Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone had to pick between the two? It would be a 9.8 in either. I do XC racing and endurance. I’ll have a hard tail for my local races but my favorite is 50 mile races. It seems the top fuel is what I’m looking for. I don’t get to race as much as I used to and like to do all day rides and just want a fun bike. I would be waiting for um awhile for the top fuel but the fuel ex I can get now. my main question is what it gives up on climbing in a race compared to top fuel and other xc bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I mainly do xc riding and now a bit of racing. I rode the fuel ex around my normal xc course and some bigger stuff and it felt slow and heavy. I got a top fuel 9.8 and it's awesome! Great for xc/ marathon rides but still handles the downhill pretty damn well....

Sent from my ALP-L29 using Tapatalk
 

·
Pizzaiolo Americano
Joined
·
223 Posts
XC races are won and lost on the climbs. I have both a Fuel EX and a TF. With me riding it, the TF is way faster on the climbs. Admittedly, my TF is built closer to the XC end of the spectrum with light parts and my Fuel is built like a trail bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help. My strength is climbing. I can hang with the fastest on the climbs but struggle on the tech and descents. I’m wondering if I replace the 2.6s with 2.4/2.3 how much difference that would make. Basically I want the fuel ex because it seems like a fun bike but still want to race it. I have a fuel ex from 2014. It’s very slow going up but it’s aluminum with heavy wheels
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I had a 2017 fuel ex which I rode everything on and did the odd enduro race on, it was great but I hated climbing with it so sold it and have a 2020 TF now. Compared to my 2017 FEX, the TF climbs much better, feels more nimble and looking at geo numbers it's within 0.5 degrees for my size frame so honestly I've not noticed loss on the descents except for really techy descents or super rough stuff. Granted the new Fuel is more slack, and the TF is not for bike parks necessarily. Though I switched out tires for XR4 2.4, as it is now it's phenomenal for all day endurance adventures and most things in Southern California that I ride. I've no regrets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Anyone had to pick between the two? It would be a 9.8 in either. I do XC racing and endurance. I’ll have a hard tail for my local races but my favorite is 50 mile races. It seems the top fuel is what I’m looking for. I don’t get to race as much as I used to and like to do all day rides and just want a fun bike. I would be waiting for um awhile for the top fuel but the fuel ex I can get now. my main question is what it gives up on climbing in a race compared to top fuel and other xc bikes.
Sounds like you should definately pick the TF!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
My strength is climbing. I can hang with the fastest on the climbs but struggle on the tech and descents.
I've got both. The TF feels so fast, but the FEX beats it on every single one of my "long loops" that I've been riding forever. Both of mine are built light-ish and nearly identically.

If I could only keep one, it would be the FEX, but if you're in it to win it, you kind of need the TF and its lockouts. I can't imagine being truly competitive on the road climbing portions that seem to be part of every long endurance race.

But if fun on your long trail ride days truly is the priority, I'd build up a FEX as lightly as the budget allows, and swap fork cartridges to one that can lockout.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
You say that you do XC racing and endurance, then Top Fuel for sure. I also debated between the two about a year ago, but ended up getting the Fuel Ex because I'm not race focused and wanted just one bike to do it all. I don't like/need the extra 2 cables for the lockouts and the Fuel Ex has the storage compartment. Though I do like the fact that the Top Fuel is about 3 pounds lighter for the same price and model (9.8 GX).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
For what it's worth.

I've got a 2020 FEX. I entered a local XC race and rode it because it was my only bike. It was only 15 miles, so not really in the endurance category.

Anyways I ended up 3rd in the "sport" category.

