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2016 Trek Fuel Ex 5 for newbie?

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Copple said: I know these questions get LBS has a good deal on their 2016 Ex5 for $1600. After trying a few options I really like the full suspension bikes. It's not the end all bike, but sounds like the frame is solid if I want to upgrade components in the future and true fully I don't know how much I can really distinguish between the components that are stock on the Ex 5 vs higher end options at this point. So doing my best not to continually over analyze here - seems like a great place to start and run it hard for a few years until I really learn more and can appreciate a nicer bike. thoughts? I still plan on looking at the Specialized offerings next week, not sure how competitive they'll be with the deal on the Ex 5 though. thanks! Click to expand...
Perky5 said: I'm in the same situation: I have a Trek Lexa SC road bike that I bought this August and do endurance riding only, mostly on roads but we have a variety of rail to trail paths. I am having some hip problems and I'm thinking that a bike with full suspension would help this. I am looking at the women's Trek Fuel EX 5 (2017; I wanted the 2016 but cannot find in my size (14)). I usually do 50+ miles once a week; the Fuel bikes have been touted as good for both true MB as well as trail riding (that my road bike doesn't handle as well) on towpaths (that I really like). The comparator bike was the Cannondale Bad habit. Anyone out there with similar issues? Click to expand...


Natural environment Plant Trail Bicycle Forest

Perky5 said: Your 50+ ride sounds awesome! I live near some rails to trails paths, and not far from the Delaware river towpath. Some places these trails are packed and easy to ride a road bike on; others it is very gravely or some sharp stones are protruding and my back feels every bump (picture of not-so-groomed area of Delaware towpath). The RTT by me is super in the well-conditioned areas, but they are continually extending the path and adding massive amounts of fine gravel: my road tires want to slide out underneath me, or I feel like I am riding in quicksand! I was fitted at the LBS when I bought the bike in August; my rides have become increasingly longer (Up to 90 miles so far). I definitely like doing the distance but I don't know if my body can handle these bumps (I start feeling it in my lower back after @ 25 miles). Speed is not important but I do like to get a good workout. Any suggestions on brands and models are appreciated; I'd like to keep it in the $2000 range (or less if possible)! Thanks! Click to expand...

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  • Fuel EX 5 Gen 5

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"A world-class trail bike"

"Fuel EX is a beautifully balanced and capable trail bike. The rear suspension is beautiful; as close to ideal as any bike I've ridden. It's sensitive where you want it to be, firm and crisp where it should be. It feels deep and controls big hits very well, and there's a nice platform for pedaling, and to pump and pop off when you're playing."

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"Good at pleasing everybody"

"Fuel EX has a few tricks that help it keep a level head when outside of its comfort zone, and to be a cloud on rails when it's in the zone. Everything about the Fuel EX, which was already good at pleasing everybody, is now even better at it."

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"An absolute trail rocket"

"Thanks to its burlier components, increased travel, and more aggressive geometry, it has become more of a shredder than ever! More performance, fun, and trail prowess."

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"Perfect all-arounder"

"In a world where most new full-suspension mountain bikes are amazing, Fuel EX stands apart as even more than that."

More options

Fuel ex-compatible accessories.

Whether you're busting berms, ripping rock gardens, or surfing singletrack — here are the accessories and gear you need to make sure your Fuel EX is always ready to send.

Which generation is right for you?

Choose from the lighter 130/140mm Fuel EX Gen 5 with better parts for the price or the more robust 140/150mm Fuel EX Gen 6 with more adjustability.

Get faster on the trail in a week

When it comes to being a better trail rider, practice makes perfect. Get seven tips from Pinkbike’s Christina Chappetta that will have you setting PR's and riding with more confidence in no time.

How to pack for any trail ride

Everything you need (and nothing you don’t).

Golden Heaven: Nothing but good vibes

Follow along as Casey Brown and Kirsten Van Horne let 'er rip from Golden to Kamloops on the new Fuel EX.

BIKE CHECK: The Fuel EX's of ‘Parallel II’

Take a closer look at Brandon Semenuk and Kade Edwards' inverted rides.

Product features

Will my bike have a curved top tube.

Smaller frames (XS and S) have a top tube that dips down as it approaches the seat tube. This design makes for a lower standover height, which is good for shorter riders because it allows them to straddle their bike more easily. Larger frames (M and up) have a straight top tube because taller riders with longer legs typically don’t have the same issues with standover height.

Active Braking Pivot

Active Braking Pivot allows our engineers to tune how the suspension reacts to acceleration and braking forces independently. That means you get more confident control when you need it most.

