Powered by Outside

Staff Rides: Mike Kazimer's Coil Shock Trek Fuel EX

Apr 27, 2023 at 14:13
by Mike Kazimer  
photo


STAFF RIDES

Mike Kazimer's Trek Fuel EX



I first swung a leg over Trek's new Fuel EX during Crankworx Whistler last year and was immediately intrigued. Over the years the Fuel EX has morphed from a lightweight trail bike into a more substantial all-mountain machine. While I still have fond memories of the previous models, there's no denying that the newest version is the most capable descender yet.

I'm always on the hunt for an adaptable bike that can serve as a test platform for a wide range of parts, and the Fuel EX handily fits the bill. Making squiggles down steep, loose trails is one of my favorite things ever, so I went with a mixed wheel setup to help make those rear wheel carves a little easier. Going back to a full 29” setup only takes a couple of minutes, keeping the door open for more wheel testing possibilities with minimal fuss.
Fuel EX Details

• Intended use: having fun.
• Travel: 140mm rear / 160mm fork
• Wheel size: 29" front / 27.5" rear
• Frame construction: carbon fiber
• 64° head angle, 438mm chainstays
• Weight: 33.5 lb / 15.2 kg (size L without pedals)
trekbikes.com


photo

Frame

The Fuel EX has 140mm of travel, an amount that I've found is well suited to the terrain near my home in Bellingham, Washington, especially when paired with a 160mm fork. My favorite trails tend to be steep and loamy, full of perfect dirt rather than chunky rocks; as long as the geometry feels right I'm able to get away with a little less travel than a full-on enduro bike and still feel comfortable. There's also no shortage of flowier, jumpier trails in Bellingham, trails where a poppier, more energetic bike feels best.

There's a wide range of adjustments on the Fuel EX, which adds to its versatility as a rolling test lab. Along with the possibility to run a 27.5” or 29” rear wheel, the head angle can be adjusted by 1-degree via an aftermarket headset cup, and the progression of the rear shock can be changed from 16% to 21% via a flip chip at the lower shock mount. I'm currently running the shock mount in the higher progression setting, the neutral headset cup, and the Mino Link in the high position to accommodate the smaller rear wheel. That equates to a 63.9-degree head angle, 478mm reach, and 438mm chainstay length on the size large I'm riding.

In its stock configuration the carbon frame comes with an extra long down tube protector. That's great if you're planning on shuttling, but it does give the bike a slightly strange profile when viewed from the side. It's a two-piece protector, so I just removed the top part, saving a little bit of weight and improving the bike's looks in the process. I can always put it back on if I go shuttling, but these days the vast majority of my rides are pedaled-powered – shuttle days always end up involving way more time crammed inside a vehicle than I'd like.

I'm left handed, which means the opening for the side-loading bottle cage isn't oriented the way I'd prefer. I keep meaning to swap it out for something from the Leftorium, and then I promptly forget. Someday.

Underneath the bottle cage is the in-frame storage compartment, where I keep a tire lever, Tubolito tube, tire plugs, and a Specialized Air Tool MTB Mini pump. I don't flat all that often, so I'm willing to sacrifice some flat fixing speed for a more portable pump. I'll occasionally carry a CO2 inflator instead, but for longer rides I prefer having the security of knowing my air supply is unlimited.


photo
160mm Rockshox Lyrik Ultimate
photo
Cane Creek DB Coil IL

Suspension

The bike is currently set up with a 160mm RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork and the latest version of Cane Creek's IL coil shock. The Lyrik is very quiet and has a good range of effective adjustments – opening up the low-speed compression by two clicks makes a noticeable difference, and depending on the trail conditions I'll increase or decrease the LSC depending on if I want to prioritize traction or support.

My current Lyrik settings for my 160 lb weight are 70 psi, no volume spacers, LSC: 7, HSC: 3, rebound: 13 (all clicks from closed).

I also spent some time with an EXT Era V2 fork installed. The small bump sensitivity and the overall feel of that fork when plowing through rough stuff is incredible, but there was a noticeable top-out that I wasn't able to eliminate, at least not yet.

Cane Creek's updated IL coil shock recently arrived for testing, so it's currently sitting in the spot previously occupied by an air-sprung Fox Float X. I'm still dialing in my settings and spring rate, and I've been experimenting with linear and progressive coil springs to see which one I prefer. As pictured, the bike has a 450 – 550 lb/in progressive spring. With a linear spring, I'm running a 475 lb/in spring – the progressive spring allows me to have a little lighter initial spring rate, and still have enough ramp up to avoid harsh bottom outs. I still wouldn't mind a hydraulic bottom out system, though, or even a slightly taller bottom out bumper, since the 'clunk' of using full travel on the IL is pretty noticeable.

Going with a coil shock does take a little bit of the pep out of the Fuel EX's manners – it has a more muted feel, which is great on chunky, natural trails, but it doesn't feel quite as awake on smoother, jumpier trails. I still have more testing to do before issuing a final verdict on the Coil IL – look for that later this year.



photo

Tires / Wheels

At the moment, I'm rolling on Race Face's recently launched Turbine aluminum wheels. It's still early days in testing, but I'll be smashing into things over the next couple of months to see if the claims of increased compliance and improved pinch flat resistance hold up. I have noticed that the spokes occasionally emit a 'twang' sound when the wheels are loaded and then unloaded in a turn or hard compression – the straight pull spokes and oversized hub design might have something to do with this.

