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  1. #1
    BigSki
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    Upgrade Considerations--TREK Fuel EX 9 to...?

    A few years ago I found this great site for help in choosing my first true MTB investment. Very much a newbie, I went all XC with a closeout '13 TREK Superfly AL Pro since it was such a great buy--stolen out of my garage 3 mos. later. Loved the speed of that bike but knew I wanted a little more slack in the angles to accommodate my novice skill level. From there I took the insurance payout and bought the shop Mgrs. demo: '14 TREK Fuel EX9. Signed up for all the local shop trail rides & fund-raisers I could commit to and even spent a 6 day epic ride on the Maah Daah Hey Trail W. North Dakota. A great trip and the bike performed great. This Fuel is still on the XC side of the spectrum (69deg. HA X 120mm front travel) and I'd like to move to something in the 67deg. range with 130mm-140mm travel numbers up front. As LBS Demo-Days approach, I'm really curious about these 29er's: PIVOT 429 Trail, NORCO Sight C2, and TREK Fuel EX 9.7. I'm not looking to discover my inner DH but want to push my riding a step or two further. I'm 6'3", 220lbs., 56, and NOT ready to down-shift just yet...(he says defiantly while looking at rotator cuff surgery in a week!). I know this will put me down for a while AND probably cause me to miss the aforementioned Demo Days but I need to keep mind & body moving forward!

    Looking for more of your great feedback on these bikes or others you'd put in your que--or mine. Keep Riding!

  2. #2
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    If it's available for your demo days, I would include the Yeti SB4.5c and Santa Cruz Tallboy in that group. All the bikes you listed will ride great. I am coming from a 2015 Trek Fuel EX9 myself, and those were the bikes I considered.

  3. #3
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    I sold my 2017 trek fuel ex and looked hard at sc Hightower and tallboy, and yeti 4.5 Turq. Was going to order the yeti but got a screaming deal on a 17 IBIS Ripley LS I couldnít pass up. The fuel was good going down, but I wanted a better pedaling and climbing bike...something a little more poppy too


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 29"

  4. #4
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    You may want to check out some of the 27.5 offerings. There are a lot of them that pedal well and are a little slacker. Is your local terrain rolling or are there long forty five minute climbs and fast descents?

  5. #5
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    As tall as you are and with your XC side and injury, I'd go with a nice 29er. Problem is that you are tall, so super cool bikes like the Ripley are ultra short in the reach. The XL reach is like the medium in other typical bikes. Freaky short there. Pivot 429 also similar there too. The first bike I would try would easily be the Yeti SB4.5 XL for sure. It's exactly what you are looking for in a super package that is well known and modern. Just setup a bunch of demos. Also the Santa Cruz Tall boy is a legit bike too that is designed for taller people. If I was buying a XC I'd definitely want DWLink like the Ibis and Pivot uses first but Switch Infinity (Yeti) is a close second.

  6. #6
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    Look at the Following MB depending on how much reach you need....XL has 470mm. Only 465 on a XL 4.5 Yeti.
    The Following has room for 2.5 tires the Yeti doesn't.
    I'd spec a Manitou Mattoc Pro fork with IRT.
    https://nsmb.com/articles/manitou-mattoc-pro-fork/

    Here's the old version-
    https://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/feat.../iceman2058,94

  7. #7
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    Looks like a Yeti 5+ can fit a 29x2.6 tire at the rear.
    Yeti 5+ niner

  8. #8
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    I've just sold my EX9 so have been looking for a replacement.

    If I stay 29er it'll be an EX9.8 or a Rocky Mountain Instinct.

    I'm also toying with buying 27.5, and then it would be Trek Remedy of Rocky Mountain Altitude.

  9. #9
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    What about a GG Trail Pistol? Itís roughly the same travel as the Fuel EX but a bit more on the gnar side. If you want mor rear travel, you can bump it to 130mm by using a 210x55 instead of the stock 210x50 shock.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  10. #10
    BigSki
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    Great info and I really appreciate the veteran suggestions on bikes. The YETI seems to come up a lot as well as the Sant Cruz HT and, although test riding is the ultimate trial, the comments on 'reach' make sense. Surgery is in a few days and this is sure to keep me off ANY bike for at least a few months. In the meantime, I'm already antsy and want to play with some tweaking on my EX9. Has anyone extended front travel with a fork damper? A 10mm boost to make it 130mm is intriguing to me. Also want to widen the 720mm stock bar to 800mm and cut-down if need be. A much more aggressive XR4 Team Issue front/back tire swap should give me more than enough false hope going into decents and big corners.

  11. #11
    BigSki
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    I live in a great biking region, E. Washington has got everything within an hour. My go-to spot--The largest state park (15k acres) within a city limit in the country (I think) is 20 min. away and is mostly XC. The big climbs and decents are in any of the 5 ski areas 1-2 hrs. away. A new favorite place is the 1hr. climb and big decent you mentioned, I think it's a 17 mile loop. I've been curious to try a 27.5 but just haven't taken the time. I'll add it to my list for this summer. Also been curious but have never tried platforms, always clipped-in.

  12. #12
    BigSki
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    Good timing, I just watched the Bible's review of the Following and they raved about it. Also compared it to the NORCO Sight a good bit. I'm gonna have to figure out how to ride with an arm sling!

  13. #13
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    If you want 140mm ish of travel then I'd look at the bird aeris am9 or yt jeffsy. The bird is maybe a better choice for you since you are a tall dude.

  14. #14
    BigSki
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    Which bike did you go with? With nothing much else to do for rehab, I just took drove over to the next town and took a closer look at the RM Instinct. Great value, this one will be on my test list.

  15. #15
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    A 29er that's not usually mentioned alongside the 4.5, Tallboy and Ripley is the Devinci Django. Really balanced, great feeling bike..add that to your demo list.

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