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Old 09-23-09, 03:38 PM   #1
Trek-Fan
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Trek fx series ?

Well Im thinking of jumping into the hybirds. I was looking at the 7.1 or 7.2 model. I have always used a mountain bike and was wondering do the fx series fell like a mountain bike ? I'm intrested in these bikes because I don't use a mountain bike for dirt paths or mountains. I'm always on a paved surface.
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Old 09-23-09, 03:48 PM   #2
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As the pendulum swings on hybrids being either more like a road-bike or a mountain-bike, the FX-series, most would agree, are closer to road-bikes. They tend to be very nimble and very quick. The Trek 7000-series seems to be more like a mountain-bike.

But the only way to know if it's for you is to take one out for a ride. And if you like the FX, I'd kind of suggest the 7.2 FX over the 7.1 as the 7.2 is now made with their alpha-black hydroformed aluminum.
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Old 09-23-09, 03:52 PM   #3
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7.2 FX is a better value than the 7.1 IMO because you move up to a better quality frame.

The 35 mm tires of the 7.2 FX are comfortable & smooth on pavement. The frame is pretty strong & heavy. I actually prefer the steel fork. If you are going only on paved roads - the 7.2 is vastly superior to a mountain bike. If you want to do light trailing, the 7.2 is *OK*. It's not great but its not bad either. The 50 mm tires of a true mountain bike do a much better job at absorbing the vibrations of a gravel road.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies. What is the difference in the frame from a alpha-black hydroformed aluminum to a white aluminum frame ? Is it just stronger ?
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Old 09-23-09, 05:57 PM   #5
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Go ride one. Heck go ride a few different ones.

I chose the 7.3 because of the upgrades over the 7.2 or even the 7.1. I also chose the 7.3 because I would rarely if ever go off road and if I do, it will be on a packed gravel or paved MUP, so there was no need for anything else.

I rode my friends Schwinn men's forge Sawback and I can say my 7.3 is lighter than his, the 7.3 shifts smoother and quieter. I also liked the gearing better on the 7.3.

Go to several LBSs if you can and ride them all. Get sized and ride, you'll know which one you like. I promise.
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Old 09-23-09, 06:08 PM   #6
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Well I am a newbie to these forums and have just gotten into riding a bike since forever. I bought a FX 7.1 because of funds (didnt really have enough for 7.2) and when I rode it I just fell in love with it. The best thing to do is ride both and if buy whichever one feels the best and fits your budget. FWIW I just love my 7.1, when I have more $$$ I might upgrade at a later date but for now I am as happy as a clam.
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Old 09-23-09, 06:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Trek-Fan View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. What is the difference in the frame from a alpha-black hydroformed aluminum to a white aluminum frame ? Is it just stronger ?
frankly, i have not noticed a huge difference. however, alpha black aluminum is double butted. this means that the center of the tubes are thin but the ENDS / JOINTS are thicker. so it is strong where it needs to be. this makes the frame a bit stronger and lighter. the hydroforming, i hear, just makes the frame stronger. so with double butting, you get less weight but greater strength. having said all that, the white aluminum does ride pretty nice. i have white aluminum 7.2 fx from 2008.

Last edited by common man; 09-24-09 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 09-24-09, 05:18 AM   #8
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It also has any air-bubbles driven out which could cause weak-spots here and there. So lighter weight and stronger butted tubing is the difference.
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Old 09-24-09, 06:34 AM   #9
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Go ride one. Heck go ride a few different ones.

I chose the 7.3 because of the upgrades over the 7.2 or even the 7.1. I also chose the 7.3 because I would rarely if ever go off road and if I do, it will be on a packed gravel or paved MUP, so there was no need for anything else.

I rode my friends Schwinn men's forge Sawback and I can say my 7.3 is lighter than his, the 7.3 shifts smoother and quieter. I also liked the gearing better on the 7.3.