As for tires, yes, I'm running DH tires on a trail bike. And no, it's not because I'm such a badass that lighter casing tires crumble underneath my power. It's because Continental's stickiest rubber isn't currently available with their enduro casing, and I'll gladly take more grip even if it comes with a weight penalty. Plus, the Kryptotal DH isn't really that heavy – the weight is comparable to that of a Maxxis DoubleDown casing tire. When conditions are extra-grim I'm a fan of the Argotal up front – it's close to a mid-spike mud tire, and it digs in nicely when the ground is loose and slippery.


photo
photo

Brakes

I'm not totally sold on the new-fangled routing of SRAM's new Code Ultimate brakes – I think running the housing parallel to the handlebar rather than angling it at the bar would have been a better solution – but I do like the consistent stopping power, and the carbon levers help keep my fingers warmer than aluminum in cold temperatures. I'm running 200mm HS2 rotors front and rear.

I also spent time on Hayes' Dominion T4 brakes, and I'd put those near the top of the chart when it comes to easily accessible power and an ultra-light lever feel.

photo
The Transmission is still ticking.
photo
SRAM XO aluminum cranks, 170mm length.


Drivetrain

I rode 1,000 miles on SRAM's new Transmission components in preparation for the review, and a good chunk of those miles took place on the Fuel EX. I'm runnng a 34-tooth chainring with that 10 – 52 tooth cassette, and 170mm cranks. I did try 165mm cranks for a bit on this bike, and I could certainly live with them, but 170mm still feels more natural to me.

For the wireless shifter, I have the upper button set to shift to an easier gear, and the lower button set to shift to a harder gear, the opposite of the stock configuration. It's an easy thing to switch in the AXS app, and this configuration makes the most sense in my mind.

There's no chain guide, and I haven't had any dropped chains, but I am running both integrated chainring bashguards – I'd rather not mangle a chainring if I don't need to.


photo
The Transmission controller is mounted to the low profile Infinity Clamp.
photo
Specialized Power Pro.


Contact Points

These are the parts of the bike that I'm the most particular about – a comfy seat and thin grips are high on my list of necessities for any bike. ODI's Elite Flow lock-ons have been my go-to grip for years. They're relatively thin, with a rubber compound that wears in perfectly and works with or without gloves.

For the saddle, Specialized's Power Pro Mimic saddle in a 143mm width remains my favorite. I'm still on the no chamois program, so having a comfortable spot to sit for hours at a time is crucial. The short profile keeps it out of the way when descending, and there's padding in all the right spots to prevent any undercarriage issues.

The seat is mounted to Pro's Tharsis 200mm dropper post. This one flies under the radar; it's a much less common sight than something from the likes of OneUp, Fox, or RockShox. It's survived the last 6 months of sloppy rides without slowing down or developing any play, and I'm a fan of the silver stanchion color, a welcome alternative to the sea of black and Kashima-colored options out there.

At the front of the bike, I'm running a Chromag RIZA stem in a 38mm length, mainly because it used to be called the RZA, and I'm a fan of Wu-Tang. A Santa Cruz carbon handlebar with 35mm rise trimmed down to 780mm ties it all together – the rise and sweep of that bar feels just right to me, and the subtle indicator lines make it easy to make sure everything is centered and lined up properly.

photo
Fox's dropper post lever does exactly what it's supposed to without taking up much room.
photo
My clipless vs flat pedal split is around 80% / 20% these days, and more often than not when I clip in it's into Shimano pedals.


photo
The configuration of my Fuel EX is in constant flux as test parts come and go.

How's It Ride?

Exactly the way I'd hoped. Whether I'm working my way down some steep, scary line, or out on an all-day pedal fest the Fuel EX continues to impress. Plus, with so much adaptability there are plenty of things to tinker with if (ok, when) I decide I want to try out something else.






Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,764 articles

225 Comments
  • 339 9
 Sweet looking GT! I like the custom Trek decals Much better then the new GT logo
  • 2 3
 lmao
  • 111 4
 "For the wireless shifter, I have the upper button set to shift to an easier gear, and the lower button set to shift to a harder gear, the opposite of the stock configuration."

As the gods intended.
  • 10 1
 That’s right
  • 107 13
 THE GODS INTENDED US TO RIDE RIDGID SINGLE SPEEDS
  • 81 6
 @hamncheez: THE GODS INTENDED US TO WALK. THAT IS WHY THEY GAVE US LEGS NOT WHEELS.
  • 56 2
 @kokofosho: YOUR HEATHEN GODS ARE DIFFERENT THAN MY HOLY DEITIES
  • 74 4
 @hamncheez: the venn diagram of people who are into rigid single speeds, crossfit, being vegan, and crypto... and have to tell you about it every chance they get... is a perfect circle.
  • 43 1
 @hamncheez: WHY EVERYONE IS YELLING!!!
  • 7 0
 @FRsports221 I think you're praying to the wrong gods.
  • 28 0
 I AM YELLING AND I DON'T KNOW WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 4 0
 It is much better this way. It feels more natural and there's less thumb movement away from the grip to shift into a harder gear when you're riding downhill.
  • 2 0
 @Sweatypants: don't forget the outliers: Dirt jumpers! Lol
  • 6 0
 @salespunk: 60% of the time.....it's works every time!
  • 28 2
 @seraph:

Little Johnny was writing a letter to his Grandmother in class.

