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  1. #1
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    Hey guys I am looking for some timely yet unbiased advice.

    I have narrowed down my choices to Trek. Numerous circumstances beyond my control have put other potential brands out of question. This is not a question about a brand.

    I basically have a decision between a Trek Fuel EX 7 at $1599 and a Trek 8500 at $1899. The Fuel EX as most of you probably know is full suspension whereas the 8500 is a hardtail. Now here is my predicament:

    I road bike and mountain bike equally. One day I may ride on some serious trails, while another I may put in 15, 20 or 30 miles on the roads. However, I am a college student so two high end bikes for both purposes is currently out of the question. I am not looking to train or compete. However when I do go out I push myself fast and far so I want a high quality mountain bike.

    Recently when I have gone out mountain biking my back has hurt tremendously afterwards. So this had led me to believe that I want a dual suspension bike. Sure it won't be a panacea for all my back problems but it sure will help. However, I am afraid if I switch to a dual-suspension when I go out on the roads I won't be able to book as fast as I would on a hardtail. Is there much difference in speed between a Hardtail and a Full Suspension bike on the road? Is the difference so negligible that it doesn't matter?

    Basically all it boils down to is with a dually will I be sacrificing that much speed where it will really matter. Or will the benefits outweigh the loss of speed I will experience? Any advice is highly appreciated.

    Sorry for creating a thread specifically for this but I am putting down $2000 on a bike tomorrow so I guess I just wanted some individualized advice. Thanks again.

  2. #2
    Senior Goat Hearder crashnburn's Avatar
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    Consider a thudbuster and a good saddle if you pick a hardtail (around $125 for the two). It won't weigh as much as a FS and it should help eat up some of the back jars you will get on a seat. If you primarily stand up when riding then forget that and look at maybe a Fuel 80.
    Quit reading and start riding ;-p

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strayfoxx
    Recently when I have gone out mountain biking my back has hurt tremendously afterwards. So this had led me to believe that I want a dual suspension bike. Sure it won't be a panacea for all my back problems but it sure will help. However, I am afraid if I switch to a dual-suspension when I go out on the roads I won't be able to book as fast as I would on a hardtail. Is there much difference in speed between a Hardtail and a Full Suspension bike on the road? Is the difference so negligible that it doesn't matter?
    For me, that is enough to say go for the suspension. I, too, have back issues and when I went to full suspension, it was incredible. Worth every penny and ever loss of efficiency. Though, I didn't ride mine on the road, I would still have gone that route. On the trail, it'll reduce your fatigue so much that long, hard rides will be much more enjoyable for you. If perhaps a little slower. For on road riding, if you work hard to develop a smooth spin, you won't lose much power and when you can afford a road bike (I recommend Ti for back issues!), that smooth spin will really help!

    I don't know how the Treks are as I have a Specialized. Even so, I'd say go for the suspension bike. And, it's a bit less expensive, so you can get some goodies for it, too!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashnburn
    Consider a thudbuster and a good saddle if you pick a hardtail (around $125 for the two). It won't weigh as much as a FS and it should help eat up some of the back jars you will get on a seat. If you primarily stand up when riding then forget that and look at maybe a Fuel 80.
    What is your reasoning for me getting a Fuel 80 over the Fuel EX7? I'm not doubting you, just curious

    For me, that is enough to say go for the suspension. I, too, have back issues and when I went to full suspension, it was incredible. Worth every penny and ever loss of efficiency. Though, I didn't ride mine on the road, I would still have gone that route. On the trail, it'll reduce your fatigue so much that long, hard rides will be much more enjoyable for you. If perhaps a little slower. For on road riding, if you work hard to develop a smooth spin, you won't lose much power and when you can afford a road bike (I recommend Ti for back issues!), that smooth spin will really help!

    I don't know how the Treks are as I have a Specialized. Even so, I'd say go for the suspension bike. And, it's a bit less expensive, so you can get some goodies for it, too!
    Thanks man I really appreciate your advise. Thanks everyone.

  5. #5
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    My vote is for the Fuel EX-7, you can lock out the rear suspension at the shock (there is a knob on it) if you will be doing a lot of stand up hard peddling. I test rode the Feul EX-7 a few weeks ago, nice bike and good looking too! I ended up buying a Giant Trance 3 as it fit my idea of proper geometry better, but this is all personal preference. I know a lot of hardcore hartail guys will disagree, but in my opinion hardtails are people who have not ridden a good FS bike or cannot afford one. At $1,500 you can get a good FS bike or an excelent hardtail. The hardtail will be quicker on a short moderate ride, but I think if comfort is in the quest the FS bike is a no brainer. I won't kid you, comfort is important to me. Yes there is more maintenance on a FS bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Rider
    My vote is for the Fuel EX-7, you can lock out the rear suspension at the shock (there is a knob on it) if you will be doing a lot of stand up hard peddling. I test rode the Feul EX-7 a few weeks ago, nice bike and good looking too! I ended up buying a Giant Trance 3 as it fit my idea of proper geometry better, but this is all personal preference. I know a lot of hardcore hartail guys will disagree, but in my opinion hardtails are people who have not ridden a good FS bike or cannot afford one. At $1,500 you can get a good FS bike or an excelent hardtail. The hardtail will be quicker on a short moderate ride, but I think if comfort is in the quest the FS bike is a no brainer. I won't kid you, comfort is important to me. Yes there is more maintenance on a FS bike.
    You said the bike looked good. What color was it? Don't ge me wrong one bit, I dont care about color at all unless it is a direct affront to my sexuality. And judging from the picture at Trek's website of the orange model of the EX7 it looks like it might seem I'm biking to a Culture Club concert rather than hitting the trails.

  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashnburn
    Consider a thudbuster and a good saddle if you pick a hardtail (around $125 for the two). It won't weigh as much as a FS and it should help eat up some of the back jars you will get on a seat. If you primarily stand up when riding then forget that and look at maybe a Fuel 80.
    The thudbuster should never be confused as a substitute for dual suspension. The original poster being a roadie would probably prefer the efficiency of a dual suspension bike rather than a hardtail equipped with a thudbuster.



    Do we really want to start this debate again? I'd be more than happy to C/P my responses from earlier threads on the matter.

  8. #8
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    I once asked an aged but good XC rider what made him choose a DS over a HT. His answer was old age. I turned out to be older than he and I still ride a HT. I have a finicky back but it seems to be ok with my ride.

    I still can not find any reason to ride a MTB equipped for MTBin' of any type on the road, especially a DS. Road bikes are designed for road use. Only exception IMO is if it is a short trip to the trailhead.

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