Rocky Mountain Instinct vs. Trek Fuel EX- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rocky Mountain Instinct vs. Trek Fuel EX

    Shopping for an '18. I like to jump a lot and I want to race occasionally. Looking for a do-it-all trail bike to park next to my 4x bike.. My local trails are super chunky with steep climbs and descents. pretty set on the RM Pipeline C70 at the moment as it checks all the boxes. Just looking for input.
    Last edited by 26nix; 12-20-2017 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Demo bikes, buy what fits you body and riding style best. There are few bad bikes out there these days (especially from those brands).

    Particularly the Trek Slash, Trek Fuel EX9, Rocky Mountain Instinct. Giant doesn't have anything that is 29r in your chosen category. This depends more on what type of riding you really plan to do with it and that will dictate how aggressive the bike you end up with will be.

  3. #3
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    Thank ya, I demo'd everything RM has. Pipeline/Instinct seemed like the best fit. I haven't been able to find any nearby trek or giant demo's.

  4. #4
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    For what you are describing I think the Instinct is the best fit for sure. The adjustable Geo and updates for this year (2018) make it a huge value for the $. Even last year's 2017 Instinct was killer. I demoed both and fell in love. Can't afford it, but it would be my number 1 if $ wasn't a problem.

    It pedals very well for the amount of travel, comparable to some 120mm travel bikes and gives up nothing on the downs, corners like crazy and overall just a fun bike to ride.

  5. #5
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    I just bought a Trek EX8 2 weeks ago but I also narrowed it down to these two bikes. I live in Colorado so I have huge climbs, thousands of feet over miles so climbing was super important to me and the EX8 rear shock is absolutely amazing for climbing, zero bob. The down hill is amazing as well but I came from a 140mm 26er so those big tires make a big difference as well. I don't do big jumps, just small ones in the trail but the bike has zero issues dealing with the small jumps.

    With that said, I LOVe the look of the instinct. I know that's subjective but the colors are amazing. The Trek I LOVE the eagle 1-12 system, shifts so smooth and quick. Tough choice and doubt you could go wrong with either.

  6. #6
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    I'd go with the fuel in 27.5+ build. get a set of 29er wheels for XC racing.
    Too Many .

  7. #7
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    Wanted to find out if you're still high on the EX8? I keep spinning between that one and the RM Instinct mentioned. I've been a TREK guy ('14 Fuel EX9 now) and consequently I may, by default, a short wheelbase/chainstay guy--the RM is much longer and I'm anxious to test ride in the next few weeks. I've also been researching the YT Jeffsy 29 bikes and the value is staggering. On paper, they are short WB/chainstay bikes as well and I'm trying to equate it to the current EX9 I'm on. NOTE: I rode the '18 EX8 several weeks ago and it was a very nice, rolled over everything...loved the look too. Agree with you on the RM Instinct color scheme--gorgeous bike with really good press and reviews. Appreciate the feedback.

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    Intense Primer or ACV.

  9. #9
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    Instinct for sure. Ultralight frame (5.1lbs for frame and shock!). Ride9 is legit for Geo adjustment and shock progression. Seat angle isn't slack and your butt won't be back over the rear axle. RM still has short stays. It climbs like a beast even without climb switch and the suspension is balanced really well. Especially for 140mm.

    The trek is a nice bike too. Doesn't it have a proprietary shock tho?? That is the worst of the worst of bike industry. I have one of those today. So dumb. Marginal gains at best and super complex component that isn't standard or even needed with such good modern shocks. Correct me if I'm wrong here (I may be) but I'm just jaded from making that same decision in the past.

    Regardless, the Instinct is wonderful bike that is ultralight 140mm climbing beast that is a fun ride. What more would you want?

    What is the wheelbase an extra 3/4in depending in size? Is that, that big of a deal?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Instinct for sure. Ultralight frame (5.1lbs for frame and shock!). Ride9 is legit for Geo adjustment and shock progression. Seat angle isn't slack and your butt won't be back over the rear axle. RM still has short stays. It climbs like a beast even without climb switch and the suspension is balanced really well. Especially for 140mm.

    The trek is a nice bike too. Doesn't it have a proprietary shock tho?? That is the worst of the worst of bike industry. I have one of those today. So dumb. Marginal gains at best and super complex component that isn't standard or even needed with such good modern shocks. Correct me if I'm wrong here (I may be) but I'm just jaded from making that same decision in the past.

