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Old 03-04-08, 04:38 AM   #1
bgm1961
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TREK 7.5 FX or the Coda Comp... ANOTHER comparison

The TREK 7.5 FX or the Coda Comp?
As best as I can determine, it's a photo finish... but I thought I'd ask anyway!

Hi all,

Please don't roll your eyes, but another newbie humbly looking for some selection advice. To make it easy, I've narrowed my possibilities to two bikes... the TREK 7.5 FX or the Coda Comp. A search of these forums shows there isnít a lot already posted that focuses only on these two models.

Every weekend while running the local bike trails, my wife and I watch all the cyclists whiz by. Well the time has come to join them. I haven't ridden a bike in 20 years, but am 46, so I've been around the block a couple times and know what I want wrt quality/features.

A lot of research on the web and some visits to a couple LB shops brought me to these two models. (I'm also considering the Specialized Sirrus Sport and the Kona Dew Deluxe, but after some additional research, they quickly fell to 3rd & 4th places).

My main purpose is paved fitness riding.

What I already know (and don't):
1) I don't know how they ride. I live in Hawaii, so when I say there's only a handful of LBS' for several thousand miles, I mean it. The LBS that specializes in Jamis doesn't stock the Coda Comp (and didn't have any of the Coda line in stock at the time). The LBS that specializes in TREK just sold the last 7.5. So getting either bike at this point would mean placing an order. Hence I am relying on input from all of you fine folk.
2) I get the aluminum vs steel frame smoothness thing. Everything else being equal, I'd go for the steel frame. But I don't know enough to know if everything else is equal. I do know that the Coda weighs 25 lbs. I don't know how much the TREK weighs.
3) They both have a carbon fork, so that's a wash. Except the TREK LBS said that the design of the 7.5's frame and the carbon fork make the bike behave as if it had a steel frame. Hmmm...
4) My crotch is 30" off the ground, so the 16" (Coda) or the 17.5" (Trek) should be right for me
5) The Coda has the Shimano SL-440 and the TREK has the Shimano Deore shift levers.. I don't know the difference.
6) I don't know the subtleties surrounding the gear specifications, and not sure if it makes a difference in my situation.
7) They're both within $25 of each other.

Why am I limiting myself to only these two models?
- I'm not keen on road bikes.. too much leaning forward for me. Even though my PRIMARY purpose is fitness, it'd be nice to use as a casual bike when the occasion calls for it.
- I'm not keen on comfort bikes. Somehow the words "comfort" and "fitness" don't go together.
- That leaves me with a hybrid and the lines carried by the LBS' (TREK, Jamis, Specialized, Kona) brought me to these two models.

OK, MUCH thanks in advance for your recommendations of the bike I should order. I realize the best advice is to try them out and rely on personal preference, but that isn't possible. Wait... there is one personal preference.. I kind of like the color of the TREK over the Coda. But that isn't enough to base a decision!

Again, I appreciate your input and pledge that when I make a selection I will provide a user's report in this forum for others like me to use. I'm also posting this in the "Commuter" section.

Thanks,

Barry
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Old 03-04-08, 07:28 AM   #2
Mild Al
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Unfortunately, there's no substitute for a good test ride. I just bought a new bike about 10 days ago, and when I went for some test rides, I was surprised to find that my "ideal" bike just didn't feel right to me, no matter how good it looked on paper.

Numbers, statistics, and component names can be misleading. My old, cheap steel bike weighs about 30 lbs., and my new bike weighs about 25 lbs., but I climb hills about the same on both of them, and my average speeds are about the same. On my other old bike, I had a Shimano Altus rear derailleur--supposedly one of the cheap ones--and it performed flawlessly (with occasional adjustments) for thousands of miles.

For me, it all comes down to finding a comfortable riding position and a good saddle. But that's just me; other people will have other priorities.

For what it's worth, my new bike is a Trek 7.2 FX. I got on it, and it just felt right. The other bikes didn't. But someone must be buying the others, so obviously, there's no way to predict exactly which bike will work for which person.

As for size--I also have a 30" inseam, and the 17.5 fits me just fine.

If you can't test ride the bike, buy from the shop you like best. Good service is also important.


P.S. Beware of the phrase "Everything else being equal." Everything else is NEVER equal!

