimeter front rotor more—especially while bombing down some of Bellingham’s scariest double-black trails.
Can it get any better than this?
A classic trail bike, with a fun and engaging ride built around a solid frame
After six months of testing, it's time to the deliver the review of our 2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 long-term test bike. Here we take a closer look at some of the other parts we've changed and the problems we've encountered, and discuss exactly what this 130mm travel trail bike does best.
The updated Trek Fuel EX now features storage in the downtube, 29er wheels, more travel and a gorgeous frame… oh and it’s rollicking fast too.
This is not what it looks like. Even though this new Fuel EX has a Fox 36, it doesn’t mean it has shed its trail-bike past for an enduro-bike future. Even
Alpha Platinum Aluminum, tapered head tube, Knock Block, Control Freak internal routing, downtube guard, ISCG 05, magnesium rocker link, Mino Link, ABP, Boost148, 130mm travel
BB Standard: BB86/BB92, press-fit
Tire Clearance: 2.6"
Fox Rhythm 34, Float EVOL air spring, GRIP damper, tapered steerer, 44mm offset, Boost110, 15mm Kabolt axle, 140mm travel
Size: XS, S, Fox Performance Float EVOL, 3-position RE:aktiv damper, tuned by Trek Suspension Lab, 210mm x 52.5mm; Size: S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Fox Performance Float EVOL, 3-position RE:aktiv damper, tuned by Trek Suspension Lab, 210mm x 55mm
Shimano MT500, 92mm, PressFit
Knock Block Integrated, 58-degree radius, cartridge bearing, 1-1/8'' top, 1.5'' bottom
Size: XS, S, Bontrager Elite, 35mm, 0 degree, 35mm length; Size: M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Bontrager Elite, 35mm, 0 degree, 45mm length
Size: XS, S, Bontrager Line, alloy, 35mm, 27.5mm rise, 750mm width; Size: M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Bontrager Line, alloy, 35mm, 27.5mm rise, 780mm width
Bontrager Arvada, hollow chromoly rails, 138mm width
Size: XS, S, Bontrager Line Dropper, 100mm travel, internal routing, 31.6mm, 345mm length; Size: M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Bontrager Line Dropper, 150mm travel, internal routing, 31.6mm, 440mm length
Bontrager XR Trail Elite, nylon lock-on
Shimano XT M8100, long cage, 51T max cog
Size: XS, S, M, ML, L, Shimano SLX M7100, 30T alloy ring, Boost (52mm chainline), 170mm length; Size: XL, XXL, Shimano SLX M7100, 30T alloy ring, Boost (52mm chainline), 175mm length
Shimano XT M8100, 12 speed
Shimano XT M8100, 10-51, 12 speed
Shimano SLX M7100, 12 speed
Size: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Shimano hydraulic disc, MT4100 lever, MT420 4-piston caliper; Size: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc, MT4100 lever, MT420 caliper
Bontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru axle
DT Swiss Champion, J-Bend, Black
Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, alloy axle, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15 mm thru axle
Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, alloy axle, 6-bolt, Shimano MicroSpline freehub, Boost148, 12 mm thru axle
Size: XS, S, Bontrager XR5 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, aramid bead, 120 tpi, 27.5x2.50''; Size: S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Bontrager XR5 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, aramid bead, 120 tpi, 29x2.50''
Size: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Shimano RT66, 6-bolt, 180mm; Size: M, ML, L, XL, XXL, Shimano RT66, 6-bolt, 203mm