4 out of 5 stars
"Infectious enthusiasm and agility for all-round fun"
By Guy Kesteven
It has the same name and same 120mm of rear travel as the 2007 EX, but otherwise the '08 model is a totally new beast. It's smoother, tighter and adds greater substance to its already proven, playful persona.
Chassis: Angular looks, plenty of mud clearance
The angular egg-timer head tube and trapezoid cross-section tubes add a neat geometric edge to the look of the bike. Trek has given a real edge to the ride, too, with a stiffer 'Evo' rocker linkage removing the 'articulated' aspect of older EXs.
You may have seen the adverts about the new suspension setup. 'ABP' (Advanced Braking Pivot) puts the seat stay/chainstay pivot concentric with the rear axle to minimise brake movement as the suspension moves. 'Full Floater' sits the lower end of the shock on forward extensions of the chainstay, effectively moving it away from the top rocker as it tries to compress it.
It's got a British amount of mud space, too, and the whole bike is open and easy to work on. A new 18.5in size closes the awkward 17.5in to 19.5in gap.
Ride: Light and tight, but back end creaked by end of test
The new EX has shorter stems than its predecessor. This gives a light and eager steering feel that meshes perfectly with the bike's playful character. It's just one of those bikes that's great to hop, pop and skip all over the trail.
The new suspension has a much smoother and more capable mid-stroke feel, with no trace of harsh bottom-out off big stuff. This means you can squat it into corners and fire it out again, and it rolls through square-edged stoppers far better than it used to. There's a bit of 'sting' at the start of high-speed shock loads such as big flat landings, but the payback is a pert pedalling feel that makes the Pro pedal shock lever pretty much redundant.
Overall feel is definitely far tighter than before, with much better tracking precision on off-camber or cross-thread trail sections. There's still a slight tendency for the heavily asymmetric rear end to twang left under power, though, and the back end was starting to creak noticeably by the end of the test. Despite having an extra 10mm of fork travel when compared to some direct competitor bikes, it still felt more cross-country than all-mountain on more challenging descents, too.
Equipment: value plus function
Fox's new damping guts are a big factor in the massive control offered by this type of bike, and the Trek's rear setup showcases them well. The tubeless-ready Bontrager wheels and tyres make it easy to remove weight and add extra suppleness to the ride.
XT/LX kit represents impressive value and function, while the Bontrager Race gear is all good. The saddle was certainly one of the comfiest we've tested, and the seat post now seems to stay in place without titanic torque. The Avid brakes have more than ample power, too.
Everyone who rode the Trek absolutely loved it for its get-on-and-go enthusiasm and agility. The new suspension has impressive smoothness, the bike ticks all the practicality boxes, kit levels are excellent and there's real potential for a lightweight upgrade. If you're after addictive all-round fun, the EX has to be on your shortlist.
Setiap orang yang pakai Trek pasti menyukainya karena gaya antusias nya yang mengajak ayo-naik-dan-pergi dan agility nya. Suspensinya yang baru lembutnya impresif, praktis, level kitnya sangat baik dan berpotensi untuk di upgrade ke komponen yang lebih ringan. Jika kamu mencari barang yang terus-terusan menyenangkan dan bikin ketagihan, masukkan EX dalam daftar.