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  1. #1
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    Trek 7.3 FX vs. Gary Fisher Monona

    Hey all,

    I just had my Trek 7.3 FX stolen from my building's parking garage. The thief jacked the upside-down "U" that was bolted to the concrete along with my bike. There was no other way for it to be stolen. *sigh* The thief didn't even take the other bike that was locked to the same "U"- it wasn't nice enough. I'm waiting for the police to come to file a report, but they won't be able to do anything. *sigh*

    Anyway, I need to replace it. Luckily, it is a good time for me to do that, what with the $499 sale price on the 7.3 FX (my LBS has that deal). Good timing for a crap event to happen to me.

    However, the guy at the shop that I spoke with recommended that I get the Gary Fisher Monona instead, and he would give it to me for the same $499 price (instead of the $579 they usually charge for it, and the MSRP is $639). He was basically telling me that the Monona is a superior bike compared to the Trek 7.3 FX. He has the Monona in stock, he does not have the 7.3 FX in stock- he would need to order it special for me.

    I don't know much about the different components each bike comes with or the materials the frames are made out of. I was hoping some of you who have more knowledge could recommend which bike I should go for. Is the Monona truly better than the 7.3 FX? Is it actually inferior? Are they the same? Is this shop just trying to unload inventory on me instead of ordering the 7.3 FX?

    I am planning on going to the shop and taking the Monona for a test ride tomorrow morning. I really enjoyed my 7.3 FX- it was a fun bike to ride. If I am going to replace it with the Monona, I want to make sure that I am upgrading, not downgrading.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Better also factor in new brakes - the Avid SD3's bite* what's unholy. Those are stock on both bicycles. I speak from experience when I say the frame of the 7.3 FX is a excellent one. I have no experience in the GFM's "gold" aluminum. The Trek 7.3 would lend itself to future upgrades perfectly. I think you know which one I'd get - a proven winner.


    * The SD3 brakes are only available as stock components - they are not sold individually. They go out of adjustment by simply looking at them. All the time. They were the first component I swapped out on my 7.5 FX. They drove me knutZ! But they did stop you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Yeah, i did notice the biting brakes, especially when I was going down a hill on a twisting path and had to brake quickly to turn. I'll consider swapping them in the future. Thanks for that and for your opinion on which bike you prefer.

    I have a feeling I'll end up sticking with the 7.3 FX, but I still plan on researching the Monona just to make sure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    Pretty much looks like the same bike to me. Trek does own Gary Fisher bikes, not really sure why they continue two, seemingly competeing lines. When I got my Trek 7200FX in 2005, the dealer tried to do the same thing to me. My decision was easier. At that time the GF had a suspension fork, I did not want.
    BierHaus Bertolette Road Bike, built 2007
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  5. #5
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    Very similar bikes. The GF comes with a cromoly fork, which is probably better than the alloy fork that the Trek has, and the crankset on the GF might be slightly better. The Trek comes with better tires. Don't know how the frames compare.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eminefes View Post
    Very similar bikes. The GF comes with a cromoly fork, which is probably better than the alloy fork that the Trek has, and the crankset on the GF might be slightly better. The Trek comes with better tires. Don't know how the frames compare.
    In terms of those features that you pointed out, would you say it's a trade-off? Meaning, do the better tires on the 7.3 make up for the possibly slightly better crankset and fork?

    Is that even a reasonable question?

  7. #7
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    My stock front brake on the FX squeals sometimes only when brake hard in slow speed.is that how you guys refers to " bite "?

    Oh,,so sorry so hear about your loss Surely, what part of LA are you from?
    Last edited by KungPaoSchwinn; 07-24-09 at 10:55 AM.
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  8. #8
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eminefes View Post
    Very similar bikes. The GF comes with a cromoly fork, which is probably better than the alloy fork that the Trek has, and the crankset on the GF might be slightly better. The Trek comes with better tires. Don't know how the frames compare.
    The frame is the heart of the bike. The reason I favor the Trek is that the "black" aluminum-frame on the 7.3 is the same as my (former) 7.5 is 7.6 is 7.7. And these frames are very good. The frame on the GFM is an unknown quantity at this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KungPaoSchwinn View Post
    My stock front brake on the FX squeals sometimes only when brake hard in slow speed.is that how you guys refers to " bite "?

    Oh,,so sorry so hear about your loss Surely, what part of LA are you from?
    I live in Westwood. The thief snuck into my building's parking garage and actually unbolted the upside-down "U" that was bolted to the concrete that my bike was locked to. They took that along with my bike. They left the bolts on the ground, probably to mock me. There would have been no other way for them to steal it- I was using a Kryptonite Evolution Mini (using the Sheldon Brown Lock Strategy) and a cable through the front wheel. They took one other Trek bike, but left a few others that weren't locked up and were worth little money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    The frame is the heart of the bike. The reason I favor the Trek is that the "black" aluminum-frame on the 7.3 is the same as my (former) 7.5 is 7.6 is 7.7. And these frames are very good. The frame on the GFM is an unknown quantity at this point.
    Fair enough.

    It would be nice to know what the difference is between 'FX alpha black aluminum' and 'gold series aluminum'.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    I took the Monona out for a spin yesterday, and it rode really well. It felt just as good, if not better than, the 7.3 FX.

    I'm going to test-ride a 2009 7.3 FX this afternoon. I want to see if the reason the Monona felt better than my stolen Trek is because my Trek was due for a tune-up and was a little loose.

