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  1. #1
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    Oct 2003
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    Trek Topfuel vs Rocky Element vs Transition Spur

    SO total first world problem but looking to add to my bike quiver.

    I have a stupid light 2017 Felt singlespeed with 100mm SID. 17 pounds
    pros: light, quick, and fun for a quick rip, on mostly green to blue trails.
    cons: Limited travel and limited hill climbing

    Other bike is a 2020 Rocky instinct with travel jacked to 180/160, 2.6 marys etc. 35+ pounds
    Pros: slack angles, and large travel will smash thru anything and likes the steeps terrain
    Cons: even with the ride9 chip, and lockouts. still not great pedaling up, and a bit hefty for long rides or XC rides.


    I have cost / pro forms on Rocky, Trek and Transition, so looking for the happy mid ground bike. Downcountry I guess?

    Looking for this new bike to do

    1) take it on some of the black+ trails I would take the instinct on, but try it with similar angles in a lighter package and see what trouble I can get into. Same reason to take my SS on XC trails, yes it makes it a bit harder, and that is the point. "underbiking" as the cool kids call it?

    2) Take it on some long rides. I have done a few 100 mile events over the years on the SS (HC100, MDH100) but as I age, I dont think I can do the distance on the SS anymore. Burns too many matches on the ride. So thinking that gears and full sus might give me the chance to to big rides still.

    So with that "Dear Diary" post, anyone got a comparison on the Trek Topfuel vs Rocky Element vs Transition Spur. Looking at XT package on all of them, similar prices, similar weights (12-13kg or 26-28 pounds), similar travel 120mm, similar angles (HTA 65-66, STA 66)


  2. #2
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    I went down that rabbit hole with an Element in ‘21. Really responsive, great pedaler. But I ALWAYS felt like I was fighting the edge of control going Mach-Chicken on downhills, even our tame ones here. I either would blow through all of the travel with it too soft, or get jackhammered with it too firm. I never found the ‘sweet spot’.
    My solution was to get another ‘21 Altitude frame, and make it really really light with a 150 Kitsuma and a 160 Helm, EE wings, full XTR, etc. DD Dissector rear, exo+ Assegai front. Carbon one up bar, one up post. Carbon wheels.
    I call it the Instinctitude.
    Just under 28 pounds, perfect compliment to the Big Altitude, that has 170/170, coil, etc.
    Works for me.
    I don’t think I am any slower on the uphills than on the Element, TBH…but I’m always slow uphill, LOL.

    In other words, build up a dreamy light Instinct.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    In other words, build up a dreamy light Instinct.

    buy a norco sight (160/160) E bike on closeout, add a real fork, (180) and then get the current bike on a big diet?


  4. #4
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    LOL, I also have an Altitude Powerplay, 180/170. Mows down little children and baby fawns with equal ferocity.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    LOL, I also have an Altitude Powerplay, 180/170. Mows down little children and baby fawns with equal ferocity.

    Children: so tender and mild.....


  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    I got an Element earlier this summer, highly recommend. Surprisingly plush and controlled on the downhill. Maybe not the best at speed through chunk, but that's not my bag anyway. On the steep and technical stuff I've ridden it on I've felt very comfortable and have ridden things that have given me pause in the past. Feel like I'm riding faster on easier downhill as well, but I don't strava so it's hard to say. Pedals great I think goes without saying.

  7. #7
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    Will agree with PD, the perception of greater speed for sure is a thing. That did make riding with the wifey fun. I think my issue was likely coming from a ZeB and 38, (170 and 180) and then trying to charge with the 130mm Pike. Mostly my own issues more than the bikes’.
    As far as long rides, I LOVED the two full water bottle capability, I could run two full 1 liter/32 Oz. Bottles. Or one bottle filled with a jacket and snacks, etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by rideit; 09-01-2023 at 07:41 PM.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
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    come down and ride my Top Fuel, it's awesome and if you aren't getting Crankworx air (and I know you are not) you'll be just fine
    what's orange and looks good on hippies?
    fire

    rails are for trains
    If I had a dollar for every time capitalism was blamed for problems caused by the government I'd be a rich fat film maker in a baseball hat.

    www.theguideshut.ca

  9. #9
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    Sep 2006
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    North Van
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    I have a Spur and a Sight. The Spur is good for 90% of riding on the Shore and is quite a bit more pleasant to pedal around than the Sight.

