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Old 02-08-10, 11:08 AM   #1
JerryTheSpinner
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Trek FX+ First Ride!

I purchased the FX+ yesterday from Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan and had my first 14 mile each way commute this morning. The temperature was around 22 degrees, with 20 mph winds and wind chills down to 4. The good news is I made it in. Now about the bike:

The ride on the bike is incredible. My old bike, which is a mountain bike, was quite bumpy through the NYC potholes. However, the FX+ just seems to smooth them right out and really gives an amazing ride. The weight of the bike with the motor is less than the weight of my old mountain bike, without a motor. The grips on the handlebars are a little unconventional, but really comfortable when riding. The battery was also great. I used a little more than a half, using levels 2, 3, and 4. This is a great bike for someone who is really serious about riding. This is a very fast bike and a light one as well. Do not be fooled by the motor and thinking that it will do all the work for you. This bike will get you in shape and help you on days that you ďjust donít have itĒ. I also changed out the seat.

For all you BionX users out there, I found that doing a high cadence wound up using very little assist. I had to go up a couple of gears and pedal harder in order to get more power from the battery. Definitely a little adjustment required after using the throttle.

For all those bicycle "purists", where are you? The roads were quite empty this morning.

I also would like to thank Matt, from Bicycle Habitat for spending an amazing amount of time on helping me decide between the FX+ and the Valencia+. He also did a great job in helping me pick a new saddle and outfitting my bike with the things I needed.

In the pursuit of happiness, owning the Trek FX+, I have achieved happiness.
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Old 02-08-10, 12:37 PM   #2
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I also would like to thank Matt, from Bicycle Habitat for spending an amazing amount of time on helping me decide between the FX+ and the Valencia+.

I've toyed with the idea of a Trek plus version, and especially the Valencia version. What was the reason that made you and the LBS person to decide on the FX? I like the disc brake option of the Valencia since I ruin one rear rim every winter due to road grit. Plus it would be easier for me to change the brake disc than to respoke a new rim.
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Old 02-08-10, 05:22 PM   #3
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I've toyed with the idea of a Trek plus version, and especially the Valencia version. What was the reason that made you and the LBS person to decide on the FX? I like the disc brake option of the Valencia since I ruin one rear rim every winter due to road grit. Plus it would be easier for me to change the brake disc than to respoke a new rim.

I rode both bikes the FX+ and the Valencia+. The Valencia+ had the same ride feel as my Montague mountain bike. Took the potholes the same way a very bumpy ride. I found on the FX+ it felt like a road bike and the ride was really fast even with the motor off. I also found on bumps which I would have to slow down when riding my Montague I did not have to on the FX+. I believe this is due to the carbon fork.

As far as the braking goes. When you brake the bike goes into regenerate mode and the resistance is charging the battery. It seems to me the brakes are not the main stopping power but the BionX system is. Therefore, I don’t believe the disc brakes make that much of a difference.

This was a hard decision for me as I wanted the Valencia+ for the disc brakes. However after riding both I feel the FX+ is a much better bike and there is not a big difference in cost.
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Old 02-08-10, 06:49 PM   #4
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...... I donít believe the disc brakes make that much of a difference.
...This was a hard decision for me as I wanted the Valencia+ for the disc brakes. However after riding both I feel the FX+ is a much better bike and there is not a big difference in cost.
My main concern is rear wheel rim wear. So how much less braking do you do on the FX plus than on a regular FX, 10 percent, 30 percent or more?
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Old 02-08-10, 07:15 PM   #5
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It will take decades for you to wear out a rim from the brakes.
What destroys rims are low tires, loose spokes, curbs, and pot holes.
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Old 02-08-10, 07:19 PM   #6
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My main concern is rear wheel rim wear. So how much less braking do you do on the FX plus than on a regular FX, 10 percent, 30 percent or more?
The braking is the same amount. However when you use the rear brake the regen kicks in so the motor is actually giving the resistance. For example when you brake it goes into regen mode level 4. If you try to ride your bike on a level street going all out you will only go maybe acouple of miles per hour. You have a huge amount of resistance form the motor which is charging up the battery. Therefore, your rear brake really does not get used that much.

One other issue is the LBS recommended in really bad weather I ride my Montague with Currie 450W kit. Since I have studded tires on the bike and the tire are 26X1.95 which are much wider.
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Old 02-08-10, 07:37 PM   #7
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It will take decades for you to wear out a rim from the brakes.
In dry conditions I'll agree with you, but wet grimy conditions make for an abrasive slurry mix, and the wear groove on my current rear wheel is just about gone. My previous rim braking surface was no longer flat but severely concave, and if I had continued with it this winter, it would probably have had holes worn through the sides.
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Old 02-08-10, 07:43 PM   #8
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The braking is the same amount. However when you use the rear brake the regen kicks in so the motor is actually giving the resistance. For example when you brake it goes into regen mode level 4. If you try to ride your bike on a level street going all out you will only go maybe acouple of miles per hour. You have a huge amount of resistance form the motor which is charging up the battery. Therefore, your rear brake really does not get used that much.

One other issue is the LBS recommended in really bad weather I ride my Montague with Currie 450W kit. Since I have studded tires on the bike and the tire are 26X1.95 which are much wider.
Thanks for the info, I keep it in mind when I decide to purchase a Trek plus bike.
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Old 02-09-10, 10:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info, I keep it in mind when I decide to purchase a Trek plus bike.
My hat is off to you that you ride in such bad weather. My advice is make sure the bike shop has an FX+ and a Valencia+ for you to test ride before making a decision. On paper, I would have purchased the Valencia+. Another note, the bike shop was really nice in letting me do my daily commute as a test ride. I had the bike out for hours.

You really can't go wrong with either bike!

All the best. Safe riding through the winter.
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Old 02-09-10, 08:13 PM   #10
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pictures? max speed?
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Old 02-10-10, 12:24 PM   #11
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My main concern is rear wheel rim wear. So how much less braking do you do on the FX plus than on a regular FX, 10 percent, 30 percent or more?
After going down some steep hills I would say I use my brakes 90% less. I am using the regen levels to control my decent. For example a hill I would normally reach speeds of 25mph without peddling. When I
go to
Regen Level 4 my speed is 5 to 8 mph
Regen Level 3 my speed is 8 to 12 mph
Regen Level 2 my speed is 13 to 17mph
Regen Level 1 my speed is 18 to 20mph

I do not know if any one is using BionX system to control their speed on dissents. I am very surprised of how well it works switching between levels and controlling my speed.
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Old 02-10-10, 01:37 PM   #12
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pictures? max speed?
Speed on flat roads are 16 to 18MPH on hills 12 to 15MPH.
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Old 02-11-10, 07:02 AM   #13
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The FX+ looks like a nice ride but would nice to have fenders and chain guard for those "dress up days".
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Old 02-11-10, 09:09 AM   #14
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Yawn. Totally EU compliant yes but Trek will need to up that a few mph for general US consumption I feel.

The biggest factor with the lower wattage/voltage EU compliant systems is that while they can get up to 20 mph perhaps they struggle so much to do so they sap energy faster than a still legally compliant (here in the USA) 750w one will to get up to speed. Not to mention the extra torque gain of a higher wattage/voltage which helps way more in hills, starting from a standstill and carrying extra load. Which to me are the biggest benefits to using assist. Other wise I can average the Trek type speeds on my regular bike.

Glad that it is working out how you want though as that is the most important thing regarding any type of investment.
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