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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 09-09-06, 12:15 PM   #1
tastannin
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Newbie help: Trek F400 or DT IX?

Hi all,

What a great resource this place is! I walked in my LBS a week ago to inquire about something else, and saw they had a Trek F400, asked about it, tested it out, and thought (the form factor) would meet my needs much better than trying to retrofit my existing MTB.

I just got diagnosed with mild Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) in my wrists and forearms, and wanted to start using my old MTB to commute from home to bus stop (aprox 2 miles mostly flat with one hill, may change in the near future), and general exercise. Using my MTB aggravated my CTS. It appears that a commuter folding bike stance is much better on my wrists, and I can take it with me on the bus to work. I don't have to worry about my bike sitting around all day tempting a thief. For cargo, I'd be using a Tom Bihn Super Ego messenger bag with laptop and lunch in it.

The LBS had the Trek F400 ($629 MSRP?) marked down from $550 to $329, and it appears to be a 2005 model by its color - Silver Blue. I thought it was kind of a good deal, and put it on layaway. Getting home, and doing the usual research via Google, I found this place and now am wondering if the Trek F400 I put on layaway was a good deal after all?

The alternative I'm looking at is a Downtube IX commuter. Cheaper, and includes a bag for the bus. Is the Trek any significantly smaller folded? I know I'd save the sales tax on the Trek if I went with a Downtube, and like the fact it has suspension.

I'd appreciate your feedback on if I ought to stick with the Trek, try to renegotiate the price (2005 model, this line appears to be discontinued as of 2007?), or cancel the layaway and go with a DT IX?

Thanks in advance!
Ryan
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Old 09-09-06, 01:19 PM   #2
LittlePixel
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My girlfriend has a Trek F400 and it's a nice bike. She also has had wrist problems from computer use and finds the upright position definitely reduces weight on the wrists when riding. However - though perhaps coincidentally - during the time she was riding to work her wrists did get worse and it may well be worth noting that the Trek has no real shock absorbtion at the front end making for quite a vibratory/shocked ride for the wrists on the bars. Downtubes do have cheap and cheerful suspension forks up front which could help sway your decision if a less bumpy ride is a must have, though there are ways of retrofitting the Trek with either a Pantour suspension hub (minimal suspension built into the centre of your front wheel) or Schwalbe Big Apple tyres (fast but low pressure tyres) to lessen the bumps.

http://www.pantourhub.com/
Big Apple Tyres
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Old 09-16-06, 10:06 AM   #3
fryman
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Trek 400

If you decide you do not want the Trek 400 that you put in layaway, I might be interested in it.

My needs are different than yours, so it's a good match for me. I have one Trek 400 just like it and my wife wants one.

BTW, what is your geographical area? I am in Columbus, Ohio.
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Old 09-16-06, 11:16 AM   #4
maunakea
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tastannin, whatever your selection of bike, buy some gel strip to put under your bar tape. Vibes and pressure on the radiocarpal joint and the triangular fibrocartilage complex transmitted through handlebars will definitely exacerbate CTS, so do all you can to reduce pressure and vibes on your wrists.
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Old 09-17-06, 08:34 AM   #5
tastannin
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LittlePixel,

Thanks for the feedback. I went with the Trek, and don't regret it. The LBS has already been very helpful. I don't think they'd have been as helpful if I had gone with the Downtube.

It did help knowing that there are some options to refit the Trek with stuff that would help my CTS down the road.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-17-06, 08:36 AM   #6
tastannin
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Fryman, sorry. I bought it already.
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Old 09-17-06, 08:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maunakea
tastannin, whatever your selection of bike, buy some gel strip to put under your bar tape. Vibes and pressure on the radiocarpal joint and the triangular fibrocartilage complex transmitted through handlebars will definitely exacerbate CTS, so do all you can to reduce pressure and vibes on your wrists.
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into doing this.
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