    I suspect you're splitting hairs between these three bikes. I am sure there are differences, but they're in the same category and it will likely come down to personal preference. Go with the one you think looks the nicest?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Hell Track
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    Mostly agreed with rideit. Had a Spur. Liked it well enough, but ultimately wasn't what I wanted.

    It was capable enough that I was comfortable riding it on pretty much any trail. But it was sketchy enough that I didn't really feel like I could push it very hard when things got rougher and techier.

    Ultimately sold it because pushing through rough techy stuff is fun, and I decided I'd rather pedal a bigger, heavier bike up to have more fun on the down.

    I think if I rode somewhere with less vert and more rolling trails, I'd be more excited about something like the Spur.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2005
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    Hey D. Saw you asked me to chime in.

    I'm the wrong person to ask as I like to ride undergunned ie the smallest bike possible for the hardest terrain. I also think a lot of the long low Slack geo is a crutch and overly biased to wide open fast trails and not that good for tight tech ( which I like)

    Get whatever has the best deal

  12. #12
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    Feb 2014
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    NorCal coast
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    As the owner of a big enduro (Nomad 6) and ebike (170/163 Levo), if I could get a third bike without my wife divorcing me, I'd get something like a 5010 v5 or Smuggler v3, rather than something more XC-biased. One of my friends has an Epic Evo, and rides it on most of the usual trails we normally ride on our big bikes. But every time he does, he is constantly making comments like, "I almost died there", usually from not being able to control speed or over jumping things. And he honestly doesn't climb much faster on it.

    I had a v2 Smuggler and it was fun as hell, and the main reason I sold it was that the alu version had a dogleg in the seat tube that wouldn't let me run more than a 150 dropper. I don' think I'd want a bike that I couldn't at least put a Pike/36 and Super Deluxe/Float X on. 34 feels noodly when ridden hard, and a the DPS on the Smuggler was just so crude. I'd try and stick with a somewhat faster rolling tire / lighter casing combo like a Kryptotal/Xynotal or DHF/Dissector. And still 4 piston brakes of course. I'm sure I'd still end up with something just under 30 lbs (instead of 33-35), but the geometry and less travel would make it feel more playful and agile.

  13. #13
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    Trek Topfuel vs Rocky Element vs Transition Spur

    Really comes down to the riding you’re doing, duh. We can provide a bunch of data points though, and I tend to lean in the direction of a lot of other posters in the thread thus far.

    I thought I wanted a bike that could climb like a XC bike, and be survivable on the downs. Was pretty much looking in the exact category you are now.

    The thing is, you can bump up one “class” and get a bike that is way more capable on the down that is (or can be built to be) marginally heavier than the ~120mm class of bikes.

    I think my GF’s stumpy evo weighs right around 30lb, about 6lbs lighter than my built up Enduro. Huge, noticeable difference. Even when swapping bikes on causal rides.

    I’ve ridden a regular Stumpy on the rough shit and while it held it’s own decently it’s not the bike I’d want to take there regularly, let alone something like an Epic Evo. [sorry for the Spec only references, but to some extent you can pick out the class of bikes I’ve referred to with any brand]


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  14. #14
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    Oct 2017
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    I think it’s always about what you’re comparing… so I’ll offer a counterpoint. If you’re riding a single speed hardtail from 2017 I don’t think the points above are valid. They’re people comparing a modern enduro bike to modern short travel bikes… you’re doing that but also comparing it to a single speed.

    Good riders can push a 100mm XC bike very very hard. Just look at Kegan blowing people out of the water at downiville on a short travel bike with bald tires and others are on big bikes. Any of the bikes you listed will feel insanely capable compared to your current short travel bike. They’ll handle technical trails great.

    I pedaled the whole enchilada last year on my Pivot Mach 4. It’s about 24 lbs as built and handled the trail “great”. Worse than my switchblade at the chunky portions and I needed to be ‘light’ on the bike but still very very fun if you embrace being on a little bike. The Mach 4 also did better than the Yeti ASR 7 i rode the same trails on in 2010. A modern enduro bike would have let me much sloppier on my form, ride a bit faster and feel a little less fatigued while descending but it wouldn’t have let me do the loop I wanted because who wants to do a 6000 foot partially paved climb on an enduro bike? My favorite rides are on the little big because they’re big days that let me see and do unique things.

