2018 to 2020 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 - Set Up Questions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    2018 to 2020 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 - Set Up Questions

    I am currently racing a 2018 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 in XC races like Over The Hump in Southern California. If you are familiar with the series, I race SuperSport under 35 for a speed reference.

    At one of the rounds a few weeks ago, I was jumping one of the finish jumps, catching my breath when my nearly new Crank Brothers Eggbeaters decided to release both my shoes midair and cause me to land on my seat full superman, and go flying off the track in a heap of dust. This left my frame broken right at the seat post. I mean, it really broke.

    Trek has been awesome, and sent me out a 2020 Top Fuel frame as a replacement!

    Initially, I was pumped. But after reading reviews about the new bikes, I am starting to think this new frame might not be right for me. Lots of the reviews are claiming increased weight and different geometry that might not be as practical for XC racing.

    They increased the travel from 100mm, to 115mm. My RS-1 fork is currently set at 100mm, but from what I understand it can be converted to 120mm which will get the geometry correct. Does anyone have experience with that?

    My wheels will be fine, bars are fine...I have the XTR drivetrain in 11 speed. Would it be worth upgrading to 12 speed? I get a good deal on Shimano products, so I am open to the upgrade if itís worth it.

    So I get the fork lengthened, upgrade to 12 speed so I basically have a 2020 Top Fuel 9.9 off the showroom, with the fork I love (I adore the RS-1), nice carbon wheels and a dropper post.

    But, is this even the right bike for me, now? It seems most people believe this bike is closer to the Fuel EX now, and less of a XC race machine. I do ride rather tech, rocky trails for training (Laguna Beach is my backyard), so the added control might be nice for training. But is this bike going to hold me back next year for racing?

    Just about everyone I race against rides for Specialized directly or the large Specialized shop (Rock-n-road Cycles) on the latest S-works Epic FS or HTís, and I need to make sure I am on an equal playing field.

    Before this frame break, I was planning on selling the bike and upgrading. This failure made that choice for me, but I am actually thinking I might have been better off with my old one lol.

    My race results this year have allowed me to opportunity to pick between a few different brands for next year (Specialized, Felt and Santa Cruz are on the table) for a large discount. But as I am starting my own business in extremely-expensive Orange County at 29 years old, the cash savings would be appreciated rather than going out throwing down coin on a new S-works Epic FS and Tarmac roadie. I am a two bike guy, I need one do-it-all MTB and a roadie for training. I donít have a large quiver to fill up with bikes.

    I want to conclude this with a huge shoutout to Trek for standing behind their product. They really didnít need to as it technically was rider error (my victim mentality blames Crank Broís and their 3rd set of questionable pedals Iíve tried). The Top Fuel has been an awesome bike that has treated me extremely well.

    Thanks for any advice or recommendations! I am relatively new to the cycling world (2017 was my first year racing) but I come from the motocross world and I know there are members on here that can steer me in the right direction. The guys I train with are all Specialized for life, so asking these questions has given me a lot of answers like ďride my bike, youíll be off a Trek in no timeĒ.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Look up Payson McElveen. He set up his 2020 Top Fuel with a 100 mm SID for MTB nationals. He said it made the new bike handle similar to the 2019. I would try it like that, then decide if you want to change the travel on your fork. The new frame isn't as light as the old, but it's close. The complete bikes got heavier due to the addition on dropper posts, bigger forks and a slightly more trail spec. I have a 2020 9.8, and it's been good so far.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    You might want to check in on the mtbr Trek forum. Lot's of '20 Top Fuel discussion there:

    Do the math.

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