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  1. #1
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    My awesome but absurd <20lb hybrid / flat bar road bike

    I have finally finished upgrading my Trek 7.5FX. It is truly awesome to ride, but the project was somewhat absurd given the amount of investment that is now in the bike.

    But I love it.

    The Bike:

    - 2009 Trek 7.5FX, satin nickel color, 17.5" frame
    - Full Ultegra SL 10-speed drivetrain, including crank (triple 50/39/30), BB (Hollowtech II), FD, RD, chain and 12-23 cassette. Actually the FD is a Shimano FD773.
    - Shimano R770 flat bar shifters (same as those that are stock on the 7.7/7.9)
    - Avid SD SL brakes with Shimano XTR levers
    - Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels with Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase 700cx23 tires
    - Easton EC90 carbon flat bar
    - Richey WCS carbon seatpost
    - Shimano A530 pedals

    Overall this bike is a rocket. The Ksyrium Elite wheels with 23mm tires give it a highly responsive road feel, as does the flat bar.

    The bike is also much lighter than stock. The stock bike weighed in at 23lb 6oz. Currently it is 19lb 7oz, excluding the saddle-mounted water bottle cages. At least half of the weight reduction is due to the wheels (although the seatpost and handlebars contribute materially to weight reduction as well).

    The shifting is incredible compared with the Deore/LX stock setup.

    Strangely, the Avid brakes also make a huge difference. Much more so than I expected. The stock SD3 brakes on the Bontrager SSR rims were just terrible.

    I realize the pedals are a bit out of character with the rest of the upgrades. I was going to put some Time RXS pedals on to make it compatible with my road bike shoes, but (a) I wanted to be able to use mountain shoes and (b) I wanted a dual pedal with a platform on one side. These are the only features that make the bike a hybrid, IMO, since it implies you can ride it to the store or somewhere where you might want to get off the bike and walk around and thus have walkable shoes. But as far as going on trails, etc, the wheels and tires pretty much take that off the agenda for this bike.

    Most people will disagree, but I found the stock saddle perfectly comfortable. So I kept it. I've taken rides as long at 75 miles on this bike and never had a problem with staying comfortable in the saddle.

    I won't get into how much I spent on all of this, other than to say that I got the wheels used from Craigslist but most of the other parts new from various internet sources.

    Now the problem is when to use this bike. I rode it a bunch last summer but this summer my goal is to do a triathlon so I am training exclusively on my Felt S22 and I haven't ridden the modified 7.5FX hybrid even once. I also just got a CAAD9 road bike, so I fear this flat-bar beauty will languish in my basement. Ironically, my problem is now that I no longer have a "hybrid" to use on trails!! Of course I could put on some other wheels with wider tires.

    I should probably put it up for sale on Craigslist, but of course that would just quantify the absurd over-investment I made. I'll probably just use the bike around the city (Chicago) this summer.

    And I need to give a shout out to Panthers for giving me the idea to go down the path with these mods.

    Great bike.

    Cheers,
    Matt

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  2. #2
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    Yes, you have essentially "unhybridized" your hybrid.

    Really, really nice bike, but with your other bikes, I'm not sure what to use it for either.
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    walk right in and punch the first guy you meet in the head
    2011 BMC SR02, 2010 Kona Jake, 2009 Felt X City D, 1984 (?) Trek 400, 1995 Trek 850

  3. #3
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    Getting the CAAD9 was the sentinal event. Until that point my un-hybrid hybrid was my "road bike". I even took it on some group rides. My thinking was that I might want to use my modified FX for longer road riding. But I know I'll probably just buy another bike for that purpose, and am already scanning Craigslist in fact.......

  4. #4
    Senior Member Riverside_Guy's Avatar
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    Did you do all the installation yourself or had a LBS mech do it?
    1991 Trek 750 Multitrack Hybrid

  5. #5
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    LBS for the most part.