The teacher came up and said to him "Why is your writing so big and in upper case?"

Little Johnny replied..."Because she's deaf"
  • 9 0
 @salespunk: I ATE A BIG RED CANDLE
  • 17 0
 I LOVE LAMP!
  • 3 0
 @franchise286: champ, I ate your chocolate squirrel
  • 8 0
 @Sweatypants:
There is also a circle for the Ron Swanson type of rigid single speed riders who would be angry to be associated with crossfit and vegan, but it doesn't overlap because they have their own damn venn diagram
  • 6 0
 @showmethemountains: fishing... for sport only. fish is practically a vegetable.
  • 9 0
 @Sweatypants: IME the crossfitters are pretty much the opposite of vegan. Eating paleo/keto bragging about breaking their intermittent fast w/ a slab of beef washed down with a protein shake is more of a crossfit vibe.
  • 2 0
 Like shimano tried to do in the early 2000’s with rapid rise. I’m loving this victory lap for shimano. Coaxial derailleurs, rapid rise, oval chain rings. The dream.
  • 9 0
 GODS ARE A CONSTRUCT OF HUMAN SOCIETY…just like chocolate squirrels, but less useful
  • 4 6
 @Monkeyass: Yes and no. They were extremely useful to control this society, now there are better ways of doing this, but nothing really changed, most people are still sheep controlled by a pack of volwes.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez:HELL NO. BLASPHEMY
SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME
  • 1 0
 @enis: ..

Dear grandmother,
I'm writing this letter slowly because I know you can't read fast ....
  • 104 27
 @mikekazimer Loam (/lōm/): a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
  • 41 2
 Never stop fighting the good fight.
  • 326 18
 @TEAM-ROBOT, Pedant (ˈpe-dᵊnt): one who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge. Wink
  • 47 0
 I have nipples Greg...can you milk me?
  • 48 3
 Virgin (ˈvər-jən'): a person who has not had sexual intercourse
  • 9 0
 @plustiresaintdead: Team Robot is pretty down with Jesus so it's probably true
  • 21 0
 @plustiresaintdead: then what is “extra virgin”?
  • 12 0
 @mikekazimer: roast (ˈrōst ): to subject to severe criticism or ridicule
  • 1 4
 @AlejoBeletadpQ: An olive oil
  • 8 0
 @AlejoBeletadpQ: one who attempts to protect theirs at all times by riding unicycles
  • 4 0
 Jeffsey (/Heff-say): how the author from yesterday spelled Jeffsy.
  • 9 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loam

Loam is a broad term that encompasses several soil types with different sand, silt, and clay contents. The main defining feature is that it's a combination of these 3 different types of soils.

So while a trail like Dirt Merchant may be built with loam with maybe a higher clay content than normal loam "clay loam", there are also deep brown coloured loams with heavy organic content that are not duff.

This is loam: tinyurl.com/2p85thp3

And further (from wiki): " In fact, the primary definition of loam in most dictionaries is soils containing humus ***(organic content)*** with no mention of particle size or texture"
  • 2 0
 It’s actually not equal it’s about 50% silt.
  • 46 2
 Ask my EX what FUELed my divorce…

Ill be home after the shred, I promise! Can you watch the kids please?
  • 9 2
 Very good laugh. Literally as I was reading this comment my wife was updating me about the Crowder divorce soap opera. Also hilarious.
  • 40 0
 Scotty doesn’t know, that his EX was having a session of her own
  • 28 0
 @initforthedonuts: yes yes the pool guy. Nicolai and his Giant Pole… Since then, I’ve decided to get out and Liv more. Ill be with my new trail queen, Juliana. Find us on Onlyfans!
  • 16 0
 @scottyrides5: glad to hear you were able to Pivot around so quickly and Transition away from that Evil woman.
  • 6 1
 This thread is Evil and it should be Forbidden to joke around like this. Seriously you are all crossing the Red Line.
  • 32 3
 Cable routing on the new SRAM brakes does not look good. Kind of hilarious that this new routing and headset cable routing are supposed to make bikes look cleaner and is actually doing the exact opposite.
  • 9 13
flag onawalk (Apr 28, 2023 at 11:03) (Below Threshold)
 Other than the rear brake being a little long, without those clips on the stem, I think it would look great.
I'm on the fence about headset routing, outside of being a tech where you would deal with it regularly, I dont think its really as big a deal as we make it out to be

I ride with my dog, and hes on leash on the way up, this cable routing would keep the leash/brake hose conflict to a minimum.

