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  1. #1
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    Bought a Trek Navigator - Have Buyer's Remorse

    Hi, I'm new here and this may be the wrong thread to post in--if so, newbie apologies.

    In March I bought a Trek Navigator. My family and I had gone to our local bike store, and the saleswoman talked me into the Navigator, which I hesitated buying because it looks like an "old lady" bike to me. I road a Trek mountain bike (but only one) and found it uncomfortable, but now I wonder if I should've tried several. The saleswoman suggested the Navigator because of its more upright configuration (I have lower back pain) and its "hybrid" qualities (we do old railway trails on our RV trips).

    But, I'm unhappy with it. I can't get any speed on it and it just feels sluggish. It is comfortable, I suppose, and I love the gear shift mechanism, but it just doesn't seem sporty enough.

    I doubt (at 44) that I'll become a real mountain biker, but I wonder if I should sell my Navigator and look at mountain bikes. Street bikes look great for speed, but I don't think I'd be able to go on trails (even simple ones). I can't seem to find a Trek "hybrid," so I'm assuming the mountain bike is the best choice. There are so many of those, I'm not even sure where to start.

    I realize you get these "what bike should I buy" questions often in this forum, and I'm just adding to them. But any sage advice would be much appreciated.

    Susan

    P.S. Anyone want a barely used Navigator?

  2. #2
    Senior Member aggarcia's Avatar
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    Trek has the 7000 series and the FX series. The 7000 series have thesame type frame as what you have. The FX series are similar to mountain bike frames with 700Cx35 tires. The 26 x1.95 tires are much wider than the 700C tires on a FX bike. I have a 7.2FX that is a great all around bike. Much faster than my mountain bike, but easier riding poistion than my Trek 2.1 .

  3. #3
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    I can't get any speed on it. I doubt the problem is with the bike. Consider changing tires, or buying a set of wheels for each intended use. For road riding you might be better off with a folding bike as they are easier to transport to the bike path.

    I really doubt a new frame will solve your problems unless the fit is totally off.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    For prepared trail like rail trails etc., I find nothing beats a cyclocross bike with knobby tires. I also find that riding with drop handlebars relieves pain in my lower back but we no doubt have different issues there. They are also lighter, faster and more efficient than MTB's.

    You may also consider a full suspension MTB to minimize jarring to the spine.

    Never keep a bike you don't like to ride or it will never be ridden.

  5. #5
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    In late 2004 I purchased a Trek Navigator 100 for myself. The following day I purchased a step-through frame Trek Navigator 100 for the wife. These are used for long rail trail rides. Tuesday we did a 49 mile ride on them and yesterday a 48 mile ride.
    I also have a Trek Multitrack "hybrid". For long rides I prefer the Navigator for a more comfortable ride. I also bought a Raleigh Detour "hybrid" for the wife but she still prefers the Trek Navigator. At this point in time we have close to 8,000 miles on the Navigators and have had no problems with them. Chain and cassette replacement at about 4,000 miles.

    When we first rode the then new Navigators we were not happy with the stock Bontrager tires. Almost a mushy feel while pedaling on hard packed stone dust. Then I put a set of Continental Town & Country tires on mine. This made a big difference in how the bike performed. With the tires inflated to the middle of the suggested range you run on a strip of rubber in the center of the thread that is about 1/2" wide. Very low rolling resistance. Then once onto stone dust, gravel or dirt the tread pattern sort of kicks in for a grip on the surface.

    I had a similar experience with the Multitrack when I switched from the stock Bontrager tires to Continental tires.

    Tires with a high rolling resistance can made an acceptable bike feel sluggish.

    Just as important is your physical condition. My wife and I are 67 years old. If we are off the bikes too long over our northern winters it takes a few weeks to get the legs back in shape.

    Yesterday I finally got my wife to start playing with the gears on different sections of the trail. She was able to cruise at 15 mph with one short burst of 20 mph for a short time. Even the best bike is no good if one is not in the proper physical condition.

  6. #6
    Fred at large
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    From your post it appears that the problem isn't with the bike so much as you don't believe that the bike is "you." I base this from your post saying that it doesn't look sporty enough and that it looks like an old lady bike.

    It is a nice looking cross-bike with modern geometry (sloping top tube). Yes it does have a more upright position which will effectively prevent you from being able to deliver max thrust for max, or sustained speed, but your back issue would prevent that anyway. If you want a more sporty look, change the stem to one with less vertical rake. It's a quill style stem so you might be better off with a quill / stem converter and a modern 1 1/8" clamp-on stem. You can get them in various degree inclinations and they can be flipped over for more options. This would lower your bars and give you the more sporty look you seem to want. You'll need to go to a longer stem if you do this to prevent you from being cramped on the bike. Which is actually good for your back.

    Change the tires. Most bikes come with the worlds most horrible tires installed. Poor wear, poor handling, poor performance, poor everything. Get rid of them for some new ones. You'll see an improvement even if it's just mentally.

    After riding the bike for awhile, you can then decide if you want to upgrade (n+1 disease) or not. However, I believe that the biggest thing you can do for yourself is go ride. Ride by yourself, or ride with friends, but ride the bike. That will tell you more about what you want and where you want to take your cycling than any advice you will get on an internet forum.

