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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at an '03 Top Fuel with the full carbon frame.
It's a nice bike at a great price...but someone said, rather ominously, that carbon and rocks don't mix.
I said to myself, oh yea, if golfers use those heavy socks to protect their graphite clubs from getting jostled in the bag, then *rocks* will definitely be bad. But then how/why could Trek make a carbon mountain bike? I ride in the Northeast where we have a decent amount of rocks. Who rides where there are none?

FYI, I'm pushin' 40 from the wrong side, so I'm not going to be banging it like a 20 year old. On the other hand, I wanted a FS rig so that I could go a little faster, hit a few more things, etc. The thought of paying good money to push a 30 lb bike around sounds crazy, hence the Fuel seemed to make sense. Currently riding NS.

I'm open to suggestions. Thanks for any and all input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PointBoy said:
I am going on season 3 with my carbon Fuel and I have ridden just about every type of terrain out there. I easily have 4,000 miles on it and have no issues with it at all.
And without getting into the religious wars over the Trek brand, it sounds like a company that stands behind their gear should something ugly happen. Probably more likely to bust my head than a carbon frame... Plus it's a great LBS...

Thanks.
 

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HardTail610 said:
I am looking at an '03 Top Fuel with the full carbon frame.
It's a nice bike at a great price...but someone said, rather ominously, that carbon and rocks don't mix.
I said to myself, oh yea, if golfers use those heavy socks to protect their graphite clubs from getting jostled in the bag, then *rocks* will definitely be bad. But then how/why could Trek make a carbon mountain bike? I ride in the Northeast where we have a decent amount of rocks. Who rides where there are none?

FYI, I'm pushin' 40 from the wrong side, so I'm not going to be banging it like a 20 year old. On the other hand, I wanted a FS rig so that I could go a little faster, hit a few more things, etc. The thought of paying good money to push a 30 lb bike around sounds crazy, hence the Fuel seemed to make sense. Currently riding NS.

I'm open to suggestions. Thanks for any and all input.
If you can pick it up for a "great price" as noted, then by all means go for it (I'd give the frame a thorough inspection before buying, just to be assured there's no cracks or major gouges.....am assuming this '03 is used ???) I'm in the same position as you, agewise (40 + ) and my '01 Fuel (albeit an alu 90) has served me well with no complaints. It's a great short-travel xc fs rig (I love the look of the carbon frames being "weldless", but, alas...$$$ is in short supply these days for us, so a new bike isn't in the cards for me for some time....hehheh). I'd have to agree that our advanced age:rolleyes: I'd be more worried of hurting myself than the bike itself.
If you're buying it new (??? unclear from your post) that would be even better, as Trek is outstanding with their cust support....don't think warranty is transferrable. Enjoy it if you decide to buy it !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, it's new. :D Trustworthy LBS. :D (Sorry, I'm a newbie to this. The number of posts should have given me away...) :rolleyes:

Bottom line? 2 grand. I paid 1200 for my custom NS 14 years ago. I love that bike and want something that is going to be just as fast and just as responsive, if perhaps a little better behaved descending through the rocks ;) Seems pretty sweet but the comment about carbon+rocks not mixing freaked me out a little. And then when I remembered that golfers use those oversized socks to protect their graphite drivers from the other clubs in the bag...I thought, so who had the brite idea to make a mt bike out of this stuff?

Planning on doing a solo 24 this summer, so I could definitely use a little plushness... This whole process has really forced me to focus on what I *want* to ride and what I *enjoy* riding...and having a nice bike will be motivation to get into better shape so I don't look like a poser. :p

Thanks.

btw, All the comments in all the posts in all the forums on mtbr are great!
You guys rock! :D :D :D
 

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I ride a Trek Liquid, not a Fuel, but I know that's a bike beloved by many. As far as your carbon vs. rocks concern, I think the key piece of information is that you are buying new from an LBS, so you have a lifetime warranty.

I've had and heard expressed analagous concerns over using an 04 Liquid for freeride given that it has carbon seat stays which flex considerably on multi-foot drops. Lot's of yeah, yeah, yeah, it's just a matter of time before those things break. Well if they do, I'll head down to my buddy at the local LBS, show them my receipt, and wait for Trek to send me a new frame. In fact, in a sick way it's sort of a goal in that if I do break them, I know I've taken my riding to a new level. (I've been riding for a little over a year).

One other thing to think about is that unless you are a serious racer, you might want to think about having a bit more plushness cuz mo bettah for your okole, as we say in hawaii. I did my first 24 hr race last year, as a relay, and I was sore enough with all-mountain plushness. Just depends on what kind of riding you want to do. I'm approaching 40 myself, but don't mind 5 or so extra pounds for the extra confidence to try some sketchy stuff afforded by my Liquid frame.
 

