1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Thinking of a new bike

    So, I've been debating on getting a new bike for awhile now. I'm looking at Trek bikes only as I can get great deals on them.

    The area I ride is mostly singletrack with some areas hosting a bit of more technical climbs and drops. Most people ride xc and trail bikes here.

    There are two models I'm looking at.

    The Trek Fuel EX 29er and the Trek Remedy 650b

    For most of my area, I think the Fuel would suffice; however, there are some areas that I want to ride which I don't think 120mm and 32mm stancions will be enough. I also like the extra travel that the Remedy sports, the 34mm stancions, 650b wheels (been wanting to try them out), and the adjustable geometry. I want to take my bike to other locations like Durango, Moab, Park City, Grand Junction, etc. So I'd want a bike that can do it all (of course everyone says that right?).

    Then of course there is the idea of racing in my area, and for that I'd definitely want the Fuel. I like the idea of racing since I think it'd be fun to challenge myself against others.

    I test rode a Fuel EX 29er and the remedy 29er side by side this past summer, and with the Remedy in the stiff geometry position, it felt nearly identical to the fuel. So if I don't race, I think the Remedy can handle most of the xc where I live without being too cumbersome and also some of the technical stuff.

    There is a trail in my area that sports an 7-8ft sender (haven't actually measured it, but it's about a foot or two taller than I am, I'm 6ft) which I'd like to tackle. Can the Fuel EX 29er handle such a drop? I'm sure 8ft is the largest drop I'd ever attempt. That trail run then goes on with some wall rides, berms, ramps, and more jumps. I know that with the full floater design and DRCV, reviewers have said the Fuel feels like it has more travel than it really does. Would that still be enough?

    I'm coming off of a 34lb 26er with an old style faux bar suspension system that is very prone to brake jack and suspension squeeling, so either bike would be a huge upgrade for me. I'm open to try out 29ers as they are all the rage these days, and am not against trying out the new 650b size.

    Then of course there's the argument of carbon vs alum. Someone posted once that Trek's OCLV mountain carbon is less stiff than alum. So would alum be a better choice? Alum and save a few bucks? Or go big and go carbon?

    So, what would you folks recommend?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    To answer your first question which bike for your area...
    If you want to stay XC focused and check out xc racing, then get the Fuel(awesome bike), but if you want the extra travel for more technical stuff I would go with the Remedy (don't buy into the 650b hype though, its very similar to 26"). The remedy is a trail bike which means you can ride it pretty much everywhere. It might not pedal and climb as well as the Fuel, but it will be more fun in the difficult stuff.

    Can a fuel 29er handle a 8 foot drop?
    Maybe, but that certainly isnt what its designed for. If you want to do big drops I would look into a DJ or something that is designed for it. I have done 4-5 foot drops on my 120mm travel bike and it soaks it up ok but its much easier to manage on a DJ.

    For Carbon and Aluminum, a lot of that comes down to you budget and your goals. If you have money to blow, why not go carbon. If you dont plan on racing the cost/benefit ratio of carbon diminishes. In the local race series where I live, its probably 50/50 carbon/aluminum and neither really makes someone much faster. One of the fastest guys I know rides a steel single speed.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If you're just going to a race now and again, you don't need a racing bike. Get whatever you think you'll have the most fun riding. Do a little research, too - XC is not the only kind of mountain bike racing.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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