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Old 08-17-09, 03:09 PM   #1
common man
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Better Frame? Trek 7.3 fx or Fuji Absolute 2.0

The 7.3 FX has "alpha black aluminum" which is double butted. The Absolute 2.0 has "altair 2 aluminum" which is described below as "custom butted" and according to a Fuji rep is double butted. My LBS salesman was tapping the Absolute 2.0's frame and said it was straight tube unlike a 7.3 Fx so I am confused. Maybe a forum member can verify?

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Altair 2 and Altair 1 alloys both start with the finest grade aluminum, which is then drawn and shaped to Fuji’s specifications. Altair 2 differs slightly in that tubes made of this material are custom butted – a more intensive process where wall thickness, or gauge, is manipulated to save weight in some areas of the tube without sacrificing strength.
The weights of bikes vary based on components / tires. However, I read somewhere on this forum that the Trek 7.3 Fx is ~ 27 lbs whereas the Fuji Absolute 2.0 is ~ 25 lbs. Putting aside specific consideration e.g. carbon fork in Fuji, both frames are identical in weight.

In 2008 the Absolute 2.0 had "altair 1" which is straight tube so the 7.3 FX frame was a clear winner. Now the 2009 Absolute 2.0 is supposedly double butted with its upgraded "altair 2" frame and has similar weight to the 7.3 fx frame. It is no longer clear which has the better frame. I did pick up a bike with "altair 1" Al and didn't notice much difference between that and double butted but I'm not a bike conoisseur.

My question to the members: do both bikes have frames that are similar in quality / construction?

Last edited by common man; 08-18-09 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 08-19-09, 02:21 PM   #2
sh00k
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Sorry I can't answer your question but I am almost sure the trek fx 7.3 weighs around 23-25 pounds. my 7.2 weighed closer to 28, so I really thinkg the 7.3 is significantly lighter....... what sucks is that trek doesnt tell us the weight....

trek has a lifetime garuntee on their frames and pretty good garuntees on other components. i personally have not looked at a single fuji but if i was ever concerned with the frame quality, i would not doubt trek because of their excellent support. i have not heard of any frame issues with any fx models so i think trek is definitely reputable....

i simply sat on a fx 7.3 this past weekend and almost bought it ;-D i think with better wheels (maybe a custom set which is less than $300) would significantly reduce the weight of this bike.....

another thing - look at reviews for the entire fx models. 99% of reviewers give the fx models 4 stars and above.... thats saying something.

and my last rant -- my coworker has an fx 7.2 from 07 and he rides to work daily on it. it looks like it came out of hell and it's still functioning perfectly since day 1.
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Old 08-19-09, 03:48 PM   #3
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I have a 2008 fuji 4.0, and I think the frame construction is just fine. I'm a good sized clydesdale, and have had no issues. It has the altair 2 aluminum, but I wasn't worried. The frames for most of these bikes are built in the same 2 or 3 factories so it should be fine. Worry more about the rims for curb hopping, etc.
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Old 08-19-09, 06:27 PM   #4
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I'm partial to my '09 Trek 7.3 FX. It is fast, well fast for me. It is real twitchy though. I've taken my hands off the bars a couple times, but a puff of wind or a knee twitch will send it in another direction real quick.
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Old 08-19-09, 07:29 PM   #5
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It is real twitchy though. I've taken my hands off the bars a couple times, but a puff of wind or a knee twitch will send it in another direction real quick.
May I ask: Is this your first aluminum-framed bike? I'm always seeing people crash on their brand new Cannondale and such. The last one was a Cannondale also. He tried to take a corner in front of my place and the bike threw him off. He wasn't wearing a helmet. As a EMT-trained first responder, I ran across the road to him and gave him the check. He was dazed but unwilling to go to the hospital. He sat on my doorstep - right across from the Fire Department ambulance and several large fire-trucks. He was concerned about the bike. He'd just bought it. It was okay - just the handlebars had, as they should, rotated on impact. I went and got a hex-wrench. Then I began my "interrogation:"

Did the bike-shop you got it from warn you about the difference in response of the aluminum-frame? Nope.

Did they tell you it was an aluminum-frame? Nope.

Is this your first new bicycle? Yup.

I explained to him the differences and sent him off, along with medical advice, to learn how his aluminum-framed Cannondale would respond. In an empty parking-lot. And to buy a helmet - head's being one-to-a-customer.

Then I went off to ride my Trek. And I found a guy dusting himself off. Another Cannondale had struck. This was the third time this week it had pitched him off. He was around 55 and also not wearing a helmet. I let him try on mine for comfort - he loved it! - and took down the address of where to get one. TODAY! he said. And I sent him off to a parking-lot as well.

And the list goes on and on how many people I've had to do this for. Bike-shops just don't explain these things to their clientele who are buying an aluminum-framed bike. They didn't tell me when I bought my Trek - fortunately I already knew. And they don't try to get you to buy a helmet. Sell you expensive lycra-clothing and crud - no helmets. I made a firm commitment to try to educate people on these matters BEFORE I have to scoop 'em up.

Now get a helmet and go to the empty parking-lot!
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Old 08-20-09, 05:56 AM   #6
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May I ask: Is this your first aluminum-framed bike?
Yes it is my first aluminum bike. The LBS let me ride several bikes in the parking lot, but when it came right down to it, the choice was the heavier more comfortable Giant Cyprus DX or the nimble and quick Trek 7.3 FX. You see what I chose and I still like it. Actually I like it more now, than I thought I would because it is so responsive.

When I was young, I used to ride a lot, up until I got my license to drive, I'm also used to riding motorcycles too.

Besides, at the time I wasn't sure if I was going to stay riding a bike and the investment wasn't that big as compared to the Trek 7.6 or higher. Although I liked the looks of the 7.6 better, but spending that extra $600+ was a bit salty at the time. Now I kind of wish I'd bought it.

In the end the performance side of me won out and I really like the aluminum frame, but it does demand respect. ;-)
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