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I am considering, among other possible options, the Fuel EX8. I rode the bike around at a shop, but no trail riding. As far as the type of bike I am looking for, this seems to fit the type of riding I do perfectly.

I will only have one bike, and I would like to do some races here and there for fun. Does anyone race their Fuel EX8 or 9? I'm sure it's not the ideal weapon, but again I'm not looking at a dedicated race bike either. As far as other bikes I'm considering, the one I am equally likely to get would be a Stumpjumper Comp, or maybe an Epic Comp but the Epic may be too "racy" and not general purpose enough.
 

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I actually had the same dillema as you. I didnt know if I wanted the Stumpjumper or the EX8. Well today I finally pulled the trigger and bought the EX8. The local bike shop didnt have my size (lg) so they had to order it. I did demo the med size, a little to small but I could tell over all the EX8 was a good choice for me. I just need to swap the grips,pedals and tires to start. I think whichever one you pick will be fine for the type of riding you want to do. The EX8 was just too SEXY for me to pass up. I'm not into all the curved style frames that Specialized have been coming out with.
 

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I tried the Stumpy before getting the EX8. The Stumpy was fine but I didn't like the low bottom bracket, although some people fine it more confidence inspiring.

I think the Trek feels a little more solid too. That said the Stumpy uses some thicker type of skewer/axle which should aid rigidity.

You won't go wrong with either. Ride them both and if you still can't choose, then go for the one you get the best deal on.
 
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