To each their own I guess
  • 11 0
 all these brands tryna address a "problem" that never really existed or was a big deal imo.
  • 7 0
 I agree - the clips look very fussy and much less "clean" than traditional cables.
  • 2 4
 @onawalk: Without the clips the hoses still smash into the bar and look bizarre. If there were some internally routed one piece bar-stem combos out there to run these with they would be a big win. On normal bars they just look like a mistake.
  • 2 4
 @WheelNut: I’m still ok with it,
We are all just resistant to change, and have become so used to cables being run a certain way, that this triggers our sensibilities.
We are a strange lot, the nerds of the mtb world
  • 4 0
 That SRAM brake cable will make a lot more sense when the (inevitable) handlebars with brake cable routing arrive. The cables will go inside the bar about 2” inboard of the brake master cylinder and go down thru the stem and into the headset. It’ll be hell.
  • 3 0
 If just for this reason alone I wouldn't buy new SRAM brakes. Mike has to put frame protection on his handlebars to keep brake cables from rubbing/rattling. Way to go SRAM.
  • 2 0
 I despise all internal cable routing, especiallly now w an ebike…shops telling me they have to drop motor to change lines/fix the brake
  • 1 0
 Would be nice to see a knuckle joint to allow placing the brake body at user preferred position/angle.
  • 22 2
 I'm perplexed. The internet cognoscenti had me convinced that one needs 170mm+ to ride blue squares in the PNW and that SRAM brakes aren't worthy of a kid's tricycle. Mike why are you messing around on this turd?
  • 5 1
 My buddy put Saints on the rear of his kids strider bike and would take him on DH runs. Safety third!
  • 2 0
 I had a V1 Sentinel, I think it was just about the perfect bike. Little heavy, but it just made me a bit stronger.
I’m convinced the current Transition Sentinel, Rocky Instinct, Norco Sight and the like, are just about the perfect bike for nearly all of us.

Full disclosure, I swapped the Sentinel for a new Spire, and it’s pretty friggin amazing too…..
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Own a Sight, rode the other two. They are such nice bikes. My main ride is a Niner WFO, which is so much fun, but if I didn't have it, I'd probably grab a Sentinel.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: I’ll second that. Most capable bike ever owned
  • 15 6
 I'm leaning hard towards a Fuel EX for my new daily ride once I finish recovering from my hip replacement. I've been a life long hardtail guy, but I'm supposed to try to reduce the impacts my hip suffers once I'm cleared to get back on the trails, so I've been looking at a ton of FS bikes trying to figure out what I want. I've got a Chromag Rootdown currently, and have considered a new Chromag susser, or the REEB Steezl, but I think for the money and weight the Fuel is a better choice. Plus I work at a Trek shop so I can get EP on it which saves me... a lot.
  • 48 3
 Good talk.
  • 2 0
 long ass travel with coil.
  • 8 3
 Jeeps suck
  • 4 0
 @pargolf8: His vehicle is as reliable as his hip. Wink
  • 4 2
 @pargolf8: I mostly drive a Nissan leaf these days. My jeep is 43 years old. Only a few years younger than me.

You all would be afraid to drive my CJ. No traction control or stability control. It happened so far before your time that you’d be afraid to take it over 60. Fear rules you all.
  • 2 1
 @rrolly: so does your mom.
  • 10 0
 Real question, how many creaks are you getting? I'm skeptical of the bikes today with adjustable headsets not creaking quite a bit.
  • 3 9
flag bigmeatpete420 (Apr 28, 2023 at 16:38) (Below Threshold)
 But have you tired it? Weird to assume something you havnt tired
  • 7 0
 @freeridejerk888: trying one won’t do it. Months of abuse will… that’s and expensive “try”. It’s like everyone with a yeti I know has a strange creak. I haven’t tried one of those but got plenty of experience.
  • 2 6
flag onawalk (Apr 28, 2023 at 19:45) (Below Threshold)
 @freeridejerk888: That’s weird to you?
You think it’s weird to look at a mechanical contrivance (through the lens of experience, and past history) and not make assumptions about them?

You assumption might be wrong, but there’s nothing at all wrong with being cautious of such things.
As noted “trying it” certainly isn’t an easy task, when it takes several months of use, and potentially wasted money to discover that yes, more metal on metal contact, can in fact lead to unintended creaking, especially when dealing with products from multiple different sources.
  • 2 1
 @onawalk: I’ve had the same headset on a bike with reach adjust for 2 years with prolly 120 plus downhill days that doesn’t creek. I’m going off my experiences and it’s fine. My friend has one as well with no issues. Maybe you didn’t install it right?
  • 2 1
 @jasbushey: so you still havnt said if you’ve tired one lol
  • 1 0
 I've tired on that didn't creek.
  • 2 0
 Well, I have been riding a gen6 Alu Fuel Ex for a couple months...(quite aggressive riding)
Riding super well in mullet mode with 160 zeb RC, high mino link and steepest HTA cup (64.6 deg)
-blew up the float unfortunately (it was working quite well in linear mode)
-will be going to super deluxe coil m/m (old gen) and tinker with progression chip
-i have a 213mm 34.9 bikeyoke dropper, which I really like cuz it won't bend
-hayes dominions with 223f and 203r rotors are great
-the bike is creaking, that's for sure, I have greased the pivots but I think the creaking will get better once I change the bearings. I'm quite sure the dry pressfit linkage bearings are the culprits..
-headset cups aren't creaking, probably because i built it properly myself with grease... unlike the dry linkage bearings from factory
-the chainstay padding is quite hard which doesn't quite help with muting chain-slap..a shame because it 's well design, just the material used is too hard.
-i have room for a 750ml bottle, the downtube storage on the alu model is great!