    Regardless, the Instinct is wonderful bike that is ultralight 140mm climbing beast that is a fun ride. What more would you want?

    What is the wheelbase an extra 3/4in depending in size? Is that, that big of a deal?
    The Trek’s shock is now a standard metric size 210x52.5 or what I have on my 2017 FEX 210x55.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Still shopping... Sooo many cool bikes in this category and I've resorted to building a spreadsheet for geo, specs, price, weight, etc because of it. Definitely still leaning towards the instinct/pipeline. As bigski said, the jeffsy 29 is impossible to ignore too. Might just have to hit moab for outerbike. It's a good problem to have, but I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty damn rough picking a mid-travel 29er in 2018.

  12. #12
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    I am like you--also have a spreadsheet--I am between L and XL in most brands to add to the process----I think I have fiddled around long enough that I will see what is released at Sea Otter----

  13. #13
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    Bump. Has anyone else compared these bikes? I have a chance to buy each used but I'm having a hard time finding a test ride.

    From the geometry specs it seems the main difference (besides 130/140 travel) is the instinct's slacker head angle creates a bit longer wheelbase and longer front-center. But extending the Trek's fork to 140 makes them much closer.

    I don't jump. I suck at descending but I'm learning. I just ride around on rocky, rooty trails, up chunky hills and back down. I have a 100mm race bike (Turner Czar) so I don't need to race the new one unless I thought the course was so ugly it would be faster to have mid-travel.

    I really want to try the Trek but the Instinct is available sooner.

  14. #14
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    I don't know about the Trek, but I have the Instinct, and I today suck a bit less than yesterday, if you understand me. I think is a great bike, and the ride-9 can perceptively change geometry from almost XC to AM, and different settings for heavier/lighter rider in between.

    If you want the Trek, just go for it. Or, if you're on a hurry, go for the Instinct. No matter what, ride what you have.

  15. #15
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    Instinct for sure. Trek stuff is odd and there are some flaws: (not sure which build you are looking for).

    1- Kinked seattube...want a long 170mm dropper slammed (which is awesome)? Sorry. I have this kink on a different bike, buyer beware. Instinct will take 200mm easy in a size large.
    2- Slack STA - we know this sucks. Its not just the angle, its that big kink to that makes the actual WAY further than if you are a bit taller. Instinct is 75.5 in certain ride9 and far from slack actually. I could even go for steeper but I'm a tall guy and just slid the seat forward a bit. Seriously, you don't want a slack STA. Newer bikes are coming with 77d not 74d for good reason. Auto-wheelie stinks or having to really get forward on the saddle. I like my bike but not that much lol.
    3- Knockblock is kind of dumb
    4- Any proprietary shock stuff isn't a good idea (I have had these and been burned).
    5- 67 HTA isn't ideal anymore

    Instinct is a sweet bike and pedals REALLY well. The geo is neither really short like Hightower/Sb5.5 nor really long like Yeti SB130 stuff. Great middle ground and a ton of fun. Not ultra plush (good thing for me). If I was buying today I'd also be checking out the Ripmo, don't let travel fool you. It climbs just as good as my Instinct if not a touch better. DWLink is real. (A buddy of mine has the same size as my bike in Ripmo and I've ridden it. Very very nice too). Also both instinct colors are beauties in person. I have the blue but the green and orange is oddly really awesome in person. Good luck.

    Instinct Review by Jason:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK6QMSpHuPs

  16. #16
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    Thanks fmendes and svinyard. I'm attempting to buy the Instinct, mostly because it's available now and the Fuel EX is not. Also, the extra front-center will be some additional insurance for me, given my mediocre descending skills.

    svinyard, when you say the Instinct is not ultra plush, can you expand? Do you mean on drops and hard descending, or just pedaling through rough terrain? I have a DW-Link Turner Czar (100mm travel) and it pedals like mad, but I don't find it particularly compliant. It's great when you're hammering on the pedals though - it just goes.

    For the Instinct I'm looking for something that is more fun (which includes comfortable) for riding in chunkier terrain (rocks, roots, etc) and that includes the flats, the ups, and the downs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    svinyard, when you say the Instinct is not ultra plush, can you expand? Do you mean on drops and hard descending, or just pedaling through rough terrain? I have a DW-Link Turner Czar (100mm travel) and it pedals like mad, but I don't find it particularly compliant. It's great when you're hammering on the pedals though - it just goes.

