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  1. #1
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    Itching to upgrade from my fuel ex...thoughts?

    I️ recently got back into mtb and got a 17 fuel ex8 for a good price and have put about 150 miles of single track in him. I️ like it, but back in the day I️ had a yeti ARC (loved it) and always wanted a Santa Cruze....so...

    Iím 6ft, 260...(linebacker type build) and ride in central va (where there is surprisingly very good trails and lots of them). Might venture out to Bryce or mass bike parks, but I️ wouldnít be doing crazy jumps (45 years old). I️ like the trek, but feel I️ need a beefier fork (rhythm 34). I️ generally pedal seated vs out of saddle sprints...will get some air on some flow tracks, but again, nothing major and Iíd say my tires are on the ground a lot more than off the ground.

    Looking at yeti 5.5 and sc Hightower (and LT). Also like EVIL, but havenít seen one in the wild. No place around has all these bikes...I️ would likely order online. I ride a 19.5 in the Trek...figuring large in yeti or sc. Iíve never ridden a 27.5...just figure with my size and weight and the fact I️ donít really jump a lot that 29Ē is a better fit(????)

    Any thoughts or recommendations (pros or cons, or other bikes) I️ should consider? Like to keep it around $5,500 or less


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  2. #2
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    My 2 cents-----there is not enough difference in the HT and the Fuel----look at the Geo's and they are near identical----I suspect the Yeti also i similar----which leaves the Evil.

    The HT does have the 36 but I would not think a fork change is worth the $$$$ for near the same Geo.

    You could sell the 34 and buy a 36 for the Fuel for under $1000

  3. #3
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    Keep the fuel put a 1x12, carbon bar, 203mm rotors and get some volume spacers for the shocks ur good to go.

    Dropper post if not already equipped.

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    Thanks for the input. I am running 1x11 and have dropper. Also have 2 volume spacers sitting here ready to go in (socket being delivered tomorrow).

    Iím not sure what it is Iím looking for to be honest? I am bottoming the fork on some jumps (spacers should fix that?). It seems like Iím sitting on top of the bike, vs inside the bike...if that makes sense? Doesnít seem the easiest to lean it over in high speed flowing corners. The rear suspension works quite good imo...very supple with the re:aktiv shock and if I have bottomed it, I havenít felt it.

    Carbon bar...what will that do for me aside from less weight? Better vibration dampening? (I feel the Fox 34 isnít good on small chatter bumps).

    Wondering if I need some rise in my bar also...all my head spacers are under the stem...lower back cramps up after some miles.


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  5. #5
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    1x11 is prolly perfectly fine then. Carbon bars are a great upgrade, and that's what I read you wanted to do in the title. They improved my riding experience significantly.

    I run 108psi in my 34, with 3 green spacers. I just put a big spacer in the rear too finally. You're big like me so the rotors are an easy no brainer. Otherwise you've got a really badass bike and that isn't going to be worth it to replace with another bike. Wasted money when you have a bike like the fuel already.

  6. #6
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    I put a 30mm carbon riser on mine. It's not a weight thing, it's a feel and interface thing. Everyone says it's the best upgrade, they ain't lying.

    I too would like a 36 fork, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how great the 34 is.

    I read you op and can't figure out why you'd want to spend big bucks on a different bike. A 2017 fuel ex 8 is a badass bike. Upgrade it a little and get the new bike bug out of your bonnet.

  7. #7
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    Lol..you might be right...I should try and make a few upgrades and see how that goes before dropping 5 grand on another bike

    I was going to install 1 spacer in the fork and try, but think I will just put both in and see how it goes.

    For the bars...any recommendations for a 30mm rise carbon? I had been out of the bike game for years before getting this fuel ex in June....to say there have been incredible advancements since my last FS rig would be a huge understatement! (No droppers, no 1x, no 29íers back then).


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  8. #8
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    hahaha 150 miles... so you've had it a month? That's not long enough to know how the bike rides. Carbon bars are a minute change- if your tire casing/pressure, suspension set up, grips, bar rotation, conditioning... isn't on-point then carbon bars are a blip in the noise.

    Your stock bike is very good; the fork is good even at 260lbs, the whole package is good. You may need volume spacers, but it'd take me ~100 miles to be sure, and i've been around a while.


    I think once you have a nice bike that can be set up for your weight and needs you need to put about 2000 miles on it before you really know it's strengths and weaknesses.
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  9. #9
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    Keep the bike for now and explore the George Washington National Forest trails as much as possible . Next year hit up as many demo rides as you can. There's plenty around Charlottesville and Harrisonburg but they aren't always well advertised. In the mean time everyone else has made great suggestions for the bike you already have.

