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Trek Fuel EX 7 29er

JayKay3000JayKay3000 Posts: 163
edited January 2014 in Your mountain bikes
My old Carve


My new Trek Fuel Ex 7 29er


Let's re-wind. I broke my neck. It's October and I'm thinking about buying a Trance X 29er 1 in red and white so I go to the store and get my carve hard tail valued. £700 they say. Awesome! As long as I don't have an accident tomorrow I put in. Ooops.I go see my gran and have tea because they next day I'm going out with some m8s biking. Hopefully I'll be OK I tell her.

Next days riding is great. I'm not last in the pack and one of the fitter ones going up the climbs. A friends tire blows so we wait. Throwing rocks in the lake. Another m8 wonders whether we can ride the slope behind us. Looks sketchy, but the grass looks flat so he rides in slowly. I throw caution to the wind. I see where I'm going to cruise past my friend so I roll down. But it's not the smooth grass I was hoping for and my front wheel digs in and before I know what'censored me I'm lying on the ground in agony. But it's cool I get up feeling 'fine'. One of the girls rushes over and I shrug her off. Probably just a bit of bruising so I carry on. We're near the end by now. One last hill and down to the visitors centre. Easy.


Not. My neck is killing and riding is making it worse. The hill has me in tears so I tell my friends to go on without me. I know some have time scales to keep. I pull myself together and miss the penultimate section. My neck is on fire. Something is not right. I love the last section so down I go gritting my teeth. I fake a smile to my friends. I've been so long they have nearly changed and packed up waiting for me I tell them I'm fine. I'm not. Wash the bike and put it on the roof, drive home. Every movement is pure agony and I can't move my neck. Two days pass. It must be the neck muscles tensing up.


I go to work for two days. Something is really not right and now I can't even lift my left arm. The next day I go to hospital, the last facebook message says 'the pain killer are working and I'm getting better'. I walk into hospital all boyish and bravado acting like I'm wasting the docs time. I go through the motions of scans to keep them happy and then the bomb shell drops that I've broken my neck and I nearly have a panic attack. A girl next to me has been hit by a car, that's far worse I rationalise.

Herin 7 months of recovery. 4 weeks on my back. I know that after two my fitness is doomed. They put me in a full cast and send me home. I try to walk up the quater mile track to my parents house and even though the cast is only half a stone I have to stop several times to catch my breath. I make it my mission to walk every day and to keep reading mountain bike magazines. I'm going to get a Trance I tell myself and I am going to ride again.


C3 they tell me, 1mm from ripping the spinal chord. Mtb is not advisable ever again. You could have been Tetraplegic, a shell inside a broken body or dead. I don't want to die, but I don't want to regret not doing it again. My parents tell me to continue and after rationalising that I could have fallen down the stairs or slipped on ice I decide that I will eventually get back on the bike.

Moving the neck for the first time in 6 months was fantastic. I'd missed it so much, but laugh that I was only moving 1cm the first time that felt like I was moving it loads, but through pain it's gradually getting better. I'm up to about 80% movement. I've ridden the hard tail 8 times since being declared fit for work and on the weekend before I started work I re-walked Cadair Idris one day and then took my mother up the Watkin path at snowdon. A mission to ride that I have.


So how did I end up with a Fuel Ex7? That's easy. I made a list of all the bikes I wanted, that were in my size range and that I could afford and came down to a Fuel and a remedy after deciding I wanted shimano over the sram the new Trance will be sporting according to the US website. The final choice was easy. Which out of the Trance and Fuel looked the best. Fuel of course in my price range. No remedy. £300 for an extra 20mm travel when I can hire as capable bikes in trail centres and bike parks.

Fuel EX7 29er is a bike to live with on the stuff I do daily which is most trail centres where 120mm is fine. It's a great bike. Once I learnt how to ride it properly I'd never had so much fun the trails going faster and cornering better. To me the riding felt like getting on another 29er. It took time to realise the differences and tune my riding to get the most out of the bike.

Maybe u'll get one of the versions. I've got the base model which is pretty well equipped for the money. A lot or not much depending on your luck in life. To me it was enough, but I rode it hard and it's never going on the pavement.

