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  1. #1
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    Trek Fuel EX 5 Fork Upgrade?

    I have a 2011 Trek Fuel EX 5 that has stock forks on it and I want to upgrade to a new fork of 140mm or more and being an air fork. I have been told to get a fox float 32 fork, but know nothing about forks. I want to upgrade to an adjustable fork by air pump. Anybody have any recommendations for upgrading my forks?

  2. #2
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    Lots of guys post about wanting to get a new fork and in the process, also want to add more travel. The problem is by adding too much travel you can put added stress on the head tube, the front end can wander on climbs, you jack up the geometry, etc. but if it's within reason you can over fork the bike a little. I'd say a general rule of thumb would be +20mm max. I wouldn't put a 150mm fork on a bike designed around 120mm. It will probably climb like crap and raise the bottom bracket too much

    If you bought the bike new from a trek dealer I would call up a shop and ask them if bumping the travel would void the frame warranty. If so, don't bring your bike into the Trek shop to instal the upgrade, use another shop and keep the old fork in case you need it.

    Another thing to think about, if you had a nice 120 or 130mm fork it will feel loads better than a cheap POS fork if that's what came on the bike. You may realize that you don't need more travel, just a better fork. Especially if your fork is coil and the wrong spring weight.

    I really like the Rockshox Revelation. I have one and have owned a Sektor which is very similar. If on a budget, a Sektor is another great fork for the money. With Rockshox solo air forks you can adjust the travel with internal spacers from 110-150mm, depending on the model. Do some research before you buy. This is a good option in case you want to put the fork on a different bike later on or you can tinker with the travel and see how you like 120/130/140 on your bike.

    Last...You would be a fool to spend $350+ on a new fork and keep a quick release axle up front so factor in the cost of a new wheel if you run QR on there now. QR is going away and it wouldn't make sense to upgrade without TA.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your input. I am going to see if I can just put a spring that is heavier and stiffer. I will definitely keep in my mind the the next time to look at the quality of the front fork.

  4. #4
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    Having just upgraded from an old bike with a spring fork to a Trek EX8 with the Fox Float 32 I have a few pointers:

    1. Air forks are tricky to set up and require some tinkering to dial the ride to your weight and environment. I kinda miss my set it and forget it coil.

    2. Fox shocks and forks have had reliability/quality control problems lately. Notably the Float fork dampers were recalled recently because because allowed the shock to over extend and seperate! My 2013 rear shock and my fork have both been rebuilt (under warranty for sure) leaving me bikeless for 2 weeks. If you go the Fox route make sure you get one with the 2014 internals.

  5. #5
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    first, id contact Trek and ask them whats the longest fork you can put on your bike without ruining your bike

    it does matter

    then go from there
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  6. #6
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    The fork that comes on it isn't bad, decent for a coil fork. Not a cheap pos as others say. I wouldn't try anything more than 120mm travel but simply going to a decent air fork would make alot of difference. All the hype keeps being fox forks, and after extensive reading in deciding what forks to get for my bike, im avoiding fox. Fox is great when they work. Overpriced and alot of reliability issues with some models.

    Manitou and rockshox imo are the way to go. Not for sure models available in 26" now but 29er wise (what im buying im a few weeks) rockshox Reba or manitou tower pro seem to be the best for the money. I know there are other great forms out there and fox by no means is bad, just have to get the right model, and imo ur way over paying just to have the fox name. For the price issues should be few and far between beyond normal wear and tear, and not the case lately.

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  7. #7
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    I'm on the same boat. I have a 2010 ex8 and wanted to upgrade to a xfusion slant 120mm with thru axle or a manitou minute pro. Anyone else go this route and have you noticed a difference in handling since they are not 51mm offset?

  8. #8
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    To the OP, what fork do you have now? Its a RS Tora 120mm right? Look into either upgrading to an air fork or getting the right coil spring for your weight in your existing fork. Also, you can upgrade the damper to one with compression adjustment. Just get a Motion Control damper for a RS Argyle. If you want to ditch the 9mm QR front end and get a new wheel, I'd say hit eBay for slightly used forks or year old models. I just picked up a 2011 150mm Revelation RL dual air for $330 shipped. It had been installed on a bike and ridden once. It still looks new! Like someone else said, the RS air forks are ride height adjustable so if you get a 140mm or 150mm fork you can space it down. Just be careful with height changes. I put a 130mm Recon 351 on my XC bike and it wouldn't climb for sh*t! I lowered it to 100mm and it was great. Once you lift the bottom bracket height up and tilt back the seat post (too much travel increase), climbing is nonexistent. Make sure you look at axle-to-crown height as well as travel. A X-Fusion 150mm fork sits about 10mm taller than a RockShox 150mm
    They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die, why not make it worth watching!

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