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  1. #1
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    The Dangers of Cleaning Your Bike - Fuel 98 Down

    Since the rainy season appears to finally be over.... I decided to wash the Fuel and basically overhaul the whole thing. I didn't get very far.

    After washing the bike, I was drying around the seat tube when I saw it. What's that line on the seat tube just over the top weld on the rocker support? Dirt? Nope. Something wrong with the paint? Nope.

    It's a crack!

    I took the bike to the lbs where I purchased it in 2001 (2001 Fuel 98). They're sending it back to Trek.

    Now I'm curious as to what the remedy will be. Hopefully it'll be the latest incarnation of the Fuel 98. I'll be bummed if it's a Fuel 70 or 80 frame.

    I'll post back when I hear from the LBS.

  2. #2
    CURB HUCK!!!!!!
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    sucks man
    I can't see them downgrading you to a lesser bike, they're have to give you something equal or better
    good luck

  3. #3
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    you should get an equivalent level frame (or better). my experience with Trek warranty service has been fantastic. that's why i continue to buy their products.

  4. #4
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    That has to be the 8th or so Fuel I have seen or heard that has failed in the last year.....
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That has to be the 8th or so Fuel I have seen or heard that has failed in the last year.....
    OK..... Until further notice, I'll assume that Trek will take care of me.

    As far as Fuels breaking goes.... yep, they break. All bikes do.

    Almost everyone that I know with a Fuel has broken it. In a few cases, many times.

    To be fair, the Fuel is a very lightweight bike. The guys that I know that broke them are either very heavy or very aggressive, or both. The Fuel is a lightweight XC bike that really isn't designed for any air time.

    I never thought mine would break, but it was the first year of production and Trek had a learning curve. The bike w2as great for 5 years. The failure was right at a weld joint. This was nothing catastrophic. I noticed it before anything went wrong during a ride.

    I'll post updates as they become available.

    Thanks for the support!!!

  6. #6
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    generally...

    Trek will take care of you. I have a hard core racer friend who's gone thru like 3 Fuel frames in the past 4 years and Trek has replaced each and every one without any hassles.

    Usually they will come back and give you some options. Take X frame or Y dollars towards any frame of your choice. If you have the option, try getting a carbon Top Fuel. Those seem to hold together better than the AL Fuels - aka no welds to break!

    GL,
    -don

  7. #7
    aka dan51
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    It's just getting back at you BS.
    It's saying, "Oh sure, take the OTHER bike out for a ride all the time. With it's pretty red color and Horst linkage. What a whore. Ride me only in the mud and crappy weather. You men are all alike. Hanging out with the pretty you ones, and when times are bad always coming back to your old flings. I'll show you!" crack

    At least it's your backup bike. Who knows, you may like the new frame way better than the 5 spot....

    -Dan
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ...People thought they were getting a good fork because it was a "fox".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan51
    It's just getting back at you BS.
    It's saying, "Oh sure, take the OTHER bike out for a ride all the time. With it's pretty red color and Horst linkage. What a whore. Ride me only in the mud and crappy weather. You men are all alike. Hanging out with the pretty you ones, and when times are bad always coming back to your old flings. I'll show you!" crack

    At least it's your backup bike. Who knows, you may like the new frame way better than the 5 spot....

    -Dan
    I didn't realize that bikes could get that jealous. I'll try to keep them seperated in the garage

    I'm hoping that Trek will offer me the Top Fuel 98 frame as the replacement. A full carbon frame would be sweet. Now I get to see if Trek agrees that it really is a crack. It's samll and just above the rocker weld on the seat tube.

    I may like the new bike better, but I really doubt it. The Spot is choice.

  9. #9
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    My fuel broke twice

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    OK..... Until further notice, I'll assume that Trek will take care of me.

    As far as Fuels breaking goes.... yep, they break. All bikes do.

    Almost everyone that I know with a Fuel has broken it. In a few cases, many times.

    To be fair, the Fuel is a very lightweight bike. The guys that I know that broke them are either very heavy or very aggressive, or both. The Fuel is a lightweight XC bike that really isn't designed for any air time.

    I never thought mine would break, but it was the first year of production and Trek had a learning curve. The bike w2as great for 5 years. The failure was right at a weld joint. This was nothing catastrophic. I noticed it before anything went wrong during a ride.

    I'll post updates as they become available.