Would I be faster on the Top Fuel? Maybe just a little, but I think my fitness is the real limiting factor for my occasional racing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Ive had Superflys (both HT and FS years back and then got a taste of longer travel FS bikes....first a Remedy and eventually FEX. I have been mostly riding the FEX for the last 5 years and currently have a 2021 FEX 9.9 AXS. Sold the Remedy recently and bought a TF 9.9X01 to replace it. All I can say is: if I was to do a XC or endurance race, no question I would do it on the TF. Super fast and very capable in the chunky stuff. I will be taking it to our off the grid trails in north Ga this weekend to see how it does on the steeper/bigger stuff but for around here on the local stuff it is amazingly fast! Id suggest the TF. But man do I love the FEX too!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Ending up finding a top fuel 2021 9.8. Thanks for the help guys
I'm glad you found one. It's hard to find good bikes (or any bikes...) these days. Enjoy your new bike! (y)
I put a deposit on 2021 FEX 9.8 last October. Still waiting...
I will be getting a 2021 TF 9.8 demo bike early Feb. If I like it I might get one because the FEX is delayed more than I expected. I demoed the Ibis Ripley last July and tought I need a more stable bike, so I hope the TF will feel different and more stable. If not, I guess I will have to keep on waiting for the FEX to arrive.
Mo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
mo6500, The TF is a stable bike but nowhere near as confidence inspiring as the FEX. That said, not sure exactly what level of 'stability' youre looking for. The FEX for me has been a game changer from a confidence standpoint. I believe the Fox 36 plays a big part in that...but the slack goemetry helps too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
445 Posts
Top fuel is an awesome bike! They are fast and handle well. I work at a trek dealer and we had both for demo bikes. I ended up with 21 fuel 8.8 XT. Asa 63 yo mtber i like the sure footedness of the fuel. I am sure you will be loving on the TF. Fun bike!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
mo6500, The TF is a stable bike but nowhere near as confidence inspiring as the FEX. That said, not sure exactly what level of 'stability' youre looking for. The FEX for me has been a game changer from a confidence standpoint. I believe the Fox 36 plays a big part in that...but the slack goemetry helps too!
I agree.
Last August I got a FEX 9.8 demo bike for the weekend. I rode it up, down, on rock gardens, and the 36 felt great. Even better tha the RS Pike I had and loved during the last 6 years.
The demo had the old 36, so I guess that the new 36 on 2021 models should be better.
Spec'ing the 36 on 9.8 + 9.9 FEX models was a wise choice by Trek, and I was happy to see that for 2021 the 9.7 FEX got the 36 too. Had a great time on the FEX 9.8 and that is why I ended up putting a deposit on it.
I'd like to try the TF 9.8, as I have heard and read good reviews about it. I guess that the lighter weight (and 34 up front) is a trade off for more stability and confidence but I'm curious to ride it and compare it with the FEX.
There is enough time until my FEX will arrive, so if I like the TF I might change my mind...
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
i have a top fuel and a remedy. the top fuel has great geo, but simply not enough suspension when on anything but smooth trails. i prefer lugging the remedy around on bumpy rocky trails and enjoy the comfort more then the efficiency the top fuel has. i sometimes feel like selling them both and getting either a fuel ex or even slash, but nothing is available now anyways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Today was my first ride. It’s crazy how fast and agile this bike is. Feels like a race bike but handles rough stuff like a bigger bike. The way it rides is exactly how I wanted my old fuel ex 9 from 2014 to feel. I love doing 6+ hours rides and this is gonna rock. I can’t wait to take it to bentonville and other part of Arkansas.

just posting in case someone comes across this having to make the same choice I did. When I picked it up and rode it around the same loop I did the fuel ex I knew I made the right choice. I feel like whatever the fuel ex does going down better it gives up to much of everything else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I'm glad you found one. It's hard to find good bikes (or any bikes...) these days. Enjoy your new bike! (y)
I put a deposit on 2021 FEX 9.8 last October. Still waiting...
I will be getting a 2021 TF 9.8 demo bike early Feb. If I like it I might get one because the FEX is delayed more than I expected. I demoed the Ibis Ripley last July and tought I need a more stable bike, so I hope the TF will feel different and more stable. If not, I guess I will have to keep on waiting for the FEX to arrive.
Mo.
The Ripley will be more stable than the Top Fuel. The Fuel Ex is more like the Ripley. Not sure which has more problems with pedal and crank arm strikes due to low bottom brackets. The Top Fuel I would guess, is less likely to strike and maybe send you to hospital. Although you can buy a short armed crankset to help.
Good riding to you.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top