a Cross Country Rider
from Brasilia, DF - BRAZIL
Date Reviewed: April 19, 2009
Strengths: Nimble, fast, light (11,620 Kgs or 26lbs), good rear suspension, overall control
Weaknesses: useless rear shock locker.
A very good Bike, fast, light. Since it is a 2006 model it start showing its age when compared to newer models! Vey good in downhill specially considering that I ride on very hilly loose rocks in Brasiia.
Riding a hardtail for years, this bike is pure bliss for me. For a slight weight trade-off, I'll take the soft-tail comfort any day. This bike handles excellent in all terrains, and builds confidence in soft terrain turns where my old hardtail wanted to wash out the front end. I'm pretty light at 160lbs. so once I dialed in the rear shock at 50psi I felt like I had it set up perfectly. The dual lockout function doesn't work very well and I honestly don't really see a need for it so it is coming off. This bike is a climbing machine! I hammered up inclines that were a sure clip-out on my old hardtail. The softtail makes staying in the saddle a lot easier and more forgiving, especially on climbs and descents. I love the XT pod shifters, the shifting is effortless and smooth although it took a little bit to get used to them. Very good bike for the money I paid. I would absolutely recommend!
Weaknesses: Stock fork (SID) - although some riders better than I like it; stock tires and wheelset.
With the Reba and Conti/Hutchison tires, I love this bike. And I know people that race the same bike with the SID and love it, flex and all. They are light. I'm 5'-9" 160 lbs and neither baby nor abuse the bike. It does pretty much whatever I ask it to - local XC race series and trail riding in Vail, Moab (24Hrs, Porky, others), Fruita, Firecracker 50, Monarch Crest - stays in tune, and has only left me stranded once due to complete and utter chain suck. Bent a front wheel once but was able to finish ride anyway - disc brakes! Wobbly but did the job (wheel had to be replaced). Based on about a year's worth of riding including a season of racing, I'd buy this bike again today.
Bike Setup: Reba Race fork, tubeless Conti Vertical 2.3 front/Hutchison New Python rear, Crank Bros. eggbeaters.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sterling, MA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2007
Strengths: An "Out of the Box" bike! I got approval to look for a replacement for my Trek 8000 from my wife & hit the ground running before she changed her mind! I love the new shifters. I can downshift on the uphills so smotthly it's scary. I ride the very rocky terrain if New England & I have never had such an easy ride uphill! XT brakes are awesome. Loved my Hayes brake set but don't miss them. This bike is liquid!
Weaknesses: Hate the tires. They're not aggressive enough for the type of riding I do. I race off road tri's & would gladly sacrifice a little rolling resistance for better handling.
I was looking on e-bay for a really good deal. My LBS Guy told me about the warranty issues for a second hand bike & told me to let him look out there for me. He found this bike & I got it for 44% off, but I would have gladly paid more if I had to. This machine is the most incredible ride I've had to date! There were only four '06 left after mine left the warehouse. Jump on this if you can! If you have the extra few bucks to spend I would recommend this bike to someone looking to jump to the next level.
Bike Setup: Changed the seat for a Bontrager male gel seat. The bike shop removed the thumb shifter prior to pick up. He said it really wouldn't do anything for me, and he was right! I love the dual shifters!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 28, 2007
Strengths: Point and shoot, with amazing climbing ability. This is a fun bike ! Prob best xc racer in this range with possibly the exception of the anthem. Good level of componentry (if not great). I personally like the dual controls, even though a lot hate it.
Weaknesses: I am very careful with my tools/toys and despite this, the paint is very fragile and have loads of very little chips (paint flakes off) and cable rub very easily ! Not good for a bike such as this. Crap headset, and dubious tubeless system on the bontragers. No longer a light bike in todays standards. Whoever specd the riser bars on a bike such as this needs his head examined, as do the standard tyres. XT is bullet proof, but would expect xtr on a bike such as this.
If you want an out and out racer, then this is it.
Loads of fun once you spend the time to set it up properly. This is best done by riding the bike according to manufacturers recommendations as a base and then working from there. Initially the riding position was far too upright for a XC racer...Once 'stretched out a lil', its been a different bike. V.fast efficient, and perfect for the odd weekend racing gig !! SIDS are nice but I suspect are best suited to lighter riders like myself (60kg). They also probably require more maintenance than say the fox forks.