love the bike, really does everything! However...with DH casings and plenty of tools and stuff it will be over 40lbs with the coil shock. But with this setup it can really do it all!
  • 10 0
 Nice Whip Mike!!!
  • 9 0
 CC inline coil is so sweet
  • 2 1
 Seems like if you are going to go coil a Kitsuma is a better option.
  • 2 0
 @Snowytrail: Until you see the service cost for it..
  • 2 0
 @Canadmos: Yeah, mandatory send-away service sucks arse.
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: Agreed, but I doubt that frame has enough clearance for a Kitsuma reservoir.
  • 6 1
 @bishopsmike: Pretty much all shocks are "mandatory send away" for damper service ever 100 hrs - no LBS does that in-house.
Fox X2's will usually blow a seal before 30 hours. Coil shocks stay fresher longer because they have minimal seal drag.
  • 2 2
 @fentoncrackshell: I just went through purchasing a new shock and Cane Creeks are significantly more costly to service than most others. Let's ignore the elephant in the room of the X2. And from what I saw, the Cane Creeks had a shorter run time between full services (whether you actually need to follow that or not is another thing).

I picked up a Bomber CR shock for not much more than the cost of one service of a Kitsuma air. The two shocks are obviously not even comparable, but I'm happy, the CR is working well on the frame I have.
  • 1 1
 @fentoncrackshell: literally only can creek was send away for years. Everyone else can be done at home
  • 2 0
 @Canadmos: That's weird, my usual service centre does CC shocks for the same price as RS or Fox.
  • 2 0
 @freeridejerk888: Not sure what you mean. Looks like all of the Cane Creek shocks and forks have public information for service

canecreek.com/suspension-service
  • 4 1
 @freeridejerk888: Do you have an oil vacuum and a nitrogen tank at home or at your LBS? Doubtful, and the cost of a rebuild is the same between CC, RS, and Fox.
  • 2 0
 @ncrider5: was not is. When the double
Barrel came out you needed to send it away. They wouldn’t release the steps
  • 2 0
 @fentoncrackshell: you do not need an oil vac for either or nitrogen. In the rebuild manuals for fox you can use air.
  • 2 0
 @freeridejerk888: Maybe, but most people don't want to spend a whole day manually bleeding a damper, only to have cavitation as soon as they try and ride the shock. It's literally the only maintenance job I won't DIY. I'd rather pay $200 for a suspension specialist to do the job right with a service warranty. I own a DB inline and a Kitsuma Coil and they've both been awesome.
  • 1 2
 It takes about 30 mins to rebuild a fox dhx. I’m more than happy to send you a link to a rebuild step by step if your spending 10 plus hours on yours
  • 2 0
 @fentoncrackshell: Air is mostly Nitrogen. It’s absolutely fine you won’t notice the difference other than that you’re just changing the seals and changing the oil and putting everything back as it should be. There will be someone on YouTube who’ll teach you to service your shock. They’re not the most complicated things in the world.
  • 2 1
 @freeridejerk888: I'd be fairly impressed if you completed this rebuild in 30 mins:
canecreek.com/dbcoil-il-standard-mount-service-instructions
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: where did I say I could do a cane creek in 30 mins?
  • 1 0
 @fentoncrackshell: aeration and cavitation are not the same thing. Aeration is the result of an imperfect bleed or a damaged / leaking seal. Cavitation, if it ever occurs, is generally due to the loss of gas charge from the IFP.
  • 8 0
 Are you getting cable rub with the new codes? Looks like there's some tape on the bars
  • 4 0
 I noticed a little scuffing after an extra muddy ride, so I added the tape just in case.
  • 5 0
 I always get left-side load bottle cages. I had a pretty bad OTB trying to put bottle back in cage with my right hand, got squirrelly and grabbed too much brake with my left hand.
  • 1 0
 Exactly. I'm right handed, and the only safe way to get your bottle is with your left hand. (Unless you run your brakes moto). This should be obvious...
  • 2 0
 Lefty running motor here... And I mildly complain that Fidlock doesn't make a 'left' rotation bottle and mount, but really I just use my left hand and twist right, remove to the left because there's no cage in my way.
  • 7 0
 Is the Spur still your fav?
  • 5 0
 And about the Stumjumper Evo?
  • 2 0
 I found the ccIL coil to have a lot of stiction and was also rattly, pedal assist was also too soft. Overall the shock had poor small bump sensitivity as a result of the friction and the subtle rattling was always present riding over flat chattery sections. Damping performance for downhill stuff was great though, better than my ohlins I replaced it with, the Ohlins just has better small bump and pedal assist.
  • 1 0
 Is this the updated version that was just released about a month ago?
  • 1 0
 @Zimbaboi: no the older one
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer could you mention the sport underwear you are using? I am completely tired of sweating stuff down there... It's nonesense as long you have no seams and you you are dried and a comfortable seat...So thinking saving for one of those 3D honeycomb supervented seats...
  • 6 0
 That seat is KILLER!
  • 2 0
 A saddle is a supportive structure for a rider... and can be killer also!
  • 3 0
 Yep..I have the same saddle on my Marin..but looks like something or someone took a bite out of his..lol
  • 1 0
 @fstws36: Isn't that a women's saddle? Could have something to do with the biting?
  • 1 0
 @funboi-parisi: Its actually unisex..I just checked my ride and mine is the none mimic version.
  • 1 0
 @fstws36: it looks like that because it's the one with Elaston foam, supposedly better for long rides
  • 2 0
 "the progression of the rear shock can be changed from 16% to 21% via a flip ship"

It's a good ship to be sailing on, the adaptability ship.

