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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i got my on eye the 2011 EX 5, but whats the difference between Trail vs AM besides more travel, tougher wheels and tires and maybe brakes?

thanks

 

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Infidel
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Things that differentiate my trail bike from my all mountain bike are:

Weight
Trail bike: 28.5 lbs
All mountain bike: 33.5 lbs.

Travel
Trail bike: 146mm rear / 150mm front
All mountain bike: 160mm rear / 160mm front

Rear shock
Trail bike: Fox RP23
All mountain bike: Fox DHX Air

Head tube
Trail bike: 1 1/8
All mountain bike: 1 1/2

Handlebar
Trail bike: 27" w/25mm rise
All mountain bike: 28" w/40mm rise

Stem
Trail bike: 90mm
All mountain bike: 50mm

ISCG05 Tabs
Trail bike: No
All mountain bike: Yes

Chainguide
Trail bike: No
All mountain bike: Yes

Axles
Trail bike: 20mm front / skewer rear
All mountain bike: 20mm front and 10mm X 135mm thru bolt rear

Tires
Trail bike: Kenda Nevegal 2.35 DTC front / Continental 2.4 Supersonic rear (actually smaller than the front)
All mountain bike: Big meaty 2.35 Kenda Excavators

Frame
Trail bike: Not so large diameter tubing
All mountain bike: Large diameter tubing

I love both these bikes but they feel sooooooo different from each other on the trail. Some days I have trouble choosing which one I want to ride.
 

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KYMtnBkr said:
I love both these bikes but they feel sooooooo different from each other on the trail.
Sounds like they are both trail bikes. :)
 

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SamIAm
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i wouldnt want to hit jumps and slap berms with the lil trail bike. much more fun on the am rig.

but now they all blending together.

main thing for me really is the geo. low n slack is where its at.
 

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weescott said:
A trail bike has an air shock. An AM bike has a coil shock.
AM bike has no less then 2.3" tires, 160mm of fork travel and it must be either orange or greenish in color.
 

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Green certainly makes a bike more AM. Does riding a road bike with flats make you AM? Maybe, but can you buy AM lycra or is that just for the pro's?
 

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I know what you are asking, OP. Basically it comes down to burliness of the bike. There really is no such thing as Trail/AM outside of marketing terminology but what it has evolved into is a way to describe the general capabilities of a bike.
The way I think about it is if you plan on hucking and doing larger drops on a routine basis, just make sure your bike is burley enough.
 

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I really don't think AM has to do with hucking and drops. I think that's more freeride territory. I'll still catch some air, ride aggressive, and plow through rock gardens, but I think a lot of the AM guys on this forum are really freeride guys that pedal uphill. I wouldn't take what some people say on this particular forum too seriously. A lot of them seem to think you need to be hitting 10 foot drops to be considered "true" all mountain. Don't worry about it. It's all about the riding you do. If that bike will ride anywhere and do anything that YOU throw at it and hold up to it, then get it. If you're going to be taking massive drops and getting huge air, get something burlier. Just don't get more bike than you need. There's no use pedaling around all that extra weight if you're not going to be taking advantage of it. My dad has a Fuel Ex 8 and my brother has a Fuel Ex 9. They're both solid, dependable, capable, fun bikes. If you can swing at least the 7 model, I'd go for that. Much better components. I really like the build on the 8 though for price/performance. If you can get last year's higher end model for a similar price to the 2011 lower end model, I'd go with last year's. I don't think they changed too much for 2011. Still, the 5 shouldn't let you down, and you can always upgrade later.

That being said, this forum can sometimes be a great place for getting good information on mid-travel bikes and associated equipment, as well as a good dose of humor. :thumbsup:
 

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trail addict
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nauc said:
i got my on eye the 2011 EX 5, but whats the difference between Trail vs AM besides more travel, tougher wheels and tires and maybe brakes?
Basically, you spelled out the differences right there... oh, and price.

The companies don't come out and say this, but most of their trail bikes are a little more budget-conscious than the AM bikes... because an AM bike needs advanced suspension to be both efficient and handle technical terrain... a frame and components that are light and strong.... these things cost money and that is why AM lines are generally more expensive.

Think of most trail bikes as a budget-friendly compromise between XC and AM. They are still good do-it-all bikes.

Sounds as if you need to really look at your style and the trails you ride and ask yourself what is right for you? A real demo ride would help open your eyes (as opposed to salesman-talk or just riding around a parking lot).... next best thing is to talk to more experienced riders in your neck of the woods and see what they advise.
 

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Fragglepuss The Chaste
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nauc said:
i got my on eye the 2011 EX 5, but whats the difference between Trail vs AM besides more travel, tougher wheels and tires and maybe brakes?

thanks
The children who build AM bikes generally tend to have much larger hands and thus the bikes are normally .0089% stronger because they are forced to use larger bolts at the factory.
If the factory is set up with a smaller sized child work force then legally the manufacturer has to label it 'Trail' because the bolts are a bit smaller.

Below is an image of Trek's 'AM factory'. You'll notice the children are slightly larger than say the 4 year olds who build the Trail bikes.



This girl is mining 'Trail bike' parts for Specialized:



Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i guess im just worried about the frame cracking. i want something that climbs great but still be able to huck smaller, tabletop stuff. and since im broke, i wont be buying a new bike every year like some riders do, so it has to last.

i love the solidness of my Hoss, but i want to get a FS bike
 

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nauc said:
i guess im just worried about the frame cracking. i want something that climbs great but still be able to huck smaller, tabletop stuff. and since im broke, i wont be buying a new bike every year like some riders do, so it has to last.

i love the solidness of my Hoss, but i want to get a FS bike
The frame has a lifetime warranty, and Trek is known for being good with warranty replacements. Unless you obviously crashed it, you won't be buying a new frame if it does break.
 

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nauc said:
i guess im just worried about the frame cracking. i want something that climbs great but still be able to huck smaller, tabletop stuff. and since im broke, i wont be buying a new bike every year like some riders do, so it has to last.

i love the solidness of my Hoss, but i want to get a FS bike
Personally I wouldn't care about getting a few feet of air on a Fuel Ex. The 8 and up even have the tapered headtube. I think you'd have to go fairly big to break that frame.
 

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I Have Cookies
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I ride "trail" in the AM everyday. But I also Ride "trail in the PM everyday.....Now does this confuse the matter even more? BTW I'm riding "trail and AM" on my 120mm HT....
 
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