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  1. #1
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    Advice on 2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 bike.

    Hi,

    I'm thinking of buying a 2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 carbon mountain bike. I will be using it for DH, mountain terrain easy to medium trails no significant jumps less than 3 feet only and path trekking.

    I'm debating either this bike the Trek Top Fuel 9.8 (100mm) Carbon or the Trek Fuel EX8 (120mm) Aluminum. They are both discounted heavily now because of end of season and wanted to get the best deal I can on the best bike.

    I've been using my friends bikes and this will be my first bike in many years. I like the fact its very light and great for going up hills much easier than a heavier bike.

    I'm a little concerned regarding the info on carbon frames cracking so I'm a bit hesitant as this purchase won't be cheap even with the discount. I plan on taking this bike to the grave with me.

    Any info and opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Trek Top Fuel 9.8


    Trek Fuel EX8

  2. #2
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    If you are actually planning on riding "DH", then look for something bigger. Those bikes are XC bikes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertr View Post
    If you are actually planning on riding "DH", then look for something bigger. Those bikes are XC bikes.
    By DH, I should clarify and say mild to easy downhill terrain, nothing difficult or too steep. A hard path I take going back home is about 20k with a moderate to difficult incline and I figured it would be easier with the 9.8 since it's the lightest and apparently the easiest to go uphill, with an EX5 is challenging. I won't be racing with the 9.8 it's the low weight ratio that appeals to me. I would consider myself a beginner.

    Perhaps I should look at the Trek Fuel EX 9.7 with 120mm travel which is carbon and lighter than the EX8 but heavier than the top fuel 9.8. I don't want to make any mistakes with this purchase as it will be pricey trying to upgrade parts afterwards it's not worth it as it's so expensive that I may as well get the next level bike.

    I appreciate all comments and advice. Thanks

    Cheers.

  4. #4
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    Top Fuel is an XC race bike through and through. Fuel EX is a light trail bike that can be raced. If you are doing drops or jumps of any kind then exclude the Top Fuel.

    Fuel EX are great bikes, the EX8 is excellent value particularly. If you are nervous about carbon then stay away from it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by olijay View Post
    Top Fuel is an XC race bike through and through. Fuel EX is a light trail bike that can be raced. If you are doing drops or jumps of any kind then exclude the Top Fuel.

    Fuel EX are great bikes, the EX8 is excellent value particularly. If you are nervous about carbon then stay away from it.
    What he said.

    You will find the Fuel EX to be much more compliant.

  6. #6
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    Ok thanks for the info, much appreciated.

  7. #7
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    I just picked up the Fuel EX and love it. Like the above poster mentioned, it is a light trail bike that can be raced. I do a lot of jumping and technical riding, and for what I've done here on Long Island It's more than enough. I have a 6 inch travel bike I use for the bigger stuff off the island.

    I've had carbon XC bikes and they're just fine, but if you're going to bash it around aluminum might be a better bet. Carbon can be very durable, but be prepared to look after it and maintain it very carefully. I really dig carbon, but aluminum gives me piece of mind.

    Good luck and enjoy your new bike!

  8. #8
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    Thank you all for the info, I'm kind of glad people are suggesting the Fuel EX as it is the cheaper alternative.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, the Top Fuel is an awesome bike, but for what you seem to want to do with it, the Fuel EX is probably the better choice.

    Just came from riding mine and still have a smile on my face.

  10. #10
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    What everyone else said, go with the
    EX. It is probably one of the best all
    around bikes made. I've had 4 of them
    and every one has been great. I will
    say that I like the carbon bikes better.
    I can't really say why, but they just
    seem to ride better for me. Plus I've
    never had a problem with the carbon,
    it is very heavy duty.

    Best, John

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike14 View Post
    Yeah, the Top Fuel is an awesome bike, but for what you seem to want to do with it, the Fuel EX is probably the better choice.

    Just came from riding mine and still have a smile on my face.
    Do you own the Top fuel 9.8 carbon or the EX carbon or aluminum? How kong have you had your bike for?

