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  1. #1
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    2018 Trek 29er: Fuel EX 8 or EX 9.8 ?

    Is the $1800 extra really worth it for the 2018: EX 9.8 over the EX 8?

    Spec Differences for the 2018: EX 8 vs. EX 9.8:

    Price - $3200 vs. $5000
    Frame - Aluminum vs. Carbon
    Wheels - 54T vs. 108T
    Crank - 6K Eagle vs. 7K Eagle
    Saddle - Evoke 2 (chromoly) vs. Evoke 3 (titanium)
    Handlebar - Bontrager Line vs. Bontrager Line Pro (carbon)
    Stem - Line vs. Line Pro
    Brakeset - SRAM Guide R vs. SRAM Guide RS
    Weight - 31.10 lbs vs. 28.37 lbs (2.73 lbs difference)

    Other than the above differences, all of the following specs are the same:
    Ft Suspension
    Rear Suspension
    Tires
    Shifters
    Rear Derailer
    Bottom Bracket
    Cassette
    Chain
    Seatpost
    Grips
    Headset
    Last edited by ThankYouJerry; 09-30-2017 at 08:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    I donít think so. Unless you really really want a carbon front triangle. The rear hub can be upgraded to 108t by buying pawls from Trek and installing it in the freehub body.

    I have a 2017 Fuel EX 9 AL and while heavier than carbon, thereís no doubt in my mind that itís just as capable.

    Buy the EX 8. Spend $1000 on the LINE PRO 30 carbon wheels and get an XO1 shifter and whatever bits you want to change out.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  3. #3
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    I would go with the lighter weight carbon bike.

  4. #4
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    The Line Elite wheels on the EX 9.8 are around 300g lighter than the Line Comps. It depends on whether or not you're looking for a lightweight bike or not.

  5. #5
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    Don't forget the difference in the fork. There's a performance 34 on the 9.8 vs a rhythm on the 8. As i understand it the performance model is a bit nicer and also easier to adjust travel on if that's something you wanted to do.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebuz View Post
    Don't forget the difference in the fork. There's a performance 34 on the 9.8 vs a rhythm on the 8. As i understand it the performance model is a bit nicer and also easier to adjust travel on if that's something you wanted to do.
    Not true. The Rhythm and standard Performance are exactly the same minus the softer aluminum used on the Rhythm. I think youíre probably thinking about the Performance Elite which is the same as the Factory minus the Kashima coating. There are no Performance Elite forks available on the Fuel EX.

    As far as weight goes, my EX9 with carbon wheels and a carbon bar weigh 29 pounds ready to ride. I can lose another pound by getting carbon cranks and a lighter cassette. And probably lose another quarter pound by getting a lighter weight shifter and derailleur. You can get the aluminum bike really light but carbon will always be lighter.

    And to be honest, thereís no way in hell Iíd spend over $5000 on a bike with a GX drivetrain and standard Performance suspension. Carbon or not. Thatís just way too much money for lesser components.

    The Fuel EX is an awesome bike but thereís a sweet spot in the pricing. And its definitely NOT in the 9.8. If the 9.8 had the Performance Elite fork with an X1 or XT drivetrain and e13 cassette, Iíd say itís almost worth it. But it doesnít so Iíd stick with the 8 and upgrade parts.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  7. #7
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    There's no denying the fact that the EX8 is an incredible value however the EX9.8 is lighter by 3lbs which is hard to accomplish afterwards without spending $$$$(my XL 9.8 is 29lbs with catalyst flat pedals), the carbon is noticeably stiffer(I've ridden both carbon vs. aluminum) and you might be able to get some $ off from your favorite dealer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter20 View Post
    There's no denying the fact that the EX8 is an incredible value however the EX9.8 is lighter by 3lbs which is hard to accomplish afterwards without spending $$$$(my XL 9.8 is 29lbs with catalyst flat pedals), the carbon is noticeably stiffer(I've ridden both carbon vs. aluminum) and you might be able to get some $ off from your favorite dealer.
    That is true. I guess it all depends on what kind of riding the OP does. A lighter bike is definitely better for the tighter stuff and climbing. But a slightly heavier bike is better for the downhills due to the added stability and Ďgroundednessí.

    I just donít like Trekís pricing for this year. They kept the price the same on the 9.8 but gave it the inferior, IMO, GX drivetrain. More gears doesnít make a better drivetrain. A 1x11 XT would have been a better choice. As well as a Performance Elite fork.

    Donít even eat me started on the Slash 9.7. A $4500 bike with NX components...

