Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trek Top Fuel

Thanks to the Trek guys at Midtown for letting me give their Top Fuel a spin over the weekend.
Here are my thoughts:

  • I did not realize that a FS bike could be so stiff. At first I thought that the suspension was set up for someone twice my weight, but I was using up all the travel in the rear.
  • The bike came equipped with a Fox F-Series with a remote lockout. I always thought of remote lockout as kind of gimmicky, but I really dug how you could just flip it on and off if you wanted to stand and navigate through a sketchy rock garden in a big gear ( will always be a SS'er at heart). Plus on the long climbs it was nice to lockout the fork and stand to climb........the rear suspension kept my (narrow and minimally treaded) tire hooked up at all times.
  • XT all around.........its solid.....I have never used trigger shifters (gripshift for life!) and even a numbskull like me was able to operate them. The XT brakes really stood out, but that should not surprise anyone.
  • Wheels......meh.....I was actually surprised how quickly the Bontrager (Pro?) hubs engaged. Not light, not heavy, just OEM wheels. I am not a huge fan of bontrager wheels though. (Patterson has made me into the wheel snob I am today).
I took the bike to Platte River on Saturday for 5 laps. The first lap felt really awkward. I felt way up in the air, and was not feeling the narrow tire love, slip sliding around. The 2nd and 3rd laps marked improvement. I felt comfortable really leaning the bike into the corners, and learning to "sit down, use the gears, and ride" (4 years on a SS kind of turns you into a stand up and mash kinda rider).
The 4th and 5th laps were what it was all about. By this point I am usually in shambles after having put out tons of extra energy grinding up climbs, banging down descents, and spinning like crazy on the SS. I was tired, but I was not cramping or otherwise impaired and I was still having fun.
Then it was off to Tranqulity to see how the Top Fuel fared on a raging fast course. I turned 2 laps before my tank signaled empty and I headed back to the house for the quintessential southern mans dinner (and PBR).

So when it was all said and done I got in almost 40 miles.
Some thoughts
  • The frame I rode was a large.....I need a med. the TT was just too long and made my low back sore.
  • The Saddle was not meant for my bottom.
  • I really dug how stiff the Fox Fork was, but I actually wish that it was as adjustable as the Reba. A little plushness goes a long way.
  • Not sure I am in love with the Fox Fork, but I really need to learn how to adjust them before I start casting stones.

Al tiptoes through the tulips.......


Single_Speeder said...

Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. That's one thing about having a remote lockout, nice to be able to lock it out with the push of a button but you do lose some adjustability. They make an 18.5" as well as a 17.5" in that frame. Nice for the in-between frame sizers. I think that Miah at the Papillion Trek Store is on an 18.5". Might have a 17.5" available as well.

Riding with dogs said...

are you test driving or just playing? I've had an FS bike on the mind for some time but the camper hauler needs tires & brakes and I can't do w/o either.

Joshua Stamper said...

@SS Thanks for the heads up!

@ Greg I am just test riding bikes to see what I like and dislike.

AaronE. said...

Im lovin the Fuel. I find that its faster than it feels. The fork is good when the rear is in maxed out propedal, but feels funky when propedal is off. though i never turn propedal off unless its a serious downhill. 6'0" on a 19.5.


make sure you set the sag (front and rear) and have the air pressure set proper, start with your weight suggestions. That should have a pro-pedal switch on the rear fox. If you don't get the fork dialed in you wont like it at all...