Trek Fuel EX 9.7 Mountain Bike Review
The Trek Fuel EX 9.7 is not the cheapest full suspension mountain bike around, but in this range it is well worth the investment since it has high end racing pedigree, a carbon frame which is lighter and more forgiving than any of its rivals and a down tube shield to cut down on the damage which can be caused by a typical ride on a rough and ready mountain trail.
The star of the show here is the carbon frame as it gives the Trek Fuel EX 9.7 its lightest weigh-in ever. The weight it has dropped for the 2011 season is definitely noticeable once you climb aboard, even if it does not look that significant on paper. The Fox fork and shock help to take the strength and lightness of the frame and make it work well in any situation. The dual chamber shock is very generous with its travel, actually seeming to have a lot more to give even when you push it to its technical limits. It is well balanced, allowing you to transfer power through the pedals to the wheels as if it were a short travel bike, but giving you the flexibility and comfort of a longer travelling full-sus model.
Trek Fuel EX 9.7 Specifications
Because of the impressive suspension arrangement, the Trek Fuel EX 9.7 is not afraid of climbs and will help you pull away from the starting line smoothly and swiftly. It does not wallow or react to powerful riders by feeling vague or a handful during uphill sections. The Bontrager XR3 tyres are high capacity and will roll at high speeds without bogging you down, thanks to the tread being shallower than on other alternatives. Meanwhile, the DT Swiss M rims are more than capable of absorbing impacts and are also compatible with tubeless tyres should you choose to upgrade at a later date.
While Bontrager’s name crops up again and again on the spec sheet, contributing the stem, handlebars, saddle and seatpost, there are a few more big names worth mentioning in relation to the Trek Fuel EX 9.7. SRAM X series components are present for the gears setup, while the Avid Elixir R hydraulic disc brakes are also a main feature and considered to be popular choices at this price point.
The Trek Fuel EX 9.7 is styled to show the serious nature of its features. The frame, rims and chunky tyres are black, while flashes of gold and white feature on the down tube and fork, helping to add an eye-catching element to the mix.
The Trek Fuel EX 9.7 is regularly ranked amongst the best of its breed, giving you a bike which is prepared for any situation and more than capable of tackling poor conditions where other models might give you cause for concern. It is priced appropriately for its all-carbon, all-rounder approach to trail biking and ensures that comfort, confidence, durability and speed can all be achieved at the same time.