Trek Fuel EX 9
- Frame: Aluminum
- Suspension: 130mm (front) 130mm (rear)
- Tires: 29 x 2.4 inches
What we like about it: Innovative and great frame design.
What we don’t like about it: Can’t match the high damping performance of a full carbon brazed body.
If you’re looking to ride a full-suspension mountain bike, the Trek Fuel EX 9 might be a classic you have to consider.
It has the matching of mountain bikes that are not far behind today. The front fork travel has been upgraded to 130mm, which can effectively traverse steep and rugged mountain roads and stable and superior performance on gravel roads, allowing you to fully experience Trek Fuel EX.
Thanks to its innovative geometric frame, the combination of front and rear triangles, and the rear shock absorber, when you encounter a big impact, such as a large height dive, it will make your shock absorption more linear, and also Will give your 29-inch Bontrager Line Comp 30 vacuum rear wheel maximum shock support.
Below we break down the Trek Fuel EX 9’s descending and climbing capabilities, key features, components, and specs, as well as other versions of the range. If you want to see more Trek fuel versions, check out our review.
When we tested the Trek Fuel EX 9’s climbing performance, we pitched the car to high geometry. We followed the team to a section of the trail where race riders often train. If you’ve watched videos like this, you should also know that some terrains are very smooth but rough due to years of racing use.
I looked at the Trek Fuel EX 9 drivetrain, and SRAM’s 1×11 choice was the boost I needed for my sprints. Since I was with a lot of other brands of mountain bikes on the day of the test, in the process of comparing other models in the same category, we obviously found that the 29-inch tires of the Trek Fuel EX 9 are taller and more sensitive.
I think the professional Bontrager Line Comp 30 tubeless tires filled with aramid beads have a lot of grips to keep me from drifting on the smooth tracks I encountered on the way uphill, reducing the impact on my rankings, though It was a very friendly match.
Because of years of riding, my muscles are more sensitive to the bike than my brain. The Trek Fuel EX 9’s moderate height and seat angle don’t hold back on thrilling trails.
At the same time, I think the saddle of Trek’s old friend Bontrager Evoke 2 is also showing its performance capabilities. Although the position of the saddle is not as important as other components for off-road thrills, it is not an absolute feeling.
For example, for some riders with less muscle or even some skinny, a softer saddle may be more important for them.
I’m not satisfied with a single road with climbing, knowing that all off-road riders will be unable to resist the feeling of downhill. Here out of my preference for the Trek Fuel EX 9, I really recommend this bike to some beginning off-road riders.
Because of the complexity of brands and models, some riders will consider professional issues such as soft tails and hardtails. Here is nothing more than the difference in shock absorption. But if you are struggling with these professional problems, I think the Trek Fuel EX 9 can solve your choice difficulties.
Trek Fuel EX 9 is equipped with a rear suspension system that absorbs shocks to the maximum, allowing you to be very proficient on trails with obstacles.
I set the car to low geometry, and I was stressed out on the rock-filled training road downhill, but it was hard to resist the danger with the descents and the engrossed surprises.
The road was so bumpy that I didn’t lock up the rear suspension on the sprint, which was the right decision. I can hear my Fox Performance 34 Float fork and chainstay working hard and snapping, which is very reassuring.
Thanks to the Trek Fuel EX 9, the Bontrager XR3 Expert tires are very strong, and of course, the combined rims are the same brand of Bontrager Line Comp 30 aluminum. Some would argue that a full carbon brazed rim is better than an aluminum one. But you must know that although alloy rims are not as lightweight as carbon brazing, they are superior to carbon brazing in terms of repair rate, which means that it will save you a lot of trouble.
At the same time, it also exerts itself to the extreme in terms of shock absorption, so that the tire can absorb the vibration to the greatest extent in terms of the force that can crush everything. It also allows my various organs to not move in the process of rapid descent.
I think for the trail environment the Trek Fuel EX 9 really does the trick. I’m obsessed with full carbon brazed frames, and the Trek Fuel EX 9 aluminum frame is a bit of a shame at this point, but if you’re new to buying this mountain bike, maybe it’s a very nice help.
It should be known that although the carbon brazing material can absorb shock to the greatest extent, it also means that it is more delicate and easy to scratch and leave obvious scars. Many novice feedback for the adjustment of the seat tube, the outer frame of carbon brazing is very easy to cause cracks.
