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  1. #1
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    Undecided between RockyMountain Instinct and Trek Fuel Ex 8

    Hello friends,

    I am currently considering having myself a double suspended bike around $4k CAD. I live in a remote location and dealers do not have demos for the models I have in mind.

    I have looked at a few bikes and the remaining two contenders are the Rocky Mountain Instinct Alloy 50 @ $3,999 CAD and the Trek Fuel Ex 8 29 @ $4,099 CAD. A third bike which could be interesting is the Norco Sight A2 @ $4299 CAD.

    About my riding conditions

    There will be lots of roots.
    I think it will be more often on a flat grade than not.
    I might buy a separate set of wheels to put slicks on and roll around in town.

    Height and weight

    6'1" - 195 lbs


    Thoughts/Recommendations?

  2. #2
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    I've got 200 miles on a new 2018 Rocky Mountain Element. I'm here only to plug the "Ride 9", where with the Instinct you can vary the head tube angle from 66 to 67 degrees, the bottom bracket drop from 37 mm to 23 mm, and so on. I've had a kick moving mine around between various settings (trivial to do) and it does absolutely allow you to tune your ride. I didn't get to test ride a diversity of bikes either, so having a range of geometry settings easily available has made a big difference in the overall happiness I have with my purchase. I'm sure the Trek and the Norco are good too, but do they let you fine tune your geometry?
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  3. #3
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    Based on equipment alone I'd pic the Rock mountain. It's got better everything pretry much. The norco, has the cheapest equipment so don't bother.

  4. #4
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    The Fuel has the RE;aktiv shock to go with the Fox 34 and a Dt Swiss rear hub wheel with the 54t ratchets. Both of those are better than what you get on the other bike. The XR4 Team 2.4 tires are excellent. I'd go with the Fuel.

  5. #5
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    @Ptor

    The Fuel has the Mino Link allowing you do adjust by 1/2 degree the head tube angle.

    This operation drops the bottom bracket by 6-9mm it says on their site.

    Has your opinion changed?

  6. #6
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    My support for the Rocky Mountain was based on the flexibility of geometry tuning available and my belief it is a valuable feature, particularly for someone who doesn't have the opportunity to test ride many (any?) bikes. With the Fuel, it does seem to have two geometry positions, but the Ride 9 system of Rocky Mountain seems has coverage over twice the range of the Trek, with 7 gradations in between the two extremes. I vouch for the ease of use for the Ride 9 system and the robustness of the linkage that can be changed. Other issues relating to the relative component quality and intangibles, I leave up to you and those with more experience with the exact bikes.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  7. #7
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    I sold my Instinct a few months ago and I've been trying to replace it ever since. The price on the new ones is over my budget, but if it wasn't I'd absolutely get another.

  8. #8
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    The Mino Link does look inferior to the Ride-9.. Thank you for your input!

  9. #9
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    There ain't nothing inferior about an ex8

  10. #10
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    Fuel
    2019 Yeti SB5C
    2018 Intense Tracer
    2017 Intense Primer

  11. #11
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    Meh. That adjustment is neat, but all I saw is varying levels of progression. The fuel has the pivot at the rear axle and a pretty sweet shock. The 36mm on the rocky is sweet though.

    Tough call but the better bike is probably gonna be the bigger name brand in this situation.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Tough call but the better bike is probably gonna be the bigger name brand in this situation.
    Bigger brand being Trek?

    It's tied at 3 here! 3 people prefer the Instinct and 3 others prefer the Fuel Ex 8!

    I may prefer the steeper fork angle the Trek has. I think it would keep me closer to the feeling of my old crappy XC hardtail.

  13. #13
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    I've been undecided myself on the same two bikes. One thing to consider is the wheel adaptability. You can get the Trek 8 with 140mm fork (the Trek EX 8 plus) with 27.5+ wheels and then switch to 29ers easily. The Instinct requires a change of the headset cup by your LBS. If you're considering switching between the two I would recommend the Trek, if you're confident in the 29 I would recommend the Instinct because of the Ride 9 technology.

  14. #14
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    Update - I ended up going with the Instinct. I took it on an easy trail right from the bike shop and loved the handling but had several pedal strikes. I checked the tire pressure before riding it on the highest rated technical trail in Ohio and ran it at 28 psi front and 30 psi back (tubeless and I'm 220 lbs). I LOVED the bike on a more technical trail. The handling and feel was superb. I did several downs I was never able to do previously. More surprisingly, I also did several climbs I could never do before. I don't doubt the Fuel is a great bike but I'm really happy with the decision!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Based on equipment alone I'd pic the Rock mountain. It's got better everything pretry much. The norco, has the cheapest equipment so don't bother.
    What models are you looking at? When I've looked at the specs, the Instinct(Alloy 50) has Fox 34 fork and GX drivetrain. The Norco Sight(A2) has a Rockshox Pike Fork and XT drivetrain. What components do you think are superior? I think the Deore and Level T brakes are both similar?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graveltattoo View Post
    What models are you looking at? When I've looked at the specs, the Instinct(Alloy 50) has Fox 34 fork and GX drivetrain. The Norco Sight(A2) has a Rockshox Pike Fork and XT drivetrain. What components do you think are superior? I think the Deore and Level T brakes are both similar?

    Not sure, when I looked it open for the OP. But both of those are a wash in my opinion so it wasn't that.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Not sure, when I looked it open for the OP. But both of those are a wash in my opinion so it wasn't that.
    Both bikes are a wash? The comparisons I've done, the Norco pretty decent for that price range, other than the brakes which can be upgraded.....All 3 bikes look relatively the same. I'm I missing something?? Please educate me if there is!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graveltattoo View Post
    Both bikes are a wash? The comparisons I've done, the Norco pretty decent for that price range, other than the brakes which can be upgraded.....All 3 bikes look relatively the same. I'm I missing something?? Please educate me if there is!
    The RM has adjustable geo from more than one location. But if you are likely to leave it in one position. Not that big of a deal. I thought I saw 12speed and bost, vs the others has slx.

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