    For Bryce you really don't need to much suspension travel but 150-160mm would be ideal for their black diamond runs. However a bike with more travel could be a total PITA riding up the steep trails around Harrisonburg. I've been looking pretty hard at the Tantrum Meltdown. 160mm travel would be awesome on a bunch of the downhills around here but the Tantrum doesn't seem like it will be to cumbersome on the way up.....

  10. #10
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    You need to take some time and tune the bike to you. That's a pretty solid platform to get back in with. Dial the suspension in, dial your pressures in the tires in, get a feel for how the bike is setup and what YOU feel needs to be changed. Put on some miles, 150 miles is still getting to know it IMHO. Record your changes, if it feels worst you can go back easily without guessing.

    You mentioned back pain. Is it pain from poor fitness, poor fitment or poor technic? I suffer from back issues and seat position changed how I feel pretty dramaticly as well as bar position/height. I did work to build my core after injuring my shoulder last season and it helped my back pain tremendously, to the point it wasn't noticeable anymore.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the insight and info. Iím good with the rear shock, and will be installing spacers today on the fork so hopefully that will help with bottoming. I donít have much leeway with air pressure (weight), but have adjusted sag and rebound quite a bit (prefer quicker rebound up front and slower in the back)

    Have messed with tire pressures from 28 up to 45 or so...settled on 31 front and 35 rear (bontrager expert xr3ís 2.4Ē). I feel I could try a bit more aggressive tire for more cornering traction.

    I have already converted to 1x, changed out grips, and changed to an under bar mounted dropper post lever. Next up will be some 30mm rise slightly wider renthal carbon bars (15mm rise and 750mm wide stock)

    Lower back cramping likely combination of core strength and fit..will continue working on fitness and see if the bars help a bit

    Iíll see how these changes work out and go from there and try and hit up some demos this next year. I honestly have never done a demo day....getting more miles on the Trek and then doing bonafide rides on various others sounds like the thing to do.

    I think part of it is I always wanted a SC bike, and I had a Yeti back in the day, so I am drawn to them.

    Thanks again to all that replied...greatly appreciated!!


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  12. #12
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    Yes a more aggressive tire, at least on the front is a good idea. XR4, DHF, etc.

  13. #13
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    Itching to upgrade from my fuel ex...thoughts?

    Just got back from a 7 mile technical ride with my 10 year old (he rides a Marlin 7 hardtail). Bottomed the fork out 3 times on some 8-10ft ravine drop ins (down and abrupt ups). Spacers will be here later today via the brown truck, so looking forward to what 2 of them installed feel like.

    For tires, I am pretty clueless...I cant believe the number of different tires out there!! WOW! Since I am on east coast, with mostly smooth hardpack, with some loose over hard, some roots and rocks, etc..

    xr4 front and rear
    dhf and dhr
    ardent front and dhr rear
    Ardent front and icon rear
    High Roller II's front and rear

    Am I close with these combos???
    Last edited by gtsum2; 11-24-2017 at 03:18 PM.
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  14. #14
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    You have something against sharing your shock pressures?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    You have something against sharing your shock pressures?
    Nope. They r maxed out. Have 20% front sag and 25% rear sag


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  16. #16
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    120 psi front and I think 270-275 rear?


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  17. #17
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    Your tire pressures are way high for me. 18f 23r at low end. Maybe a few higher in some instances, but 31/35, it's been a while since I've felt the need for those prsssures.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtsum2 View Post
    120 psi front and I think 270-275 rear?


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    Are your shocks well oiled? If they are out of oil they can behave weirdly I've found. 120psi front should be more than enough, something needs attention.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Your tire pressures are way high for me. 18f 23r at low end. Maybe a few higher in some instances, but 31/35, it's been a while since I've felt the need for those prsssures.
    Iím running tubes still

    Fox said 120psi for 250lbs and Iím a little above that. And still bottoming it


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  20. #20
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    At 260lbs, you can benefit from the 36.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtsum2 View Post
    Iím running tubes still

    Fox said 120psi for 250lbs and Iím a little above that. And still bottoming it


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    You didn't put spacers in yet? The spacer makes the rate ramp up at the end so it doesn't bottom out. Your rear shock should be able to take them as well. How's your LSC? That will help bottom out resistance.

    BTW your fork pressure seems high but your shock isn't IMHO. When I ran a Fox CTD trail adjust I had to run a bunch of pressure without spacers. I run 275psi in my current Monarch plus RC3 Debonair and am 220ish without gear.


