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

Yeah - the Ripmo is a nice bike. I rode with a friend of mine in Moab last year. He had a new Ripmo. He was much more comfortable on the gnarlier stuff than the year before on his Fuel.

I’ve debated getting two bikes - Eg Something like the Ripmo and the Ripley. But for most of my riding, the Ripmo is overkill, and I’d ride the Ripley 90% of the time.

Hence why the “in between” bike is what I’m after.

A+ grade on the dad score - I hope your son appreciates the bike!!

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The new 2021 Stumpjumper looks like a contender to top this category. I’ll be interested to hear ride reviews on how the solid rear triangle performs.


I just got a 2021 fuel ex and been super happy with it, set a bunch of PRs and feels very confidence inspiring for me


The new Fuel is a beefier bike - 36mm fork, 2.6” tires, a couple of pounds heavier. The new Stumpjumper is closer to the old Fuel (the bike I currently own). At some point I’ll see if I can test ride both and compare them.

By the way, how does the new Fuel perform on pedal strikes? That’s my biggest complaint with my current Fuel.


I own a salsa pony rustler (a lot like the Horse thief but with 27.5 wheels), and i have ridden not the Ripley but the RipMo.

The salsa is great but you may or may not find it a huge upgrade over your Fuel. You can do a lot, but i wouldn’t necessarily call it a “do all.” It has 130 in front and 120 in the back and while it’s mostly great, there have been times where i’ve wanted a little more.

The RipMo was a solid and capable bike and a surprisingly solid pedaling platform, although you have to spin a bit more than XC-bike style mashing. It took a little while to get used to feeling like you were on stilts but I rode stuff on that bike out in Moab that i didn’t think I could ride.

What year is your current fuel? I came off of a 2018 and am using the Fox 34 fork and 2.4” tires. Weight around 27-28lbs. Pedal strikes are a non issue even though the BB is the same or lower maybe I’ve just learned to ride it better but I did have lots of strikes with the 18. I also had a 2015 fuel ex which is more comparable to the current top fuel.

Been super happy with the 2021 compared to the 2018 though, definitely more capable all around

The 2021 FEX AXS like I have but with the Fox 36 and 2.6” tire is claimed at 28.15lbs. Going from the 2.6 to 2.4” XR4 saves .75lbs and whatever savings there are between the Fox 36 and 34. Even at 28lbs it’s not bad for a trail bike IMO. My buddy clear wrapped my frame and when he test rode the bike around a little he said the frame was so stiff it made his Scalpel feel like spaghetti

Threw my 2021 on the scale: with the Fox 34, 2.4 tires, X01 AXS grouppo (with GX crank) and AXS dropper, no pedals, 27lbs flat


It’s a 2017, the first year of the 130/130 Fuel. I think they made minimal changes to the 2018 from the 2017, so my 2017 is probably the same as your 2018.

Good point about tire weight. I didn’t realize the 2.6s were that much heavier than the 2.4s. That’s a pretty easy way to save some weight.


Yea 17-18 didn’t see much different except maybe components, same frame IIRC. I’m happy with the 21 over the 18, but the fuel geometry is not as “daring” as the stumpy. I didn’t have to pay for the 21 though, it was a warranty replacement (I realize now we spoke about this before). Still think you should give a warranty claim a try, you’ve got nothing to lose at this point, worst they tell you is “no”

Official weights for 2.6 are 945g and 2.4 are 780g

Yeah - the RipMo is a pretty sweet bike. There’s a pretty big difference in that vs your 27.5 salsa, so not surprising there was stuff in Moab that was newly rideable for you on the Ripmo.

The current trend of longer slacker bikes makes them a lot more capable. That’s why I think a modern 130/140 bike is sufficient for riding like Moab, and also for XC events (I’m a recreational racer, not good enough to take racing too seriously, hence no need for a dedicated XC rig) - while being the ideal bike for 80% of the riding I do.


Yeah - when MTB season is done I’ll bring it in and have the store look at it. I still have about a month of riding left that I can’t miss!

I wouldn’t even go into the shop. Call and have them send a claim to TREK. They will ask for 4 photos: whole bike, damage area, proof of purchase, serial number. You’ll get to keep using your bike while the new frame is made and then can swap them next month. My P1 frame took 45 days to make

Maybe more for the UK market as they’re sold exclusively through Wiggle/CRC but Vitus have just upgraded their Escarpe trail bike and Sommet enduro bike for 2021. Available early Nov.

Very good specs for price.

I’m looking at the Escarpe 29 CRX. See below for specs.

£3,500(~$4,500) for Fox factory fork and shock, shimano XT groupset rolling on some DT Swiss wheels
with good Maxxis rubber think is a bit of a bargain. Carbon front end, alu rear triangle.

