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pain don't hurt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a crazy lovefest between these three bikes. I'm looking for something XCish, not more than $2k. Everyone who has a Stumpy likes it, and the Trance is also highly recommended. I can get a really good deal on the Fuel, but it is otherwise my last choice.

All advice welcome. Thanks in advance.
 

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I just bought a Fuel Ex 7 last night, I had a problem with the chain that was quickly resolved by the LBS. I got an awesome deal, $1499. I just got done with a 25 mile ride. It rode beautifully. I would say it's a tad on the heavy side but that can be easily resolved with the about $200 (Stan's NoTubes and some lighter weight components from Sette, check out pricepoint.com. I estimate you could shave about 2 lbs off it).

As far as the ride, I did 25 mile out and back with a huge climb and fast downhill at the mid point. With the gate properly set you shouldn't feel any feedback (bobbing) from the pedals. The lock out features for both the front and rear suspension are really nice. I'm coming from a Voodoo Canzo which bobs like a pogo stick and is loose as hell.

The Trek is stiffer and climbs really well. It's geometry is set up for XC riding, you can feel it in the handling and climbing. I notice that when I was on some of the steeps it did a good job of keeping the front tire on the trail. When I hit the down hill I turned off the gate on the rear suspension and let it all hang loose. The 4 inches of travel floated over rocks and roots like a dream. It was extremely fun.

This is my first bike with disk brakes so I don't have any way to compare the Hayes HFX-9s to anything else by my old XT side pulls. But with that in mind it was nice to finally have brakes that you could control your speed without locking up the rear tire. I didn't notice the braking affecting the rear suspension as the magazine reviews had pointed out. I was going so fast that I was just concentrating on keeping the rubber down, so that might have played a factor.

It's pretty hard to find something close to that price with the same component group. I was in your shoes for the last two weeks. I was considering the same three bikes. I thought buying a bike would be a lot of fun but it's tough because there are so many good ones on the market. I have a friend I ride with that has a Giant Trance 2. He swears by it (not that will help your decision).

My suggestion is to ride all three and try and get a feel for each. They will all have things you like and dislike. Each one has their own unique rear suspension design. You need to try and cut through the marketing BS and determine which one feels right for the type of riding you will be doing. They all use the gate lockout design to control the pedal feedback, despite what the marketing suggests.

Good luck...
 

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Riding a Rig.
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Trance. I really liked the one that I tested. The only thing I don't liek about it is the weight, it is a fairly heavy bike for the amount of travel it has.
 

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Just got my EX7 three weeks ago . . .

I have taken it out on two very technical 20 KM rides and it has been amazing. IF the gate is set up right you notice no bob in the pedals, the geometyr is great and it soaks up roots and rocks as if they were not there.

I also looked at the Trance when making my decision, but elected to go witht he Fuel (I am a Trek fan). Either bike you choose you will not be disappointed with. In my opinion the EX7 is an incredible ride, and is a great deal considering the components you get.

Best of luck
 

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pain don't hurt
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162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good review for the Fuel, CrankyMonkey. The Fuel is a nice package, and I'm sure my LBS will hook me up a decent price (they always do). I'm hesitant to go with another Trek becuase right now I'm on a Liquid, which is a just an awful bike IMO. Nothing on that ride seems right. But in fairness, the Fuel is a different ride entirely.

It seems as if the Trance has the votes. Thanks for the input, but my choice is still just as hard! :p
 
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