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Pizzaiolo Americano
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2019 Fuel EX 8. The bike is OK. It handles descending the really rocky and steep trails I ride here well but, I would like something that climbs a little more efficiently. It doesn't climb bad but, it isn't great either...I live at the foot of the Dolomites and to access most of the better trails, I have to climb around 1000m. Is the Top Fuel going to be a significantly better climber? I ask because the geometry numbers are really similar. The weight is also not significantly different between the two. My Fuel EX weighs a bit under 30 lbs ready to ride with its upgraded wheels. The Top Fuel's advertised weight is a bit over 27 lbs but I will be putting a new set of wheels on it right away if I get it. So, the geometry is close and the weight is close. What am I missing? I know the best idea is to ride it but, I don't have that option where I live...
 

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It should be a little more sprightly in the climbing department, and not quite as plush when descending.

I'll let you know for sure once my TF arrives (replacing a Fuel EX)!
 

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Slowohioboy
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Great question and timing. I have a 2018 FEX 9.7 and a 2019 Remedy 9.8 and reality is that I can’t tell much difference between them on climbs. So I have been thinking lately about either the 2020 Top Fuel 9.8, or a Mach4sl, or SB100..... Really just to get more of a noticeable difference, since any of these I feel would be a good replacement. (But I’m no expert either)
 

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IMO, a good place to start would be to compare the anti-squat curves among these bikes if you can find that info somewhere. It's not everything, but it's something. Of course all else equal, shorter travel will pedal better due to less compliance.
 

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Buying a 2020 Top Fuel wont make you a better climber, while it might climb slightly better than a Fuel Ex, the fuel ex is also a great climber (mine is). Probably best you work on the engine

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

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This was info I heard at my LBS,
The fuel is seeming to go away at one point. The new top fuel is too it.
Nearly everyone at the shop thats ridden one wants it and not a fuel.
It climbs better and faster in other area's

Mainly need to think on what kind of trails you are really riding Around my area and 90% of the stuff I ride the Fuel is too much bike at 140/130 travel.
The top fuel would ride that 90% of the trails the same if not better.

I'll be demo'ing a 9.7 I hope in the next week. Looking forward to it.
 

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Well here's my add. Ya the TF is likely a better climber. But really, how much? Just pulling a number out of thin air, but based on my experience riding similar style bikes to what you're looking at- 2-3%? That may be a little much- but that would be between 1 and 2 minutes for every hour climbing which seems about right. If you were to buy that same set of wheels and put them on the FEX8 it might narrow that gap. Particularly if you switch to tires that are similar to the TF's.

So- my opinion is, if you're racing it may be worth it. If you're just looking for ways to justify a new bike (even though your current bike is pretty new) go for it. Otherwise it probably won't net you enough to worry about for riding with your buddies. Also, you may get some of that lost time on the way back down.
 

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Well here's my add. Ya the TF is likely a better climber. But really, how much? Just pulling a number out of thin air, but based on my experience riding similar style bikes to what you're looking at- 2-3%? That may be a little much- but that would be between 1 and 2 minutes for every hour climbing which seems about right. If you were to buy that same set of wheels and put them on the FEX8 it might narrow that gap. Particularly if you switch to tires that are similar to the TF's.

So- my opinion is, if you're racing it may be worth it. If you're just looking for ways to justify a new bike (even though your current bike is pretty new) go for it. Otherwise it probably won't net you enough to worry about for riding with your buddies. Also, you may get some of that lost time on the way back down.
All true.

But sometimes, it's not about the clock, it's about the feel.

I like having a fairly light, whippy feeling bike, and I think the new TF will fill that slot nicely.

But for rugged riding, my plan is to sell the Slash -- great bike that I don't do justice to -- and replace it with the upcoming Fuel EX, which I suspect might be "stretched" a bit from it's current 130/130.
 

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All true.

But sometimes, it's not about the clock, it's about the feel.

I like having a fairly light, whippy feeling bike, and I think the new TF will fill that slot nicely.

But for rugged riding, my plan is to sell the Slash -- great bike that I don't do justice to -- and replace it with the upcoming Fuel EX, which I suspect might be "stretched" a bit from it's current 130/130.
Oh I agree about the feel part, I guess I was trying to have an answer directed at op. I think this falls into the "ways to justify a new bike" category. I'll egg on anyone who wants to buy a new bike and has the means to do so, however they want to rationalize it. Just keeping it real about how much it's going to change your ride.
 

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Community Manager at Trek
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This was info I heard at my LBS,
The fuel is seeming to go away at one point.
Everyone loves speculation - but the FEX is too great to leave it hanging ;)

OP, you would find the TF to climb more efficiently than the FEX. Shorter travel and a stiffer frame will help pull you uphill!
 

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Everyone loves speculation - but the FEX is too great to leave it hanging ;)
yes and now.
The Top Fuel may be a great bike. I am waiting to demo one.
The waiting till this late in the year which for us, our race season starts in 3 months kind of sucks.

Still waiting to see of the Procal is getting sliders for SS setup.
Still waiting for the Supecaliber to have any kind of info released.
Which sucks cause both those bikes I would buy but with lack of release date/info and other brands already having 2020 released and can buy. It pushes people (me) sway and I have owned/own a lot of Treks.

I am only speaking for myself and my family with my opinion.
 

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I happen to think the FEX climbs great. My old bike was the V1 Ibis Ripley and thought I would be giving up some climbing ability going with the FEX but I haven’t been disappointed in that aspect. I built mine from the frame up with parts from the Ripley and it came in just under 26 lbs. That is really light for a very capable 140/130 trail bike!
 

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^^^ yeah. I have a '16 FEX (last before the Knock-Block) and the geo is very similar to the '20 TF with the TF being just slightly longer and slacker. I haven't yet seen any info/charts on the '20 TF kinematics though.
 

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Pizzaiolo Americano
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I happen to think the FEX climbs great. My old bike was the V1 Ibis Ripley and thought I would be giving up some climbing ability going with the FEX but I haven't been disappointed in that aspect. I built mine from the frame up with parts from the Ripley and it came in just under 26 lbs. That is really light for a very capable 140/130 trail bike!
Build details? That is the lightest Fuel EX I have heard of...
 

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2018 Fuel EX size 17.5
Fox 34 140mm
Nox Teocalli/DT Swiss 350 wheelset
Bontrager XR4 Team Issue 2.4 tires
Race face Next SL cranks 170mm w/34T ring
Race face Chester pedals
Race face Next SL bars 760mm
Ergon GA2 grips
Bike Yoke Revive dropper post 125mm
Fabric Scoop saddle
Shimano XT brakes dual piston
Shimano XT 11 speed drivetrain w/11-42 cassette
 
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