Go to several LBSs if you can and ride them all. Get sized and ride, you'll know which one you like. I promise.
Yeah I think Im going to the Trek store this weekend im going to try different ones. Thanks for the info

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Well I am a newbie to these forums and have just gotten into riding a bike since forever. I bought a FX 7.1 because of funds (didnt really have enough for 7.2) and when I rode it I just fell in love with it. The best thing to do is ride both and if buy whichever one feels the best and fits your budget. FWIW I just love my 7.1, when I have more $$$ I might upgrade at a later date but for now I am as happy as a clam.
Thanks for the honest input. I cant wait to check these bikes out this weekend.

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frankly, i have not noticed a huge difference. however, alpha black aluminum is double butted. this means that the center of the tubes are thin but the edges are thicker. so it is strong where it needs to be. this makes the frame a bit stronger and lighter. the hydroforming, i hear, just makes the frame stronger. so with double butting, you get less weight but greater strength. having said all that, the white aluminum does ride pretty nice. i have white aluminum 7.2 fx from 2008.
Thanks for explaining that to me I had not idea what was the difference

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It also has any air-bubbles driven out which could cause weak-spots here and there. So lighter weight and stronger butted tubing is the difference.
Thanks for the info I might have to check out the 7.2 model.
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Old 09-24-09, 07:30 AM   #10
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careless wording on my part: the center of tubes are thin, the ENDS / JOINTS (not "edges") are thicker with double butted Al.
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Old 09-24-09, 07:53 AM   #11
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Here's Trek's take on the subject:

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/compa...lpha_aluminum/
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Old 09-24-09, 08:15 AM   #12
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And, if finances allow, the 7.3 appears to be the best bang for the buck. It includes much higher quality components for the money..

Whereas, the bikes higher than the 7.3 don't appear to offer much more dollar value, IMHO.
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Old 09-24-09, 08:30 AM   #13
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And, if finances allow, the 7.3 appears to be the best bang for the buck. It includes much higher quality components for the money..

Whereas, the bikes higher than the 7.3 don't appear to offer much more dollar value, IMHO.
i am not familiar with ef60 shifters of the 7.3 fx. how are they? what does one pay for a 7.3 from a 7.2? aluminum vs steel fork (-), regular flat resistant tires to hardcase (-), deore rear derailleur (+). i hear the hardcase has poor traction in wet conditions. forks - i actually prefer steel over Al. now the crank of the 7.2 fx is not very stiff - i wonder if the 7.3 makes an improvement in this regard.

all in all, i personally would stick with the 7.2 fx. if the components aren't deore quality, i want to pay as little as possible for the best frame & fork i can get. its nice that the 7.3 has deore rear derailleur but the deore shifters are the expensive parts (which the 7.3 does not have). however, like i said, i don't know how ef60 compare to deore shifters. i know that the upgrade a 7.2 fx to deore shifters, derailleurs, compatible chain & cassettek will cost $275 for parts and $50 for labor (at bikeline). so the op can start with a decent budget and upgrade over time. i am not sure if the 7.3 fx has components that are so good that the OP will not want to upgrade them over time. the deore components in my fuji are really good that i don't want upgrades and these components take care of themselves that i won't need to replace them. that's one benefit of quality components.

i will point out that it is a better value to buy the bike (higher end model) with the components you do want rather than get a compromise in the beginning and upgrade over time. however, when you factor in that you can make changes over time rather than break the wallet at once, i guess its not too bad. a 7.2 fx upgraded to deore components will eventually total $775 which is the price for a 7.5 FX. A 7.5 FX for the same money would have Deore LX derailleur (instead of Deore), carbon fork, and SSR wheels. I don't know if those are significant upgrades but I did want to mention this fact.

i agree that the higher end treks are not worth the bang for the buck. however, in the end it is what makes you happy regardless of bang for the buck. for the budget minded, it is something to keep in mind though.

i recommend the 7.2 FX but admit i don't know how much better ef60 shifters and crank of the 7.3 are. if they are decent then maybe it is worth it. i don't know.

edit: another disclaimer. my evaluation of the 7.2 FX is from the 2008 model. its very possible that during the two years that noticeable improvements were made for the 7.2 FX (such as the frame). that's something to consider. the 7.2 FX is a competent bike IMO.

