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  1. #1
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    Trek 7.x FX for long rides?

    So I'm looking to pick up a hybrid before the summer so that I can have a bike to use on semi-rough trails, commute to work, and ride around town. I'm trying to keep the price below $500 because, among other things, I plan on leaving it locked up outside fairly often and I live in the bike theft capital of the US (Chicago). Plus I already have a decent road bike - a Scattante R660 - for when I just want to go fast. My goal by the end of the summer is to be able to ride all the way up to Milwaukee (about 90 miles) and back in a weekend without too much trouble. I've tried taking my road bike on some of the trails around here but it just doesn't seem to like the rougher gravel and I'd rather not trash my good bike.

    I test rode a Trek 7.1 FX today and was highly impressed with it, but I have some lingering concerns before I commit. There's obviously a big difference between riding around the block and riding 90 miles. Can any of the veterans please weigh in on their experience with an all aluminum bike on longer rides? Will the aluminum fork be kicking my butt after X miles? Or should I consider something else entirely? What are some of your experiences with the Trek 7.x FX line on longer rides? I'd love to hear what some of you have to say.

    Also, I'm 5'7 with a 30" inseam. The frame on the bike I tested was 17.5" and seemed to fit perfectly. Does this seem pretty accurate? I saw another post on here where someone else had the exact same measurements as me and also did well with a 17.5" frame but I just wanted to make sure.

  2. #2
    Mixte Power! Arrowana's Avatar
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    I'd also love to hear about this, I'm looking at finally getting a new bike, and a 7.5FX Disc is what I'm considering the most. Before you decide on the FX, I'd try a few similar hybrids from other brands. I noticed that I don't really like the geometry of the FX series compared to others, however, being the only performance hybrid with disc brakes that I can get, and the higher end ones feeling pretty good, I'm still considering it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowana View Post
    I'd also love to hear about this, I'm looking at finally getting a new bike, and a 7.5FX Disc is what I'm considering the most. Before you decide on the FX, I'd try a few similar hybrids from other brands. I noticed that I don't really like the geometry of the FX series compared to others, however, being the only performance hybrid with disc brakes that I can get, and the higher end ones feeling pretty good, I'm still considering it.
    Check out the Trek 8.5 DS (Dual Sport), it has disc brakes. Before buying this bike last month I started out looking at the Trek 7300, then the Trek 7.3FX with disc and my LBS dealer suggested the 8.5DS. Absolutely love it, road bike fast, disc brakes stop you on a dime and it's built tough.

  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I'm 5'7" with a 29" inseam and I have found the Trek FX 17.5" size to be a very good fit.

    I've known people to ride centuries on Trek FX bikes. Usually higher end models. Doing 180 miles over a weekend on a 7.1 FX would be a challenge. Without the carbon fork, with the high tensile steel fork, the ride isn't super smooth. If I were to try this, I would swap out the grips for something that absorbs more vibration, and install comfortable bar ends. It is doable.

    I would probably lean toward watching Craigslist to see if I could snare a higher end bike under your $500 target. As you are comfortable on road bikes, perhaps an older road bike and use 28 or 32 mm tires. A lot of road bikes won't take a 32, some do. These tires are usually okay on limestone trails, run them at around 80-90 PSI. 32s are usually less susceptible to flats too.

    As to a dual-sport, I do like those bikes, but they wouldn't be my choice for a 180 mile weekend ride.

    How much of the ride is on dirt/limestone trails? And how smooth are those trails. Some of the trails I ride here in Wisconsin are so smooth, packed dirt, that you can ride any time of bike on them.

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    Great advice. Thanks!

    According to another thread I'm watching they claim that the trails on this side of the border are pretty trashed - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...o-to-Milwaukee

  6. #6
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    I happen to own a Trek 7.5FX. After about 20-30 miles, you begin to feel slightly uneasy. After about 40-50 miles, you begin to feel downright uncomfortable. There's no way I'd attempt to do a century on a Trek FX model of any kind...

    The problems primarily arise from road vibrations and the lack of hand positions. I've never experienced this problem on either of my chromoly steel road bikes. Both my Raleigh Grand Prix and my Nishiki Sebring do centuries quite well. I've never attempted to do rides of any great distance on my Innova. That's even though, I built it to tour!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-02-12 at 02:46 PM.

  7. #7
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    I've taken my Trek 7500 (not quite the FX but close) on many long rides and I've not had any problems with it after I switched out the stock handlebars and grips with a trekking bar. My hands would start to get numb around the 20-25 mile mark before I made the switch.

