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  1. #1
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    Upgrading the fork on my Fuel from 120 to 140mm?

    Does anyone know what Trek's stance is on increasing the fork travel on a 2015 Fuel? I have a 2015 EX 9.8 in 27.5 with the Fox Performance 32 fork at 120mm travel. The bike itself minus the fork is incredible. I do ride some technical descents and the best description I can give is that the fork feels like it's starting to "freak out" a little bit when picking up speed on some of these downhills. I know I could sell my fuel and upgrade to a Remedy, but I honestly feel like a little beefier fork with a little more travel is all this bike needs and it would be absolutely perfect!

    I have an email into Trek and am waiting for a response, I don't want to do anything that would void my warranty. In the meantime, do any of you guys have an answer for this?

  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Get a Remedy, seriously.
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

  3. #3
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    Well first off travel is not the issue, it's stanchion diameter. You want a 34, Pike or even 36. Second, I agree with your assessment after owning a Fuel for the last year; the fork is far less capable than the rest of the bike... However, I upgraded to a Remedy for this year and it's well beyond the capability of the Fuel. I was doing some pretty big drops and jumps (maybe up to five or six foot drops) on the Fuel, but in hindsight the margin for error was pretty tiny. The Remedy feels much more confident overall.

    All that aside, I have ridden a Fuel with a 140mm fork and it was pretty awesome. Slacked it out a bit, but that actually felt pretty good. I know the higher end Fuels come with 130mm forks now as well. If you're set on the idea, I don't see anything wrong with it.

  4. #4
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    Agree that the fork is crappy.
    The Performance line of Fox 32 forks should never be on a bike. They really give Fox a bad name.


    I loved my Fuel, except for the fork. It felt a little out of it's element anytime you pushed it ,and it was flexy. (I am 206 lb now). I did get a Remedy, and while I was going to keep the Fuel, the Remedy did everything better than the Fuel, so I saw no need to keep the Fuel.
    Now, I had an aluminum Fuel, and went to a Rem 9.8. You already have the Fuel 9.8, so you have the carbon frame, which is stiffer. I don't know if you would see improvements across the line with a Remedy as opposed to the Fuel like I did.

    Probably the best thing you could do, if you wanted to not have any warranty issues, is go with at least a Pike. I actually changed out the Pike on my Remedy for a Fox 36. Love that fork far more than the Pike. You actually have damping options on the 36.
    A fork with larger stanctions, and MUCH better damping, I think you'd be happy with the Fuel all day long, even with the 120mm travel.

  5. #5
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    Only the EX 9 comes with the130mm fork, all the others are 120mm regardless of stanchion size. Coincidentally, I own the EX 9, and love it to bits. One of the main reasons I went to the 9 rather than the 8 I was looking at was the 34mm longer travel fork. You are correct, you need a beefier fork (bigger stanchions), as increasing the travel on the 32mm legs is only going to make it worse.

  6. #6
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Yeah, try Pike 120mm before going full Remedy. Thanx guys...

    Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Tapatalk
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  7. #7
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    140mm Pike, and your Fuel is set. You can always change it to 120mm down the road.

  8. #8
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    Get the Remedy, or put a 34 or Pike at 130 mm on your Fuel.

    The rear ends of the Remedy and Fuel ride more differently than you'd guess for only 20 mm of travel, with the Remedy being significantly softer off the top of the travel and Fuel being a bit firmer and snappier feeling.

    Don't put a 140 on your Fuel and kill the magic. 130 with bigger stanchions will be an AMAZING change from the wispy 32 you're rocking now, in terms of both stiffness and damping quality. This will be debated by some, but I've ridden all three travels, and if I wanted a 140 mm fork, I'd vastly prefer the Remedy, since it's designed that way (probably why I own both).

    What is NOT debatable IMO is that a 140 mm fork with 32 mm stanchions will not only not improve things, but make them worse, because it will flex even more.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    What is NOT debatable IMO is that a 140 mm fork with 32 mm stanchions will not only not improve things, but make them worse, because it will flex even more.
    Quality, not quantity, right?

    That's my other problem with the pike. It's got 35mm sanctions, but NO quality damping adjustment! Nonsense!

  10. #10
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    Ridden a 2016 ex9 and now own a remedy 9.8

    Happy I went with the remedy 9.8 that has a 36 up front, and also prefer the beefier/more travel/slacker remedy over the fuel ex

    The EX9 was a great bike no doubt, and that 34 blew me away.

    *coming from my superfly5 with a 100mm rockshox xc32, and ridden a mates ex5 that had a 120mm xc32
    They feel like noodles in comparison even at 100-120mm.

