The Trek Fuel EX is Trek’s undisputed king of trails. This full-suspension MTB family is built for all kinds of trails, and two of its most famous lines are Trek Fuel EX 7 and Fuel EX 8. So, how do you differentiate Trek Fuel Ex 7 Vs 8?
Trek Fuel EX 7 has a 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle Drivetrain and is slightly heavier with slightly low-end Shimano disc brakes, while Trek Fuel EX 8 has a 1×12 Shimano XT M8100 Drivetrain and is slightly lighter with more high-end Shimano disc brakes.
While the two trail bikes are primarily distinguishable by their drivetrains, weight, and brake quality, you could also separate them according to the saddle build, suspension technology, frame color, and even price.
That brings us to the seven differences outlined in the table below.
|Trek Fuel EX 7 (2022)
|Trek Fuel EX 8 (2022)
|1×12 SRAM NX Eagle
|1×12 Shimano XT M8100
|Slightly lower quality
|Better quality than Fuel EX 7
|ABP and Mono Link
|ABP, Mono Link, and RE: Aktiv
|Trek black/radioactive red and Dark prismatic
|Rage Red/Dnister black fade and Alpine blue/deep dark blue
Not that since Fuel EX 7 and Fuel EX 8 belong to the same family, Trek Fuel EX, they are likely to have more resemblances than differences. So, we will highlight their similarities after exhausting their differences.
But first, let us begin with an overview of each trail bike.
Trek Fuel EX 7 Overview
This trail bike weighs 31.93 pounds and comes in more stunning frame colors (Trek black/radioactive red and dark prismatic).
Its 1×12 SRAM NX Drivetrain allows you to smoothly shift across challenging trails, while its Shimano hydraulic disc brake promises crisp and smooth stopping in all riding conditions.
On the other hand, its tubeless-ready wheels and dropper post give it a high-end feel, even though it’s only a mid-range option. And given that it has 140mm and 130 front and rear travel suspensions, there is just no trail that you cannot take on with Fuel EX 7.
The manufacturer employs Active Braking Point (ABP) and Mono Link suspension technologies to promote good control and comfort on the go.
Construction-wise, this trail MTB is pretty solid and comes in all frame sizes (ranging from small to extra-extra-large) in 27.5-inch and 29-inch options. Extra small and small frames are paired with 27.5-inch wheels, while the others are fitted with 29-inch wheels.
Trek Fuel EX 8 Overview
Trek Fuel EX 8 promises what you get from its sister model, Trek Fuel EX 7, and more. This trail bike is for those mountain bikers who want a more versatile trail bike without breaking the bank. Yes, you pay about $430 more, but you get a few high-end specs.
The first is a more high-end hydraulic disc brake, characterized by a Shimano RT66 brake rotor, which is slightly more high-grade than Fuel XE 7’s RT56.
The other spec is the saddle. The bike comes with an Arvada Bontrager saddle with Chromoly rails and not steel rails, as in the case of Trek Fuel EX 7. Chromoly is lighter, stiffer, and stronger than steel, and thus, the saddle is good value for money.
The other notable difference is the inclusion of the RE: Aktiv in its suspension package, which also includes ABP and Mono Link. So, comfort-wise and even control-wise, Fuel EX 8 promises much more than Trek Fuel EX 7.
And, of course, the bike has a different drivetrain. Its 1×12 Shimano XT M8100 promises nothing but a smooth shifting across the various trails that you go through.
However, the other specs are similar to Trek Fuel EX 7.
Trek Fuel Ex 7 Vs 8 Side-By-Side Comparison
After looking at the overviews of Fuel EX 7 and Fuel EX 8, let’s compare them side by side under the following:
Trek Fuel EX 7 comes with a 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle Drivetrain characterized by the following:
- 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle shifters
- SRAM NX Eagle rear derailleur
- SRAM PG-1230 Eagle 11-50T 12-speed cassette
- 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle chain
On the other hand, Fuel EX 8 comes with a 1×12 Shimano XT M8100 drivetrain, characterized by the following:
- 12-speed Shimano XT M8100
- Shimano XT M8100 rear derailleur
- Shimano XT M8100 10-51T 12-speed cassette
- 12-speed Shimano SLX M7100 chain
When comparing the two, it’s clear that both drivetrains are 12-speed, but their makes are different, which changes the dynamics of the riding experience and the drivetrain quality.
Quality-wise, SRAM NX Eagle is comparable to Shimano SLX (which sits lower on the Shimano hierarchy) and not Shimano XT. With that in mind, Fuel EX 8’s Shimano XT M8100 is slightly more high-end, with a few advantages.
For one, Shimano XT is more appealing and more compatible with other groupsets. Additionally, Shimano XT feels slightly crispier when shifting than SRAM NX Eagle.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t make the NX Eagle a poor choice. It is only that Shimano XT offers you more.
