2024 Trek Fuel EXe 8 GX AXS Transmission Review
Ebikes Review

2024 Trek Fuel EXe 8 GX AXS Transmission Review

The world of mountain biking is witnessing a revolution, thanks to leading brands like Trek. The introduction of the Harmonic Pin Ring Drive unit, developed in collaboration with TQ, showcases Trek’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what an e-bike can be. Unlike traditional e-bike motors, this new motor is not only smaller and lighter but also features significantly fewer moving parts.

Revolutionary Ride

E-bike revolution

Building on the success of the Gen 6 Fuel, the Trek Fuel EXe GX AXS Transmission takes everything that riders adore about the non-powered version and electrifies it. This model retains the much-celebrated features of the Fuel, including its geometry, the Mino-link adjustability, and the ABP (Active Braking Pivot) suspension system. The design is so seamless that at first glance, one might not even realize it’s an e-bike.

Frame Design and Performance

Innovative Suspension Architecture


The Trek Fuel EXe’s frame design cleverly accommodates the compact motor and battery without sacrificing the integrity of its traditional mountain bike feel. Utilizing the 140mm ABP suspension, the bike maintains a responsive and lively ride quality, even under braking. This system positions the rear pivot near the rear axle to ensure smooth suspension movement throughout your ride.

A Stealthy Powerhouse

motor and its protection

Visually, the Fuel EXe maintains a low profile with its battery and motor neatly housed to preserve the bike’s sleek lines. The TQ motor is strategically placed at the bottom bracket, providing a low center of gravity and balanced weight distribution. This setup not only enhances handling but also keeps the bike looking clean and uncluttered by wires or bulky components.

Geometry for the Trails

Geometry of the bike

The bike’s geometry is designed for aggressive trail riding but allows for adjustments via the Mino-link and optional angle-adjust headset cups. This flexibility lets riders fine-tune the bike’s handling to suit different styles and conditions, from steep technical descents to fast, flowy singletracks.

Performance Breakdown

Conquering Downhill Challenges

Downhill performance

The Trek Fuel EXe shines on descents, combining the thrilling aspects of a traditional trail bike with the added benefits of e-bike technology. It feels robust and steady, tackling aggressive lines confidently while still offering a playful ride experience. The mass of the bike, often a downside in e-bikes, turns into an advantage here, aiding in stability and maintaining traction with the ground, especially noticeable in the ABP suspension system’s effectiveness.

  • Handling and Feel: On the downhill, the bike’s weight contributes positively, keeping the ride smooth and grounded. It maneuvers with a surprising playfulness not dominated by its e-bike identity. However, in jump-heavy scenarios, the bike’s mass can catch riders off guard.
  • Suspension and Control: The ABP suspension works seamlessly to keep the ride comfortable and controlled, engaging the rear wheel effectively throughout various terrains. While the Fox Performance Float X and Rhythm fork are less adjustable, they perform admirably with factory settings.
  • Tires and Traction: The Bontrager XR5 tires offer excellent directional changes though they do fall short on extreme cornering when compared to the SE5 models.
  • Geometry Insights: Adjusting the bike’s setup by experimenting with head tube settings and Mino-link adjustments has fine-tuned its downhill prowess. The optimal setup found was with a headtube angle of 64.8 degrees and a seat tube angle of 76.8 degrees, enhancing the bike’s agility and responsiveness.
  • Braking and Adjustments: The Avid DB8 brakes, with their mineral oil system, effectively handle the demands of steep descents, complementing the bike’s aggressive downhill capabilities.

Elevating Climbing Performance

Climbing performance

Uphill, the Trek Fuel EXe 8 GX AXS Transmission transforms what is typically the most challenging part of mountain biking into an exhilarating and energetic experience. It flattens hills effortlessly, mimicking the sensation of being in peak physical condition. The motor provides a subtle yet powerful boost that enhances natural pedaling rather than overshadowing it.