PS. 38mm isn't the 40mm you claim to always run!

PPS. Nice bike.
  • 3 0
 Us coast guard cutter has entered the chat "someone order a flip ship?"
  • 4 2
 "the rear shock can be changed from 16% to 21%"

Neither of which is sufficient to run a coil. I've got an EXe. No idea how anyone is running a standard coil on EX's. I tried, but not near enough support. Had to crank down HSC so much it road poorly. But rides well with a progressive coil.
  • 1 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Progressive coil springs can be great! I tried one on my old Stumpjumper Evo and it felt better with it than it did with the Cascade link
  • 1 1
 @dancingwithmyself: I'm running a coil on my Ex right now, in progressive mode, and it works great. I'm trying not to make assumptions, but I don't think you had the correct spring rate.

I'm also curious, why were you using HSC for support? LSC will give you (your body weight/sprung weight) the support, HSC will help control bottom out when you're using travel and hitting square edge rocks or big roots.

Sorry, but not sorry, I don't think you had anything set up correctly. A few of us run coils and this bike rocks with them.
  • 2 0
 @ZSchnei: Am on a MRP Hazzard. I tried two different springs, one above the "calculator" that, for all the issues with SAG, put me in the 23 - 25% range. It was OK, but I had to open the HSC all the way up and LSC almost all the way up to make it OK. The softer spring was slightly less OK. Had to give it 3-4 turns of preload and crank HSC almost all the way up and give it a lot of LSC.

Relying on compression to compensate for lack of progression.does not yield a good result, especially when the front of the bike is properly sprung with a substantial amount less or more compression damping.

At the very best, you're going to get an unbalanced ride. When I was running it oversprung, I pulled volume tokens and added compression damping to try to make it more balanced, but then both ends were only so-so.

At worst, it's going to feel dead. HSC effective takes energy and doesn't return it.

Progressive spring is miles better.

Bike homerism, I'm-riding-it-so-it-has-to-be-good biases aside, I've never heard anyone claim 21% progression is well suited to a linear coil spring on a bike that is going to be ridden hard.
  • 2 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Agreed. Common consensus is that 20% is almost the bare minimum to run a linear coil well, and ideally around 30%+ to run a linear coil very well.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer I'm sure you played with the progression chip MORE/LESS. From the picture you're using less progression with the coil, is this because of the progressive spring?
  • 6 1
 Exactly - I've been trying out both settings. I actually prefer the 'more' position, even with the progressive spring. There's more support and it doesn't go through its travel as quickly, which is helpful when there's only 140mm of travel on tap.
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer what size tubo? 29? Will it work in the 27.5?
  • 4 0
 It's one that's supposed to be between 27.5 and 29", so it'll work with either rim size. I don't see it on their website, but they made at least a few of them.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: have you actually used the tubo? i tried once and it was an epic fail. maybe they sorted their issues?
  • 1 0
 @axelsand5, I've used one in the past and it worked fine. They're really just in case of emergency, to get me out of the woods rather than something I'd use on multiple rides.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: My experience with Tubolitos on 2 different bikes with 2 different wheel sizes was having to borrow a butyl tube from a friend on both occasions. Problems: OneUp pumps don’t work with them, one had a hole near the valve stem, if they aren’t pre-formed at home with a floor pump, you have to fight hard to get them to stretch with a trailside pump.
  • 4 0
 Would be interested in hearing you compare/contrast this with the Stumpy Evo.
  • 2 1
 if the stumpy had a little more progression and was made slightly bigger in each size(i mean 5-8mm reach etc) the stumpy would be a better buy as the stack is higher.Stack lets the fuel ex down which is sad.
  • 4 0
 @HeatedRotor: the low stack on these bikes is ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 @Tinshield: I wouldve bought a Fuel ex g6 if the stack was higher... its right up my ally for design etc... everything is spot on... except its missing 15mm stack, thats alot when its missing from headtube length.
I've demo'd one and its super flexy by time you run the bar so high, dissapointing.
  • 2 0
 @HeatedRotor: this made worse by companies cutting steerer tubes too low on complete bikes.
  • 1 0
 Hi @mikekazimer

Ever considered to run a smashpot in your Rockshox Lyrik Ultimate ?

Would be interested to see thoughts on it ? Could balance out well with the rear coil Smile

Nice ride, similar to mine but without a TQ Smile

Black is bada**
  • 1 0
 I was wondering the same...
  • 1 0
 Good to see you getting some activity out of the rear end of the Fuel EX Gen 6. It was damn-near dead for me with a Float X Factory no matter what PSI I ran... way under... just right... didn't matter. It was dead. I could also feel significant feedback through the frame from the tires on concrete. I instantly sent it back within the 30-day time frame and moved on to the Top Fuel thinking the 6-pound weight and a 55mm stroke shock setup would create a mini-hover setup.... But, no... Instantly sold that bike here on PB as a new bike with warranty. All that said, this is what I image Trek should have intended it's ride quality to be for the masses. Or at least, conceptually, this build, in my mind, represents the frame's utmost potential.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I'm looking to try out those kryptotals on my ex gen 6.

