26" or 29"???

Oh, that's a tough one.  But in the end sponsorship arrangements made the decision for me...the team is sponsored by Trek & Gary Fisher.  Trek doesn't yet make 29ers, and GF 29ers, although super fun really are better for trail riding, not so much racing.  The Sugar 292 is currently the only FS option, and at near 30 lbs stock that's a lot of extra KJ over the course of a 24.

On the flip side, the Trek Fuel has been an awesome bike for me for 3 years now.  It feels harsh compared to the Reba equiped 29ers I've ridden - but I think that is a result of the SID forks.  They are designed for minimum weight, not maximum performance.  As such, that's what you get - the lightest production fork.  It feels like a jack hammer in your hands after awhile though...that's one of the biggest take home lessons of my foray into 29ers.  Been riding SIDs for years - didn't know any better - but now I've seen the light.  It was not lost on me that Eatough was riding a Fuel with a Reba fork rather than the stock SID when he won worlds 24 this year.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

It'll be interesting to see how more travel affects the handling of the bike.  If it's too slow, I may end up shortening the travel a bit, for for now I think it's set at 115mm.  Free-ride front end, baby!

I've come to really prefer the XO gripshift.  Fast, precise shifting.  The Dos was setup with XO and has worked flawlessly ever since.  Still have XTR on the older Fuel - that option will be good for rain events.

The bike you see here will likely be the bike of choice for Trans Rockies.  I've been considering the 29 option, but because of sponsors and a probable scarcity of 29er specific parts in Canada, the Fuel is going to be the machine.  She weighs in at 24 lbs even with the Reba.

Test rides all weekend!

Published Saturday, December 31, 2005 5:32 AM by Dave
Filed Under:


# @ Monday, January 02, 2006 6:56 AM

We'd look cute on matching Fuels at TR huh?

Gotta get my Rig first though ;-)



# @ Monday, January 02, 2006 7:48 AM

We would...but our bikes won't match! Mine's an '05 model. The '06 Fuel is red hot: http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike.php?bikeid=1168600&f=14.

Just as well cause all eyes will be on you anyway :)


# @ Monday, January 02, 2006 9:46 AM

ooo that's cool. What do you reckon the weight is on a stock 15.5"?

Ya know what my eyes will be on most of the time during the race...


# @ Monday, January 02, 2006 10:05 AM

Not the way you're riding lately!

Stock small is probably in the 23.5-24 lb range, although I'm not sure how the disc brakes change the overall weight of the bike. Tire selection is a big variable of course.

The Fuel's climb like a raped ape. First round of Dos vs. Fuel performance data coming later today...


# @ Monday, January 02, 2006 10:36 AM

Any rear shock action when you are climbing seated?

With all that mud at TR the Dos would be hopeless with its teeny clearance. How's the clearance on the Fuel?


# @ Monday, January 02, 2006 11:47 AM

The Fuel is one kick ass machine. The rear shock has near limitless adjustablility and also has a lockout feature. In fact, the lockout operates the front and rear shock simulataneously. You can set the motion control damping on the rear such that it doesn't move on small, pedal induced forces.

Clearance is good on the Fuel too.

The place where the Fuel needs care is in it's durability - since the entire frame is carbon, it is pretty fragile to any knocks on the side. It rides stiff as can be when locked out though...it's just somewhat fragile for the long haul (or crash prone :) racer.


# @ Wednesday, January 18, 2006 1:13 PM

29er por vida!

stupid wisconsin

# @ Wednesday, January 18, 2006 1:13 PM

29er por vida!

stupid wisconsin

# @ Friday, March 03, 2006 6:42 PM

No ***?!? A smaller diameter wheel accelerates faster than a larger diameter?!
Thanx for that computer output.

Just ride, and leave the studies to your job.


*** Hurtzer

# @ Saturday, March 04, 2006 9:50 AM

I liked that you tried to set the bike up with similar setups, but isn't the fact that they are very different suspension designs make a significant difference? This test might point to the fact that the Trek suspension is very efficient for climbing, and it certainly allows the rider to go faster through the bumps than a pivotless short travel design like the Dos29'er bike.


What do you think?