The Analyzer Presents: Top Fuel Diet Series – Rear Lockout

So after 2 good upgrades to cut some grams we were gaining steam and cutting grams like a pro.  Nothing can stop us now, right? Well….not exactly.  As some people noted, my seatpost is sky high on this frame.  That’s because Trek thinks standover height is important.  To me, If I’m standing it’s not with a bike between my legs, it’s next to the bike holding a beer after a good ride, but Trek engineers didn’t ask me.  So, when I put the Hylix seatpost in the frame it was RIGHT on the edge of the max line (minimum insertion still good on the frame).  That is just something I was not comfortable to race right now, so I pulled that post and put back in the stock Bontrager Pro seatpost. BOO! Adding weight is exactly what we’re trying to avoid here, and that’s 89g back on the bike.  

One step backwards, I weighed the bike and it’s now up to 24.03 pounds.  Not bad, but we’ve got some work to do.  Luckily I had a plan to get that weight back off the bike for the low low price of Free.99.  

The Trek Top Fuel has a special Fox RE:Aktiv damper in the rear using proprietary technology from the Penske Formula 1 team.  The idea is that it’s supple when you’re bashing through stuff, and firm when you’re putting power down.  The Specialized Brain technology used in the Epic has a similar goal as well. While the Top Fuel comes with a dual lockout lever for front and rear from the factory, I had already removed the front remote lever function in favor of a Fox Fit 4 damper with a simple crown lever.  

Over the last race season, I experimented with riding with the rear shock locked out or open, and I actually found out that I liked it better open in nearly every case. For me, the bike climbs better, sprints better, and feels more planted with the shock open.  Combined with the fact that the damper is a 3 position damper but comes with a 2 position remote I just didn’t see the need to keep it around.  A lot of people on the forums are replacing this factory 2 position remote with a real 3 position remote like this Fox 3 Position Remote, sometimes even using 2 levers to independently adjust the front and rear.  Definitely something to consider if you like having the precise control at your fingertips.  I didn’t.

So I decided to remove the Fox remote.  Pulling that off and the cable housing was pretty quick, just loosen the cable on the damper and pull the internal housing through the frame.  

I was pretty surprised when I put this on the scale.  You wouldn’t think a plastic remote and a little bit of cable housing would be over a quarter pound, but the scale doesn’t lie: 118g saved for precisely $0.  

A side benefit of this is that it really cleans up the cockpit, as well as removing the unsightly cable loop which has irked me since day 1 on the bike.  Yes, it’s silly I know, but I think it just looks so much better with that removed.  Right now I’m just running it open, however sometime in the future I’ll install the manual switch on the damper to be able to adjust it to all 3 positions if the situation requires it.  

I put the bike back on the scale and knocked some dirt off from my test ride with the new Ashima rotors (they’re great BTW) and it’s down to 23.66 pounds now.  Not too bad!  With a couple more tweaks planned I think we’re well on our way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Weight Difference Price $/gram
Hylix 31.8×400 Carbon Seatpost (eBay) 182g 89g $54 $0.61 / g
Carbon 34.9mm Clamp (eBay) 12g 17g $20 $1.18 / g
2x Ashima Ai2 Rotors 139g 84g $40 $0.48 / g
Delete Remote Lockout 0g 118g $0 N/A
Total 219g $60 $0.27 / g

disclosure

6 thoughts on “The Analyzer Presents: Top Fuel Diet Series – Rear Lockout

  • November 20, 2017 at 11:01 am
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    I did the same myself yesterday on my 2018 Top Fuel 9.8SL.
    Did you ever install a regular lever or do you just use it likes it is?

    • November 21, 2017 at 8:49 am
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      You know what, I never did install a regular lever. I looked into it and it seemed like Fox didn’t offer an off the shelf solution to just replace the remote unit with a simple lever. It was almost as if you had to replace the entire shock. Fox isn’t as easy to work with as Rockshox for retrofits like that in my experience, but the bike rides so good with the shock wide open that it hasn’t been a priority.

      If you want a better routing of the cable to go where the rear brake and derailleur cables come through on the downtube, you can rotate the lockout housing 180 degrees. I believe the part number is as follows for that:
      Cable Hanger, 2017 DPS, SV Down

      Fox Reference: 210-24-056

  • November 21, 2017 at 10:28 am
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    Thank you. Unfortunately the MY2018 Fox doesnt provide that because it has another solution than MY17.
    What did you do on the Fork? I see Fox sells a kit with a manual lever, one for FIT4 and one for GRIP.
    I can’t even understand if the front has GRIP damper or FIT4, because Treks webpage claims it’s FIT4 but it looks like GRIP.

    • November 21, 2017 at 10:38 am
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      What I did on the fork was actually upgrade from the GRIP Remote damper to a Fit 4 damper with lever. I always liked the Rockshox SID RCT3 damper with LSC adjustment in the middle platform mode, and the FIT4 damper is very similar in feel. The price between the GRIP and FIT dampers with a lever were so close it made sense to go with the FIT, as I believe FOX said I couldn’t just put a lever on the existing damper as it was designed for a remote. Again, Rockshox is much simpler in that regard (and cheaper).

  • May 18, 2020 at 4:20 am
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    Looking at removing the remote and running the shock open too. What do i need to do to keep the shock in open mode – default it is locked? Thanks!

    • October 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm
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      Run a small piece of cable and housing to keep it pulled open!

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