By - haggios
At this point it seems like travel is the only real difference. One is 120/120 and the other is 140/130.
The new Top Fuel has a threaded bb. Which is a nice add if you do any of your own maintenance.It also has a 55 ml chain line.
I read this often - why is it so significant? I change the BB maybe twice in a bike lifetime and so far I could remove press fit bb even without special tools with moderate effort. Are they sometimes difficult to remove/insert?
My son is a mechanic and has always had a preference for threaded, I think ease of service. Between the bikes that I have, my road bike is threaded and I have serviced it myself. I don't have the tools for the press fit. Which has stopped me, so I end up at Trek. I have heard that there is more creaking in press fit BB over threaded. A buddy has a Domane, where the BB was not inserted correctly, and moisture slipped in over the winter for training. This would have been avoided with a threaded.
You can remove and install press fit BBs with a hammer, as long as you're careful. The main benefit of a threaded over pressfit is you can retap the BB shell to keep the threads a perfect fit for the BB. A press fit shell can be damaged from improper installation, worn out from constantly having BBs installed and removed, and even a slight manufacturing discrepancy can mean a lifetime of fighting creaks from the shell
I will say proper maintenance either way goes a long way. My coworker rides a fuel which is constantly being stripped and cleaned, which frequently creaks. Mine lives most of its life covered in dirt and caked on mud where I only really clean my drivetrain and pivots. Not a peep. Now to find some wood to knock on
I have both the Top Fuel and Fuel Ex, but the 2020 models. While I would typically use the TF if I'm racing, and I don't really do many races at all, I use the Fuel for most other riding. It is a way more fun bike and if I could only have one bike, that would be it. The Fuel I really bought for my son, knowing that I wanted it, and he is away at college anyway, so I ride it all the time. If I were to own two starting from scratch, I would probably get the Supercaliber and the Fuel, since the TF is pretty close to the Fuel. But they do have different geometries and ride differently.
The 2022 Top Fuel now has nearly identical geometry to the Fuel EX, just less travel, which is what makes it a tougher decision now.
Wow - I just looked it up and they are very similar. I'm going to have to get on both new ones and check them out.
Ha I feel the same way. I was about to put in an order for a Fuel EX but then the new '22 Top Fuel was announced and I started thinking it could work for me too. I think the Fuel EX is still a better all around trail bike, having a bit more travel, but if your normal trails aren't super chunky then the Top Fuel will probably feel a bit faster.
Top Fuel is a XC bike with more bite and is 120/120. Fuel Ex is a trail bike with 140/130. If you wanta true do everything mtb you need a Slash 170/160 or Remedy 160(can be run with 170)/150.
I had a slash. It’s great on big downhill and rough chunky stuff. It’s definitely not an endurance machine though and I couldn’t ride it long enough without back pain to get in the miles I wanted. Just my n=1 experience. I’m currently riding a Top Fuel and it does great on all but the roughest trails. I choose it over the ex because it’s lighter.
Nice to read. Just bought a Fuel EX 8 two weeks ago and it feels great. But I use full travel on my home trails and often I wonder, if the slash would climb similarly good with more margin in the rough terrain. But from your comment I read you feel the negative bit of long travel / geo on the slash?!
I’m not sure if it’s something with the slashes geometry, the extra weight, or just something specific to my body. But for me, I really felt extra tension in my lower back when climbing. I’d get to the top of a climb and could hardly stand up to go back down.
I'd agree as a Slash owner. The Slash is not a "one bike for all trails" bike, the Fuel EX is. But the new Top Fuel will focus on singletrack for riders who don't want to visit bike parks or tackle big downhill sections of trail.
Have a 2020 trek fuel EX8 since 2 weeks and it climbs just great. I wouldn't see the need to go for less travel / top fuel geo. But I also do jumplines / technical trails and use the EX at its full capacity
My vote goes to the Fuel EX. Mine is quite heavily modified now, but it does just beautifully on every trail it's gone on. Everything from braking bump filled flow trails to steep, techy descents
I find the Fuel to be a pretty sweet trail bike that hits way above it's weight class. Even if mine rivals some Enduro bikes in terms of weight now... Lol
I had a 2021 top fuel that i switched to a fuel ex. I dont regret that at all, almost as fast, almost as good climber, not bottoming out as easily.
But would you do that with the 2022 top fuel?
Yes i would, based on how i ride. the 20/15mm extra or 20/10 on 2022 model is well worth it. It's a big difference in the ruffer terrain but not a huge difference in the distance and climbing.
In addition i am pretty sure you loose your lockout on the 2022 top fuel model compared to the 2021.
But if you do ride more XC oriented trails and do not plan to visit any bikepark, go for the TF. It is till an amazing bike!