  • Effort and Efficiency: Climbing on the EXe feels less like an assisted ride and more like an enhanced natural cycling experience. It allows for a normal cycling effort but with the reward of significantly faster ascent times.
  • Geometry and Comfort: The bike’s geometry is adept at climbing, with a long reach that facilitates easy breathing and movement. The position over the bottom bracket optimizes power transfer from rider to bike.
  • Agility and Traction: Despite its length, which could hinder maneuverability in tight switchbacks, the bike manages these challenges well. The shorter chainstays contribute to its nimble nature on climbs, making it easier to handle technical sections and maintain fun and engaging ascents.

Build and Features

Advanced Build Quality

The Trek Fuel EXe showcases an impressive build quality that resonates through its component choices. The inclusion of the SRAM GX AXS Transmission is a standout feature, offering exceptional durability and performance that merits praise. The AXS system’s integration with the TQ drive unit, enabling auxiliary power for shifting and other accessories, reflects a clever use of technology that enhances convenience by eliminating the need to charge the derailleur’s battery separately.

The bike’s suspension setup features a Fox Rhythm 36 fork paired with a Float X Performance rear shock. Despite being an entry-level spec, the Rhythm fork performs admirably, thanks to its effective GRIP damper. The cockpit is decked with Bontrager components, including a 780mm aluminum bar and a 45mm stem, ensuring a robust and responsive handling experience. Wheelset choices continue the trend of high performance, with Bontrager’s Line 30 offering fast engagement and solid durability across varying terrains.

Power Output and Efficiency

Power unit

At the heart of the Trek Fuel EXe is the TQ-HPR50 drive unit, known for its quiet operation and lower speed efficiency. This unit provides 50Nm of torque, placing it on par with other competitors like the new Levo SL, albeit slightly less than some higher-powered models. The EXe’s motor delivers a very natural riding experience, enhancing the bike’s maneuverability and pedaling efficiency even when the motor is off. This makes the bike ideal for riders who appreciate a trail bike’s handling but want just a touch more power for an enjoyable ride.

The motor’s power management is intuitive and adjustable via the Trek Central App. Riders can fine-tune settings such as Max power and Assist levels to personalize the bike’s responsiveness and support. The Pedal Response adjustment further refines how quickly the bike reacts to pedaling force, allowing for a customized ride that matches the rider’s style and terrain demands.

Assessing the Range

Assessing the Range

Range testing on the Trek Fuel EXe reveals its capability to cover significant distances and elevations, particularly impressive given its relatively small 360Wh battery. In tests, the bike managed 19.1 miles at the highest power setting, a solid performance reflecting the system’s efficiency. For those looking for extended range, the optional 160Wh range extender offers a practical solution, increasing the total range by about 50%. The battery’s integration and the strategic placement of the charge port enhance usability and protection against the elements, ensuring reliability across various conditions.

E-Bike Controls and Connectivity

The control system of the Trek Fuel EXe is another area where technology and design converge for user benefit. The discreetly mounted TQ display is unobtrusive yet provides all necessary information clearly and efficiently. The display allows easy toggling between screens and adjustments of motor settings, an essential feature for adapting to changing ride conditions.

The Trek Central App

The e-bike’s connectivity features, including ANT+ integration and compatibility with popular apps like Strava and Kamoot, offer additional utility for tracking rides and fitness. The Trek Central App not only allows motor tuning but also provides innovative range mapping, which calculates how far riders can go based on current settings and terrain, a valuable tool for planning adventures without range anxiety.


Trek Fuel EXe 8 GX AXS Transmission – $7,399

Trek Fuel EXe 8 GX AXS Transmission - Price

Trek Fuel EXe 8 GX AXS Transmission represents a significant investment in cutting-edge e-bike technology. This bike redefines the role of e-bikes with its subtle electric assistance that enhances rides without overwhelming them. The cost reflects its position as a high-performance trail bike that’s meticulously engineered to balance power, handling, and speed. While it may not suit every rider, especially those looking for a more passive e-bike experience, it excels in making rides more exhilarating and interactive. Trek’s confidence in this model is underscored by their 30-day “Ride it and love it or your money back” guarantee, mitigating the risk of such a substantial purchase.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button