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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any comparative information on the performance of these two frames? I can figure out the difference in componenets but I don't really know much about how the frames perfrom for XC riding.
 

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berudd said:
Does anyone have any comparative information on the performance of these two frames? I can figure out the difference in componenets but I don't really know much about how the frames perfrom for XC riding.
Just be sure this type of frame is the direction you want to move in. Both are "efficient" XC-race oriented frames. The NRS is comparatively harsh, especially so on the small stuff and on steeper downhills where weight is redistributed to the front end, but will cycle deeply on larger hits. My quick ride impression of the Fuel is it is more friendly on the smaller stuff than the NRS, but definitely has a short travel feel to it.
 

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Mountain Bike Action

berudd said:
Does anyone have any comparative information on the performance of these two frames? I can figure out the difference in componenets but I don't really know much about how the frames perfrom for XC riding.
It just so happens that I know of a dynamite place to send you if you want a comparison.Try mbaction.com and look for the bike comparisons section. I can't remember exactly which issue it was, but they did an article comparing these two bikes.
I know because I read it, and then started lookin into a trek fuel. In the article, the Trek won more overall areas, but it was a close race. You might want to check it out if you have the time. Good Luck
 

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MBAction article

Yeah, I have that article at home too! I'd have to go back and re-read it, but it compared the top line models, the Fuel 100 and equivalent Giant. The Trek did win, but I thought it was a dubious win at that (I'm a Trek fan too mind you). One point I remember is that they gave Trek the win for it's V-brakes over the Giant's discs because they are lighter and have as much brake as a XC rider would need. WTF??? Tell that to the XC rider during a rainy/muddy race for chrissakes. Nevertheless, it was a close call.

I'm going thru the same comparison myself right now. It's time to replace my Trek 8000 hardtail and the NRS2 and Fuel 90 are the two on my very shortlist.

DobeManSS

mikey42186 said:
Try mbaction.com and look for the bike comparisons section.
I know because I read it, and then started lookin into a trek fuel. In the article, the Trek won more overall areas, but it was a close race. You might want to check it out if you have the time. Good Luck
 

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mikey42186 said:
It just so happens that I know of a dynamite place to send you if you want a comparison.Try mbaction.com and look for the bike comparisons section. I can't remember exactly which issue it was, but they did an article comparing these two bikes.
I know because I read it, and then started lookin into a trek fuel. In the article, the Trek won more overall areas, but it was a close race. You might want to check it out if you have the time. Good Luck
I would NOT put one ounce of trust into any Mountain Bike Fiction article and every thing they say should be read like its a fiction novel. Oh and if you can swing it pick up a Titus Racer-X which is leaps and bounds beyond the oversprung NRS and outdated Fuel.

-TS
 

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TheSherpa said:
...and if you can swing it pick up a Titus Racer-X which is leaps and bounds beyond the oversprung NRS and outdated Fuel.

-TS
LOL...."oudated" Fuel ???? Please.....you kids crack me up more and more everyday....btw, the poster did not ask for 'other recommendations,' just info as to NRS vs Fuel...... I'd prefer the Fuel, but either would be perfectly fine for their intended purpose - high performance xc riding. Outdated my A$$.....Fuels rock at efficient xc riding, plain and simple...
 

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Fuelish said:
LOL...."oudated" Fuel ???? Please.....you kids crack me up more and more everyday....btw, the poster did not ask for 'other recommendations,' just info as to NRS vs Fuel...... I'd prefer the Fuel, but either would be perfectly fine for their intended purpose - high performance xc riding. Outdated my A$$.....Fuels rock at efficient xc riding, plain and simple...
Yea there pretty outdated, i mean were'nt they invented in like '99. There just an overly flexy frame with 3" of travel via a link actuated single pivot. Although i do admit that the Fuel is easily over dominant on the even more outdated NRS. I'm not trying to be a bike snob, but a frame with No sag and locks out when you brake and is very oversprung. Puhlease. If you have to get a Fuel or an NRS, get the fuel but i would also look into the Epic. Plus i've ridden both bikes extensively and owned an NRS1. Sorry for rubbing you the wrong way Fuelish, but it's just my opinion.