  12. #12
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    I just have an EX 8 2011. Picked it up about a week and a half ago and have ridden it every day since. I have beat on this bike pretty good and it keeps coming back for more. Of course the true value/durability of a bike is measure after about a year or so of use, but I have a feeling with just some basic TLC this bike will be in the stable for quite some time.
    I'd imagine the carbon EX models are even nicer, but I'm more than happy with my aluminum one. I think you're safe with any EX you go with. If you're budget allows it, get the best one you can, but like I said, you'll be happy with any of them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    What everyone else said, go with the
    EX. It is probably one of the best all
    around bikes made. I've had 4 of them
    and every one has been great. I will
    say that I like the carbon bikes better.
    I can't really say why, but they just
    seem to ride better for me. Plus I've
    never had a problem with the carbon,
    it is very heavy duty.

    Best, John
    Hi John,

    Which EX carbon bike do you currently use? I'm now looking at a 2011 Fuel EX 9.8 (23.5lbs) Carbon bike with 120mm travel, it is discounted as well because the 2012 are now out, here are some changes to the 2012 model like an upgraded derailleur and Bontrager rims instead of the dts ones. The Top Fuel 9.8 is about 1 to 1.5 lighter than the Fuel EX 9.8 (23.5lbs)

    Last edited by Hollywood2; 09-02-2011 at 11:19 PM.

  14. #14
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    The top fuel is without a doubt the fastest xc bike i've ridden in a long time. However I wouldn't suggest it to anyone as a daily use bike, that's definitely where the ex8 comes in. It's a great starting platform that you can gradually upgrade, in fact my friend has one that weighs 22 pounds if you're concerned about weight. Carbon bikes are awesome, however if you're the least bit concerned, or accident prone, it's probably not the best frame material for you. I believe aluminum is still a great frame material, and the ex8 is an awesome bike.

  15. #15
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    Hey Hollywood2, Right now I have two Trek EX
    carbon bikes. One is a 2008-9.0, and a 2009-9.9.

    Best, John

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all comments, I'm not really accident prone so luckily I'm good in that department. The one thing that's making this decision difficult is the fact that the Trek Top Fuel 9.8 is such a good looking bike...goddamit! Mind you the looks of the new 2012 Fuel EX 9.8 is really nice too and growing on me but the price is not discounted....unfortunately.

    2012 Fuel EX 9.8

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcb2007 View Post
    The top fuel is without a doubt the fastest xc bike i've ridden in a long time. However I wouldn't suggest it to anyone as a daily use bike, that's definitely where the ex8 comes in. It's a great starting platform that you can gradually upgrade, in fact my friend has one that weighs 22 pounds if you're concerned about weight. Carbon bikes are awesome, however if you're the least bit concerned, or accident prone, it's probably not the best frame material for you. I believe aluminum is still a great frame material, and the ex8 is an awesome bike.
    Hi wcb2007,

    Can you provide more info as to why the Top Fuel 9.8 is not a good daily use bike compared with an EX. Thanks again for the feedback.

  18. #18
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    Race bikes are generally uncomfortable for the beginner on long hauls. They sacrifice comfort for all out performance.
    And general trail riding with some jumps can possibly break suspension components.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
    Race bikes are generally uncomfortable for the beginner on long hauls. They sacrifice comfort for all out performance.
    And general trail riding with some jumps can possibly break suspension components.
    Okay, thanks for the info.

    Cheers.

  20. #20
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    Well, I found the EX bike I like the most. The 2011 EX 9.9.....but the price is out of my range...can anyone spare some change!


  21. #21
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    Hi. I have been riding a demo ex 8 for the wast week and love it. My only concern is that the Trek Remedy 9 might be a better option. Seems to me there is more room for improvement with the remedy! Bigger jumps drop offs ect. Simply more travel.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustycrackpipe View Post
    Hi. I have been riding a demo ex 8 for the wast week and love it. My only concern is that the Trek Remedy 9 might be a better option. Seems to me there is more room for improvement with the remedy! Bigger jumps drop offs ect. Simply more travel.
    Thanks for the info. But I don't plan on doing that many jumps unless I encounter a fallen tree on a trek and may plan to ride on top of it for a bit and jump off of it, less than 2 feet and even that will be rare. My main uses are path, single trail trekking. I will be using it to climb up a hard path about 20km so weight is an issue for me. I think that Remedy are slightly heavier and I won't be needing the travel all that much because my jumps will be very limited.

