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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 06-27-12, 04:06 PM   #1
treadtread
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Comparing (similar) Treks

If you had to choose between a Trek 700, Trek 7000 and a Trek FX 7.1, which would it be? Considering that most of the riding would be on bay trails (paved, but sometimes not in good shape)? Not that I am limiting myself to Trek, but I rode a 7000 and an FX today, and came away confused. The saddle on the 7000 has a shock-absorber, and is nicely padded - but I read somewhere that these things give in an year, and I'll be better off without it. I didn't ride the 700, but I believe it's got a steel frame. There are other differences too of course, but you'll have to compare them on the Trek site to see all the differences.

So my question is, of the three above, which is better for commuting? I don't want to limit myself to Trek, but almost every manufacturer has bikes similar to the above. I can try to apply the reasoning to other brands then - understanding what to look for will help me a lot. I don't need to worry about theft so much - the bike will be in my house or in my office.

Apart from commuting, I do weekend rides, not too long - about 10 to 15 miles at the most. I have a baby seat bolted to my current bike every weekend (a Magna Excitor - I got bad advice when I was starting off) and my son and I go on rides. I'm not too likely to go off alone without the family though, so the Magna will suffice for weekend rides with my son.

I've frightened myself off craigslist hunting - 6 year bikes are half the price, but I don't understand bikes at all to decide if a bike is in good shape. And I don't really know anyone knowledgeable ehere in the Bay area who'll help me with my search. Add to that the number of stolen bikes on craigslist, and it looks too dicey.
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Old 06-27-12, 04:54 PM   #2
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I haven't ridden any of those bikes, but just based on specs I would probably choose the FX 7.1. It has a slightly more aggressive geometry and a threadless headset (a bit stiffer handlebar feel, easier to change for fit). The 700 seems nice because you only have 7 gears to worry about. Sometimes, 21 gears can be overwhelming and unnecessary if you are riding on flat ground. If you have lots of hills, I would definitely not choose the 700.

The bikes are similar enough that none of them really have clear advantages over the other. I would spend some more time riding each of them and just buy the one you like the best.

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Old 06-27-12, 05:42 PM   #3
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Personally, I wouldn't pay the so called 'Trek Tax' at that price point. IMO, even the base Giant Escape 2 would be a better value. However, what you really should be doing is concentrating on a LBS that you feel you can trust. Then you can pick something that they have to offer, as virtually all brands sell similar types of bikes at any given price point.
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Old 06-27-12, 06:04 PM   #4
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Trek 7.1 FX. Lighter, more gears.
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Old 06-27-12, 06:13 PM   #5
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Yes, the Escape 2 is very high on my list. Giant dealers seem to be rare in this area though, I have to drive out a bit - will probably do that sometime on the weekend.
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Old 06-27-12, 06:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Personally, I wouldn't pay the so called 'Trek Tax' at that price point. IMO, even the base Giant Escape 2 would be a better value. However, what you really should be doing is concentrating on a LBS that you feel you can trust. Then you can pick something that they have to offer, as virtually all brands sell similar types of bikes at any given price point.
+1 and ride them first! Looking at MSRP there is only $50.00 difference between the Trek 7.1 and the Giant Escape 2 and you may be able to find a last year left over in either brand and get a better deal. I don't think I would let $50.00 stand in the way of any bike if I liked the way it rode.
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Old 06-27-12, 07:53 PM   #7
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+1 and ride them first! Looking at MSRP there is only $50.00 difference between the Trek 7.1 and the Giant Escape 2 and you may be able to find a last year left over in either brand and get a better deal. I don't think I would let $50.00 stand in the way of any bike if I liked the way it rode.
Please note that the price on Giant's site isn't the MSRP, but the Average Retail Price of what their dealer network is selling the model for. So you will see price variations from region to region and perhaps even in the same town. .
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Old 06-29-12, 01:17 PM   #8
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I test rode a Specialized Sirrus Sport today. LBS was willing to sell it to be for 465+tax. He suggested large for my height (5'10") and it worked, though I would have thought medium would be right. This bike flies! Damn .. I wish I hadn't ridden it today! I can't buy till the 15th of July at least - the paycheck on the 1st goes to rent and regular expenses. And now I keep thinking of that bike! Better go read some reviews - I hadn't considered a Specialized Sirrus Sport at all so far. I still need to ride a Giant Escape though - he didn't have one built when I went there.
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Old 06-29-12, 04:34 PM   #9
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I test rode a Specialized Sirrus Sport today. LBS was willing to sell it to be for 465+tax. He suggested large for my height (5'10") and it worked, though I would have thought medium would be right. This bike flies! Damn .. I wish I hadn't ridden it today! I can't buy till the 15th of July at least - the paycheck on the 1st goes to rent and regular expenses. And now I keep thinking of that bike! Better go read some reviews - I hadn't considered a Specialized Sirrus Sport at all so far. I still need to ride a Giant Escape though - he didn't have one built when I went there.
That's the bike I have. I bought it about 1.5 months ago and so far I really like it and am quite happy with my purchase. I don't know remember what I exactly paid for the bike (versus the stuff I bought with it like racks, fenders...) but it was more then $465. Seems like a great deal on what I think is a great bike.
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Old 06-30-12, 11:11 AM   #10
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I have a Trek 7000 as my primary commuter. I got it because I wanted a bike from a LBS, but that's all my budget would afford. I keep trying different seats, but after 3 years I still have the stock seat. It's good for 10 - 15 miles without any discomfort.

After towing my daughter on my MTB with slicks, I would seriously consider the 7.1 if I had to replace it. I think it might be more comfortable for the longer distances I like to ride. I'd need to do a long test ride, because I have all sorts of numbness problems in my hands if I put too much weight on them. Don't know if the LBS would like me taking a 2 hour test ride though.

That being said, I've done up to 120 miles in a day on my Trek 7000 and the only discomfort I really had is my butt. I really don't know how to get around that, since that's where all my weight is. I didn't want to ride my return trip 2 days later so I put it on the bike rack. I have a recumbent trike on order for my new distance rider, so I'm likely never going to explore the 7.1.
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