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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently racing a 2018 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 in XC races like Over The Hump in Southern California. If you are familiar with the series, I race SuperSport under 35 for a speed reference.

At one of the rounds a few weeks ago, I was jumping one of the finish jumps, catching my breath when my nearly new Crank Brothers Eggbeaters decided to release both my shoes midair and cause me to land on my seat full superman, and go flying off the track in a heap of dust. This left my frame broken right at the seat post. I mean, it really broke.

Trek has been awesome, and sent me out a 2020 Top Fuel frame as a replacement!

Initially, I was pumped. But after reading reviews about the new bikes, I am starting to think this new frame might not be right for me. Lots of the reviews are claiming increased weight and different geometry that might not be as practical for XC racing.

They increased the travel from 100mm, to 115mm. My RS-1 fork is currently set at 100mm, but from what I understand it can be converted to 120mm which will get the geometry correct. Does anyone have experience with that?

My wheels will be fine, bars are fine...I have the XTR drivetrain in 11 speed. Would it be worth upgrading to 12 speed? I get a good deal on Shimano products, so I am open to the upgrade if it's worth it.

So I get the fork lengthened, upgrade to 12 speed so I basically have a 2020 Top Fuel 9.9 off the showroom, with the fork I love (I adore the RS-1), nice carbon wheels and a dropper post.

But, is this even the right bike for me, now? It seems most people believe this bike is closer to the Fuel EX now, and less of a XC race machine. I do ride rather tech, rocky trails for training (Laguna Beach is my backyard), so the added control might be nice for training. But is this bike going to hold me back next year for racing?

Just about everyone I race against rides for Specialized directly or the large Specialized shop (Rock-n-road Cycles) on the latest S-works Epic FS or HT's, and I need to make sure I am on an equal playing field.

Before this frame break, I was planning on selling the bike and upgrading. This failure made that choice for me, but I am actually thinking I might have been better off with my old one lol.

My race results this year have allowed me to opportunity to pick between a few different brands for next year (Specialized, Felt and Santa Cruz are on the table) for a large discount. But as I am starting my own business in extremely-expensive Orange County at 29 years old, the cash savings would be appreciated rather than going out throwing down coin on a new S-works Epic FS and Tarmac roadie. I am a two bike guy, I need one do-it-all MTB and a roadie for training. I don't have a large quiver to fill up with bikes.

I want to conclude this with a huge shoutout to Trek for standing behind their product. They really didn't need to as it technically was rider error (my victim mentality blames Crank Bro's and their 3rd set of questionable pedals I've tried). The Top Fuel has been an awesome bike that has treated me extremely well.

Thanks for any advice or recommendations! I am relatively new to the cycling world (2017 was my first year racing) but I come from the motocross world and I know there are members on here that can steer me in the right direction. The guys I train with are all Specialized for life, so asking these questions has given me a lot of answers like "ride my bike, you'll be off a Trek in no time".

Thank you for your time.

 

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Pure Evil
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The 100mm fork will work just fine and yield a headangle quite close to your old bike. Take into account the extra 15mm of travel and setup your suspension accordingly say ~15% sag in the rear to start. BB height will be around 330mm, if setup with 20-25% sag you may encounter pedal strikes but this really depends on where and how you ride . If you really want you could buy a 190x40mm shock to reduce rear travel to ~100mm. Keep in mind that the shorter fork will also stretch reach even further so a shorter stem then what you have now may help fit. Also keep in mind you have the new Mino geo chip to steepen things further.

Or put on a 120 fork and enjoy a super fast efficient pedaling down country shredder.

You may be pleasantly surprised by how the bike performers compared to your old bike. I know I don’t miss my old TF. Biased opinion.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Pizzaiolo Americano
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I am currently racing a 2018 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 in XC races like Over The Hump in Southern California. If you are familiar with the series, I race SuperSport under 35 for a speed reference.

At one of the rounds a few weeks ago, I was jumping one of the finish jumps, catching my breath when my nearly new Crank Brothers Eggbeaters decided to release both my shoes midair and cause me to land on my seat full superman, and go flying off the track in a heap of dust. This left my frame broken right at the seat post. I mean, it really broke.

Trek has been awesome, and sent me out a 2020 Top Fuel frame as a replacement!

Initially, I was pumped. But after reading reviews about the new bikes, I am starting to think this new frame might not be right for me. Lots of the reviews are claiming increased weight and different geometry that might not be as practical for XC racing.

They increased the travel from 100mm, to 115mm. My RS-1 fork is currently set at 100mm, but from what I understand it can be converted to 120mm which will get the geometry correct. Does anyone have experience with that?

My wheels will be fine, bars are fine...I have the XTR drivetrain in 11 speed. Would it be worth upgrading to 12 speed? I get a good deal on Shimano products, so I am open to the upgrade if it's worth it.

So I get the fork lengthened, upgrade to 12 speed so I basically have a 2020 Top Fuel 9.9 off the showroom, with the fork I love (I adore the RS-1), nice carbon wheels and a dropper post.

But, is this even the right bike for me, now? It seems most people believe this bike is closer to the Fuel EX now, and less of a XC race machine. I do ride rather tech, rocky trails for training (Laguna Beach is my backyard), so the added control might be nice for training. But is this bike going to hold me back next year for racing?

