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  1. #1
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    Bearings on the Fuel - any difference?

    I am riding on a 05' Fuel 110, which the rear triangle joint is not using bearings.

    As i noticed one upgrade in the new model of Fuel 07' is the bearing at the pivot, which claims can help improve the small bump compliance.

    Any one has the experience in installing some after-market bearings, such as Enduro bearing, on an older non-bearing Fuel? How's the result? Does it make a real difference?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    Fat Boy
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    I didn't know you could put bearings into the older fuels. I too have the same frame as you so it should be interesting to see if anyone replies.

  3. #3
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    The only thing I have seen done with those model Fuels, was some minor machining, addition of some washers and rubber o rings to reduce the amount of stiction caused by the bushing/fixing bolt system. Not recommended since it will void the warranty. This was done by Chris Etough's father and of the two other mods I have seen people do, this was the only viable one, IMO.

    The new design with bearings reduces the amount of force required to activate the suspension. The old, full bushing design, with the rear shock removed, requires 15lbs of force to overcome the stiction and the flex between the seat and chain stays (because there is not pivot these pieces act as a spring). The new design with the main pivot being a bearing and the aluminum stays on the new swing arm bring that down to 5lbs of force needed to activate the suspension. A much smoother and faster activation on the new design.

    Just keep your bushing pivots tight (as the bushing wears down you will need to re tighten the pivots) and your bike should last a long time. The bushings are pretty tough but you need to constantly check the pivot bolts.

    Just keep riding your bike, not wishing any catastrophies, but hoping that if anything happens to your bike, it will be a warranty (not a collision!) and maybe you can score a new design.
    Anyone who rides a bike is a friend of mine.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanleyatr
    I am riding on a 05' Fuel 110, which the rear triangle joint is not using bearings.

    As i noticed one upgrade in the new model of Fuel 07' is the bearing at the pivot, which claims can help improve the small bump compliance.

    Any one has the experience in installing some after-market bearings, such as Enduro bearing, on an older non-bearing Fuel? How's the result? Does it make a real difference?

    Thanks a lot!
    Sorry yo. You are stuck with bushings...

    GL,
    -don

  5. #5
    occupation : Foole
    Reputation: Fuelish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew s lugnut
    T....... hoping that if anything happens to your bike, it will be a warranty (not a collision!) and maybe you can score a new design.
    My thoughts exactly !!! Still riding an '01 Fuel 90, here, bushings replaced a couple of times, but bike still rides great, for what it is - a taut xc machine, nothing more, nothing less. Although, am wondering...if the mainframe breaks, would Trek make you buy a new compatible rear "triangle" or would that be considered part of the "frame," since it's redesign - bearings now .... would suck to have to spring for a front (or rear) to match the warranteed replacement (whichever breaks) ...

  6. #6
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    Lew, great writeup. I lament the fact that they did not put the seat stay /drop out/Faux link pivot on the fuel as they did the fuel ex for the 2007s. It seems to make a difference on s.b.compliance at least on the Ex 9.5 I tried.
    I really liked the rebound of the new aluminum rear triangle coupled with the pivot. But the bike was still great climbing when locked out front and back just like my ole 2005 Top Fuel, even with 4.7~ rear travel. (Btw, it surprised me when I flex tested a fair amount of lateral give on the rear stays on the 9.5. because of the locked out climbing excellence)
    g

