In talking with my LBS, I found out Trek is likely to warranty not just the chain stays on the HiFi, but send an entirely new frame. But since the 26″ HiFi in no longer in production (and in fact, no 26″ bikes in the entire Fisher Collection) there’s a lot of questions about what to send. I think they’re leaning towards a Fuel EX. But the EX has a tapered head tube and I don’t have a tapered fork. Obviously Trek doesn’t want to send a fork and they are even somewhat reticent to send the shim kit that lets you use a non-tapered fork with the tapered head tube.
So suddenly I have a decision to make: What do I do?
Option 1: Keep the Fuel EX, accept or buy the shim kit and do nothing else. This is clearly the fiscally responsible option, given everything else that’s been going on this summer.
Option 2: Keep the Fuel EX and buy an appropriate fork. This is still relatively cheap, but lets me upgrade a part that desperately needs it.
Option 3: Sell the EX frame and buy something from The Bike Shop. I’m leaning towards a Norco Faze SL frame or a Marin Rift Zone XC7.
Option 4: Sell the EX and buy something from Specialized. This would be a Stumpjumper 29er or an Epic.
All of the options have distinct pros and cons. I can’t say I’m terribly excited about the notion of having the Fuel EX. I know it’s getting excellent reviews, but I’m feeling pretty sour towards Trek right now. The idea of being forced to pay money because of a new frame is additionally irritating. It doesn’t matter if it’s the shim kit or a new fork, it’s still money out of my pocket.
However, I can’t say I’m hugely excited about my other local options. This has been an ongoing struggle for me. Go ahead and search for reviews on Norco and Marin XC bikes. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Back yet? Good.
So you saw that the Faze gets reasonable reviews and everything else gets pretty mediocre reviews. I know I should be making my own decisions and the guys at the shop have lots of good things to say about both bikes. I could also be looking at the Felt Virtue, but the parts spec is really weird on those bikes. In any case, I’m not really excited about any of those options.
So that brings Option 4, which has its own problems. I can’t get a good deal on anything from Specialized, and I have to drive 100 miles to get it. This has proven to be a problem with my Tricross. It’s certain to be the most expensive option, both in the short-term and the long-term. With as much as I like Specialized’s offerings, this cost is a huge deterrent.
The worst part is that I missed a race today in Ashland that I had wanted to do because I didn’t have a bike and may have to miss a race next Saturday because I don’t have a bike.
Time to move on though. The bed is calling and I have a lot of stuff to do at church tomorrow.