Last edited by Mild Al; 03-04-08 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 03-04-08, 10:13 AM   #3
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Sounds like the process I went through. Have a comfort bike, but wanted something comfortable and faster (also have a road bike but don't ride it much). I went with the Specialized Sirrus Comp and I am very happy with it. Nimble and fast but also comfortable. Three ring/27 speeds. It does it all and I can't say enough about it. Give it a try and see what you think.
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Old 03-04-08, 11:44 PM   #4
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FWIW:

Threw about $350. into my '94 Trek 720 (steel). Rims, tires (road slicks), cassette, chain, cables, rear rack, saddle, tube wedge and a Topeak bag for the rack. Started training with a partner (who rides a Specialized Sirrus - v.nice bike). Doing 75-100 mi. a week. Have done B2B 50's with no problems.

LBS tried to steer me into a new Trek (alum.)hybrid (and I was also looking at steel Jamis')...."you could have a new bike for another couple hundred bucks, yadda..yadda...yadda."

I've decided, for the moment, to continue to train hard, tinker with the old steel frame and talk to other folks. New road bike? Would be nice but, I'm just getting into shape and getting more in tune with what goes into a "nice road bike." Flat bar? Drops? Etc, etc. Things change fast at this stage. Having fun and getting a good workout are enough for me. I troll the BF forum constantly.

(One thing I'm beginning to notice: on a 50 miler that steel frame sure picks up a lot of road pounding when I get a bit 'fuzzy' and don't always lift my hands off the handlebars (slightly) to better absorb the pounding.)
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Old 03-05-08, 03:06 AM   #5
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All,

Thanks so far for the friendly and much appreciated advice! It certainly helps a newcomer feel welcome. Yes, I agree that both of the models I'm looking at should be taken for a test ride. But that's not possible with one of the models as the LBS doesn't carry it (the Coda Comp). My selection be driven simply by what's availbel to test ride. Hmmm...

Thanks again,

Barry
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Old 03-05-08, 06:18 AM   #6
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Another thought: Is there anyone in Hawaii (Oahu?) who has a Coda you could borrow and test?
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Old 03-07-08, 03:40 AM   #7
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All,

Thnaks again for the great response. As far as knowing anyone around that has a Coda, I'm afraid I don't. But it's a good idea and I'll keep asking some people that I know that know others...

Thanks,

Barry
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Old 03-07-08, 03:54 AM   #8
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OP, why are you double threading? It's either here or in Commuting, but generally BF policy is not to post in two forums with the same thread.
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Old 03-07-08, 08:12 PM   #9
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My wife loves her Trek 7.5FX wsd. She had a Trek 7100 hybrid but is was slowing her down. The FX is fast, lighter than the hybrids, and still has that upright geometry. I added barends to give her another hand position.

Since you can get close without test riding; check with the LBS about swapping a stem if necessary to get you the proper fit on your new bike.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:45 PM   #10
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I can't imagine getting a bike without a test ride. Fit is just so important.

I have a 7500 FX (older model than 7.5) and luv it. I started riding longer and with faster people... I told my LBS guy that I could be talked into a road bike, but hadn't ever ridden one that I liked... but that I wanted lighter and gears I could stomp down on. On the flats in a tailwind I was running out of gears.
I got it with 25c tires in Oct. 2001 and it's been great ever since. I reckon I've put about 10,000 miles on it.
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Old 03-21-08, 03:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
OP, why are you double threading? It's either here or in Commuting, but generally BF policy is not to post in two forums with the same thread.
I'd like to apologize for breaking protocol. So please advise on how to make a question visible to everyone who reads the Commuting forum, but never checks the General Discussion forum, and vice versa?

My goal was to solicit advice from readers who visit one forum or the other, not to annoy those who just happen to visit both. Again, I apologize.

Barry
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Old 03-21-08, 04:03 AM   #12
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I finally decided! Thank you all!

I really appreciate all the great and kind advice each of you provided. I decided to go with the Trek 7.5 (pictures attached).

It's a wonderful bike... with a little pressure let out of the tires, it's a nice smooth ride. The gears are smooth. The bike looks good and it's fast. And light. So, I'm happy with the purchase.

Thanks again!

Barry
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Trek 7.5 FX 1.jpg (75.4 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg Trek 7.5 FX 2.jpg (95.7 KB, 56 views)
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Old 03-23-08, 10:14 AM   #13
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This post may be too late but I rode the Jamis Coda in Florida while on vacation. It was an "okay" bike but I was so happy to return home to my Trek 7.5FX. I think you will be much happier with that. Just as I was ready to hit "Post" I looked above and I see you bought the 7.5FX. Congratulations!
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