-TS
 

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Fuel

Definitely get the Fuel-if you are comparing it and the NRS. The Fuel is a great xc race design and isn't outdated in the least-b/c it works. It does give you the short-travel feel (alot more like taking the edge off bumps-than the squishy absorbing feel) but feels quick in the tight stuff and is virtually bobless if set up correctly. I started this race season with a Fuel 98 and an Epic Pro w/an 04 Brain on it. The Epic is now for sale b/c it felt long and slow compared to the Fuel handling wise. It just doesn't give you the kind of snap that the fuel does. The Epic always felt the same to me whether on a training ride or out with some friends-whereas the Fuel always felt the most comfortable and stable when really being pushed. Hope this helps.
XC
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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I picked the NRS, and here's why...

berudd said:
Does anyone have any comparative information on the performance of these two frames? I can figure out the difference in componenets but I don't really know much about how the frames perfrom for XC riding.
Late last year I was in a similar dilemma as you are currently in. I was looking for an XC-oriented FS bike and both the Fuel and NRS were on my short list (as was the Titus RX, Specialized FSR, K2 Razorback, and the Blur). Being a former Trek hardtail owner and general Trek fan, I *really* wanted to like the Fuel. In fact, I tried it out twice...

The first time I rode the Fuel 100 I fell in love with the bike on the floor - the black carbon with all-black color scheme. The I got the bike in the parking lot and I really hated it. The frame was a 17.5 and it felt a little too big for me (the 15.5 was WAY too small). Apparently I was in between frame sizes. And the suspension felt really hard. I asked the bike shop to adjust the shock again and they did. And again I still hated the rear suspension. For a $4000 bike, I was unimpressed.

After a few more months of shopping around, I figured I would go to another shop and try the Fuel again. Like I said - I *really* wanted to find a way to stick with Trek. And the second time I rode the bike I came to a similar conclusion -- the damn bike just didn't fit me nor did it have a good feel to the rear suspension.

Then I rode an NRS - both the '03 and '04 version ('03 Air and '04 NRS1). I REALLY liked the feel of both bikes ('04 just a tad bit better than the '03). First of all, the size of the bike fit me better than the Fuel. Second, the rear suspension felt much better in all respects - both in the dreaded "bob" and pedal feedback as well as overall "cushiness". People who complain about the NRS being harsh must not have had the bike set up properly. It is absolutely NO harsher than the beloved Titus Racer-X.

After months of shopping I finally narrowed my choices to the Titus RX and NRS. When I found a new '03 NRS frame on a closeout price, I had to pick the NRS. And after 2 NORBA races, a 24-hour race, and countless hours in the saddle, I am still satisfied with my choice.

As far as customer service is concerned, you can't go wrong with either bike. Giant and Trek are both known for treating their customers well - probably better than most any other bike company.


Thx...Doug
 

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dgangi said:
Second, the rear suspension felt much better in all respects - both in the dreaded "bob" and pedal feedback as well as overall "cushiness". People who complain about the NRS being harsh must not have had the bike set up properly. It is absolutely NO harsher than the beloved Titus Racer-X.
See, that's where the relativity of it all comes in. My NRS was set up with a Cane Creek AD12 rear shock -- way "plusher" than the stock Sid at the time. But there is no getting around that the bike is balanced on the edge of no sag, meaning (a) if you're climbing a hill and your weight shifts back, the suspension sags a little and (b) if your descending the rear unweights making hits that much harsher and more difficult to activate the suspension.

And my impression was the NRS has very noticable pedal feedback, especially prominent when cycling the suspension on deeper hits while climbing. I essentially felt like I was winching myself out of rain ruts and up ledges the way the crank got yanked around whenever the suspension moved.

Again, I'm not calling it a bad bike -- I'd probably describe the Racer X was a bit harsh, too -- but it's all relative to what you're doing with the bikes. My mistake in purchasing an NRS? I bought a racer bike that I tried to make into an all mountain bike, and I was asking too much of it.
 

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Roflol

TheSherpa said:
Yea there pretty outdated, i mean were'nt they invented in like '99. There just an overly flexy frame with 3" of travel via a link actuated single pivot. Although i do admit that the Fuel is easily over dominant on the even more outdated NRS. I'm not trying to be a bike snob, but a frame with No sag and locks out when you brake and is very oversprung. Puhlease. If you have to get a Fuel or an NRS, get the fuel but i would also look into the Epic. Plus i've ridden both bikes extensively and owned an NRS1. Sorry for rubbing you the wrong way Fuelish, but it's just my opinion.

-TS
It may seem like a life time ago to you, but 1999 was only 5 years ago. Turner bikes had suspension then that is very much the same as today, with a few minor tweaks. Would you call the 5 Spot outdated?

Your beloved Racer-X was being produced in 1999. Is it outdated?

The Trek Fuel is a great bike. It's a light, short travel bike. I have one. I also have a 5 Spot......and I still ride the Fuel every week. In fact.....I'm riding it today.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to all for all the feedback. I didn't expect to get this much direct info this quick. It sounds to me the Trek well feel as if it has less travel and perhaps feel firmer than the NRS. I got of my Trek 7000 and on to my buddies NRS2 the other day and the difference was emmense. I was surprised with how much easier it climbed. Part of that may be do to the fact I run lower air pressue to take the harshness out of the hardtail. Anyway, this thing really rode well.