On the contrary, aluminum alloys are stronger, stronger, less expensive to maintain, and do not have many troubles caused by lack of professional ability.
On the exterior frame, the Trek Fuel EX 9 adopts an innovative structure, the cooperation of the front and rear triangle frames, and the combination of the SRAM X1 shock absorber, so that you can achieve the best grounding and handling during driving.
At the same time, the high-end Alpha Platinum Aluminum light alloy frame and very friendly pedals provide a non-negligible boost when you slam forward.
If you prefer rough rides, the Trek Fuel EX 9 will give you the most pleasure. As I said before, although I prefer the carbon-brazed body frame, I have to say that the aluminum alloy body is stronger, and we don’t need to worry about whether the frame can withstand it when sprinting.
Trek Fuel EX 9 is also equipped with a damper block device, which means that if you are still at high speed during the steering process, the body will still not be damaged. I think the elasticity of the alloy is better than the brittleness of the carbon braze, so although this setting is very subtle.
But I think it’s very caring and saves you a lot of trouble with follow-up maintenance. You definitely don’t want to spend time repairing after a hearty cyclocross race.
The Trek Fuel EX 9 doesn’t have many colors to choose from, but the lightning-like silvery white is my favorite. Unlike other dark colors, I feel that dark colors are more harmonious in the jungle, but they don’t have much presence. Imagine that when you ride a silver and white off-road vehicle fast through, it is very dazzling. The Trek Fuel EX 9 I enjoyed and pro-capable got the glory on the ride.
The simple feeling of the internal routing is the ability to adapt to the complex woodland terrain. For some mud from rainy weather, I think it’s easier to take care of, after all, your wife won’t let you step on a clean yard lawn with a bike full of dirt.
I’m often at risk of injury due to my high speed and safety tradeoffs, but I’ve had a different experience riding the Trek Fuel EX 9, perhaps due to the fit of the 67.7-degree head angle, Keeping the Trek Fuel EX 9 stable.
I had to be more careful as I went crazy on this rock-filled descent, but if my bike wasn’t stable enough at this point, it wouldn’t support me through the experience. I still remember a particularly large boulder during the dive, which is not uncommon, but I have to say it set a bigger challenge for our ride.
Because of the high speed, I didn’t have time to think about how to avoid it. I’m confident enough to crush smaller rocks, but I can only hope that the Trek Fuel EX 9 will have enough crushing force to face such large rocks.
I can only passively take this unusual bump, but at the same time, I was lucky to find that the Trek Fuel EX 9 has 130mm of front and rear travel, so it naturally saved me. That number means the Trek Fuel EX 9 has enough squeezing force to take it.
Components and Specifications
SRAM Guide RS Hydraulic Disc
For the braking system, I prefer hydraulic discs, which not only represent the design sense of hydraulic discs, but also more importantly, compared to mechanical discs, hydraulic discs lighten the body more.
I believe you also want your bike to be as light as a butterfly, although this is indeed a bit exaggerated, but the weight reduction of the hydraulic disc is very rare and precious when it can give you better weight reduction options.
Of course, hydraulic discs are indeed more expensive than mechanical discs, there is no doubt about this. But in terms of braking performance, I think more technological blessings are essential for you in some specific scenarios.
For example, in rainy woodland, on very slippery muddy roads, you don’t want to have any problems with braking. However, you need to be more careful with the hydraulic disc when it comes to maintenance.
SRAM X1 1×11 Drivetrain
The Trek Fuel EX 9’s 1×11 drivetrain is capable of 22 shift ranges, which means it’s fast on singletrack. When you encounter the ascending section of the forest road during a short-distance fast ride, and feel the resistance when accelerating the climb, you need the power transmission system to assist you.
This is necessary for beginners, so you can more easily immerse yourself in the fun of riding without taking a hit on your confidence.
When you encounter a gentler middle section of the trail, you can change gears smaller and the choice is completely in your hands. At the same time, don’t forget to get in touch with Trek Fuel EX 9 to learn more about its possibilities.
29×2.4 inch Tires
In the specific environment of mountain biking, the taller 29-inch tires can help you accelerate, which is very beneficial for ascents.