For somebody riding mostly local xc trails in Eastern North Carolina with the occasional trip to western NC (pisgah riding + some lift bike parks) what casing would you recommend?
  • 2 0
 Contis are oh so hot right now. Everyone is using them and the prices and availability are shit. Good thing I bought a set before the hype last year
  • 2 0
 I'm running the Xynotals and love em
  • 2 2
 It took em over a decade to figure out mtb tires but glad there more viable competition.
  • 1 0
 @greenblur:

Conti Baja Pro was THE SoCal tire...in 1991.
  • 2 0
 @thomasjkenney1024: lol, I was 8 so it doesn't exist to me....
  • 2 0
 Yeah I bought a set last year for $50 each. They are now more than maxxis. Amazing what a few World Cup podiums will do for ya
  • 2 0
 For a good reason though. The Kryptotal FR / RE is literally the best combo of aggressive tires available right now. In the later races of the season last year, quite a few Maxxis-sponsored DH racers ran Conti Kryptotals with the logos blacked out.
  • 6 0
 @Muscovir: really? Who ran them for example?
  • 1 0
 I got a pair of sticky Kryptos a few months back BECAUSE they were available and was very pleasantly surprised.They were the marquee sponsor at the Sea Otter last week and were on a shite tonne of bikes there.They seem to be the 'IT' tyre ATM.
  • 3 0
 @mkul7r4: My doctor prescribed me Xynotal as well.
  • 2 3
 @Muscovir: That’s bullshit. Every year there’s a tyre that’s supposed to be better than Maxxis. This year it’s continental but we can rule that one out right away as continental have consistently produced trash tyres for about 20 years now though they’re probably a lot better than they used to be they’re not going to be better than maxxis over night. Before that it was the Michelins, Before that magic Mary and so on. All these tyres have been and gone and everyone’s gone back running maxxis just like you’re still going to be running maxxis once you’ve worn out your Continentals.
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Until Maxxis can consistently make a tire that is round again; I no longer have any patience for them.
  • 1 3
 @suspended-flesh: that’s you driving your tyre on with a tyre lever and stretching the rubber in the spot where you forced it on. The rest of the tyre will eventually stretch with use. All rubber tyres will do this if you force one corner onto the rim with a lever not just Maxxis. If you get the bead of the tyre in the well in the centre of the rim you can get your tyre on easily with just your hands. No stretching, just make sure the last you pull into the rim is by the valve.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Been putting tahrs on wheels for decades and I've seen too many Maxxis with out-of-round casings lately. They'll fix it - it's not the first time - but I'm not paying a premium price to take a chance. When I get new tires for my truck at least they give me another one if they can't get it to balance.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Nah, honestly I prefer Contis over Maxxis all day. Even before the new tires came out, they had good tires. The Kaisers were really good on dry hard pack. The Baron was a great allrounder which excelled in winter. Now they have better tires for broader use cases. They wear slower than Maxxis for the same grip and they offer great grip in winter when Maxxis turns into hard-plastic, which is why I hate Maxxis tires.
  • 2 3
 @bashhard: see I can’t take anything you say seriously when you claim that kaisers and Baron’s were good tyres. The new Continental tyres are just Maxxis clones only with worse compounds and that trade mark continental wooden casing and now cost more. So guess we’re all sticking with Maxxis as usual.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Pick a tyre and be a dick about it? Who really cares? We are looking for 100ths of a second on the blue trails, are we?
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I know, the Baron's carcass was a little wooden. But the performance all year round, especially in winter and on wet roots was impressive and together with the very durable compound was a good deal for me.
Have you actually ridden the new contis? I don't think their compounds are worse than e.g. Maxxis.
Maxxis, Schwalbe, Conti, Vee and Specialized all make tires good enough so the pros do not use sharpied tires from different brands. So I kinda guess they are pretty good haha
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer - seems like you always rock that saddle...given the snub nose always pushed so far forward though, do you ever feel limited on it in the steeps (sliding forward that is?
  • 1 0
 5’11” and a 200mm dropper? Should be good I would think
  • 1 0
 How do you Get along with the low stack/headtube flex????
I demo'd one of these and the bike rides quite nice but the low stack ment stem all way up and then the front end flexed alot.
  • 1 0
 I see PRO gave up on the rotating saddle clamping mechanism that would point the saddle nose to the sky after a hard hit. It would also sound like a gunshot when this happened.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I have the new Lyrik ultimatd 160 as well, but I have problems with the small bump sensitivity. Even in low pressure the fork is feeling harsh.
Any idea´s or tips? Converting to coil? Thx!
  • 1 0
 @IMM, you should be able to get it to feel smooth without converting to coil. It could be worth dropping the lowers and refreshing the oil, just in case there wasn't enough from the factory.

