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Thread: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

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    Default Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    A buddy of mine is doing Leadville next summer, and so he wants to ride a bunch. I like to ride, too.

    I have a 26" hardtail from 1997. When I go on riding trips semi-locally here in Minnesota, I often rent a full suspension.

    I've rented enough full suspensions to know I like them, but I otherwise know nothing about mountain bike suspension. Or mountain bikes. I ride the bike down trails where sometimes there are rocks, roots, and hills, but no mountains.

    It seems like the appropriate thing to do whenever you're ignorant is to buy a Trek. It's guaranteed to be uncool, ugly, and work very well for the price.



    Full list for a 2020 Fuel EX 5 is $2100. It has a bunch of dorky store brand stuff hanging on it. I expect it works just fine.

    This is the most non-VSalon bike purchase I can imagine. Talk me out of it.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    What's your riding like? Are you gonna ride Leadville, too?

    Edit, I know you have rocks, roots, etc, but what kind of elevation change do you see in a ride? Tight and twisty? New type trails? What's the trail you'll ride the most on it? For me, I only reasonably have 3-4 trails I can swing with my life balance. That sets the tone.

    A few years back, I was in the same bike position as you on a 15yo Sycip 26" rim brake bike. It was awesome, way back in 2001. I didn't know the difference when I got it in 2011, and thrashed it, loved it. But it was like a catapult in the going-over-the-bars department. Pretty hilariously sometimes.

    All that cleared up when I got on a 29er with M8000 XT hydraulic brakes and 2.4" tires. Still had the classic XC angles. Still having fun in that mode. Just enough for my riding, but nothing more. Full sus would be overkill for me. And, I get frustrated with too long a wheelbase/wheel flop. But, if the trade off between smoothing things out and pedaling inefficiency works for you and your most-ridden trails, then full sus sounds like your jam. Or,if you try a 29er with fat tires (or 27.5+) and it's still fun without being overbiked, then voila.
    Last edited by zambenini; 01-30-2020 at 04:32 PM.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    I'm here to talk you into it. It's purple!
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    OK, Dan, I had not taken that into account. Fair. Tough but fair.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    I'm not riding Leadville.

    I think most of our riding is smoother than typical Appalachian riding. Here are some representative shots (courtesy of Google images) of some places we often ride.











    It's all very rideable on a 26" hardtail with a clapped out suspension fork. I think the most common bike around here is a 29" hardtail.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    I'm here to talk you into it. It's purple!
    Circa 1993-95, a friend of mine had a purple and black Jazz Latitude. Since then, I've thought purple and black bikes are rad.

     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    For the trails you are showing above, I would get a hardtail with a dropper and a tubeless 2.4ish tire.

    That Fuel looks great - needs a conversion to tubeless though. You get a ton of extra squish from that.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    @JoB I absolutely get that a real mountain biker would ride these trails on a hardtail and that the rear suspension is entirely unnecessary. I'm not a real mountain biker, though. I'm mostly a roadie who is far more likely to get dropped going down than up, and the more the bike can soak up of the trail the better. I realize that's heresy in some circles, but there it is.
    @zambenini We have some punchy hills, but no real sustained climbing. I bet the biggest climb on my local system is < 150 feet of vertical. I've ridden a number of 29" hardtails, and they're not what I'm looking for in a next bike.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    For $2100, the Trek is absolutely fantastic. I have a Fuel Ex 9.8 and the only thing mine is that yours is not, is lighter.
    Go for the Trek! It will be great on the terrain whose pics you posted.

    Yes, there are "better" bikes than the Fuel EX, obviously. But for $2100? I'b be hard pressed to find something as good as the Fuel Ex 5.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Lots of trails can be ridden on a hardtail, but they are more fun on a full sus. And really, that is why we are riding our bikes. I would not hesitate to get the Trek.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Yeah, if you've tried the Hardtail+dropper route and that doesn't provide enough suspension, then I agree that you will really like the Trek, IMO. it's a little portly IIRC but that is a nice ride otherwise. Great value.




