Trek Fuel EX 9.9 Mountain Bike

Trek Fuel EX 9.9 Mountain Bike Review

The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 is a well respected mountain bike design for trail riding that has previously garnered annual awards for its excellence. Of course with prior success under its belt, the new version for 2011 needs to improve on something that is already very good. Against the odds it seems that Trek has managed to do just that, tweaking and tuning the bike until it is worthy of a re-launch, although upping the price in the process.

The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 is a little lighter than its predecessor and while the weight improvements may not always be noticeable, you will feel the difference in the climbs. The carbon frame and components help to bring the weight down without reducing the snappiness of the handling or the solidity of the construction, so although it will feel feather light, you will not be shy about chucking it into corners and riding it hard down loose surfaces.

Trek Fuel EX 9.9 Specifications

The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 addresses concerns about the nature of carbon frames by adding extra layers of protection to help limit the damage caused by the rocks and stones which are inevitably flung about on trails as you make progress. To counteract these types of impact, you get a Carbon Armour pad that sits along the down tube, adding a tiny amount of weight but compensating for this by absorbing impacts and spreading the force across its surface, rather than directly into a single point on the carbon frame.

The full suspension setup provide 120mm of travel, but in tests it has shown that it actually has a lot more to give, so you will rarely push it to its limits. The Fox shocks at the front and rear have been modified by Trek’s engineers and this has provided the bike with a very stiff feel that will help you claw your way up Alpine slopes and then encourage you to ride harder and faster as you go down the other side.

Bontrager tyres are featured on DT Swiss rims and both come from the higher echelons of their respective product ranges. The same rings true for the SRAM XX gears and the Avid XX hydraulic disc brakes. Although this is undoubtedly a high performance bike, it is possible to think of the improvements on the Trek Fuel EX 9.9 as going above and beyond what is expected, even at this level.

The Trek Fuel EX 9.9 is styled aggressively to suit its capabilities. With a black and red frame and hints of red detailing visible on the saddle and rims, it looks every inch the kind of bike which can dominate a track. Despite its performance it is actually quite a comfortable bike, making it more rider-friendly over long distances than true racers and giving you a better platform for success than cheaper full-sus bikes that lack its pedigree and longer travel. The price may be something of an obstacle, but with yet another year of improvements made, it is justified.

Model: Trek Fuel EX 9.9
4 / 5 stars
*****