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Old 06-08-10, 08:50 AM   #1
th2dge
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Much needed advice on my first Hybrid purchase. TREK vs IDEAL.

Been reading a lot on this forum and decided to finally, shamefully, ask you guys for help. I've been going back and forth on some hybrid models while reading about advantages and disadvantages regarding them.

Here's a short rundown:

I mostly drive on smooth roads with the occasional bump in the road. There are also some small hills to run up to but nothing impressive. I could very well do without suspension but wouldn't hate having it. I've been told that its better to not have suspension than have suspension without lockout.

I want the bike to last me for at least a couple of years. And by a couple I mean at least 3 years without having to replace major parts ( not sure if this is realistic ). For this reason I don't mind spending a little extra for more durable parts. I don't expect an indestructible bike for the money I'm spending but at least want a smooth driving bike.

At first I will be riding mostly for fun ( get outside, clear my head ) but I plan to ride more seriously ( longer distances etc ) once my body gets used to some heavier riding. I plan to bike at least 2-3 days a week for about 1-2 hours to start with.


Hope you're still with me . I found a couple of bikes within my price range:

TREK 7.1 FX - I mostly like this one because of the price: 400 EURO but it seems to have cheaper parts (Acera 21 speed)

TREK 7.2 FX - This one costs only slightly more than the 7.1 FX (50 EURO) but has better parts. Also like that its 24 speed.

TREK 7200 - This one is 500 EURO and seems to have decent parts (Alivio 24 speed). Also the suspension with the lockout is a plus.

IDEAL Ergomax 09 - This one is the same price as the TREK 7200. It does seem to have much better parts (mostly Deore 27 speed) and has supension with lockout.

Comparison of the TREK choices

Now my ultimate questions are: Which bike do you think is better for the 500 EURO, the IDEAL or the TREK. And do you think the difference between those two and the TREK FX justifies the 100 EURO on top of the price.

Last edited by th2dge; 06-08-10 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Added another bike
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Old 06-08-10, 08:55 AM   #2
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Why have you not considered the Trek 7.2 FX?
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Old 06-08-10, 09:08 AM   #3
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The 7.2 FX seems nice aswell. Added it to the opening post with reasons.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:31 AM   #4
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The 7.3 is the best buy for the money, IMHO - but, the 7.2 does give you the same frame as the 7.3.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:44 AM   #5
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That Ideale appears to be a very nice bike. It has all of those Shimano parts on it, which is a plus in it's favor.

I have the RST Neon fork on my Crosstrail, although a different model (mine is hydraulic). It has worked flawlessly, so far ....

That Deore stuff is rugged, especially if you keep it clean and oiled.

Schwalbe tires are a big benefit.

It also appears to have plenty of room, and eyelets, for fenders and racks, a pair of Planet Bike Hardcore Hybrid Fenders (43mm wide internally) will fit nicely.

It looks like a very nice bike - I don't think they are sold in the US.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:45 AM   #6
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I will comment on the Trek models (no experience with Ideal)- as I have just gone through a similar process, deciding between the FX and the 7000 series.

First off, if your budget allows, I would remove the 7.1 FX from the equation, as the difference in 50 Euros gives you a better bike overall. The 7.2 FX has the advantage of Alpha Black Aluminum (over the 7.1's Alpha White) and a better drivetrain, among other things.

Comparing the 7.2 FX and the 7200, the main differences appear to be the frame (Black for 7.2 and White for the 7200), and the mechanical lockout suspension of the 7200. The suspension will also make the 7200 a heavier bike if you need to carry the bike. The international versions of the 7000 series appear to have less of an upright position (25mm rise against 50mm rise- making a guess here)

While both the FX and the 7000 series can be ridden on road and some trail, given the riding you do (majority paved), the 7.2 FX appears a better bet, as the suspension of the 7200 will be of more use to you on dirt than road (only my opinion), and the better frame may help in the long run. (Do a search on the advantages of Trek Black aluminum in the forum).

Trek also provides a good warranty for their bikes, so you should be covered for the next 3 years.

But, most importantly, go to the nearest store and do a test ride. Whatever opinions you form from advice you get here cannot compare to an actual test ride.
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Old 06-08-10, 10:26 AM   #7
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most folks are going to suggest a trek because they are familiar with it and it is the dominant brand in the hybrid world. but that ideal looks like the best deal to me.
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Old 06-08-10, 11:25 AM   #8
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Them FX are awesome.
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Old 06-08-10, 12:24 PM   #9
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The "ideal" bike is definately better stuff.
Trek is a typical manufacturer that fits a rear derailleur of let's say "deore" and then fits chain, bottom bracket, cassette and brakes of altus or worse. They know people only look at the rear derailleur to determine overall quality and take advantage of this.
The "ideal" bike is much more balanced: the whole drivetrain is deore: crank, cassette, chain, rear deraileur, front derailleur ... even the shifters!
Only the brakes are acera, but acera brakes should be fine still compared to the trek which has crappy tektro-brakes.
Although I wouldn't consider the "ideal" bike myself, since I like my bike to be of better quality, I think that "ideal" bike is great for it's price and is by far the best choice.
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Old 06-09-10, 02:43 PM   #10
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Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I'm proud to tell you I went for the IDEAL since it also seemed the best value for my money to me.

I'm getting the bike next week and I'm pretty excited
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Old 06-09-10, 04:04 PM   #11
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Congrats - make sure you stop back and let us know how well you like it....



Nice Bike !
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