    Watch when you see people saying about what tire pressure they run. For instance I've rolled DH tires at my local XC trails running 18psi in front. Different styles and different weights make a pretty large difference. Find a base line and work with it, keep lowering it till you rim on things or you can feel the tire squirm. Then add a bit so it doesn't rim or squirm.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    You didn't put spacers in yet? The spacer makes the rate ramp up at the end so it doesn't bottom out. Your rear shock should be able to take them as well. How's your LSC? That will help bottom out resistance.

    BTW your fork pressure seems high but your shock isn't IMHO. When I ran a Fox CTD trail adjust I had to run a bunch of pressure without spacers. I run 275psi in my current Monarch plus RC3 Debonair and am 220ish without gear.


    Watch when you see people saying about what tire pressure they run. For instance I've rolled DH tires at my local XC trails running 18psi in front. Different styles and different weights make a pretty large difference. Find a base line and work with it, keep lowering it till you rim on things or you can feel the tire squirm. Then add a bit so it doesn't rim or squirm.
    Put two spacers in today and reset sag to 20%, 118 psi. Fox says 120psi max for this fork. Rhythm 34 doesnít have lsc adjust. Going to ride again tomorrow to see the difference.

    Rear fox evol has 275 max psi...think Iím at 270 with 25-30% sag (canít recall exactly). The rear feels good...used 50mm of its 52mm strike today. It never feels harsh

    Once I get a feel for the fork with the spacers, Iíll start lowering tire pressure a bit...Iím going to get some new treads though

    Thanks a bunch for the advice and info!




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    Last edited by gtsum2; 11-25-2017 at 06:01 AM.
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  23. #23
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    In the preceding post I assume you mean you're adding spacers to the fork when say shock. I have not read all the posts, but you can put spacers in the shock too, though it sounds like you may not need to.
    Do the math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    In the preceding post I assume you mean you're adding spacers to the fork when say shock. I have not read all the posts, but you can put spacers in the shock too, though it sounds like you may not need to.
    Edited to reflect the fork..thanks!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    At 260lbs, you can benefit from the 36.
    that is where I was originally thinking also....
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtsum2 View Post
    that is where I was originally thinking also....
    If you feel any flex while riding then it''s something to concider.

  27. #27
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    A clyde is gonna flex a bike fork. 34 or 36. Maybe even 40mm dual crown.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    A clyde is gonna flex a bike fork. 34 or 36. Maybe even 40mm dual crown.
    not if here's getting away with <20 psi in his tires...
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    not if here's getting away with <20 psi in his tires...
    20psi just means he doesn't like having his kidneys rattled.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    A clyde is gonna flex a bike fork. 34 or 36. Maybe even 40mm dual crown.
    Psst, all forks flex
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

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    Yeah to the Hightower similarity and replacing the Bongrager XR3 that come with the bike - at least in the front. I love the new larger SE4s front and back and SE3s in back.

    I'd spend on the wide Line wheels and 2.6 tires before a whole bike.

    BTW: I think all the Fuel EX with Reaktiv (8 an above?) are great. I've tried demos, rentals, and have the ala carte 9.9 frame with XT and Pike build. They're all really great. Your bike engine is the most important.

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  32. #32
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    At 200 lb, riding a 2014 Fuel EX8 29er, I noticed wheel flex, and fork flex on a Fox 32. THe 34 should be better, but still may be flexy.

    Is this a 29er or a 27.5? Your OP says you've never ridden a 27.5, so I assume it's a 29er.

    The Fuel EX8, if a 29er, will have flexy wheels too, in my opinion. I don't know that 30 psi is too far off for a 260lb person. I ran 27ish until two years ago.

    The XR3 is a nice tire, but it is no where NEAR the raw traction of an XR4, especially the new design.
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    Thanks for all the input. I told the wife tonight I would likely wait until next year and do some demos (evil, SC, yeti, pivot) and spend the time until then really getting back into the mtb thing and getting back in decent riding shape (I quickly found out decent gym/lifting shape and running shape are quite different than cycling shape!).

    The fork spacer test ride is tomorrow, then Iíll be changing out to carbon bars...then tires (likely go tubeless at that time). Figure one change at a time so I can see what I like and donít like. Thanks again for all the suggestions. I think my desire for a flashy new, more boutique, ride has subsided for a bit


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtsum2 View Post
    Thanks for all the input. I told the wife tonight I would likely wait until next year and do some demos (evil, SC, yeti, pivot) and spend the time until then really getting back into the mtb thing and getting back in decent riding shape (I quickly found out decent gym/lifting shape and running shape are quite different than cycling shape!).

    The fork spacer test ride is tomorrow, then Iíll be changing out to carbon bars...then tires (likely go tubeless at that time). Figure one change at a time so I can see what I like and donít like. Thanks again for all the suggestions. I think my desire for a flashy new, more boutique, ride has subsided for a bit


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    Cycling shape is definitely different than lifting and running! They compliment each other very well though.