    For the Instinct I'm looking for something that is more fun (which includes comfortable) for riding in chunkier terrain (rocks, roots, etc) and that includes the flats, the ups, and the downs.
    First of all, I'm 280 lb heavy. So in my case, pretty much every suspension is kind of plushy, at least in the beginning of the suspension stroke. I use the ride-9 in the heaviest setting (or heaviest-XC), and it damps really well small bumps, but gets very hard to the end of the stroke (non-technical ter for "very progressive"). I don't remember ever hitting end of stroke, and I have it for 3 years.

    For pedaling, you can feel some significant pedal bob when you are pedaling heavy and fast. When pedaling slow (even heavy), I don't feel anything.

    I don't ride may rocks, but several roots. Maybe is my lack of skill, but roots+uphills seem a problem to me. But with sessioning, I usually get through. Remember, I'm a very heavy guy.

  18. #18
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    What do you mean by "ride-9 in the heaviest setting (or heaviest-XC)". 9? Because position 9 actually has the least amount of ramp up as the shock compresses ("rise" as RM calls it

    http://www.bikes.com/sites/default/f...tinct_EN_0.pdf


    Edit: I just saw you've had the bike 3 years, which means it's an older model so nothing I said above applies.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    What do you mean by "ride-9 in the heaviest setting (or heaviest-XC)". 9? Because position 9 actually has the least amount of ramp up as the shock compresses ("rise" as RM calls it

    http://www.bikes.com/sites/default/f...tinct_EN_0.pdf


    Edit: I just saw you've had the bike 3 years, which means it's an older model so nothing I said above applies.
    Yes, mine is older. Still the same principle applies: more forward the pin goes, more upright; On the opposite direction, more slacked. More in-line with the shock, heavier (more progressive) it gets. Angled with the shock, more linear (for lighter riders). So I use either the more progressive (because I'm heavy), or the on that's very progressive, but with a tad more steep. That would be 4 or 5 below.

    The reference page had been removed, but looks like they still have some of the pictures. Luckily I had printed the whole page for reference.
    Rocky Mountain Instinct vs. Trek Fuel EX-ride9-web-02.jpeg

  20. #20
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    Gotcha.

    Interestingly, RM seems to have moved on from that nomenclature regarding the settings. Now (in the PDF I linked above) they describe it in terms of "Rise" and "Progression" and the list each for all of the Ride 9 settings. All of the settings are described as "progressive" so that's not very helpful.

    What's strange is that if you plot the Rise value they specify for each setting, it makes almost a perfectly straight line. There's no correlation with "in line with the shock travel" or not. I wonder if that's why it was dropped - because it was bogus.


    EDIT: I tried to attach a picture of the graphed numbers, but this forum software seems to be buggy. The "Upload" popup just exits the screen but nothing uploads. I give up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    What's strange is that if you plot the Rise value they specify for each setting, it makes almost a perfectly straight line. There's no correlation with "in line with the shock travel" or not. I wonder if that's why it was dropped - because it was bogus.


    EDIT: I tried to attach a picture of the graphed numbers, but this forum software seems to be buggy. The "Upload" popup just exits the screen but nothing uploads. I give up.
    From your last comment, you can easily attach pictures from an external server. Go on advanced mode, click on "insert image", then paste from URL. Having this said, look at my model of Instinct (click on the link to see the image bigger):


    The "in line with shock travel" is my own description about how it works, and is nowhere in RM literature. It does play an important role in the suspension behavior. See that the ride9 (in the forward end of the shock) is in the position where the rear triangle is more inclined forward (rotated CW), thus BB is at its lowest position, and the bike is slackest.

    Now note that if you move the ride9 to its lowest position, the shock becomes the most in line with suspension arm. Remember that at this setting, the rear triangle rotates CCW, making the shock more in line with suspension than you can imagine by just rotating the shock on the rear pivot. The whole geometry will change. This is when (in RM's words) the bike is set for heavier riders. I don't think this is bogus.

  22. #22
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    Ride9 shifts the geo and suspension and bit: Headtube angle, Seat Tube angle, reach, BB height and suspension kinematics. In the slacker settings the suspension is more progressive meaning it firms up progressively as you get deeper into travel providing a bit more support for rowdy stuff. Setting #1 is the slacker and most progressive. You can run lower psi and not bottom out. A bit like a volume spacer but better. Most people run setting #3 it seems. I do and it's good. I did remove the volume spacer as I wasn't using all travel and didn't want to drop psi to make it overly plush.

