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Old 02-22-10, 06:33 PM   #1
marcisweet
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Newbie: Trek 7.3 fx vs. Trek 7.5 FX need help deciding!!

Hi All. I am looking to purchase a bike for myself and have narrowed it down to these two bikes. The Trek 7.3 FX and the Trek 7.5 FX. I have no idea about components, or anything for that matter so any help would be greatly appreciated. I do indoor cycling (which I relaize is completely different) but I want a bike I can grow into as I have a feeling I will fall in love with outdoor cycling. I will be using it mainly for fitness and also to tow around my kiddos in their Chariot trailer. The trailer weighs about 30lb. and the kids are about 40lbs total. The 7.3 is $639 for a 2010 (there are no 09's left) and the '09 7.5 FX is $720 (discounted from $899). I am just wondering if the $80 price difference is worth the extras you are getting. Also, I have done a little research and have read that many ppl do not like carbon fiber forks as they are easier to damage? The specs are as follows:
7.3 FX
Frame FX Alpha Black Aluminum
Fork FX Alloy w/tapered wall thickness, straight blades, Clix dropouts
Wheels Alloy front hub, Shimano RM30 rear hub; Bontrager Nebula, 32-hole rims
Tires Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase, 700x32c; 60tpi
Shifters Shimano EF60 trigger, 8 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano C102
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
Saddle Bontrager Nebula
Seat Post Bontrager Nebula Basic
Handlebars Bontrager SSR, 25mm rise, 6 degree sweep
Stem Bontrager SSR, 10 degree
Headset Aheadset Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Avid SD-3 w/Shimano EF60 levers
Extras Bontrager Satellite Plus grips

7.5 FX
Frame FX Alpha Black Aluminum
Fork Bontrager Nebula, carbon w/Clix dropouts
Wheels Bontrager SSR
Tires Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase, 700x32c; 60tpi
Drivetrain
Shifters Shimano Deore trigger, 9 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore LX
Crank Shimano M443 Octalink 48/36/26
Cassette SRAM PG950 11-26, 9 speed
Pedals Alloy body w/alloy cage
Saddle Bontrager Nebula Plus
Seat Post Bontrager Nebula
Handlebars Bontrager SSR
Stem Bontrager SSR, 12 degree rise
Headset Aheadset Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Avid SD-3 w/Tektro levers

Last edited by marcisweet; 02-22-10 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 02-22-10, 08:10 PM   #2
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The carbon-fork on the 7.5 is the major structural difference between these machines. Their frames are virtually identical. I bought a 7.5 2 years ago - and totally rebuilt it as a custom. I wish I'd bought the 7.3 instead. Alas! My counsel is to go for the 7.3. Save the money you save for upgrades you find you'd like down the road. And buy some good pedals - the things that come with are hideous!

Good luck & do tell us how it goes.
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Old 02-22-10, 08:56 PM   #3
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Hi. Is the carbon fork the reason not to get the 7.5? I just thought the 7.5 is a good deal for the $80 price difference. Could I do the upgrades you mention with the $80? Sorry if it is a dumb question, I just really am not knowledgeble about bikes. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-22-10, 10:39 PM   #4
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Have you ridden either bike? I would base my decision on that. Yes, the 7.5 has better components, in my estimation a few hundred dollars worth of upgrades, well more than the $80 difference in price. The ultimate choice, however, should be based on how the bike feels underneath you. Is it comfortable? How does it handle? Are the shifts crisp and precise? Are the brakes right there when you want them, or do they fade or feel mushy? On paper I say go for the 7.5, but the ride might tell a different story.
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Old 02-22-10, 11:11 PM   #5
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For that price difference I'd get the 7.5 hands down. I have a 7.5 and love it. Also, personally I don't like the shifters on the 7.3.
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Old 02-23-10, 07:35 AM   #6
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For that price difference I'd get the 7.5 hands down. I have a 7.5 and love it. Also, personally I don't like the shifters on the 7.3.
+1

I have the 7.3 and upgraded the components (shifters, brakes, chain etc.) I should have bought the 7.5.
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Old 02-23-10, 08:16 AM   #7
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For only that much difference, the 7.5 is far and away the better bike, and better value. If it fits, jump on it with both feet. There is usaully a $300 difference in price between the two.
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Old 02-23-10, 12:00 PM   #8
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I am a newbie too so I don't know that my opinion means much but I bought the 7.5 last spring and absolutely love it. I added some new pedals and bar ends and could not be happier. To say I adore my bike would be an understatement....just ask my husband!

Angel.
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Old 02-23-10, 01:09 PM   #9
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$80 difference?? Trek lists a considerably larger cost-jump between the 7.3 - 7.5. $639 for the 7.3, and $919 for the 7.5.

If you can actually find the 7.5 FX for $700ish - go for it!
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Old 02-23-10, 01:18 PM   #10
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I love my 7.3, but for $80 more, I would buy the 7.5.
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Old 02-23-10, 03:36 PM   #11
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Ditto, $80 difference for a 7.5 is a good deal. Granted, I have a 7.2 FX, but popular wisdom says Deore is a solid gruppo.

