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Old 06-21-12, 10:43 AM   #1
digitproject
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Trek 7100 Uncomfortable

Hey everyone,

Purchased a Trek 7100 about a year ago and have only taken on short rides. Recently the wife and I have been going for longer distances (approx 10 miles) and I have noticed that the bike is uncomfortable to say the least. I feel like am leaning forward in a weird position my arms are more fatigued then my legs at the end of a ride. I purchased from a bike convention and did not know too much about the hardware on the bikes at the time. Doing a little digging into the bike i found out that the frame is from a 7100 but the hardware is all from the 7.1 fx series of bike.

What can I do to resolve this weird position that I am sitting in. I have looked into getting a stem riser already, this may be possible but the lines are probably not long enough. I have tried adjusting the saddle forward more to sit upright but it feels awkward.

Any suggestions would be helpful!
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Old 06-21-12, 11:20 AM   #2
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Can you show a picture of it from the side? How tall are you and what size trek do you have? 7100 have a very upright sitting position. I can't see getting a longer stem helping, I actually went the opposite with mine. I needed it to be a little more aggressive for better comfort. This is my 7100 as of now, not including my new seat post. Still waiting for it to be delivered.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:28 AM   #3
digitproject
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Thanks for the reply, I am approx 6'1 and the frame is a 20inch. I will work on getting a proper picture when i get home. I may have something sitting on my phone as well.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:58 AM   #4
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First, do you know that you have the correct size frame? There is generous room for adjustment on most hybrids & comfort bikes, but there are only four frame size choices. Be certain yours is correct for your body proportions.

[edit]: At 6-1, you're probably right between the 20" and 22.5" sizes. Depending on your leg/torso/arm proportions, one may be more comfortable than the other. A larger frame will have a longer top tube, but it's easier to get your bars higher with the larger frame.

Your saddle adjustment is the first adjustment you make on the bike. It's a good idea to set the saddle angle, saddle height, and fore/aft position in that order. Set the angle so the saddle is initially level or slightly nose up. Then set the height and fore/aft according to the angles and position of your knees during the crank rotation. There are many write-ups online that show you in detail how to do this.

It may take a few short spins around the block before you get the saddle position figured out. It's common to set the saddle too low initially, which can hurt the knees and limit your power input. A longer ride may show that you still need to tweak the angle a couple degrees or slide the saddle back or forward a few millimeters. But once you have the saddle position dialed in, don't adjust it to compensate for your reach to the h-bar. The saddle adjustment is the first adjustment, and all other adjustments happen around it.

Given the information in your post, I suspect one (or both) of two things are the primary contributers to your arm fatigue. One is that your saddle is angled slightly nose-down, which is pushing your weight forward onto your hands. If your saddle angle is correct, you should be able to release your hands from the grips without feeling like you're being pushed forward off the saddle. But don't attempt this if you doubt your ability to ride "no handed" even momentarily.

The other is that you're not accustomed to riding. New riders or those that are getting back to riding often keep their arms too stiff and tense, which stresses and tires the arms and hands. Or you may be holding the h-bar with a death grip. Your arms should be somewhat relaxed.

The 7100 has a threaded headset with an adjustable angle quill stem. This allows a lot of latitude in adjustments. If you're having difficulty getting everything dialed in, I'd visit the LBS (maybe Trek dealer for you) and ask for some assistance is the adjustments.

Though the 7100 is technically a 'comfort' bike, and the 7.1 fx is a hybrid, they share much in common. Their wheels and drivetrain components are very similar, though one may be Shimano and the other SRAM. Your frame, fork, headset, stem, h-bar and seatpost are very different from the 7.1 and not interchangeable. The drivertains and wheels could be switched, but I doubt that was the case.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:06 PM   #5
digitproject
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When I tried the bike for the first time we tried the larger size and it seemed to big at the time. I have been playing with the seating position as well. The bike does not have the quill stem. My wife has the 7100 as well and hers was ordered from the store and does have the quill stem. She also has totally different cranks and gear selectors. I have the seat from the 7.1 as well. I am beginning to believe that I have some zombie bike they put together with extra parts. I was able to find a picture of the stem. This is the only pic that i currently have avail to me
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Old 06-21-12, 02:41 PM   #6
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Well, that is indeed a threadless stem. Looking around, I see both threaded and threadless forks on that model. I'm not very familiar with the 7xxx series.

