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Old 08-31-09, 04:19 PM   #1
Alohaman
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Trek 7.3 FX vs. Gary Fisher Monona

To start with, I am not really knowledgeable about bicycles, I am more of a car guy than anything (1984 Chevette project car and 1991 Acura Integra driver) but I recently got back into cycling after a trip to Japan and seeing how worthwhile it is to cycle over there. I went exploring around on an old 1999 Infinity (Costco brand "mountain" bike) when I got home and found it just as easy and quick to get downtown and to the university (if not easier, parking sucks at both places) on that old thing. But being old, a box store bicycle, and being abused without any sort of maintenance over the past decade, it is having trouble shifting, the full suspension is getting soft, and the brakes are pretty worn. Not to mention, even with my good leg strength, it is extremely slow and heavy (weighs somewhere in the high thirties at least, if not 40's), I have managed to get it to go around a good 20 mph tops on flat ground, but probably because I only weigh 120-125 lbs and I am 5'6". The bike's looks are enough of a theft deterrent that I could leave it out in the middle of the road, with a sign around it saying "STEAL ME!" and no one would take it lol (I'll show a picture later if anyone wants to see).

Okay, backstory out of the way. I have been looking at a few hybrids and test drove some, finding Trek and Gary Fisher to have all round good handling, speed, comfort and looks as well. I tested a 2009 Trek FX 7.3 today and an '09 Gary Fisher Wingra. Now the title says Monona, which is the upgrade from the Wingra, they are essentially the same in other words, but I didn't see any there at the time and the assistant helping me said all their models are on the floor currently (having a sale). The Monona and the 7.3 FX seem to have similar components as the 7.3, the same MSRP (though the price is higher here in Canada, $639 in the US, they want $749 here, though the sale price is $699, that could probably be whittled down some more). Though I don't know the differences between the components. I'll list the specs for both from the catalogs:

Gary Fisher Monona

Frameset

Sizes SM (15.5") | MD (17.5") | LG (19") | XL (21") | XXL (22.5")
Frame Gold Series aluminum
Fork Cromoly straight blade w/CLIX

Drivetrain

Shifters Shimano Alivio, 8spd
Front Derailleur Shimano C102
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Cassette SRAM PG830, 11-28T, 8spd

Wheels

Wheels Alloy front hub/Shimano RM60 rear hub, Bontrager Nebula rims, 32h
Tires Bontrager Satellite Plus 700x32c, 60 TPI

Components

Crank Set Shimano M443, 48/36/26, Octalink
Saddle Bontrager Select City
Seatpost Bontrager SSR
Handlebar Bontrager SSR Riser, 25mm rise, 6d backsweep
Stem Bontrager SSR, 10d
Pedals Nylon body, alloy cage
Headset Aheadset Slimstak, semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Avid SD-3, Avid FR-5 levers

Link: http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/monona


Trek 7.3 FX

Frameset

Sizes 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25"
Frame FX Alpha Black Aluminum
Fork FX Alloy w/tapered wall thickness, straight blades, Clix dropouts

Wheels

Wheels Alloy front hub, Shimano RM30 rear hub; Bontrager Nebula, alloy 32-hole rims
Tires Bontrager Race Lite Hard-Case, 700x32c

Drivetrain

Shifters Shimano EF60 trigger, 8 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano M191
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Crank Shimano M361 48/38/28 w/chainguard
Cassette Shimano HG40 11-32, 8 speed
Pedals Nylon body w/alloy cage

Components

Saddle Bontrager H1
Seat Post Bontrager Nebula
Handlebars Bontrager SSR, 25mm rise
Stem Bontrager SSR, 10 degree
Headset Aheadset Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Avid SD-3 w/Shimano EF60 levers

Link: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/73fx/ - That's the 2010 model, but they are essentially the same, just that the one I tested was red.

And the Gary Fisher Wingra, just for comparisons-sake.

