The "do-it-all" trail bike - options and opinions?

The 2017 model Fuel, less so the new one. The new one is a bit too beefy - 29lbs vs 25lbs for the top build, slacker, bigger fork, bigger wheels (wider) and tires. But still a nice bike. I guess I could keep a set of more XC wheel + tires. That might drop close to 1 lb.

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I live in a small town so don’t have too many options locally. I’ll try demo what I can when I travel.

I do both of these on my Fuel. My performance on both is somewhat average (at least compared to locals here in CO) , but that’s not the bikes fault :rofl:

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By the way - what happened to your frame?

I was doing a race in UT three years ago, and a large, sharp cornered rock popped up and hit the underside of my down tube.

I think one of the reasons my bike is so light is Trek went a little too far taking material out of the frame - and left it a little too prone to damage. I think Trek realized this and addressed the issue in later generations, as the newer frames are more beefy than mine.

I’ve had a few similar rock strikes since then and cringe when I hear the crack of the rock hitting the down tube. No more damage so far though.

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Did end up putting on a 140 fork on, makes the bike even more capable. It’ll be a bit before I try a DPX2, but just having the fork up front makes the high speed trails and chunk really manageable. Once I get the suspension set up properly I think I can PR some descents.

How does it climb with 140mm? Any difficulty keeping the front end down on steep climbs?

The 17/18/19 have a common failure point at the top tube and seat tube junction. It forms a stress crack, mine was tiny, but I saw a bunch of people on the FB fuel group posting their new frames so I entered a claim and they honored it in 2 days without even seeing the bike in person. This is usually where the aluminum frames crack too, at the weld, but carbon ones usually look like paint only until you realize something had to flex enough to crack it in the first place since there was no impact

That said the crack has been there for over a year and I’ve ridden the bike without issues the entire time, was just waiting for the redesigned frame to come out before I entered a claim, didn’t want to get a 2019 and have the same issue


Yikes! I guess I know an area to watch on mine now. :open_mouth:

I need to lower my stack height for sure, but it wasn’t an issue for me last night, and I climbed some pretty steep stuff. Once I drop my stem 1 cm it will be better.

Mmm - so I just checked my Fuel, and found the following. The chip is where I picked off the coating to see the carbon beneath. Nothing flexes when I push on it.

I can’t tell from your pic - is this the same location as the cracks you see?

I marked some black lines on the cracks to see if they grow over time.

I may need a new bike sooner than I thought - I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing!

My crack is at the top left corner of your pic. Hard to tell what your damage is from but I can’t imagine a big impact in that spot so probably a stress crack. FWIW mine doesn’t flex there either but if you tap on it it might sound more hollow than the same spot on the other side

Right now Trek is doing claims by email so they would never know your bike was repaired. I don’t remember if they recycle the frames or have the shop just destroy it

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Typically the shop is ordered to destroy the frame in cases like this.


No big impacts in that spot - or really anywhere except for rocks popping up from the front wheel and hitting the underside of the down tube. I’ve only had one higher speed crash on the bike in 4 years, and that involved the bike sliding vs hitting anything.

Sent ya a PM

I wasn’t aware that the Fuel had gone through such an evolution. It seems like they are chasing the Stumpjumper and having a more burly trailbike.

Makes me feel like a dinasour. I like to get fit outdoors on my bike. I’m at heart an XC guy, but the market has gone in a more gravity direction. I’m not judging. It’s just not me.

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This is a comparison of the 19.5" sizes to see the geo differences. The two new bikes really sandwich the old one in nearly every way. New Fuel EX / Old Fuel EX / New Top Fuel


Stealing this from the XC post (thanks @mcneese.chad). It has a review of the Spur and Yeti SB115.

The Spur looks very nice.


The Top Fuel is an interesting bike. I had a 2017 and that was pretty much pure XC.

The new one is very different geo, but still racy if needed, it would seem - and for longer epic rides, may actually be better - as it adds a litte comfort and probably a little more confidence in technical terrain when you are tired.


I have White Rim planned for later this fall. I’ll ride it on my Fuel. It’s more than what’s needed for White Rim, but my alternative is my gravel bike - which is a bit under-biked (tires, gearing).

The day before, we’re planning to do a downhill shuttle ride. Maybe Porcupine singletrack and rim. I’ll also ride that on my Fuel.

This range of riding is representative of what a “do it all” bike should be capable of doing, IMO.

The new Top Fuel Is pretty close to my 2017 Fuel. It could probably work for both rides, but I’d prefer just a bit more travel for the likes of Porcupine rim.



I bought my son an Ibis Ripmo. More travel than you are looking for and I would not consider it to be an XC standby kind of ride.

Awesome trail bike though. 147/160 travel and pedals surprisingly well. It’s pretty chunky but so awesome pointed down with a 64.9 HT, plenty of travel, big wheels and a nice dropper right out of the box. The DVO suspension is so nice I have to say it’s way better than I ever would have expected.

I think this might be more of a down country thread than this bike fits into but I think the Ripmo is an awesome “funduro” kind of ride. I thought hard about getting one for me but didn’t. I was torn between the Yeti SB150, Ripmo and the SB130. After deliberating for what felt like forever went with the 130LR which is a bit of a combination of the 130 and 150. I can’t add my ride experiences yet for the 130 but happy to whenever it finally arrives.