    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    @JoB I absolutely get that a real mountain biker would ride these trails on a hardtail and that the rear suspension is entirely unnecessary. I'm not a real mountain biker, though. I'm mostly a roadie who is far more likely to get dropped going down than up, and the more the bike can soak up of the trail the better. I realize that's heresy in some circles, but there it is.
    @zambenini We have some punchy hills, but no real sustained climbing. I bet the biggest climb on my local system is < 150 feet of vertical. I've ridden a number of 29" hardtails, and they're not what I'm looking for in a next bike.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Regarding “dorky store-brand stuff”. I do not own a Trek but I’ve been riding Bontrager wheels for about a decade. First a 29er, then a 2nd 29er, and now a Veesalon-worthy all-road bike. The wheels are fantastic and use DT hubs. I have the tires on one bike, too. 100% still in service, minus a few spoke nipples. A damn good store brand.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Y'all are doing a terrible job of talking me out of this. At least pretend I still have some vanity to which you can appeal.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Regarding “dorky store-brand stuff”. I do not own a Trek but I’ve been riding Bontrager wheels for about a decade. First a 29er, then a 2nd 29er, and now a Veesalon-worthy all-road bike. The wheels are fantastic and use DT hubs. I have the tires on one bike, too. 100% still in service, minus a few spoke nipples. A damn good store brand.
    What Tee Aitch said. the Bonty wheels have been good to me on my Superfly. yes, engagement is slow, I've have had to replace a few spokes, somewhat portly, but still going strong. Endorse.

    and yeah, Bontrager XR series mtb tires are kind of underrated IMO, especially when it's dry (the packaging actually points out that they're better in dry conditions).

    get it already!
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    as someone who rides a modern 29er hardtail

    ride a new fs for a while, and then form your opinion. The lines of what hardtails are better are erodes with every new bike released.

    Currently biggest benefit to the hardtail is weight (if you can get away with a pinner xc bike), or how often you need to do shock/bearing service
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew flowers View Post
    Currently biggest benefit to the hardtail is weight (if you can get away with a pinner xc bike), or how often you need to do shock/bearing service
    +1 except I think weight is the most overrated quality in a bicycle, and reliability is the least. I’d hit everything you posted on a hardtail and I’d think long and hard about incurring the expense and risk for stuff that might break and leave you without a rideable bike. Yeah, I’m a disgruntled former dualie owner.

    So get the best damn fork you can afford and if that’s a Fox 34, insert card and wait for cashier.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    OK - since you asked for it.
    I would never be caught dead riding this bike. It is heavy, will probably steer like a boat since the tires/wheel combo is 5 kg (exaggerating), and that crappy Bontrager dropper post might drop and never get up. Not to mention, where is all the bling of the Kashima Fox Factory components? And alloy rims? In this day and age? Show me the carbon, bebe! And why would you not want to support USA manufacturing by getting good 'ole USA made hubs like CK or I9 or Hadley or Onyx, huh?

    And one more thing before I go: really...? alloy frame! you're serious? Do you know how much that thing weighs? A little hill shows up on your ride and you would cuss before you muster the courage the haul this semi truck uphill. But seriously, alloy frame and a Trek? Trek? Can you get any more bourgeois than that?

    So there. Since you asked for it. Hah hah

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Y'all are doing a terrible job of talking me out of this. At least pretend I still have some vanity to which you can appeal.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Thank you @nmrt . This thing is the bike equivalent of Costco khakis.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    2020 Top Fuel, not Fuel.

    That's what those pictures say to me.
     

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    Default Re: Talk me out of buying a 2020 Trek Fuel EX 5

    Quote Originally Posted by jesseth View Post
    2020 Top Fuel, not Fuel.

    That's what those pictures say to me.
    I was thinking the same thing, but the lowest-cost 2020 alloy Top Fuel is $3,299 USD MSRP.
    My name is Hung | Instagram | Website/portfolio

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