    But I learned a lot along the way...if I were to do this again I'd probably use it as a learning project and try to do it on my own.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Riverside_Guy's Avatar
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    Interesting. While I have lust for a new bike, I set my sights a tad towards expensive (something like a 7.6fx). I have a very good frame already, and it's geo fits me well (off put by 20 or 17.5 current choices, current frame is 19) so I'm thinking whole drive chain, + shifters (I detest the twist shifters I now have), what kind of vague ballpark might that part of your setup run (if you're not TOO reluctant to ballpark just part of your project)?
    1991 Trek 750 Multitrack Hybrid

  7. #7
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    The drivetrain components cost $645 in total, plus I paid $75 in labor to have all the work done. The biggest part of that was the crank, for which I paid $227 brand new from Realcyclist.com. If I were to do the project again I could get the exact same crank "barely used" off of ebay for <$100. The shifters were also expensive, $149 from JensonUSA.com, and the RD was $95 from Universalcycles.com. The shifters are awesome, by the way, totally worth the cost.

    If you are doing the project I highly recommend doing the wheels. You can get a used set of Kyserium Elites, or even SLs, for <$200 on Craigslist. I did have to pay an additional $25 in labor to have the cassette put on the new wheels and to have the wheel "re-spaced" to be compatible with the hybrid frame.

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Why not just spoon on a set of Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, 700X40, from Niagara for $27 each (a really really good sale price,) and you have your, trail/path ready, hybrid back again. As these are folders, they sure don't weigh much...... Soft ride, fast spin up, roll easy, wide enuf for anything -------

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Riverside_Guy's Avatar
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    Matty, thanks for the response... my goals are a lot more modest, Ultegra may be a tad beyond my cost/benefit ratio! Like I said, I detest the twist shifters, plus while I can seem to go into the lowest chainring, getting out of it is a serious pain. The LBS says there some nub on the chainring that is more worn than should be, the chain is a tad stretched so I figure maybe the Deore level can feel a ton better than what I am now dealing with.

    Did you get the 7.5 knowing you wewre going to project up the components? Did you consider the 7.7 or maybe even the 7.9?
    1991 Trek 750 Multitrack Hybrid

  10. #10
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    That's a beauty!

    One question, is Trek doing an ugly welding job on the joint of the frame? I saw couple new Specialized Sirrus/Vita and their welding job seem to be a little better.
    Last edited by ahson; 05-11-10 at 06:00 PM.

  11. #11
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    Yes, totally ugly welding job. Annoying but it seems to be the same for all the FX bikes. As for considering the higher models, I did consider them but liked the cost/benefit of my mods better. sh00k on these boards bought the 7.7FX after considering the same tradeoffs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyA View Post
    Yes, totally ugly welding job. Annoying but it seems to be the same for all the FX bikes. As for considering the higher models, I did consider them but liked the cost/benefit of my mods better. sh00k on these boards bought the 7.7FX after considering the same tradeoffs.
    Yea I see every FX on Trek's website has these crazy welding job on the frame. Anyways, how much did you pay for your stock FX 7.5 in Chicago?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahson View Post
    Yea I see every FX on Trek's website has these crazy welding job on the frame. Anyways, how much did you pay for your stock FX 7.5 in Chicago?
    Actually I got an awesome deal. I bought it at a big LBS for $679 because it was an '09 model that I bought after the 2010s came out. But it turned out that the 2010 was the same color (i.e. exact same frame), so it is essentially a 2010!

  14. #14
    Habitual (Bike) Tweaker ATX 6Speed's Avatar
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    Awesome bike! I've dropped about 600 bucks on my $400 hybrid, but it's so much fun building it up and replacing junk components with really nice counterparts. Keep it up

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyA View Post
    Actually I got an awesome deal. I bought it at a big LBS for $679 because it was an '09 model that I bought after the 2010s came out. But it turned out that the 2010 was the same color (i.e. exact same frame), so it is essentially a 2010!
    Damn that's an awesome deal for sure. The reason why I asked you because I am deciding whether I should go for a FX 7.5/7.3 or a Sirrus Elite. The problem is bikes here in Toronto are so expensive compared to the States. For instance, the LBS tried to sell me a 2009 Sirrus Elite for $1050CAD (MSRP for the 2010 Elite is $910US) and the sales claimed he already gave me a huge discount. Ridiculous

    Btw I wasn't really looking into the FX 7.5 until I see yours. The nickel color looks much better than I thought too.
    Last edited by ahson; 05-11-10 at 10:43 PM.