You might learn more, or be able to identify the variances about your bike at these sites:

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2011/archive/

http://www.bikepedia.com/

I've got to believe that your fork has a standard 1-1/8 steerer. If they're using threaded forks on some 7xxx models, I'd think they'd be 1-1/8" threadless; but that's a very odd size. Another scenario is that some frames have headtubes for the common 1" threaded fork, while others have the larger headtube for the common 1-1/8" threadless fork. But it's hard to imagine they'd manufacture two different frames. I dunno.

What you give up in easy height adjustment, you gain in user-friendliness with the threadless fork. Simple to remove/replace handlebars, and easy to preload headset bearings. Six of one, half dozen of the other...I guess.

Same year 7100, regardless if standard or wsd, would normally have same drivetrain components. But, the bike companies tend to state that "specifications may vary." This makes sense, since their production & sales aren't always in line with vendors' supply capabilities. You can compare what you have to Trek's original specifications at the above sites.
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Old 06-22-12, 05:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
At 6-1, you're probably right between the 20" and 22.5" sizes. Depending on your leg/torso/arm proportions, one may be more comfortable than the other. A larger frame will have a longer top tube, but it's easier to get your bars higher with the larger frame.
I agree. At 6'1", a 20" bike is probably too small for a hybrid in most cases. For someone your size, that might be ok for a MTB used for true off-roading. Short of buying a new bike, you might may able to make some changes to improve the fit, as suggested by Desertdork. Good luck!
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Old 06-22-12, 06:34 AM   #8
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The stem threaded or threadless on 7100 is 1 1/8".
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Old 05-07-13, 09:11 AM   #9
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An extreme solution

I realize my suggestion will not work for most people, but it does work.

I bike a lot, meaning several thousand miles per year (6200 last year). I have a Trek 7100 and two more-expensive Cannondale's at this time. I find the Trek the most comfortable of the three. Anyway, several years ago I was developing severe problems with my hands and had sore elbows from so much riding. I either had to find a solution or quit riding.

I briefly considered switching to a recumbent bike, but I did not find that overly appealing. I decided to relearn something from my childhood: riding hands free. Being several decades older, my reaction time was a little slower and it took some time to re-develop the skill and my confidence. But it did come back, eventually. Today, I do probably about 70% of my riding sitting straight-up, hands free. I take all the curves and corners, and can even ride in a circle hands-free. My hands and elbows have fully recovered. It is the only way I can continue to ride a conventional bike.

Lastly, I would not even consider a bike without good front-wheel and seat-post shocks. I know they are rejected by the pros, but for us average people, they making riding a great deal more comfortable.
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Old 05-07-13, 09:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Toeser View Post

I realize my suggestion will not work for most people, but it does work.
It might "work" for you, but it's a very unsafe and risky thing to do, and I personally would consider it as foolhardy, to say the least. I can assure you that it will not work for most people!

Quote:
I briefly considered switching to a recumbent bike, but I did not find that overly appealing. I decided to relearn something from my childhood: riding hands free. Being several decades older, my reaction time was a little slower and it took some time to re-develop the skill and my confidence. But it did come back, eventually. Today, I do probably about 70% of my riding sitting straight-up, hands free. I take all the curves and corners, and can even ride in a circle hands-free. My hands and elbows have fully recovered. It is the only way I can continue to ride a conventional bike.
In all honesty, 70% of cycling done "hands free", seems more like a circus performance, than serious cycling. C'mon now man! Seriously?
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Old 05-07-13, 11:39 AM   #11
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I could ride most of my old bikes in my pre-college years "hands free," but I can't think of one bike I have ridden or tested out that I would feel comfortable riding without at least one hand on the bars.

Sure, I did some really stupid things when I was younger and we used to have contests to see who could ride the longest distance "hands free." But, that was then and this is now!
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Old 05-07-13, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdork View Post
First, do you know that you have the correct size frame? There is generous room for adjustment on most hybrids & comfort bikes, but there are only four frame size choices. Be certain yours is correct for your body proportions.

[edit]: At 6-1, you're probably right between the 20" and 22.5" sizes. Depending on your leg/torso/arm proportions, one may be more comfortable than the other. A larger frame will have a longer top tube, but it's easier to get your bars higher with the larger frame.

