Some people see them as two Trek trail bike generations apart. Others see them as two similar models with just an identity separation. I’m talking about Trek Fuel EX 5 vs 7, and the obvious question is, what’s the difference?
Trek Fuel EX 5 weighs slightly more than Trek Fuel EX 7 and features a 1×12 Shimano Deore M6100 drivetrain, which is slightly low-end than Fuel EX 7’s 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle. Application-wise, EX 5 is best for casual trail riding and occasional enduro and XC racing, while EX 7 is an all-around choice.
Other than differentiating these two Trek Fuel EX bikes according to their weight, drivetrain, and suitability, you can tell their difference from their frame colors and prices, as shared in the table below:
|Features||Trek Fuel EX 5 (2022 Model)||Trek Fuel EX 7 (2022 Model)|
|Drivetrain||1×12 Shimano Deore M6100||1×12 SRAM NX Eagle|
|Bike Weight||34.62 pounds||31.93 pounds|
|Suitability||Occasional enduro and XC course||All-round use|
|Color Choices||Lithium Grey/Marigold, Dark Aquatic/Trek Black, and Matte Dniester Black||Trek Black/Radioactive Red and Dark Prismatic|
|Prices||$2,449.99 – $2,579.99||$3,499.99|
Given that Trek Fuel EX 5 and EX 7 belong to the same family line (the Trek Fuel EX line), you should expect them to have more in common than differences. So, we’ll also highlight these similarities once we exhaustively differentiate them.
But first, let’s jump into the bike’s overview.
Trek Fuel EX 5 Review
The Trek Fuel EX family is known for its balanced trail geometry and trail-ready suspension setup, and that’s what you get from Fuel EX 5.
It comes with an innovative frame that employs Mono Link and Active Braking Point (ABP) suspension innovations to offer you more bike control and exceptional comfort.
Trek Fuel EX 5 has high-end specs that make it a high-performance trail bike. Though this bike is not an enduro monster or a cross-country speed beast for serious riders, you can engage it in cross-country and enduro races and still beat most guys with actual enduro and XC bikes.
The only competition you cannot ride is the elite level, as competitors are likely to grace the event with bikes with higher-end specs and slightly lighter ones.
Overall, Fuel EX 5 weighs 34.62 pounds without its tubes which may be slightly heavier than most mid-range and high-end MTBs, including its siblings Trek Fuel EX 7.
However, the extra pounds are not a big issue for casual riding and mid-level enduro and XC courses. Primarily its impressive performance is due to its 12-speed Shimano Deore M6100, which is the newest entry into the Shimano Deore groupset family but is quite reliable and efficient.
I also cannot forget to mention its impressive suspension and suspension technologies, robust all-terrain tubeless-ready wheels, and ever-responsive all-season Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. So, build-wise and performance-wise, Fuel EX 5 is a decent purchase.
Trek Fuel EX 7 Review
Judging by looks (apart from the frame colors), there’s nothing to separate Trek Fuel EX 7 from Fuel EX 5. But if you scrutinize the specs, one thing stands out: the drivetrain.
Instead of going for Shimano Deore M6100, Trek settles on SRAM NX Eagle here. The difference is that NX Eagles Shimano equivalent is Shimano SLX and not Shimano Deore.
SLX ranks just above Deore on the Shimano groupset hierarchy, making SRAM NX Eagle slightly more high-end than Deore M6100.
You can count on Fuel EX 7s 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain for fast and efficient shifting, and like every other SRAM NX Eagle, it’s robustly built to last longer.
Trek Fuel EX 7 weighs 31.93 pounds, making it 2.69 pounds lighter than Fuel EX 5 even though they share the same frame material, sizing formula, and design.
But like Fuel EX 5, EX 7 employs both Mono Link and ABP (Active Braking Point) suspension technologies which promise unmatched control, confidence, and comfort when taking on the trails.
Overall, Trek Fuel EX 7 is an all-rounder full-suspension trail beast. You can not only use it for casual biking and occasional enduro and XC courses but also use it for touring, commuting, mountain biking, and just about anything, you may want it to be.
This trial bike can be your day-to-day adventure bike or your competition choice, depending on what other riders bring to the event. Unless they are elite athletes and the competition is an elite one, they are unlikely to bring a higher-end bike than this.
You can count on its fast-shift Shimano NX Eagle drivetrain, innovative suspension, and lightweight frames for top performance.
Trek Fuel EX 5 vs 7 Side-by-Side Comparison
Generally, here’s how Trek Fuel EX 5 and EX 7 compare:
These two bikes are primarily distinguishable by their drivetrains. Trek Fuel EX 5 comes with a 1×12 Shimano Deore M6100 drivetrain which comprises of:
- 12-speed Shimano Deore M6100 shifters
- Shimano Deore M6100 long cage rear derailleurs
- 12-speed Shimano Deore M60
- 12-speed Shimano Deore M6100 chain
In contrast, Trek Fuel EX 7 features a 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain which comprises of:
- 12-speed SRAM PG-1230 NX Eagle shifters
- NX Eagle rear derailleurs
- 12-speed SRAM PG-1230 NX Eagle 11-50 T
- 12-speed NX Eagle Chain
Clearly, the two drivetrains are different (even though they are both 12- speed), which brings about a difference in performance.
