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Durability of old 2006 Fuel EX 6 frame (haven't MTN biked since...2009)

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Durability of old 2006 Fuel EX 6 frame (haven't MTN biked since...2009)

Old 12-17-21, 03:20 PM
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EJ123
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Durability of old 2006 Fuel EX 6 frame (haven't MTN biked since...2009)

Ayy, so it's been a while (cough 11 years+ cough) since I last posted here & mountain biked, let alone normal biking outside of city rentals. I may be moving to CO, UT, or OR here next year meaning in order to check out the trails, going to need to overhaul this bad boy, versus buying a new bike despite the fact the prices seem to have freaking mooned over the last 10 years. I remember a nice Trek bike would cost ~$1,700 to $2,220, and now prices seem to be $3,330 - 10k depending what you're looking for.

Is there any concern about the age of this frame? It was "ZR 9000 aluminum", which I think is technically a 7000 series aluminum?

Here's an old pic.



I had parts stolen off (seat, saddle, fork back in '11 as well) so those have to be replaced anyway.

I think just keeping the frame and buying new parts for everything makes more sense and is more economical. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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Old 12-17-21, 10:35 PM
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Yup, prices have gotten ridiculous and way out of line with what they should be but the technology has gotten better.

Biggest issue I would see with the bike, make sure you can get replacement pivot bushings and/or bearings. I remember with those that if allowed to wear out too much the rear frame could wear out where they mounted, deal with creaks in a timely manner.
In my opinion 27.5" and 29" wheeled bikes are superior to 26" but what you have was a good bike in its day and dual suspension in 26" does have its own advantages. Just make sure you get a decent fork and go ride.
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Old 12-18-21, 07:12 AM
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I have a 2005 Santa Cruz Superlite that has been ridden at least an average of three times a week, so 25,000 or so miles without maintenance of the frame except the rear shock was rebuilt twice the first year, then once since. Replace the components that you deem necessary, and bushings/bearings if you detect play in them. (My son's 2006 EX8 hasn't needed any of the frame components changed, but Trek replaced the shock with an upgraded model.
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Old 12-19-21, 01:59 PM
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Mountain bike geo has changed completely in the last 15 years, mostly for the better. The newer bikes give you a lot more confidence in the rough and when pointed downhill.

Spend as little as you can on the Trek to make it rideable while you look for a new bike.
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Old 12-19-21, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
Mountain bike geo has changed completely in the last 15 years, mostly for the better. The newer bikes give you a lot more confidence in the rough and when pointed downhill.

Spend as little as you can on the Trek to make it rideable while you look for a new bike.
This is something that I have definitely noticed. It seems that the rear suspension arms are in a much tighter formation than what I recalled from 2006. I almost went with the Remedy 66, which I absolutely loved the frame back then, but was too pricey.




And now everything is like



And I still cannot believe that above Trek is $7,200,
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Old 12-20-21, 04:35 AM
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Companies are working hard to package bigger diameter wheel and fatter tires into their frames, while still keeping the chainstays short. The bigger change is the front center--the front wheel is now much farther out than the older bikes.

If you're comfortable buying online, something like the Vitus Mythique is a great bike from Chain Reaction Cycles. Around $2k. I bought the base version, but wish I would have bought the longer travel (140mm) just to get the higher bottom bracket.
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Old 12-20-21, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
Companies are working hard to package bigger diameter wheel and fatter tires into their frames, while still keeping the chainstays short. The bigger change is the front center--the front wheel is now much farther out than the older bikes.

If you're comfortable buying online, something like the Vitus Mythique is a great bike from Chain Reaction Cycles. Around $2k. I bought the base version, but wish I would have bought the longer travel (140mm) just to get the higher bottom bracket.
Very nice! I have never heard of this company before. Their Enduro looks sweet too. I think the availability now of the 29's are fantastic, and wouldn't mind going that route as well.

Dumb question, but where are people buying parts these days? I looked up PricePoint, but that seems defunct now. Jenson USA seems to be going strong still.
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Old 12-21-21, 09:14 AM
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Jenson, Universal Cycles, Ebay, Amazon.

