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I am a UK expat that now lives and works in Germany. I have the excellent opportunity to cycle to work and back each day approximately 8 miles through the Bavarian forest linked by some country roads.

I am wanting to buy a decent mountain bike that can also be used at the weekends to forays into rougher routes. I have ridden both hardtail and full suspension, (Cannondale and older style Kleins for both), and I love the hardtail for the get up and go especially on the roads and smoother trails, but I also love an xc style full sus for the comfort at the end of the days ride.

I have the option of getting a 2006 Trek EX9 at about 2/3rds of rsp which really appeals with the double suspension lockout.

My only real concern is how will the linkages and pivots stand up to at least 16 miles of offroad abuse each day for 3/4 of the year. (I do all of my own maintenance including wheel trueing and hydraulics but some USA parts are hard to get hold of easily in Germany)

Can any long term owners give me any advice?

Incidentally I have a Gary Fisher Ziggurat with carbon rear triangle as the leading hardtail option. Has anyone heard anything outstandingly good or bad about this bike?
 

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I have a 2006 EX8. Same situation as you - I bought it at the end of last season for an extremely good price. The 2007 EX's have been redesigned. They are lighter and they have more travel. Also the suspension has been redesigned. I put about 300-400 km on it at the end of last season and have had no problems and I really like the bike overall.

There has been talk of main pivot problems on the EX models in 2006 and earlier but I have not had an issue. See the thread below for info.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=258546
 

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Well...

Sorry to knock on all the previous fuels, but the '07 suspension update is totally and utterly worth it in my opinion, and obsoletes the previous year's fuels. Obviously you won't get a great deal on them, but they are a whole tone nicer.

Ziggurat, I"m not sold on the carbon stays, but if you want it, buy it with disc brakes. The carbon stays flex a ton for V's.

GL,
-don
 

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I agree with blehargh "Sorry to knock on all the previous fuels, but the '07 suspension update is totally and utterly worth it in my opinion, and obsoletes the previous year's fuels." And I previously rode a 2005 Fuel 80. Not saying that the previous Fuel line was bad, but the new redesigns are awesome.
 

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I would agree but only if you were going to pay the same price for the 2006. But he is saying he is looking at it because of the price he is going to get for the 2006. I knew about the upgrades but i purchased the 2006 because I got a reduced price (I paid about 60 percent of the price of the 2007). I would say that the 2006 is still a solid bike as long as the price is right. If it was 200 dollars savings go with the 2007 if it is a lot more then you have to decide whether the extra dollars is worth getting the redesign.
 

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Sure, I caveated that with the price debate. it's moot in a way since the ex6 is still the same as last year. The new suspensions come on the ex7 and above.

But going back to the original question, is the bike weather proof? I think you're really fooling yourself if you think any bike is weather proof. If you ride in the rain, and ride a lot, expect all your moving parts to get ground down, bushings, chainrings, brakes, everything gets nasty. I had to train for a race in muddy, wet winter conditions last year, and I basically ended up swapping out my entire drivetrain. So yeah, a FS will take more maintainence that way, but you don't get hammered at the end of the day. Up to you weather (pun intended) you want to deal with that or not.

incidentally, the pre-07 fuels tend to suffer from chain suck in nasty conditions. The new '07s have a welded rear triangle, rather than bonded, for better alignment to reduce chainsuck - not sure how this works in the real world. Also bearings vs bushing which should last longer in ugliness. Not to mention better tire clearance for mud and larger tires, 2 lbs lighter. something like 1/2 the stiction. To me, it's probably worth somewhere about $800-1k difference from an equal '06, but i'm spending probably 2-3k on a mtn bike, and I understand that price is a huge factor for people.

GL,
-don
 

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You got any chocolate?
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The 2006 Trek EX9 is a solid bike all the way around. If the price is right and it fits your needs, by all means buy it. Yes, the 2007 models were redesigned, but the 2006 is still an outstanding bike especially at a reduced price. :thumbsup:
 

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Personally, the upgrades weren't worth 800-1000 to me. I was in the market for my first FS bike and I wasn't willing to pay 2000-3000 dollars. I was going to buy more of an entry level FS in the 1500-2000 range when I got the opportunity to buy a 2006 EX8 at a signifigantly reduced price - I jumped at it. I rode it 300-400km at the end of last season and it was solid with no problems. It was a huge step up for me from the 4300 hardtail I had. I ran in some pretty wet and muddy conditions and it held up great for me.

You have to decide whether the upgraded bike is worth the extra money for you.
 

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Whoops.

Sorry. somehow I flipped the 9 and thought we were talking about a EX6. My bad.

But I think my argument holds even more so at the top end. You're buying a nice bike that you don't want to compromise on. So why get the outdated design? I mean, it's one thing if there's a minor tweak, but everything is _significantly_ improved on the 2007, except, of course, the price.

But, it's up to you.

GL,
-don
 

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Ummm...back to your original question....

is it weather proof. In a word NO, no more so than any other FS bike. It will require the same amount of maintenance as any other bike ridden year round. Regular pivot maintenance is a forgone conclusion for ANY suspension design, and you can plan on an accelerated maintenance schedule if you ride in sloppy conditions. If you don't then you'll end up replacing the parts all that much sooner. And it doesn't really matter whether the suspension uses bushings, cartridge bearings or whatever, one requires just as much maintenance as the other. All weather commuting is hard on bike components in general reguardless of design hard tail or full suspension, so you have to do maintenance more often. The only real difference is that the FS bike has a little more to maintain is all. No bike is weather proof from the lowest entry level bike to the top of the line performance model. If you don't maintain a rigorous and regular maintenance schedule you'll end up prematurely wearing out components, low end or high end.

All that being said, the 06 EX is a good design and will hold up very well as long as you do your part.

Good Dirt
 

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Squash said:
Regular pivot maintenance is a forgone conclusion for ANY suspension design,
Good Dirt
A simple single pivot bike like the Gary Fisher Race Days or a Santa Cruz SuperLight should be easier to maintain - only two bearing to worry about as opposed to the multiple pivot point on other designs. Something to consider. I have a Race Day and it's been good for my type of riding.
 
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