TREK Fuel EX 8 29 Eagle 2018
|Options||Sizes: 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5 and 23"; Colour: Matte Quicksilver AVAILABLE FOR DEMO - In Stock|
The world's best-loved mountain bike gets a major capability boost. With more travel, a more aggressive geometry and the big-grin inducing traction of the mid-fat tyre size, Fuel EX is the one go-to trail bike for all riders.
Want a rugged, capable long-travel trail bike with the sprightly manners of an XC bike? Get it with Fuel EX. Fuel EX blends the best of both worlds in one uncompromising package.
- 130mm travel frame is more capable and 29" or 27.5+ compatible
- Straight Shot stiffness, Knock Block frame defence
- Doubly stiff: the wider Boost148 rear and Boost110 front hub spacing creates stronger, less flexy wheels and allows for wider tyres, shorter chainstays and more chainring options
- RE:aktiv: developed in conjunction with Penske Racing Shocks, RE:aktiv's regressive damping helps deliver what ever rider wants: suspension that's stiff and efficient to keep you fast in the straights and planted in the corners, but supple and instantaneously responsive when you hit an obstacle.
- Smooth, controlled braking: Patented ABP (Active Braking Pivot) keeps your suspension from stiffening up when you're on the brakes, giving you confident, steady control.
- Superb high-speed control: The greater your control, the harder you can roll. Mino Link adjustable geometry is tuned for better high-speed control.
- Upgraded stablemate of the 10/10 rated Trek Fuel EX 7 29: "..what a bike it is. From the very first ride, it impressed us with its cool handling, good looks and excellent parts package. It's the sheer pace of the Fuel EX 29, however, that really makes it stand out. It's so fast, in fact, that even when you're absolutely hanging at the end of a ride, it still encourages you to dig deeper into your dwindling energy reserves and attack the trail ahead, as the reward is always worth it. It's a truly inspirational bike, and a hot ticket for our 2017 Bike of the Year award" - mbr magazine, July 2017.
Lo and behold, mbr Bike of the Year 2017: Trek Fuel EX 7 29 (see November 2017 issue). "It's a stand-out bike and easily deserving of our 2017 Bike of the Year award."
Trek Fuel EX 8 29 is equipped with the stunning SRAM GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain, coincidentally awarded Gear of the Year by mbr (December 2017): "GX Eagle brings exceptional shifting and an impressive gear range to all the existing benefits of the single-ring drivetrain."
Better frames for a better ride:
We know why you ride. It's not to ponder how light your frame is, or contemplate the stiffness of your rocker link. You just want the performance those things give you. It's why Trek pack their frames with performance-enhancing technology, and summarise it all with simple words like EVO and Full Floater. Simple words, complex solutions, a better ride.
Upgrades from Fuel EX 7:
- Fox Rhythm Series fork
- Fox Performance shock with RE:aktiv damper
- SRAM GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain
- SRAM Guide R brakes
- Bontrager Drop Line seatpost
Other suspension systems firm up under braking. Active Braking Pivot (ABP) allows your suspension to remain active, whether you're pedalling, coasting or braking.
This means your bike performs as it was intended, all the time.
Most suspension systems attach the shock to a moving linkage at the top, and a fixed frame mount on the bottom.
Full Floater attaches the shock to two moving linkage points that give the shock increased ability to respond to bumps across a wide variety of terrain.
It feels like more travel, but it's not. It's smarter travel.
Wider dropouts at the front and rear give greater stiffness. Boost148 at the back lets you run wider tyres and a larger chain ring without affecting q-factor and pedalling efficiency.
Straight Shot with Knock Block:
The all-new frame features Straight Shot, a straight downtube that makes the frame stiffer so your Fuel EX won't flinch on rough descents. Knock Block is the defence required for this radical frame design, to prevent accidental damage if the forks spin right round.
Mino Link Adjustable Geometry:
Fine-tune the head tube angle by 1/2 degree and bottom bracket 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 technology.
The evolution of the traditional 1 1/8" headset to a tapered headtube, fork, and headset system. E2 tapers from a 1.5" lower to a 1 1/8" upper headset to provide more material where it matters most, resulting in a stronger, lighter frame with point-and-shoot control.
The EVO Link is Trek's evolution of the rocker link from the plate-and-bolt style used on most suspension bikes today to a one-piece rocker link. This lighter link provides a stronger connection at the system's most crucial connection point between the front and rear triangles, creating a stiffer frame for greater control with minimal weight.