    Granted, my mate has an older 26in wheeled remedy, with a 140mm 32. Doesn't really hinder him at all, he shreads it hard and does jumps drops rock gardens.. He did say he wishes it was a little sturdier, but he is pretty strict on money so wont bother until it breaks.


    I'd say try and get a demo on a remedy, or even a 2016 ex9 with the 130mm fox 34.
    Then you'd be able to tell if you want the difference in bike as a whole, or that the fork will do.


    And notice now Fox aren't making the 32 in anything more than 100mm travel, IIRC reading.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys, you've all given me a lot of great info to consider.

    Trek's response is that the frame wasn't designed to work with 140mm of front travel and it may cause excess stress and therefore would void my warranty. The 130 however is ok and it sounds like it would work great.

    I'm now in the position of trying to decide if I should go with a new fork or try to find a demo and spend some time on a Remedy.

    On another note, does anyone know if a 140mm Fox 34 can be reduced to 130? I'm having a hard time finding a Fox 34 with 130mm of travel out of the box.

  12. #12
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    There's people who have 140mm forks on their fuels. In fact Trek supposedly tested them with such travel. While not recommended by Trek it should be fine.

    My question is what damper is in the 15 Fox Performance 32 fork. If it's the open bath then it's garbage. It starts packing up and "freaking out". So it might not be the flex issue but rather just the abysmal damper. Fox should allow you to upgrade the damper to a FIT and that could resolve your issue. It should be under $200 so that's the cheapest option too. But if you're close to 200 or over then flex is likely a concern too so a Fox34 would be a better upgrade.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KidConejo View Post
    There's people who have 140mm forks on their fuels. In fact Trek supposedly tested them with such travel. While not recommended by Trek it should be fine.

    My question is what damper is in the 15 Fox Performance 32 fork. If it's the open bath then it's garbage. It starts packing up and "freaking out". So it might not be the flex issue but rather just the abysmal damper. Fox should allow you to upgrade the damper to a FIT and that could resolve your issue. It should be under $200 so that's the cheapest option too. But if you're close to 200 or over then flex is likely a concern too so a Fox34 would be a better upgrade.
    My fork has the Fit damper. I'm about 185 all gear up but I ride pretty aggressively, and likely not the kind of terrain that the 32 is ideal for. I think I would benefit from a beefier fork.

  14. #14
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    I have a 2015 Fuel 29er and I slapped a 2016 Pike RC3 140mm with 51mm offset on it, it rides amazing and definitely a huge upgrade from the Fox 32 120.

    Few things

    The slacked HA definitely makes (technical) descending much more enjoyable, and sometimes manageable, the bike doesn't "freak out" at higher speed like it did, or not as much.

    Longer travel definitely made a difference, since I was bottoming out the 120mm a few times per ride due to drops and higher speed. (Yes I have tuned my forks and had the appropriate amount of air and damping, the bottom out is due to riding the bike beyond its physical limit)

    Pike feels a lot more plush than the Fox 32, so the bike feels softer, sometimes I kind of miss the firmness in the middle of the travel from the Fox 32. The 35mm stanchions are much firmer than the 32, so huge upgrade here.

    The handling of the bike definitely changed, but I got used to it really fast and now it feels normal. I'm not a particularly strong climber, so I haven't noticed a big difference in the climbing ability of the bike. I'm sure it affected it a little (due to physics) but not enough for me to notice.

    I took my friends to a Trek demo event not long ago, one of the mechanics there did a triple take on my bike and confirmed with me that it was a Fuel with a longer pike. He told me he also owned a Fuel before and he did the same thing.

    I enjoyed riding my bike before the upgrade, and I enjoy it even more after the addition of Pike. However, my next bike will definitely be a bigger bike, in the realm of Remedy.

  15. #15
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    Put my Pike at 140mm as well and never looked back. I prefer the shorter rear travel and longer in the front. I can echo the above comments: big downhill improvement, not very noticeable on the climbs, somehow. I actually appreciated the increase in stack height and ended up putting 50mm stem and 785mm bars on it to make it more downhill orientated. The net result is an astoundingly good all-rounder.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    Put my Pike at 140mm as well and never looked back. I prefer the shorter rear travel and longer in the front. I can echo the above comments: big downhill improvement, not very noticeable on the climbs, somehow. I actually appreciated the increase in stack height and ended up putting 50mm stem and 785mm bars on it to make it more downhill orientated. The net result is an astoundingly good all-rounder.

    I still have the stock stem (I'm guessing 70mm?) and stock handle bar (760mm)

    been thinking about going to a 20mm riser bar at 780 and 50mm stem since I mostly do descend...