Of course, the riding experience is also easier. For riders who aren’t more experienced, it’s also very important to be more relaxed in your posture and to put less load on your muscles.
For a specific environment, although 2.4 inches can be controlled, if it is wider, it will be better for anti-skid performance. This inevitably drags down the speed as well.
The tubeless tires of the Bontrager XR3 Expert can absorb more shocks in shock absorption, and at the same time, they can be more worry-free in maintenance. After all, no one wants to encounter tire damage under the passion off-road, so you have to stop to change the tire. At this time, I believe that no amount of enthusiasm will be extinguished.
Coupled with the characteristics of the tubeless tire material, there are some small scratches that have the ability to heal on their own. I think the tires on the Trek Fuel EX 9 are very good.
Other Versions of Trek Fuel
When we compared the Trek Fuel EX 9 to the 2015 Trek Fuel EX 9 27.5, we easily saw two big improvements. The first is that its tire size has been upgraded from 27.5 to 29 inches, which means it is easier to ride.
It is faster in racing and more friendly to novices. It also means that you should also pay attention to the choice of size and carefully check the size chart.
The 2015 Trek Fuel EX 9 27.5 is also narrower in tire width. For some slippery surfaces, or when you’re going through smooth but steep ascents where there’s a drifting feeling, there’s a little difference in control. I would think the Trek Fuel EX 9 is superior.
The front and rear travel has also been increased accordingly, the Trek Fuel EX 9 is 130mm, and the 2015 Trek Fuel EX 9 27.5 is 120mm, which means better squeezing ability for rough impacts. At the same time, it can effectively traverse steep and rugged mountain roads and have stable and superior performance on gravel roads.
What do we like about it?
- High-performance shock-absorbing travel allows you to better traverse rough terrain.
- Tall vacuum tires make your riding easier and maintenance more convenient.
- SRAM X1 1×11 drivetrain helps you accelerate faster with more freedom of speed choice.
- Professional SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc does not burden the body with stronger braking force.
- Innovative geometry frame stretches and efficiently.
- The aluminum alloy body is more flexible and easy to maintain, making it more friendly to beginners.
What do we not like about it?
- There is no front fork equipped with carbon fiber, and the shock absorption of the front insert is not maximized.
- There are no more choices of colors, not friendly to those who like pretty colors.
- If there is a more straight seat tube, it will be more friendly to the sitting position, although it will have some obstacles to climbing.
- What is the body weight of the Trek Fuel EX 9?
The M model of the Trek Fuel EX 9 is 13.5 kg.
- What are the travel of the front and rear suspension of the Trek Fuel EX 9?
The Trek Fuel EX 9 has 130mm of front and 130mm of rear suspension travel, respectively.
- What is the Trek Fuel EX drivetrain?
The Trek Fuel EX 9 drivetrain is an SRAM X1 1×11 drivetrain.
Trek Fuel EX 9 Specs
|Frame||Alpha Platinum Aluminum, ABP, Boost148, Knock Block steerer stop, Full Floater, EVO link, E2 tapered head tube, Mino Link, Control Freak internal routing, down tube guard, PF92, ISCG 05, G2 Geometry, 130mm|
|Fork||Fox Performance 34 Float, GRIP 3-position damper, E2 tapered steerer, Boost110, G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 130mm travel|
|Rear suspension||Fox Performance Float EVOL, RE:aktiv 3-position damper, tuned by Trek Suspension Lab, 210×52.5mm|
|Wheels||Bontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, Boost110 front, Boost148 rear (tubeless strips included, valves sold separately)|
|Tires||Bontrager XR3 Expert, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 29×2.40″|
|Shifters||SRAM X1, 11 speed|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM X1, Roller Bearing Clutch|
|Crank||SRAM X1 1200, 32T Direct Mount X-Sync|
|Cassette||SRAM XG-1150, 10-42, 11 speed|
|Saddle||Bontrager Evoke 2, chromoly rails|
|Seatpost||Bontrager Drop Line 125, under-bar remote lever, 2-bolt head, 31.6mm, zero offset, internal routing|
|Handlebar||Bontrager Line, 35mm, 15mm rise, 750mm width|
|Grips||Bontrager Race Lite, lock-on|
|Stem||Bontrager Line, Knock Block, 35mm, 0 degree|
|Headset||Knock Block Integrated, cartridge bearing, sealed, 1-1/8″ top, 1.5″ bottom|
|Brakeset||SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc|
|Weight||17.5″ – 13.47 kg / 29.70 lbs|
|Weight limit||This bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 300 pounds (136 kg).|
|2023 Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 1||$3799||1×12||Shimano MT4100||29” x 2.5”||Click view|
|Cannondale Scalpel Carbon SE 2||$4050||1×12||Shimano MT501||29″×2.4″||Click view|
|Ibis Ripley AF SLX||$4299||1×12||Shimano SLX M7100||29″×2.4″||Click view|
|Yeti ARC C2||$4400||1×12||SRAM LEVEL TL||29″×2.6″||Click view|
2023 Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 1 vs Trek Fuel EX 9
Compare the performance of the 2023 Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 1. In terms of components, the 2023 Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 1 is equipped with mid-range components, while the Trek Fuel EX 9 components are at the high end of the range.
