Trek Fuel EX 9 Mountain Bike

Trek Fuel EX 9 Mountain Bike Review

The Trek Fuel EX 9 is a full suspension mountain bike with a plethora of top features and a price point which, compared to the range toppers in this category, is more than manageable. It will be happy on any part of a trail ride, whether you are fighting to come out on top in the first few seconds of a race, buckling down to conquer climbs or freewheeling your way down the fastest, most thrilling route on descents. This model has undergone some revisions over previous generations, with the price rising accordingly, but there is little doubt that this represents the pinnacle of Trek’s off-road achievements.

The Fox Float shock at the rear has the same dual chamber technology which has made this range so imposing. While the bike’s aluminium frame is quoted as offering 120mm of travel, it will feel like significantly more when you take it out for a field test, because it is a setup that keeps on giving. You will rarely feel like you are pushing it to its limits and even when things look like they are about to get hairy, the second chamber kicks in and there is an extra margin for error that can get you out of tricky situations.

Despite the forgiving nature of the shocks in downhill sections, the bike does not feel like it is floaty or vague when you want to accelerate across the flat or bound uphill. In fact it is quite the opposite, giving you the incentive to put distance between you and your rivals with some powerful pedalling that will not be wasted on an overly flexible frame.

The Trek Fuel EX 9 features an aluminium frame, which may be a slight disappointment as carbon is the material which adorns the more expensive models in this range. However, the frame is still very light, strong and durable, as well as able to resist the nicks and dents that can be accumulated by a carbon frame bike when taken off-road. It is equipped with Shimano Deore XT components for the gear arrangement, giving you smooth changes and a low overall weight to compliment the frame. In addition, there are Avid Elixir CR hydraulic disc brakes which enhance the reliability of the bike one notch further and will be a welcome sight for any serious rider.

Bontrager XR3 tyres are onboard and while they may lack the grip of other models, they make up for it with high capacity, shock absorbing capabilities which will come into their own when on a downhill run. The DT Swiss rims are solid enough to take a beating while still being light and suitable for this type of mountain bike.

The Trek Fuel EX 9 is part of a prestigious range of mountain bikes and in 2011 it is still as easy to recommend as in the past, with a few tweaks and improvement made to ensure that it can outpace its predecessors in the desirability stakes.

Model: Trek Fuel EX 9
4 / 5 stars
*****