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  1. #1
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    new 7.4 FX and Ive got $200 to spend on accessories. suggestions?

    I just picked up a new 7.4 FX and Ive got $200 to spend on accessories.

    what I want to improve on: speed, comfort. I want to go fast and I want to go far (I know my motor needs upgrading too).

    would it be best to ...

    1) buy these aero bars for $105 ..... aero bars . dont care what looks I may get, Im improving MY ride.
    2) smaller tires? if so, suggestions? (I currently have 700x32, and dont mind upgrading because I can transfer the 32's to 7.2 FX)
    3) upgrade crank or cassette?
    4) change stem?
    5) pedal straps?
    6) something not mentioned here?

    thanks !!!

    EDIT :

    items that I have, or plan to buy but wont count against the $200 Id like to spend on upgrades
    garmin edge 200 bike computer
    basic front/rear lights (walmart low budget style)
    saddle bag
    frame pump
    bottle cage
    helmet & gloves
    kryptolok U lock with cable
    topeak alien II tool kit
    spare tube & patch kit
    cycling shorts
    Last edited by prime winner; 06-14-14 at 07:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    I would say none of the above. Unless you have some particular area of concern, why change anything? Maybe get bar ends, clip less pedals and shoes, shorts. Then ride. Lots.

  3. #3
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    I think your tires are fine. The biggest upgrade you might want to make in the future are fenders/rack if you intend to go commuting with it.

    Otherwise leave it stock. You do not want thinner tires - the speed gain isn't much and wider tires provide suspension on rough roads.

  4. #4
    Home School Valedictorian 02Giant's Avatar
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    The aero bars would let you get in a better position for speed while still having the flat bars for comfort. Your current tires are considered ultra low rolling resistance by Bontrager, not likely to be much improvement changing them.
    i would put some miles on it, you may find a change of saddle is needed or as the previous reply, clip-less shoes, shorts, etc.
    We've got no fear, no doubt, all in balls out

  5. #5
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
    The aero bars would let you get in a better position for speed while still having the flat bars for comfort. Your current tires are considered ultra low rolling resistance by Bontrager, not likely to be much improvement changing them.
    i would put some miles on it, you may find a change of saddle is needed or as the previous reply, clip-less shoes, shorts, etc.
    I hate the look of aero bars on a hybrid. Just a personal thing, but IMO they look ugly.

  6. #6
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Save your $200 for a road bike :-) Seriously. The 7.4 is an awesome bike and you should ride the daylights out of it. You probably want some bar end grips (Ergons?) to provide additional hand positions. I'm a fan of clipless pedals or at least to clips so that you can pedal hard without risking your foot sliding off the pedal. Get a $35 cyclocomputer to track your speed. I like the Cateye wireless. If you want to get faster, you need a good training regimen. Intervals, hills and long rides provide different benefits.

    If you are changing cassette and crank and tires and stem, you probably bought the wrong bike.
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  7. #7
    Home School Valedictorian 02Giant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    I hate the look of aero bars on a hybrid. Just a personal thing, but IMO they look ugly.
    i tend to agree, I considered it on my hybrid, ended up buying a road bike instead.
    We've got no fear, no doubt, all in balls out

  8. #8
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    Tires would be the number one upgrade to increase speed.

    The most practical recommendation I can make is to buy a Garmin GPS computer. I just bought one a month or so ago and it's awesome.
    Currently riding a 2013 Handsome Devil custom build and an early 90's Specialized Rockhopper Single-Speed.

  9. #9
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    Keep it stock. Buy a rack, a nice bag for the rack, a couple of water bottles and some cages, a capable pump, emergency tools, a couple of spare tubes. If you want a little more aero position flip the stem and/or rearrange the spacers on the steerer tube so you'll be in a bit more of an aero position. But for God's sake, first ride the heck out of the thing for at least 6 months before trying to make it go "faster".

  10. #10
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    Keep it stock and ride it like you stole it!

    Updage the parts as they wear out. Use that cool $200 smackers for some clipless pedals, cycling shoes, water bottles, a frame pump, a saddle bag to hold an extra tube, patches and tire levers..