Even though the 2023 Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 1 is even higher in price. For our ride, the narrower wheels were better for trail climbs. If you’ve ever been involved in a real motocross race, you should know the bikes It’s important that the components work with the tires that matter.
Even though the 2023 Marin Rift Zone 29″ Carbon 1 has a carbon-braced body, as I said earlier, carbon braids are relatively unreliable in the wild. It is weaker than alloys, and it is not more friendly to the novice on the road. Although it has a certain effect in absorbing shock.
Learn more: Is Marin Rift Zone 27.5 1 Worth Buying? [Marin Rift Zone 1 Review]
2022 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon SE 2 vs Trek Fuel EX 9
For me, the least supportive thing about the 2022 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon SE 2 is its front and rear travel. If you’ve been riding in the wild all year round, you know how critical front and rear travel is in the face of strong impacts and rough leaps.
The Trek Fuel EX 9 has 130mm of front and rear travel, a 10mm increase over the 2022 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon SE 2. Although this is a small comparison in our opinion, don’t forget that with a full-blown industrial product, the slightest nuance can make a big difference in your ride and bike performance. So in the face of the comparison of front and rear travel, I prefer Trek Fuel EX 9.
Comparing the performance of other components, I think the reason for the price increase of the 2022 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon SE 2 is the expensive body material.
Although I have to admit that the carbon brazed body has a certain absorption force in shock absorption, but it occupies most of the price space, thus squeezing the improvement space of other components.
Learn more ：Is Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 3 A Good Bike? [2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 3 Review]
2022 Ibis Ripley AF SLX vs Trek Fuel EX 9
I took a closer look at the performance of the 2022 Ibis Ripley AF SLX and got a bit of an understanding of its design thinking on some issues. For example, the front and rear travel numbers that are often compared, the 2022 Ibis Ripley AF SLX has 130mm of front and rear travel, 120mm, which is good for its stability on descents.
But it also means that when you are riding in the rapid ascent of the woodland, you will feel that your center of gravity will be more rearward, resulting in a decrease in your speed. Imagine if you had more resistance in this more sweaty situation, I think you’d be a little sorry.
In terms of the material selection of the body, they use the same aluminum alloy material, so the weight reduction is basically the same, which makes the weakening of the rear of the 2022 Ibis Ripley AF SLX more obvious. So if you are very strict about mountain riding, I would prefer Trek Fuel EX 9.
Learn more ：Is Ibis Ripley GX Worth Buying? [2022 Ibis Ripley GX Review]
2022 Yeti ARC C2 vs Trek Fuel EX 9
In the actual riding process, we also studied the 2022 Yeti ARC C2, which is nearly $500 more expensive, and found that the 2022 Yeti ARC C2’s wider tires have more resistance than the Trek Fuel EX 9 during acceleration, so for you wanting a bigger race is a bit of a drag. I’m an absolute racer and I prefer narrower tires.
More importantly, I think the Trek Fuel EX 9 has a more thoughtful design with bumper blocks, which the 2022 Yeti ARC C2 doesn’t have.
You must know that although carbon brazing absorbs more vibrations, it is also more fragile. If you do not have this setting during the re-steering process, although it is very subtle, you will spend more attention on later maintenance.
At this point, I think you’ll love the Trek Fuel EX 9 as much as I do.
Learn more:Best Mountain Bikes Under $2000