Its certainly piqued my interest. Until now, I’ve been looking at getting an Orbea Occam on their Myo scheme but availability is poor with long wait times.


FRAME Escarpe T700 carbon front triangle, alloy 6061 rear
Internal cable routing, post mount disc brake mounts, BSA threaded BB, Boost hub spacing – 148mm x 12mm thru axle

REAR HUB DT Swiss M 1700
6 Bolt, Shimano microspline driver, Boost – 148mm x 12mm thru axle

FORKS FOX 36 Float Factory Series 29”
Kashima coating, Grip2 damper, 36mm stanchions, 150mm travel, 110mm x 15mm QR axle 44mm rake

SHOCK Fox Float DPS Factory
Kashima coating, EVOL air spring, 3 position lever, 205mm x 65mm, trunnion

FRONT TYRE Maxxis Assegai
3C MaxxTerra compound, EXO/TR, 29” x 2.50”

CHAINSET Shimano XT M8100
30t, 170mm

REAR TYRE Maxxis Dissector
3C MaxxTerra compound, EXO/TR, 29” x 2.40”

73mm BSA Threaded

BRAKES Shimano XT MT8120


203mm front / 180mm rear, 6 bolt

Shadow plus, long cage, 12 speed

HANDLEBARS Nukeproof Horizon riser
Alloy 7050, 25mm rise, 9° back sweep, 760mm wide S/M, 780mm wide L/XL

SHIFTERS Shimano XT M8100
Rapidfire plus, 12 speed

STEM Nukeproof Horizon
Alloy 6061, 45mm reach, 0° rise

CASSETTE Shimano XT M8100
10t-51t, 12 speed

Sealed bearings, OD44, 44/28.6 – 56/40

CHAIN Shimano XT M8100
12 speed

GRIPS Vitus lock on

FRONT RIM DT Swiss M 1700
SPLINE 6 Bolt Black Front, 15x110mm, 29"

SADDLE Nukeproof Neutron

REAR RIM DT Swiss M 1700
SPLINE 6 Bolt Black, 12x148mm, 29" Shimano Microspline Driver Body

SEATPOST Brand-X Ascend dropper
Remote lever, 31.6mm, S 125mm drop/M 150mm drop/L,XL 170mm drop

FRONT HUB DT Swiss M 1700
110mm x 15mm thru axle, 6 Bolt

SEATCLAMP Vitus bolt, 34.9mm

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I do not understand why people want to buy a pedal and crankset destroyer only to spend BIG money to by midget crank arms.
Seems crazy to me for so many companies to make bikes that are un rideable unless you stay on concrete or spend more money to buy a different shorter crankset.

I also want a quality bike, some what durable light, quick, responsive, non jack hammer of a bike.
I just think it is a waste of money to spend a lot of money on a new bike that is poorly designed with a BB that is too looow, and then spend more money on a short crankset.
I am also looking I think at 100-130 rear travel bikes.
A bike that does everything well including climbing and not too long.
I am sick of watching all the videos that are at bike parks, ski resorts or at arid deserts like Moab, California, etc.
I live and ride in the Midatlantic region.

New Epic Evo is a great choice if you like light and capable. HTA is great for techy and steeper terrain, weight is insane, you can easily race XC on it or take it to Moab.

If you wanted something a bit more trail oriented, Spur seems like a good option.


I’ve had my Fuel for 4 years, and have not damaged either a pedal or crank arm, let alone destroyed one.

And it’s about the opposite of “unridable” as you can get. I’ve ridden it on everything from Leadville to Captain Ahab. And it’s great.

I think you’re exaggerating the one flaw that I pointed out in my Fuel.


The new Stumpjumper is probably more what I’d be interested in. I’m not serious enough about XC racing to get the Epic.

The Epic is a sweet bike though. If I was going to own two bikes - an XC and a bigger travel bike - the Epic would be on my shortlist for sure.

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There are a lot of good options in this range. The newer XC “down country” bikes in the lower ~half of this range are very capable. Eg the Epic Evo or Trek Top Fuel.

But they don’t quite hit the top end of the 100-130mm travel range. For that you need something like the YT Izzo, Stumpjumper or Fuel.


My original complaint was actually cured by putting proper air pressure into the shock, which also made the whole bike ride better. I still clip pedals sometimes, but that can happen on any bike if you happen to go over something big and pedal at the same time. I think between your rant about youtubers riding parks you don’t ride and “midget cranks” you’re being a bit dramatic.

The new Stumpjumper looks great. I’m particularly interested in demoing one given the custom shock tune and how light it is compared to the other trail bike at the top of my list (Revel Rascal)