Trek Fuel EX Review

While Mellow Johnny's has a wide selection of Mountain Bikes for every skill level, the Trek Fuel EX 8 is one of our favorites. Learn about this versatile full suspension trail bike that offers great performance and a high-end feature set.

Trek Fuel EX 8 Mountain Bike Review

The Trek Fuel EX 8 is a 29er trail bike that offers versatile full suspension with an Alpha Aluminum frame, 130mm front and rear suspension, and SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. We love the Trek Fuel for its exceptional trail bike performance, with the same mountain bike frame and suspension tech found on higher-end trail bikes, at a great exceptional value.

Where to ride the Trek Fuel EX 8 in Austin

Austin boasts several mountain bike trails that this bike is perfect for. One example is the Barton Creek Greenbelt - a 7.25 mile green space with a diverse terrain featuring large limestone cliffs, dense foliage and shallow bodies of water. Other shred-worthy trails where you can put the Trek Fuel EX 8 to the test include McKinney Falls, Emma Long, Pace Bend and Walnut Creek.

Trek Fuel EX 8 standout features

  • Alpha Platinum Aluminium frame: cold-extruded lightweight aluminium butted at multiple points and specifically hydroformed for maximum strength at the lightest possible weight
  • RE:aktiv suspension technology: while inputs that produce low shaft velocity (like pedaling) do not alter suspension performance, with RE:aktiv anything that exceeds a threshold will dramatically change the function of the shock. For example, a sudden increase in shaft velocity (like suddenly hitting a patch of rough terrain) will open up the suspension to allow for a smooth and supple response.
  • Active Braking Pivot: ensures smooth, controlled suspension whether the brakes are on or off
  • Straight Shot frame with Knock Block frame defense: this is a headset-integrated frame enhancement that prevents spinning fork crowns and handlebars from damaging the frame.
  • Optimized cable management: a thoughtful cable management system allows cables to be routed through the frame for a clean look any myriad customization possibilities

Who this bike is for

The Trek Fuel EX 8 is ideal for those various terrains that mountain bikers in Austin will encounter. At the same time, because of its superior drivetrain, the Fuel EX 8 is also a great choice marathon single-track sessions. Thus it’s a versatile bike that can conquer Austin’s rockiest trails, most challenging Greenbelt downhills and long single track rides in the Hill Country.

What to expect

Just like all of Trek’s premium mountain bike models, the Trek Fuel EX 8 (once properly adjusted to your body specifics) gives that typical Trek feeling as soon as you slide into the saddle - everything fits as it should. As you grip the handlebars and push down on the pedals, expect perfect cockpit positioning that efficiently transfers power from your legs directly into the drivetrain.

In Trail mode, the FOX shocks enhanced with RE:aktiv technology responds precisely to changes in terrain and provides excellent traction when powering up hills. Without Trail mode engaged, the shocks tend to bounce more than the specified 130 mm, which will drain your energy in a hurry. Conversely, engaging Trail mode will offer plenty of elegant, comfortable support.

On the harshest terrain, the Trek Fuel EX 8 holds up well, although a fork with at least 140 mm of travel is a worthy upgrade for hard-core trail warriors.

Getting started with the Trek Fuel EX 8

One of the biggest advantages of purchasing your the Trek Fuel 8 EX mountain bike at Mellow Johnny’s is that our expert team of technicians will fine-tune your suspension to your exact riding weight.

It’s a fairly complex 13-step process that requires a shock pump, measuring tape, the Trek Suspension Calculator and finally some careful calibration of your forks.

For best results, get your actual riding weight while wearing all of your cycling gear. After calibration, go out for a few test rides, ideally with plenty of bumps. If the forks are bucking, turn the knobs 1-3 clicks clockwise. If the shocks are not fully recovering from impacts, you should speed up the rebound by turning the knob 1-3 clicks counter-clockwise.

Even if the suspension feels great after a few hard rides, consider bringing your Trek Fuel 8 EX back into our shop a for some additional fine-tuning. After that you should have a perfectly calibrated trail bike that can handle all the challenges of Austin’s most demanding bike trails

Buy the Trek Fuel EX 8 at Mellow Johnny’s

Besides getting an awesome mountain bike, our staff at Mellow Johnny’s can help you find some ride worthy trails depending on your capabilities and preferences. Our staff members regularly shred Austin trails and can tell you the latest on where to ride.

Mellow Johnny’s also offers a 1-year full warranty on any new bike purchase, 15 % off bike accessories purchased on the same day, ½ off bike fit with the purchase of a bike $2,000 and over and a free bike tune-up within 120 days of purchase.

Stop by Mellow Johnny’s in downtown Austin to check it out and test ride one of our mountain bikes. Then gear up and hit those awesome Austin and Hill Country trails.