In “Parallel II”, Kade Edwards and Brandon Semenuk show what the new Trek Fuel EX is capable of, pulling off mental tricks and collecting more air miles than Tom Stuker. However, the latest iteration of Trek’s evergreen should also deliver on long rides, rolling into 2023 with more travel and an updated, fully adjustable geometry. Here’s all the info!
Not long ago, Trek unveiled the brand-new Fuel EXe lightE-MTB (to our review), giving us a taste of what the new Fuel EX might look like. And indeed, at first glance it’s almost impossible to tell the two bikes apart. The updated version of the analogue Fuel EX, which retails between € 3,699 and € 12,999, generates more travel than its predecessor, combining 150/140 mm travel, at the front and rear respectively – just like its electric brother! The weight varies from 13,7 kg to 16 kg, depending on the model and spec variant. Moreover, the latest descendant of the Fuel dynasty drifts into the new season with a revised geometry and countless adjustability options, allowing you to adapt the bike to your anatomy and riding style. In view of all this, the new Trek Fuel EX should be a true all-rounder that delivers tons of fun on all kinds of trails.
The Trek Fuel EX 2023 in detail
Not only does the new Trek Fuel EX look a lot like its motorized counterpart, but also shares many of its frame features. All cables are routed internally and run inside the frame through internal sleeves, making it easier to set up and service the cables. In typical Trek fashion, the Fuel EX employs their proprietary ABP (Active Braking Pivot) rear suspension system, which is essentially a linkage-driven single pivot with a concentric dropout pivot at the rear axle. Both on the swingarm and downtube, generously sized TPU protectors ensure a quiet ride and shield the frame from impacts.
A small mudguard above the main pivot prevents mud and debris from accumulating in the gap. Although it’s nothing new to Trek bikes, the new Fuel EX also features a storage compartment in the down tube.
Specs and builds of the Trek Fuel EX 2023
The new Trek Fuel EX 2023 is available both as an alloy and a carbon version. The three cheapest models use an alloy frame, whereby the entry-level EX 5 model still relies on last year’s frame. All other models rely on the new carbon frame and bear the number 9.x in their name. All variants with the new frame come equipped with FOX suspension, except for the Fuel EX 7 that has a RockShox fork. For the drivetrain and brakes, Trek rely on both Shimano and SRAM depending on the model.
The geometry of the Trek Fuel EX 2023
The new Trek Fuel EX is available in eight sizes, XS to XXL. Hold on… That’s six! Not with Trek. The American bike manufacturer also offers an intermediate ML size, which is aimed at those riders who sit on the fence between the most common M and L sizes. On top of that, the size S is available with both 27.5″ and 29” wheels. The smallest XS size relies exclusively on small 27,5” wheels while all sizes from M upwards rely on big 29″ wheels. The chainstays grow with the frame size, providing consistent handling across all sizes. Once you’ve found your size, you can adjust the geometry of the Fuel EX to suit your anatomy and riding style. This can be done in three ways. First off, Trek’s proprietary Mino-Link flip chip in the seat stays allows you to change the bottom bracket height by 8 mm and steering angle by 0.5°. Moreover, special headset cups allow you to alter the steering angle by 1° without changing bottom bracket height! Finally, a second flip chip in the lower shock mount changes the progression of the rear suspension, which doesn’t alter the geometry of the bike but has a great influence on its handling. Trek have also thought about mullet fans, allowing you to run a mixed wheel setup in the high geometry setting, provided you use a 160 mm fork.
Geometry of the Trek Fuel EX with neutral headset in low position
|Size||XS||S 27.5||S 29||M||ML||L||XL||XXL|
|Top tube||516 mm||551 mm||554 mm||584 mm||607 mm||627 mm||662 mm||697 mm|
|Seat tube||360 mm||380 mm||380 mm||410 mm||420 mm||435 mm||470 mm||500 mm|
|Head tube||95 mm||95 mm||95 mm||100 mm||100 mm||105 mm||120 mm||135 mm|
|BB Drop||25 mm||25 mm||38 mm||38 mm||38 mm||38 mm||38 mm||38 mm|
|Chainstay||435 mm||435 mm||435 mm||435 mm||440 mm||440 mm||445 mm||450 mm|
|Wheelbase||1145 mm||1174 mm||1185 mm||1213 mm||1233 mm||1250 mm||1287 mm||1323 mm|
|Reach||400 mm||430 mm||425 mm||450 mm||470 mm||485 mm||515 mm||545 mm|
|Stack||574 mm||574 mm||612 mm||617 mm||617 mm||621 mm||634 mm||648 mm|
The Fuel EX has been an integral part of Trek’s portfolio for well over ten years. The latest iteration of Trek’s trail evergreen was designed to be more versatile, to offer more individual adjustment options and, above all, to be more fun than ever! Both on paper and in purely visual terms, the new Fuel EX makes an excellent impression and the flexible geometry concept looks very promising too. We can’t wait to test the new Trek Fuel EX to see how it fares on the trail.
For more info visit trekbikes.com
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Trek