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The Fuel is a very nice bike and the definition of an all around trail bike. It can dabble in enduro style riding on one end of the spectrum and xc at the other end. The APB/Reaktiv suspension is very plush, making it seem like more than 130mm in the rear. It also climbs exceedingly well, though you will get some pedal bob when climbing out of the saddle. At 220lbs I have the suspension on my EX8 set about 5psi under spec for my weight. Rebound set to spec. XC style riders who like to climb out of the saddle might not like the FEX due to the pedal bob. I don't think it's excessive, but I only stand for short, very steep pitches. I don't think it's hyperbole to say the FEX is an all around performer on par with the boutique bikes in its class, but without the cachet and price tag.
 

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How cheap? The 2018’s are being heavily discounted around me. What’s new for 2019? Are you willing to go with partial carbon (I assume it still has the aluminum triangle) at the expense of the more entry level components? I was looking at the EX 8 until I saw some other heavily discounted bikes from other manufacturers.


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What does cheap mean ? All of these should be discounted with the impending release--I'd expect 25% these days given 15% was always easy----and note the 9.7 has pretty low level components to get the frame.
 

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Hard to argue with Velo's observations. If I was going to own just one mtb, the 2019 FEX would be hard to beat. Swiss Army Knife versatility.

The upcoming version is likely to be a bit "bigger" bike, so if the current version suits you, and the price is good, I'd grab it.
 

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What does cheap mean ? All of these should be discounted with the impending release--I'd expect 25% these days given 15% was always easy----and note the 9.7 has pretty low level components to get the frame.
He has a point. I contemplated getting the 9.7 and went with FEX8 instead. Carbon frame is not important to me.
 

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He has a point. I contemplated getting the 9.7 and went with FEX8 instead. Carbon frame is not important to me.
Easy to upgrade components, not easy to upgrade frame. The EX8 is a great bike but the alloy frame weighs quite a bit more than the carbon.

I have a 2018 9.8 and love it, I added a bigger fork on the front 140mm and a bit more stroke at the back to give me a slightly bigger travel bike.

The Bike is very versatile

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Easy to upgrade components, not easy to upgrade frame. The EX8 is a great bike but the alloy frame weighs quite a bit more than the carbon.

I have a 2018 9.8 and love it, I added a bigger fork on the front 140mm and a bit more stroke at the back to give me a slightly bigger travel bike.

The Bike is very versatile

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Everyone likes a light bike, but we're talking a weight difference of a liter of water. Some reviewers claimed the alloy Fuel was a stiffer frame. I know many will disagree, but for me carbon is a marginal upgrade over a modern alloy frame. I might pay a couple hundred more, but that's it. The price jump between an 8 and a 9.8 will cover a nice set of wheels that will shed weight and upgrade performance.
 
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