Bike Magazine's Best Mountain Bikes under $2500 Runner Up
"Trek's 130-millimeter-travel Fuel EX chassis can handle just about anything outside of bike parks and full-on downhill tracks. The 29er version of the Fuel EX has been a long favorite of Bike, and the plus-size version is aimed at bringing a capable trail bike to riders who want something that boosts the confidence but doesn’t drain the wallet. The Fuel EX 5 Plus has a fairly base-level build, complete with a Rockshox Recon fork, Deluxe RL shock and a mixed Shimano/SunRace/Race Face 10-speed drivetrain. The Recon fork is bumped up to 140 millimeters of travel from the standard 130 millimeters for the 29er. The Fuel Ex 5 doesn’t come with a dropper post, but the frame is routed for it once you pick one out. The Alex rims laced to Bontrager hubs don’t come set up tubeless, but are compatible if you want to go sans tubes. Even set up with tubes, though, the 2.8-inch Schwalbe Nobby Nics will certainly provide gobs of traction. Out of the box, the Fuel EX 5 that can handle nearly anything you throw at it—but you might just have to stop to lower your seat before the really gnarly stuff."