    Nice bike, ride it!
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Useful accessories that I added to my 7.2:

    1) Decent quality lights. I do a lot of pre-dawn rides, and for any daytime rides in traffic, a front light in invaluable when approaching intersections. Rear lights from dusk until dawn are pretty much essential if you don't want to end up as road kill.
    2) Bike computer. If you want to go faster and farther it definitely helps to know how fast and far you are going in the first place.
    3) Saddle bag. Self-explanatory.
    4) Water bottle / cage. Essential.

    Useful upgrades:

    1) Grips with integrated bar ends. The standard grips didn't do much to soak up vibration - though you may have better ones on the 7.4. On longer rides, the additional hand position is VERY welcome. I find the bar ends also work a treat when out of the saddle and also on tighter turns.

    2) Clipless pedals / cleated shoes. More efficient pedal stroke, feet always properly positioned on the pedal and never slip off at just the wrong time.

    Not sure why you would want to upgrade cassette / crank / stem, but then I have never really understood upgrading as a sport unto itself.




  12. #12
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    PS - just noticed you have a 7.2 FX Disc as well - are you selling that one? I can well imagine having two bikes (and probably will at some point in the not too distant future), but not two that are as close as these.

  13. #13
    Senior Member spdracr39's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Jaeger99;16850142]Useful accessories that I added to my 7.2:

    1) Decent quality lights. I do a lot of pre-dawn rides, and for any daytime rides in traffic, a front light in invaluable when approaching intersections. Rear lights from dusk until dawn are pretty much essential if you don't want to end up as road kill.
    2) Bike computer. If you want to go faster and farther it definitely helps to know how fast and far you are going in the first place.
    3) Saddle bag. Self-explanatory.
    4) Water bottle / cage. Essential.

    Useful upgrades:

    1) Grips with integrated bar ends. The standard grips didn't do much to soak up vibration - though you may have better ones on the 7.4. On longer rides, the additional hand position is VERY welcome. I find the bar ends also work a treat when out of the saddle and also on tighter turns.

    2) Clipless pedals / cleated shoes. More efficient pedal stroke, feet always properly positioned on the pedal and never slip off at just the wrong time.

    Not sure why you would want to upgrade cassette / crank / stem, but then I have never really understood upgrading as a sport unto itself.

    QUOTE]

    This stuff is essential for safety, convenience, and comfort. I am glad to see someone else has an added kick stand. They may be "uncool" but the practicality outwieghs what others think.

    To add to the list padded shorts, gloves, helmet, and a good quality jersey
    Last edited by spdracr39; 06-14-14 at 06:38 AM. Reason: added info

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    I hate the look of aero bars on a hybrid. Just a personal thing, but IMO they look ugly.
    Quote Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
    Save your $200 for a road bike :-) Seriously. The 7.4 is an awesome bike and you should ride the daylights out of it. You probably want some bar end grips (Ergons?) to provide additional hand positions. I'm a fan of clipless pedals or at least to clips so that you can pedal hard without risking your foot sliding off the pedal. Get a $35 cyclocomputer to track your speed. I like the Cateye wireless. If you want to get faster, you need a good training regimen. Intervals, hills and long rides provide different benefits.

    If you are changing cassette and crank and tires and stem, you probably bought the wrong bike.
    I agree with these guys!

  15. #15
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    I'd invest in a really good U-Lock (like the NY Fahgettaboudit), a nice pair of gloves, an Xmart helmet, a rack, and some really nice fenders...

  16. #16
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    first of all thanks so much to everyone for all of the input. so much good information and I really appreciate the input. I do plan to keep training my motor, but want to use this $200 while I have it.

    a couple of quick hits; 1) I chose my 7.4 FX over a road bike because I like the versatility, 2) my FX is for exercise and pleasure on paved roads/simple paths, no need for racks or fenders.

    Ive updated the first post to show the items I currently have, or will buy but will not count towards the $200 I have to play with.

    Im think maybe aero bars and tires since I want faster rides, and longer rides. comfort and speed will help me a lot I think. but Im not ruling out other upgrades if they would be better use of my $.

    I know I will add drop bar ends (not out of the $200 for other upgrades), and regular bar ends if I can fit them without sacrificing room for aero bars. below is my wifes 7.2 FX....




    will clamp on aero bars fit at the wide middle of my 7.4 handlebars.

