Trek Fuel EX 6

Trail: Confidence Builder; $1,980.

Trek Fuel EX 6     Photo: Photograph by Inga Hendrickson

Got two grand and big dreams? Here's a lot of bike for the money. The EX 6 is basically an aluminum version of one of our favorite bikes from last year's test, the full-carbon Fuel EX 9.9. And while it's neither as light nor supple as that model, the EX 6 offers more than a taste of that performance—at less than a third the price. Trek's patented ABP suspension, which places a pivot on the rear axle, performed as advertised, minimizing pedal bob while staying active in all conditions. And the RockShox Recon SL front fork earned high marks for its plush feel and on-the-fly lockout. 29.1 lbs (medium); trekbikes.com
CLIMBING: 4 DESCENDING: 4.3

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