Straight Shot w/Knock Block

Trek's Straight Shot frame design optimizes the stiffness-to-weight ratio for a more responsive ride. You'll be able to push harder and stay more planted on your line when the going gets rough.

Shimano Deore

Shimano Deore brings even more adventure with a wider range of gear choices for the steep stuff, the fast stuff, and the fun. With smooth riding, improved chain stability, and sharp shifting, Deore heightens your mountain biking confidence and control so you can focus on the trail and enjoy the ride.

You almost forgot your pedals

This bike doesn’t come with pedals because you'll have a better ride if you choose your own. Explore the pedal guide to find the best pedals for your riding style. Reach for flat pedals for simple versatility or go for clipless MTB pedals if you want control & efficiency.

Trail-ready gear

Deck out your Fuel EX Gen 6 with our favorite compatible accessories

Suspension Calculator

This suspension calculator will help you optimize your suspension settings for your riding weight. Simply follow the steps to find your best set up.

Mino Link adjustable geometry

Fine tune head tube angle by 1/2° and BB height by up to 10mm with the simple turn of a nut. Just flip the link to choose between slack or slacker geometry, without negatively affecting suspension performance. A Trek exclusive.

Alpha Platinum Aluminum

Our premium lightweight aluminum is continuously cold extruded and butted at multiple points, and hydroformed into sophisticated tube shapes for maximum strength and minimum weight.

Control Freak Cable Management

The lightest, quietest, most versatile cable management system allows any combination of shift, brake, lockout, and dropper post lines to be routed through the frame for clean looks and the ultimate custom setup.


Wider dropouts (110mm front, 148mm rear) give you the stiffness of a 27.5" wheel with all the benefits of a 29" wheel, and Boost148 in the rear lets you run wider tires and a larger chainring without affecting q-factor and pedaling efficiency.

Trek Fuel EX 2023 Review | A bigger, musclier & hugely adaptable trail bike

The not-so-minor details.

2023 Trek Fuel EX

$4,999 AUD - $8,999 AUD

- Sturdy, flex-free chassis - Superb geometry with adjustable head angle - Efficient & comfortable climbing performance - Coil shock, big fork & mullet compatibility - Mechanic-friendly frame furnishings - Internal storage

- Frame is on the heavy side - Rear shock tune lacks small-bump suppleness - Rattly rear thru-axle lever

Wil reviews the Trek Fuel EX 2023

Having undergone a ground-up redesign for 2023, the Trek Fuel EX has entered its burliest and biggest travel form yet. This latest model represents the 6th generation of Trek’s popular mid-travel trail bike, with the original having debuted all the way back in 2005. Trail riding has evolved a lot since then, and the new Fuel EX aims to keep up with that evolution by incorporating almost every mod-con you can think of.

Of course it’s big news whenever Trek releases a new Fuel EX, and given how important this bike is for the US brand, we were curious to see how the raft of updates would play out on the trail. We had a bit of an idea, having thoroughly enjoyed riding the electrified Trek Fuel EXe over the past few months. Would the muscle-powered version deliver the same good vibes? And how would it compare to the previous models that have given us so many fond riding memories over the years? We’ve been putting the Trek Fuel EX 2023 to the test to find out!

Watch our video review of the Trek Fuel EX 2023:

trek fuel ex 2023

Along with the downtube storage, generous frame armour and size-specific chainstays, the Fuel EX appears to pack in almost everything you could possibly want in a modern trail bike.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

An overview of the Trek Fuel EX 2023

For 2023, the Trek Fuel EX is built around an entirely new frame that’s produced in carbon and alloy variants. Suspension travel has increased by 10mm at both ends, with the new Fuel EX now sporting a 150mm fork and 140mm of rear travel via the ABP four-bar suspension design.

It’s worth noting that the frame will handle a 160mm travel fork, and thanks to the two-position Mino Link, it can also be run as a mullet. Borrowed from the Session downhill bike, there’s a two-position flip chip at the lower shock mount that offers linear and progressive settings. The latter option is what makes the new Fuel EX coil shock compatible.

On top of that, Trek will be offering aftermarket headset cups to steepen or slacken the head angle by a degree. Along with the downtube storage, generous frame armour and size-specific chainstays, the Fuel EX appears to pack in almost everything you could possibly want in a modern trail bike. It’s certainly an appealing package on paper, and one that’s ready to take on contemporaries like the Specialized Stumpjumper , Merida One-Forty , Canyon Spectral and Giant Trance X .