    Other than Bryce I'm not sure where else you plan on riding. If you plan on riding the more back country type trails in central VA you might want to look into a new wheel set after you sort out the suspension and fitting. Its a good investment that you can move to a new bike if you do choose to buy another one next year. I'm not sure about the wheels on your bike but the aluminum on most stock rims is pretty soft and easy to bend on rock strikes. Only if you plan on really blasting down some of the rocky descents around here. If you keep your speed in check it shouldn't be an issue.

    These rims that came on my GT are more than likely cheaper than yours but I hardly felt the impact when this happened. Just felt the sealant spraying all over my leg and a flat tire. It was at Massanutten's downhill park but could have happened just as easily on their XC trails or at Sherando.
    Itching to upgrade from my fuel ex...thoughts?-screen-shot-2017-11-26-12.40.52-am.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Cycling shape is definitely different than lifting and running! They compliment each other very well though.

    Other than Bryce I'm not sure where else you plan on riding. If you plan on riding the more back country type trails in central VA you might want to look into a new wheel set after you sort out the suspension and fitting. Its a good investment that you can move to a new bike if you do choose to buy another one next year. I'm not sure about the wheels on your bike but the aluminum on most stock rims is pretty soft and easy to bend on rock strikes. Only if you plan on really blasting down some of the rocky descents around here. If you keep your speed in check it shouldn't be an issue.

    These rims that came on my GT are more than likely cheaper than yours but I hardly felt the impact when this happened. Just felt the sealant spraying all over my leg and a flat tire. It was at Massanutten's downhill park but could have happened just as easily on their XC trails or at Sherando.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yikes...I havent done anything like that to my rims yet I have thought about wheels a bit, and might look for some down the road. Again, I am just amazed at the amount of progression that has taken place the last 10 years (which is how long it has been since I got out of MTB'ing....the advancements and choices are stunning to me).

    Sherando and Douthat are 2 that I used to ride and plan on riding again...I would like to hit up Bryce with my 10 year old...my local trails are the James River Trails downtown and Pocahantas
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtsum2 View Post
    Yikes...I havent done anything like that to my rims yet I have thought about wheels a bit, and might look for some down the road. Again, I am just amazed at the amount of progression that has taken place the last 10 years (which is how long it has been since I got out of MTB'ing....the advancements and choices are stunning to me).

    Sherando and Douthat are 2 that I used to ride and plan on riding again...I would like to hit up Bryce with my 10 year old...my local trails are the James River Trails downtown and Pocahantas
    Pocahantas is a great local trail network! The trails are really smooth so a strong wheel set doesn't need to be a high priority. I haven't ridden the James River trails but I don't think you need to be concerned about rims there either.

    Torrey Ridge at Sherando is known for slicing tires so make sure you get Park Tool tire boots and bring some tubes!
    Last edited by Fajita Dave; 11-26-2017 at 10:06 AM.

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    Did 10 miles today at pocahantas (they opened the new trail Friday...Corkscrew...best trail in the area!!!)

    The two additional spacers in the fork helped a good bit. Used all but 2mm of travel and no clunking bottoming (and I got my biggest air yet today). Quickening the rebound 2 clicks in the rear gave me more pop off the tabletops, so aside from everything creaking and squeaking now, itís a lot better than before. Pinched the rear tire (32lbs) so had a flat when I unloaded at home. Time for new treads and to go tubeless now

    For kicks, I built an Evil calling up and it came out to around $5900...just another reason to wait until next year to demo several bikes and continue to get this one more personalized


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    Last edited by gtsum2; 11-26-2017 at 05:58 PM.
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    ^is it even possible for a mere human to pinch a tire at 32psi?

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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    ^is it even possible for a mere human to pinch a tire at 32psi?
    LOL...I suppose so?! Weird thing is I know when it happened..about half way into the ride...made it through the ride fine, and noticed it was flat sitting in the garage after we got home.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtsum2 View Post
    LOL...I suppose so?! Weird thing is I know when it happened..about half way into the ride...made it through the ride fine, and noticed it was flat sitting in the garage after we got home.
    Sometimes the tire pressure is never enough if the rock is pointy enough. Theres just not enough surface area when its a small point of pressure. My downhill pressures are 24 front 28 rear on 2.4 tires and I weigh 150lbs. I've still pinch flatted a set of Conti Protection mountain kings. Actually that destroyed rim was with the same Conti tires at 28psi.

    I've been thinking about getting Huck Norris inserts. A friend of mine rides with them and it made a huge improvement for pinch flat protection.

