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Bought 21.5 version in April 2017. Trek must have listened to all the complaints about the dropper lever. My lever is different from the older versions that I have seen. The dropper seat works great and I use it often. The bike is great and as others have said, it's probably more bike than I will ever need. I'm in my mid 50's and pushing 250lbs. I'm coming from a 2014 Trek X-cal 7 after having not biked since 1996 on my Trek Hoo Koo (Kids, responsibilities…etc.). While shopping for this bike, I was able to do a side by side comparison of the fuel ex 8 27.5 plus and a Specialized Stumpjumper 650b. Component-wise, they were pretty much the same. I chose the Trek because the cockpit was a little less compact than the Specialized. At 6' 2", I have crazy long arms (Like I should be 7' 2") and the Specialized felt a little cramped to me. I know that there is a lot of things I could do like change the handlebars, the stem, the seat position, but I didn't want to change the geometry of the bike too much. Plus, it would have been extra money out of pocket. The Trek definitely has a little more room and it allows me to ride comfortably. I rode the Chupacabras for a month with tubes and then went tubeless. They are great in almost every situation except mud. I find that they tend to want to wash out to the side a bit but that may be true of every plus tire. I have only ridden these tires so I have nothing to compare. The bike is holding up well and is a complete blast to ride. If your legs can push it, it'll go over everything.