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HardTail610 said:
Yep, it's new. :D Trustworthy LBS. :D (Sorry, I'm a newbie to this. The number of posts should have given me away...) :rolleyes:

Bottom line? 2 grand. I paid 1200 for my custom NS 14 years ago. I love that bike and want something that is going to be just as fast and just as responsive, if perhaps a little better behaved descending through the rocks ;) Seems pretty sweet but the comment about carbon+rocks not mixing freaked me out a little. And then when I remembered that golfers use those oversized socks to protect their graphite drivers from the other clubs in the bag...I thought, so who had the brite idea to make a mt bike out of this stuff?

Planning on doing a solo 24 this summer, so I could definitely use a little plushness... This whole process has really forced me to focus on what I *want* to ride and what I *enjoy* riding...and having a nice bike will be motivation to get into better shape so I don't look like a poser. :p

Thanks.

btw, All the comments in all the posts in all the forums on mtbr are great!
You guys rock! :D :D :D
New from LBS ???
Excellent - I say go for it, then, if the bike fits your needs (XC only)....Fuels are a great xc rig. New from LBS means "lifetime warranty" on frame, and Trek is quite good about that, as I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A surfer on a Liquid, makes perfect sense. ;)

By "a little more plushness" do you mean swapping out the stock shock for something with a little more travel (I don't even know if that's possible) or do you mean I should consider something a little more "all mountain?" :confused: Not much chance of my being confused with a "serious racer." :p

Just fyi, the other contenders are an 05 Prophet (a little out of my price range) and the carbon Fuel. Saw a sweet RM ESTX which is also probably out of my range too, unless I go for one of the lower end models. No hot deals at *that* LBS, but I love that four bar design.

I'm starting to feel like my old boss who suffered an extreme case of "paralysis by analysis." Yea, he could take the simplest question and slice it all day long into tiny little pieces...anything to avoid making an *actual* decision... :mad:

Oh well, soon, it will be all good. :cool:

HT610

*** When you don't know what you're doing, anything is possible.
 

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You're calling it a Top Fuel. Trek didn't call them that back in 2003. It was either a Fuel 98 or a Fuel 100. That's all they made in 2003 in carbon.

If it's a Fuel 98, then It was $2750 list price. I remember it selling for $2500 in 2003 The fork is now quite outdated and since it's an air fork and shock that havn't been used...you may be in for trouble. The fork does NOT have a lifetime warranty, nor does the shock and the seals could be dried out from lack of use. It's not set up for discs.

A 2003 Fuel 98 for $2000 is not a great deal. You can do better with other bikes.

If it was a Fuel 100 (list for $4300), then it's a good deal, but I'd still be wary about the fork and shock.
 

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Hey Fuelish

Fuelish said:
New from LBS ???
Excellent - I say go for it, then, if the bike fits your needs (XC only)....Fuels are a great xc rig. New from LBS means "lifetime warranty" on frame, and Trek is quite good about that, as I understand it.
Check my post, below. It may not be such a good deal.

Is it a Fuel 98 or 100? There was no Top Fuel back then.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
Check my post, below. It may not be such a good deal.

Is it a Fuel 98 or 100? There was no Top Fuel back then.
Good points about the fork and shock seals, and all. I would like to think that the LBS would make good if problems arose in those areas ..... Maybe he should try asking the shop to swap out the fork and shock for new ones for the reasons you noted ??? No harm in asking, right ??
 

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Fuelish said:
Good points about the fork and shock seals, and all. I would like to think that the LBS would make good if problems arose in those areas ..... Maybe he should try asking the shop to swap out the fork and shock for new ones for the reasons you noted ??? No harm in asking, right ??
He can always ask. I wonder what bike it is...98 or 100? The Original poster mentions Top Fuel.....Treknever called it that. I hope the LBS isn't the one calling it that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
my bad, I'm still working on the alphabet soup...
You are correct, it is a Fuel 98.

Excellent points about the shocks and the seals, too.
 

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PointBoy said:
I think the 2003 Fuel 98 came with a SID race that was set to 65mm travel - not a very good setup imo
Was it 65mm or 80 mm ??? (....was it adjustable travel ???) I'd've been surprised (underwhelmed ???) by 65mm fork travel in '03, for sure...LOL.....but, heII, I've been wrong way more than once in all these years ;)
 

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Yeah SIDs come either 65mm or in 80mm versions but you have to take the fork apart and reverse a spacer to change it - its not something that is easily done. The SIDs that came with the Fuels in 2003 had 65mm travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think the 2003 Fuel 98 came with a SID race that was set to 65mm travel - not a very good setup imo
Is the travel you're talking about the degree to which it can be adjusted?
I don't know much, but I think I know that 65mm travel wouldn't be much of a ride!

tx
 

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PointBoy said:
Yeah SIDs come either 65mm or in 80mm versions but you have to take the fork apart and reverse a spacer to change it - its not something that is easily done. The SIDs that came with the Fuels in 2003 had 65mm travel.
Not true....check the Trek 2003 specs...you can google them.

The 2003 Fuel 98 came with an 80mm SID.
 
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