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The 2023 Fuel EX 5 MTB Is Ready To Get You Into the Full-Suspension Game for Low Bucks

These days, it seems like everyone wants a full-suspension MTB. However, most are typically out of the average Joe’s price range, yet Trek is looking to change all that with the 2023 Fuel EX 5, an aluminum wonder that seems to be packing a punch in terms of price for capabilities.
2023 Fuel EX 5 14 photos
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
2023 Fuel EX 5CassetteCranksetBrakes and LinkageLinkageFrameFrame ArmorSaddle2023 Fuel EX 52023 Fuel EX 52023 Fuel EX 52023 Fuel EX 5Rear Shock
Folks, anytime we talk about a bicycle, we need to consider the terrain we’ll be using it on. That said, the Fuel EX 5 is a bike designed for nothing more than those trails that you’ve always wondered about taking but never really had a worthy bike. Well, for a mere $2,700 (€2,690 at current exchange rates), you can get yourself into the full-suspension MTB game with this entry-level trinket. Time to see if it has the stuff to help you achieve your off-road dreams.

First of all, the minds behind this puppy are none other than Trek, and with an official cycling history dating back to 1975, you can bet that any machine to leave their assembly lines has the stuff to do what they say it can. Beyond that, this manufacturer boasts a massive racing heritage, and today, you can see a Trek bike on just about any continent on the planet. The way some folks have posters with their favorite rockstars and heroes, some mountain bikers have Trek machines on their walls.

Linkage
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
Now, while it may come across as an affordable MTB, there are still some features integrated into this bike aimed at offering the fresh or seasoned rider an experience worth talking about. All that starts with a frame built out of Trek’s proprietary blend of aluminum, Alpha Platinum, they call it. And it’s not just a simple frame either; Trek went all out with 130 mm (5.1 in) of rear travel, adjustable Mono Link system, internal cable routing, and even a down tube guard in case you bang it eventually bang it up against something. More frame protection is offered by Knock Block, a system that prevents your fork crown from hitting your frame in the case of an eventual spill.

Regarding the suspension properties this bike boasts, part of the story is due to the X-Fusion Pro 2 shock with a 2-position damper. Coupled with the Mino Link system, which yields an adjustable BB, you should have no problem tackling those routes you wouldn’t dare with a hardtail. Further smoothness and cushioning are brought forth by a RockShox Recon Silver with 140 mm (5.5 in) of travel. Lockout and Motion Control damper bring even more versatility.

Frame Armor
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
Here’s where things get a bit fun. Because Trek chose to add the same Shimano drivetrain that they typically add to bikes twice this price, your ability to climb, descend fast, and control every leg of your adventure is all in the day’s work. A Deore M6100 cassette yields a 10-51T range, and everything is tuned to the sounds of 1x12 speeds. With Bontrager components and Shimano brakes, future owners will be looking at a two-wheeler with a weight of 34.6 lbs (15.7 kg). Sure, it’s not the weight of a carbon fiber bike, but considering it’s a full-suspension machine, it’s a rather attractive weight.

Ultimately, I haven’t ridden this bike yet, but I do hope to do so in the near future. But, to get an idea of what to expect, I watched a video that Trek uses to display all that this MTB series can do. In the flick, we can see a rider ripping through turns, climbing strong, revealing tool storage integrated into the frame, and the words dropper post are floating around on the manufacturer’s website too. It sounds like future owners have their hands full with this one, which is something to consider.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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