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Old 04-28-11, 01:25 AM   #1
BuRaK
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Going nuts trying to decide between 7.3FX vs 7300

Hello all,

Hate to annoy you since you have all probably heard ppl ask the same-thing before but I'm really having hard time sticking with my last purchase (7.3FX TREK) and I need help

I have 2 more weeks before free exchange is over and so far I did 2x 10 mile rides on bike paths with 7.3 FX and found myself leaning too much forward and having a rougher ride (even though I love the bike is so light).

I'm afraid of being stuck with a bike I can't ride anywhere except paved roads. 7300 has suspensions and seems more comfortable but the dealer won't let me test ride.

I just want a bike to go to bike paths few times a week and maybe go to forest preserve couple times a year. Nothing to commute with.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-28-11, 04:14 AM   #2
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If you intend to only do short 10-20 mile rides a few times per week and a small bit of off-road, then I would go with the 7300 which is more comfy for you. If you think you will be doing longer rides in the 20-100 mile range then I would lean towards the FX. The more upright ride of the 7300 will not be so comfortable on the very long rides, but the FX will. Regardless, from what you have stated, I would go with the 7300..........
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Old 04-28-11, 06:08 AM   #3
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You can trade it in, but can't test ride the other bike before agreeing to the swap?

The FX is a performance oriented bike, comfort has been sacrificed to a degree in the name of speed. Not sure which would be more comfortable on a long ride, but you would be able to complete a long ride in much less time on the FX, and with much less effort. So, yeah less time in the saddle and less work equals more comfort. OK, I get it.

You can get good exercise and have fun on the 7300. The suspension fork will make the ride smoother. If you want to go fast, get the FX.

You can change the handlebar/stem to get a more upright position on the lighter FX, which is an option if you wanted to do longer rides.

Last edited by qmsdc15; 04-28-11 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:24 AM   #4
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I did a handlebar change on my SU100, just a real slight rise in the handlebars, makes a big comfort improvement.
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Old 04-28-11, 09:16 AM   #5
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Whatever you do, make sure that you are on the correctly sized bike for you. I went from a 7100 to a 7.2FX last year (opposite direction that you are asking about) for more performance but never changed my size and the size was wrong. I ended up ditching the FX as well because it was killing me (especially my hands). The 7100 was more comfortable probably due to the suspension but my hands hurt on that as well.

Regarding the 7.3/7300 choice if you want to play it safe go with the 7300 based on what you said. However, the 7.3 fx should not hurt as much as you are describing if it is properly fit. I think it sucks that you can't test ride the 7300. You should see if you have another Trek shop (or any other LBS) within your area and explain your situation. They may let you test ride and give you a good deal on the FX. If you lose a bit on the FX transaction it may be worth it if it means you were able to confirm that the bike you're buying fits correctly when riding it.
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Old 04-28-11, 05:37 PM   #6
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When I started biking I bought a Trek Navigator which has a similar riding position to the 7000 series. I loved the way it rode for the first 6 months and would not have switched to a more aggressive riding position like the FX. After 6 months I started to feel the limitations of the comfort oriented riding position and bought a flat bar road bike. So my recommendation would be to get the 7300 but there's no way to know how you're going to feel a few months down the line. You could always sell the 7300 down the line and buy a used FX on Craigslist.

BTW, I'm assuming the shop won't let him take it on a long test ride. They should absolutely let you ride it around the store parking lot. If not go to another shop so you can at least get a rough idea how the 7300 feels.
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Old 04-28-11, 07:56 PM   #7
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Good question from the OP,this is a comfy vs speed decision,if you can only have one bike,7300 is good for the intent purposes.
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Old 04-28-11, 09:49 PM   #8
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It sounds to me like the 7300 is your best bet.

I've got a 7100 and it's fine for shorter rides on paved bike paths and the occasional foray onto gravel roads which is what you want to do. If you want to go for longer rides in the future, then the 7.3 FX is the way to go.

I originally got the 7100 because I'd been away from cycling for 35 years and I figured that it was a decent way of getting back into the saddle. Well, it was. However, I'm a old roadie at heart and I found that the upright position and the road buzz from the aluminium frame really hurt my hands on longer rides and it really wasn't suitable for the long rides that I was used to. I've since gone to a far more expensive carbon fiber road bike for my longer rides since I generally do 100+ miles a week or more.

The 7xxx series are great bikes but if you ride a lot like I do then you need to go to the FX or a entry level road bike.
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Old 04-29-11, 01:32 AM   #9
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Thank you very very much everyone. I appreciate all the replies! My money is tied at the Trek store now I'm beyond the 7 day return policy, is there any other TREK model I should consider besides the 7300 and is it a big deal that 7.3FX has one lever higher quality gear set and better wheels / tires then the 7300?

