I’ve been pondering the question of which bike is the perfect all-rounder for UK riding of late. The Orange Five has tickled my fancy with its outright speed and stability, while the new Specialized Epic offered commanding speed over various terrain. Is what I’m after actually a 120mm full-susser with 26in wheels? Freshly arriving in the office today is this offering for the title from Trek, the Fuel EX.
Its 120mm of travel is about all the suspension most people actually need for riding UK trails, and its delivered in smooth and consistent fashion thanks to Trek’s smart Full Floater setup. Comprising a one piece magnesium rocker linkage and ABP convert bolt-thru rear axle, it’s a stiff frame. A lot of the stuff seen on the Remedy has trickled down to the Fuel. There’s the same DRCV technology on front and rear shocks, and the frame, both for the carbon and aluminium offerings, is lighter. More importantly than the weight loss is that they’ve taken to the geometry with the slackening tool. The Fuel EX now sports a 68 degree head angle.
What else do you need to know about the Fuel EX 8? It’s fitted with a Fox32 Float RL fork, with a tapered steerer tube and 15mm bolt-thru axle. Bontrager Rhythm Comp TLR disc wheels, Bontrager XR4 2.2in tyres, Shimano SLX shifters, brakes and front mech partner Deore XT triple cranks and rear mech. Bars, saddle, stem and post are all Bontrager branded parts.
So we’ll be heading to Wales to give EX 8 a proper test, blasting it around some of the roughest and rockiest trails we can find. We’ll also be aiming to crank out some big mileage as well so we’ll find out if its light enough and pedals well enough to cope with proper all day mountain biking. And we’ll be judging it closely as we’ll be taking a 29er along for a bit of comparison.
The Fuel EX 8 costs £2300.00.