Results 1 to 31 of 31
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8

    2018 Trek Fuel EX 8/9.

    Hello everyone, I've been renting for a while and looking to buy my first trail bike.

    The 2018 Trek Fuel EX has great reviews as an all around bike.

    Question: What other bikes compare to the Fuel EX 8 and 9.7/9.8?

    If not those specific models than a equal comparison to the Fuel EX in general.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    1,010
    The Santa Cruz Hightower

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    174
    Specialized Stumpjumper

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    175
    The Fuel ex is in kind of a weird place. Itís a bit too heavy duty for a cross country bike, but most of the other trail bikes have 10mm to 20mm more travel so it canít handle the roudy trails as well. For example the Hightower has 5mm more travel in the back and 10mm more in the front. The stumpjumper has 20mm more in the front and back.

    Those traits are why I ended up buying one though. I wanted something a bit more capable and durable than a straight XC bike. But at the same time I am too timid to hit the large jumps or super technical stuff, so the added travel and weight would be wasted. There were some other bikes that came close, but didnít offer a model in my price range.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    391
    Norco Sight-------Rocky Instinct-----YT Jeffsey------SC Hightower----IBIS Ripley--Pivot 429T----Transition Smuggler------Yeti 4.5

    Soon Knolly Fugitive

    All have differences but all are in the 29er mid travel category and while some may be better for you they all are good bikes

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    4,688
    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr View Post
    ...the Hightower has 5mm more travel in the back and 10mm more in the front. The stumpjumper has 20mm more in the front and back...
    and there are opposite examples, the Tallboy and 429Trail for instance.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr View Post
    The Fuel ex is in kind of a weird place. Itís a bit too heavy duty for a cross country bike, but most of the other trail bikes have 10mm to 20mm more travel so it canít handle the roudy trails as well. For example the Hightower has 5mm more travel in the back and 10mm more in the front. The stumpjumper has 20mm more in the front and back.

    Those traits are why I ended up buying one though. I wanted something a bit more capable and durable than a straight XC bike. But at the same time I am too timid to hit the large jumps or super technical stuff, so the added travel and weight would be wasted. There were some other bikes that came close, but didnít offer a model in my price range.

    is 5-10mm noticeable?

    How does the stumpjumper climb hills and feel on long distance rides?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    175
    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    and there are opposite examples, the Tallboy and 429Trail for instance.
    I definitely looked at both of those too. On the Tallboy the 29er comes with 110mm back and 120mm front. I felt like I might want a bit more than that. That and the R package cost $100 more than the Fuel EX8, but came with NX instead of GX level components.
    The 429 Trail looked great, but had the same problem as the Hightower. The cheapest models start at $4,000 which was more than I was willing to spend. So that instantly put it out of the running.


    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    is 5-10mm noticeable?

    How does the stumpjumper climb hills and feel on long distance rides?
    5mm-10mm probably isn't that noticeable. Differences in geometry would make a bigger difference. The handful of reviews I read said that the Fuel Ex was a better climber than the Stumpjumper. However that was only a couple of opinions.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    391
    IMO I'd avoid the stumper-tons of rumors about a new model and very soon-----to me no sense with this bike unless you love the current version----it is very long in the tooth--redesign probably soon

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8
    The santa cruz hightower looks like a good all around bike? How many of you would prefer it over a trek fuel ex?

    I wont be doing any park jumps or big drops but I enjoy long rides, going up hill and bombing down through rocks and roots...

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nauc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3,029
    i just demoed the Hightower in Santa Cruz. its awesome. id get that over the Trek any day

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    391
    I have ridden the Hightower many times along with the Fuel----my take is the opposite.
    As folks have complained about for years the VPP on the SC gets hung up often on climbs---it simply tries to push the pedals backwards--especially on square edge hits--the new VPP is much better and it seems the HT LT is better but I would make sure you are OK with this. It is not a show stopper but is very irritating and one wonders why SC has not resolved this---better for sure but not fixed


    The trek has NO such issue with climbing

    The other thing to think about is the reach on the HT is short compared to bikes just coming out-----the trek is current in this respect. But you may like this more than the new longer reaches.

    I also am in Santa Cruz and will be riding my Pivot 429 there this wednesday---another bike in need of new geo----short reach for sure.

    nauc---have you ridden the 17/18 trek????

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mrclortho's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    Hello everyone, I've been renting for a while and looking to buy my first trail bike.

    The 2018 Trek Fuel EX has great reviews as an all around bike.

    Question: What other bikes compare to the Fuel EX 8 and 9.7/9.8?

    If not those specific models than a equal comparison to the Fuel EX in general.