I really don't know how harshness will affect climbing. I guess there is a balance between between absorbing bumbs and making it climb well and being too soft to the point of losing effeciency. If the Trek is more firm, will it deflect more than the NRS. The NRS I rode did seem to soak up the stuff I was climbing over well. Where I ride, it tends to be rooty and rocky. Lots of junk in the 3-5 inch range that my hardtail tend deflect off of.
 

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NRS definitely is not an all-mountain bike

Speedüb Nate said:
My mistake in purchasing an NRS? I bought a racer bike that I tried to make into an all mountain bike, and I was asking too much of it.
You're right - the NRS is definitely not an all-mountain machine, and attempting to turn it into one is not going to yield the results of a bike built for all-mountain use. The same futility would be found converting any of the following bikes to an all-mountain bike: Specialized FSR, Trek Fuel, Gary Fisher Sugar, Titus RX (I still don't get how a 3.75" HH100 is considered "all-mountain", but that's another debate), Cannondale Scalpel, K2 Razorback, etc. It's like trying to get a Corvette to drive well on rutted fire roads - it's not going to happen.

Before buying any bike, a user has to figure out what his/her primary use of the bike will be and then find the correct bike to match.

Thx...Doug
 

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dgangi said:
Before buying any bike, a user has to figure out what his/her primary use of the bike will be and then find the correct bike to match.
Yeah, I partially fell victim to the "Bike of the Year" hype and really, truly was looking for something more efficient than my Joshua 'Y' bike. With the Cane Creek shock replacing the Sid and the 100mm fork, I think I came as close as I could expect to come to making the NRS a trail bike, but not close enough. I haven't ridden an '04 NRS, but with the switch to the Fox AVA and to 100mm-friendly geometry, I hope they aren't shooting themselves in the foot.

If you want an extreme example of a good NRS mismatch, read this recent review of a Black Platinum fork: http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/2004_front_shocks/product_122921.shtml

Five foot drops on an NRS? There's trouble a-brew'n!
 

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TheSherpa said:
i mean were'nt they invented in like '99.... Sorry for rubbing you the wrong way Fuelish, but it's just my opinion.

-TS
I dunno when they were "invented", but am sure the first production year was 2001 (Fisher's Sugars came out in '00), so it's not really that old of a design (and there's an old expression I'm sure you've heard -" if it ain't broke, don't fix it " - change for the sake of change is not the way to go).......and, nah, you didn't rub me the wrong way...I just had to chuckle that you'd feel it was outdated , that's all ;) No prob, Sherpa

- Fuelish
 

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Fuelish said:
I dunno when they were "invented", but am sure the first production year was 2001 (Fisher's Sugars came out in '00), so it's not really that old of a design (and there's an old expression I'm sure you've heard -" if it ain't broke, don't fix it " - change for the sake of change is not the way to go).......and, nah, you didn't rub me the wrong way...I just had to chuckle that you'd feel it was outdated , that's all ;) No prob, Sherpa

- Fuelish
Well, maybe not outdated in the "old" sense but i believe that Trek will and is going to come out with a new Fuel next year or 05 which is going to be awesome. My logic is, why go with a 3" travel bike that rides decent when you can get a 4" travel VPP bike that rides exceptionally well in all aspects and doesn't limit you.

-TS
 

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I've never been on an NRS, but I can tell you I am happy with my Fuel 90. Very responsive, no bob, likes to go fast, a fun bike and a great XC ride.

Go ride both of them, and buy whatever one fits and feels best. Everybody has different preferences, you will too.
 

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Nobody's really asked him what he plans on doing with it - racing, trail riding, both? I'd absolutely lean towards prlundberg's advice, just check out Doug's post about the fit.
That said, my NRS is set up simliar to Speedub's with a Cane Creek shock and a 100mm Black. On the trails I ride I tend to use up most of the rear travel, the bike doesn't bob, I don't notice pedal feedback, and I have nooooo problem keeping up with my buddies. It also fits great. So, for ME it's a great match. prlundberg said the same thing about his Fuel. Hopefully that means there's no wrong answer :)
 

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I'm not saying that the Racer X is a bad bike, it's not. It is a very, very good bike, but how old do you think that <i>that</i> basic design is? One of the reasons it is good is because it is refined. Ditto the Fuel. Bandwagons are necessarily a good thing.

-james

TheSherpa said:
I would NOT put one ounce of trust into any Mountain Bike Fiction article and every thing they say should be read like its a fiction novel. Oh and if you can swing it pick up a Titus Racer-X which is leaps and bounds beyond the oversprung NRS and outdated Fuel.

-TS
 
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