  7. #7
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    Thanks, Glove. There are a couple of reasons they didn't put the pivot on the Fuel. First and foremost is the amount of travel. Last year's Fuel EX was 100mm (no rear pivot), old Top Fuels/Fuels were 80mm. New EX is 120mm (rear pivot), while the new top Fuel is 90mm. The pivotless design is viable up to 100mm of travel. They tried pivotless on 130mm with the Liquid design and it wasn't received well. It was not plush enough for small bumps and was almost impossible for anyone to get more than 110mm of travel because of the pivotless rear and spring created by no pivot. For less than 100mm of travel, having some extra resistance is not a bad thing (on a race bike). When the Sugar and Fuel first came out, even before stable platform valving or other smart shock technology, the bikes were loved by racers and people coming from hardtails beacuse the rear end still had a bunch of "snap" and pedal response. Now, racers are realizing that smoother, faster acting suspension can reduce fatigue, but they stil are not looking for more travel, or suspension designs that "blow" through travel quickly.
    Anyone who rides a bike is a friend of mine.
    My favorite bike is whatever I am riding.
    My favorite trail is where ever I am.
    Bikes and equipment are replaceable, friends and trails are not.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuelish
    My thoughts exactly !!! Still riding an '01 Fuel 90, here, bushings replaced a couple of times, but bike still rides great, for what it is - a taut xc machine, nothing more, nothing less. Although, am wondering...if the mainframe breaks, would Trek make you buy a new compatible rear "triangle" or would that be considered part of the "frame," since it's redesign - bearings now .... would suck to have to spring for a front (or rear) to match the warranteed replacement (whichever breaks) ...
    I'll let you know the verdict on this shortly I hope, I recently discovered that my '03 Fuel 90 is cracked and have submitted it to my LBS who have subsequently submitted a claim to Trek.

    We'll see what happens with the replacement proceedings. I'll post up when I get some answers.

    Cheers!

  9. #9
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    This past fall, Trek replaced my 04 Fuel 100 main frame. It cracked vertically down the seat tube below the seat post clamp. Thinking I might get a 110 frame a 120 showed up, painted, instead of nude carbon. That being said, I've repaired another Fuel for a friend who never checked the tightness of the bushings, leading extensive wear at the main pivot. I have thought, bearings would be the way to go for pivots. Maybe not?

    Journal bearings are commonly known as "bushings", and Turner insists on using them because of their amazingly high tolerances -- they're precise to within one-half of one- thousandth of an inch. And, they are extremely resistant to lateral flexing and feature superhard coated aluminum pivot shafts are not prone to rusting like ball bearings. Since sealed bearings in a suspension pivot never make a full rotation, the load is consistently resting on 2 to 3 balls within the race. Ultimately, those bearings become ovalized from wear, and suspension performance quickly deteriorates.

  10. #10
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    My thoughts exactly !!! Still riding an '01 Fuel 90, here, bushings replaced a couple of times, but bike still rides great, for what it is - a taut xc machine, nothing more, nothing less. Although, am wondering...if the mainframe breaks, would Trek make you buy a new compatible rear "triangle" or would that be considered part of the "frame," since it's redesign - bearings now .... would suck to have to spring for a front (or rear) to match the warranteed replacement (whichever breaks) ...
    I have a fair amount of experience w/ Trek warranty, but no inside knowlege on this... If you broke your old design top-fuel over the next year or two I would expect to be sent the old style front trianlge to go with your old style rear Tri & shock. That is what they did with my Liquid just this spring even though the liquid is 2 model years out of production... Once they run out of old style frames, THEN Trek can either choose to make your day (brand new front, rear + shock) or break it... I have a friend who was offered an in store credit for a frame that they no longer had in the warehouse. The store credit was kinda crappy too ($240) Don't under estimate how much influence your LBS has in this process. They too can make or break you depending on their presentation to the Trek rep.

    Another question I have is: Does the New Fuel rear triangle fit the old front triangle ? The front Tri '05 & '07's look to me like they would except either rear triangle ?? Anyone tried ?

  11. #11
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    Just heard back from my LBS. Trek will be sending me a replacement front triangle, ten day lead time because it has to be painted. I'm told it will be all black instead of the black/silver, I wonder if it be labelled "fuel 70" on it (the fuel 70 was black for 2006).

    I'd hope it's still labelled as a Fuel 90 or perhaps just Fuel, but whatever the decals say I'm happy enough, new front triangle, I've got new bushings already that I was installing in the old frame so it should ride like new. I was kinda hoping for an upgrade but that truly isn't Treks responsibility and would have purely been a bonus to me.

    Cheers.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Lew, better than the trek wrench explained it at demo days.

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