    Thanks!
    I bought a new FS bike last month, and I really wanted to like the Fuel EX (having Trek a Trek hardtail in my past)...until I rode them, both the 8 and the 9. I was surprised at how heavy they were and how clumsy they felt. I really wanted to like them but after riding a Santa Cruz 5010 and Scott Spark, I had to admit that the Trek was disappointing, at least for me.

    I ended up going with the Scott for budget reasons but if I had the $3,300 to spend, it would have been the Santa Cruz.
    '18 Scott Spark 730, 27.5+ FS happiness
    '10 Scott Scale 29er hardtail with a billion miles on it

  14. #14
    Turns right to go left
    Reputation: 410sprint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    552
    Quote Originally Posted by pctloper View Post
    I have ridden the Hightower many times along with the Fuel----my take is the opposite.
    As folks have complained about for years the VPP on the SC gets hung up often on climbs---it simply tries to push the pedals backwards--especially on square edge hits--the new VPP is much better and it seems the HT LT is better but I would make sure you are OK with this. It is not a show stopper but is very irritating and one wonders why SC has not resolved this---better for sure but not fixed


    The trek has NO such issue with climbing

    The other thing to think about is the reach on the HT is short compared to bikes just coming out-----the trek is current in this respect. But you may like this more than the new longer reaches.

    I also am in Santa Cruz and will be riding my Pivot 429 there this wednesday---another bike in need of new geo----short reach for sure.

    nauc---have you ridden the 17/18 trek????
    Agree 100%

    My wife just moved from a Hightower to an Fuel EX and I must say the Trek takes the win here. Nothing against Santa Cruz, they build great bikes. But in this comparison, all things considered, the Trek is a much better bike.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by pctloper View Post
    I have ridden the Hightower many times along with the Fuel----my take is the opposite.
    As folks have complained about for years the VPP on the SC gets hung up often on climbs---it simply tries to push the pedals backwards--especially on square edge hits--the new VPP is much better and it seems the HT LT is better but I would make sure you are OK with this. It is not a show stopper but is very irritating and one wonders why SC has not resolved this---better for sure but not fixed


    The trek has NO such issue with climbing

    The other thing to think about is the reach on the HT is short compared to bikes just coming out-----the trek is current in this respect. But you may like this more than the new longer reaches.

    I also am in Santa Cruz and will be riding my Pivot 429 there this wednesday---another bike in need of new geo----short reach for sure.

    nauc---have you ridden the 17/18 trek????

    Has anyone else had or heard o this issue with the vpp?

  16. #16
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    9,919
    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    Has anyone else had or heard o this issue with the vpp?
    Itís the reason I bought and sold two SCs in short order.

    First was a Blur LTC. Second was a TB LTC, which people swore was much better than prior gen. It wasnít.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  17. #17
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
    Reputation: chuckha62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,048
    I'm a huge Santa Cruz fan, but I was recently talking to my son's buddy who has repped for SC, Kona, Rocky Mountain and Trek. In his opinion Trek builds a better bike.

    I was sort of surprised and a little disheartened to be honest. I like the smaller "boutique" brands, but there may be something to bigger companies having access to more engineering resources.
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    1,010
    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    Has anyone else had or heard o this issue with the vpp?
    VPP is less active while pedaling than other designs (like Trek's). That has it's pros and cons. It's more efficient but it's not going to conform to rough terrain as well (while pedaling). However, on my HTLT I haven't noticed any pedal kickback. I've read a couple reviews stating that the Fox suspension on the 2018 OG Hightower remedied many of the issues people had with the 2017 version. I haven't ridden the Fuel Ex but I have ridden the Remedy and I felt much more confident (especially at high speed) on the Hightower LT. You definitely should try to demo some bikes because you'll hear totally conflicting opinions on any bike.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    1,010
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I'm a huge Santa Cruz fan, but I was recently talking to my son's buddy who has repped for SC, Kona, Rocky Mountain and Trek. In his opinion Trek builds a better bike.
    No offense but who cares. Why even bring this up? Wouldn't it be terrible if OP was swayed by some guy on the internet's son's buddy's vague unsubstantiated opinion? It's already hard enough to find good info and make an informed decision. OP would actually do better by not listening to any of us and go test some bikes.

  20. #20
    Turns right to go left
    Reputation: 410sprint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    552
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post

    I'm a huge Santa Cruz fan, but I was recently talking to my son's buddy who has repped for SC, Kona, Rocky Mountain and Trek. In his opinion Trek builds a better bike.

    I was sort of surprised and a little disheartened to be honest. I like the smaller "boutique" brands, but there may be something to bigger companies having access to more engineering resources.
    As I posted in another thread- Our most recent MTB's have been from Santa Cruz, Pivot and Yeti and I must say how impressed I am with the quality of my wife's new Trek. The fit and finish are outstanding. I never really paid much attention to the brand, but I am now!

