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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-29-09, 12:28 PM   #1
Gordonfan24
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Will a Trek 7.3 FX fit my situation?

Hi folks,

I'm looking at getting a bike that will serve one main purpose - get me in better shape. Here's my deal:
-I weigh 240lbs
-I'll be riding probably 60% paved/25% packed stone/15% dirt
-I don't want to spend more than $700 (on the bike alone)
-I want something that is more suited for speed rather than comfort
-Craigslist isn't really an option
-I have seen the 7.3 FX in person and I really like it, but I haven't ridden it or been fitted for it yet

Otherwise, I was thinking of getting a cheapo road bike for fitness for under $250 and then get a cheap mountain bike for fun on the local trails. The only issue is that I am moving into an apartment, so space is an issue and if I can find a good bike that can reliably/realistically do both, that would be ideal.

Also, can the handlebars be swapped on the 7.3? For instance, I know on longer rides I'll probably get tired of the straight bars.

I appreciate any help/opinions.
-Frank
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Old 07-29-09, 12:53 PM   #2
alto10
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This is my first post after being around for about a year. I bought my 7.3 last July and it has done very good for me. I weighed about 330 and now down to 298. I too bought it mainly for fitness, I ride mostly the bike trail about 20-25 miles now 3-5 times a week. I added clip-less(fell once) and a brooks saddle. I had it tuned up this spring and only one broken spoke. For 549.0 I did not go wrong, good luck with the riding.
Marty
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Old 07-29-09, 12:55 PM   #3
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I like the concept of this bike...

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ncia/valencia/

I don't know how well the curb proof rims work, but I have a Trek 7200 hybrid and I bent the rear rim on a curb. I always keep the tires at max pressure too, which is 80psi for the tires it came with. I am 285lbs but the way.

Considering you will be riding 40% on potential rough surfaces, have you thought about the hybrid? I used mine for mostly pavement, but the suspension fork and seat have helped in the rough spots and dirt. I tried using it as a mountain bike and failed pretty hard. The hybrids are pretty much made for what you describe though. You just may be trading some slight speed and pedal efficiency because of the suspension components.
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Old 07-29-09, 01:36 PM   #4
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I was actually looking at the Valencia last night. Nice looking bike. It's a little more expensive, but looks a bit more versatile.

This is probably a dumb question, but no matter what bike I get, I can swap out the road tire/wheel for one that would work better in the dirt, right?
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Old 07-29-09, 01:44 PM   #5
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Yeah, just depends what you can find.

http://croftonbikedoctor.com/itemdet...fm?LibId=50895


If anything you ride over will be constantly bumpy, like the dirt trails/etc, you really might want to consider a suspension fork equipped bike.
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Old 07-29-09, 02:04 PM   #6
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I have an '07 7.3 and I think it's a great bike. I don't ride it as much now that I have a road bike. I have never really taken it off-road but with the 32c tires it should be fine on 'smooth' off-road situations. Jumps and stumps are prolly not such a good idea...
I started on it at 280+ and have had NO problems because of size. The wheels are plenty strong and have lots of spokes. The guy at the LBS talked me out of the 7.5 because of the difference in the spoke count.
Of course, until you ride it and see how it fits you there is no way to determine if it is a good option for you or not. But, given what you have stated as your needs/wants, I think it will fit the bill nicely.
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Old 07-29-09, 02:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordonfan24 View Post
I was actually looking at the Valencia last night. Nice looking bike. It's a little more expensive, but looks a bit more versatile.

This is probably a dumb question, but no matter what bike I get, I can swap out the road tire/wheel for one that would work better in the dirt, right?
If you like the Trek Valencia, then check out the Kona Dew Plus. They are both AL frames with Chrome-moly forks, mechanical disc brakes, and the same Shimano FD and RD. The Valencia lists for $750 and the Kona for $550. I rode both and preferred (and bought) the Kona. Aside from the prices advantage, I like the handlebars on the Kona better and their P2 fork is hard to beat:


http://www.konaworld.com/09_dewplus_u.cfm
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Old 07-29-09, 03:22 PM   #8
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I have a 7.3 as well and have had NO problems with it (I'm around 270). I mostly ride on paved roads, though.
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Old 07-29-09, 03:52 PM   #9
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Another 7.3 owner here (09). Love the bike for fitness and exercise. Once the engine catches up with the bikes potential It'll be fairly quick also. I added a rack, trunkbag, clipless pedals, and barends. I've had no other problems with it other than the usual cable stretching and adjustments. I've rode a bit on crushed stone. I don't find it fun but that may just be me. Forget riding in any type of sand, it doesn't work well.
By the way I'm weighing in at about 295 or so.
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Old 07-29-09, 10:30 PM   #10
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I have a 7.5 fx, which is basically the 7.3 with a carbon fork and some other small modifications. I use it for everything. A 7.3 should work as well.

Gravel and dirt trails:



Roads:



Commuting:



Touring:



Long rides:

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Old 07-30-09, 06:55 AM   #11
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A 7.3 would be dandy for what you describe. It really is hard to go wrong with a Trek FX but be sure to check out other brands and shops. Just about every major brand carries a cookie cutter copy of the FX. Shop around for the best deals, the Raleigh Cadent is very similar but less expensive than a comparable FX.
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Old 07-30-09, 06:57 AM   #12
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Touring:

I thought that we established awhile back that a southern man don't need Neil around, anyhow.
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Old 07-30-09, 07:50 AM   #13
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A 7.3 would be dandy for what you describe. It really is hard to go wrong with a Trek FX but be sure to check out other brands and shops. Just about every major brand carries a cookie cutter copy of the FX. Shop around for the best deals, the Raleigh Cadent is very similar but less expensive than a comparable FX.
Heh. My mechanic likened the FX as the "Camry of bikes." Sturdy, reliable, affordable. I've had good luck with Camrys as well as with my FX!
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Old 07-30-09, 06:23 PM   #14
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Wow. Lots of good feedback here. I appreciate it, folks.
$600+ for a bike, for me, is no small investment, so I'm glad I came here to do my homework.
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Old 07-30-09, 07:38 PM   #15
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I use a 7.3 for commuting. When I first started, I weighed over 300lbs, and I shredded the rear wheel in a couple of months.

My LBS found me a 36H Bontrager OSD wheel, and I've been logging over 100 miles per week for the past few months.

At 240, you might get away with the stock wheels.

As for your last question, it's a bit hard to convert "flat bar" bikes to drop bars. Flat bar bikes use "Mountain" shift levers and deraillers, and the brake levers are different, too.

Converting to drop bars would mean new shifters and break levers at least. Road-style "brifters" will probably not work with the cantilever brakes that come with the FX series, and the shift "index spacing" will probably be wrong, unless you change cassette and chain to something that uses "Road" spacing.

See Sheldon Brown's spacing tables: http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sp-ss.html#spacing
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Old 07-30-09, 08:04 PM   #16
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If you want to do longer rides over varying terrain, screw those hybrid and 'fitness' bikes and get some kind of drop-bar xcross bike like a Bianchi Volpe, Surly Crosscheck or even a used touring/xcross bike that can take wider tires and a beating. This is my 80ish Bianchi that has had everything replaced but the frame, brakes, stem and bars. I commute on it and take it on longer rides where the terrain is going to vary between road, rough road, packed path, and 'holy crap, I'm lost in the wilderness!'

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Old 07-31-09, 04:40 AM   #17
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If you want to do longer rides over varying terrain, screw those hybrid and 'fitness' bikes and get some kind of drop-bar xcross bike like a Bianchi Volpe, Surly Crosscheck or even a used touring/xcross bike that can take wider tires and a beating.
Certainly if I knew then what I know now, this is what I would have done.

That said, Cross bikes are a lot more expensive than hybrids, and if you're a total newbie, it's tough to justify (to yourself) that you have to spend the money, especially if you're not sure youŽll like cycling. I've been with some of my non-cycling buddies on trips to the LBS. I hear comments like "$1000 for bicycle? that's crazy!". Little do they know, of course.

Anyway, in my case, I'll eventually replace the FX 7.3 with a CrossCheck or an LHT, but it's taken me a while to get to that point. For now, money is tight, and this won't happen soon.
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