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  1. #1
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    New question here. 1st FS bike: Trek Fuel EX-7 vs Kona Hei Hei AL DL

    Hi,


    These bike are what available in my LBS with 1x drive train, and in my budget's limits.
    They are about same price in store.

    links:
    KONA BIKES | MTB | HEI HEI | Hei Hei AL/DL
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...ode=black_blue

    They have different shock size:
    Trek: rear = 130 and front = 130
    Kona: rear = 100 and front = 120

    Summary of specs:
    1) Same front fork: Rockshox Reba RL
    2) Trek with NX-11, Kona with GX-12
    3) Kona rear shock: Rockshox Monarch RL,
    Trek with Fox Performance Float EVOL with DPS.

    MBR review says "Fuel EX-7",
    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ubVtxpAPug )

    Since it's my first FS, I really don't know what to do...

    What do you suggest/comment ?


    Thanks for your help !

  2. #2
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    Reputation: mr_manny's Avatar
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    Do you need 130 or 100 in the rear?

    Since the Hei Hei has more of an XC focus, have you considered the Trek Top Fuel?
    The TF has 100/100 (lighter then the EX, but less travel = better climber).

    What bike are you normally riding?
    Maybe you can use this as a guide to help select your first FS...

    You really need to focus on bike fit, to avoid Buyers Remorse.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_manny View Post
    Do you need 130 or 100 in the rear?
    Since I don't have experience, I don't really know.
    I've tried the Trek on a demo day, and it was fine.
    No option to check the Kona before.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_manny View Post
    have you considered the Trek Top Fuel?
    It's not in my budget, looks like they don't have the cheaper models in 2018.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_manny View Post
    What bike are you normally riding?
    I have an old hard tail Trek.

  4. #4
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    Johnny,
    Since you have little experience, you really need to borrow or demo more bikes to get a feel for what works.

    I'm pretty sure Hei Hei's cost more then a Top Fuel 8...you might want to check again.

    Sounds like you don't have a preference between 27.5 and 29ers?

    I've recently found that I don't need more then R100/F120 for my local trails.
    I also do lots of climbs, so for example a TF with a fox34 fork would make more sense then an EX for me.

    Rent/Borrow/Demo as many bikes as you can.
    Be patient and in the end, you will end up with something you will enjoy for years to come.

  5. #5
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    If I was going to race an occasional XC race and that is one of the main purposes, Iíd go with the Kona....if purely a trail bike, and almost all other cases, Fuel Ex all day long for me. The bike climbs extremely well, and descends better. Super fun bike. If you are buying the bike for a fun thatís really versatile...go Fuel. I think more people at your level buy more of an XC bike and wish they had more of a trail bike than the other way around.

  6. #6
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    Kona... doubt you're gonna need the extra travel of the Trek.

  7. #7
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    What is your riding fantasy? Do you see yourself riding chunky trails? Hopping logs and boosting off trail features? Covering many many miles of fire road? Racing XC?



    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
    Dang it, now I'm running a coolness deficit for sure.

  8. #8
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    I see the different approaches here, and that's why I change my mind every other day...
    I've managed to get the fuel-ex for a test for the whole weekend,
    I hope I will get some resolutions after.
    Thanks all for your help !!!

  9. #9
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    How did you make out on your test ride? Did it sway you to get the Trek or did you go with the Kona? Did you get to test both? I've been thinking of upgrading and have been bouncing between a bunch of different bikes but the Hei Hei seems very appealing. The Trek also seems like a nice package. The Norco Sight seems to be calling my name as well.

  10. #10
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    I've bought so many bikes and sold them because they don't "feel" right. Do yourself a favor and demo as many bikes as you can and save yourself $$$$$

  11. #11
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    I hear you. I've demoed a few but didn't get to ride a Hei Hei or Fuel. One BIG spec that seems to be more important nowadays and has no direct measurement on spec sheets is pedal clearance. I ride in a lot of rocks and roots with few sustained downhills so I'm a bit leary of the low slack stuff. I should've taken a tape measure and made notes for the pedal-to-ground clearance on the stuff I rode. Unexpected pedal strikes are a turnoff.

  12. #12
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    If you are not racing XC and dont plan to, get the Fuel. The Fuel straddles the line between XC and trail riding and is the more versatile bike. You might not need 130mm of travel now, but it's there as you start tackling tougher trails. Trek suspension is fairly efficient once it's dialed in for your weight and riding style. It won't slow you down much on the climbs. It's not a light bike, so the weight will be a factor on climbs, but I suspect the two bikes are roughly the same weight anyway. Should you decide to race, get some lighter wheels. It's all the bike you will need until you get within a minute or two of the race leaders in your class. By then you'll be fast enough where a lighter XC bike will make a meaningful difference.
    Veni vidi velo!

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