How much low speed compression are you running? Opening that up a couple clicks could help too.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer How are you finding the large for fit? Do you think you'd have gone for a M/L if you weren't running a 27.5" rear? I'm in the 5'10-5'11 range and the 491mm reach in the high position sounds awfully long.
  • 1 0
 The new Trek is so heavy weighted, there you can mount some DH tires, that doesn't attract attention. It is an interesting bike, but a too lofty price and too heavy weighted in my eyes.
  • 2 0
 Actually a geat looking bike. I liked the school bus yellow version.... but this looks great.
  • 3 0
 Interested to hear a solid review on the CC shock.
  • 1 0
 How does this one compare to the Stumpjumper EVO? I think being able to flip the chip for coil vs air is a feature the SJ EVO could use.
  • 2 0
 I bomb atomically. Socrates philosophies and hypothesis can't define... Glad to hear Wu is still forever
  • 1 0
 Taking a hit on that bash guard design, what is that going to do to the bb bearings? Sounds like a good subject for a Hambini analysis.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer - Highly recommend giving the EXT Storia V3 a shot. Amazing how lively it is. Pops better than other coil shocks and the hydraulic bottom out is stellar.
  • 2 0
 So no chamios program... what do you wear?
  • 8 0
 Synthetic boxer briefs - Saxx or Knobby are my two favorite brands at the moment.
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer: +1 on the saxx.
  • 2 0
 On the same program. Big fan of uniqlo airism.
  • 2 0
 Taint calluses FTW!
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: Finally picked up a pair last year. I rarely wear them. It feels like someone's giving me a partial wedgie. I picked up 7Mesh's light chamois, which is kind of like a half chamois. It's really good. Comfortable without the bulk.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: BTW, Steve Ignorant of CRASS sells socks at a very good price made in a small family mill in the English Midlands.
  • 3 0
 @VtVolk: Iron Clad Taint. Naturally born with a high arch taint!
  • 1 0
 Nice bike! The option to switch between full 29 and mullet is something I love about my current setup.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer what tire pressure are you at in the DH Contis? I’m down to 19psi and feel like I could still air down a bit.
  • 5 1
 I'm running 20 in the front and 22 in the rear, and I could get away with going lower - the casing definitely has enough support.
  • 2 0
 Wu Tang: Of Mikes and Men ... Kaz aint nuthin to F... with!
  • 1 0
 Gotta love running a part solely because of a wu tang reference. I’m wearing Wu Tang socks right now!
  • 2 0
 A reviewer's personal bike without eeWings?
  • 2 0
 Is your saddle supposed to look like that? What happened.
  • 1 0
 Must be nice riding and experiencing all this new fangled tech.......might be a tid but jealous
  • 1 0
 Bit*





Can't figure out editing spelling mistakes
  • 3 1
 Who cares! All we wanna see at this point is Levy's gravel bike!
  • 1 0
 would love to get me one of those, but nearly 4k for just a frame with shock is more than a little exessive imo
  • 2 0
 Didn't even Smashpot the fork. It's only a half coil.
  • 1 0
 I don’t understand the 1k mile claim for the new drivetrain. I’ve gotten 1k miles out of 2 GX drivetrains.
  • 1 0
 I like everything except the T-type transmission. Why have one bike when you could have two..?
  • 1 1
 Interesting seat angle... you always ride with the nose dropped like that Kaz?
  • 5 0
 It's not actually tipped down as far as it looks - you can see the angle when it's fully raised here: www.pinkbike.com/photo/24539273.
  • 5 1
 That saddle has a rise in the tail, so it looks much more tilted down than it feels. I have the same saddle on both of my bikes. If you set it up so that it looks flat it feels awful. I also think that on a mtb you're mainly sitting in the saddle when you're biking uphill, so some downward angle makes sense.
  • 1 0
 @jaredmh: Yep..same saddle on my Marin..very comfortable.
  • 2 0
 tip yours down, give it a proper try, especially if you do a lot of winch and plummet style riding. Made a world of change to me, my climbing ability, etc. Ponied up for the Switchgrade, friggin love it
  • 1 4
 Did you find @mikekazimer thinking about your pedals, I used those for about 15 years, but moved to flats when I moved out west, cause fashion (wanted to for years). Now I find clips feel scary as I seem so disconnected from the bike, at least when my pedals are touching my shoes, which is basically 99% of the time on the full squish and maybe 92% on the hardtail. Did you find there was a learning curve going back? I think to on the hardtail, but between having my foot relegated to one spot and then the feeling of my foot being 1inch above the pedal on a pin, I'm reluctant. Too much thinking, I know..
  • 1 0
 I rode clipless (Times) like 75% of the time, when I raced XC mostly (otherwise free ride and DH on a different bike), from 2000-2010. T Then I was all flats until 2 years ago, when I did a downhill race and picked up some Crankbros Mallet DHs, and was suprised how easily it came back to me. I actually prefer them as I don't ever have pedal slips in jank and can jump better (mind the tendons!)...I still ride flats on my trail bike, which I ride about 70% of the time, including big jump lines that push me at my local trail system, but kept the mallets on the DH rig...don't fear the reaper! =)
  • 2 3
 Nice bike, I've been wondering though... Why don't they just do a 27.5" front and a 29" rear "nullet" and manual over everything?


(I'll just go now... )
  • 1 0
 My Salsa bottle cage opens to the left if you want to keep an eye out
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer can we see how you fit all that in the storage space?
  • 1 0
 BEST COMMENT SECTION IN SOME TIME. quietly. Shhhhhhhhh.
  • 1 0
 Team No Chamois!!!!! No chamois; no chamois; no chamois!
  • 1 0
 What happened to the Spur? Loved that rig...
  • 1 0
 That’s no rig, just a downcountry pos
  • 1 0
 @adminofthegapers: my point exactly. Think jerryrig to complete the thought
  • 1 0
 Are the Bars Carbon?
  • 2 0
 Yes, they are.
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.239969
Mobile Version of Website