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Old 09-24-09, 08:35 AM   #14
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i am not familiar with ef60 shifters of the 7.3 fx. how are they? what does one pay for a 7.3 from a 7.2? aluminum vs steel fork (-), regular flat resistant tires to hardcase (-), deore rear derailleur (+). i hear the hardcase has poor traction in wet conditions. forks - i actually prefer steel over Al.
Surely the alu fork replaces a HiTen steel one? I'd prefer alu to HiTen. I can't see Trek paying for a *good* steel fork - ie double butted cromo.
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Old 09-24-09, 08:42 AM   #15
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[Hydroformed aluminum] also has any air-bubbles driven out which could cause weak-spots here and there. So lighter weight and stronger butted tubing is the difference.
Who told you this???

Hydroforming is cheap and it allows complex shapes - but bubbles in frame materials causing weakness??? No.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroforming

And hydroformed tubing isn't especially light either.
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Old 09-24-09, 09:34 AM   #16
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i am not familiar with ef60 shifters of the 7.3 fx. how are they? what does one pay for a 7.3 from a 7.2? aluminum vs steel fork (-), regular flat resistant tires to hardcase (-), deore rear derailleur (+). i hear the hardcase has poor traction in wet conditions. forks - i actually prefer steel over Al. now the crank of the 7.2 fx is not very stiff - i wonder if the 7.3 makes an improvement in this regard.
I'm not sure how the ef60 shifters compare to deore, but I can say I like the way they shift. Click it's in gear. The front derailleur you need to hold the trigger in a bit longer than the back but it still shifts pretty good.

I can see the case where the hardcase tires would not be good on wet anything because they are slick. I haven't had any flats in 500 miles and I know I've rode through broken glass in the street. I still don't see myself riding in the rain anyway. @110 psi they seem to roll very well and I've taken corners at 16 mph without issue.

I'm not sure how to answer the crank question. It works for me. ;-)

Overall I'm very pleased with my 7.3. Heck of a bike that begs for me to push it faster.
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Old 09-24-09, 09:36 AM   #17
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Very similar to the Giant FCRs
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Old 09-24-09, 10:06 AM   #18
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I test-rode an '08 7.3 and an '09 7.2 when I got mine last summer, and I could tell a marked difference in the stiffness of the frames - the 7.3 felt much stiffer and altogether a good deal quicker than the 7.2.

I had gone in thinking I would get a 7.2, but the 7.3, at least for me, was a significantly better bicycle and worth the ~$100 extra.
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Old 09-24-09, 10:10 AM   #19
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I would do what you can to get into a 7.3, because more than likely you will spend the same amount of $ upgrading a 7.1 or 7.2 to make it like a 7.3 in terms of derailluers, shifters, brakes, gearing, tires.

The other side of the equation is if you get a 71. or 7.2 then you may have $ left over for some grips, rack, new saddle.....etc.,

If it were me, I would go with the first option (7.3FX) and wait to accumulate $ towards grips, rack, new saddle later on.
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Old 09-24-09, 11:00 AM   #20
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I agree the 7.3 FX is the pick of the litter. It can easily be upgraded to higher-end components for cheaper than buying a 7.5 FX or so forth. But now that the 7.2 FX has this same frame, I'll need to do some math before declaring the 7.3 FX still maintains this title. Had I know what I know today, I would have bought the 7.3 instead of the 7.5 as I did.

meanwhile: I read a few articles on hydroforming and air-bubbles here and there which mentioned this aspect. But the lighter weight is from these frames being butted.
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Old 09-24-09, 11:30 AM   #21
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from thefabricator.com

As the name implies, hydroforming is a metal forming process that uses water as a forming medium. In the case of tube hydroforming, a tubular workpiece is placed between two mating die halves. The tube is sealed, normally by metal mandrels inserted under pressure in each end of the tube. Water is introduced through the sealing mandrel, ejecting any trapped air and completely filling the tube. Increasing the water pressure — up to 100,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) — causes the tube wall to conform to the shape of the cavity formed by the mating die halves.