Many thanks!
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Old 04-29-11, 06:42 AM   #10
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Having a better groupset (gear set ) and better wheels is much better in the long run. I think you'll still be happy with the 7.3FX. The 7300 is the kind of bike that you could outgrow very quickly if you start riding a lot and a 7.3FX is a great way to get started.
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Old 04-29-11, 05:29 PM   #11
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According to the Trek site the 7300 and 7.3 are very similar in spec. The only meaningful difference I see is the 7.3 has a Deore rear derailleur vs the lower spec Alivio on the 7300. That is not a reason to choose one bike over the other!
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Old 04-29-11, 05:44 PM   #12
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The only meaningful difference I see is the 7.3 has a Deore rear derailleur vs the lower spec Alivio on the 7300. That is not a reason to choose one bike over the other!
I hope i am not mistaking you but the 7300 has front and seat post suspensions and wider tires and different saddle,oops,forgot the handle bar,i am sure there are at least one more difference,hmm, i think it's the geometry?
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Old 04-29-11, 06:11 PM   #13
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I hope i am not mistaking you but the 7300 has front and seat post suspensions and wider tires and different saddle,oops,forgot the handle bar,i am sure there are at least one more difference,hmm, i think it's the geometry?
Yes, but the OP is aware of those differences. I was responding to the question about the differences in the groupset and wheels. Minor differences in these items make absolutely no perceivable difference in the way the bike rides.
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Old 04-29-11, 07:34 PM   #14
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Groupset differences don't make a difference in handling but they sure cut down on the frustration when it comes to shifting and braking. Cheap shifters can cause you to have rough shifting when climbing hills.

The 7300 also has a different saddle, it runs on 700c X 35 tires instead of 700c X 32. The frames have a different geometry. The 7.3 FX has a taller head tube and a longer wheelbase
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Old 04-29-11, 09:41 PM   #15
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Groupset differences don't make a difference in handling but they sure cut down on the frustration when it comes to shifting and braking. Cheap shifters can cause you to have rough shifting when climbing hills.
Yes, but it's such a tiny difference and both are on the low end of the spectrum that it won't be noticeable. I don't think $30 trigger shifters shift noticeably better than $20 ones. And we don't even know if the 7.3FX wheelset is any lighter than the 7300 wheelset. Trek only lists the hubs being slightly different but not the weights. But yes, on the 7300 you're paying for the suspension bits and on the 7.3FX you paying for performance bits. I just think people get way too caught up in insignificant differences in specs and lose sight of what's really important (riding comfort/enjoyment.)
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Old 04-29-11, 09:47 PM   #16
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True
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Old 04-29-11, 09:54 PM   #17
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Yes, but it's such a tiny difference and both are on the low end of the spectrum that it won't be noticeable. I don't think $30 trigger shifters shift noticeably better than $20 ones. And we don't even know if the 7.3FX wheelset is any lighter than the 7300 wheelset. Trek only lists the hubs being slightly different but not the weights. But yes, on the 7300 you're paying for the suspension bits and on the 7.3FX you paying for performance bits. I just think people get way too caught up in insignificant differences in specs and lose sight of what's really important (riding comfort/enjoyment.)
I agree with you. At that price there's going to be next to no difference. Comfort is the real difference between these two.
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Old 05-01-11, 04:57 PM   #18
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I was also in the same dilemma. I was between the 7.5 and the 7500. I chose the 7.5 for the faster frame, and better components. I did have in mind that when I bought it, I was going to have the best of both world by getting the 7.5 and put a higher neck to raise the handle bars, and a more comfortable seat. I don't have too many miles yet, but so far I love the bike and I am not sure if I am going to change anything even though I thought I was going to have to.
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Old 05-02-11, 05:43 AM   #19
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7.x fx vs. 7x00

I test rode the 7.3fx, the 7300, the 7.5fx, and the 7.6fx last year. The 7300 was definitely more comfortable for the test rides (the local road behind the parking lot). Pot holes and road imperfections were very evident in the fx series. 7.5fx and 7.6fx were better than the 7.3fx, in terms of feeling every road imperfection.

However, I was told that cycling shorts will take out some of the edge. I eventually purchased a Felt Speed 30 which is similar to a 7.6fx. I got it professionally fitted. And, with cycling shorts, there is no major discomfort.

I am assuming that you have had a fit assessment/adjustment for your 7.3fx. If not, that should be your first priority.

After that, purchase a pair of cycling shorts. That should ease the ride. REI has good cycling shorts (Pearl Izumi is good). They have a sale coming up starting May 20.

If your wrist aches, try on a pair of cycling gloves. I use Giro gloves. You can also consider replacing the grips. Ergon grips come highly recommended.

Good luck!
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Old 05-02-11, 03:42 PM   #20
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I have a trek 7200 2010 model I changed the bars and the seat post as I did not like the up right position that much and the seatpost felt like I was on a pogo stick. If I was going to do it all over again I would have started with a FX series. Love my bike I ride close to 100 miles a week 13 miles every morning for fitness but now I want to go faster but I am limited with the 7200. In fact I am in the market for a FX.
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