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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-01-08, 07:28 PM   #1
infecto
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So I finally got a bike....

and regret it 100%. I do not regret wanting to ride but regret the purchase I made. I bought a Trek 7.3fx not the greatest bike but figured it would serve me well to get fit so I can put some more money into a better bike a year down the road. I have had nothing but problems.

First day I get it a pin in the chain is scratched/pinched either from me riding it or was already like that and causes the rear gear to jump. Get it fixed no problem with a brand new chain. Get the bike back ride for another 1.5mins and going on a slight uphill so I switch gears and in the process the chain gets stuck in between the gears. So now the chain is wedged in between two of the front gears. I cannot get it out and will have to take it back yet again.

Now I weight overweight, 245 at about 6'1". Do you guys think my weight is causing all these problems or is the bike just cursed? I am debating right now to return the bike under the trek 30day warranty and just pick up something else from another LBS maybe something like a Kona Dew. Honestly at this point I am just nervous riding the bike in fear of not only being thrown off but that I am going to just break something else.
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Old 08-01-08, 07:30 PM   #2
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I think you are shifting wrong. Back off the pedals when you shift.

I rode a 7.2fx at upwards of 340-350 with out issue, so I don't think it's your weight.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:08 PM   #3
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Don't give up! You and the bike may not be a good match, just try out a different bike before you make the purchase. While testing the bikes, test the brakes and shift the gears up and down. Go up a hill and down some. But don't give up!
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Old 08-01-08, 09:57 PM   #4
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sounds like you only have chain troubles...

check to make sure it shifts through all the gears correctly while you are not on the bike

when you ride change gears and dont put much force on the pedals while changing. hopefully that helps

my gf got a 7.3 and hasnt had any problems for 100 miles...
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Old 08-01-08, 10:02 PM   #5
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Don't give up! You and the bike may not be a good match, just try out a different bike before you make the purchase. While testing the bikes, test the brakes and shift the gears up and down. Go up a hill and down some. But don't give up!
+1

I test rode the Trek 7.3 FX and it seemed like a nice bike. (I bought a Specialized Sirrus, which is similar but permitted me to ride leaning a little more forward.) It's possible that this one Trek 7.3 FX that you own is defective or was put together improperly, and it's also possible that this may not be the best fit for you. If you can, take it back to where you bought it and explain that the bike hasn't been behaving properly. Maybe someone from the shop can ride with you to see if you're shifting properly, or maybe the bike just needs to be adjusted. You could also aski them if you can exchange your bike for either another Trek 7.3 FX (if you like the way this one fits) or another bike you like better after a test ride. Good luck.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:07 PM   #6
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changing gears up hill is a tricky business, not sure how to explain it though.
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when you ride change gears and dont put much force on the pedals while changing.
^^ good advice... probs why changing gears on hills is tricky, simply because you have to apply more pressure on the pedals when riding. Try to avoid changing gears whilst going up hill, perhaps change them to what you want before riding uphill, or if you really need to change it whilst riding up, stop, get off your bike, change gear then lift the rear wheel and rotate the cranks with your arm until it changes gear.

Hopefully you can sort things out with your bike, but yeah don't give up. If you feel the bike is cursing you and if you can get your money back, perhaps starting off fresh is a good idea

Good luck!
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Old 08-01-08, 10:28 PM   #7
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or if you really need to change it whilst riding up, stop, get off your bike, change gear then lift the rear wheel and rotate the cranks with your arm until it changes gear.
wtf?
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Old 08-01-08, 10:33 PM   #8
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changing gears up hill is a tricky business, not sure how to explain it though.

^^ good advice... probs why changing gears on hills is tricky, simply because you have to apply more pressure on the pedals when riding. Try to avoid changing gears whilst going up hill, perhaps change them to what you want before riding uphill, or if you really need to change it whilst riding up, stop, get off your bike, change gear then lift the rear wheel and rotate the cranks with your arm until it changes gear.

Hopefully you can sort things out with your bike, but yeah don't give up. If you feel the bike is cursing you and if you can get your money back, perhaps starting off fresh is a good idea

Good luck!
You actually want to avoid putting too much pressure going up hill. You want to ease up on the pedals or else you'll damage your cogs/derailleur/chain.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:34 PM   #9
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wtf?
yes now that i read it.. doesn't really make much sense.
just suggesting that you change gears manually off the bike if you cant do it whilst riding up hill.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:35 PM   #10
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You actually want to avoid putting too much pressure going up hill. You want to ease up on the pedals or else you'll damage your cogs/derailleur/chain.
thats what i was suggesting.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:39 PM   #11
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You can do it!