The parts shortage armageddon is not the hype people are making it out to be.
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Old 12-28-21, 06:04 AM
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I still have and ride my '08 Stumpjumper FSR, it's aluminum and full suspension like your Trek and I still ride it regularly with no durability (of the frame/fork/suspension components) issues besides regular maintenance. You may want to update the components to lighten/simplify - go 1x drivetrain, larger rotor/new pads, shorter stem/wider bar, dropper post and convert to tubeless. That's what I've done on my bike to keep riding my bike. Easier and cheaper than buying new.
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Old 12-29-21, 09:16 PM
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If the thing was only ridden from 2006 - 2010, then there should be plenty of life left in the frame. And fi the pivots do get worn, I am pretty sure those are all off-the-shelf bearing sizes.

As far as whether you SHOULD get stuff for this and build it up.... what exactly are you missing? A fork is going to run a couple/few hundred for something that does not suck unless you can find a used one that can be serviced (which is the route I would go).
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Old 12-31-21, 11:43 AM
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went thru the same quandary this summer... 're-entry', re-acquiring what skills I had and hopefully getting better as I ride more offroad.
The Alu frames from that generation are bulletproof ! I Expect your Trek frame and suspension is prolly fine, very usable.
Why I decided to 'upgrade' first...
I am now a 'conservative mtb rider' because, I'm old and break easily, ride backcountry where there is no cell signal and ride almost always solo, ride downhill whatever I ride uphill first (or with in the loop). Don't ride in 'Trail Parks"... Our backcountry is huge and laced with many trails.
so no major air time, trails are always rocky and often precipitous - so conservative means I live to ride another day... LOL!
I have a few mtbs the 2 most preferred are an 04 Epic and 04 Stumpy HT...Both have the common long stem and narrow 600mm width race bars of the day... both 3x9 Shimano XT 9 spd
11-32, 160 disc rotors, Hayes Comp Hydraulics Brakes. Both had been on storage hooks, mostly since 2013.
Both bikes have typical High end race geometry of that day, short wheelbase and steep head angle of around 70 deg.
I did a bit of checking and found that my Epic Fox Fork would accept a front 27.5 wheel/2.3+ tire.
SO I figured to try making it 'Mullet' to see what I was missing in the newer stuff... (27.5 front & 26 rr)
so to do the update on the 04 Epic:
bought a 'Quality Wheels' 27.5 front wheel - wtb tubeless rim, shimano hub, 6bolt disc, QR (to fit the fork) and Spec Tire - total $225
added an Exaform 125mm dropper post (measured, and I had enough room to use a 125mm dropper - best to check on the older frames which have longer seat tubes...)
took off the Eggbeater Acid pedals and put on RaceFace Chesters. $50
have on order a new 25mm rise 760mm width bar and both a 60mm and 38mm stem. $80 ish?
now have about 5 good, longer rides in the Los Padres Backcountry on the 27.5 wheel, dropper post and chesters upgrade.
BIG difference.!!!
The 27.5 front is an amazing improvement ! On downhills it's more predictable and rolls well thru ditch and rock/obstacle. On uphill, it feels as planted and easy to direct as the 26.
Rolls much faster than the 26 !
Dropper Post - also HUGE! easy adjust for downhill means I'm more down and in the bike, as opposed to over the top... along with the 27.5 wheel, downhill speed and navigation is way more predictable and FUN! Dropper made a big difference going uphill on steep rises, which were longer than you'd want to take out of the saddle. I could drop the seat just a couple cms and be able to get my chest/upper body more over the bars, without losing traction on the rear.
I think the wider bars and shorter stem will again be additional large improvements....
The only thing I can't really warrent doing is changing the Head Angle - gotta live with that...
I'm now looking at eventual step up to a more modern 29r or a modern 'mullet' (29frt 27.5 rr).
Here's the Epic, with the 27.5, dropper and chesters - waiting for the short stem/wider bar to come...

Ride to Sunbird Quicksilver mine on 04 Epic Mullet (27.5 x 26)
Looks like you have a Fox Fork on the Trek - it 'might' have space for a 27.5 - huge improvement... dropper post can be had from 80mm to 150mm, commonly 100 to 125mm.
short stem and wider bars will make a big improvement both in performance and comfort...
Let us know what you decide to do...
Ride On
Yuri
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