    Though the decision is still difficult because of the price point of the bikes....no room for mistakes. So I'll be testing a few bikes carefully to make sure I don't make any regrettable mistakes. The info on this thread has helped me look at factors I wouldn't have considered before because others have much more experience and knowledge than I do. So it pays to ask beforehand that's for sure.

    Cheers.

  23. #23
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    Just how much were you planning on spending

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artin Aga View Post
    Just how much were you planning on spending
    Around 4K max 5K for a carbon.

  25. #25
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    id get a Yeti AS-R 5 Carbon Race $4950

  26. #26
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    I own a 2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 ! Love it!

    It's my only bike & I do everything on it from XC racing to just for fun all day (4-5 hrs) trail riding. I ride mostly singletrack, often fairly technical, lots of climbing (love it for that) & it is really good at technical climbs - light & agile. And I find it really stable on downhills - roots, sand, drops (nothing really huge - say less than 2').

    It's my 2nd carbon framed bike. I haven't had any problems with carbon & am not that gentle either - I've crashed lots! Aluminum is great too but it can also crack - I've seen it happen (not to me luckily).

    I know many have suggested the Fuel Ex and I haven't ridden that one. I just really love riding my Top Fuel & not just for racing (though yes it is fast too!).

    Plus - it looks fantastic. Even now that it's not brand new - even with a few scratches (crash related!) it still looks amazing.

    As a happy 2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 rider just had to post my 2 cents!

  27. #27
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    Habing_fun thanks for the info! How do you find comfortability after a few hours of riding?

  28. #28
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    For me it's totally comfortable to ride all day. I did get it fit (something the shop included) before taking it home which probably helps & having the suspension set properly makes a difference. I can set it softer for a mellow day or stiffer for a race.

  29. #29
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    Hollywood2 I would say go to a DEMO ride and try out the Fuel EX's the Top Fuel's and the Superfly 100's try all three out and see which you like best.. But if you plan on buying a bike and later fixing it up the superfly might give you a hard time looking for Forks because they are G2 51mm offsets...
    You can get a
    2011 Fuel ex 8 for what 2k now?
    2011 Top Fuel 9.8 for 4,999
    2011 Superfly 100 for around 3,500 its Carbon and a 29er (easier to climb)
    I have you same dilemma right now I'm debating between the 2012 Super Fly 100 Elite or the 2011 Top Fuel 9.8 both are 5k or look for nice 2010's my local trek dealer had an add out that said "50+% off all 2010 or older models" hint: maybe they might have a 2010 top fuel 9.9, Fuel EX 9.9 or any nice bike in your size

  30. #30
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    My local bike dealer said they will sell me the latest 2011 Top Fuel 9.8 (black/red) for $3,800 discount price. I live in Toronto Canada. So if I can get that deal you should too if you live in the US. Hope this helps you negotiate the price.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood2 View Post
    My local bike dealer said they will sell me the latest 2011 Top Fuel 9.8 (black/red) for $3,800 discount price. I live in Toronto Canada. So if I can get that deal you should too if you live in the US. Hope this helps you negotiate the price.
    Wow, well i haven't really talked to my dealers about the top fuel 9.8 because i was leaning towards the 2012 Super Fly 100 Elite so they were only talking to me about that. I'll make sure to ask them what the Price would be for the 2011 top fuel 9.8. And with the money saved it'll be spent on newer lighter Parts and possibly a road bike for Training. Thanks for reminding me about the prices

  32. #32
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    hi Im planning to trade my 2011 trek ex 5 to a 2009 top fuel 9.8, is it a good trade? I just bought my bike 2 weeks ago and saw that that I will only add $200 for the trade. I still have the 30 day for an exchange.

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