    Last edited by prime winner; 06-14-14 at 07:43 AM.

  17. #17
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Tires won't do anything for you.............. from 32 to 25, you are talking about 1/4 inch in width, at a huge sacrifice of comfort....... Pump em up to max and be done with that. Just decide how you are going t use the bike, and then add things that will make it more functional. TT bars on the front of that thing is like putting lipstick on a pig. But it is YOUR bike................

    My suggestion s to keep this one as a Utility bike, and spare ---- then try to scrape up some more cash, and go to Performance this weekend, and buy a Fuji Roubaix road bike. Then use their cashback o buy aero bars for that.

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...551_1147744_-1 minus almost $170 cash back
    Last edited by Wanderer; 06-14-14 at 08:18 AM.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Seems like a lot of stuff to be putting on the bars. Aero bars, bar ends, and drop bar extensions?

    Don't take this as criticism, but given that you already had a Trek FX, and given that you seem to be trying to turn your 7.4 into a road bike with drop bar extensions, why not just buy a road bike? In the long run, it would be cheaper than what you are doing with your 7.4. If versatility is the issue, there is a whole class of cross bikes with drop bars like the Trek Cross Rip, Kona Jake, Surly Cross Check, or Specialized Tri Cross.

  19. #19
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    Based on your edited list in the OP I would pocket the $200 and do nothing but ride the bike..

    Also define wanting to go fast and distance please.

    I have a flat bar bike and on flats I average 20mph. I go 40 miles a day, once a week I do 60'ish and every so often I do a century.. I don't have aero bars and I don't have the drop bar end add ons either.

    I have bar ends and I would recommend them..

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  20. #20
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    I take all the info here as constructive critism . Im here for the info and suggestions that all of you experienced riders ave. Im a newbie and I appreciate all of the input from everyone.

    I dont plan to put standard bar end AND drop bar bar ends on my 7.4 because I dont think they will fit (due to the isofit) like they did on the 7.2 in the pic above. so I figure the drop bar ends would be more useful than the regular bar ends since I could get lower. I would like to add aero bars because when Ive taken the 7.2 on 10 mile rides I sometimes lay my arms across the handlebars and find that I can peddle easier against the wind and its almost like resting. but I dont know if the aero bars will fit on the 7.4 looking at the pic above. keep in mind I will need to slide the grips in just a bit for the drop bar ends Id like to add.



    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Seems like a lot of stuff to be putting on the bars. Aero bars, bar ends, and drop bar extensions?

    Don't take this as criticism, but given that you already had a Trek FX, and given that you seem to be trying to turn your 7.4 into a road bike with drop bar extensions, why not just buy a road bike? In the long run, it would be cheaper than what you are doing with your 7.4. If versatility is the issue, there is a whole class of cross bikes with drop bars like the Trek Cross Rip, Kona Jake, Surly Cross Check, or Specialized Tri Cross.
    the FX 7.2 is the wifes bike, sometimes we ride together. I bought the 7.4 instead of the road bike because I like the choice of riding upright or down low. my budget was $800.

    Quote Originally Posted by raqball View Post
    Based on your edited list in the OP I would pocket the $200 and do nothing but ride the bike..

    Also define wanting to go fast and distance please.

    I have a flat bar bike and on flats I average 20mph. I go 40 miles a day, once a week I do 60'ish and every so often I do a century.. I don't have aero bars and I don't have the drop bar end add ons either.

    I have bar ends and I would recommend them..

    My .02
    when I say I want to go fast I mean Id like cruise at 18-20mph average over 10-20-30 miles. by distance I mean that I would like to take my FX on rides of 50-100 miles some day. your speed and distance is inspiring!

  21. #21
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prime winner View Post
    I take all the info here as constructive critism . Im here for the info and suggestions that all of you experienced riders ave. Im a newbie and I appreciate all of the input from everyone.