Out of the box this is a more relaxed beast, but shows a lot of potential immediately. Would suit a weekend warrior or serious XC racer (with a few mods)
Giving it 3 and 4 Flaming chilis cos of grouppo spec, tyres, rims, and dubious quality of paint and other very minor niggles.
aaah Yes, you better concentrate or it will bite !
Bike Setup: Ditched all racelite stuff for chris king headset, thomson seatpost/stem, xtr DC shifters, drivetrain, pedals,
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 27, 2007
Strengths: Carbon frame is awesome, lifetime warranty a bonus.Shimano drivetrain always reliable, parts available and compatability.Fast XC racer, weight at 26lbs is now average, ride comfort of carbon makes aluminium a joke.Fast accurate weapon, the bike for serious XC training and racing!!! I let a mechanic (read critic)ride it recently and he rode so fast as I followed him on his GT that I thought he was stealing the Trek. His total approval says it all!
Weaknesses: Crap Bontrager tyres replaced immediately. Race lite rims imitation tubeless - they have a plastic strip that seals like rim tape. This increases the circumference and makes tyre removal and fitment a long major task (as in over an hour). Rip out the plastic and use tubes - problem fixed. Trek Australia were in denial and were not helpful. Rimas are not light compared with Mavic or the fabulous Rolf Propels I have used for the last six years. I weigh 70 kgs. Rock Shock SID Team fork flexes (compared with my previous Cannondale headshock)this took six months to get used to. Poplock is average usefulness.
When I get a new bike I ride it on rail trails and paths for 300 klms to get used to the positioning set up. Then I ride the bike for 2 to 3 thousand kilometers at recommended factory settings for my weight. Now fully confident with the bike I make adjustments to the suspension set up. The Top Fuel is now awesome. The 98 as savings value over the 110 enables money to be spent where an individual requires their improvements.The 110 has a carbon world cup fork (hate carbon in compression roles) that only saves 50g for huge dollars.The rocker for the rear shock is also carbon. The XTR would be a bonus BUT the first thing to do on any bike is ti upgrade the rear derailleur to XTR or Dura Ace. Ellsworth, Specialised, Yeti are great bikes: its just that the Top Fuel is the number one 80mm travel XC racer - if that is what you want then the others are second best. If I wanted to thump downhill get the Yeti. Trek rules again!
Similar Products Used: Been riding hardtail until a dual suspension was light enough and problems sorted. Have ridden a Yeti 575 - did not suit me a cruiser! I have a GT Ruckus 7.2.0 a beginners down hill and it is certainly a different ride. Owned a few previous older dualies (Proflex,GT) that do not compare with todays technology.
Bike Setup: Throw away the carbon riser bars and fit aluminum flats (never trust carbon handlebars - period!) Replace the new type Shimano dual control shifter with conventional shifters and brake levers using a XTR riser rear derailleur (replacing the XT). Chuck the seat and use a gel XC Selle Italia. Fit decent XTR pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2007
Strengths: great bike for 11 months, i love the way it rides but now it's all gone wrong.
Weaknesses: Swingarm flexing causing damage from tyre to chainstay, Trek say it has been caused by mud, but i live in southern Spain, we don't exactly get a lot of that, i have never ridden the bike anywhere near mud. Trek say tyre mud wear is not covered under warranty, the dealer has been great and on my side, he also thinks the damage is due to the swingarm flexing. Trek have been rubbish, only solution is another swingarm at my cost, can't see any reason why i won't be buying another swingarm in a few months, i should have bought a Rush.
don't buy this bike if you live near mud, 2007 bikes have a stiffer swingarm with more tyre clearence, that says it all really.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2006
Strengths: Durability, comfort, confidence in handling, and Trek name.
Weaknesses: XT shift components may miss a gear from time to time, possible frequent adjustments to be made, or maybe just too heavy of a trigger finger.
Over ten years ago I thought I was making some noise when I bought my first mtn bike, a new $700.00 Singletrack 950 with a few XT component upgrades. Now, it will be interesting to see how will the guys, and gals at Trek be able to top this masterpiece, my Top Fuel 98 in the next ten years.