    Thanks for the support!!!
    But I was really riding it in conditions that are outside what a lightweight XC bike should be subjected to. Trek was awsome w/ the warrantee both times. The second time I asked them to replace the rear triangle as well since it was pretty beat up and they obliged How's that for customer service?

    They'll take care of you I'm sure.

    Dave

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightySchmoePong
    But I was really riding it in conditions that are outside what a lightweight XC bike should be subjected to. Trek was awsome w/ the warrantee both times. The second time I asked them to replace the rear triangle as well since it was pretty beat up and they obliged How's that for customer service?

    They'll take care of you I'm sure.

    Dave
    I spoke with Trek customer service today. The cust service rep said that if the crak is not due to a crash... abuse, etc, that there shouldn't be a problem. He said that they usually replace an aluminum frame with an aluminum frame.

    However, in this case that would mean using a fuel 70 or 80 frame, which would be a down grade (this is what the rep said). He mentioned that it would most likely be a Top Fuel 98 frame. He said that it would have to be painted and they would have to mount rim brake mounts on the rear triangle.

    I told him that if they were replacing my frame with a Top Fuel, then I'll forego the rim brakes and just install discs. That'll save them trouble... and me time away from the bike.

    I sure hope things work out... So far, so good.

  11. #11
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    Update

    I heard from Trek and here's the deal.

    THey offered me a replacement aluminum main frame at no cost. The only issue is that it's not SLR so it would be a bit heavier than my aluminum Fuel 98 frame.

    The other choice is to go to the Top Fuel 98 frame. Trek will give me the new mainframe at no cost and sell me the rear / rocker and hardware at cost.

    So.... for around $400 I'm getting a brand new carbon Top Fuel 98.

    I can't wait!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
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    Sweet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    I heard from Trek and here's the deal.

    THey offered me a replacement aluminum main frame at no cost. The only issue is that it's not SLR so it would be a bit heavier than my aluminum Fuel 98 frame.

    The other choice is to go to the Top Fuel 98 frame. Trek will give me the new mainframe at no cost and sell me the rear / rocker and hardware at cost.

    So.... for around $400 I'm getting a brand new carbon Top Fuel 98.

    I can't wait!!!!!!!!!
    Ah... dunno why people rail on Trek so much. They do take care of you. enjoy the frame!

    -don

  13. #13
    aka dan51
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    Nice. What size was that 5 Spot....?
    You will have the bling in our bunch for sure. Mike will have one better than you a week after he sees yours though. I can't wait for my bike to start cracking.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ...People thought they were getting a good fork because it was a "fox".

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan51
    Nice. What size was that 5 Spot....?
    You will have the bling in our bunch for sure. Mike will have one better than you a week after he sees yours though. I can't wait for my bike to start cracking.
    The Spot's a medium and you can't have it. It's mine..... mine.....MINE, I tell you

    I'm trying to decide what brakes to put on it. I'll probably go with the Avid BB7 mechs so that I don't have to get new shifters and levers.

    Any suggestions? (preferably helpful ones)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    The Spot's a medium and you can't have it. It's mine..... mine.....MINE, I tell you

    I'm trying to decide what brakes to put on it. I'll probably go with the Avid BB7 mechs so that I don't have to get new shifters and levers.

    Any suggestions? (preferably helpful ones)
    I'm looking for new brakes too. I'm looking at getting hydros though, but the BB7s are cheap and have excellent reviews. For hydros I am looking at XT 756/Saint, Avid Juicy 5 or 7, Hope M4, Formula K24, Hayes HFX-9. They all have great reviews and crappy reviews. I think it will come down to familiarity, easy of service, and parts availablity. Based on those items, It's pretty much down to Hayes and Shimano. However if we got the same brakes, my spare parts would work on your brakes.....

    I'm sure we'll discuss it this weekend.

    -Dan
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ...People thought they were getting a good fork because it was a "fox".

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blehargh
    Ah... dunno why people rail on Trek so much. They do take care of you. enjoy the frame!

    -don
    They really do take care of you.

    I found the crack on Sunday. I brought the bike to the LBS late Sunday afternoon. The LBS is closed on Mondays. Today, at 9:55am I got a call from Trek Customer Service. They got the wrong number.

    As it turns out, they were trying to call my LBS about my frame (the LBS opens at 10 and they were calling early to make sure that they got through). They apologized and called the LBS. 15 minutes later, I got another call from Trek. They wanted me to make a decision on the aluminum or carbon replacement. The Trek rep then told me to call my LBS to tell them what my decision was.