2. Trek Fuel Ex 7 Vs Ex 8 Weight
When comparing the weights of the two bikes without the tubes, Trek Fuel EX 8 weighs 30.56 pounds while Trek Fuel EX 7 weighs 31.93 pounds. That gives you a 1.37-pound difference which is not much for a casual biker but could count for something for someone who cares more about speed.
Those who want to ride faster are likely to opt for Fuel EX 8 as it’s slightly lighter and, as seen earlier, has a more high-end drivetrain.
3. Brake Quality
It’s hard to tell the difference between the brakes of the two bikes by only looking at the type and make. While both bikes come with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, Fuel EX 7 features Shimano RT56 rotors, while Fuel EX 8 has RT66 options.
But does that make a difference? The answer is Yes, it does.
RT66 brake rotors are more high-grade, making Trek Fuel EX 8 disc brakes more reliable. They are dependable in all riding conditions.
4. Trek Fuel Ex 8 Vs 7 Saddle Construction
While both saddles are Bontrager Arvada types, they differ in rail material type. Fuel EX 7 features steel rails, while Fuel EX 8 features Chromoly rails.
While both materials are strong and don’t lose their shape, Chromoly is lighter, stiffer, and often more durable. So, it promises a more valuable saddle than what you get from steel rail.
5. Suspension Technologies
Both bikes utilize Active Braking Point (ABP) and Mono Link. ABP allows the bike to self-tune depending on the braking and acceleration to offer you more control. On the other hand, Mono Link enables you to adjust the bike’s geometry on the go and offers you a more comfortable ride.
The difference is that Trek Fuel EX 8 utilizes an additional suspension technology, Re: Aktiv. Re: Aktiv offers you extra pedaling leverage and allows you to navigate the trails smoothly. So, you have more control when riding Trek Fuel EX 8 than Fuel EX 7.
6. Frame Colors
Trek Fuel EX 7 (2022) comes in two color choices;
- Trek black/radioactive red
- Dark Prismatic
Trek Fuel EX 8 also comes in two color choices, though in different shades:
- Red rage/Dnister black fade
- Alpine blue/deep dark blue
Trek Fuel Ex 7 Vs 8 Price
Trek Fuel EX 7 retails at $3,499.99 while Fuel EX 8 goes for $3,929.99. So, Trek Fuel EX 8 is $430 costlier than Fuel EX 7.
But why is that? The reason is the specs differences that I’ve mentioned.
As a recap, Fuel EX 8 has a higher grade brake, slightly better drivetrain, and weighs slightly less, making it marginally costlier than Fuel EX 7. We also cannot forget that Fuel EX 8 employs Re: Aktiv suspension technology which is peculiarly missing on Fuel EX 7.
Trek Fuel EX 7 and 8 are siblings of the same family, Trek Fuel EX. Thus, they share a lot, which includes the following:
- Alpha platinum aluminum frame with a tapered headtube and internal routing
- ABP and Mono Link suspensions for a more comfortable ride
- 300-pound load capacity to tolerate huge loads
- 27.5-inch and 29-inch wheels
- Seven frame sizes (XS, S, Me, M/L, L, XL, and XXL)
- 140mm front and 130mm rear suspension
- Bontrager tubeless-ready tires
- Bontrager handlebar, stem, grips, and dropper post
Should You Go for Trek Fuel Ex 7 Or 8?
Choosing between Trek Fuel EX 7 and Fuel 8 is easy when the budget is not a huge concern. After all, Trek Fuel EX 8 has slightly better specs if you factor in the brakes and drivetrain and that you are getting a lighter bike.
Trek Fuel EX 8 is best for serious trail riders who want a speedier, more comfortable, and funnier all-terrain bike to ride.
But if you intend to save on cost and are only looking for a casual trail bike that outperforms entry-level choices, you cannot go wrong with Trek Fuel EX 7. After all, it promises the majority of specs you find on Fuel EX 8.
People Also Ask
1. What Is the Difference Between Trek Fuel Ex 7 And 8?
The primary difference between Trek Fuel EX 7 and 8 is that the latter is lighter, has a more high-end drivetrain and brakes, a better saddle, and utilizes Re: Aktiv suspension, thus more comfortable.
2. How Heavy Is the Trek Fuel EX 7?
Trek Fuel EX 7 2022 model weighs 31.93 pounds (excluding the tubes), while its 2021 version weighs 31.1 pounds.
3. How Much Travel Does a Trek Fuel EX 8 Have?
Trek Fuel EX 8, like every other Trek Fuel EX bike, has 140mm front travel suspension and 130mm rear travel suspension.
4. Does The Fuel EX 7 Come Tubeless?
Yes, Trek Fuel EX 7 comes with tubeless-ready Bontrager wheels.
Closing Thought on Trek Fuel Ex 7 Vs 8!
Generally, while Trek Fuel EX 7 and 8 share a lot as they are siblings of the same family, their differences are apparent. Trek Fuel EX 8 has more specs and is lighter, though narrowly, and promises more value. Trek Fuel EX 8, however, cuts for budget buyers as it saves money while promising decent specs.