Would like some opinions / advice regarding a new FS bike that I am considering ...
I am currently riding a Trek 4300 and I am considering giving that to my son and buying a new FS bike for myself. My son and I basically ride easy to moderate single track trails around where we live.
I have been looking at the Trek Fuel EX8 and went to my LBS today to talk with them about it. My LBS doesn't have one in stock, but they can order one in a day or two.
While I was there, the owner had me try out an older 2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.7 that they had on the floor. The 9.7 was listed for $4200, but the owner said that he would like to clear it out to make room for new inventory, so he said that he would give it to me for $3200 (which seems like a pretty good deal, based upon what I've read).
The Fuel EX 8 on the other hand would run me $2700, so the difference between the two is $500.
I don't mind spending the extra money for a better bike, but I am not really sure that the Top Fuel is a better bike for me.
I am a relatively new mountain bike rider - been riding road for many, many years, but have only been riding mountain for about a year.
As I understand it from researching on the net, the Top Fuel 9.7 is really a XC racing bike, versus the EX 8, which is more of an all mountain general bike.
The Top Fuel is carbon, so it is obviously lighter, but the EX has a newer componet set and a better fork.
The tires on the Top Fuel are a lot slicker than the tires on the EX. One of the people in the store told me that the Top Fuel has a very good, very fast set of tires, but I wonder if a slower knobbier set of tires would be better for the kind of riding that I do.
I've also read that XC bikes tend to be a little less comfortable for all mountain riding, whereas all mountain bikes tend to be more comfortable at the expense of speed.
I'm no speed demon, so getting the fastest bike isn't a big deal for me. On the other hand, a lighter bike that makes it easier to climb .... well that's attractive.
Finally, I wonder if I'd be better off with an aluminum bike over a carbon one, from a durability point of view. I'm not particularly crash prone, but I certainly have had my share of falls this past year.
Anyway, people's thoughts, suggestions and advice would be appreciated. I can certainly ride both bikes on the hill behind the bike store, but I'd really appreciate some real world advice.
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