Trek Fuel EX 8 Trail Bike Review

Trek Fuel EX 8 Review

Price

Pros​​​​

Comfortable, lightweight, price

Cons

Tires

Summary

If you’re looking for a bike that safe, durable, and easy to maneuver, you should consider looking into Trek’s Fuel Ex 8 line for a cost-effective option.

Our Rating

87/100

Manufacturer

Trek’s line of Fuel EX 8 trail bikes is designed to withstand wind, weather, and other wear-and-tear that they might throughout their lifetime.

The heavy-duty 130mm frame is made of hydroformed Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame, offering strength and stability with none of the rigidity that’s typically associated with aluminum frames.

The frame is compatible with both standard sized and plus-sized wheels and can comfortably seat adults ranging in height from 4’10.3” to 6’7.5” in height.

The Fuel EX 8 comes in four different models:

  • The Fuel EX 8 29: The most basic bike in the Fuel EX line, the 8 29 model includes Bontrager Line Comp 30 wheels and Bontrager XR4 Team Issue tires. An SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed shifter and rear derailleur give riders more control when navigating a variety of rough terrains.
  • The Fuel EX 8 29 XT: This model offers a little bit more than its bare-bones cousin, including a Shimano Deore XT M8000 11 speed shifter and both front and rear Shimano derailleurs. The 8 29 XT also boasts a top-of-the-line Shimano MT500 hydraulic disc brake set.
  • The Fuel EX 8 Women's: This model is designed specifically to work with in tandem with the unique mechanics of a woman's body. Plus-sized tires help to improve balance and traction, while a specially engineered Bontrager Evoke 2 women's saddle offers a more comfortable ride.
  • The Fuel EX 8 27.5 Plus: The 8 27.5 Plus is the most advanced bike in the Fuel EX line. It offers additional stability when riding, with Bontrager sealed bearing alloy axles that provide boost 148/110 hub spacing and robust SUNringlé Duroc 40 SL 28-hole rims. The assembly includes Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance wheels with Addix compound added for grip and longevity.

Each Fuel EX 8 bike comes equipped with exclusive suspension technology that allows it to act as both a long-distance trail bike or a high-performance XC bike.

Specially engineered Trek systems offer the most consistent possible ride, giving cyclists maximum control while enhancing safety.

The RE:aktiv suspension system improves the bike’s maneuverability, while a Full Floater setup absorbs shock and gives a comfortable ride even over rocky terrain.

Braking is also made easier by Trek’s patented Active Braking Pivot system, which prevents brakes from locking up on more strenuous trails.

Trek Fuel EX 8 Trail Bike
Trek Fuel EX 8 Trail Bike Review

Tech Specs

FRAME SIZE: 
Alpha Platinum Aluminum 130mm frame.
BRAKE TYPE:
SRAM Guide R hydraulic disc or Shimano MT500 hydraulic disc.
SHIFTER:
SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed or a Shimano Deore XT M8000 11 speed.
RIMS:
SUNringlé Duroc 40 SL 28-hole rims.
TIRES:
Bontrager XR4 Team Issue tires or Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance with Addix Compound.
PRICE RANGE:
$3,199 to $3,349

What We Like

The Fuel EX 8 is designed with both comfort and style in mind, boasting a sleek hydroformed frame that comes in black or silver, with pink highlights adding a vibrant touch to the Women’s model. We like that the elegant design forgoes many bells and whistles that too often clutter up the appearance of top-of-the-line trail bikes.

The bike’s frame is not only attractive but also lightweight and stronger than many other similar aluminum models.

Trek uses its own design of reinforced Alpha Platinum Aluminum, which doesn’t suffer from the rigidity of traditional aluminum.

An Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame not only makes the Fuel EX 8 fast, but also easy to handle and maneuver. The material is stiff enough to offer support but compliant enough that it doesn’t stress joints or muscles as you ride. A 148/110 boost also helps to strengthen and balance the frame by increasing spoke angles and creating a more stable base.

Trek Fuel EX 8 buy now

Perhaps one of our favorite features is Trek’s RE:aktiv system, which is designed to enhance the responsiveness of the Fuel EX 8. It applies Formula 1 technology to the biking world, allowing riders to accelerate efficiently and control their bikes even at high speeds. A Full Floater rear shock setup also helps to improve handling by effectively absorbing shock.

Active Braking Pivot technology is another patented Trek system that’s designed to keep riders grounded and in control of their bike. By changing the placement of the rear suspension pivot, this system prevents brakes from locking up and offers cyclists both a safer and more consistent ride.

Despite all of the unique features that the Trek EX 8 has to offer, models are still on the lower end of the price range when it comes to quality trail bikes. Using treated aluminum makes the bike cheaper than similar carbon fiber options without sacrificing durability.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast
  • Stable
  • check-circle
    Easy to handle
  • check-circle
    Relatively inexpensive

What We Don’t Like

Though the frame is made of treated aluminum, the Fuel EX 8 is significantly heavier than other aluminum models.

This not only makes it difficult to transport but can also affect acceleration. Most of the weight is found in the back of the bike, which can make it tough to handle on downhill trails.

Some riders have found that the tires included with the Fuel EX 8 don’t meet their demands when it comes to trail riding. While the wheels handle many types of terrain well, they are designed to cross rougher terrains with ease. The heavy weight and thick tread of Bontrager tires, in particular, can make it difficult for cyclists to make their way through boggy or muddy surfaces.

Cons

  • Back-heavy
  • Inappropriate tires

Buying Advice

The Trek Fuel EX 8 is made for a wide spectrum of cyclists, from the casual trail rider to the avid mountain biker.

There’s even a model for women that’s designed to give a safer, more comfortable ride.

While this bike works well for a wide variety of applications, however, the design is relatively bare-bones and may not offer additional features that more advanced cyclists typically look for in a piece of equipment.

Conclusion

No matter what you’re looking for in a bike, the Fuel EX 8 offers the very best of both trail navigation and an XC handling.

If you’re looking for a bike that safe, durable, and easy to maneuver, you should consider looking into Trek’s Fuel Ex 8 line for a cost-effective option.

This post was last updated on June 2nd, 2018 at 05:56 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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