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Fuel ex vs Ripley AF

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My wife tested both and ended up on the Fuel 9.8, no contest, largely due to how Trek tweaked things on the S and XS frames. She's grown to love the three position damper on the shock (which surprised me) but apparently it's awesome to be able to open it up when things get rough. The Ripley will likely be a more spritely climber and provide the short-travel feel that I personally enjoy. I've read it might be less comfortable on flatter terrain.
 

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IMO, the Fuel is uber-plush for a 130 bike, while the Ripley is snappier (though my Ripley experience is limited, and based on the carbon version).

The Fuel's handling can also be made quicker through a 5-minute Mino Link adjustment to the high position. Rides great there.
 

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I'm curious if anyone has saddle time on both bikes? What bike would you choose? I live in the Midwest so the terrain I ride on isn't too crazy.
You are looking at two great bikes. This should be your decision and not a bunch of people you don't know. Delay gratification and ride stuff. Your @608MTB user name has me thinking you could join the movie night pre-ride tonight and maybe try different bikes.

I can offer this having tried LOTS of bikes before getting a Fuel EX. Their schema of using the shock valve made it not having the extremes of some bikes such as plush not pedaling and stiff when pedaling. I've had fancier pivot and simple pivot bikes. Boutique and common brands. My Fuel EX hasn't had any of the creaking, lack of parts or maintenance f*ckry I've witnessed others have with its competition. If you are in 608 area code you have lots of good choices that could or could not be a Trek. Also for 608, get your new bike from one of the independent shops that supports the local trail building.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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You are looking at two great bikes. This should be your decision and not a bunch of people you don't know. Delay gratification and ride stuff. Your @608MTB user name has me thinking you could join the movie night pre-ride tonight and maybe try different bikes.

I can offer this having tried LOTS of bikes before getting a Fuel EX. Their schema of using the shock valve made it not having the extremes of some bikes such as plush not pedaling and stiff when pedaling. I've had fancier pivot and simple pivot bikes. Boutique and common brands. My Fuel EX hasn't had any of the creaking, lack of parts or maintenance f*ckry I've witnessed others have with its competition. If you are in 608 area code you have lots of good choices that could or could not be a Trek. Also for 608, get your new bike from one of the independent shops that supports the local trail building.
Thank you for the replies everyone.

Bit Flogger-
I actually live about 45 minutes from capital brewery. Unfortunately I won't have time for the movie tonight. But I will be riding at pleasant view/Blackhawk around 4 today. Maybe I'll see you guys out there.
 

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I've ridden both of these bikes. Kind of fuzzy terms, but the Fuel EX didn't ride as boutique/high end/refined as the Ripley AF. The Ripley AF to me felt quite similar to the V1 Ripmo, just not as much ability to bail you out if you smash into something really hard. The Fuel EX felt like a good quality generic entry-level mountain bike with more noticeable squish most of the time, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse.
 

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Two VERY different-riding bikes, despite the numbers. I overforked my ‘21 EX8 and ran a coil. Made it into the mini-AM bike that it really wanted to be. it does not pedal like a Ripley, but it is more rowdy if that’s what you’re looking for.
 
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