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Old 01-09-14, 11:38 PM   #1
HD8100
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Hello New to forum today (narrowed new purchase down to either 2014 Fuel EX 9 or 9.8

Currently ride a 2008 Fuel EX 8 aluminum, looking to join the 29er crowd. Searching for input on the Fuel 9 vs Fuel 9.8. Main difference between the two that I see is the 9.8 has a carbon frame but at the cost of about a $1k more. Have read various articles on carbon vs aluminum and currently own a carbon road bike. Not being as familiar with the MTB as much as road looking for comparison or opinions on the 9 vs the 9.8. Thanks
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Old 01-10-14, 12:25 AM   #2
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links to the exact models would have been nice

2 things I saw different on the trek pages, I dont know what exactly they are or if they both have them but only listed on one. the fuel ex 9 29 says it has a kashima coating on the fork and an aramid bead on the tires but like I said maybe its only listed on one but both have them.

the 9.8 does have a carbon front triangle but the rear is half alum. You may be saving a very little amount of weight but its negligible.

what it comes down to is do you ride where there are large rocks that you may bounce your frame off of or is it more trees and bushes. carbon does not dent like alum it cracks with a good enough impact. an extra $1000 for the carbon front triangle is overkill in my book. with fat tires on dirt the stiffness of carbon is lost and the jarring effect of the alum is softened, + the rear shock absorbs most of the frames ride properties anyways. road riding is completely different, on asphalt ill take the carbon everytime.

just one mans opinion.
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Old 01-10-14, 08:57 AM   #3
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Welcome to BF! Just my personal opinion, but... I may be "old school”, but I see durable frames as being mandatory in a MTB. Many may howl in disagreement with me, but I think a carbon fiber MTB is a contradiction in terms. If I was buying a bike I knew I was going to be laying a beating on, the bike I’d buy wouldn’t be carbon fiber.
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Old 01-10-14, 10:00 AM   #4
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Welcome to Bike Forums! Have you checked out the mountain bike area here? You might try to post a thread there as well.
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Old 01-10-14, 11:24 AM   #5
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Welcome to Bike Forums!

Carbon is not the delicate flower that sometimes people make it out to be. There are downhill mountain bikes made of carbon, and I can almost guarantee that the pros thrash those bikes harder than you'll thrash yours. See this guy? http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/featu...1273/sspomer,2 That's Jared Graves with a carbon 303. If he can go all HAM and race downhill on that thing and not have it explode, I think that means that you can build carbon to withstand some impact. It will not just suddenly explode on you because a rock bounced up and hit it. Whether or not it's worth the price premium is up to you. But come visit us in Mountain and get some more opinions, especially from people familiar with Trek's line.
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Old 01-10-14, 08:03 PM   #6
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...Carbon is not the delicate flower that sometimes people make it out to be. There are downhill mountain bikes made of carbon, and I can almost guarantee that the pros thrash those bikes harder than you'll thrash yours...
agreed carbon is plenty durable however a pro is sponsored by corporations that have loads of cash. he does not have to reach into his own pocket for bicycles. if he trashes a bike, who cares? There are probably 3 more in the van at the bottom of the hill.

obviously the $1000 difference is important to the op or else he wouldnt have started the thread at all.

as I said in my previous post, once you put suspension in a frame, the ride characteristics of the frame material are null and void. the shocks are designed to flex instead of the tubes.

the rock impacts I was referring to was crashing into them or falling over onto them. large rocks the size of cars, not pebbles being kicked up.
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Old 01-10-14, 10:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input, I will check out the mountain bike area as recommended above, but I think it will be the version 9 for me. Thanks again
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