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Trek Fuel EX price & specs

There are a number of different models available in the Trek Fuel EX 2023 lineup, though availability will vary depending on where you are in the world.

In Australia, prices currently range from $4,999 AUD for the Fuel EX 7, and go up to $8,999 AUD for the Fuel EX 9.8 XT model. The cheapest option is actually the Fuel EX 5, though that model carries over the previous generation frame. For a closer look at the specs, prices and all the new details, check out our Trek Fuel EX 2023 overview article for more.

Here we’ll be diving into our experience of testing the Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XX1 AXS model, which will be available in Australia in limited quantities through the custom Project One bike builder. It’s a media bike that was provided to us by Trek, and of course it comes dripping with lots of gold, carbon and wireless bits. However, as usual with our reviews, we won’t be going into detail about the Gucci-level spec. Instead, we’ll be concentrating on the important aspects that are shared throughout the Fuel EX lineup; the frame design, suspension performance and its on-trail handling.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

2023 Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XX1 AXS

  • Frame |  OCLV Mountain Carbon Fibre, ABP Suspension Design, 140mm Travel
  • Fork |  Fox 36, Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 44mm Offset, 150mm Travel
  • Shock |  Fox Float X, Factory Series, 185x55mm
  • Wheels |  Bontrager Line Pro 30, OCLV Carbon Rims, 29mm Inner Width
  • Tyres |  Bontrager SE5 Team Issue 2.5in Front & Rear
  • Drivetrain |  SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS1×12 w/30T Crankset & 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes |  SRAM Code RSC 4-Piston
  • Bar |  Bontrager RSL Integrated, OCLV Carbon, 27.5mm Rise, 820mm Width
  • Stem |  Bontrager RSL Integrated, OCLV Carbon, 45mm Length
  • Seatpost |  RockShox Reverb AXS, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 100mm (S), 150mm (M-M/L), 170mm (L), 200mm (XL)
  • Saddle |  Bontrager Arvada, Austentite Rails
  • Confirmed Weight | 14.4kg
  • RRP |  $TBC

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

The chassis feels near-bombproof, and combined with the supportive suspension, powerful brakes and high volume rubber, you’re served up plenty of confidence for pushing the front wheel into steep chutes and over technical A-lines.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Trek Fuel EX size & geometry

From X-Small through to XX-Large, the Trek Fuel EX is produced in no fewer than seven different sizes. Seven! Given that many brands only offer four or sometimes even just three frame sizes, that’s impressive.

The two smallest sizes feature 27.5in wheels, while the Medium and above come standard with 29in wheels. The Small is the only option that is available in either wheelsize.

At 175cm tall I’ve been riding a Medium, which features a 450mm reach. Thanks to the use of short seat tubes, a rider of my height could easily upsize to the M/L size to get a longer 470mm reach. Personally, I’ve found the fit of the Medium to be spot-on.

As for geometry, the Fuel EX features a 64.5° head angle and approximately a 77.5° effective seat tube angle in its stock configuration. The rear centre length varies between sizes, going up to 450mm on the largest frame. On the Medium I’ve been riding, the rear centre is a compact 435mm.

Coming off the Fuel EXe, I found it easy to settle into the Fuel EX. The only modification I needed to perform was to chop the comically wide handlebars from 820mm down to a more reasonable 780mm.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Suspension & tyre setup

Getting the Fuel EX set up is made easy thanks to Trek’s detailed online suspension calculator . Input the bike model and your riding weight, and out spits suggested air pressure and rebound settings for both the fork and shock. It even suggests tyre pressures, giving you a good place to start before hitting the trail. When brands like Canyon struggle to provide any recommendations at all, Trek should be commended for helping riders to get the most out of their bike.

For my 68kg riding weight, Trek suggests setting up the Fox 36 fork slightly softer and slower than usual. Recommended rear shock sag is 29%, and the calculator’s suggestion of 158psi got me to exactly that figure. Initially I set the rebound at 6/15 clicks as recommended, but while everything felt quite balanced front to back, the suspension was a little sluggish and duller than I wanted. Speeding up the rebound by a couple of clicks in both the fork and shock helped to make the whole bike feel a bit more lively, while improving small-bump reactivity.

Although the Bontrager SE5 tyres feature reinforced Core Strength casings, I still fitted a CushCore Pro insert to provide some additional pinch-flat protection and insurance for the carbon rims. Tyre pressures were set as per Trek’s recommendations with 20psi in the front and 22psi in the rear.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Trek Fuel EX weight

Confirmed weight for our Trek Fuel EX test bike is 14.4kg. That’s with the tyres set up tubeless, but without the CushCore insert or pedals.

