Trek Fuel EX 8
Best all-around mountain bike
For riders who do a little bit of everything, experts say it's hard to go wrong with the Trek Fuel EX 8. This popular trail bike has just under 5 inches of suspension on the front and rear wheels, giving it a plush ride over rugged terrain. Even with all that suspension, the Fuel EX 8 has excellent pedaling performance and responsive handling over a variety of trails. The hydraulic disc brakes are powerful and confidence-inspiring, reviews say. Downsides are few, but testers do run into a few problems with the stock tires -- riders say they do a good job on packed-dirt trails, but they lack enough grip to precisely navigate technical turns and corners. We also saw one report that the conservative geometry won't appeal to everyone, especially aggressive riders.
The Trek Fuel EX 8 comes in five frame sizes (with a limited lifetime frame warranty) and a corresponding women's version, the Trek Fuel EX 8 WSD (*Est. $2,470).