130 fork on 2016 Fuel EX 9.9 or go straight to 2017/18 Fuel EX with 130/130?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    130 fork on 2016 Fuel EX 9.9 or go straight to 2017/18 Fuel EX with 130/130?

    Would a new Fox 34 130mm 51 offset "screw up" the 2016 Fuel EX and its awesome xc/marathon traits? I had a 120 Fox 34 on a 100mm Czar and it ruined the awesome climbing ability for my needs and trails with a slacked seat angle (no amount of saddle adjustments helped). Plus it shortened the already short reach, but that's another discussion for another forum.

    Don't want the seat angle to get slack on a 2016 Fuel EX with a 130 fork. The shortened reach isn't an issue since I was an inbetweener and went 19.5, and the stack shouldn't be an issue.

    Or is this a band-aid fix and the 130/130 Fuel EX was developed to be a much better descender while losing a little in climbing.

  2. #2
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    In my opinion the 2016 Fuel with a 130 fork is rock solid at XC racing and trail riding. It feels completely different than a 2017 fuel

    I feel the 2017's and up were aimed more at the trail weekend warrior rider that cI kid do XC races if they wanted.
    Where's the 16 is aimed more at XC racing but can go play on the weekend.


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  3. #3
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    Well, Westin, first off, I raced my old Czar a bunch with a 120 fork, and loved it, so obviously, I'm not against "over-forking" the occasional bike -- but I agree that bike was far too short in the reach department for any given size.

    That said, I loved the 16 FEX for endurance racing with the 120 fork. I'm sure a 130 would be OK -- Trek specced them on the 9 model that year -- but I never wanted to lift the BB any higher (it's noticeably higher than the 17 and 18 version).

    But heck, isn't it just the cost of an air shaft to change the travel (~$50)? Might as well give it a try and report back.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  4. #4
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    I've ridden/raced a '16 carbon frame since day one with a fox 34 @130. I prefer the bike in the 'low' position, but both work. I wouldn't change a thing. Nice travel up front when I want/need it, just the right slackness and ok BB clearance w/ 175mm cranks (better with 170).

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  5. #5
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    I know both bikes and have the new gen 9.9 frame with 140 Pike. I also ride a 120 mm fork different bike on same terrain. I don't have any desire to make any of the bikes something they're not.

    One more insight is I know and ride with Trek engineers and product people who are fast racers, huckers, and strong riders. I see them choose what they like. One rides a Top Fuel where many of us like a bigger bike. The designer of the current Slash recently told me he likes his new Fuel EX for up to 30 foot jumps even though Slash was his project. I see some ride a Remedy, Slash or Session where two friends ride a Fuel EX.

    Not everyone likes the low bottom bracket if you get the new model or the geometry. I do. For an old fart like me new Fuel EX feels super light and fast but it has a "here, hold my beer" go crazy and push it nature older ones don't have and even our 2016 Remedy doesn't have that.

    Even though I like our 120 mm bike I love the new Fuel with the 140 fork. I've tested, rented and swapped rides with 8, 9.8 and 9.9 versions with 29 and plus wheels. I thought it was because of the Pike but friends have them with 140 Fox forks.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    I know both bikes and have the new gen 9.9 frame with 140 Pike. I also ride a 120 mm fork different bike on same terrain. I don't have any desire to make any of the bikes something they're not.

    One more insight is I know and ride with Trek engineers and product people who are fast racers, huckers, and strong riders. I see them choose what they like. One rides a Top Fuel where many of us like a bigger bike. The designer of the current Slash recently told me he likes his new Fuel EX for up to 30 foot jumps even though Slash was his project. I see some ride a Remedy, Slash or Session where two friends ride a Fuel EX.

    Not everyone likes the low bottom bracket if you get the new model or the geometry. I do. For an old fart like me new Fuel EX feels super light and fast but it has a "here, hold my beer" go crazy and push it nature older ones don't have and even our 2016 Remedy doesn't have that.

    Even though I like our 120 mm bike I love the new Fuel with the 140 fork. I've tested, rented and swapped rides with 8, 9.8 and 9.9 versions with 29 and plus wheels. I thought it was because of the Pike but friends have them with 140 Fox forks.
    most of the choices are to keep bikes in "categories" if you look at pro bikes across brands it's common to see fork chances for rider and track preference. that said someone in florida and someone in oregon are going to have different setups. i live in the PNW and always run out of fork first {unless i'm on a yeti} if i was in florida there would be no reason to increase fork travel

  7. #7
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    As the quetion of westin : How much am i losing in climbing with 2017 Fuel EX compre to the 2016 with 130mm fork?
    Thx

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by spr View Post
    As the quetion of westin : How much am i losing in climbing with 2017 Fuel EX compre to the 2016 with 130mm fork?
    Thx
    I can get into this in (probably too much) detail.

    I've owned both, in 9.9 trim. I've got a training ride that consists of a near-hour long pavement climb, followed by 3 hours of trail, both climbing and descending.

    In the last two seasons, like clockwork, I complete this ride in 4:01 to 4:03.

    Two weeks ago, on the new 2018 Fuel EX, I did it in 3:54. It was funny. At the top of the pavement climb, I was one minute back, and made it all up plus a bunch on the rugged trail portions. TIFWIW.

    All kinds of caveats:

    I don't ride with data, just RPE, but I never "dig" too deeply any more. All day LT-ish endurance pace, always.

    I recently retired from endurance racing. Still riding plenty, and plenty hard, but I figured I'd be a few minutes off the pace.

    The new Fuel has the uber-smooth through-shaft Reaktiv shock, and the firm setting isn't a full lockout. I had a firmer lockout on my 2016 race shock (Fox DPS) for road sections in races. This definitely made it a better road climber, which I no longer care about. The new through-shaft Reaktiv shock is SO smooth and enjoyable on the trail....

    Identical tires/wheels/everything else I could make identical. The new version is a half pound heavier, which I believe is in the frame.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  9. #9
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    Your 2018 in hi or low geometry?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Your 2018 in hi or low geometry?
    Riding the 2018 29er in High, which IIRC is just a bit lower than my 2016 in Low.
    Whining is not a strategy.

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