It’s on the heavier side for a high-end carbon trail bike, though the 2.5in tyres, stocky carbon wheels and AXS components aren’t exactly the lightest going. Of course weights do vary throughout the Fuel EX lineup depending on the spec, and you can see the weights for all the different models in our range overview .

A contributing factor to the overall weight is the new frame, which has gained almost 700g over its predecessor. Trek claims the carbon frame weighs 3.4kg with the rear shock, making it a bit of a porker alongside some of the competition;

  • Scott Genius HMX Carbon: 2,249g
  • Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon: 2,280g
  • Giant Trance X Advanced Pro 29: 2,498g
  • Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Carbon: 2,750g
  • Canyon Spectral CF: 3,047g
  • Trek Fuel EX Carbon: 3,400g

The new alloy Fuel EX frame is heavier again, coming in at a hefty 4.6kg with shock.

Of course weight isn’t everything, and it’s unsurprising that the new frame has gotten heavier given how much longer and slacker it is. Still, for those who are especially concerned by grams, there are certainly lighter options on the market.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

What do we dig about the Trek Fuel EX 2023?

With its added heft and updated geometry, the Trek Fuel EX 2023 is no doubt the burliest iteration yet. The chassis feels near-bombproof, and combined with the supportive suspension, powerful brakes and high volume rubber, you’re served up plenty of confidence for pushing the front wheel into steep chutes and over technical A-lines.

Indeed it’s massively capable for a 140mm travel bike, with the slack 64.5° head angle and roomy wheelbase giving it a purposeful stance on the trail. The geometry is superb, with welcome updates that have brought the Fuel EX right up to speed.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

The steeper seat angle is particularly noticeable over the old bike, providing a much improved seated position on steep climbs. Pedalling efficiency has also levelled up. Trek has lifted the main pivot above the chainring to increase anti-squat, which helps to reduce pedal-induced bobbing. The Float X shock has a two-position climb switch, but I never once needed to use it while riding off-road since the rear end is so well behaved.

It rips through the turns

Once up to speed on flower singletrack, the taut chassis means the Trek Fuel EX is highly responsive when rounding corners and pushing into berms.

With its boxy downtube, split top tube and the supporting strut for the lower shock mount, the front triangle is heavily braced to resist torsional flex. Along with the wide main pivot and boxy one-piece chainstays, the Fuel EX possesses a strong spine from its shapely head tube to the rear thru-axle. The muscly frame effectively translates handling inputs while resisting lateral deflection through the turns.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Likewise, the short rear end and generous 38mm BB drop are fantastic when threading your way through twisty sections of trail, keeping you connected to the terrain and contributing to the playful ride quality. The low-hanging BB did mean I caught the pedals occasionally, so those who frequent off-piste terrain and technical climbs will want to consider flipping the Mino Link into the High position to indulge in an extra 7mm of pedal clearance.

Otherwise the riding position and weight distribution are totally sorted. The handling is approachable, and the Fuel EX doesn’t demand a whole lot from you as the rider. Compared to the old bike it does need a more concerted lean when entering tighter corners, though this is a part of the natural evolution of modern trail bike geometry. Even if you’re coming off a 5-year old bike, you’ll only need a few rides to get accustomed to the Fuel EX’s steering behaviour.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs


In addition to the Mino Link, we’ve also been experimenting with the lower shock flip chip on the Trek Fuel EX. Requiring just a single 6mm hex key, it’s a quick adjustment to make trailside, and the change in suspension behaviour is noticeable.

I ended up preferring the ‘Less’ setting, which provides a more linear leverage rate. With the shock set at the recommended sag, this position provides great pedalling support, along with more comfort and activity deeper into the stroke. There’s still a good deal of progression though. Combined with the large bottom-out bumper in the Float X shock, hitting full travel proved to be a well-controlled affair.

One of our fellow testers, who generally spends more time in the air than on the ground, preferred riding in the ‘More’ setting. This increases progression, providing a stronger ramp-up in the latter half of the travel. He also reduced the shock pressure by 5psi to further enhance small-bump compliance, while still being able to enjoy the additional big-hit support. Pedal efficiency isn’t as stable in this setting, but it does mean the Fuel EX takes to jumps like a duck to water, popping off lips enthusiastically and absorbing hard landings with a solid and flex-free touchdown.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

One thing to note on the More/Less flip chip is that while you are altering the progression of the air spring, you’re also affecting the damper too. As well as adjusting air pressure, we found we needed to tweak the rebound and low-speed compression settings between the two positions. It is indeed a useful tuning tool, but it doesn’t dispel the need for air volume spacers entirely.