"I want a bike I can grow into as I have a feeling I will fall in love with outdoor cycling" -- If your prediction is correct, and you purchase a 7.X, you may later regret it and wish you had purchased a road bike. The Tiagra-equipped 1.5 is probably worth at least a test ride. More money, but cheaper than getting a second bike later. Opinions differ dramatically on this. I am in the "bought a hybrid as a first bike and now swear by my road bike" crowd. Plenty of posts on this topic...I won't rehash.
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Old 02-23-10, 07:14 PM   #12
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It is a 2009 7.5 FX (not the WSD) 15" frame and the sale price is $720. Sounds like a great deal to me
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Old 02-23-10, 07:17 PM   #13
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I have considered this. My only concern is pulling a trailer around with a road bike. Is that even a legitimate concern? I do want to make the right decision as I will only be able to purchase one bike. If I goof up it will be a long time before I can get something else.
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Old 02-23-10, 09:01 PM   #14
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It is a 2009 7.5 FX (not the WSD) 15" frame and the sale price is $720. Sounds like a great deal to me

I have the standard 17.5" frame -- I fit a man's frame better. I know some women prefer the WSD but I must have odd proportions or something!
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Old 02-23-10, 11:41 PM   #15
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It is a 2009 7.5 FX (not the WSD) 15" frame and the sale price is $720. Sounds like a great deal to me
Buy it!!

The 7.5 FX is a machine capable of fast riding - or hauling. Jack-of-all Trades bicycle. At $720? Run!
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Old 02-24-10, 07:49 AM   #16
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I have considered this. My only concern is pulling a trailer around with a road bike. Is that even a legitimate concern? I do want to make the right decision as I will only be able to purchase one bike. If I goof up it will be a long time before I can get something else.
I didn't read it, but here's a thread discussing pulling trailers with road bikes: http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-417815.html

Having appropriate gearing and, from a quick glance at that thread, chainstay clearance are things to consider. LBS should be able to help figure out if chainstay clearance is sufficient. A compact crank or triple with a 12-27 cassette should give you low enough gearing.
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Old 02-24-10, 07:49 AM   #17
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If it fits you, is comfortable for you to ride, you like the way it rides and handles, and you like the looks of it - it's a really good deal for a new bike. It's got dropouts for racks or fenders, which is a good thing. It comes with 32 tires, which are comfortable riding, and, which means there is room in there. Many Trek FX series are turned into commuters or tourers, and some are even converted to drop bars. It's a great do it all bike. I wouldn't worry about this one's ability to pull a trailer, at all. If you need more positions on the bars, consider trekkiing bars, or the simple addition of bar ends. I think the Treks already come with ergon type grips.

And, if needed, it's not a big deal to swap out that cassette to an 11-34, which will let you ride straight up a tree, and still go fast on the other side.

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Old 02-24-10, 11:05 AM   #18
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Thanks for all of the great info. I am just waiting for the LBS to get the 7.5 in. It had to be shipped from another store. Should be any day now and I can test ride it.
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Old 02-24-10, 11:07 AM   #19
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How tall are you? I tried out the men's and women's frame and also felt more comfortable on the men's. I felt like my legs were cramped on the women's. I am 5'5" and the 15" in is what the LBS fitted me with.
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Old 02-27-10, 04:34 PM   #20
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OK. So here is the scoop. I ended up purchasing a very lightly used 2008 Trek 7.6 FX WSD in the 17" frame. I paid $595 which I think is a great deal. (I hope I am right :** The people at thje LBS have been less that helpful. I called one day and the salesman said "Are you the lady who can't decide which bike she wants?" Pretty rude I thought. I think they were just upset because I didn't want to buy the only thing they had in stock (a Trek Multitrack). I went home and did some research to find a better bike since I can only have 1. So needless to say, I came across the 7.6 for sale and snatched it up. I will not go back to that shop. Maybe the salespeople there think that $500-700 is not alot of money, but it is to me. Every customer should be treated equally regardless of your price point.
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Old 02-27-10, 06:36 PM   #21
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Sounds like a lot of bike for a small cost - comparatively speaking. Do find a new shop, and have it given a good looking over and a tune-up. Sounds like you made out like a bandit!
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Old 02-27-10, 07:26 PM   #22
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How tall are you? I tried out the men's and women's frame and also felt more comfortable on the men's. I felt like my legs were cramped on the women's. I am 5'5" and the 15" in is what the LBS fitted me with.
I'm 5' 5" too.
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Old 02-27-10, 07:30 PM   #23
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OK. So here is the scoop. I ended up purchasing a very lightly used 2008 Trek 7.6 FX WSD in the 17" frame. I paid $595 which I think is a great deal. (I hope I am right :** The people at thje LBS have been less that helpful. I called one day and the salesman said "Are you the lady who can't decide which bike she wants?" Pretty rude I thought. I think they were just upset because I didn't want to buy the only thing they had in stock (a Trek Multitrack). I went home and did some research to find a better bike since I can only have 1. So needless to say, I came across the 7.6 for sale and snatched it up. I will not go back to that shop. Maybe the salespeople there think that $500-700 is not alot of money, but it is to me. Every customer should be treated equally regardless of your price point.
Congrats! Have fun. I can't say how much I have enjoyed my FX and rediscovering riding. And I second the rec to find another bike shop. It makes such a difference -- I have asked my LBS some pretty dumb questions over the past couple of years and they have been extraordinarily patient with me.
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Old 03-15-10, 06:39 PM   #24
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I received the bike last Thursday and had it put back together and tuned at REI (not the jokers at the other LBS) and everything checked out. I was a little worried because I purchased it on Ebay. I LOVE my new bike. It is light, fast and comfortable and looks very sporty. It is very easy to pull my kiddos in the Chariot trailer also. Thanks for all of the help and advice. It is much appreciated!! I can see in the future getting a road bike also. I can't believe I have gone sooooo long without riding a bicycle (since I was a kid)!!
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Old 03-16-10, 08:58 AM   #25
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Nice catch!
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