  41. #41
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    No mention of stem length yet, since you mentioned back pain.
    I'm 54 with lower back pain as well and adjusting the cockpit is what helps the most.
    Recently changed to 35mm from 60mm and feel I have a little more control too, and I use bars with more sweep like 17 degrees to ease shoulder pain.
    Those changes help me keeping my back straight while pedaling (vs crouched) and prevents back pain for me.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    ^is it even possible for a mere human to pinch a tire at 32psi?
    Its not really that hard at clyde weight. Pinched one hard enough to puncture a sidewall over the summer at 30 psi and I weigh less than him.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer View Post
    No mention of stem length yet, since you mentioned back pain.
    I'm 54 with lower back pain as well and adjusting the cockpit is what helps the most.
    Recently changed to 35mm from 60mm and feel I have a little more control too, and I use bars with more sweep like 17 degrees to ease shoulder pain.
    Those changes help me keeping my back straight while pedaling (vs crouched) and prevents back pain for me.
    Believe stem is 35mm. Looking at a 20 or 35mm carbon riser bar also


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    Bars are 35mm likely stem looks like its a 60mm length at least on the 18's, Trek doesn't have the 17 EX8 listed anymore.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  45. #45
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    Anyone wants brand new santa cruz bike, let me know, i can hook u up. Just tell me what build do u want! Send me PM

  46. #46
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    I used to be 260. Iím now 210. I was built like a linebacker but now people kick sand in my face. Save your pennies and get a Fox 36 or a Yari with an Avalanche tune. Carbon 32 hole wheels are a great upgrade. Yes you can pinch flat at 32 psi. I have. Bang for buck - Smuggler with 1 x 11. That being said, I do love my Switchblade. My 429T has a 36 on it. A stiff chassis makes a huge difference with a hoss like you. Most tubeless tires over 800 grams are tough enough for the east, unless they are plus. If you lose weight biking, increased speed and more frequent riding will offset the weight loss in regards to the punishment your bike suffers. Thereís great Appalachian riding from Pisgah to Canaan to Rothrock in your area.


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    Itching to upgrade from my fuel ex...thoughts?

    Thanks for the info. I stopped by lbs yesterday and rode the yeti 4.5 and 5 (didnít have the 5.5 there). For my riding area (Richmond area), they recommended the 4.5!?! Rode em both and 29Ē is certainly more for me...the 4.5 comes with float 34 so thatís something to look at...Iím convinced a 36 would be better for me? I think the 5.5 is more bike than I need...Loved the SI pedaling platform, but the trek isnít too bad either. Stopped at pivot dealer and they recommended short travel 29Ē also...after being on the yeti, to me, the pivot doesnít appear as nice (didnít ride it...I didnít like the cable routing at all)

    Left the shop with my money still in hand and came home and ordered another volume spacer for the fork (currently running 3 in there) and also ordered the shock tuning kit with spacers. I need a little more progressive suspension I think and will add another spacer up front and reduce psi a bit and try same in rear. Also ordered some renthal 20mm rise carbon bars to try out.

    I think once I get the trek setup as good as I can I will like it just fine...it does ride very good...I am just not excited looking at it in the garage. Iíll wait until spring or so and look some more...an eagle Yeti or Santa Cruz is likely in my future...they just have something (visually, spiritually, emotionally???) that my trek doesnít have for me. Will likely get some carbon wheels then as well.

    I almost bought the yeti yesterday just to have it...but winter is coming and best to wait til next year I suppose.


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    2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 29"

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtsum2 View Post
    Thanks for the info. I stopped by lbs yesterday and rode the yeti 4.5 and 5 (didnít have the 5.5 there). For my riding area (Richmond area), they recommended the 4.5!?! Rode em both and 29Ē is certainly more for me...the 4.5 comes with float 34 so thatís something to look at...Iím convinced a 36 would be better for me? I think the 5.5 is more bike than I need...Loved the SI pedaling platform, but the trek isnít too bad either. Stopped at pivot dealer and they recommended short travel 29Ē also...after being on the yeti, to me, the pivot doesnít appear as nice (didnít ride it...I didnít like the cable routing at all)

    Left the shop with my money still in hand and came home and ordered another volume spacer for the fork (currently running 3 in there) and also ordered the shock tuning kit with spacers. I need a little more progressive suspension I think and will add another spacer up front and reduce psi a bit and try same in rear. Also ordered some renthal 20mm rise carbon bars to try out.

    I think once I get the trek setup as good as I can I will like it just fine...it does ride very good...I am just not excited looking at it in the garage. Iíll wait until spring or so and look some more...an eagle Yeti or Santa Cruz is likely in my future...they just have something (visually, spiritually, emotionally???) that my trek doesnít have for me. Will likely get some carbon wheels then as well.