What does it struggle with?

With the Trek Fuel EX adopting a beefier frame, the added weight is noticeable compared to lighter bikes in this category. That’s compounded by the heavy-duty brakes, stocky wheels and chunky tyres, which mean there’s more inertia to overcome during micro-accelerations on an undulating climb.

For those who are looking for a sharper and sprightlier trail bike to whip through the trees along smoother singletrack, the latest Trek Top Fuel will be a better fit. In comparison, the new Fuel EX is a burlier beast that thrives on steeper and more technical terrain.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Curiously, it does feel stiffer than the electrified version, the Fuel EXe . Despite both our test bikes featuring carbon frames with a near-identical build kit, I’ve found the Fuel EX to transmit more trail feedback.

Some of this may be due to structural differences, and perhaps the more favourable sprung-to-unsprung mass ratio on the electric version thanks to the added weight of the motor and and battery. Either way, the Fuel EX doesn’t exactly exude off-camber compliance. As a lighter rider on very rocky terrain, I’ve found myself getting knocked around a little more than I would like.

This sensation reminded me of the Canyon Spectral 125 , which proved to be overly stiff and quite uncomfortable at slower riding speeds. The Fuel EX is more compliant overall than the Spectral 125, but it’s still pretty stiff.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

It’s not as supple as Fuel EX models gone by

Contributing to this sensation, the suspension isn’t as plush as previous Fuel EX models, particularly those that featured the Thru Shaft shock. Those bikes did require the rider to make use of the compression lever to provide pedalling support, but it meant that in the open mode the rear end absorbed the terrain like melted butter.

You may have noticed that Trek has been making a conscious move away from proprietary suspension components lately, and that’s coincided with building bikes that offer more neutral pedalling performance. The increased anti-squat is one part of the equation on the new Fuel EX, and the other part is the custom-tuned Float X, which Trek has configured with a digressive compression tune on the main piston. This creates a decent low-speed threshold, which provides a level of support that sits between the Open and Medium settings on the previous RE:aktiv damper.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

The result is that you can ride with the shock fully open, and the Fuel EX still offers great stability under pedalling inputs, with no real need to activate the climb switch. If you detest remote lockouts and having to flip shock levers all the time, this will certainly be appealing.

The downside is that the suspension isn’t as supple over smaller rubble and at slower speeds. Along with the stiff chassis and carbon wheels, more of those vibrations are transmitted to the rider. As such, careful consideration with tyre pressure is needed to maximise grip and comfort.

Because there is more support however, the Fuel EX gives your feet a stronger platform to push off of, with greater feedback during high-load scenarios. Indeed the harder and faster you push, the better the Fuel EX responds. In that sense, it’s less of a comfy cruiser like its predecessors, and more of a mid-travel bruiser that loves to ride hard and fast.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Component highs & lows

As a complete bike, the Trek Fuel EX is a solid package that puts the emphasis on capability over light weight.

The Bontrager SE5 tyres are a good example, coming in at 1,100g each on our workshop scales. They roll reasonably well given their weight and size, and we’ve found them to provide consistent grip on rocky, hard-packed soil, which will suit most Aussie trail riders. The tread is a little shallow though, and the compound isn’t the softest, which sees them struggling to latch on when the conditions are wet and loose. We’d prefer something a little stickier and toothier up front, like a Maxxis Minion DHR II with 3C MaxxGrip rubber.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

While the carbon Bontrager Line Pro rims are quite stiff, they have proven to be plenty tough. We’ve tested five of these wheelsets across various bikes over the past few years and we’ve not encountered a single issue. The y also come with a two-year crash replacement guarantee, which is great insurance given the hell that you can put this bike through. Furthermore, the frame itself comes with a lifetime warranty for the original owner.