Frameset

Sizes SM (15.5") | MD (17.5") | LG (19") | XL (21") | XXL (22.5")
Frame Gold Series aluminum
Fork Cromoly straight blade w/CLIX

Drivetrain

Shifters Shimano EF50, 8spd
Front Derailleur Shimano C102
Rear Derailleur Shimano Acera
Cassette SRAM PG830 11-28T, 8spd

Wheels

Wheels Alloy front hub/Shimano RM30 rear hub, Matrix 750 rims, 32h
Tires Bontrager Satellite Plus 700x32c, 60 TPI

Components

Crank Set Shimano M361, 48/38/28
Saddle Bontrager Select City
Seatpost Bontrager SSR
Handlebar Bontrager SSR Riser, 25mm rise, 6d backsweep
Stem Bontrager Approved, 15d
Pedals Nylon body, alloy cage
Headset Aheadset Slimstak, semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Tektro V, Shimano EF50 levers

Link: http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/wingra


Like I said earlier, I tested the Wingra and the 7.3, but not the Monona itself. I found the Wingra to have a very smooth ride, it was comfortable, it shifted cleanly and was nice and quiet. The particular 7.3 FX I tested though glided like it was on air, handled extremely well, but the shifter was kind of stiff, and something made a clicking noise while pedaling. Could someone tell me, is this normal, or an issue that could be resolved with some fine-tuning (is it something I should be wary about?). I like the Trek 7.3 FX, it looks nice, it's very light and it handles like a dream, though that hard seat is uncomfortable (I'd swap it for the one on the Wingra if I could), but the last one they have at the LBS raises my eyebrow. The tires look like somebody has been using the bike outside too (the LBS has an indoor track for testing), and it makes me think that it has been the showroom beater for some time now.

I would be happy with either bike, I just do not know which has the better components for the money. The 7.3 FX and the Monona are the same price as far as I know. Could somebody help me?
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Old 08-31-09, 04:38 PM   #2
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Gary Fisher looks awesome in turn of the century English duds in promoting his Simple City line! They are the IGH equivalent of the Fast City derailleur line like the Menona.
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Old 08-31-09, 10:07 PM   #3
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I narrowed it down to the exact same two bikes after riding them both (and many others). I ended up with the Monona because it felt better to me, personally. The riding position on the Monona is more "stretched out" due to the longer top tube than the more traditional geometry of the 7.3. You really can't go wrong with either, which is why it's just a tough decision. I have about a month and a half of commuting under my belt on the GF and I am very happy with the decision I made.

Good luck!

EDIT: Some of the components on the GF are slightly better.

Last edited by underdonk; 09-01-09 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 09-01-09, 07:51 PM   #4
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Looking at photos, the Trek seems to have a longer wheelbase than the Fisher as well. Though I don't really notice much of a difference in driving them, they both handle well. I'll go back with my dad this weekend, he rides an old 1970-something Nishiki Toshiba road bike and test them out again, I'll probably just order a bike through the LBS rather than taking a possible lemon of a floor model. Found another bike shop as well in the phonebook, though I am having trouble locating the building it is in.