    I almost bought the yeti yesterday just to have it...but winter is coming and best to wait til next year I suppose.


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    If you're pinch flatting tires at 32psi I would recommend against carbon wheels.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    If you're pinch flatting tires at 32psi I would recommend against carbon wheels.
    Carbon rims are definitely stronger against impact than aluminum.

    Gtsum, I totally get what your saying about the Trek just not having "it." Theres definitely appeal to the way a bike looks and I think it changes the way you think about how it feels on the trail too. I'd still be patient and find that right bike. I know my taste in bikes changes from year to year anyway.

  50. #50
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    Itching to upgrade from my fuel ex...thoughts?

    Yeti builds a beautiful bike. A short travel 29er with AM fork makes for a very versatile platform. Lighter tires for Douthat, AM tires for the rocky trails. If youíre pinch flatting at 32lb, put in 34lb. Carbon hoops are great for clydes, especially 29er. Also, take advice from guys that can push away from the table with a grain of salt.


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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Carbon rims are definitely stronger against impact than aluminum.

    Gtsum, I totally get what your saying about the Trek just not having "it." Theres definitely appeal to the way a bike looks and I think it changes the way you think about how it feels on the trail too. I'd still be patient and find that right bike. I know my taste in bikes changes from year to year anyway.
    Glad Iím not the only one that thinks like that at times


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    2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 29"

  52. #52
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    Have you considered buying a frame and build up the bike just the way you want it?
    Or transfer all the parts off your Trek if you're happy with them, but Personally I'd want to keep the Trek around as a backup bike.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Carbon rims are definitely stronger against impact than aluminum.
    FWIW, I don't know anyone in the last couple of years that has had a catastrophic failure of an aluminum rim from a rock strike... plenty have blown up carbon.

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    Itching to upgrade from my fuel ex...thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    FWIW, I don't know anyone in the last couple of years that has had a catastrophic failure of an aluminum rim from a rock strike... plenty have blown up carbon.
    Iíve never seen a catastrophic carbon rim failure. Iíve seen pictures of both. Aluminum 29er wheels eventually detension in 2-3 months under me. In six months I need a new rim and spokes. I ride brutishly and Iím heavy. These are wheels built by guys with a nationwide rep. I have broken carbon fiber rims. Itís an expensive repair. A carbon fiber rear rim will usually last 1-2 years with no detensioning. Rim damage is from running too low pressure to snd side wall failures from rocks being kicked up.


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    Last edited by DrDon; 11-29-2017 at 03:06 PM.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer View Post
    Have you considered buying a frame and build up the bike just the way you want it?
    Or transfer all the parts off your Trek if you're happy with them, but Personally I'd want to keep the Trek around as a backup bike.
    I have considered it, but I am not skilled enough, or have all the tools necessary to build up a bike. I do have a bike stand and some tools, but no press for bottom bracket or headset, etc. It would be easier for me to buy a bike and then upgrade a few components here and there as needed.

    As far as keeping the Trek as a backup...that will not happen...MTB'ing is something I used to do a lot, and I have gotten back into it as my kids are interested in it and we can take camping with us (10 year old rips pretty good...and my 6 year old rides like he is 9-10...must of been the balance bike we used with him as a little guy!). I am also into Side by Sides (2018 Maverick X3 Turbo), and that thing takes up a fair amount of money. I doubt I would move anything from the Trek over (it is mostly xt). I want to try Eagle out so my next bike will have Eagle on it and I will see what that is all about.

    I hope people dont think I am bagging on the Trek...I think it is a good bike and does its job well, and for the money, I think it is pretty good. When I bought it in June, I actually had a deal to buy a SC for $4k...about $800 off list...I went to the store to buy it and it was the wrong size (price was only good for that floor model). Thats when I saved some bucks and bought the Trek as I didnt honestly know just how much I would ride....seems I am riding more than I thought in between the side by side trips!

    I think the fact I used to have a Yeti back in the day, and I was going to buy the SC in June...and then went with a Trek (I have had 5 of them over the years)...I feel like I settled a bit...not necessarily in performance (although the Fox Rythym 34 shock leaves some to be desired and it is quite heavy), but more in looks, prestige, build quality, etc.
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 29"

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Rim damage is from running too low pressure to snd side wall failures from rocks being kicked up.
    You seem to have a pretty rosey opinion of carbon. I just talked to a EWS pro who told me he was running a DH tire with a rim protector insert and still blew apart his carbon. Race over. Low tire pressure?