    I love Trek but sometimes, it boggles my mind on how expensive they can get with the components they have. Maybe theyíll figure it out next year.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  9. #9
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    I'd get the Ibis Ripley LS with GX, Fox factory suspension and Carbon wheels for $5500 personally.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by almazing View Post
    But a slightly heavier bike is better for the downhills due to the added stability and Ďgroundednessí.
    huh?

  11. #11
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    The ex8 is hard to beat for the price. And you could upgrade components as you see fit.

    2.73lbs can make quite a difference in how the bike performs depending on where that weight loss is. I personally don't like the specs of 9.8 enough so I'd rather have the cheaper ex8 and upgrade.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  12. #12
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    Thank you for all of your replies. Very helpful.

  13. #13
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    I would personally get the 9.8
    It may be 1800 more but you aren't gonna drop that weight in parts for under 1800
    Too Many .

  14. #14
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    Recently bough the 9.8 and I have no regrets. I would be surprised if you could drop that three pounds with the price difference. I have no problem with the 12-speed GX drive train, in fact, that's one reason I bought it. I have X01 on another bike and if you blindfolded me I couldn't tell the difference. The X01 might be tad smoother, but I might be saying that because I paid more for it, too. In the long run, I think the benefits of carbon and upgraded components are worth the extra cash.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankYouJerry View Post
    Is the $1800 extra really worth it for the 2018: EX 9.8 over the EX 8?

    Spec Differences for the 2018: EX 8 vs. EX 9.8:

    Price - $3200 vs. $5000
    Frame - Aluminum vs. Carbon
    Wheels - 54T vs. 108T
    Crank - 6K Eagle vs. 7K Eagle
    Saddle - Evoke 2 (chromoly) vs. Evoke 3 (titanium)
    Handlebar - Bontrager Line vs. Bontrager Line Pro (carbon)
    Stem - Line vs. Line Pro
    Brakeset - SRAM Guide R vs. SRAM Guide RS
    Weight - 31.10 lbs vs. 28.37 lbs (2.73 lbs difference)

    Other than the above differences, all of the following specs are the same:
    Ft Suspension
    Rear Suspension
    Tires
    Shifters
    Rear Derailer
    Bottom Bracket
    Cassette
    Chain
    Seatpost
    Grips
    Headset

    Option one: get the 8, spend 1800 on a trip to an awesome riding destination.

    If not that, it depends a lot on what you like or not.

    Does the saddle work for you? If you need a different saddle model or width anyway, the ti saddle won't be an upgrade. Same for handlebars, do you like the line Pro bars? wide enough? right rise and sweep?

    How picky are you about brake feel? If you are, getting the 8, then upgrading to Guide RSC's will be a better option. (Contact point adjust)
    Crank, again, are you ok with the stock crank? If you want shorter for more groundclearnace, or different for another reason, you gain nothing from the 9.8.

    In short, if you don't like the ergonomics of the stock parts, get the cheaper bike and use the savings to customize the bike, then spend some more to upgrade to lighter , faster engaging wheels. That way you have a second set of wheels to.

    Other plan:
    Get the 8, get a Fox performance elite or Pike RCT3 at 140mm. Sell the stock fork. Get a lightweight wheel set like this).
    You will have a bike only a bit heavier than the carbon one, with lighter wheels and better front suspension, and more ground clearance.
    For me, suspension performance matters more than weight.


    If you like the stock components, and you can afford it, a lighter bike will be nicer: get the 9.8

  16. #16
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    What did you decide OP?

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    My experience from way back in early 2017 (hahaha) is that getting a great deal on an EX8 27.5+ and spending the savings on hand picked carbon upgrades netted me a very rugged, very capable bike. Picked up some XX1 carbon cranks from BikeWagon cheeeep ($200) and carbon Renthals and upgraded the brakes to XT and went with some Light Bicycle 27.5 rims with 40mm inner width. I also have some DT Swiss 29s for xc and whatnot.

    This thing is a beast!!! I've ridden a 9.8 and while it's "different" it's not necessarily "better." For one thing, 2017 9.8 is 2x11. Suspension is not noticeably better.....really, the EX8 is a fine starting point, and with the parts you take off of it you can build a kick-ass hardtail, which is what I'm doing this weekend

    Good luck.....they're both great bicycles, but the EX8 is no slouch and is worthy of upgrade.

  18. #18
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    I got the 8 and the only 2 trek carbon bikes I've ridden or rode with have had squeaky bb. My ex8 has been absolutely noise free for 30+ hours and 230+miles-and I'm a clyde who rides hard.

    It's been pretty impressive.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by revmatt View Post
    what did you decide op?
    ex 8

    Tubeless.

    Added SQLab saddle and grips. Might go with one of their carbon bars too after I ride it "as is" for a while. We'll see.

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