Review | The 2019 Trek Fuel EX 9.7 is a tech-heavy trail bike that rips hard

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As part of a head-to-head review feature, Rob’s been testing two 130mm travel 29er trail bikes; the 2019 GT Sensor Expert and the 2019 Trek Fuel EX 9.7. So which one has come out on top? Read on for Rob’s review of the Trek Fuel EX.


The Fuel EX platform has been kicking around now for what seems like forever. Well, since 2005 to be precise.

What started out as a 100mm front and rear travel XC machine, the Fuel EX has slowly but surely evolved into a 130mm all-round trail ripper. Getting longer, slacker and more aggressive in that time, the Fuel EX is now available in a staggering 18 different models and specs, plus five women specific bikes.

Here, we have the 9.7 model, which sits second from top in the line up. With 29in wheels and 130mm of travel, the Fuel EX 9.7 is, on paper, a do-it-all everyday trail bike.

Trek Fuel EX 9.7
Aesthetics to please all eyes, the Fuel EX looks neat from all angles.

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2019 Trek Fuel EX 9.7 Specifications

  • Frame // OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame, alloy stays. 130mm Travel
  • Fork // Fox Rhythm 34 Float, GRIP adjustable damper, 130mm Travel
  • Shock // Fox Performance Float EVOL, RE:aktiv 3-Position Damper, 210×52.5mm
  • Wheels // Bontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, 54T Rapid Drive, Boost 110 Front & 148 Rear
  • Tyres // Bontrager XR4 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, 29×2.40˝
  • Chainset // Truvativ Descendant 6k Eagle DUB, 32T Direct Mount
  • Rear Mech // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
  • Shifter // SRAM NX Eagle, 12-Speed
  • Cassette // SRAM XG-1230 Eagle, 11-50, 12-speed
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore M6000, 180mm rotors front and rear
  • Bar // Bontrager Line 35, 15mm rise, 750mm width
  • Stem // Bontrager Line 35, Knock Block, 60mm Length
  • Grips // Bontrager XR Trail Elite
  • Seatpost // Bontrager Line, 150mm Travel
  • Saddle // Bontrager Arvada
  • Size Tested // 21.5
  • Sizes available // 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5
  • Confirmed Weight (with updated cockpit) // 13.9kg (30.8lbs)
  • RRP // £3,150.00

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Review Info

Brand:Trek Bikes
Product:Fuel EX 9.7
From:Trek, trekbikes.com
Price:£3,150
Tested:by Rob Mitchell for 3 months

Comments (3)

    Active Breaking Pivot (ABP)???? Shouldn’t that Active Braking Pivot?

    How can you say that both the bar/stem combo, and the dropper are shortcomings, and then say that the build kit is faultless? Sorry, but this is a poorly written review with too much waffle and too many inconsistencies; it is not up to the usual Singletrack standard… 🙁

    While not limited to just this review, it does seem wrong to review a bike using parts it doesn’t come with.
    The main review should be about what you get in the box.
    Maybe add a bit at the end on what could be changed and the effect it has.

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