    I'm not saying all carbon is bad for everyone, but it's common knowledge among racers and aggressive riders that carbon has had issues with regards to impacts.

  57. #57
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    Itching to upgrade from my fuel ex...thoughts?

    Itís common knowledge that alloy fails too among aggressive and large riders. Iíve been biking close to 30 years. There are many top level riders including EWS riding carbon. Iíve broken alloy and carbon frames and a titanium road frame. All materials can fail. To say that carbon rims are not applicable to aggressive riding is just wrong.

    BTW, this past summer I ran into a group of experienced riders that were chuckling over what a young Yeti rep said at a demo. The rep dished on one of the riders for having alloy rims. Apparently, legitimate riders only ride carbon.

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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Itís common knowledge that alloy fails too among aggressive and large riders. Iíve been biking close to 30 years. There are many top level riders including EWS riding carbon. Iíve broken alloy and carbon frames and a titanium road frame. All materials can fail. To say that carbon rims are not applicable to aggressive riding is just wrong.

    BTW, this past summer I ran into a group of experienced riders that were chuckling over what a young Yeti rep said at a demo. The rep dished on one of the riders for having alloy rims. Apparently, legitimate riders only ride carbon.

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    I'm sure you're quite the badass on a bike...

    Didn't I just mention an EWS pro riding carbon? Would you like to start a retard fight?

    Reread this: I'm not saying all carbon is bad for everyone, but it's common knowledge among racers and aggressive riders that carbon has had issues with regards to impacts.


  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    I'm sure you're quite the badass on a bike...

    Didn't I just mention an EWS pro riding carbon? Would you like to start a retard fight?

    Reread this: I'm not saying all carbon is bad for everyone, but it's common knowledge among racers and aggressive riders that carbon has had issues with regards to impacts.

    Iím not a bad ass on the bike. Thatís not relevant. Carbon and alloy rims both fail second to impacts including ones from bad asses on bikes. Thatís common knowledge and factual.


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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Iím not a bad ass on the bike. Thatís not relevant. Carbon and alloy rims both fail second to impacts including ones from bad asses on bikes. Thatís common knowledge and factual.


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    Well Don it may be common knowledge to you and me, but he doesn't seem to be able to digest the news from reading your post. I think I've done that before too, you read something and it won't sink-in.
    I've been tubeless for 3yrs now (love that) but for the last 6months I've needed a tube in the rear tire. I've managed to flat that thing twice while running 35psi, and I'm only 160lb kitted. I keep 40psi in it to avoid that shit, and have the new tire ready. I'm just waiting to wear the side knobs or another flat, whichever comes first.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim c View Post
    Well Don it may be common knowledge to you and me, but he doesn't seem to be able to digest the news from reading your post. I think I've done that before too, you read something and it won't sink-in.
    I've been tubeless for 3yrs now (love that) but for the last 6months I've needed a tube in the rear tire. I've managed to flat that thing twice while running 35psi, and I'm only 160lb kitted. I keep 40psi in it to avoid that shit, and have the new tire ready. I'm just waiting to wear the side knobs or another flat, whichever comes first.

    OK, the retard bait has worked.

    40psi with a tube at 160lbs? Good story. Clearly you're into high performance equipment and an authority here.

    What happens when you strike a rock with a carbon rim to point of damage? It shatters, delams, cracks etc. Often times the wall of the rim is beyond repair. Alu alloy? Frequently the wall bends but the rim is not destroyed. If necessary, bend it back and roll on.

    Can carbon survive a strike and not be damaged? Sure. Can an alu rim be destroyed by a strike? Sure. But the facts are many (read - not all) fast guys are still resistent to ride/race carbon because of the way it fails. This is not my opinion, it's a fact.

    My take - If you ride a lot of chunk, at your limits, are heavy, lack finesse, etc and you don't have wheels with a hassle free warranty, carbon might not be for you.

    On a positive note for carbon, it looks like the latest offerings from SC and others are using a better weave, pulling resin out, and have a better wall design. Perhaps rim strikes will be less of an issue moving forward.

