Just bought my 1st bike in years, a Trek 7.1fx. Had it for 3 months and it just got ripped off last week. I had been riding an avg of 150-200miles/week and since have been borrowing friends bikes to get my workout in. Its just not cutting it riding someone elses "comfort cruiser" for a workout so I am in the market for a new hybrid monster.
I am not very knowledgeable about different models and equipment etc, I just know if it feels right riding it, I'm all for it. The 7.1fx got the job done. Fast, reliable and affordable, but I am now looking to upgrade a little. Basically I am looking for the same type of bike with the straight bars but with a more gears and better shifters etc and possibly a smoother ride on our terrible Chicago streets. 99.99% of my riding will be on paved surfaces, streets, paved trails etc. and rarely an occasional crushed limestone trail.
My insurance will cover about $400 so I'm looking to spend a few bucks total on an upgrade and keep the grand total hopefully under 1k. It seems like many riders on this site either own or have tested the higher fx models. So my question to everyone is this: Where do I begin? Trek seems to be the most available out there and are reasonably priced. I would like to know from experienced riders what I'm getting into with the 7.3 up to 7.7fx models? What's upgraded on these bad boys? I'm looking for a machine that I will enjoy riding 200 or more miles a week. Please help.