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  1. #1
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    Fuel Ex considered AM??

    a few months ago I picked up Trek Fuel Ex 8 650b, I live in central texas and have been hitting more and more aggressive trails. Its a XC/AM type riding as I have rocky descents, small drops, lots of rock gardens and roots, typical TX hill country, lots of pedaling.

    I love my fuel ex but find myself using 95% of the travel based on the O-Rings, I weight about 210lbs kitted up, but adjusted my suspension to 20% sag in its softest setting (fox CTD), I always use the firmer trail setting. I am slightly concerned bc I have not hit the craziest stuff in TX yet, and have not done any jumps over 3ft air. Just aggressive riding.

    I might upgrade my fork to a fox 34 120mm (from a fox 32 120mm). and plan on eventually getting the Re:Aktiv rear shock.

    Is the EX all mountain capable or am I setting up my suspension wrong?
    Fuel Ex 8 27.5
    4300 Hardtail

  2. #2
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    Its considered a trail bike. Upgrading to a 34mm stanchion won't help you if you're using that much of your travel. 120mm is what it is. It will make the front feel stiffer and responsive through the more technical areas of the trails. AM is when you get into that 140mm - 150mm range.

    I don't know what your settings are on your fork in terms of rebound speed. A quick starting point is turning it to its slowest setting and then back it out 6 clicks. Roll off a curb and see how it feels. 20% sag is the general rule, but Fox does suggest more or less depending on your type of riding.

  3. #3
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    I have played with the rebound and have it set at a sweet spot I feel. Maybe i will add a little more air to thesuspension.
    Fuel Ex 8 27.5
    4300 Hardtail

  4. #4
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    Does it have a DRCV shock? In my experience those shocks use 80% of their travel riding off a curb and 90% of their travel on a 4' drop to flat.

  5. #5
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    Its a trail bike, and its on the short end of travel for a trail bike.

    AM bikes have 160mm forks, and usually a similar amount of rear travel. Its really more based on the 160mm fork though, as that sets up the front height and general riding position.

    People get really fussy over calling bikes "AM", but we all really know it means a bike designed to run around a 160mm fork.

  6. #6
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    In general (and this is very 'in general') if the bike came with a fox 32 it was never intended for more than fitness/XC/wheels-on-the-ground use. If that's not what you're interested in investing in a sturdier bike might be sensible.

    There's more going on in your case- at 210lbs the shock is a bit under-damped, CTD shocks are kinda lame, and 95% travel isn't such a big deal since bigger hits don't necessarily mean bigger impacts.

    Regardless, if that's the direction you're going with your riding, your current bike might not be the best tool for the job, and dropping $$$ on parts isn't the best solution long-term.
    .

  7. #7
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    Fox 34, set to 130-140mm and she'll be right. Maybe.

    I believe the Fuel-EX is tested to run 140mm front travel.

  8. #8
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    So, if you're riding XC, why are you concerned if your bike is "AM" or not?

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.
    RLTW!

  9. #9
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    I take my Trek Fuel EX7 where ever, from the bike park to the fire roads to 15-20 foot doubles. Sure it might bottom out, but I still make it down the mountain fine and have fun. It is a great bike!

  10. #10
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    To the original poster:
    I found that my 2013 Fuel was a remarkably efficient all-arounder but it was a bit under-gunned on downhills. Sounds to me that if you're riding aggressively and doing jumps with maybe 3 feet of air and almost (but not quite) bottoming out the shock is working properly. Once you start bottoming out hard and often you could install a air volume spacer in the rear shock. This reduces the volume of the air spring in the shock which makes it more difficult to bottom out.

    @leafysantacruz: 15-20 foot doubles?!? you're a mad man!

    Edit: I should add that volume spacer kits are really pretty inexpensive so try that before sinking major dough on new suspension parts.
    Last edited by rockhammer; 01-15-2016 at 07:59 PM. Reason: More info

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhammer View Post

    @leafysantacruz: 15-20 foot doubles?!? you're a mad man!
    It's both amazing and kinda unremarkable. Doubles aren't particularly demanding until you come up short, it's a credit to leafy that he's hitting his landings.
    .

  12. #12
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    i rode the hell out of my ex9 for years... it was the first dual suspension i ever owned and it was quite the upgrade for me when i got it. i remember saying to myself on the very first ride," whew! rear suspension saved me there! woulda crashed for sure on the hardtail!"
    i love to do jumps, techy dh, and every other kind of burly dh and did it all on the fuel. however, since im getting to the age where crashing is taking longer and longer to heal, i thought i'd get a downhill bomber that could climb before i got to where i didnt want to rally the dh hard anymore (and it really had to climb... got some steep, long ups to earn the dh at my local spot). did my research and many, many fingers pointed me to canfield brothers bikes. specifically "the one" and the "balance."

    ...and oh lordy. as soon as i switched to one of their rigs, i was riding bigger, burlier gnar and faster than i ever had in my life while in my mid forties. i know people have their various opinions on strava, and i'm only referring to the data to show the immediate difference in my confidence and capability after i switched bikes. i went from being slower than 25% of people on the bay area dh trails i hit, to being slower than between only 5 to 10 percent. almost immediately. heres the weird thing. i was slower than about 60 to 75% on the ups and now im right in the middle of the pack... not because it climbs better... it climbs almost as well, but simply because i love to ride the bike so much i get out more than i ever used to.

    i guess my point is that you sound like i did. the trek is a good bike, but if youre at your max on it with the jumps and hits youre taking, go get yourself a bike that can really do some dh with 5 to 7 inches of travel. you wont regret it. the smile will be plastered all over your face. and i really cant recommend canfield enough. new or used. they destroy. good luck and keep us posted!

  13. #13
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    ^^

    I feel as tho I'm in the same boat as that.

    I ride a superfly 5 around my local trails which are pretty DH orientated, and with a demo of a 16' fuel ex 9 wow. Sold on everything. And going for a Remedy 9.8 for the extra travel and geometry.

    Ive ridden my local trails quite a few times on my SF5, but only recorded it on strava maybe 5 times.
    Two runs on the Fuel EX 9, and killed my PRs... and I feel as tho I was being abit soft (not being used to how the bike handles and also not wanting to write off a brand new bike that wasn't mine)
    Plus it was on a touch faster for climbing back up as well.

    I could chuck a beefy 120mm fork on my SF5, wider bars/shorter stem, aggressive tyres, and a dropper post, and end up being just as fast... Or I could just buy a bike that is designed for what I intend to do (something I didnt' know when i first bought the SF5)


    Personally if i were you OP, rather than upgrade what you got.. I would keep riding the EX8 as is, and look for a remedy or slash.. then sell the fuel.
    You will prob benefit from the bike as a whole rather than just the upgraded fork.
    I think you'll find they will climb just as well.. but descend a whole lot better.

  14. #14
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    thanks all for the input. I do wish I would have opted for a Remedy or Slash now, hindsight is 20/20 after all. I have only had this EX8 for a few months now, but have really started amping up my riding style. I managed to bottom out the suspension over the weekend, tried a new park that had a down hill with a jump, about 10ft of flight time, 4ftish air, scared the hell outta me.........the first time lol.

    I didn't know as much about bikes/components as I do now when I got my EX8, but I got a great deal on it, I think i'll keep the EX8 and continue to mod it to my taste, and keep it as a trail/xc bike (that's what it is right), and later this year i'll pick up a Slash/Remedy/Ibis MOJO/Pivot Mach6/SC Bronson.
    Fuel Ex 8 27.5
    4300 Hardtail

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