The test: 2004 Racer X100 / 2004 Trek Fuel 100, The Verdict........- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    The test: 2004 Racer X100 / 2004 Trek Fuel 100, The Verdict........

    The test:
    2004 Titus Racer X100 and a 2004 Fuel 100, 4 laps - 2 on each bike, back to back timed, avg speed, max speed, average heartrate.
    To get an apples to apples comparison between the two bikes I used the EXACT same wheelset (Chris King ISO, Mavic 3.1, Sapim CX-Ray spokes), same tires IRC Serac's 2.1 ran tubless with latex 38psi front 36 psi rear, fork FOX100 and the same computer swapped between bikes.
    I did not take each lap at a race pace, just tried to keep it fast, but at a very even pace, controlled and ride each section the same with either bike. Stand at the same places, seated climbs each time, that sort of thing.


    The Bikes:
    Both bikes are built using pretty much top of the line stuff: SRAM XO, Maxm Carbon, King wheels, Fox forks, disc, etc.
    The Fuel 100 weight is aproximately 23.5lbs and the Racer X100 is close to 1 - 1.5lbs heavier.
    Fuel is a size 19.5 w/ a 24.6" effective TT
    Racer X is XL w/ a 24.6" effective TT
    so both bikes even though one is a large and the other an XL are pretty much the EXACT same size.

    <img src="https://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=13920&stc=1">

    <img src="https://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/113-1346_IMG.jpg">

    The course: (White Clay Creek Delaware)
    5 mile loop consisting of a bit of everything except a major climb. The majority of the trail was very tight and twisty singletrack that tightly curved its way thru many, many trees. Not trying to blow my own horn here but the loop had some long sections that the majority of riders/racers could not handle at high++ speeds (about 25% of the loop) so control is a must....and some single track thru fields.

    The rider:
    39 years old, 185 lbs, Expert MTB racer, been riding MTB's for 13+ years, 9th year racing posting on MTBR for about 4 years?

    The results:
    Lap #1 Trek Fuel
    Distance 4.78 miles
    Time: 22.34
    Average Speed: 12.5 mph
    Average/Max Heartrate: 173/190
    Max Speed: 23mph

    Lap #2 Titus Racer X100
    Distance 4.76 miles
    Time: 22.40
    Average Speed: 12.4 mph
    Average/Max Heartrate: 178/191
    Max Speed: 23.5mph

    Lap #3 Trek Fuel
    Distance 4.78 miles
    Time: 23.16
    Average Speed: 12.1 mph
    Average/Max Heartrate: 173/190
    Max Speed: 22mph

    Lap #4 Titus Racer X100
    Distance 4.76 miles
    Time: 22.39
    Average Speed: 12.4 mpg
    Average/Max Heartrate: 176/192
    Max Speed: 22.5mph

    What does it mean? Who the HeII knows, right!
    Both bikes performed pretty much the same time wise with not a lot af variation between laps. The only thing that stood out to me was my average HR was a bit higher on the Racer X than the Fuel. "I" would conclude that this was due to the bike being a bit heavier!?
    The Fuel had the fastest lap (1st lap) up by 6 seconds AND the slowest lap (3rd lap) off by 42 seconds. The Racer X had 2 laps pretty much the exact same time off the fastest lap by 6 seconds. The Racer X had the fastest Max speed, but not by much.

    Sumary of some things that I noticed:
    Let me say this first, both of these bikes are excellent and I seriously think anyone would be extremely happy with either.
    Has/will be a tought decision on which I am keeping

    -The Titus "feels" like a faster bike
    -Even though the Titus has about .65" more travel, both bikes feel like they have pretty much the same travel.
    -The Swinger on the RacerX is a nice suspension once Charles from Hammerhead bikes helped me dial it in. I have a CC Cloud 9 comming in to try on the racer X as well.
    -The Cane Creek Cloud 9 in the Fuel is excellent.
    -Titus is a Titus! Build quality and the Bling Bling factor......Everyone owns a Trek...
    -The Fuel feels like it is begging to be hammered thru tight sections. Kind of like it is asking you to get up off the saddle and get aggressive, push me as hard as you can. Turn me, carve me....
    -The Racer X is kind of saying thru the same sections, sit back, hang on and enjoy the ride, I'm about to take you on the ride of your life......
    -The Titus has more of a "balanced" feel. (remember I am running a 100m fork on the Fuel)
    -I already lost some bolts on my Fuel that worked their way loose.
    -The Fuel is about 1/4 pound lighter and carbon
    - the carbon (clear coat) on the Fuel wears fast if you don't protect it
    -I am worried about breaking the Fuel, not the Titus
    -Both bikes climb excellent
    -The Fuel retail is what? about $2,000 with no shock options
    -The Racer X retail is $1600 with upgrade options (Ti hardware and shock options)
    -as a "race" bike it would be a toss up as both ride and handle fast
    -as a "trail" bike the Titus wins
    -Both bikes had a different ride feeling to them and each time I switched a bike I said to myself "this is the bike I like", but in the end I think the Titus is edging out with the win.