Bike Setup: Stock setup, except for a tire swap. Now riding on Panaracer Fire XC Pro's, and a Serfas W.d.d. Arroyo seat.
from Loma Linda, CA
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2006
Strengths: Nearly everything.
Weaknesses: Stock Pop-loc mechanism. Fragile paint. Any rubbing will rub the paint away.
I race this bike, that is all I do with it. That is what it is designed to do. It climbs like a hard tail. It smooths out the descents and gives you better control. I didn't think I would enjoy a FS bike, but the Top Fuel eased my concerns. I talk to other racers before the race. They're always talking about whether a course is a hardtail or full suspension course. When you have a Top Fuel, every course is a full suspension course.
I bought it used from a friend and was nervous when he offered to let me try it first. I was nervous because I knew I wouldn't like riding my old mountain bike after riding the Top Fuel 98. That is exactly what happened. I immediately fell in love with this bike and it is painful to go back to my old hard tail when training.
I raced it a couple of times with the stock dual pop-loc mechanism. That thing was junk. I replaced it with a standard rock shox pop-loc and I am much happier now. I don't need a lock out for the rear. Between the suspension design and the motion control dampening I don't have any problems with bob.
There have been several complaints about the stock tires. I can't add to these or defend those tires. When I bought the bike it had the Jones XR tubeless tires. They work well.
I've ordered a Race XXX lite flat bar, Race X Lite pro saddle and a non QR seat post clamp. These new parts will shed some weight. Not that weight is a problem with the Top Fuel 98 but losing some weight won't hurt. If I put some Race X Lite disc wheels on this would make a big difference. It won't be a Top Fuel 110, but I think these new parts will get it close enough for me. What good do things like a Carbon fiber steer tube and crown do if you have to worry about cable housing rubbing through the carbon? XT components are bullet proof. Top level racers use XTR, but I'm not a top level racer. Maybe as components wear out, I'll upgrade to XTR. But for now I am perfectly happy.
Bottom line: This is a wonderful bike. I'm glad I got the deal I did because I couldn't have afforded such a great bike otherwise. So I'm only going to give it a 4 for value. Because it is pricy when new. But probably a better value than the Top Fuel 110. Overall, if you want to get serious about racing consider this bike. I've improved dramatically since purchasing this bike. I think others will too. If you can afford the 110, then buy it. But I couldn't ask for a better racing platform than the Top Fuel.
Similar Products Used: I've never ridden anything that can compare.
Bike Setup: Stock except I replaced the stock dual pop-loc with a single front pop-loc lever. Jones XR tubless tires.
a Weekend Warrior
from Ponce, Puerto Rico
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2005
Strengths: When locked feels like a hard tail. Then you unlock and you can ride seated on uneven terrain. Is a racer bike not a plush ride. Climbs hard and gives you a lot of confidence.
Weaknesses: The tires suck big time. The first couple of times out I allways felt down on loose gravel or dirt and had a lot of spin on the rock climbs.
The bike is a racing bike. If you are a sunday only rider get something with more compliance. If you ride hard and do some races this bike is great. The Titus I tried has a 5th element shock that I am tempted to try on this bike. But for now it is fine as is.
a Weekend Warrior
from Shelby Township MI
Date Reviewed: October 20, 2005
Strengths: Climbing ability. i am climbing hills better than before. the lockout locks both the front and rear shocks.
I felt that the Top Fuel 98 was a better buy than the 110 because i did not care about the weight difference in the XTR components that the 110 had. I was happy with the XT and their weight. All great components right out of the box. Easy bike to control through turns. The geomotry feels really good for me. i am 215 lbs and 6 foot. Good value for money. looks pretty too. This is the bike to buy if you are looking for XC Race.
Similar Products Used: Trek Liquid 10, Gary Fisher Sugar 4+,
Bike Setup: Frame: OCLV 110 Carbon; Front Suspension: RockShox SID Team w/Motion Control, rebound, floodgate, compression, LO, 80mm of travel; Rear Shock: RockShox MC 3 with lockout; Wheels: Bontrager Race Lite Disc; Crank: Shimano Deore XT; Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
a Cross Country Rider
from Upland, CA
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2005
Strengths: Stiff,light and fast.......great spec. I wanted a full suspension MTb that acclerates like a road bike....this is probably as close as you'll get.