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    As counter-intuitive as it may seem, your road bike is probably a better choice for two 90 mile days. This assumes you have a comfortable seat and enough saddle time so that you're adapted to the geometry (i.e., no neck or back aches after riding it.) As others have mentioned the lack of hand positions on a flat-bar hybrid mean that it's not ideal for multi-hour rides. Regardless of the bike you end up riding you should start doing long rides every week or two. If you can do 40-50 mile rides than a 90 mile day should not be a problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member robbyrocks12345's Avatar
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    I attempted a century ride on my 7.1, My hands were hurting so bad at mile 70 someone had to come get me. I have done that same ride on my road bike twice this year, and after a few weeks of real riding I hope to do at least one century this year.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member jimbojonez's Avatar
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    I bought a new Trek 2011 7.5fx last year specifically for distance and did 80+ miles at least 15 times and 4 centuries. Extremely comfortable once you get a nice gel seat and add some bar ends. All done on Rails-to-Trails in Wisconsin and Illinois.

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    THe aluminum frame is not a problem, as long as you have decently wide tires like those needed for riding rough roads and gravel, and they are not inflated to 125 psi. THe amount of flex and shock absorbing capability you get from 35mm wide tires inflated to 60 psi is 10X that you would get from a steel frame.

    The lack of hand positions is a real obstacle on longer rides. The aluminum frame and hi-ten fork is not.

    For the flat bar, install some long bar-ends, if you can find them, that will give you two new hand positions and move your hands frequently as you ride. Also consider getting a clamp-on aero bar, which not only helps cut down on wind resistance and let you go faster, but also takes all the weight off your hands. Also make sure the bike is set up proerly for you and you do not have excess weight on your hands caused by an ill-adjusted saddle or something.

    Anbother option is to find a used touring or cyclocross bike. THe ability to fit fatter tires (which cushion the ride for you and make the bike able to ride rough roads and trails) makes these bikes the absolute best for long distance adventure riding.

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    Also keep in mind that bar ends are nearly impossible to fit on the 7.5FX due the brilliant engineers at Trek who decided that flat bar hybrids shouldn't be equipped with bar ends???

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    Quote Originally Posted by side_FX View Post
    Also keep in mind that bar ends are nearly impossible to fit on the 7.5FX due the brilliant engineers at Trek who decided that flat bar hybrids shouldn't be equipped with bar ends???
    That is no longer correct, Trek now has a adapter kit to allow putting standard bar ends on the 7.xFX's with the ISOZone bars. See this thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...11-Trek-7-5-FX

    Satellite Plus ISOZone Barend Adapter 428359 $11.99

    I might add that adding bar ends to my 7.3fx has been a great help. Before my hands would go numb after 3 or 4 hours, now I have several hand positions. It has also helped my climbing on some of the steeper grades we have around here.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    These are the single best upgrade I've done to my Mendota http://www.bontrager.com/model/04996 Got them on eBay for about $125. They don't show up often, but they're out there. Those in conjuntion with bar ends give me 3 distinctly different hand positions. And actually I don't use the bar ends much at all. Moving between the two different postions this bar offers is good enough!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member sh00k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I'm 5'7" with a 29" inseam and I have found the Trek FX 17.5" size to be a very good fit.

    I've known people to ride centuries on Trek FX bikes. Usually higher end models. Doing 180 miles over a weekend on a 7.1 FX would be a challenge. Without the carbon fork, with the high tensile steel fork, the ride isn't super smooth. If I were to try this, I would swap out the grips for something that absorbs more vibration, and install comfortable bar ends. It is doable.

    I would probably lean toward watching Craigslist to see if I could snare a higher end bike under your $500 target. As you are comfortable on road bikes, perhaps an older road bike and use 28 or 32 mm tires. A lot of road bikes won't take a 32, some do. These tires are usually okay on limestone trails, run them at around 80-90 PSI. 32s are usually less susceptible to flats too.

    As to a dual-sport, I do like those bikes, but they wouldn't be my choice for a 180 mile weekend ride.

    How much of the ride is on dirt/limestone trails? And how smooth are those trails. Some of the trails I ride here in Wisconsin are so smooth, packed dirt, that you can ride any time of bike on them.
    I absolutely agree with your comments. I have owned 3 FX bikes - from the 7.2 to the 7.7 and i can vouch for the fact that the higher end bikes will turn a 90 mile ride into a joke. my longest ride on my 7.7 was approx 54 miles and i remember getting off my bike and I barely felt like i had worked out. that's actually the reason i downgraded to a 7.3 - so i actually sweat it out on rides like that

    there are a few fx owners on here that have upgraded their 7.2's and 7.3's for long rides - perhaps they can chime in with more specific tips.
    2009 Trek FX 7.2 (Blue) -- SOLD!
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    I've been looking around on here and a lot of people are recommending the Schwinn Sporterra. This is about equivalent to the Trek 7.2 FX, correct? Also, would the bigger tires (700x38c vs. 700x35c) make longer rides significantly more difficult?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacchus26 View Post
    I've been looking around on here and a lot of people are recommending the Schwinn Sporterra. This is about equivalent to the Trek 7.2 FX, correct? Also, would the bigger tires (700x38c vs. 700x35c) make longer rides significantly more difficult?

