The Good: Great build, and very good frame weight as well. If I were to build a bike from frame up, this bike is how I would do it.
The Bad: The head angle on this trek was a little too steep for my liking
Riding the Trek Fuel EX9 29er
The part spec on this thing was amazing, full XT all around, Fox Float front and rear, and at a price just over $4,000, that's a great value. This bike was the first 29er I've ever ridden, and I was immediately surprised on how quickly I became comfortable on it. Riding this bike on smooth single track was a breeze and tons of fun, carrying tons and tons of speed, and cornering quick well. It was quite amazing on how fast this thing could go! Climbing this bike was also great, the bike's monster truck tires allowed me to easily pedals over small loose rocks and larger sized boulders. The overall weight of the bike also helped out with jumping it over features in the trail, allowing the bike to bike picked up and put down with ease. The issue came into technical sections, with the head angle at a pretty steep 69.5 degrees, I felt as if I was over the front wheel far too much. Even managing to get myself into some pretty hairy situations. Which is a shame, because I wanted to like this bike, because it seems great and almost exactly what I am looking for, great build, good price, and around 5" of travel. But that head angle just made me feel like this bike was only designed for smooth terrain.
The Bottom Line
I can't reccomend this thing. In this day and age, bikes are moving to slacker and slacker angles, and maybe its good, maybe its bad, but the bottom line on this guy, is that for a 5" travel bike, it should be a little bit slacker. Sure you could put in an angle set, or offset bushings, but whats the point? Buy something with current geometry, and maybe change it with those products down the road. My vote, is don't get this thing until its just a hair slacker... Sorry Trek maybe next year