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What changes would you make on a Trek Fuel EX 5?

beanie's picture

By beanie - Posted on 02 June 2012

What is the first item (or make it top three items) you would replace on a Trek Fuel EX 5?

I’m looking at getting this bike, but are aware that most factory bikes are not perfect, and that most times you would like to make some amendments to them. So I’m wondering what you would change first, maybe even from day one?

Here’s a link to the specs of the Fuel EX 5:


skipper_nz's picture

i brought a Trek Rumblefish, and I put on a Rock shock reverb seat post, best thing on the bike i think, use it all the time!

Matt P's picture

.....on what your intended use is.

S.BTHEXTC's picture

what brakes are you currently running,and you may get a few comments to change the fork, don't they are an EXCELLENT begginers fork; )

richo's picture

No bike is "Perfect" just get out there and ride!

Zoom's picture

It looks like a great bike. I'd go for wider tyres when the present ones wear out (2.35) but that's just me. And the pedals, put on Shimano clipless pedals and get used to them.

Tommy's picture

of upgrades already.......why get the 5, why not go the 6 or 8. Compare the bikes on the Trek website and check out the differences. I get its an economics/resources thing, but if I was you and the budget could stretch, I'd go the 8, better components...........but then again, there's the 9, etc etc

Damo5's picture

Like Tommy said ,If u can afford it I would go 4 the 8 or 9 as the 5 has a pretty low spec & everything really needs upgrading .

Chris the Tooleman's picture

I have an EX8 for a few years now and found that i needed to change the contact points first, i.e. grips, saddle, pedals. I changed the tyres to suit what I like and have upgraded the bars and seatpost to carbon to help soak up a little rattle, also I didn't like the ride position on the stem so changed that to a lower and longer stem. These changes are all personal though and I think if you can afford to buy a bike and immediately upgrade the components just because then your much better off getting the model up as the spec will be much better and you'll be happier in the long run. Give it a few weeks/months and eventually you will see what your not happy with. As in the reach, sweep of bars, saddle comfort etc. But its your call.

Cotic Tony's picture

Looking through the spec everything seems reasonably balanced, it's all low end but functional kit.
Personally I prefer a lighter & more tune able air fork & shock but that'd increase the cost far more than simply buying a better specced model in the first place.
Big players like Trek & Giant rarely put a bike out with glaring shortcomings anymore, they usually economise with stuff that is less obvious like the post, bars, saddle, hubs etc.& these can be upgraded as they wear out or when it suits.


Pete B's picture

Just going by the fork alone, I would recommend getting the model up. The difference between an air filled fork and a spring only fork is massive.
Other thing to think about is, instead of getting an entry level FS, go for a medium/high end HT.........

pharmaboy's picture

Just "ride" she said.

Fittest and most competent rider wins - best bike never does. Its a great, well regarded platform - sure the fork is a little heavy - an excuse used by those not on the front sometimes. Heh, i'm not first to the top of the climb, must be the aluminium framed bike I have - couldnt be me Eye-wink

there's nothing there that has a rep for poor longevity, and breaking things is what ruins rides, not 250grams.

loud's picture

Paint "Yeti" on it? Eye-wink

Damo5's picture

Giant Trance X3 would b a better buy 4 the same cash & u get the better fork !

cryline's picture

I got a 2012 EX6 and its bloody good. I spent a little extra to get the better spec than the 5. The Giant Trance X3 is also a top bike. Cant go wrong with either.

andyfev's picture

It's your call which bike to buy but I'd source the Internet for a god deal. He's a good example (not a recommendation to buy)

Components such as gear shifters and derailuers, cassette, chain rings etc aren't that important if you're not a race going rider but the frame geometry for your style of riding and the front and rear shocks are... These will give you the mtb smile and are worth the coin as you probably won't upgrade either... The parts I mentioned before have a habit of breaking themselves when you inevitably have an off. Then you upgrade them Eye-wink

marto71's picture

if you own it then ride it, if you are looking to purchase new, find the bike with the best spec that fits you, that your $$$$ allows, dont worry in regards to helmets and other things they try to offload on you, thats where they make the cash, barter the bike as low as possible, do some research then buy extras with the cash you save

Big Mike's picture

Get bigger wheels

marto71's picture

bigger wheels, now thats just plain silly

teeps's picture

Just buy an ex8. Bought one earlier this yeah and love it!

hawkeye's picture

I'd change the frame and the fork. You have one too many fork legs on there anyway. Lose it and save some weight Eye-wink

cruzer's picture

Id start with putting some pedals on, cos the bke in the picture has none. that will make a big difference.

Nath05's picture

I have a 2010 Trek Fuel EX 5 but if you have the money to spare I would highly recommend moving up to an EX 6 to get the fox rear shock and the air fork. Otherwise it is still a great bike either way.

Greenroom's picture

I just bought the EX6 and with my limited experience I reckon this bike is sweet. Ive never riden a dual suspension bike until a few weeks ago when I got mine. Im just gonna learn to ride it hard and upgrade as time goes on.

newby's picture

wheels seat saetpost bars tyres

2012TranceX1's picture

you'll end up doing the same thing i did, when i was buying my trance.
in the time i spent saving, i went from an x3 all the way to an x1 rather than mucking around modifying stuff

as it is I've upgraded the rear derailleur on my trance for an xtr, just for the lesser weight

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