    I dont plan to put standard bar end AND drop bar bar ends on my 7.4 because I dont think they will fit (due to the isofit) like they did on the 7.2 in the pic above. so I figure the drop bar ends would be more useful than the regular bar ends since I could get lower. I would like to add aero bars because when Ive taken the 7.2 on 10 mile rides I sometimes lay my arms across the handlebars and find that I can peddle easier against the wind and its almost like resting. but I dont know if the aero bars will fit on the 7.4 looking at the pic above. keep in mind I will need to slide the grips in just a bit for the drop bar ends Id like to add.





    the FX 7.2 is the wifes bike, sometimes we ride together. I bought the 7.4 instead of the road bike because I like the choice of riding upright or down low. my budget was $800.



    when I say I want to go fast I mean Id like cruise at 18-20mph average over 10-20-30 miles. by distance I mean that I would like to take my FX on rides of 50-100 miles some day. your speed and distance is inspiring!
    Again, confused. That is what a drop bar road bike or in the alternative, one of the cross bikes I listed offers, with multiple hand positions on tops, ramps, hoods and drops as opposed to a flat bar. In other words, you can sit up high in the tops, or down low in the drops, or in between on the ramps or the hoods. And given that you are contemplating $200 for upgrades, sounds like your budget is actually closer to $1,000, which is within reach of some of the very fine do anything road bikes available these days.

    No matter. you made your decision. Just ride your 7.4 as is. Where you are now isn't where you will be in 6 months or a year if you ride regularly. If you want to ride 18 to 20 mph, for 50 to 100 ride, just ride. You will get there.
    Last edited by MRT2; 06-14-14 at 05:39 PM.

  22. #22
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    I hear you, but $800 was all I would spend on a bike. the $200 on add ons would have been contemplated even if I bought a road bike. I didnt buy the road bike because I like the hybrid body position over the road bike aggressive position. with the aero bars and drop bar bar ends I can switch when I want, or ride upright when I want. I did strongly consider a road bike.

  23. #23
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Butttttt, they are two different types of bikes.........

    Just ride the Trek the way it is, and consider it a utility bike........ it will always be very handy!

    Then, start saving your sheckels for next year, when Performance has their triple points weekend, and consider one of those Fuji Roubaix's for your other type of riding...... which was my reason for suggesting that in an earlier post. Those Fujis are really nice bikes, and excellent value when you can get on one of their special promotions.

    Does Performance do law aways? I don't know! If they do, that $200 might be a good down payment this weekend, and find some way to earn a few extra dollars........... MHO

    edit: And, believe me, I'm not one to tout road bikes on the Hybrid Forum - but it sure sounds like that is what you are striving to create. Advice - don't put lipstick on the pig, just relish it for the bacon and hams it will provide. Save the lipstick for the Roubaix.
    Last edited by Wanderer; 06-15-14 at 07:48 AM.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Hmmm. I would neither describe the FX as a "pig" nor the purchase of accessories for it pointless "lipstick". It's not a road bike, but that doesn't mean you can't ride it a good long way, and make additions / upgrades to make your riding safer, more efficient and more comfortable. Making it go faster is largely down to your legs and lungs - and riding the heck out of it will accomplish that.

    I'm not hating on road bikes - I'm looking to add one to my FX as we speak. But this notion that a Hybrid is some kind of second class citizen is a pile of rubbish, IMO. It's not a bike that you merely tolerate while you save up for a "real" bike. Different tools for different jobs - that is all.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Hmmm. I would neither describe the FX as a "pig" nor the purchase of accessories for it pointless "lipstick". It's not a road bike, but that doesn't mean you can't ride it a good long way, and make additions / upgrades to make your riding safer, more efficient and more comfortable. Making it go faster is largely down to your legs and lungs - and riding the heck out of it will accomplish that.

    I'm not hating on road bikes - I'm looking to add one to my FX as we speak. But this notion that a Hybrid is some kind of second class citizen is a pile of rubbish, IMO. It's not a bike that you merely tolerate while you save up for a "real" bike. Different tools for different jobs - that is all.
    But OP seems to want a road bike, but building one an odd way. Sort of like buying a set of work boots and trying to turn them into running shoes.

    Hybrids can be versatile, but so can road bikes these days. Or not. You can get a road bike as a do (almost) anything bike or one purpose built for speed. Your choice.

    As for modding a hybrid, IMO some mods make sense, some don't. Set your hybrid up as a commuter or long distance touring bike? Sure. Set it up as a triathlon bike or for racing? Um, no.
    Last edited by MRT2; 06-15-14 at 08:26 AM.

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