RE:aktiv brings Formula 1 technology to mountain bike suspension. A Trek exclusive. Trek wanted a shock that could do it all: truly efficient control combined with the ability to respond instantaneously to big impacts. Every so-called solution involved a trade-off, compromising efficiency or responsiveness, or both. To exploit the industry's best air shock - DRCV - required some serious damping expertise. Damping moderates how the suspension behaves, controlling travel speed and resistance. Inspiration was sought from Penske, who create custom suspension systems for motor racing teams. No off-the-shelf solutions, no mass production, no compromise.
Penske had already devised an innovative solution for Formula One that allows a valve to instantly open up to absorb an abrupt bump then instantly close up for a stiff, efficient response, with an undetectable transition in between. This is regressive damping. Three years of development by Trek in collaboration with Penske and Fox has refined the technology for mountain bikes.
RE:aktiv means the shock acceleration caused by an abrupt hit makes rocks and roots almost disappear, and the instant closure of the valve when the bumps stop/shock acceleration slows results in regaining immediate control. Thus Fuel EX rides like an XC bike when you want it to, like a downhill bike when you need it to, and you'll never feel the switch.
Alpha Platinum Aluminium:
Trek's best high-performance lightweight aluminium alloy is continuously cold extruded and butted at multiple points for ultimate weight reduction and superior strength. Frames built with Alpha Platinum feature a high degree of hydroforming to create the most complex industrial designs for the lightest weight, and are finished using Trek's smooth-weld finishing process.
Sometimes you need a little extra protection, so Fuel EX 8 gets a light, tough external shield. The Armour polymer shield adds reassurance to riders who know their downtube is bound to take some abuse.
Press-fit bottom bracket:
Press-fit BB is a bottom bracket shell that allows the bearings to press into the frame rather than thread in like standard bottom brackets. This provides a wider stance for the frame's tubing juncture, resulting in a stronger frame. This wider stance also simulates benefits of an OCLV Carbon-only technology, BB95.
Dropper post and internal cable routing:
Fuel EX 8 is equipped with a dropper post which is great for while-you-ride seat-height adjustments. The remote cable is routed directly through the frame for the sleekest setup you've seen.
Control Freak Cable Management:
The lightest, quietest, most versatile cable management system allows any combination of shift, brake, lock-out and dropper post lines to be routed through the frame for clean looks and the ultimate custom set-up.
International Standard Chain Guide mounts offer easy chain guide installation and adjustment.
Trek Fuel EX 8 review, Mountain Biking UK Magazine, November 2017 (see here for full review):
"Small but significant component and suspension changes make the EX 8 a potentially excellent all-rounder if you like your ride fast and focused. The Fox Rhythm fork needs accurate tweaking to match the rest of the ride though.
The Fuel EX is unchanged for 2018, apart from the switch to a metric shock in Trek's 'Full Floater' position between the rocker link and extended chainstay tips.
You're getting the same super-stiff, 'Knock Block'-equipped mainframe with neat semi-internal control routing, down tube bottle mount and press-fit bottom bracket (which isn't likely to last as long as a threaded one). A chip on the seatstay can be flipped to change the head angle by 0.5 degrees and bottom bracket height by 10mm.
Trek's 'ABP' pivot runs through the rear wheel axle to reduce the effects of braking on the 130mm of travel, which is controlled by a unique 'RE:aktiv'-valved Fox shock.
Trek Fuel EX 8 29 kit
While the EX 8 is creeping up in price by £99 for 2018, you get a lot for that extra cash. The most obvious hop-up on paper is SRAM's GX Eagle, with its 12 sprockets and X-Sync 2 ring.
Just as obvious on the trail, though, is the change to top-spec Team Issue Bontrager XR4 tyres (one of our favourites). The 30mm rims plump them up to a chunky 60mm width, but there's space for 3.0in rubber in the frame if you buy a second set of wheels (or go for the 650b+ rather than 29er bike in the first place).
Bonty also supplies the updated Drop Line dropper, and the 35mm-diameter bar and stem, which help translate the Fuel EX's HD-clarity stiffness advantage right through to the grips.
While the Guide R brakes are the entry-level members of SRAM's four-cylinder family, they're better modulated and more powerful than the stoppers found on the Whyte T-130 S, Scott Spark 945 and Mondraker Factor XR + that were also on test.
