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  1. #1
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    Trek Fuel 7 for Western Washington trail systems

    I'm thinking about taking up trail riding again, as I am under medical direction to lose weight, and bike riding is one of the things that I do for fun.

    I have a hardtail (Cannondale Flash 3) right now, and am thinking about picking up a Trek Fuel 7 for trail riding. I am a beginner, definitely not advanced. I am wondering if anyone can offer comments on how this bike would do for Western Washington trails?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't buy a Fuel unless it had the Re:aktiv shock. So look at the ex8 even if it's the 2017 model.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
    I wouldn't buy a Fuel unless it had the Re:aktiv shock. So look at the ex8 even if it's the 2017 model.
    I don't know the OP's weight or if the discussion is a new Fuel EX but side with that shock being the heart of making the Treks super bikes. For the OP, that shock when set up correctly has the Treks give you the best of multiple suspension designs. A bike that's firm when you pedal, plush when needed, and a rear wheel that stays planted on the ground with traction for braking. No need to flip the shock's lever for firmer pedaling in most situations. Proper inflation and rebound setting is all important for that shock.

    Beyond that shock, the updated for 2017+ Fuel EX is a superb bike for a ride that is both true trail bike and way more cable than any past iteration of that model name. A Trek engineer friend pointed out that he chooses the current Fuel EX for most riding because "it is way more capable than most realize". He designed the current Slash and says he's jumped his Fuel EX 30 feet. Other associates choose that bike as something they can use in a race as well as ride about anywhere.
    ƃuoɹʍ llɐ ʇno əɯɐɔ ʇɐɥʇ

  4. #4
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    '17 and '18 are the same bike, just some component and color changes, so yes, have a look around if you can find a higher spec '17 model on closeout in your size.

    Agree, the RE:aktiv is a big plus, but still great geometry without it.

    If (just a guess)you are heavy, you might like the 27.5 plus versions better. It's the same bike but with a 140mm fork instead of 130mm on the 29ers. The smaller rims and bigger tires should deal with higher rider weight better as well.

    On the other hand, on the Fox forks you can have the travel changed for less than $100, so if you end up with the 29er, you can always do that.

  5. #5
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    A Fuel ex7 would be a great bike for a beginner for sure, it is a nice spec for the price. That being said, I agree with the others that and EX8 for not that much money is a better bang for the buck. Most everything is a bit better including the shock. Most companies don't carry a aluminum bike with similar components, the EX 8 spec wise is closer to the 2nd level carbon model in other lines.

    I would definitely test ride it though. I have always like Treks but somehow Santa Cruz bikes tend to feel more natural to me. Its really an individual thing though.

    One thing I personally did not like about the Trek was the Knock Block, not necessarily for riding purposes, but it makes it really hard to stuff a bike in a car, especially with the wide handle bars these days. I cancelled a plan test ride because of it. If it costs me 1 out of 10 rides, I'm not going for it. Getting out and riding trumps a bling bike at home in the garage every time for me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
    I wouldn't buy a Fuel unless it had the Re:aktiv shock. So look at the ex8 even if it's the 2017 model.
    Or a 9.7 which I believe also has the reactive shock, they have a carbon front triangle. 2017 EX 8 are hard to find. I have seen some demo 9.7's for sale.

  7. #7
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    Update: Based on some suggestions above, I went ahead and got a 2013 Trek Fuel 8. Nice bike. It does have 26" tires rather than the newest 29" but works great for me. Paid about 1/3 retail and the bike has hardly been used.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycling_engineer View Post
    Update: Based on some suggestions above, I went ahead and got a 2013 Trek Fuel 8. Nice bike. It does have 26" tires rather than the newest 29" but works great for me. Paid about 1/3 retail and the bike has hardly been used.
    Sorry, but no one suggested a 2013, 26" Fuel EX8. Other then the name, that bikes shares nothing with the 2017/18 Fuel EX.
    Which isn't to say you won't enjoy it, just mean that the original question was if the 2018 Fuel EX 29-7 was good for western WA.

    To that original question, the 2017 29- 7 got trail bike of the year from MBR (UK).

  9. #9
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    26ers do well in Washington. I have ridden a 26" stumpy from that era on the Port Gamble area trails and it was great.

  10. #10
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    You can ride literally anything on most trails. For instance I ride grand ridge in issy on a rigid 26er singlespeed sometimes. Same with the XC trails at duthie, obviously no jump lines.

    Some of the trails like OTG and Predator on Tiger Mt. you want to make sure you have more of an AM type bike. But I have seen a few hardtails on OTG.

    If weight loss is being medically recommended I'm assuming you're going to be doing general XC riding and I think any bike will be fine.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I'm not a racer or anything...just a beginner living in the middle of a huge trail system, and see a great opportunity to lose weight and make my doctor happy while spending time on the trails.

    I didn't realize that there was such a dramatic difference between the 2013 and 2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 bikes. I guess that's why mine cost way less than a new one.

    I'm happy with my purchase. If I get great a mountain biking, by that time a 2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 will come down enough in price that I can afford one of those, too!

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