Trail Testing – Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29

The Fuel EX has quickly become Trek’s go-to, all round trail bike.  From the classic 26-inch wheeled machines to the new re-designed 29er version, Trek has delivered time and time again.  We were recently invited by Trek out to Zeist, Holland to preview the new mountain lineup, like other journalists in attendance we all anticipated seeing the new Procaliber SL, but the unveiling of the Fuel EX with new geometry was an added bonus we couldn’t be more excited about.

While we weren’t expecting it, Trek sent us their top level build that spares no expense.  The Fuel EX 9.9 has a XTR 1×11 drivetrain, sitting on RaceFace NEXT SL cranks, with XTR Trail brakes.

DT Swiss provided their new XMC1200 carbon wheels built on 240 hubs (BOOST front and rear), with Brontrager XR3 29×2.3 tires mounted up.

A Fox 34 120 travel with Kashima coating sits up front while a Fox Float EVOL with RE:aktiv technology, with 3 settings, and Kashima coating does the work on the back end.

To tie it all in, there’s a RockShox Reverb post and Bontrager XXX Lite bars and stem.

We have spent time on the older Fuel EX 29er’s that Trek has produced and so far we have noticed the change in geometry.  The fit of the Fuel EX is comfortable, very comfortable.  It’s too soon to draw too many conclusions, but so far we have noticed how nimble and capable this bike feels on all types of terrain.  The weight is very respectable at 24 pounds (size 19.5), and gives the bike a lively feel.  Stay tuned to get full the write up and conclusions.

Frame

OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame & stays, Boost148, Carbon Armor, ABP Convert, Full Floater, E2 tapered head tube, PF92, Control Freak internal control routing, ISCG 05 mount, magnesium EVO link, Mino Link, G2 Geometry, 120mm travel

Front suspension

Fox Factory 34 Float, FIT4 3-position damper w/open adjust, E2 tapered steerer, Kashima Coat, Boost110, G2 Geometry w/51mm offset, 120mm travel

Rear suspension

Fox Factory Float EVOL, RE:aktiv 3-position damper, Kashima Coat, tuned by Trek Suspension Lab, 7.25×1.875″

Sizes

15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5, 23″

Wheels

DT Swiss XMC1200 Carbon, tubeless strips & valves, Boost110 front, Boost148 rear

Tires

Bontrager XR3 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, 120tpi, aramid bead, 29×2.30″

Shifters

Shimano XTR, 11 speed

Rear derailleur

Shimano XTR, Shadow Plus

Crank

Race Face Next SL, 32T

Cassette

Shimano XTR, 11-40, 11 speed

Chain

Shimano XTR

Saddle

Bontrager Evoke RXL, carbon rails

Seatpost

RockShox Reverb Stealth, 2-bolt head, 31.6mm, zero offset

Handlebar

Bontrager Race X Lite Carbon Low Riser, 31.8mm, 5mm rise

Stem

Bontrager XXX, OCLV Carbon, 31.8mm, 7 degree

Headset

FSA IS-2, E2, sealed alloy cartridge

Brakeset

Shimano XTR Trail hydraulic disc

Grips

Bontrager Race Lite, lock-on

The wrecking crew strives to put as many miles on each test bike before we write a full review. Watch for the full write-up on this bike in the coming pages of Mountain Bike Action.

 

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