Fox's Rhythm 34 fork gets an extended EVOL negative spring for 2018, which makes it smoother over small bumps. My sample dived excessively and wouldnâ€™t return to full extension though - effectively steepening the bikeâ€™s head angle - even when I ran 20psi more pressure than recommended, so I added two volume spacers.
The larger negative chamber of the 2018 Float DPS shock delivers a similar advantage in sensitivity, but the seamless support of the 'RE:aktiv' damper tune stops it being too linear or feeling flaccid when pedalling.
Trek Fuel EX 8 29 ride impression
The combination of accurately-damped rear suspension and a super-precise and muscular front end and cockpit reveals itself as the Trek's major handling trait straight away.
Once I'd added spacers to the fork, the long-reach stability and reasonably slack head angle meant I could pick ridiculous lines across cambers and root spreads, and be confident that the Fuel wouldn't just hold them but cut inside them.
The modulation of the brakes increases confidence in sketchy situations and the well-damped, big-volume tyres and clean-tracking, accurately-controlled rear end take the edge off hits and stutter bumps too.
This all lets the Fuel EX carry serious straight-line speed through rowdy technical sections, in a way that reminded me of its 150mm-travel Remedy bigger brother.
Relatively low weight means the Trek feels encouragingly positive when you're pushing watts through it too. The Eagle transmission is excellent, and combined with its efficient pedalling and easy roll, this means it's an impressive technical climber, with epic-distance potential.
Even after extensive tuning, the fork never felt quite as accurate or composed as the Revelation on the similarly priced Whyte T-130 S.
I'd also fit a shorter stem to make it easier to flick the hard-charging chassis into corners and take front-end traction to the limit. But if you're not into super-twitchy front ends and can get the fork sorted, the Fuel EX is an absolute hauler, whether you're climbing super-tech pitches or charging through rock gardens."
- Highs: Massively-stiff, progressively-shaped frame; shock and wheels breed free rough-terrain speed; well-matched, very effective componentry for the money
- Lows: 2018 Fox Rhythm fork needs tuning to do the rest of the ride justice; press-fit bottom brackets can wear fast
- Buy if: You're looking for plenty of speed and a bike that can technical up and downs too
"Fork needs tweaking, but still a super-versatile, efficient and seriously hench high-speed hauler"
4 stars (out of 5)
|Frame||Alpha Platinum Aluminium, ABP, Boost148, Knock Block steerer stop, Full Floater, EVO link, E2 tapered head tube, Mino Link, Control Freak internal routing, downtube guard, PF92, ISCG 05, G2 Geometry.
Fox Performance Float EVOL rear shock, RE:aktiv 3-position damper, tuned by Trek Suspension Lab, 210x52.5mm; 130mm travel.
|Forks||Fox Rhythm 34 Float, GRIP adjustable damper, E2 tapered steerer, Boost110, G2 Geometry with 51mm offset, 130mm travel|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM GX Eagle, Roller Bearing Clutch|
|Shifters||SRAM GX Eagle, 12 speed|
|Chainset||SRAM Descendant 6k Eagle, 32T Direct Mount X-Sync|
|Chain||SRAM Descendant 6k Eagle, 32T Direct Mount X-Sync|
|Freewheel||SRAM XG-1275, 10-50, 12 speed cassette|
|Headset||Knock Block Integrated, sealed cartridge bearing, 1 1/8" top, 1.5" bottom|
|Stem||Bontrager Line, Knock Block, 35mm clamp, 0 degree, 60mm length|
|Handlebars||Bontrager Line, 35mm, 15mm rise, 750mm width|
|Front Brake||SRAM Guide R hydraulic disc|
|Rear Brake||SRAM Guide R hydraulic disc|
|Brake Levers||SRAM Guide R|
|Rims||Bontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, tubeless strips included|
|Front Hub||Bontrager Line Comp 30, Boost110|
|Rear Hub||Bontrager Line Comp 30, 54T Rapid Drive, Boost148 rear|
|Tyres||Bontrager XR4 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength sidewalls, 120tpi, lightweight foldable aramid bead, 29x2.40"|
|Saddle||Bontrager Evoke 2, chromoly rails|
|Seatpost||Bontrager Drop Line dropper post, remote lever, 31.6mm, zero offset, internal routing|
|Grips||Bontrager Race Lite, lock-on|
As with any product, specification is subject to change without prior notification. You are advised to confirm current specification before buying.