Fuel_EX_9_9_29_Angle

Before Trek was even done launching their new race bikes with the Procaliber SL and new Top Fuel SL, Waterloo was already working on the next release. Representing one of the most popular models in the line, changes to the Fuel EX platform aren’t taken lightly. While the Fuel EX 27.5 got its day in the sun last year at this time, the 29″ version was patiently waiting its turn.

Perhaps the wait was to see how the adaptation of Boost standards played out – or more likely just waiting for Boost compatible parts to become available. Whatever the reason, the new Fuel EX 29 is here and it looks like it was worth the wait…

Fuel_EX_29_Carbon_Frameset

One of the biggest changes to the big wheeled Fuel is the inclusion of Boost 148/110 spacing (EX 8 and above). Trek was one of the first brands to push the wider hubs with the introduction of the 29″ Remedy since the design would allow for stiffer 29″ wheels and shorter chainstays. That same theory applies here, with the chainstays nearly identical to those on the 27.5″ bike and Trek’s claim of improved wheel stiffness.

Additionally, the new Fuel EX 29 also drops down the RE:aktiv suspension that was developed in conjunction with Penske for the 27.5″ bike to the EX 8. The RE:aktiv tech is combined with the new Fox EVOL air canister and tuned for the Trek Full Floater, ABP suspension system. You may notice the lack of a DRCV air canister – Trek states that the linear spring curve of the new EVOL cans closely matches the spring curve that they were trying to achieve with DRCV. Now that the same suspension performance is available without a custom shock, more models will get the RE:aktiv tech with all Fuel EX models 8 and up getting the improvement. The 29er also includes a Mino link to allow control over the suspension with two settings for a 68.8 or 69.4º head tube angle as well as slight changes to the STA and BB height. Suspension travel is set at 120mm front and rear with the exception of the Fuel EX 9 29 which is the only bike to receive a 130mm travel Fox 34 float up front.

Fuel_EX_9_29_Profile

Internal cabling has been tamed with the new Control Freak system which will allow nearly every set up you can imagine. Trek mentions that there are 54 different possibilities for cable arrangements that the EX needs to accommodate which highlights the need for a versatile system. With all of the changes to the frame the resulting weight is a bit higher – a whopping 30g. However, the stiffness is said to have jumped 11% at the bottom bracket and 14% for the entire frame. Built with clearance for some 2.4″ tires and up to a 36t single chainring, the frame also includes ISCG 05 tabs for running chainguides.

Fuel_EX_9_9_29_Profile

Fuel_EX_9_8_29_Profile Fuel_EX_8_29_Profile

Fuel_EX_7_29_Profile Fuel_EX_5_29_Profile

Shown at the bottom, the orange Fuel EX 5 29 and blue Fuel EX 7 29 both retain the same aluminum frames as the previous model and do not get the upgrades mentioned above – but they also come with prices that are easy on the wallet considering the level of bike ($2,089.99 and $2,629.99). The EX 8 (black w/silver seat stay) which is most popular model in all of the EX line up sticks with an Alpha platinum aluminum frame but gets all of the frame updates with the exception of the Control Freak cable management system for $3,049.99. The same goes for the EX 9 (green, top) which gets an upgraded 1x drivetrain over the EX 8 as well as that 130mm travel fork mentioned above. At $4,199.99 the EX 9 is a good looking bike.

Jumping into the carbon frames will all of the bells and whistles, Trek will be offering the full carbon frameset for $3,469.99. Complete builds start with the blue and orange EX 9.8 29 above which uses an aluminum chainstay and XT 2x drivetrain to keep the price at $5,569.99. At $8,799.99 you jump to the top step with the full carbon 120mm EX 9.9 with an XTR 1x drivetrain, Carbon DT Swiss wheels, and stealth dropper. Carbon Fuel EX models will also be available through Trek’s Project One program starting in August while standard bikes are available immediately.

 

Geometry fuel ex 27 29 1016

 

trekbikes.com

22 COMMENTS

  1. What BB are they using? I didn’t think that it would be possible to run a 30mm spindle (Race Face crank) on BB90. Are they finally ditching BB90 and going back to BSA?

  2. Man, bike frames are getting so expensive. Now, I have a Fuel 98, and I guess I’m way out of date with mountain bikes, but jeesh.

  3. I just assembled and road the 2016 Fuel EX9 29 yesterday.

    Evol rear shock and 34mm Fit4 fork are nice items. What I like the best is the shorter wheelbase, gives a playful feel and rides a great wheelie.

  4. @Derek
    As for the bottom bracket, Trek is using the PF standard now (PF92 for fuel ex, procal, topfuel, stache, etc.). The change helps eliminate the need to have the bearing seat remolded.

  5. I grew up on Trek bikes and really like them, but I have moved on. I can’t see having to spend $8K to get a full carbon frame rig. Or, $5K or more for a half carbon framed bike. Nice technology, but way overpriced.

  6. @ Derek
    PF92 for the carbon and new aluminum frames.
    PF89.5 for the EX 5 & 7.

    Based on the specs from Trek’s site.

  7. “Trek will be offering the full carbon frameset for $3,3469.99.”

    Which translates into “we don’t want to to sell you a frameset we want to sell you a bike, why else would we charge so much more for a product than Santa Cruz, Pivot, Ibis, etc”

  8. Really want to see what one of those re:aktiv shocks feels like on something other than a Trek. Do they sell replacement shocks?

  9. @ Chader – I meant for the price of a whole bike, not the cost of just the frame. $3500 for just a frame is excessive.

  10. One thing no one is truly grasping is the boost design does not only change the Frame, fork, and wheels but also the cranks…all to do what a 3-4mm ASYM rim already achives by stiffening the wheel build. A lot of fluff tech for no apparent reason except scraping your old bike to be only sold a new one that is not compatible with anything else
    Trek needs to actually think outside the box vs. continuing to stay within their own.

  11. Trek must have fired their top graphic designers and replaced them with school children doing watercolors. Good luck finding a kit to match with those rims!

  12. @Bryant,
    I was actually pointing out the typo error by Zach in the original article so he would fix it, which he did.

    I was not making any statement about the good or bad related to the actual frame option costs. I rarely (if ever) by a frame set, so that is of little interest to me.

    I just wanted to have accurate info listed since I noticed it.

  13. Got an Ex 9 in yesterday. Built it up and I’m impressed. The 34 fork stiffens things up front nicely and the boost rear shortening the chainstay helps the bike wheelie with greater ease. Best of all, we took the front wheel of a 29+ stache 7 and put it on the Fuel…Frickin crazy since both are running boost forks it fits fine. Too bad you can’t squeeze in the rear 29+ wheel as well. Can’t wait to take the 9 to the dirt!

  14. @rc speed
    What you are not grasping is that the cranks are not changed just the chainline, they use a chainring that is offset by an additional 3 mm. But use a normal crank with a normal q factor, youre just mad cause your bike isnt boosted we get it

  15. @Glenn : Me too ! The new remedy 29 shall be hot. I would like it with boost front, wider rims and Di2 double synchorshift.

  16. I have a Fuel Ex 9.9 project one with XX1, an absolute dream bike yes it cost an absolute packet. Thanks to the guys at Evolution Cycles Eastbound UK. The best service ever.
    Much drooling and big smiles when they brought it out for me.
    Topped out at 11Kg 24.25lbs (going tubeless saved 454g) carbon everything.DT Swiss 1200 wheel set dropper post exc. pedals.
    Rides like a dream
    Stealth on the trail no noise from XX1 even the local wildlife doesn’t hear me coming! I’m not kidding either.

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