Trek's full-sus Fuel models have always struck a nice balance between trail capability and singletrack fun. The EX 8 sits at the top of their alloy frameset Fuel range, and has a particularly well chosen set of components that make the most of that versatility.
A classic 140mm front / 130mm rear travel suspension balance combines with modern, more relaxed geometry to make a surprisingly nimble slayer of rock gardens. The dropper post is a welcome addition, pretty much essential these days for a bike like this, that will tempt you into more technical terrain.
The 1x Eagle drivetrain features SRAM's signature 10-50 cassette, giving plenty of range for all kinds of routes. 29x2.6in tyres (Bontrager's highly regarded XR4 Team Issue - one of the new breed of own brand tyres you won't want/need to swap out after purchase) eat up the gnarly stuff.
It's a compelling package, with Fox's smooth and brilliantly direct Rhythm 34 air-sprung forks providing ample front suspension, matched with the Fox Performance Float EVOL rear shock. No corners cut, and ready to rip.
photos by Bence Bujaki