Quality-wise, SRAM NX Eagle is a slightly higher grade than Shimano Deore M6100. As a result, it promises a crispier shifting, more reliability, and more strength and generally gives Fuel EX 7 a slight competitive edge over Fuel EX 5.
Nonetheless, you may fail to note the difference if you use either bike for occasional enduro and XC races, casual biking, or trail adventures.
2. Trek Fuel EX 7 Vs EX5 Weight
Trek Fuel EX 5 weighs 34.62 pounds, excluding the tubes, while Fuel EX 7 weighs 31.93 pounds. That makes Fuel EX 7 2.69 pounds lighter than its compatriot, giving it a slight competitive advantage.
Trek Fuel EX 7 is likely to feel slightly more comfortable than Fuel EX 5 when riding fast because of the slightly lower weight.
3. Bike Suitability
Owing to its lower weight and slightly higher-end 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, Trek Fuel EX 7 is an excellent all-around mountain bike.
You can use it for entry-level and mid-level competitions, including cross country and enduro courses. You can also use it for trail adventures, off-road commuting, local cruising, fitness cycling, running errands, etcetera.
Trek Fuel EX 5 is also another versatile choice. But since it has a slightly lower-end drivetrain, it’s only best for occasional enduro and cross country races and casual riding.
If you want something more competitive, you may have to opt for Fuel EX 7 or any other higher-end choice.
4. Trek Fuel EX 5 Vs EX 7 Color Choices
These full-suspension trail mountain bikes differ in appearance. Trek Fuel EX 5 comes in three styles or color choices: Lithium Grey/Marigold, Dark Aquatic/Trek Black, and Matte Dniester Black.
On the other hand, Trek Fuel EX 7 comes in 2 styles: Trek Black/Radioactive Red and Dark Prismatic.
5. Bike Prices
There is a vast price gap between Trek Fuel EX 5 and 7 which explains the quality and applicability of the two bikes.
Trek Fuel EX 5 retails at $2,449.99 – $2,579.99 while Fuel EX 5 goes for $3,499.99. If you do the math, that gives you a difference of about $1,000 or less.
Understandably, Trek Fuel EX 7 costs more because it has a higher-end drivetrain and weighs less, giving it a competitive edge over its siblings.
After looking at the difference between Trek Fuel EX 5 and 7, it’s worth highlighting their similarities. They include:
- Frame Sizes
Both bikes come in different frame sizes that are as follows:
|Frame Size||Rider’s Height (cm)|
|XS (Extra Small)||137.0 – 150.0|
|S (Small)||153.0 – 166.5|
|M (Medium)||161.0 – 172.0|
|M/L (Medium/Large)||165.5 – 179.0|
|L (Large)||177.0 – 188.0|
|XL (Extra Large)||186.0 – 196.0|
|2XL (Extra-Extra-Large)||195.0 – 203.0|
- Frame Material – Both bikes feature alpha platinum aluminum frames which are lighter, stronger, stiffer, and pretty durable.
- Wheels – Both bikes are available in 27.5 inch and 29-inch tubeless-ready Bontrager wheels.
- Suspension Travel – Both bikes are full suspension with 140mm and 130mm front and rear travel.
- Suspension Technologies – Both MTBs employ Active braking point (ABP) and Mono Link. ABP promotes efficient braking and confident control, while Mono Link promotes an adjustable geometry.
- 12-speed Drivetrain – Though the brand and performance of the two drivetrains differ, they are both 12-speed, thus efficient in shifting.
- Bontrager Components – Both bikes share several Bontrager components, including handlebars, grips, saddle, stem, tires, hub, and rim strip.
People Also Ask
1. Is The Fuel EX 5 A Trail Bike?
Yes, Fuel EX 5 is a trail bike by Trek. The MTB comes with 140mm and 130mm suspensions that give it unparalleled off-road dominance. It enjoys innovative suspensions such as Active Braking Point (ABP) and the self-adjusting Mono Link, which promise a more confident ride.
2. How Much Travel Does the Trek Fuel EX 5 Have?
Trek Fuel EX 5 has 140mm front and 130mm rear suspensions. That’s enough to tackle local trails and engage in occasional cross-country (XC) and enduro racing.
3. Is The Trek Fuel EX 5 Tubeless?
All Fuel EX MTBs by Trek are tubeless-ready. That means you can easily replace their existing tires with a tubeless option. Note that tubeless-ready doesn’t mean the tires are tubeless, but the rims are compatible with tubeless tires.
4. Is The Trek Fuel EX A XC Bike?
No, Trek Fuel EX is not a cross-country (XC bike). Quite the contrary, it’s a versatile trail bike that you can occasionally use for cross-country courses.
Closing Thought on Trek Fuel EX 5 vs 7!
Generally, Trek Fuel EX 5 and Fuel EX 7 are distinguishable by their drivetrains, which hugely impact the overall riding experience. While Fuel EX 5 flaunts a 1×12 Shimano Deore M6100, Fuel Ex 7 vaunts a 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle which is slightly more end and a better performer.