So the Monona has a slight advantage in components eh? I will keep that in mind, thanks
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Old 09-02-09, 09:29 AM   #5
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I've been eyeing a 7.3 fx, I ride a 19 now and think it's perfect for me, but the Treks go from 20 to 17.5...
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Old 09-02-09, 05:56 PM   #6
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Ugh, Gary Fisher brought out the 2010's and the only things they changed were the saddles and the price. The Monona is $799 US and the Wingra is $629 US now, what a waste, they were a good price before, now they are just expensive, I hope the LBS has a few 2009 Monona's in my size. The Wingra is competitive in terms of parts with the 7.2 Trek, but the Trek is over $100 cheaper with better parts and a ride not too different from the Gary Fisher's.
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Old 09-03-09, 10:27 AM   #7
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I just picked up a new Monona last weekend after looking at the 7.3 and the 7.5. I made my choice based on the ride and fit being a bit better for me on the Monona, the same or slightly better components than 7.3 and the fact that it has has disc brake mounts which is something I would like to upgrade to eventually. I was also able to get the Monona for $650 Cdn which is about $100 less than the 7.3.
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Old 09-04-09, 01:28 PM   #8
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The LBS has a '09 Monona in my size, what luck I test drove it today, but I had a pair of really baggy cargos on, so it made riding a bit awkward, I am going back tomorrow with my dad and I will see if I can make a deal whichever one I want (after I test with shorts on lol). From what I could tell though, the Monona shifts a bit oddly (the gears slipped a bit and the chain nearly came off), and it has that same rock hard seat the 7.3 FX has, so with either bike I will have to switch it out for something that's firm, but not the equivalent of a plank in comfort. It's a lot less flashy than the Trek, and the LBS has gotten those Trek U-lock/Cable combos in again recently, so I should be okay with security (that and the bikes I see at the university all use cable locks, even an electric scooter I saw does). They want $649.99 for the Monona, and $679.99 now with the 7.3 FX. Both need a tune-up, but the bike shop usually does that before the bike goes out the door.
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Old 09-04-09, 03:05 PM   #9
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Trek itself publishes it's suggested retail price on it's web site... $639.99 for the 7.3 fx.
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Old 09-05-09, 12:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Riverside_Guy View Post
Trek itself publishes it's suggested retail price on it's web site... $639.99 for the 7.3 fx.
That's the US MSRP The Canadian one says $799.99.
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Old 09-05-09, 04:47 PM   #11
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The 7.3 I test road also had that clucking sound. That's why I didn't buy it.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:53 AM   #12
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I think it may have something to do with which gears one is in at the time. For example, gear 1 on the left and gear 8 on the right together might make some noise.


I bought the Gary Fisher Monona for $649 with 20% off of the accessories, along with a new saddle (an SSR one to match the stem and the handlebars, much more comfortable than the stock saddle), a Trek/Kryptonite U-Lock and Cable combo, and a Cat Eye speedo/odometre. Took it for a run around the city last night for two hours, it performed fantastic, it's quite quick with an average cruising speed of 20-23 km/hr in 2nd on the left and 6-8 on the right, the maximum speed I got it to on a flat last night was 37.8 km/hr (I cannot wait until I am back in top form, I want to see if I can make 43 km/hr heh). It performs as well on the dirt roads as it does on asphalt, and hill climbing and wind are next to nothing to it. The bike looks great too, it is a very subtle look, it looks great but it is not as flashy as the Trek which is nice.

My gripes with it are few, the rear derailleur performs well, but the front is a little touchy. If I am in the 2nd gear on the left while stopped, then start off and pedal a tiny bit and try to shift down to the 1st gear on the left, the chain often falls off. Meaning I have to remember to shift down before coming to a stop so I can start off in 1st, no big deal, the major issues are when it shifts between 1 and 2 and back, 2->3 and vise versa seem to be okay. The handlebar grips are not that great, the ones on the Trek were much better though the Trek did not have as comfortable a sitting position. I will probably buy some Ergon's to replace the stock ones. I attempted carrying a back pack on my back today while riding with a bunch of stuff, but it ended up just being painful to carry so much, so I will probably have to get something put on the bike itself for carrying textbooks and my art supplies.

I am quite satisfied with my purchase, and I will get some pics up as soon as I am able to
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Old 09-06-09, 01:21 PM   #13
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that's the us msrp the canadian one says $799.99.

fffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-
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Old 09-06-09, 01:32 PM   #14
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Loonies or greenbacks? I have no idea what that means. I though Hawaii was part of the USA. Do we still own Alaska?
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Old 09-06-09, 02:49 PM   #15
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That's the US MSRP The Canadian one says $799.99.
Wow. We're getting ripped off here in Canada. At the current exchange rate, the Canadian equivalent is just under $700.00.

Things that make you go "hmmm..."
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