Your saddle adjustment is the first adjustment you make on the bike. It's a good idea to set the saddle angle, saddle height, and fore/aft position in that order. Set the angle so the saddle is initially level or slightly nose up. Then set the height and fore/aft according to the angles and position of your knees during the crank rotation. There are many write-ups online that show you in detail how to do this.

It may take a few short spins around the block before you get the saddle position figured out. It's common to set the saddle too low initially, which can hurt the knees and limit your power input. A longer ride may show that you still need to tweak the angle a couple degrees or slide the saddle back or forward a few millimeters. But once you have the saddle position dialed in, don't adjust it to compensate for your reach to the h-bar. The saddle adjustment is the first adjustment, and all other adjustments happen around it.

Given the information in your post, I suspect one (or both) of two things are the primary contributers to your arm fatigue. One is that your saddle is angled slightly nose-down, which is pushing your weight forward onto your hands. If your saddle angle is correct, you should be able to release your hands from the grips without feeling like you're being pushed forward off the saddle. But don't attempt this if you doubt your ability to ride "no handed" even momentarily.

The other is that you're not accustomed to riding. New riders or those that are getting back to riding often keep their arms too stiff and tense, which stresses and tires the arms and hands. Or you may be holding the h-bar with a death grip. Your arms should be somewhat relaxed.

The 7100 has a threaded headset with an adjustable angle quill stem. This allows a lot of latitude in adjustments. If you're having difficulty getting everything dialed in, I'd visit the LBS (maybe Trek dealer for you) and ask for some assistance is the adjustments.

Though the 7100 is technically a 'comfort' bike, and the 7.1 fx is a hybrid, they share much in common. Their wheels and drivetrain components are very similar, though one may be Shimano and the other SRAM. Your frame, fork, headset, stem, h-bar and seatpost are very different from the 7.1 and not interchangeable. The drivertains and wheels could be switched, but I doubt that was the case.


This.

I've ridden a 7100 (now for sale) for the past year and found it very upright and comfortable. The problem has to be with setup/position.
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Old 05-07-13, 01:09 PM   #13
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I would put the saddle back where it was ... if you need a handlebar / stem adj, dont try to take a short cut and move the seat to make up for it. you will just create more problems ...

Ex.: if the stem is too long, instead of getting a shorter stem, you move the saddle forward.

I would ( re)center and (re)level tha saddle, and go for another ride ... if you want a stem riser (30$), it IS, an option... if it looks like you will need a longer front brake cable (3$) and longer housing (2$/ft) its totaly doable ... My LBS charges 10$ for re-runing cables and adj the brake.

Last edited by martinus; 05-07-13 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 05-13-13, 08:14 AM   #14
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It might "work" for you, but it's a very unsafe and risky thing to do, and I personally would consider it as foolhardy, to say the least. I can assure you that it will not work for most people!
In all honesty, 70% of cycling done "hands free", seems more like a circus performance, than serious cycling. C'mon now man! Seriously?
I agree that it might be unsafe for some people, but if learned and executed properly, it is not unsafe. I have ridden 44,600 miles to date. I estimate that around 24,000 miles of that was hands-free without a single accident or incident. That sounds pretty safe to me. What's my choice, give up biking? Note: I don't ride in traffic and probably 90% of my riding is off-road on trails. I should have clarified that.

As to serious cycling, serious to who? Just because I don't ride the way you do does not mean my cycling is not as legitimate. I am not trying to compete with Lance Armstrong, with or without doping. Why try to define how other people engage in the sport or exercise?
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Old 05-13-13, 11:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Toeser View Post
As to serious cycling, serious to who? Just because I don't ride the way you do does not mean my cycling is not as legitimate. I am not trying to compete with Lance Armstrong, with or without doping. Why try to define how other people engage in the sport or exercise?
I can see the value in doing it to train yourself not to put much weight on your hands/arms. But once you train your body how to do that continuing to ride around hands free just seems totally unnecessary. And frankly, riding hands free would shift more weight onto you butt which could cause a sore rear end.
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Old 05-13-13, 04:06 PM   #16
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Toeser..... I'm with you, sometimes i sit back with arms folded and ride for miles. I like it better than your rear end level with head.
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