    So, the bike by design isn't super plush like some older 140mm bikes. Neither is a Ripmo and others. This is nice because it also pedals better because its a bit firm and has more pop to it. It's a long legged aggressive trail bike, not a 140mm enduro sled couch. Makes it more fun but because of the 140mm of travel it can still take a big hit and terrain easily enough. Now an Evil offering will be more plush, floaty and couchy on the downs but it doesn't pedal as good. That's by design.

    The Instinct is great for what you are doing and a lot of it is because of the suspension setup and not too long geometry. And you can adjust the ride9 to fit your needs. Going on a DH park trip? Go with #1 and drop psi a bit. For everything else or big XC days you might like it steeper and more linear. It's cool. Also the frame is super light! My custom build is 29lbs with 2.5in minions, dpx2/Fox36 Grip2, 800mm bars, and 170mm dropper. That's a fantastic weight for an XL unlike 98% of other bikes. Gotta love Rocky Mountain high end carbon! And yet also know that the frame is in the top 5 in the EWS races too with a jacked up 170mm Fox 36 ridden by Malamed, Remi and ALN (I think team Rocky is #2 overall right now). Their stuff is legit....but also an amazing trail bike.

    Ryan Palmer did a Dream Build and when he and I chatted, he had nothing but great stuff to say. Hard to go wrong. Other bikes I like are the Ripmo, SB130 and Norco Sight (similar to Instinct but heavier) and new Troy 29 (its ok, not perfect) maybe. Offering is worth a demo too prob. Ripmo is a special bike as long as you aren't super shredding or real heavy (it can blow through travel for uber riders with weight).

    https://www.bikemag.com/gear/mountai...tain-instinct/

  23. #23
    Jii
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    I've ridden both (a friend had a Fuel EX which I've ridden on numerous occasions and I have an Instinct) and even though the Fuel EX is a very nice bike to ride I'd still pick the Instinct hands down. Main reasons are the slack STA and the knockblock on the Trek. I'm 6'2" and on the Trek my seat was way too much far back when the seatpost was extended to full length. Not the case on the Instinct. Love the Ride9 on the Instinct even though I've only tried positions 5 and 6. My gut feeling is that the RM is a bit more burly too. The RM is a total quiver killer in my books, I use it for everything from trail riding to enduro racing to the occasional bike park trip. Just recently overforked it with a 150 mm Lyrik and I feel that it can take pretty much anything I feel like riding at my skill level and speed. Loads of good bikes available in the same category at the moment but I'd still pick the Instinct out of the bunch, but YMMV.
    RM Instinct C70 2019
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  24. #24
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    The Fuel EX's effective seat tube angle is 74.7. Thats slack now? If thats the case, than the Instinct is slack too--in the neutral Ride9 position its 75. In the steep position its 75.5, so there is not a ton of difference there assuming riding in neutral.

    Personally, for me, a seat angle between 73-75ish is great for flatter, more rolling terrain when you're pedaling seated a lot but not climbing up steep hills. If your trails don't have a lot of flat pedally sections, and its more you have the seat up to climb and then drop it to descend, thats where the steep seat angle helps a lot IMO. I've demo'd a few bikes with steep STAs on my local terrain and they're just not as comfortable pedaling on the flats, but going up it does help.

    Anyways. I have a Fuel EX and I love it. The Instinct is by all accounts a great bike though as well and you'd probably be happy with it. I just don't think the seat angles are that much different here to really make a decision based on that metric, and depending on what type of terrain you have, a slacker (by today's standards) seat angle might actually be more comfortable. I'd try to ride both before you make a decision--it sucks having to wait, but at least you'll know you made the right decision having ridden both.
    Patrick

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjames12 View Post
    The Fuel EX's effective seat tube angle is 74.7. Thats slack now?
    I think their point is that although the effective angle is 74.7, there's a significant kink in the seatpost so the top actually angles back significantly. So your effective angle at *saddle height* is quite a bit slacker.

    I ride continually rolling terrain. Lots of flats, short steep ups, short steep downs. Lots of it chunky.

