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  1. #1
    Senior Member ntime60's Avatar
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    If you had a new Trek 7.3 FX what would you upgrade and why?

    I've got 300 miles on mine and have been thinking on where to start. Don't get me wrong. I like my 7.3...a lot. But reading some of the posts here, are making me wonder if I should be thinking of upgrading to better quality parts.

    I've already swapped the saddle...the first day actually and added a Cateye, a saddle bag with a multi-tool, tube and CO2 for emergency air. More than likely I'm going to add a rear rack so it will be easier to add a trunk to make it easier to go to the store and haul my camera gear around.

    I've been thinking of starting with the bars, the longer I ride the more my fingers get a little numb if I don't remember to shake them occasionally. So I figure if I have more hand positions, I might get rid of that sensation. Are bar ends worth it over getting a new bar?

    I tend to ride in state parks, railtrails (mups), and eventually attempting to commute to work a bit.

    Any other suggestions?
    2009 Trek 7.3 (Black), Cateye Strada /w cadence. My Cycling Adventures

  2. #2
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    I put bar end/grips on my 7.6fx, and I haven't found them too useful really. These are the ones I got:
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...6&category=708

    I find them nice for climbing hills, but I really don't see much of a benefit to that hand position when just pedaling on the flats. Maybe something like this would be good:
    http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=15300
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I have about the same amount of miles on my 7.3. Get Ergons right away! You will wonder how you lasted this long! I got the cheap-ish Ergon GP-1's and they made a world of difference. I've considered a trekking bar, and the GP-1's should fit on it should I go that route.

    Still have the stock saddle. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world, but I get a long. Pedals and shoes will most likely be my next investment.

  4. #4
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    For the numbness in the hands problem, look up Ergon grips in Google and take a look. And get some gloves with gel-padding to protect your ulnar and medial nerves in the hands.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  5. #5
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    Clipless pedals and shoes. I like the Shimano PD-M324 since one side is a platform.

    And if you start to commute and ride on pavement all the time, consider changing out your tires for 700x28. I have a set of 700x23 for my 7.5 FX although for commuting I like the 700x28.

    Other upgrades you see people doing are much less bang-for-the-buck. For example, drivetrain, etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Steve in MA's Avatar
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    I have a 2009 7.3FX. My two main upgrades have been the grips and the pedals.

    I replaced the grips with Ergon GR-2's, which have a very large surface area for your palms, as well as an integrated bar end. I LOVE these grips. Very comfortable, and they give you a few hand positions to choose from on a long ride. Most often, I loop my hands around the bar end to give me a similar position to when I have my hands on the brake hoods of a traditional road bike.

    I replaced the platform pedals with Speedplay Light Action clipless pedals. Very happy with them. Easy to clip in and out, but still plenty of float so you can get your knees/legs into a comfortable riding position.

    And although not really upgrades, I've also accessorized it with a Cateye Strada Wireless computer, a Blackburn Airstick pump, and a large Topeak saddle bag. Haven't needed to use the Airstick on the road yet, but it seems to move a decent about of air for its small size. And I love the Cateye computer, never looses its signal and it is very accurate.

  7. #7
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    I've got an 08 7.3fx, things I changed are: Brake Pads, saddle, better pedals (clipless or powergrips are a personal thing don't expect miracles,) Ergon GP-1 or GR2 grips are worth the money, and nashbar trekking bars.

    Actual upgrades I'd do if I wanted to throw money at it are: Aluminum chainrings, aerobars if I hadn't gone with trekking bars, lighter cassette, lighter cranks, carbon fork, lighter rims.

    Cost? Nearly as much as the bike, if not more. Would it help? A little, the aero bars would make the most difference, a lighter wheelset can make bikes feel a lot livelier.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ntime60's Avatar
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    I looked up the Ergon grips. They look interesting, I think I'll have to try them. I think if I get to a point where I would like drops, I'll probably buy new bars.

    I do tend to ride mostly on paved/concrete roads/mups so far. Attempting to commute the 26-27 miles one way to work would be all paved. I'll probably try that when I consistently ride 30 miles on my road trips. I'm consistently riding 17-20 right now nightly...providing it don't rain.

    Tires, hmm, I think I like what I have at the moment, actually I don't know if I'd know the difference right now going from a 700/32 to a 700/28, because my top sustainable speed seems to be about 22 mph and my normal average is about 12 mph. I do tend to push myself upward to 18 mph often, but I look at that as a physical conditioning thing more than tire help. ;-)

    Thanks for the replies all. This gives me some more food for thought.
    2009 Trek 7.3 (Black), Cateye Strada /w cadence. My Cycling Adventures

  9. #9
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    I only have the necessities on mine,thinking of a Topeak reak rack from Amazon,$26 shipped, may be one of their slide-on storage bag to carry my photography gear.
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  10. #10
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    If anyone gets Ergon grips, be certain to install them in the proper orientation - the wider 'bulge' should be toward the rear and slanted a bit down. Experiment to see which amount is most comfortable to you.