The only problem I have with it at the moment is that it's just too clean!



  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    I've ridden the EX9, I don't think you'll be disappointed with your purchase. Nasty story, glad you made a full recovery.
  • Nice bike. Good to hear your on the mend.

    Ive been looking at fuel ex 29er myself, but finding it hard to drop a lot of money on a bike without a test ride. I would need a 23inch probably.

    Seen a ex8 at glentress and im sure the frame design looks diffrent (goes to check the trek website). Anyway looks like it will chew up trail centres, happy riding.
  • Thanks guys. Starting to love it slowly. I know the first post was a bit 'look at me and my recovery' I'm surprised anyone managed to read it!

    I'm 6ft 7 and the 23 inch fits pretty well. The EX7 climbs pretty well once you dial the shocks to your liking.

    My main trail centre is Coed Y brenin. Chews through the red and black runs just fine although I am getting a bit tired of the 'wheel wars' as people constantly ask me how it rides compared to a 26.


    Stock tires on the EX7 are rubbish on wet rock or anything loose. Front tire has been changed to a 2.2 mountain king up front after 3 crashes with the rear on the stock 2.3 botranger. Still running DMR v8s from my old bike.

    The shop also fixed the front shock to get full travel they said they just 'jumped on it' a few times and now it seems to go near full when you need it to.


    Looks a bit dorky now, but the front end feels less dead while you can let the rear slide if it needs to as stock rear hangs on enough to work at my current speeds running 30psi.

    If you have the money or desire get a few models up, but the EX7 with a few tweaks is pretty good for an entry level model.

    For an entry level full suss with an OK component spec, buy one!
  • JayKay3000 wrote:
    Stock tires on the EX7 are rubbish on wet rock or anything loose. Front tire has been changed to a 2.2 mountain king up front after 3 crashes with the rear on the stock 2.3 botranger.

    Opposite way round here, lol. My Boardman that I bought recently came on crappy 2.2 Mountain Kings (OE wired version), so took those straight off and replaced 'em with Bontragers (XR3 Team Issues).
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    Fair play to you!

    I did C4 and C5 years ago and thought I was lucky. You, my friend, must have rabbits feet and four-leaf clovers up the whazoo.

    Well, not that far up, otherwise you wouldn't have snapped your neck, but here we are.....

    I like the tale of recovery, and it's the first time I've seen a 29er look like a BMX! I like the scenery, too.
    Keep riding, and keep posting.
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • A slight lack of scenery sorry. Just a quick update in wet / mud.

    Had fun playing with it in the local forests the last week exploring and riding moto tracks compare to normal trail centre fare (plus my local got shut down for forest disease for winter logging) that has been fun, but a friend took me around one of his favourite forest loops today.

    I got to experience faster downhills with thick mud that made me wish the hans dampf trail star compound tire had arrived. Learned to let the bike slide and had the mountain king vanish at one point for a split second only to dig in and carry on. Well I guess that's what you get from a day of hard rain followed by a dryish day. The moto trails were fast even with all the mud. Just noting for it, but to laugh and let the bike do its work.

    The stock xr3 on the rear seemed to cope ok with the thick mud (probably due to the 2.3 size) and even my friends 26inch nobby nics turned into offroad slicks having us to corner like moto riders with the feet out, anti lock and keep off the brakes. (not nearly as graceful as it sounds) but generally the 2.2 mountain king hung on.

    We set the front shock to 90psi and now it does not dive with a few clicks to make the rebound faster. Trail can be used on most stuff, but descend is a must for rocky stuff unless you want the world to turn into a blur. The rear is fairly soft, but never bottoms out much. I love that drcv shock and the rebound is set the same as the front. If I can fit a hans damp on the rear I'll def swap it, but will keep the xr3 for now.

    The rear wheel has come loose, and the gears have needed a tweak. It's running pretty well apart from that.

    Could have rode all day today. Took ages to clean the bike and my gear though. Plus my friend noticed improvement from start to finish which is always a good thing. Really tweaked the skills though.