Advantages to hydroforming over a traditional stamping process include weight reduction, improved design flexibility, part consolidation, greater stiffness, reduced joining, elimination of downstream processing, and better dimensional performance
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Old 09-24-09, 11:39 AM   #22
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From Cyfac:

HYDRO-FORMED

As the carbon frameset becomes ubiquitous, aluminum has dropped by the wayside. Dogged by its reputation for a harsh ride and being "disposable", aluminum has been placed in carbon's shadow. Seemingly eclipsed by carbon's exotic appeal, Cyfac offers an aluminum come-back!

For starters, forget what you know, think you know, or what you've been told about aluminum. The world's most abundant metallic mineral, the aluminum designation for frame tubing is simply a general classification for different mixes of alloys prominently featuring aluminum. The particular "mix" is important, as a change of elements (zinc, manganese, scandium, etc) -- 1% here, 0.7% there -- greatly affects the application and function of the material. Choosing that mix, knowing its proper use, and understanding the detailed construction methods for that material are key.

Traditionally, aluminum tubes have been mechanically drawn to create various shapes, butting, and wall thicknesses in an attempt to tune the ride of the frame. While much progress has been made over the round-tube alu frames of the late 1980's and 1990's, the mechanical forming of tubes has placed limits on the performance of aluminum frames. Generally-speaking, this mechanical process simply limits what can be done to a tube, because too much shaping or too much force applied to the tube via machines/shaping processes can actually crimp and weaken tubes. And, the mechanical process of shaping aluminumThe optimal combination of performance and comfort is tough to provide with contemptory alu building materials/techniques. In general terms, aluminum frames have been extremely rigid, with little potential to maintain the desired mix of performance characteristics and all-day comfort. That changes now.

INFINI hydro-formed aluminum alloy, presented by Cyfac. This ain't your mother's aluminum!

Perhpas the most performance-oriented frame building material available, INFINI tubing is formed via the precise, high-pressure application of water: hydro-forming. A relatively new process for shaping metals, hydro-forming can now deliver a level of tube manipulation that borders on what can be done with molded carbon fiber. No longer forced to mechanically form or draw tube sections, hydro-forming liberates aluminum. It allows the precise alteration of the frame material, provides pin-point precision on specific tube sections, and delivers a level of "tunability" that is a breakthrough for metal framesets. Because the tubing is not heated, pressed, or drawn during the forming, the integrity of the material is also assured.

The result: the performance characteristics of aluminum (lateral stiffness, reactivity) with the ride characterisitics or a 100% tuned ride. Pair the INFINI alu tube with the world-leading IM Carbon fiber DOUBLE STAY2 rearm, T800H seat tube, and Forknox fork and you get our new INFINI CARBON frame. >>
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Old 09-24-09, 12:06 PM   #23
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Nice find! Had no idea that this new aluminum could well be the new "carbon." To think that 120 years ago, aluminum sold for more than gold. Now it's littering roads and trails everywhere. It's about time metallurgists were looking at varying alloys - in the form of trying rather exotic metals such as scandium - and new techniques of creating shapes and bonding.

Wow! Now for someone to come in and tell us about it's 'shelf-life' that "everyone knows" about.
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Old 09-24-09, 12:27 PM   #24
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Wow great info guys thanks so much. I don't know much about bikes so the diffrences between the 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3 don't make sense to me. I understand better tires and better frame but the rest has me confused. I'm sorry I'm a complete noob and as of right now I'm liking the 7.1 for the matte black finish. (please don't throw a brick at me). I'm just going to use the bike to ride around the block and ride it at the park. Would it still make sense to spend the extra money on a 7.3 ? Once again I'm sorry for asking these noob questions.
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Old 09-24-09, 01:18 PM   #25
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The best advice is to buy the one you like the best. You can always add or subtract things like tire, derailleurs, etc. And, you can do it as stuff wears out....

The one that fits the best, rides the best, and that you like the best, is the one that will be the best.
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