There’s still plenty of real-world protection though, including a generous two-piece armour plate that bolts to the underside of the downtube. There’s also a metal chain-suck guard behind the chainring, and a full-coverage chainstay protector. Along with the fully guided internal cable routing, the Fuel EX is an impressively quiet and rattle-free bike on the trail. Well, except for the rear thru-axle lever, which I removed after the first ride.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Otherwise the finishing details are all sound. The adoption of a bigger 34.9mm seat tube diameter is welcome, as it accommodates a stiffer and stronger dropper post, particularly for the larger sizes. Mechanics will be happy to see a threaded BB shell, and we’re fans of the downtube storage. The trap door has none of the play that we encountered on the last Fuel EX we tested, with a tight fit and a nice lever action.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

It’s certainly a high quality chassis, and many riders are likely to appreciate the in-built versatility. We’re looking forward to trying out the adjustable head angle once the aftermarket cups become available, and we’d also be keen to try out the Fuel EX with a coil shock. Setting it up as a mullet will be more straightforward, especially as you only need to buy an air spring to extend the Fox 36 up to 160mm of travel.

Trek Fuel EX vs Specialized Stumpjumper

Alongside the Trek Fuel EX, the Specialized Stumpjumper is one of the most popular and well-known trail bikes in this category. In terms of travel and the overall build, the Fuel EX sits right in between the regular Stumpjumper and the Stumpjumper EVO. However, it’s the regular Stumpy that I’ve been spending the most time on lately, both in its stock configuration and with a burlier mullet setup .

trek fuel ex vs specialized stumpjumper

Compared to the Fuel EX, the Stumpjumper has a touch less travel with a 140mm fork and 130mm at the rear. It also uses a simpler suspension layout, with the carbon models employing a flex-stay design. Combined with its slimmer tube profiles, the carbon Stumpjumper frame is very light. Specialized claims it weighs just 2.28kg including the shock, which is over a kilo lighter than a carbon Fuel EX.

This theme extends to the Stumpjumper’s build kit, with Specialized electing for the skinnier Fox 34 over the 36. Along with an in-line shock, lighter brakes, wheels and tyres, there’s a considerable difference in the overall bike weight. For example, the Stumpjumper Pro we tested weighed 12.84kg.

While the geometry is pretty similar between the two bikes, the Specialized Stumpjumper rides much lighter on the trail compared to the Trek Fuel EX. It offers more comfort, with its lithe chassis and smooth suspension performance providing better compliance over rough terrain. It’s quite sporty and sprightly, though its active suspension design does need taming on the climbs by making use of the rear shock’s compression lever.

2022 specialized stumpjumper comp carbon

In comparison, the Fuel EX is more naturally efficient. It’s also more planted at speed, with its sturdy chassis and supportive suspension providing better big-hit capability. It feels more like a short travel enduro bike, which will suit heavier and harder riders.

Both bikes will handle a longer fork and can be set up as a mullet, though Specialized makes a specific link for the Stumpjumper to maintain the stock geometry. There is greater versatility in the Fuel EX chassis, with the option to adjust the head angle and fit a coil shock.

As for value, the Fuel EX offers a more appealing spec package. A Stumpjumper Expert sells for $9,800 AUD and comes with a Fox 34 GRIP2 fork, SRAM G2 brakes, an X01 drivetrain, alloy wheels and handlebars. In comparison, an equivalent Fuel EX 9.8 XT sells for $800 AUD less. It gets a simpler GRIP damper for its Fox 36 fork, though it does feature a piggyback shock, a Shimano XT groupset, a carbon one-piece RSL cockpit and carbon wheels with that 2-year crash replacement guarantee.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

Flow’s Verdict

For many trail riders, the Trek Fuel EX 2023 is likely to tick just about every box on your new bike wish list. It’s as up to date as it gets, featuring loads of adjustability, internal storage and a nuanced approach to its size-specific geometry. Along with the increased travel and muscly frame, it offers greater stability and big-hit control over its predecessor, while still being a fun and involving bike to ride on modern flow trails.

It is a bit of a chonker though, so those who are looking for a lightweight and speedy trail bike may be better served by the latest Top Fuel .

The stiff chassis and supportive suspension also mean the Fuel EX tends to transmit more feedback, making it less comfortable to ride over rocky terrain. We’d be curious to try out a lighter shock tune to see how much of a difference that would make to the overall ride quality, but in its stock form the Fuel EX isn’t as plush as competitors like the Giant Trance X and Specialized Stumpjumper .

It is impressively efficient though, and the stable suspension gives you a load of support when you’re really giving it the beans on the descents. In this sense, the Fuel EX is closer in feel and performance to an enduro bike. You’ll still want to look towards the Slash if you’re serious about racing, but outside of the tape the Fuel EX will handle just about everything a modern trail centre or bikepark could throw at it. And for those who really want to up the limits, the adaptable chassis can easily be configured for some pretty aggressive riding.