Just get used to how your equipment works and it won't be a problem. Just stick with it. It's part equipment, part upkeep, and a huge part of determination on your part. It will get easier as you figure out how everything works.
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Old 08-01-08, 10:56 PM   #12
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I think it is the bike.

I had a similar trek and had nothing but problems with the drive train. Within the first 399 miles I experienced:

1) A broken rear cassette tooth after pushing down hard at an intersection
2) A pedal that disintegrated under my foot (cheap ass aluminum pedal broke apart)
3) A broken chain at another intersection

I sold my Trek 7500 shortly thereafter and got a Swobo. Zero drivetrain problems since.

I'm also heavy- 6'1 235...I figured the problem was related to my weight too.
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Old 08-01-08, 11:00 PM   #13
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Since this is a triple crank bike, I suggest changing your shifting habits. When you are on a flat stay in the middle ring up front. When you approach a steep hill, shift into the small ring up front ahead of time. Use the large ring for downhills. You really shouldn't be pedaling with any force when shifting the front rings, the rear rings should be able to shift with some force applied but it's better if you are soft pedaling when shifting those too.

If you find that the small ring up front is too easy for the hills in your area, just stay out of that ring altogether.
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Old 08-02-08, 12:52 AM   #14
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I am going to mess with it early in the morning and see if I cannot get the chain unwedged. Of course I have a flat on the rear wheel for no apparent reason as there are no punctures and its a very slow leak. I am just hoping none of the drivetrain on the bike is fubar after todays problem.

What I was going up cannot even be considered a hill, it was a very very slight incline. I shifted from 2 to 1 and bam the chain gets wedged in between the gears. I will be more careful next time but never in my whole childhood with decent bikes did I ever have an issue tearing the crap out of the bike and the gears. Now all of a sudden I get all these random problems.
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Old 08-02-08, 01:38 AM   #15
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yes now that i read it.. doesn't really make much sense.
just suggesting that you change gears manually off the bike if you cant do it whilst riding up hill.

He, he. Or he can just tough it out and get some exercise on that hill by staying in gear. getting off the saddle is allowed.

You can get it out no problem. Its your bike **** around with it, have fun! Thats why you bought it. take out the rear wheel to give slack to the chain then put some gloves on and pull that **** out!

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 08-02-08, 03:45 AM   #16
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I am going to mess with it early in the morning and see if I cannot get the chain unwedged...
No, don't. This is a new bike from a shop? It's under warranty - get them to fix it. It's their problem, and if I was the shop I wouldn't be happy that someone had been in there messing about before they brought it back.

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...Get it fixed no problem with a brand new chain. Get the bike back ride for another 1.5mins ... the chain gets stuck in between the gears. So now the chain is wedged in between two of the front gears. I cannot get it out and will have to take it back yet again...
This sounds (though I'm no expert) like two related problems, or one problem resulting from the other one. Is there another issue causing both problems? Were the adjustments all made correctly after the chain was replaced? I think I'd take it back and run through the issues with the shop.


I wouldn't say, though, that two possibly related issues is 'nothing but problems', or that it should put you off what's nominally a fairly decent bike.
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Old 08-02-08, 10:48 AM   #17
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Ok so I took to a different LBS that is next door to where I live and had them repair the flat and fix the chain for me. Everything seems to be now. Took it for a ride and rode great. Thanks for all the helpful replies guys.
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Old 08-02-08, 12:26 PM   #18
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...Took it for a ride and rode great...
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Old 08-02-08, 02:31 PM   #19
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changing gears up hill is a tricky business, not sure how to explain it though.

^^ good advice... probs why changing gears on hills is tricky, simply because you have to apply more pressure on the pedals when riding. Try to avoid changing gears whilst going up hill, perhaps change them to what you want before riding uphill, or if you really need to change it whilst riding up, stop, get off your bike, change gear then lift the rear wheel and rotate the cranks with your arm until it changes gear.
Simpler way (and I've been doing this since I was a kid) is to zig-zag up the hill, or put differently, ride it transversely while shifting. (instead of riding straight up, turn so you are going at a much more shallow angle while shifting). That way, you won't be putting too much pressure on the drive train.

-Jon
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Old 08-02-08, 03:42 PM   #20
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I would stick with it. Sounds like you are having some teething problems. Sounds like you need some adjustments to the shifters. I am 5'10 225 and ride a Trek 7.2FX. I bought it slightly used and have not a single problem in the six weeks I have had it. Shifting is really different than other low end bikes I have had in the past. Talk to your LBS to suggestions about shifting. Good Luck.
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