    I have yet to find a test ride anywhere in my area so buying used is my test ride. I'm going to go with whichever good deal, (good condition, good price, good seller) comes up first.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    I think their point is that although the effective angle is 74.7, there's a significant kink in the seatpost so the top actually angles back significantly. So your effective angle at *saddle height* is quite a bit slacker.
    Exactly.

    I'm going to go with whichever good deal, (good condition, good price, good seller) comes up first.
    Now that's the spirit! Ride what you have.

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    If I'm not mistaken, the effective seat tube angle is measured with the saddle at stack height. So two bikes at equal stack heights with equal seat angles have the same saddle position in relation to the bottom bracket, right? I could be totally wrong on how its measured, but I don't see how the kink in the Fuel EX makes any difference. What would make a difference is that the Fuel EX has a lower stack height, so that means that if it's effective seat tube angle is measured at stack, then yes, when comparing the two bikes, the Fuel EX's saddle would be a bit further back in relation to the bottom bracket at the same height.

    If you look at the instinct, it also has a kink (although much lower in the seat tube). Anyways, way off topic here, but now I'm wondering how effective seat tube angles are actually measured
    Patrick

  28. #28
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    the effective angle only tells part of the story. once extending the seat past stack ht, actual seat tube angle comes into play. the closer the actual to effective the better as the angle keeps staying the same to effective as you extend the saddle. not much the case of fuel ex.

  29. #29
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    Just sealed the deal on a used 2018 Instinct. I won't get it until next week but I'll post up my thoughts once I take it on some rides!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavo View Post
    the effective angle only tells part of the story. once extending the seat past stack ht, actual seat tube angle comes into play. the closer the actual to effective the better as the angle keeps staying the same to effective as you extend the saddle. not much the case of fuel ex.
    Dropper insertion length is significantly limited too. I hate that. The reviews call it an "interrupted seat tube". Not cool if you want that hot new 170 (or 210 for me). Instinct can handle a massive dropper no problem. If you are dropping cash, might as well get something that doesn't have seat tube issues.

  31. #31
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    I've owned both the FEX and the Instinct. The published seat angle numbers very definitely don't tell the story. The Fuel has a much slacker actual seat angle at ride height.

    Personally, there are a bunch of better bikes in this segment (the Ripmo destroys both, climbing and descending). If I had to choose just between these two, I'd take the Rocky.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    I've owned both the FEX and the Instinct. The published seat angle numbers very definitely don't tell the story. The Fuel has a much slacker actual seat angle at ride height.

    Personally, there are a bunch of better bikes in this segment (the Ripmo destroys both, climbing and descending). If I had to choose just between these two, I'd take the Rocky.
    This prob isn't the best characterization. The Instinct BC and 140mm are different beasts. I love the Ripmo and have ridden it as well. The Ripmo sits between both of those models nicely and is an awesome do it all trail bike if weight isn't a big deal. That being said, you could make the 140mm Instinct a 25-26lb long legged climbing MACHINE, but it wouldn't be as capable without the longer fork.

    The Ripmo is a spectacular bike with great geometry. Its suspension kinematics have known flaws for hard riding guys tho. Its no secret that it blows through travel on rougher stuff if ridden hard. The Instinct doesn't have that issue at all, and come on, there are TWO Instincts in the top 10 EWS with Rocky in 1st or 2nd overall, "destroyed on the downhill" is not accurate for that bike, unless you were talking about the 140mm/Fox34? Sure that's the riders winning but it sure as heck means that bike isn't holding them back AT ALL at the highest level for the second location in a row. I don't think Ibis has even broken the top 10, which is all about the riders/Ibis/Talent interest I know, but still.

    I do love how the Ripmo rides as a trail bike, its not a super Enduro DH kind of bike suspension wise and that makes it great. It climbs really well and has a unique feeling too. Its a bit heavier but I love it and I'm not an Enduro racer so its firmer suspension is a real positive for me.

    Now I built a custom Instinct similar to the Ripmo 140mm dpx2/36 grip2 etc. Its super nice and I don't know if I would swap it for a Ripmo, the Ripmo's bowed downtube look just turns me off a bit and the performance is similar to my custom.

  33. #33
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    The Ripmo is a very different bike. It doesn't allow me to flip a chip and ride more XC with a higher BB, which is very important to me.

  34. #34
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    I live in Phoenix. I'm not a pro or a racer, but generally a top 10% descender on segments with thousands of timed runs. Not trying to horn-toot, just relaying my level of experience.