    To reiterate, this debate was about impacts.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    To reiterate, this debate was about impacts.
    You're right about that too, and it was impacts that gave me the snake bites that flatted my tube. I typed 35psi and flatted, which is why I run 40 (rear only) and it's been ok for the last 6 weeks. Except I don't like the loss of traction you get with those high pressures, but I've got some chances to feel the bike step-out in corners and that is a thrill I enjoy.
    I have some mid-level alloy wheels, WTB KOM. They're fairly tuff for a lightweight rim, but I've damaged them too. That is how I learned we need more than 20psi in a rear tire. All that traction low psi gives is great till you dent an $80 rim, and the alloy they use for that level rim is real hard to re-shape. My old Sun-Ringle rims could be tapped back into shape easy. This year I got to demo a couple of top tier bikes with carbon rims and I loved them. I believe the best (maybe only) place to save weight is wheel/tire because your bike really handles better with them. Those $6 & 8k bikes I rode with carbon hoops make me want some for my bike, but between the $ and uncertain durability I'm not about to buy any so I think we agree there too. Eats Dirt, neither DrDon or I have really disagreed with you, and I bet we'd all rather be riding. Is it Saturday yet?
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    The name calling doesnít really prove your point. To the OP - ask your fellow riders what their opinion regarding the possibility of catastrophic failure of carbon second to impact.


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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    To the OP - ask your fellow riders what their opinion regarding the possibility of catastrophic failure of carbon second to impact.


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    Or just go to a current thread where a bunch of people confirm that carbon rims are inferior in that respect to aluminum like I and eatsdirt have already explained.

    Give up carbon rims! Any alu rim recommendation?

  65. #65
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    FWIW DT EX471's

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUoCSzVmhhQ


    Some enve carbons

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_-8qMcoeHc

    Some of the local guys I know tried carbon and went back. Too rocky here to expect carbon to hold up long term and price to replace isn't cheap. You can hammer on a aluminum rim and fix it a few times. Toss it and replace for $100 or less and not feel back. I've ridden my 471s down the local bike park with flats a few times and they are still kicking.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  66. #66
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    The OP clearly isn't on a shoe string budget and carbon rims sure as hell aren't fragile. Carbon can fail in pretty catetrophic ways but the threshold for damage compared to aluminum seems to be about the same. I don't beat aluminum rims back into shape once damaged which is now even weaker than before it was bent. I lace up a new rim instead. Unless its relegated to light duty on a different bike.

    The newer Light Bicycle rims have a very fat hookless bead to help prevent pinch flatting compared to the thin bead hooks on aluminum rims. If you can afford the new ENVE M730s with the rim strip you'll never have to worry about pinch flats or damage from rim strikes again.

    If you stick with aluminum rims get the Huck Norris inserts. You can still pinch flat with them but it takes a much harder impact. It does somewhat help protect the head hook too.

  67. #67
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    https://m.pinkbike.com/news/carbon-v...-pros-use.html

    Many opinions. Based on my personal experiences 29er alloy rims are inferior for my needs. 26in - little to no gain in performance. 27.5 - small noticeable gain but not really worth the extra cost. 29er - with constantly dentensioning rear wheel and flex, yes carbon is worth it to me. I donít worry about my wheel imploding. I donít even have back up wheelsets any more.


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    Who would of known my carbon wheel comment would spark such dialogue?!?!

    It is all good info for me though. I have never ridden carbon wheels, so I have no idea how they compare. I would assume they would be a good bit stiffer??

    I am going to pop in another spacer on the front shock (currently have 3 total in there) and see about dropping the PSI a bit to see if I can get a bit softer off the top, but maintain bottom out control (currently at 118psi on the shock...max is 120). The fork isnt supple on small ripple stuff and braking bumps, but its not bottoming as hard as it was before the added 2 spacers.

    Also ordered the rear shock tune kit and will see about increasing the spacer size to firm up bottom out control and go from there. Carbon bars with a bit more rise will be here Monday.

    I was in error on the amount of time on the bike..I went back and looked at ride logs from mtb project and I am around 250 miles on the bike. I honestly cant imagine needing much more to form an opinion on it?? 1000 miles before I know if I like it or not?? Naaaa....the bike rides good...pedal bob when climbing is minimal, the downhills are handled quite well by the rear end (which far overshadows the front fork IMO). The bike is more capable than I am for sure.

    All that said, its an aluminum framed, lowish end bike that performs as should be expected. I cant see adding bling to this bike (better wheels, better dropper post...the KS is only ok...in comparison the fox transfer I tested on a test ride had far better action on it).

    I do think I have come to the realization that for the trails I ride 90% of the time, it is certainly enough travel, and I am also partial to 29's.....and it verified to me getting back into MTB'ing off a decade long absence was and is a good thing and I will continue on......I just want something a little more....unique and more exciting.
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 29"

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Yeti builds a beautiful bike. A short travel 29er with AM fork makes for a very versatile platform. Lighter tires for Douthat, AM tires for the rocky trails. If youíre pinch flatting at 32lb, put in 34lb. Carbon hoops are great for clydes, especially 29er. Also, take advice from guys that can push away from the table with a grain of salt.


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    Thanks for the info...I will be looking into carbon hoops a bit more for my next bike...cant justify putting them on my current ride
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 8 29"

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