Just about everyone I race against rides for Specialized directly or the large Specialized shop (Rock-n-road Cycles) on the latest S-works Epic FS or HT's, and I need to make sure I am on an equal playing field.

Before this frame break, I was planning on selling the bike and upgrading. This failure made that choice for me, but I am actually thinking I might have been better off with my old one lol.

My race results this year have allowed me to opportunity to pick between a few different brands for next year (Specialized, Felt and Santa Cruz are on the table) for a large discount. But as I am starting my own business in extremely-expensive Orange County at 29 years old, the cash savings would be appreciated rather than going out throwing down coin on a new S-works Epic FS and Tarmac roadie. I am a two bike guy, I need one do-it-all MTB and a roadie for training. I don't have a large quiver to fill up with bikes.

I want to conclude this with a huge shoutout to Trek for standing behind their product. They really didn't need to as it technically was rider error (my victim mentality blames Crank Bro's and their 3rd set of questionable pedals I've tried). The Top Fuel has been an awesome bike that has treated me extremely well.

Thanks for any advice or recommendations! I am relatively new to the cycling world (2017 was my first year racing) but I come from the motocross world and I know there are members on here that can steer me in the right direction. The guys I train with are all Specialized for life, so asking these questions has given me a lot of answers like "ride my bike, you'll be off a Trek in no time".

Thank you for your time.

Go test ride one and then make your decision. You may find that the 20 fits your style. I have owned a 2018 Top Fuel, a 2019 Fuel EX and am now on the 2020 Top Fuel. The 2020 is closer to the old Top Fuel than it is to the Fuel EX, regardless of the geometry numbers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 100mm fork will work just fine and yield a headangle quite close to your old bike. Take into account the extra 15mm of travel and setup your suspension accordingly say ~15% sag in the rear to start. BB height will be around 330mm, if setup with 20-25% sag you may encounter pedal strikes but this really depends on where and how you ride . If you really want you could buy a 190x40mm shock to reduce rear travel to ~100mm. Keep in mind that the shorter fork will also stretch reach even further so a shorter stem then what you have now may help fit. Also keep in mind you have the new Mino geo chip to steepen things further.

Or put on a 120 fork and enjoy a super fast efficient pedaling down country shredder.

You may be pleasantly surprised by how the bike performers compared to your old bike. I know I don't miss my old TF. Biased opinion.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thank you very much for your insight, that helped clear up a few things for me.

I will get out of my own head and try the bike as-is before I draw any conclusions. I think at the very least, this bike is going to be even more fun!

And again, thank you so much to Trek for getting me back on the trails!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Go test ride one and then make your decision. You may find that the 20 fits your style. I have owned a 2018 Top Fuel, a 2019 Fuel EX and am now on the 2020 Top Fuel. The 2020 is closer to the old Top Fuel than it is to the Fuel EX, regardless of the geometry numbers...
I appreciate your insight as you have had all 3 bikes in question.

I am going to ride the bike for a few rides before I start doing things like getting the suspension set to 120mm. Once I get it dialed, I will probably train on it through the winter and asses the situation in the spring when racing picks up.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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I appreciate your insight as you have had all 3 bikes in question.

I am going to ride the bike for a few rides before I start doing things like getting the suspension set to 120mm. Once I get it dialed, I will probably train on it through the winter and asses the situation in the spring when racing picks up.

Thanks for the reply!
The new bikes only heavy beacuse of the 2.4" tires, dropper and 12 speed.

If you put your stuff on the new top fuel it would be very close. I would ride it 100/115 and see how it is first.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wanted to come back and update this thread now that I have some seat time on the bike.

The shop who put my bike back together took some shortcuts, and one of the things they didn't install was the shorter stem with the knock block. I am running my old, longer stem so it's not my ideal set up. I left town for 2 weeks and dropped my bike off to get that put on while I'm gone.

I am running the bike with the original 100mm fork travel, and set it up with about 20% sag for the first couple rides. The geometry definitely sits you back a bit, and it does feel a tiny bit heavier. My climbing times were a hair off my PR's, but I was also a bit smoked after a few big training weeks on my road bike.

I can say I am pleasantly surprised with how much fun this new frame made my rides. Like I stated earlier, my backyard trails are Laguna Beach/Crystal Cove, which is lots of steep, rocky descents. I actually bested a coupled of my PR's on descents, and I found myself charging much harder through rocks and drops than I ever did before.

I was playing around with settings on the shock, and even when I set my sag higher (higher air pressure) my shock still feels soft, not much bottoming resistance. I may look at a different shock, and having it tuned specifically for me. When I do that, I'll have my forks lengthened to 120mm and mess with the token settings.

I plan to try the new, shorter stem next. I also have the XX1 Eagle set up in the works to upgrade the XTR 11-speed.

When it comes to being a race-ready bike, I do believe this new bike will marginally increase my lap times on most XC courses I race. With the gnarly dudes I race, every watt counts. For training, I can't think of a more fun bike.

I will ride it through the winter, see what Trek's new xc bike looks like and consider my options come spring as race season approaches. I really wish I wasn't in such a competitive race class. This bike is truly the perfect do-it-all bike for me. I am honestly considering opening up my wallet for a raceday only hardtail.

Again, huge thank you to Trek for standing behind their product. I am determined to continue riding Trek bikes, this experience has meant a lot to me.

Thanks again to you guys that replied, your statements were spot on!



 
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