    I ran my 140 Instinct stock in various Ride 9 settings and, mostly, with a Lyrik at both 150 and 160. It just wasn't the bike for me. I didn't think it climbed particularly well, unless you use the switch. Descending was fine, but not spectacular. For me, riding in Arizona (Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sedona), the Instinct was OK.

    I'd still take it over the FEX.

    Means nothing, though, if you love the RM, keep rocking it.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    I live in Phoenix. I'm not a pro or a racer, but generally a top 10% descender on segments with thousands of timed runs. Not trying to horn-toot, just relaying my level of experience.

    I ran my 140 Instinct stock in various Ride 9 settings and, mostly, with a Lyrik at both 150 and 160. It just wasn't the bike for me. I didn't think it climbed particularly well, unless you use the switch. Descending was fine, but not spectacular. For me, riding in Arizona (Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sedona), the Instinct was OK.

    I'd still take it over the FEX.

    Means nothing, though, if you love the RM, keep rocking it.
    What are you riding now? No local pivot Firebird?

  36. #36
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    Ripmo and the new Giant Trance. I'm not generally a fan of Pivot bikes, but I did like the 429 Trail.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  37. #37
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    OK so, crazy that I am, I bought both bikes (used) and will sell the one I like less.

    2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct - w/ cane creek inline coil shock
    2018 Trek Fuel Ex 9.9 - w/ Fox DPX2 shock

    Fit wise, the instinct has a more cramped cabin due to the seat angle. But if I slide the Trek seat all the way forward and the instinct seat all the way back, they are reasonably close. If I keep the instinct I might need to buy a seat with rails that allow it to go back just a bit more - or buy a dropper with a setback mount. I'm 6'0" and wear 32 length pants.

    Today I rode them back to back (with the same wheels and tires) and the jury is still out!

    The extra travel of the instinct makes a difference. It's definitely a bit smoother in rough terrain, particularly with the Cane Creek coil shock. The fuel front is currently only 130 but can easily be extended to be identical (and has magical/placebo Kashima!) so I tried to focus only on the rear, but I tend to get sensory overload and it's difficult for me to precisely tease it all apart.

    However the Fuel feels like a more solid, higher quality bike. And I don't mean shifting (which is definitely better) - I mean ride feel. The weird thing is that I can't put a finger on what it is that makes me say that. Is it a stiffer frame? Different vibration damping? Firmer peddler? I'm not sure but it somehow feels more solid and leaves me with a grin as if it's better put together.

    The fuel also feels more efficient when you step on it. The instinct isn't bad at all and I don't feel like there is excess pedal bob, but the Fuel is somehow more rewarding when you hit the gas. Both climb really well.

    The fuel is also more composed while braking during descents. I'm not happy with the instinct rear on choppy descents where I need to brake. I have to remove most of the damping rebound on the shock or the back is very rough when braking. I emailed Cane Creek and they said - yeah its a 4 bar suspension, that's what they do. Reducing the low-speed rebound is your only option. (It does this with the stock shock too, it's not caused by the CCDB coil.)

    So I still don't know. I thought I was going to keep the fuel but the travel of the instinct was alluring. I guess I'll just have to repeat my experiment over and over until I have clarity. There are definitely worse problems to have in life.

  38. #38
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    10mm is not much--more important is how it is controlled and you like the trek so I'd suggest keeping what you like--your comments on what you determined are pretty consistent between these 2 bikes when they were released---

  39. #39
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    OK so, crazy that I am, I bought both bikes (used) and will sell the one I like less.

    2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct - w/ cane creek inline coil shock
    2018 Trek Fuel Ex 9.9 - w/ Fox DPX2 shock
    Well played, sir.

    Best ever answer to "which bike should I buy?".


  40. #40
    SS in CO
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    if your FEX has the DPX 2, do you know if it's the 210x55 or the 210x52.5? if it's the 55, then the rear travel is bumped to 136mm, much closer to the Instinct. just FYI...

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  41. #41
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    See my post in the 2018 Fuel Ex thread . The rear travel of a stock 2018 Fuel Ex 9.8 was measured at 146mm by German Bike magazine.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubb View Post
    See my post in the 2018 Fuel Ex thread . The rear travel of a stock 2018 Fuel Ex 9.8 was measured at 146mm by German Bike magazine.
    IIRC this turned out to be a mistake.

    I even measured mine, and there was no 146 going on.
    Whining is not a strategy.

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