    You're 44? 44 ain't so old.
    I am Fred, hear me slurp my Grande Mocha.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suzyq2463 View Post
    I doubt (at 44) that I'll become a real mountain biker, but I wonder if I should sell my Navigator and look at mountain bikes.
    Hey! You're 44 years old.

    If you don't like the bike that you have FOR ANY REASON, unload that turkey and try something else. Repeat until you get it right. Life is too short to put up with stuff that doesn't make you happy.

  8. #8
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Hey! You're 44 years old.

    If you don't like the bike that you have FOR ANY REASON, unload that turkey and try something else. Repeat until you get it right. Life is too short to put up with stuff that doesn't make you happy.
    Seconded. The bike you like is the bike that you're going to -want- to ride. The more biking seems like a chore, the less appealing it's gonna be.

    Get a bike you love.

  9. #9
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Since you feel like your bike is sluggish, then you absolutely do NOT want to move to a mountain bike for the type of riding that you do.

    Unless you are doing mountain biking, and riding in real off-road conditions, any mountain bike is going to be even more sluggish than what you are riding now. Between the knobby tires and the bike geometry being oriented even more for off road riding, it will do nothing but make for a bike less suitable for road and rail trail riding.

    Follow the recommendations above concerning tires... Tires will change ride characteristics a lot.

    I did a quick browse of the Trek site, and a couple of suggestions follow;

    In addition, if you have the Navigator 3.0, activate the lockout on the suspension fork. This will help eliminate some of the sluggishness. If you have the one with the non-suspension fork, then good for you, if you have the one in between, then you may want to consider replacing the fork with a rigid fork. I did this on my Sedona DX (a similar bike from Giant) and I like the feel of the bike a lot more. I think one of the biggest issues with the cycling industry is the insistence of putting front suspension on so many of their bikes.

    If you have a model with a suspension seat post, tighten it so that it doesn't move, or replace it with a solid seat post... again, this will help in making the ride feel less sluggish.

    Is the height of your saddle adjusted properly? Many people when they buy bikes adjust their saddle so that they can rest their feet on the ground when they come to a stop. This is too low except for a few bikes designed for it... The Navigator isn't designed for it. Hopefully your bike shop helped you adjust the height properly, but sometimes they just let the customer do whatever they want.

    What sort of "cadence" do you pedal? If you are pedaling too slow, you could feel sluggish. Drop down a gear or two and start spinning.

    As someone mentioned, if you don't enjoy riding, you won't keep it up, so please take all of my comments as they are intended, as suggestions to potentially help you to enjoy cycling. Take what you want, and ignore the rest... whatever makes you happy.

  10. #10
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    If your saddle is too low you'll never get good power delivery.
    Wide tires can feel slow, since you don't get much if any vibration, the upright position won't slow ya down much untill you're doing 12-14mph and up, which is a respectable cruise speed for most people.

    I've seen lots and lots of people on those bikes, young, old, fat, skinny. I saw a very fit mid 20's couple touring on them, half way through a 400 mile tour.
    It's not the sexiest bike, but it's not a bad bike either.
    Last edited by MilitantPotato; 05-22-09 at 05:52 PM.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    If you do not like a particular bike- you will not ride it.

    Back ache and many think that an upright bike will aid it. Not always the case as a more stretched out riding position will often take the vertical strain on the vertebrae and ease it.

    Get back to the shop and explain the situation but try out as many types of bike that you can. Once you find a type that is comfortable after a 5 minute sit on it- test ride as many as you can.

    And as a final resort-if you cannot get comfortable on a conventional bike- try recumbents.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  12. #12
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    Well, I bought a used Trek Navigator in Denver for $30, ripped off the silly gear dials, slapped on new handlebars, a basket, seat, thud buster, etc etc, and it is now an awesome mountain town bike that I use for everything. Fast enough on the street, tough enough for rough / gravel roads and occasional light trail use. I love it. I have Giant MTB and Surly Disc Trucker, but spend most time on my Trek.

    For what it's worth. :-)

  13. #13
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    PS - hard forks - don't like springs on townie bike. Plus nice cork Ergon hand grips. It's my ride....

  14. #14
    Senior Member FLJeepGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff81999 View Post
    Well, I bought a used Trek Navigator in Denver for $30, ripped off the silly gear dials, slapped on new handlebars, a basket, seat, thud buster, etc etc, and it is now an awesome mountain town bike that I use for everything. Fast enough on the street, tough enough for rough / gravel roads and occasional light trail use. I love it. I have Giant MTB and Surly Disc Trucker, but spend most time on my Trek.

    For what it's worth. :-)
    Welcome to the forum!

    Also, you should check the date of the threads you respond to. This one was dead for five years...

  15. #15
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLJeepGuy View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    Also, you should check the date of the threads you respond to. This one was dead for five years...
    Yeah, it was interesting to read through a thread that I thought was new, and then stumbling across a response from me that I didn't remember making, although I would still agree with it. Then I looked at the dates.
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  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Any others reading this old Post, If you were buying from the dealer Here
    they would exchange what you have for another Trek Model
    that you like better . since it's near new most of what you paid would go towards another bike ..

    Trek has the lighter FX series, and the suspension fork DS.. both can be called Hybrid ..

    I cannot speak for the manager of your Local TREK dealer, I know the One, here. .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-25-14 at 08:54 AM.

  17. #17
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Susan hasn't posted on BF since starting this thread in 2009.

    Wonder how she resolved her problem.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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