    Been putting it off for some time now, was the difference as big as going 140mm or we talking about marginal improvement?

  17. #17
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    Gotta disagree with the 140 idea. Certainly it will descend better in a straight line, but the slacker-than-designed HT angle, combined with the significantly higher BB, turns the bike into more than a bit of a barge in the twisty turny stuff, to the point that my Remedy is a snappier cornering machine than the Fuel with a 140 fork.

    Keep in mind that if you switch from a 32 to a Pike but stay at 120 travel, you're already lifting things up a bit. Going to a Pike at 140 will lift the front nearly 30 mm, if I recall the AC dimensions correctly.

    The good news is that if you choose the Pike, it isn't very difficult or very expensive to change travel by simply swapping out air shafts, so you can play around a bit with different travels without spending too much money, or having to send the fork off somewhere far away for two weeks.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  18. #18
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    Thanks guys. If I do upgrade the fork it'll be a Fox 34 and I'll run it at 130mm to keep my warranty intact and follow the advice of the techs at Trek.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgdblue View Post
    Thanks guys. If I do upgrade the fork it'll be a Fox 34 and I'll run it at 130mm to keep my warranty intact and follow the advice of the techs at Trek.
    Per Trek support.
    Fuel Tested and ran up to 140mm travel front
    Remedy tested and ran up to 160mm fork
    EWS riders run a fox 36 at 160mm
    Too Many .

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Gotta disagree with the 140 idea. Certainly it will descend better in a straight line, but the slacker-than-designed HT angle, combined with the significantly higher BB, turns the bike into more than a bit of a barge in the twisty turny stuff, to the point that my Remedy is a snappier cornering machine than the Fuel with a 140 fork.

    Keep in mind that if you switch from a 32 to a Pike but stay at 120 travel, you're already lifting things up a bit. Going to a Pike at 140 will lift the front nearly 30 mm, if I recall the AC dimensions correctly.

    The good news is that if you choose the Pike, it isn't very difficult or very expensive to change travel by simply swapping out air shafts, so you can play around a bit with different travels without spending too much money, or having to send the fork off somewhere far away for two weeks.
    While I was concerned with this, it hasn't panned out in real world riding. It feels remarkably well balanced still and overall was an improvement with minimal loss in cornering (if any, I hadn't noticed as much as I was expecting). I'm 6', so the raised BB and AC wasn't even noticable on my 19.5". The slacker HTA was definitely a plus when combined with a more all mountain style cockpit. Just depends on your riding. I did all these upgrades over the winter with back to back riding between each step to make sure I could track any improvements or losses and it came together beautifully. First big trip out to Sedona and both climbing and descending was excellent.

    Yes, going 50mm and 785mm is a pretty significant difference. Not for everyone, but for me it felt great. A little tight in our local trees though!

    The #1 improvement, though, was putting a Monarch in the rear. It became butter! While not quite as stiff as the Fox climbing, technical climbs and descents were massively improved. Hands down the best upgrade yet.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    Per Trek support.
    Fuel Tested and ran up to 140mm travel front
    Remedy tested and ran up to 160mm fork
    EWS riders run a fox 36 at 160mm
    I understand, but my direct conversation from Trek stated that 140 would void my frame warranty and it's just not worth it to me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgdblue View Post
    I understand, but my direct conversation from Trek stated that 140 would void my frame warranty and it's just not worth it to me.
    I called trek and was told that 130mm on my fuel 2016 Fuel Ex 9.8 would not void my warranty. FYI.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgdblue View Post
    On another note, does anyone know if a 140mm Fox 34 can be reduced to 130? I'm having a hard time finding a Fox 34 with 130mm of travel out of the box.
    Same question here for a different bike (RM Thunderbolt). Can a Fox 34 140mm be lowered to 130mm fairly easily? I'm thinking yes with spacers but I ain't no bike tech.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by asuprice View Post
    I called trek and was told that 130mm on my fuel 2016 Fuel Ex 9.8 would not void my warranty. FYI.
    That's what they told me as well, which is why I plan to go 130.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loudawg82 View Post
    Same question here for a different bike (RM Thunderbolt). Can a Fox 34 140mm be lowered to 130mm fairly easily? I'm thinking yes with spacers but I ain't no bike tech.
    I've done some research and the answer is yes, fairly easily if you know what you're doing. It requires a new air spring assembly, I'm not exactly sure on the cost. Fox has a step by step on their website showing the process.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgdblue View Post
    That's what they told me as well, which is why I plan to go 130.
    You're going to be stoked when you put a 130 Fox 34 or Pike on that thing!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    You're going to be stoked when you put a 130 Fox 34 or Pike on that thing!
    I love hearing that!

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