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Old 08-23-12, 05:46 PM   #1
TeenageBiker
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Question Trek 7.3 FX vs 7.4 FX?

Hey guys, I know this topic has probably been beaten to death but anyway here is my dilemma.

I'm looking to get my first *real* bike and I've narrowed it down to either the 7.3 or 7.4. I'll be doing the majority of my riding on paved roads in the city, and I wanted to know if the carbon fork and the 9 speed on the 7.4 vs the 8 speed and aluminum fork on the 7.3 really make enough difference to a beginner to justify spending the extra $110. I've heard that a carbon fork is supposed to dampen vibrations better, but is more easily damaged than an aluminum fork. Whichever one I go with, what accessories are a must (besides a helmet)?

Thanks in advance, and happy riding.

P.S. For those of you who live in or near Houston, do you recommend any specific LBS that carries Trek bikes?
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Old 08-23-12, 08:09 PM   #2
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I would go with the carbon fork, but the 8 vs 9 speed, I don't care so much about.

Carbon is fairly durable material. It is stronger than aluminum, at least in some situations. I don't claim to be an expert in these materials. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreZdUBqpJs
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Old 08-23-12, 08:30 PM   #3
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Actually, looking at the Trek website, I think both of them are 27 (3x9) speed bikes.

The difference seems to be in the level of the components (shifters, derailers, etc.) with the 7.4 being one grade higher. It's easy to see if you select each bike and then click "compare" -- Trek lays the specs out side by side. I wish I could say whether the better components are worth it or not but, frankly, I really don't know. Perhaps somebody more knowledgeable / experienced than I could comment on that.

But, if you do go with the 7.4, you may want to consider the 7.4 disk if you will be riding in wet weather. Disks are not effected by wet weather as rim brakes are.

But two things to consider:
1) How the bike fits you and your needs far out weighs any of the specs of a particular bike. So be sure you check around and test ride one. "If it don't fit, you must..."
2) Bikes last a very long time if you take care of them. So, over a 5, 10 or 20 year life, the cost difference is pretty small on a per year or per mile basis. So, get what you will like...

Also, there is another thread going on this forum '7.4 FX -- to disk or not to disk?" It has some good information in it from knowledgeable cyclists.

Last edited by GeorgeBMac; 08-23-12 at 08:37 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 08-25-12, 01:34 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=TeenageBiker;14644661 Whichever one I go with, what accessories are a must (besides a helmet)?

Thanks in advance, and happy riding.

P.S. For those of you who live in or near Houston, do you recommend any specific LBS that carries Trek bikes?[/QUOTE]

A good named brand front blinkies/light and rear blinkies, i prefer the ones i have on mine.

Last edited by KungPaoSchwinn; 08-25-12 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 08-25-12, 02:30 PM   #5
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Old 08-25-12, 02:36 PM   #6
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Folks,nvm about the pic up there,my mistake.
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Old 08-26-12, 09:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TeenageBiker View Post
I'm looking to get my first *real* bike and I've narrowed it down to either the 7.3 or 7.4. I'll be doing the majority of my riding on paved roads in the city, and I wanted to know if the carbon fork and the 9 speed on the 7.4 vs the 8 speed and aluminum fork on the 7.3 really make enough difference to a beginner to justify spending the extra $110. I've heard that a carbon fork is supposed to dampen vibrations better, but is more easily damaged than an aluminum fork. Whichever one I go with, what accessories are a must (besides a helmet)?

Thanks in advance, and happy riding.
Yes, the difference between the 3 and 4 is well worth the $110. The carbon fork alone would justify it. You will find that it dampens road buzz. Contrary to some opinions, carbon fiber is extremely strong. Consider that aircraft is one of many things that need extreme durability that are made from carbon fiber.

And the ride quality between the two models is quite noticable. Better components = better ride. Well worth the $110 difference.
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Old 08-27-12, 07:51 AM   #8
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I recently test rode some FX'es both with and without carbon forks, and without doubt I'm going carbon: the difference in ride quality is dramatic.

I'm now just waiting for my favorite LBS to get a 7.4 in my size in stock, and that may not happen for another 7 weeks or so.

And by the way, the 7.4 FX Disc does NOT have a carbon fork, and I test rode that too, and it felt more like a 7.3: heavier and a harsher ride than the plain 7.4.

Last edited by LeftFrank; 08-27-12 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 08-27-12, 11:02 AM   #9
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Them carbon fiber is just a hype,it's your money,go for it.
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Old 08-27-12, 11:27 AM   #10
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Personally, my money's on good old fashioned steel: great strength-to-weight ratio, with high degree flexibility and repairability. Still, carbon fiber seems to have advanced enough to be well accepted in practice. The following link is instructive.
http://talu.com/materials.php
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Old 08-28-12, 12:41 PM   #11
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Well,did he get it?
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Old 09-02-12, 09:09 AM   #12
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Well,did he get it?
My question as well. However, I just picked up my new 7.4FX yesterday afternoon. There is absolutely a difference when going from the 7.3 to the 7.4. And I too, originally thinking about the 7.2 or the Jamis Coda Sport (which I hated -test rode one yesterday - my 2008 Jamis Explorer with 26 x 1.5" slicks seems better!), realized after talking to a number of people, that the extra $200 over the 10-15 years I'd have the bike is nothing. I should also mention that IMHO there is undoubtedly a difference having a carbon fork.

I'm very pleased with the purchase and with the initial 10 mile ride I took on it.
Best regards and happy Labor Day!
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Old 09-02-12, 11:41 AM   #13
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Has anyone actually weighed the 7.4?

I'd like really to know. I just weighed my friend's 7.3 from a few years ago, and it came in at 25 lbs

Oh, and congrats on the new bike Barry
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Old 09-02-12, 11:58 AM   #14
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Has anyone actually weighed the 7.4?

I'd like really to know. I just weighed my friend's 7.3 from a few years ago, and it came in at 25 lbs

Oh, and congrats on the new bike Barry
That's about right,mine is almost the same.
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Old 09-02-12, 12:48 PM   #15
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Has anyone actually weighed the 7.4?

I'd like really to know. I just weighed my friend's 7.3 from a few years ago, and it came in at 25 lbs

Oh, and congrats on the new bike Barry
Thanks Left. Actually I just weighed the bike this morning by weighing myself, then myself + bike and taking the difference: with nothing added, I haven't yet added a water bottle cage, it weighs 24.6lbs.

Best regards
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Old 09-06-12, 11:52 AM   #16
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I have the 7.3 FX WSD disc and I love it. I only use it for true hybrid around town kinds of things. I use my MTB for off pavement.
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