    One store told me to get the Trek because Gary Fisher is overpriced for what it is (you are paying for the name). But I can get both bikes for the same price.....
    Another told me that she would get the Trek, even though the Monona has a few better components, only because she is more familiar with Trek.
    The only store that told me to get the Monona, is the store that carries it. They told me they could order the Trek for me if I want, but are they just trying to unload inventory?

    No straight answers......

  11. #11
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    How far are you from MJ $100,000 per month rented home? ooh what is brake bite means?
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  12. #12
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    Um...... 15 minutes.

    To me, it means that when you squeeze the brakes, instead of them stopping you smoothly, it jolts you to a stop.

    Thanks for being so helpful.

  13. #13
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    just because the LBS is selling both bikes for the same price does not mean he payed the same for them. the manufacturer/distributor might also be putting pressure on the LBS to move his slow product. he wants you to buy the bike he has in stock and not order a bike he does not have.

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    It is a pity that the two bikes are so similar. I don't think there will be any difference in the ride between the two and components- although they differ slightly-are the same.

    So how good is the bike shop? He is trying to sell you one bike in preference to another- but they are almost identical. If you think the bike shop will treat you right- go for thre GF. A Good LBS is hard to find.
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  15. #15
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I rather doubt the owner is trying to show his warm, beneficent heart here. He's trying to offload a bike. Knowing what I do about the frame of the 7.3 FX - and not knowing or hearing squat about the GF - I'd go with the field-tested winner. As regards components, they are easily upgraded as desired. The FX-bikes lend themselves very well to customizing.

    I bought a Trek 7.5 FX last year. It is hardly recognizable as such today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  16. #16
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Fisher is upgradeable to discs. That's a positive in my book.

  17. #17
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    If you're resorting to that, I'd build new wheels - which I did anyways. But no disk-brakes for me - Never.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  18. #18
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for everyone's insights. I ended up buying the Gary Fisher Monona instead of the Trek 7.3 FX.

    Here's why I went with the GF:
    • The frames are identical
    • The shifters are better on the GF
    • The crank is better on the GF (actually, it's the same crank on the 7.5 FX)
    • The grips and stock saddle are more comfortable on the GF than what I had on the 7.3 FX


    It's a great little LBS. Plug: The shop is called Beverly Hills Bike Shop. If you buy a bike there, you get lifetime tune-ups for free, as often as you'd like. Also, they sold me the Monona at the same price as the Trek special price for the 7.3 FX, which is $499 (instead of the MSRP $639.99). So, I saved around $140 plus tax, and ended up with a slightly better bike.

    I'm very happy with my purchase. I can't wait to take her on a long ride.......
    Last edited by Surely; 07-26-09 at 02:13 AM.

  19. #19
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Ride to the ends of the Earth!

    And please give us some feedback on the "gold" frame. Need any help down the road with upgrades and ideas - feel free to send me a pm.

    Ride On!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
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    ^^^^^ Thanks. I'll be sure to provide feedback on the frame.

    And I'll be sure to PM you if I need any advice on upgrading

  21. #21
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    I like to PM Panthers as well, i am interesting on doing some mods to my FX,ok? Panthers?
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  22. #22
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KungPaoSchwinn View Post
    I like to PM Panthers as well, i am interesting on doing some mods to my FX,ok? Panthers?
    Yep - I'll take some photos of my demonic handiwork in the next day or so. The only things that are original on my ex-FX is the frame/fork. The headset. And the handlebars. It was a lot of fun doing the customizing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cateye View Post
    Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surely View Post
    Thanks for everyone's insights. I ended up buying the Gary Fisher Monona instead of the Trek 7.3 FX.

    Here's why I went with the GF:
    • The frames are identical
    • The shifters are better on the GF
    • The crank is better on the GF (actually, it's the same crank on the 7.5 FX)
    • The grips and stock saddle are more comfortable on the GF than what I had on the 7.3 FX


    It's a great little LBS. Plug: The shop is called Beverly Hills Bike Shop. If you buy a bike there, you get lifetime tune-ups for free, as often as you'd like. Also, they sold me the Monona at the same price as the Trek special price for the 7.3 FX, which is $499 (instead of the MSRP $639.99). So, I saved around $140 plus tax, and ended up with a slightly better bike.

    I'm very happy with my purchase. I can't wait to take her on a long ride.......
    Congrats! Sounds like we were struggling with the same decision. I just picked up a Monona yesterday as a commuter and made the first commute on it this morning. It's an excellent bike and handled the ride wonderfully. As a comparison, I rode the Giant FCR3, Giant Seek 2, and Trek 7.3FX before deciding on the Monona. I was very interested in the Kona Dew Plus as well, but the only Kona dealer within a 150 mile radius of me didn't carry that model. The FCR3 felt too much like a road bike for a commuter (tall gearing and high stand-over) and the Seek 2 felt too much like a mountain bike for a commuter (very heavy and geared quite low). It really came down to the 7.3FX and Monona, and I went with the Monona for the reasons you mention, in addition to one other. The frame geometry is actually different. In comparatively similar sizes, the top tube on the Monona is longer compared the 7.3FX, giving the feeling of being more "stretched out". Which I, personally, like. On the 7.3 I felt like I was sitting up more and actually felt a tad bit "cramped", which would be a problem on longer rides.

    Gary Fisher has a good thing going with the Monona.

    Anywho, enjoy the bike! I know I am!
    Last edited by underdonk; 07-31-09 at 11:15 AM.

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