    If you want to do big days (7000+ feet of climbing) or truly fast paced days get one of the bikes you mentioned and put modestly heavy tires on it (forecaster, ground control etc). It will teach you how to be a better rider than the big bikes and you’ll get to explore trails in a new way.

    50 mile days on the light bike feel fine and fun… even my 33 lbs switchblade feels like a boat anchor on days like that. Im faster on the little bike but also it’s just more fun and im suffering less.

    On the race bike I don’t blink at pavement transitions between trails on big loops or if you want to avoid shuttling things ‘yep I’ll just spin up’.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Will agree with PD, the perception of greater speed for sure is a thing. That did make riding with the wifey fun. I think my issue was likely coming from a ZeB and 38, (170 and 180) and then trying to charge with the 130mm Pike. Mostly my own issues more than the bikes’.
    As far as long rides, I LOVED the two full water bottle capability, I could run two full 1 liter/32 Oz. Bottles. Or one bottle filled with a jacket and snacks, etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If by riding with the "wifey" you mean oh fuck I'm riding with my wife I need to bring my motherfucking A game just to keep up, then why yes, it's absolutely a great bike for riding with the wife.

  16. #16
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    May 2006
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    It's hard to pick a quiver of one for sure. Dan loves the new Element- it is fast and solid. I'm still on an Orbea Occam with a 36 up front. It is stiff enough to climb like a dream but then absolutely rail on the way down. I'd vote for a 150-140 setup and an "all-mountain" bike. Just sayin....

    And he only gets to call me "wifey" if in this sort of context: "Wifey should probably get first tracks in this 1800' powder shot." Harrumph.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchosdad View Post
    If by riding with the "wifey" you mean oh fuck I'm riding with my wife I need to bring my motherfucking A game just to keep up, then why yes, it's absolutely a great bike for riding with the wife.
    Lol, I forgot who you ride with!
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  18. #18
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    I too have a ss as my xc bike and two summers ago picked up a spur. The ss sees much less use now, bit it was my dd before the full sus. If I did it again, I’d go the 150-140 route mentioned above for fun and ss for fitness.


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    Perfer et obdura, hic dolor olim utior tibi. -Ovid

  19. #19
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    Nov 2010
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    Trek Topfuel vs Rocky Element vs Transition Spur

    Currently in similar situation to OP and considering adding a “light trail“ bike between hardtail and bigger bike. Some days I want to mellow and not ride aggressively in steep gnarly chunk. On those more pedally days I find the bigger bike to be a drag up and overkill down.

    Whereas it seems like several posters didn’t get on with a lighter shorter travel bike because riding style and preference means they end up trying to rally it like a big bike on the way down on terrain suited for a big bike and it’s too compromised in that situation. Not a criticism, just an observation.

    So need to be realistic about what you’re going to ride and why you want another bike.

    That said no direct experience with your choices but I reckon any of them would fit the spot and I sure wish I had fight club access pricing on any of them.

  20. #20
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    Dec 2009
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    Just bought a top fuel. Been on a V3 following. I’ll be keeping the favorite. I’ll report back.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcpnz View Post
    That said no direct experience with your choices but I reckon any of them would fit the spot and I sure wish I had fight club access pricing on any of them.


    bikes.com is on sale. Retailers might be less
    Element C70 Regular price $8,499.00 CAD Sale price $7,649.00 CAD (5,636.49 USD ) I think that is cheaper then in the US?


  22. #22
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    bikes.com is on sale. Retailers might be less
    Element C70 Regular price $8,499.00 CAD Sale price $7,649.00 CAD (5,636.49 USD ) I think that is cheaper then in the US?
    I know a number of people who have bought Rocky's recently and all have been able to do better than that through a local dealer.

  23. #23
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    Buy and build up (if the sizing works) Toast's Hugene frame?
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  24. #24
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    Rossland BC
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    As I’m aging, and big drops and charging through chunder are becoming off the menu, I sometimes think I should move on from my Bronson to something lighter and snappier. However, whenever I’ve tried bikes in the “aggressive trail” category (including the latest Element) they obviously pedal like a dream on climbs, and handle ok on smooth moderate trails , but are just plain awkward (survivable but not particularly fun) on anything steep or technical, even when riding precisely and and at moderate pace. A Spectral 125 or a 5010 might be closer to the balance of qualities I’m looking for.

  25. #25
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    FYI: this new bike is to fill in between the SS and the 180 travel bike. Not replace either.

    N + 1


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