    As for pedals - yes! Get rid of the toys the 7.1 - 7.5 come with. Not sure if the 7.6 and up are better. But find some good pedals to fit you.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  11. #11
    Keeper of the Castle
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    Thumbs up Ergon GC-3

    I have the Ergon GC3 (new with longer bar ends) grips on my Kona and absolutley love the various hand positions (and comfort) they offer:

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/gc3

    http://www.amazon.com/Ergon-Race-Bic.../dp/B002EZ2VPG
    2009 CAAD9-5 (road)
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    1993 Trek 930 (mountain)

  12. #12
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    NICE! That's what I was looking for. Thank you!
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  13. #13
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    eh there,

    So uhm I bought two 2009 7.3 fx this year. I knew next to nothing about biking or commuting when I started this year. I figure the 7.3 was a great middle of the road bike. I figure when I start to wear about parts I could upgrade.

    Anyways one was stolen, so a bought a second. first was found, now i'm selling it. The second was just returned and I picked up a 2010 7.5 fx [its hot].More on that later.

    First 7.3 had the 28c tires the second had 32c tire. I like the bigger tire for commuting and pot holes. I dented my rim twice hitting pot holes at night. Just a bad combination of dodging traffic and lots and lots of road construction. First bike i had just a trek Incite 8i Wireless and it wasn't the most acurate or fast updating, but it got the job done. I have a little over 600 miles on my first bike. Second bike I put on a Trek Incite Link, this gave me temp, cadence, heart rate option. It seemed to update faster and was more consistent on rides.

    On both 7.3 I have had trouble with the front derailer not shifting smooth from middle to large sprocket. I've adjusted it when I ride, but I really don't leave the large sprocket. I'm trying to learn why one was in to far and the other wouldn't go up. They seemed to be a hair off all the time. I turned the adjuster by the shifter to help it, but it never seemed to stay.

    I added SKS commuter fenders to the bike as well. For lighting I have planet bike 1 watt front and rear light combo. As well as a planet bike water bottle cage. I don't care for the peddles but I'm waiting to see what winter brings before I commit to a new shoe/peddle. For the handle bar grips, I have them backwards and I wear gloves. That seems to solve the problem during the longer rides.

    The saddle is border line for me. If I stay sitting on a longer ride, it kind of bothers me, but I think it is in my mind. My butt gets a little sore and I keep thinking about the complaints on the forums here. I honestly think it is 65% in my head 35% butt, or is it really 35/65? Either way the jury is still out.

    Over all I think it was a great bike to start out on. After the whole stolen bike, bought 2nd bike, recovered bike, selling bike, order new bike, bought new bike. I think the 7.3 hit exactly what I needed to start out on. It was a good bike with decent parts. It gave me an idea to what I wanted and where I wanted to go. I have 700 miles on both 7.3's this summer so far. I ride on paved roads to work and paved trails on days off. The front derailer hasn't been zeroed for my style.

    Like I said in the beginning, I just bought a 2010 7.5 fx. Anything higher I'd have to go to a true road bike. The 7.5 got me into the carbon fork and upgraded rims, derailers, saddle, etc. I also changed the cpu to a Trek Incite Link. It gave me upgrades on everything I am second guessing on the 7.3. Unfortunately I am in Michigan till monday, so i was only able to ride around the bike shop. Also the new 7.5's are available in black (best color ever). They have new tires that have red where the grey was, and a red/white pinstripe where the grey was on the frame. Also the rear or the bike seems beefer. I have to look at both bikes when I get home.

    Well that is kind of long winded and I don't know if I made a point so I hopefully offered some input on what you were looking for.

    dh

  14. #14
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
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    No offense to digital, was your mind altered when you make that reply?
    Last edited by KungPaoSchwinn; 08-21-09 at 10:57 PM.
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  15. #15
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Problems with the front-derailleur (FD) going out of adjustment is very, very common. Usually this is due to the cable stretching and the housing settling. It's perfectly normal. Now you can either undo the pinch-bolt that holds the cable in the FD, and giving it a pull so it's taut - not tight - and tightening the pinch-bolt down to 48 - 60 inch-pounds (torque-wrench required), or do this once after installing a barrel-adjuster in the cable-line somewhere between the shifter and the FD. Then just giving the barrel-adjuster a small turn will have it running perfectly. Here are barrel-adjusters:

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...rrel-Adjusters

    And here is one on a Trek FX-frame:

    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  16. #16
    Senior Member ntime60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Problems with the front-derailleur (FD) going out of adjustment is very, very common. Usually this is due to the cable stretching and the housing settling. It's perfectly normal. Now you can either undo the pinch-bolt that holds the cable in the FD, and giving it a pull so it's taut - not tight - and tightening the pinch-bolt down to 48 - 60 inch-pounds (torque-wrench required), or do this once after installing a barrel-adjuster in the cable-line somewhere between the shifter and the FD. Then just giving the barrel-adjuster a small turn will have it running perfectly. Here are barrel-adjusters:
    I'd noticed some odd shifting behavior with the front dérailleur on my 7.3 when shifting from the middle sprocket, either up or down. I cured it myself more or less by watching what rear cog I'm in, for example I never shift down on the front when I'm higher than 5th and never shift up when lower than 4th. So I pretty well stay in the middle rear gears when shifting the front.

    I thought it had more to do with chain tracking with the opposing gears than anything else. I was unaware you could adjust that out.

    Thanks Panthers
    2009 Trek 7.3 (Black), Cateye Strada /w cadence. My Cycling Adventures

  17. #17
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    You're welcome.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  18. #18
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Ergons for comfort.

    Kool Stop Salmon pads for better braking, especially in the wet.

    Marathon Supreme tyres in 35 or 38mm for speed, comfort, puncture protection and durability. They cost, but they last.

    BMX platform pedals for efficiency and comfort with almost any shoe. Get ones with the hardware for attacking reflectors - you can add Power Grips to these later if you feel the need.

    A chain with a powerlink for easy removal for regular cleaning.

    Nothing else unless you decide you need a shorter or longer stem. The bike is a balanced package of components and if you start replacing derailers it 1. won't really do much and 2. will invalidate your warranty and free servicing at the LBS, if you got that.

  19. #19
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    For a brand new bike, the only things I would ever consider "upgrading" would be from the following list.

    1) Saddle
    2) bar ends/grips
    3) Pedals

    Anything else that I would be concerned with upgrading right away would keep me from buying the bike in the first place since it isn't cost effective.

    Edit: I would consider brake pads and other consumables for changes too.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  20. #20
    Junior Member
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    I use the Ergon grips with integrated bar ends. They are wonderful.

  21. #21
    Bike me!
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    I'm going to be the odd man out...

    I put bar ends on my 7.3 and didn't like them because the numbness was still a problem. So I swapped the bars for Titec H bars and have had a happy, numbness free summer. A friend uses trekking bars and he is a very satisfied rider.

    I probably don't get as many hand options as if I had trekking bars, but I do like the ones I'm running now.

  22. #22
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Harris Cyclery in West Newton, MA is now carrying the mysterious Trekking Bars. Or will be - they're waiting on a shipment:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/handlebars/index.html
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  23. #23
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Ergon Grips(the original style), normal aluminum bar ends(so it's easy to mount a mirror-wrap em with bar tape if you need to,) Mountain Mirrycle Mirror, Kool Stop Salmon Pads(with holders so pads are cheap to replace in the future), rack, and trunk bag, good headlights and taillights, Shimano PDM324 pedals and shoes to match(mountain, preferrably) computer with cadence, Topeak Mountain Morph Pump, tire repair kit, water bottles and cages.... then pick up some cheap ATB panniers from Nashbar when under $20.(optional-Grocery Panniers from Performance.)

    Watch for a good price on a Brooks B-17 (honey) because it is so comfortable, and looks soooooo nice.

    Then switch to Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires, and tubes, when your baby needs new shoes. 35 should do nicely (if they will fit your bike.)
    Last edited by Wanderer; 09-09-09 at 07:43 AM.

  24. #24
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    Here's a question to revive the 7.3FX "upgrade" thread...

    Would it be worth going to carbon on the fork/seatpost/handlebar/stem if you can work some discount magic? (used/ebay/sales/closeouts/etc/etc) Or would a different wheelset be as strong or stronger than stock but still be able to add some pep?

    *** So far I'm currently looking at swapping the saddle due to some numbness with my fluid trainer. Keep in mind my 7.3FX is an Urban Fitness Vehicle (UFV?). I've also swapped to Specialized MTB shoes and Crank Brothers Candy SL Pedals. I also got Ergon GR2s for finger numbness. Great grips! ***

  25. #25
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilitantPotato View Post
    Actual upgrades I'd do if I wanted to throw money at it are: Aluminum chainrings, aerobars if I hadn't gone with trekking bars, lighter cassette, lighter cranks, carbon fork, lighter rims.
    .
    IIRC, the chainrings aren't replaceable on that crank?

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