Indeed for those who are chasing maximum capability without going to a big, spongy enduro bike, the Fuel EX is a mighty appealing option.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

You’ll still want to look towards the Slash if you’re serious about racing, but outside of the tape the Fuel EX will handle just about everything a modern trail centre or bikepark could throw at it.

2023 trek fuel ex 9.9 xx1 axs

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Je steiler der Winkel des Sitzrohrs ist, desto effizienter können Sie in die Pedale treten.

  • Frame Fuel EX Alu
  • Frame Material Aluminium
  • Fork RockShox Recon Silver, Solo Air spring, Motion Control damper, lockout, tapered steerer, 42mm offset, Boost110, Maxle Stealth, 140mm travel
  • Spring Unit air
  • Remote-Lockout yes
  • Damper Size: XS, S, X-Fusion Pro 2, 2-position damper, 210mm x 52.5mm; Size: S, M, ML, L, XL, X-Fusion Pro 2, 2-position damper, 210mm x 55mm
  • Gearrange 510%
  • Drivetrain 1x12
  • Gear Lever Shimano Deore M6100, 12 speed
  • Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore M6100, long cage
  • Crank Size: XS, S, M, ML, L, Shimano MT511, 30T steel ring, 52mm chainline, 170mm length; Size: M, ML, L, XL, Shimano MT511, 30T steel ring, 52mm chainline, 175mm length
  • Cassette Shimano Deore M6100, 10-51, 12 speed
  • Chain Shimano Deore M6100, 12 speed
  • Brake Set Shimano hydraulic disc, MT201 lever, MT200 caliper
  • Brake Rotors 180/180
  • Rims Alex MD35, tubeless compatible, 32-hole, 35mm width, presta valve
  • Front Hub Bontrager alloy, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru axle
  • Rear Hub Size: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, alloy axle, 6-bolt, Shimano MicroSpline freehub, Boost148, 12mm thru axle; Size: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, 6-bolt, Shimano MicroSpline freehub, Boost148, 12mm thru axl
  • Tires Front Size: XS, S, Bontrager XR4 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 27.5x2.60''; Size: S, M, ML, L, XL, Bontrager XR4 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 29x2.60''
  • Tires Rear Size: XS, S, Bontrager XR4 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 27.5x2.60''; Size: S, M, ML, L, XL, Bontrager XR4 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 29x2.60''
  • Saddle Bontrager Arvada, steel rails, 138mm width
  • Seat Post Size: XS, S, TranzX JD-YSP18, 100mm travel, internal routing, 31.6mm, 361mm length; Size: M, ML, L, XL, TranzX JD-YSP18, 130mm travel, internal routing, 31.6mm, 425mm length
  • Stem Bontrager Rhythm Comp, 31.8mm, Knock Block, 0 degree, 50mm length
  • Handle Bar Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 15mm rise, 750mm width
  • Handle Bar Width 750
  • Head Set Knock Block Integrated, 58-degree radius, cartridge bearing, 1-1/8'' top, 1.5'' bottom


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trek ex 5 review

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trek ex 5 review

  • Rider Notes

2023 · Trek Fuel EX 5 Gen 5

2023 Trek Fuel EX 5 Gen 5

A 27.5″ / 29″ aluminum frame full suspension trail bike with upper mid-range components.

One of 99 Spokes Top 5 Affordable Trail Bikes

Fuel EX 5 Gen 5

In Stock: XS, SM, MD, MD/LG, LG, & XL

For This Bike

View more similar bikes →

Based on frame geometry and build specs. Learn more →

A bike with lower gearing will be easier to ride up steep hills, while a higher top end means it will pedal faster down hills. Learn more

used for climbing

Similar Bikes

used for descending and sprinting

Add custom gearing

Based on build material and quality level of the frame, fork, wheelset, groupset, suspension system, and more.  Learn more →


Jun 2023 · Tom Marvin

A solid performer with a class-leading chassis, let down by a harsh front end

Great frame, with perfect handling and suspension feel

Adjustable geometry and sizing options mean a bike fit for all

Happy on any level of trail

Cockpit harshness

Mediocre tyres

Poor brakes

Read Review

Revolution Mountain Bike Magazine

Jun 2023 · Scotty Prendergast

Arguably one of the all-time most popular bike models of any MTB on the planet, the ‘Fuel Ex’ has been at the peak of Trek’s MTB line-up for as long as anyone can remember and it has had no fewer than six major design overhauls during that time. Late last year Trek unveiled their newest reinvention of the ‘do it all trail bike’ which rolls out of the store boasting a ton of rider customisation features, including a choice of […]


Apr 2023 · Mike Kazimer

Kazimer's bike is set up with mixed wheels, a 160mm fork, and a coil shock.

