Hi, I'm from New Zealand. I'm after a trek 7100fx, 7200fx or 7300fx. I went to the LBS today and they had a 7100fx with a front shock. It was definitely a 7100FX, not just a 7100 because it had the flatter handlebars, had trigger shifters and actually said '7100FX' on it. So I looked on the internet on Trek Australia (closest to New Zealand) and all the trek hybrid FX bikes have front shocks only. I'm rather new to bikes so I was wondering what peoples' views would be on the front shocks on these FX bikes?
1. Does it ruin their handling?
2. What's their weight compared to the non-forked ones?
3. Is it still good for primarily road riding?
4. What are your thoughts in general?
Trek's lineup is apparently quite different, on that side of the world. Here in the US the FX series have no front shocks, whereas the 7x00 series do. And there is no 7100 FX in the US, either.
Looking at the international Trek site, it looks like there are two models of the 7100 FX, one with and one without the suspension.
As to whether the shocks are good ... suspension tends to be a matter of preference. Front suspension will make you slower. How much depends on how and where you ride. On the other hand, it can significantly enhance your comfort on the bike, especially if you have wrist or hand problems. The only advice I can really give you is to test ride one without the suspension and compare it to the one with suspension and decide which you like best.
Thanks for the replies - one more question - I can't find anything on the net about how much any of these bikes weigh - not even a rough guide.
How much does a standard 7200fx weigh?
IF you go to the bike mechanics forum you may find more. As regards front shocks it depends what you are usign the bike for. If so commuting then waster of time as more things to go wrong. If for road then aslo Im my opinion not a good idea as more things to go wrong. The only reason I would go for suspension is for off road and then you need to pay good money. But that is only me. Look at the Specialize Sirrus range good bikes for hybrid range good for road,commuting etc. Try and decide what you are looking for bike for and then you van better suit your needs. Front suspension really is only for off road - thats me anyway
I have a 7200 with a front shock. Unless you're riding on rough roads or trails, you don't need the shock. The tires are wide enough to provide a soft ride. It looks like this model (FX S) also has a suspension seatpost.
The front shock adds some weight and complexity. I've not had any problems with mine for 3 years. The only time it bothers me is when I stand to pedal. However, the gearing is so low on the hybrids that you should never really have to stand.
I just weighed mine and it came in at about 40 pounds. However that includes a seatbag, pump, 2 racks, fenders, bar ends, and probably 10 other things that aren't standard. I'd say the dry weight is closer to 30-35 pounds.
It's a good bike. Over distances of 15 miles it's just a little slower than my road bike. I've used mine mostly on dirt roads but have also toured with it. If you are just getting into biking this is a good bike to start with. It is a comfortable bike competent on pavement or dirt roads, training, commuting, or touring. It's a small investment that won't bankrupt you if you find cycling isn't your thing or later decide to go with a more specialized bicycle. If you are trying to decide between different 7x00 models, I'd say to get the 1 with the best wheels.