    Fell free to ask any specific questions and sorry for being long winded,

    KMan

    on a side note:
    It's a pretty cool advertising tool that this sites software will automatically make a work into a hyperlink. I did not do that, it did it by itself. I just wonder why, Titus Maxm Components Fox and Trek did not make the hyper link cut? Mavic and SRAM did.

  2. #2
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    Thanks...

    Thanks for the feedback Kman. I am patiently awaiting my 100 x due in Mid-July. Glad to hear that you were able to dial the suspension in to utilize more of that rear travel. I am guessing with a little tuning that you would be able to drop the weight of the X to be closer to that of the Trek too.

    Can you give me any more detail on the suspension characteristics since dialing in the swinger. I have been following the discussion on setting up the swinger on the X and am curious to hear how the lower SPV pressure effected the ride. Due you get to use more travel? How does this effect hammering out of the saddle?

    All info is appreciated. I have my X spec'd out on paper to rest summer where in the 23.5 to 24 lbs range for a Medium with discs. Pretty respectable considering I have not gone to great lengths to shave weight...in time I may though

  3. #3
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    weight

    I can easily drop the weight on the X another pound. If I decide to keep the X (which I am about 95% sure it is the bike I am keeping) I will just switch over all of the lighter weight parts from the Fuel and put them on the X.

    That other 5% is just due to the suspension. I really like the "feel" of the Fuel with the Cloud 9. Really now that I have the Swinger dialed in, the two are very similiar, but there is just something about the Cloud 9 that makes me like it better. It's almost like I can feel the suspension working on the Fuel and I never feel it hit the end of its stroke. On big hits I can tell there is more travel being used, on smaller hits the same. I can feel it working it's way thru different lengths of travel. (I also may have the rebound set too fast, I am going to slow it down a bit) On the X it's hard to tell if I just used 1" or 3" of the travel. This may just be due to the design, the difference in shocks, etc.
    Also not sure if this is a bad thing at all as the with the X you just ride and you really don't feel the suspension working, like riding a very comfortable hard tail.

    As far as the Manitou Swinger and bobbing, I don't have a definitive answer for you. I can say It does not feel like it bobs, but I had the SPV psi set at pretty much its lowest setting. I am going to play around with it over the next few rides.
    I was looking at the Fuel CC Cloud 9 last night on a small field climb and the shock was only moving about 3mm. I know this setup has pretty much 0 bobbing issues. I kind of did the same on the X, but the shock position make it difficult to see when riding fast.
    Once I get The Cloud 9 in I will post a review on that shock as well.

    KMan


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsunami
    Thanks for the feedback Kman. I am patiently awaiting my 100 x due in Mid-July. Glad to hear that you were able to dial the suspension in to utilize more of that rear travel. I am guessing with a little tuning that you would be able to drop the weight of the X to be closer to that of the Trek too.

    Can you give me any more detail on the suspension characteristics since dialing in the swinger. I have been following the discussion on setting up the swinger on the X and am curious to hear how the lower SPV pressure effected the ride. Due you get to use more travel? How does this effect hammering out of the saddle?

    All info is appreciated. I have my X spec'd out on paper to rest summer where in the 23.5 to 24 lbs range for a Medium with discs. Pretty respectable considering I have not gone to great lengths to shave weight...in time I may though

  4. #4
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    Nice!

    I think this test shows how little difference there is between most good bikes. All things being (somewhat) equal, taking the Titus seems like a no-brainer.

    Dave

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    Great review, it's always nice to see bikes like that reviewed well with the same rider and similar setup/terrain.