  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    That is one dirty bike. Looks like someone's dipped it in batter to deep fry it. :lol:
  • JMcP92JMcP92 Posts: 339
    That is one dirty bike. Looks like someone's dipped it in batter to deep fry it. :lol:

    Nae chance! He's not Scottish, that's our thing!
    And just to clarify, deep fried ice cream actually works - and is kind of great

    On a more serious note, t'was a good read, glad you managed to get back on yer bike, sounds good fun too :)
  • Since been switched to tubeless because the wheels are a nightmare to get tires on and off. I broke 3 spare tubes and then gave up. Never has this problem before. Tubless is working great, but you do feel the trail more especially on the nobby nic. It often feels flat at 30 psi.



    While it was in the shop they discovered a massive tear in the rear botranger xr3 tire and it showed early signs of wear. hans damf front, nobby nic rear (shop price for the nobby nic was a wallet smasher). I want grip when I go mudding with it. The HD is too much tire for trail centres, but my lack of skill compensates at the moment so as a confidence builder it's worth the slight drag (hit 30+mph on a fireroad @ 30psi so I guess it's dragging loads). Trail star front, pace star rear.

    Had the spokes tightened, more so on the rear end and the front shock is starting to give more travel.

    Off to bike park wales on the 27th
  • lawmanlawman Posts: 6,868
    Glad your on the mend, sounds bloody awful!!

    Are those pictures in the first post at Nant Y Arian? My local centre at uni, some great trails, gutted it's shut til after crimbo now :(
  • j_lj_l Posts: 425
    Great story, glad you are making a good recovery and glad you are back on the bike- a nice one at that.

    I'm not old I'm Retro
  • lawman wrote:
    Glad your on the mend, sounds bloody awful!!

    Are those pictures in the first post at Nant Y Arian? My local centre at uni, some great trails, gutted it's shut til after crimbo now :(


    I find nant a bit boring though. Shame they can't build more into it. Mark of Zorrow is my favourite section by far, but hate the leg burner 10 minute fireroad climb.

    My neck still aches so launching anything much bigger than a curb is a problem as I'm scared that the landing will hurt so much and cause a crash so I'm going to session false teeth next week @ coed y brenin to get my wings back. They also have a cool skills area there now which I rode some, but m8s shocks got locked out and a few blue runs have jumps in them.

    I currently mainly ride hafren forest, coed y brenin and nant-y-moch while looking to do climachx and explore the dyfi forest.

    Here's a prime example of something I'm having to work up to. I know that if I saw a friend ride it I'd do it, but I don't have the confidence on my own yet. I can see a few good lines and there is a safe landing, but I get to it and my mind throws the brakes on.


    I'm not too bothered. There is plenty of riding to do to build confidence at the moment. My aim is to not crash, challenge myself and keep it fun. When I start to find coed y brenin blacks easy like I used to then maybe I'll start to look for more natural riding.

    Went up cadair on it, lots of coed y brenin mbr and dragons back, bike park wales a couple of times and a load of fun stuff in between.
  • You put it on the stolen forum? Such a shame, scumbags like that piss me off so much.
    Handbuilt Steel 29er
    Carbon Stumpjumper
    Ribble Gran Fondo
  • Not yet. I've done all the usual stuff like informing the local police, but it'll go up soon as. 3 days before Christmas too, but while doing a web search for it I found this old post. I'd have updated with my progress, but was too busy having fun. Did coed y brenin black runs a day before it was stolen so the bike was covered in crud with a lock on it, hidden in a small shed at the back of the house.

    Kicker is that I did not insure it. Where I live there is almost no crime, but then a farm had a quad bike stolen at random so thieves are everywhere really.
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    Rural areas are popular targets for thieves - few nosy neighbours, lax attitude to security and very few police. You'd probably been followed home at some point by the arseholes.
  • B*stards!
    2010 Specialized Tricross (commuter)
    2014 Whyte T129-S
    2016 Specialized Tarmac Ultegra Di2
    Big Mitch - YouTube
  • iand-83iand-83 Posts: 132
    Shame it was stolen, hopefully it will get returned to you. Out of interest how did you find the dual valve rear shock that Trek fit to this?
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    Iand-83 wrote:
    Shame it was stolen, hopefully it will get returned to you.

    N.B. - Link not work safe (includes swearing).
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