Loam Wolf

Apr 2023 · Drew Rohde

While the new Trek Fuel EX may have alienated a few riders, it will no doubt be a welcome redesign for a lot more riders!

Fast, confident and ready to rock!

More capable than ever

Great downtube storage solution

Adjustable and versatile geometry options

Med/Large size

Bar/Stem combo

SE5 Tires in the wet

Some may not like the newer, burlier bike’s transition

Flow Mountain Bike

All-new for 2023, the Trek Fuel EX is no doubt the burliest yet. How does it compare to the competition? Read on for our Trek Fuel EX review.

Sturdy, flex-free chassis

Superb geometry with adjustable head angle

Efficient & comfortable climbing performance

Coil shock, big fork & mullet compatibility

Mechanic-friendly frame furnishings

Internal storage

Frame is on the heavy side

Rear shock tune lacks small-bump suppleness

Rattly rear thru-axle lever


New geometry, more travel, and even better suspension improves Trek's mid-weight trail bike.


Trek's top-tier Fuel EX 9.9 XX1 AXS delights on the climbs and tackles downhill terrain with it's slack (and very adjustable) geometry.

Enduro Mountainbike Magazine

Sep 2022 · Simon Kohler

With countless geometry settings and many sizes to choose from, the new 2023 Trek Fuel EX trail bike is supposed to be more versatile and customisable than ever.

99 Spokes on YouTube


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  1. 2021 Trek Fuel EX 5 Full Suspension Mountain Bike Review and Weight

  2. Amazing Review for 2023 Trek Fuel ex 5 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

  3. THE 2023 TREK FUEL EX 5 IS HERE!!!

  4. 2022 Trek Fuel EX 5 Test Ride

  5. So Much Nicer!

  6. Evolution Underlined: Trek Fuel EX Review


  1. Where Do You Find the Value of Star Trek Collectibles?

    The best way to accurately find the current value of your Star Trek memorabilia is to do some research online and join chat forums in order to see the prices for similar collectors’ items.

  2. Does an Ex Officio Member Have a Vote?

    Ex officio members of boards and committees have the same rights and privileges as do all other members of those boards or committees. With two exceptions, this includes the right to vote.

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    Ex-spouses of military service members are not automatically entitled to continued military benefits; however, if the ex-spouse is eligible, commissary, exchange and medical benefits are available.

  4. Trek Fuel EX 5 Review

    The Fuel EX 5 isn't the hardest charging or the fastest climber, but anyone just getting into the sport or on a tight budget will find little

  5. 2023 TREK FUEL EX 5 GEN 5

    Fuel EX 5 is a full-suspension trail bike that's ready to handle it all. With trail-taming 140mm front and 130mm rear suspension

  6. Amazing Review for 2023 Trek Fuel ex 5 Full Suspension Mountain

    The 2023 Trek Fuel EX 5 is a full-suspension mountain and trail bike that's ready to handle it all. With trail-taming 140mm front and 130mm

  7. What's wrong with Trek Fuel Ex 5? : r/MTB

    The EX 5 has bad breaks and a bad shock. If you're lightweight, you won't feel it too much and you can use these for forever. Plus everything is

  8. 2016 Trek Fuel Ex 5 for newbie?

    Yep. It's a solid bike, IMO. IIRC, it doesn't have Boost spacing or the Mino Link of higher level aluminum frames, but that's a relatively minor

  9. Fuel EX 5 Gen 5

    "Fuel EX is a beautifully balanced and capable trail bike. The rear suspension is beautiful; as close to ideal as any bike I've ridden. It's sensitive where you

  10. Trek Fuel EX 2023 Review

    In comparison, the Fuel EX is more naturally efficient. It's also more planted at speed, with its sturdy chassis and supportive suspension

  11. Trek Fuel EX 5

    It climbs well, is fast downhill and feel very stable. With Trek owning Bontrager, this bike comes pretty well equipped out of the box with many Bontrager

  12. Trek Fuel EX 5 2022 Review

    The moderate 66 degree head tube angle ensures a balanced handling. The combination of a long top tube and low stack value will make you sit sporty on the Trek

  13. Trek Fuel EX5 review

    Superb chassis that deserves parts upgrades.

  14. 2023 Trek Fuel EX 5 Gen 5

    Great frame, with perfect handling and suspension feel · Adjustable geometry and sizing options mean a bike fit for all · Happy on any level of trail.