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Gear Report: Trek Fuel 8

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Gear report: Trek Fuel EX8

History:I have been mountain biking for about 10 years. I started off with a Specialized Rockhopper A1 then to a Connondale M900 then a Specialized Stumpjumper M2 Comp (Full XT).

Since then: I got out of MTNing, I built up a Trek 7500 to full XT.

Now: I want to get back into some serious single track. I have played around with buying a cheapo hard tail that was used and abused…just doesn’t cut it. In doing some consulting work at a local shop, I can “form a bike from there, which limits me to Trek products, Trek, Gary Fisher and (maybe) Klein.

Today’s demo: Trek EX 8. While in the shop we were talking position of the handlebars. Do I want them low or high. I was concerned about being too high (for climbing), so I chose low. This was fine for climbing, bit I found decents were awkward because they were too low.

Getting to Bear Creak, a marginal ski area in PA that has opened the mountain to bikers in the summer. Once I started to climb I foung the full suspension to be on the lines of how I felt a mid fat ski was (Volant PowerKarve) was to a (first generation) shape ski, like a Elan SCX. I made some climbs that I KNOW I couldn’t have made on my hardtail.

I am not sure I need a 2300.00 bike, but a FS in the 1800.00 range might be in order. I do want to demo the (upcoming) Fisher Hifi which is a replacement for the Cake line.

post #2 of 19
Time to buy. Don't get too hung up on finding the perfect bike. Go with what feels good. 90% of "it" is the rider. the rest is the bike-assuming your bike is not some worn out low end POS.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Pt. 2.

This bike has about 4" travel. In riding it, I realized for the type of riding I will and want to be doing..I wouldn't want any more than that. I found some cases where the front wheel got caught and if there was more travel, I would have stopped. My riding will be primarily single track with very little downhills so a full suspension geared more to XC will be my top criteria.


What is holding me up.... Simply, I am not sure how much use I will get out of riding. I just don't have the time or people that I can ride with. I don't mind ridign alone, but in riding alone I know I won't push myself and the bike enough. Plus it is coming into the fall/winter and I KNOW I won't do any winter riding and do I want to tie up 1200.00 of good ski money.
post #4 of 19
Tuning goes along way on the shocks. I know what you mean about losing momentum on a root at low speed or something like thta, but I don't find it to be a problem on my 5" travel bike. Also, different forks will have a different feel. I really like th feel of the Fox forks and have a TALAS RLC on my bike. It has 130mm of travel and is adjustable down to 85mm for better climbing. The spring rate stays the same, but the geometry changes and gets me out of "wheelie mode" I only use it for very long climbs though like riding up Spruce Peak at Stowe.

Get out there and try some more bikes. Go for a group ride and see what people are doing. Bikes today are more capable than most people think they are. Don't discount a little more travel until you have at least tried it.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Get out there and try some more bikes. Go for a group ride and see what people are doing. Bikes today are more capable than most people think they are. Don't discount a little more travel until you have at least tried it.
I am not discounting longer travel. I am going to take out a Fat Possum in a week.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
I am going to take out a Fat Possum in a week.
Look, Phil, this is not snowHeads, or some other dating forum, and over here in Europe we really frown on beastiality (unless the sheep is really good looking, and can kiss well)
post #7 of 19
Phil:

Here's a Fuel EX9 for about the same money:

http://rbikes.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=3233

You might want to check out a 29r HT. Some of the Fishers are just over $1000.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
I am not discounting longer travel. I am going to take out a Fat Possum in a week.

The fat possum got a very negative review in Mountain Bike Action, fyi. Maverick forks are not on the same level as fox/marzocchi/rockshox/manitou.
post #9 of 19
The EX 8 rides ok, IMNSHO, but I felt like there was a lot of flex in the rockerlink setup. I prefer the Stumpy FSR series, any model. I like the feel of a fox suspension better in any case, so I may have some bias there. The carbon fiber bars on the ex 8 also make me nervous.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
Phil:

Here's a Fuel EX9 for about the same money:

http://rbikes.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=3233I appreciate the heads

You might want to check out a 29r HT. Some of the Fishers are just over $1000.
I appreciate teh heads up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
The fat possum got a very negative review in Mountain Bike Action, fyi. Maverick forks are not on the same level as fox/marzocchi/rockshox/manitou.
The Fat Possum isn't on my list, I am just taking it out to get the feel of a longer travel bike. If I go with a Fisher it will prolly be the upcoming Hifi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
The EX 8 rides ok, IMNSHO, but I felt like there was a lot of flex in the rockerlink setup. I prefer the Stumpy FSR series, any model. I like the feel of a fox suspension better in any case, so I may have some bias there. The carbon fiber bars on the ex 8 also make me nervous.
IF it is the Trek I get, the 7 is in the range I am thinking.


I know no one bike is perfect, and coming from my currect bike any of these are a huge step up.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
The fat possum got a very negative review in Mountain Bike Action, fyi. Maverick forks are not on the same level as fox/marzocchi/rockshox/manitou.
Mountain Bike Trashcan is based in Cali though, if you live on the East Coast, some of thier reviews (OK, almost all of them) seem out of place. I just read a very positive review of the Fat Possum in one of the other rags. Anyway, riding is beleiving, right?
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Mountain Bike Trashcan is based in Cali though, if you live on the East Coast, some of thier reviews (OK, almost all of them) seem out of place. I just read a very positive review of the Fat Possum in one of the other rags. Anyway, riding is beleiving, right?
Right.
post #13 of 19
The advice to jump in and buy/not get hung up on finding the perfect bike is very good.

But, if you must (satisfy the overwhelming urge to try out different bikes and configurations), two shops in Jim Thorpe rent both FS and hardtails by the hour, day, weekend or full week. And they usually have some nice bikes. A few years ago, I knew of a guy who rented three different bikes over a weekend just to test drive the different frames and setups.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkMountainSkier View Post
I knew of a guy who rented three different bikes over a weekend just to test drive the different frames and setups.
RENT!
This coming from someone who has met Phil!
You know he'll be finding free demo's?
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
What about this bike for 950 (or best offer)? http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/194798548.html
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
What about this bike for 950 (or best offer)? http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/194798548.html
My best friend has one of those. It rides decently, but has a lot of bob. The bob is probably due in large part to the fact that he never let me properly set up his suspension. With the proper amount of air pressure, in addition to Manitou's SPV platform, the bob would likely disappear. It would make a better choice than the fuel ex, in the price-performance category anyway. I prefer a manitou suspension to a rockshox as well. The only problem I see is that it is a medium. How tall are you, Phil? Inseam length?
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
How tall are you, Phil? Inseam length?
I am 5'10" 32 inseam. the Fuel 8 I rode was a 17.5 and felt fine. What should I offer him for it?
post #18 of 19
If it really is like new $950 is probably a pretty fair price.
post #19 of 19
Offer 850 and meet in the middle if necessary.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Gear Report: Trek Fuel 8