  16. #16
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    First off, go for the 7.5 over the 7.3. Even with stock components the 7.5 is MUCH better. I could list off all the reasons but there are too many to list...


    The MSRP of the 7.5 in my local LBS in Chicago is $919 and at this time of year I'd guess there are no deals to be had. The leftover 2009 models -- only super small and super large size frames at this point -- have actually been marked UP to $719 from where they were last fall.


    With the Canadian dollar as strong as it is you're hosed buying in Canada because prices don't adjust. Oh, and I'm sure the $1,050 didn't include the GST+PST, which adds another 13%. I'm originally from T.O. and my folks still live there so I can understand your frustration.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyA View Post
    First off, go for the 7.5 over the 7.3. Even with stock components the 7.5 is MUCH better. I could list off all the reasons but there are too many to list...


    The MSRP of the 7.5 in my local LBS in Chicago is $919 and at this time of year I'd guess there are no deals to be had. The leftover 2009 models -- only super small and super large size frames at this point -- have actually been marked UP to $719 from where they were last fall.


    With the Canadian dollar as strong as it is you're hosed buying in Canada because prices don't adjust. Oh, and I'm sure the $1,050 didn't include the GST+PST, which adds another 13%. I'm originally from T.O. and my folks still live there so I can understand your frustration.
    Went out to shop around for my new bike today and I got $999CAD for the Trek FX 7.5 and $749 for the FX 7.3. I tested ride the FX7.5 and man this bike is a mini rocket! It's fast and smooth. The LBS owner mentioned Trek has only 6 left in my size and only in the nickel color within the NA.

    MattyA, what makes you picked the 7.5 over the 7.3? You've mentioned there are reasons why you picked up your 7.5 instead. Can you share with us? I want to hear from an actual end user who currently has a 7.5 like you.
    Last edited by ahson; 05-12-10 at 03:24 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahson View Post
    MattyA, what makes you picked the 7.5 over the 7.3? You've mentioned there are reasons why you picked up your 7.5 instead. Can you share with us?
    A few things in general:

    1. Carbon fork -- the 7.3 is alloy

    2. The wheels are much better. My Valencia has the disc version of the Nebulas that come on the 7.3 and I'll attest they are crap. Extremely heavy. The SSRs on the 7.5 are road wheels. Not amazing road wheels, but the SSRs are stock on the Madone 4.5 so they are at least legit.

    3. The shifters on the 7.3 are terrible. They are the same ones that came stock on my Valencia. I hated them. Very large and cheap-feeling and "plasticky". Plus they are integrated with the brake levers which I did not like. The Deore triggers on the 7.5 are pretty good. In fact I put them on my Valencia once I upgraded my 7.5 to the flat bar road shifters. They shift pretty well.

    4. The LX rear derailleur is apparently really much better than the Deore. I don't know if that is true, but it certainly looks cooler aesthetically.

    5. Crank looks a lot cooler without the chainguard. I'm sure it is stiffer or whatever but I'm not hard core enough to appreciate that.

    6. Available colors

    Honestly, my view is that Trek went just a touch too high on the price point for the 7.5FX in 2010. Last year that model was clearly in the sweet spot. This year you do need to ascribe decent value to the above list or to other things that are different between the models, because you are justifying a pretty decent price difference. To someone who will ride the bike a lot and/or is either "into bikes" or "getting into bikes", the carbon fork and wheels and shifters will make a material difference in the experience IMO. And with respect to the fork and wheels, those are not components that can be upgraded down the road without pretty significant cost.