    I'd have to say the Titus would be a hands down winner there as far as I'm concerned. Even if you can't decide on the performance end. The Titus is built better, stronger and more durable with more options for less money. The carbon trek might be a touch lighter, but you have to worry about chainsuck and crash damage to the carbon parts. I think it's crazy what some of the big companies charge for their frames. If people knew that they could build a titus racer X as light as a fuel 100, for less money, and have a better more durable build quality and more link/shock options I think you'd see a lot less of those $4000-5000 big bike company bikes riding around.

  6. #6
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    Nice thorough review taking little details into account.

    I believe you also have a Ti hardtail. I would assume that you have done a hardtail vs.fully timed run. Notwithstanding the comfort factor, which had a better time - hardtail or a full suspension?

  7. #7
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    "Had" is the key word

    Actually the Bianchi Titanium frame HT is on Ebay right now for sale.
    Bad back forces me off a hard tail.....In fact I had a Ti single speed that I just loved to ride, but due to my back, was forced to sell it as well. Now after I sell the Fuel frame I am planning on building up a soft tail single speed and just plan on riding that a little less than before.

    I did no such comparison between a HT and FS as I did not have each bike built at the same time. Which is faster? For me it would be the FS as my back would just hurt too much on the HT. FS is also 100% more comfortable.
    The one thing I did notice when I had the Bianchi HT built up is that I just did not enjoy the feel of the ride (and maybe it's just because I have a bad back), but the ride was just too rough to be enjoyable for me. Glad to be on a FS!

    KMan

    Quote Originally Posted by older guy
    Nice thorough review taking little details into account.

    I believe you also have a Ti hardtail. I would assume that you have done a hardtail vs.fully timed run. Notwithstanding the comfort factor, which had a better time - hardtail or a full suspension?

  8. #8
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    less comfortable bikes are quicker

    Quote Originally Posted by older guy
    Nice thorough review taking little details into account.

    I believe you also have a Ti hardtail. I would assume that you have done a hardtail vs.fully timed run. Notwithstanding the comfort factor, which had a better time - hardtail or a full suspension?
    A more comfortable bike allow you to sit and relax more and more easily ride slower in rough terrain with stability. A choppy harsher ride makes you stand up off the saddle and push the pedals harder to get up and stay out of the saddle. Standing up more out the saddle more causes more acceleration and more higher speeds.

    I've ridden both the Fuel and RacerX. The RacerX is more comfortable when riding in the saddle.

    The RacerX is very likely technically able to be ridden and pedaled with more speed. But the 1.5 lb weight handicap of the RacerX in DanK's test does sap speed. If you had the same component's the RacerX would have been nearly the same weight and probably be just as quick at the same energy output as the Fuel.

    The Fuel is an excellent race design with the right shock tuning. So is the RacerX. The RacerX feels smoother which counts more in quality of ride when you aren't racing around too fast to savor the moment.

    - ray

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    A more comfortable bike allow you to sit and relax more and more easily ride slower in rough terrain with stability. A choppy harsher ride makes you stand up off the saddle and push the pedals harder to get up and stay out of the saddle. Standing up more out the saddle more causes more acceleration and more higher speeds.

    I've ridden both the Fuel and RacerX. The RacerX is more comfortable when riding in the saddle.

    The RacerX is very likely technically able to be ridden and pedaled with more speed. But the 1.5 lb weight handicap of the RacerX in DanK's test does sap speed. If you had the same component's the RacerX would have been nearly the same weight and probably be just as quick at the same energy output as the Fuel.

    The Fuel is an excellent race design with the right shock tuning. So is the RacerX. The RacerX feels smoother which counts more in quality of ride when you aren't racing around too fast to savor the moment.

    - ray
    MY experience is I can pedal faster (spin the appropriate gear sitting) on a full suspension on rough terrain where I have to stand up on a hardtail to take the hits. I know I can pedal standing up but nowhere near the revolution while I am sitting down.

  10. #10

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    Great Test

    Very interesting and technical test. Thanks for posting the results.

    The lack of a big, sustained climb is the only missing piece. Thatís where weight differences will lead to bigger time differences.

    It appears that the Titus might be a quicker handling bike based on your comments and the shorter total distance for the Titus laps.

    The heart rate difference could be due to the higher weight but perhaps you are more amped-up while on the Titus since it is a Titus after all and not the ubiquitous Trek.

    John

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