The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 is a full suspension mountain bike which lets riders come into their own, allowing you to mould the bike to suit your own capabilities and style.
Since this bike sits at the top of its range you can expect appropriate levels of performance and price that are befitting of its status.
This is the kind of trail machine that professional riders will choose, so it requires a certain degree of skill before its full potential can be revealed. However, since it is a good all-rounder that can tackle every aspect of off-road riding with aplomb, it should find a way to please most riders, regardless of their experience levels.
The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 has an OCLV Mountain Carbon mainframe, with the seastay and chainstay also built from this particular type of high end carbon material. This means that it is lighter and stronger than any of its stable mates, which on a bike designed for competing is an important fact to bear in mind.
The frame is protected from the worst of the damage that can be accumulated while out on the trail thanks to Carbon Armour, so nothing will compromise its integrity.
The front fork is the Fox 32 Float FIT RLC which has 120mm of custom tuned travel delivered as smoothly as possible for a progressive, flexible ride which will be able to suit a variety of situations. The shock comes with a Kashima coating which is only applied to the very best components in the business, allowing it to operate on a sustained basis without wearing out or becoming a problem any earlier than is absolutely necessary.
The Fox Float RP-3 rear shock also has this coating, along with a boost valve and three position travel setting. You can pick between Climb mode, which tightens up the frame and makes it easier to ascent, standard Ride mode for good performance on the flat, or Descend, which lets you access all of the full float travel so that the big hits delivered by diving downhill are not going to put you out of joint.
This kind of bike needs a strong wheelset, so the Trek Fuel EX 9.9 is kitted out with DT Swiss XM 1550 Tricon hubs, tubeless rims and Bontrager XR4 Team tyres. These roll quickly and effectively across most surfaces, allowing you to stay on the right path thanks to the grip they generate while still allowing you to accelerate and take impacts as they come.
The lightness of the frame is complemented thanks to the low weight of the SRAM XX drivetrain components. This means that shifting is not only smooth, but the gear that lets you progress so effectively is not going to be weighing you down over the course of marathon events or short sprints.
The Bontrager Race X Lite Carbon Low Riser handlebar is found onboard the Trek Fuel EX 9.9, alongside the Race XXX Lite seatpost from the same firm and its Evoke 4 saddle mounted on titanium rails. Avid XX hydraulic disc brakes complete the package suitably, since they make a minimal impact upon the scales and still allow you to stop and manipulate the bike’s speed with excellent analogue subtlety.
The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 is a full suspension mountain bike which clearly has the kind of capabilities that will make it a championship winner. It just needs the right kind of rider to actually bring this into focus so that it is not a wasted opportunity.