    That was super fast!!!! The frame is in the works

    I'm going to wait until I receive the frame before praising them further, but so far....so great.

  17. #17
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    Yeah trek does a great job. Last fall I noticed a pretty big crack in my rear triangle. Took it to the bike shop...not the shop I bought it at....and they replaced it at no charge with a brand spanking new Top fuel one. Looks good, much more streamline design.
    Now if only my main frame would crack I could get a snazzy carbon one......

  18. #18
    You got any chocolate?
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    After reading this thread, I am glad that I am making the decision to buy a new Trek (actually two, one for me and one for my wife). I have looked at Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, Gary Fisher and Trek. We finally decided on Trek partly because of their customer service. I am sure all the other companies I mentioned have excellent c/s as well, but we are going with Trek.

    Good luck with your new frame.
    Last edited by tg3895; 06-16-2006 at 05:33 AM.
    Tom G.
    Long Island, NY

  19. #19
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    Thanks. I'll post as more info becomes available.

    I think it's great that your wife will ride with you. It's kind of a biking guy's dream. I'm always envious (in a good way) of guys that have so's that ride.

    Enjoy the new bikes!!!

  20. #20
    What It Be ?
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    I cracked my old 6500 frame. They sold me an 8500 frame 2003 I belive for the difference it was like 300$.

  21. #21
    You got any chocolate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    Thanks. I'll post as more info becomes available.

    I think it's great that your wife will ride with you. It's kind of a biking guy's dream. I'm always envious (in a good way) of guys that have so's that ride.

    Enjoy the new bikes!!!
    Thanks! Yeah, I'm a lucky guy.

    What's going on with your bike?
    Tom G.
    Long Island, NY

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg3895
    Thanks! Yeah, I'm a lucky guy.

    What's going on with your bike?
    edit: Update: I just spoke with the LBS. Everything is in except the seat collar. The collar is on the way and I'll have the bike next week... Yahoooooo. I can't wait.

    The frame was due to arrive at the end of this week.... I guess that's today! I'll be calling the LBS at exactly 10:00am (when they open) to see what's up.

    My guess is that it'll probably be another week or so. Luckily, I have another bike to ride until I get the Fuel.

    I'll post back.
    Last edited by Blue Shorts; 06-23-2006 at 11:08 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    I think it's great that your wife will ride with you. It's kind of a biking guy's dream. I'm always envious (in a good way) of guys that have so's that ride.

    Enjoy the new bikes!!!
    It's a curse and blessing at the same time. The blessing is obvious, but the curse may not be. I spend half my time worrying that she'll get hurt, bust her bike, or get lost. I normally wouldn't worry about things like that, but the past few years of riding with her has taught me different... Now she's saying she doesn't like the TALAS on her bike

    Guess it's time to get her a coil fork. I don't think air works well with light riders. That fork was awsome when it was on my bike.

    Looking forward to seeing this bike done. Next weekend.......?

    -Dan
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ...People thought they were getting a good fork because it was a "fox".

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    To be fair, the Fuel is a very lightweight bike. The guys that I know that broke them are either very heavy or very aggressive, or both. The Fuel is a lightweight XC bike that really isn't designed for any air time.
    Maybe some of the upper-end Fuels are lightweight, but the 70 is a tank, tipping in around 32 pounds. With some half-decent upgrades, you can probably shave it down to around 28 - 29 pounds. I'm in the process of lightening my 70. The first thing to go is the boat-anchor Axel Comp fork in favor of a Skareb...that's 3 pounds saved right there. Next item is going to be a lighter set of wheels, tubes and tires. That should shave off at least another pound. Probably by the time I'm done, I would have spent enough to get an 80 or one of the EX fuels, but I don't mind the piecemeal approach, I simply didn't have enough cash to plunk down at one time for one of the upper-end Fuels. I do love the bike, though.

  25. #25
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    [QUOTE=SaxMan]Maybe some of the upper-end Fuels are lightweight, but the 70 is a tank, tipping in around 32 pounds.QUOTE]

    When I mentioned "lightweight", I was referring to the frame. It's just not built to take a lot of stress... as in air. The Fuel 70 frame may be a bit heavier than my 98 was, but probably not by much.

    About upgrading.... The best bang for the buck is always to get the best model you can afford because it's far cheaper than upgrading later.

    Having said that.... I'm sure you will be able to get some great end-of-season deals that will help.

    It's all good. All bikes are fun.

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