2018 Trek Fuel EX 8: 

Which Drive Train is for You?

Fuel EX 8 - 1
Shimano XT 2x11
SRAM GX Eagle 1x12

The question between 2x and 1x mountain bike drive trains (referring to the number of rings you have up front with your crank) is almost as big as trying to answer whether the chicken or the egg came first, especially when they are the same price, but don't fret! We asked the experts and came up with some compare and contrast pointers to help you decide which is best for you. Come in and test ride both today.

This bike is for you if:

  • The term, "less is more," does not appeal to you. A fine-tuned, two-part system that offers more gears for everything is music to your ears.
  • Your range is complex. You need the highs and the lows and everything in-between, but with a little more emphasis on the efficiency and smoothness of those in-between gears.

  • You go on (or might want to go on) bonk-worthy rides. The 2x system is a favorite for anyone looking for the peace of mind of knowing that pushing outside of their comfort zone is a little easier with more gears. 
  • You don't mind a little gear overlap. With any front & back gear system, there is destined to be some overlap in gear ratios, but your payoff is a broader, smoother range.
  • You might want to convert... to a 1x, that is. Shimano's cranks can be converted to a 1x11 should the need arise!

This bike is for you if:

  • You appreciate simplicity. Eliminating a front derailleur could save you a lot of headaches!
  • You still need the range. This wide range cassette gives you the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, especially with the large jump to the 50-tooth big ring.

  • You ride diverse terrain, but have no need for the in-between gears or extra parts of a 2x11.
  • It's more beginner friendly, especially if you're learning to use a dropper post. With one less thing to focus on, it frees up your left hand for your dropper lever.
  • You want to know exactly how many gears you have. You have 12. No overlap. No math. Just 12. (Back to the point of appreciating simplicity.)


"A 1x drive train is noisy... Noise means friction, friction means wear, and wear costs money."

Truth: The updated design of the teeth and the chain from the previous 1x11 makes for smoother and quieter entry of the teeth into the chain as it shifts. Less noise, less friction, less parts, less problems.


"2x drive trains are out of style and excessive."

Truth: 2x drive trains are favored by many professional athletes and are not going away any time soon! They are smooth, quiet, and efficient, with tighter and more consistent steps between gears than a 1x can offer.


Shifters: SRAM GX Eagle, 12 speed

Front Derailleur: None!

Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle, Roller Bearing Clutch

Crank: SRAM Descendant 6k Eagle, 32T Direct Mount X-Sync

Cassette: SRAM XG-1275, 10-50, 12 speed

Brakeset: SRAM Guide R hydraulic disc

Chain: SRAM GX Eagle



Shifters: Shimano Deore XT M8000, 11 speed

Front Derailleur: Shimano SLX M7020

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT M8000, Shadow Plus

Crank: Shimano Deore XT, 36/26

Cassette: Shimano SLX M7000, 11-42, 11 speed

Brakeset: Shimano MT500 hydraulic disc

Chain: Shimano HG60


Shop Fuel EX 8

Trek Fuel EX 8 29
$2,899.99 - $2,999.99 $3,199.99 - $3,299.99 Up To 9% Savings
Key features - Capable and stiff 130mm frame is 29" and 27.5+ compatible - Boost148/110: stronger wheels, more tire ...
Trek Fuel EX 8 29 XT
$2,899.99 $3,199.99 9% Savings
Key features - Capable and stiff 130mm frame is 29" and 27.5+ compatible - Boost148/110: stronger wheels, more tire ...