Weaknesses: Run of the mill headset. Nothing wrong with it, but a Chris King is on the way! There have been some negative comments about the Super X tires, but they're perfect for the bike's intended purpose. They're a bit loose for my bike handling skills, but they are fast. Bonti's ACX is a better choice for sketchier conditions, and it's almost as fast as the Super X.
This bike is a rocketship....race ready right out of the box. If you want a super plush all-mountain or trail bike, look elsewhere. It weighs 26 lbs; you could easily lose 1 1/2 lbs by changing the seat, pedals and wheelset, but it's fine as is unless you're a top notch racer, which I am not, so I'd rather have the comfort and durability of the stock setup. I personally like the riser bar, but some may prefer a narrower flat bar for racing. The wheels should hold up well...I have set of Race Discs on my FSR that have 6,000 miles on them with no issues. The Race Lights are similar, but with DT Swiss hubs, a huge improvement. I do have a concern about the durability of the SID, as I tend to break stuff, but we'll see. It took a bit to get the suspension set up, but now it's great. I weigh 190 and have the front fork set at 145 lbs/145 lbs and the rear at 90 lbs. The 90 lbs setting for the rear seemed way low to what I've run on other shocks (125 lbs - 180 lbs), but it is fairly stiff at that setting. 70 lbs was real plush, but with some loss of efficiency. This setup eats up most the harshness and is real fast. The remote lockout controls both shocks and is very convenient. I'll leave it on for now, but the bike is so efficient you probably don't need it.
Bike Setup: OCLV carbon frame, full XT drivetrain and disc brakes, Bontrager carbon oversize riser bar and post, Race Lite Tubeless wheels, SID fork and MC3 shock
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2005
Strengths: Fairly light. Drive train is very smooth and responsive. The bike is very efficient and quiet expect for the hydraulic cable line slapping against the top tube. Pedal efficiency is superb.
Weaknesses: Pop-loc, terrible instructions and confusing to install. I am a trek mechanic so I obviously built this bike myself and the pop-loc took the longest to install. I'd more blame that on rockshox. And with the pop-loc, u just added another 5 feet of housing and cable. And just at where the stanchion of the rear shock mounts on to the frame, a piece of the paint flaked away, UNEXCEPTABLE for a new bike.
Well, overall this bike is awesome. A few minor details that need to be attended to but as I know from being at a shop, could be an isolated incident. I rode this bike for first time after sustaining a biking leg injury that took me out for a monnth. Despite my lack of physical fitness, I knew that this bike was faster than my aluminum Sugar the instant I rode it. The pop-loc is cool, but I may just ditch the system since this bike really does not have any pedal bobbing with the proper setup.
a Weekend Warrior
from Alexandria, Virginia,
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2005
Strengths: For starters, the bike is super light and has excellent handling capabilities. The ability to lock out the front and rear shock is a great feature and would recomend to any looking at purchasing a full suspension.
Weaknesses: Whoever thought the Bontrager tires were a good match must have been smokin' crack. The tires on the bike are terrible and will be swapped out as soon as I get a little more dough.
I went in expecting to purchase the XC Fuel 8 but walked out with the TOP Fuel 98. A much better bike for what I was looking for, though at a much more expensive price. All in all, a great fit and great setup (excluding the tires). Looking forward to pushing it's limits in the next few weeks.
I am building up a Trek Top Fuel 98 frame.
I need to know where to find the appropriate seat post collar for this seat post. It's much larger than anything else I have around and don't know the actual size, or if it's an easy to come by size.
Second thing: I see disc brake bolt holes on the ... Read More »
I recently came across an 06 top fuel 98 and have a slight concern. The lower shock mounting bolt on the rear shock allows some slop creating alot of noise on the trail. The bolt is tight but seems like the bolt is to small of a diameter versus the inner diameter of the rear shock bushings. Has anyo ... Read More »
Hello, I am new to this forum and I got 2 days ago a Trek top fuel 98 2006 that is in mint condition.
I was tuning up the bike yesterday but since I am new to full suspension (love hardtail....used to anyway)I noticed that the bolt on the rocker arms are rotating freely when trying to tight them. ... Read More »