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by 410sprint View Post
    As I posted in another thread- Our most recent MTB's have been from Santa Cruz, Pivot and Yeti and I must say how impressed I am with the quality of my wife's new Trek. The fit and finish are outstanding. I never really paid much attention to the brand, but I am now!

    The Hightower and the fuel ex are about 1lb different, is this noticeable?

  22. #22
    Turns right to go left
    Reputation: 410sprint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    552
    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    The Hightower and the fuel ex are about 1lb different, is this noticeable?
    Not at all.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by 410sprint View Post
    Not at all.
    After more research I do see many complaints regarding the vpp and very little on the fuel ex

    Guess ill go with the fuel ex. Any opinions on 9.7 s 9.8?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    1,010
    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    After more research I do see many complaints regarding the vpp and very little on the fuel ex

    Guess ill go with the fuel ex.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    855
    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    After more research I do see many complaints regarding the vpp and very little on the fuel ex

    Guess ill go with the fuel ex. Any opinions on 9.7 s 9.8?
    I like the suspension on the Fuel Ex better (that's why I bought it over the SC), so that is the way I would go....if you absolutely can't demo the bikes first. As to the 9.7 v. 9.8. Generally, if you have the money for either, the 9.8 all day long. Lot's of good upgrades. If you are the type that buys a bike and changes everything anyway, then go with the 9.7 and use the spare cash to upgrade the parts you want to change.

  26. #26
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
    Reputation: chuckha62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,048
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    No offense but who cares. Why even bring this up? Wouldn't it be terrible if OP was swayed by some guy on the internet's son's buddy's vague unsubstantiated opinion? It's already hard enough to find good info and make an informed decision. OP would actually do better by not listening to any of us and go test some bikes.
    He asked. Opinion given from someone in a position to have one.

    I agree, he should go ride them all, if he can.
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    296
    I sold a fuel ex 8 and picked up a Ripley LS. Little less travel out back and its a rocket. Climbs and accelerates like right now! I wanted a agile and fun trail bike for east coast trails and the Ripley seems perfect. Yeti 4.5 was the other choice for me. The Ripley certainly feels more playful and poppy than my trek did


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    2017 Ibis Ripley LS Factory X01

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    8
    I appreciate everyone's opinion, that's kinda the whole point of a forum. Thanks!

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    4,688
    Older SC VPP bikes had a more vertical lower link which provided a lot of anti-squat and associated pedal kickback. Newer bikes have a more horizontal lower link, less anti-squat and much less pedal kickback.
    Do the math.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,644
    I sold my 2017 Fuel EX9 for a 2017 Tallboy. I ended up with a 27.5 plus as I figured if I did not like it, I would just pick up a set of 29er wheels. While I cannot speak for the Hightower, the Tallboy has given me a bike that is much better climbing and so far has left me with just as capable on the down. I have owned a 2011 FEX8 26er, 2014 FEX8 29er, and a 2017 FEX9. They have been good bikes but my riding needs fit closer to the Tallboy. I am just speculating but the Hightower is likely a better pedaling bike than the Fuel. I have also owned a 2014 Niner Rip 9. That has more of a XC race bike feel to the rear suspension. My riding conditions are mostly tight rooty woods riding. I also venture to places like Coldwater Mountain in Anniston, AL. I recently got bact from a trip to the North Georgia mountains. Here there was technical sections, long downhills, and a lot of climbing. Never did I feel I needed more bike than I had.

    I would own a Hightower over a Fuel.

    After owning many Treks, SC has better fit and finish. So was my experience with Niner.

    I have commited to the 27.5 platform. So much that I have a set of Enve M60 plus wheels on the way.
    2017 Santa Cruz Tallboy CC

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,644
    Quote Originally Posted by nimblybimbly View Post
    The Hightower and the fuel ex are about 1lb different, is this noticeable?
    The scale weight may feel different that what it rides like.
    2017 Santa Cruz Tallboy CC

Similar Threads

  1. 2018 fuel ex8 or 2017 fuel ex 9
    By Bamaguy80 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 08-10-2017, 02:54 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-08-2014, 10:46 AM
  3. Trek Fuel Ex 8 vs. Fuji reveal 2.0 vs. Trek Fuel Ex 6
    By WilliamM10 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-15-2012, 06:19 AM
  4. 2011 Trek Fuel EX5 or 2008 Trek Fuel EX9
    By tavorh1 in forum Trek
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-08-2011, 07:07 PM
  5. 2010 Trek Top Fuel 8 vs 2011 Trek Fuel EX 8
    By David S - Sydney in forum Trek
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-12-2011, 07:08 PM

Members who have read this thread: 28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2018 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.