The Fuel EX proved compliant over anything that was thrown at it, while retaining a firm grasp on its tack-sharp handling. The EX's handling has finesse when it gets demanding. This bike just feels right in the tight stuff. At speed, descending off the saddle, the bike feels low and stable, while climbs feel efficient with oodles of traction. It may seem like the EX 9.9 is occupying middle ground, but its redesign and extra travel will deliver a bike that is very performanced focused while a helluva lot of fun too.
The new Fuel is a technical singletrack specialist. It's quick, low to the ground, and can handle roots, rocks, and other obstacles while still carving with precision. It's hard to believe one can descend with this much confidence in a sub 25 lb bike.
Suffice it to say, based on the Fuel EX’s already-proven track record, we expected the Fuel to perform—and it certainly did. Bottom line, Trek managed to improve an already extremely capable bike, and with no sacrifices whatsoever. Impressive.