    Yes, that's the Schwinn Sporterra Comp! It's quite the equivalent of the Trek 7.2FX. The difference in tire width is not that great...

    I mean.... Do a few seconds really matter that much to you?

    Besides, if you're racing with skinny slicks, but were five pounds heavier than the competition, that would be the equivalent of someone racing with wider tires. In the long run, on a hybrid, it really doesn't matter.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 05-03-12 at 02:13 PM.

  18. #18
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    I have had 2 Trek FX bikes, both 7.5s. My typical ride is 35-45 miles on an ATB, the FX is for "long" rides (>50 miles, in my book), days I am a little tired or over did it the day before, or simply aware that my membership in the 50+ club has been renewed annually several times now.

    The 7.5 is the bike I use when I do centuries several times a year. I love it an have no problems with it for centuries, but it is specifically tricked out for longer rides (grips, bar ends, tires etc). If I were to buy one today, the sale would be contingent on replacing the bars with standard ones that take standard accessories. Trek did something like that a few years ago with the "7xxx F/X" line where they had a cool accessory thing across the bars (the bars are upright). Nice idea, but it was flat and only took Trek brand accessories. Ugh.

    For the OP, for a trip from around CHI to Milwaukee, I would agree with others that the road bike sounds like a better idea, provided you are taking the roads. My long rides are on paved MUTs which are a little too twisty and congested in too many places for road bikes to go much more than half speed. I would not take the FX off road...it might be ok for a short ride but I dont like short rides. The roughest I ever taken the FX onto is chat (hard packed gravel) and it did fine for ~50 miles.

    HTH
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  19. #19
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    I've done a few centuries on my 7.3FX, it was perfectly comfortable. I use Ergon GC-3 grips/barends. Without those extra hand positions, I think it'd be a lot less enjoyable.

  20. #20
    Senior Member scaryseth's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of replacing my bar setup on my new (3 weeks) Trek 7.3 Disk, so that I can place on new grips and bar ends. The grips are find on may daily commute. But if I go on a ride more than 15-20 miles, I start to get uncomfortable and numb in the hands.

    I have the new bar, Bontrager Race Flat 31.8, that are 40 mm longer than the stock bar I am replacing.
    The grips I chose are Ergon GS3.

    Hopefully, this will make my hands be able to last longer rides on this bike. Part of the problem was the hand uncomfortableness. Other is the upper mid back. The ~3 1/2" wider bar should help with that.

    Other than this,I am totally loving the bike. I did just see there were bar ends from Bontrager. But the bare bar for this bar, does not look very comfortable.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryPitts View Post
    These are the single best upgrade I've done to my Mendota http://www.bontrager.com/model/04996 Got them on eBay for about $125. They don't show up often, but they're out there. Those in conjuntion with bar ends give me 3 distinctly different hand positions. And actually I don't use the bar ends much at all. Moving between the two different postions this bar offers is good enough!

    Any pics with that bar on the bike? I am very intrigued by the set up. Has your opinion changed over time? I read a review of a 7.9 FX that had the same ??? bars and they felt they actually got in the way of the shifting and braking?

  22. #22
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    There is barely enough room between the bar end and the bullhorn split for the grip, brake lever, and shifter, but there is enough room so it's all good. I've had them for almost a year now and still think they are the single best upgrade I've done to the bike.
    IMG_0060 (Large).jpgIMG_0061 (Large).jpgP1000487 (Large).jpgP1000488 (Large) (Large).jpgP1000492 (Large).jpg
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  23. #23
    Senior Member scaryseth's Avatar
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    Interesting and a busy cockpit
    I have eyed many times the same bar, on clearance, at my LBS. Do you and are you able to with the stuff there, use the middle hand holds? If so, how is the comfort with them?

  24. #24
    Senior Member GaryPitts's Avatar
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    Yes, the cockpit is busy, eh? All necessary stuff I tell you

    I've since changed the iPhone mount and both of them rotate forward to allow grabbing the 'horns'. The comfort is superb even without gloves. Ahhhh... the feel of carbon fiber in your hands Seriously, I'd just as soon be on the horns as on the ends if I'm not needing to shift or brake. It was a bit twitchy at first being so close to the steering head, but after a couple of rides I got used to that and am perfectly comfortable on them. Seriously, keep an eye on eBay for them. Well worth a hundred bucks!
    2013 Trek Domane 5.9, 2013 Specialized Sirrus Limited
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  25. #25
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    Wow, thanks for the pics. I like the whole look of that bike. It does get me thinking that this could be a nice option vs. the FX series. I wonder if the bar ends are really necessary? I can envision going to the "middle" grips for a more aero tuck and just use the regular grips for casual riding. Is that stem also an addition?

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