    In my personal case, because I knew I was going to do a lot of upgrading, the 7.5 made sense for me:
    i. Lowest-end FX frame with a carbon fork
    ii. A set of drivetrain components that could find a second home on my Trek Valencia and would be a material upgrade to that bike as well (incidentally, most of the stock Valencia components are the same as the 7.3)
    iii. A set of wheels that good enough to use as training wheels on my Felt Triathlon bike.

    Hopefully this is helpful.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyA View Post
    A few things in general:

    1. Carbon fork -- the 7.3 is alloy

    2. The wheels are much better. My Valencia has the disc version of the Nebulas that come on the 7.3 and I'll attest they are crap. Extremely heavy. The SSRs on the 7.5 are road wheels. Not amazing road wheels, but the SSRs are stock on the Madone 4.5 so they are at least legit.

    3. The shifters on the 7.3 are terrible. They are the same ones that came stock on my Valencia. I hated them. Very large and cheap-feeling and "plasticky". Plus they are integrated with the brake levers which I did not like. The Deore triggers on the 7.5 are pretty good. In fact I put them on my Valencia once I upgraded my 7.5 to the flat bar road shifters. They shift pretty well.

    4. The LX rear derailleur is apparently really much better than the Deore. I don't know if that is true, but it certainly looks cooler aesthetically.

    5. Crank looks a lot cooler without the chainguard. I'm sure it is stiffer or whatever but I'm not hard core enough to appreciate that.

    6. Available colors

    Honestly, my view is that Trek went just a touch too high on the price point for the 7.5FX in 2010. Last year that model was clearly in the sweet spot. This year you do need to ascribe decent value to the above list or to other things that are different between the models, because you are justifying a pretty decent price difference. To someone who will ride the bike a lot and/or is either "into bikes" or "getting into bikes", the carbon fork and wheels and shifters will make a material difference in the experience IMO. And with respect to the fork and wheels, those are not components that can be upgraded down the road without pretty significant cost.

    In my personal case, because I knew I was going to do a lot of upgrading, the 7.5 made sense for me:
    i. Lowest-end FX frame with a carbon fork
    ii. A set of drivetrain components that could find a second home on my Trek Valencia and would be a material upgrade to that bike as well (incidentally, most of the stock Valencia components are the same as the 7.3)
    iii. A set of wheels that good enough to use as training wheels on my Felt Triathlon bike.

    Hopefully this is helpful.
    Can I ask you where you ride the most on your FX 7.5? Do you mainly go on paved bike trails, neighbourhood? Or do you actually take it to the open road?

    I am just trying to make the final decision on whether the FX 7.3 or FX 7.5 as I mostly ride on bike trails, neighbourhood. Around 15-25 mile per trip.

    I have couple bikes myself, a few vintage roadies and a 'hybridized' mtb. So I am very sure that I want a hybrid instead of a road bike because of the geometry and less aggressive seating position. Now it's just the matter of if 7.5 is a bit too much, overkill for bike trail kinds of riding?
    Last edited by ahson; 05-13-10 at 12:40 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Riverside_Guy's Avatar
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    Very helpful Matty, I for one appreciate reading your clear line of reasoning.

    Of course, that also makes me ask whether you considered the rear frame damper on the 7.6... that is something you can't really "upgrade."
    1991 Trek 750 Multitrack Hybrid

  21. #21
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    Paved bike paths in and around Chicago (North Branch Trail, Lakefront Path, etc). Lots of riding in the city itself. I've had some nice rides on paved bike paths in Wisconsin too. My average ride on that bike over the past year has been 20-30 miles, but I've done several 50+ milers and once even up to 75 miles.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "open road" but if you mean riding on a highway, I've never done that with any bike.

  22. #22
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    I was referring to busy streets.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverside_Guy View Post
    Of course, that also makes me ask whether you considered the rear frame damper on the 7.6... that is something you can't really "upgrade."
    Ah yes, the "isozone monostay". I sure did consider it. But (a) I did not like the only available 2009 color (blue) and, (b) you have to draw the line somewhere!!!!

  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Did I read the website right...is that bike really $2,499?????

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