Inside Line: Trek refreshes Fuel EX 29 with new features, Boost spacing


The Trek Fuel EX has been one of the most popular trail bikes in history but Trek wasn’t about to rest with “good enough.” After the folks from Waterloo added a 27.5 version last summer with the introduction of the amazing Penske Re:aktiv shock technology, the 29er model gets a full refresh with new features, new technology and new axle spacing.

Yes, it’s Boost. You could argue till your tires are flat whether we need Boost or not, but Trek can be credited with creating most of its inertia in the market, after it debuted on the Remedy trail bike. All 2016 Fuel EX 29 models have wider hubs for stiffer wheels and better handling, Trek says. (Except for the two least expensive models, the Fuel EX 29 5 and Fuel EX 29 7, which stick with traditional thru-axles.) The Boost spacing also allows the chainstays to be shortened from 452 mm to 434 mm.


Other changes include the disappearance of the DRCV shocks, since Trek says the new Fox EVOL version offered the proper spring curve without having to make custom units, thus allowing Trek to save some money and include the Re:aktiv damper technology on more models.

The new carbon and aluminum frames are equipped with “Control Freak” cable ports to route any combination of cables or Di2 wires inside the frame for a clean look. There is a port under the downtube that allows access to cables to zip tie them in place to prevent rattling.


While the new Fuel EX sticks with 120 mm of travel front and rear (except for the Fuel EX 29 9, which gets a 130 mm Fox 34) the geometry can be adjusted with the Mino link that is commonly found on Trek’s longer travel bikes like the Slash and Remedy. An eccentric plate between the rocker link and the seat tube, it allows riders to adjust the head tube angle half a degree and raise and lower the bottom bracket 8 mm. The steeper setting is close to that of the previous Fuel EX 29er, while the slacker setting gets the head tube angle out to 68.8 degrees. Like all Trek 29ers the Fuel EX is designed around a 51 mm offset fork, which used to be known as G2, but has largely become commonplace for 29ers.

The 2016 Fuel EX 29 will be available in six sizes from 15.5 inches to 22 inches

2016 Fuel EX 29 pricing

  • Fuel EX 29 Carbon frameset: $3,470
  • Fuel EX 29 5, aluminum: $2,090
  • Fuel EX 29 7, aluminum: $2,670
  • Fuel EX 29 8, aluminum: $3,050
  • Fuel EX 29 9, aluminum: $4,200
  • Fuel EX 29 9.8, carbon: $5,570
  • Fuel EX 29 9.9, carbon: $8,800

Fuel EX history

Want to read more about how this model has changed over the years? Here’s some links from our archives: