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  1. #1
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    going from a fx 7.4 to a fx 7.5 ? is it worth it

    Hi,
    Not so long ago i bough a fx 7.4. When i bought it, my LBS was out of stock in my size so i ended up getting a small 17.5 ( i should be 20 inch) as a looner for 2/3 weeks, the time for the store to get the medium version. Turns out now that trek is out of 2014 fx 7.4 for this seasson. I am now faced with the choice of either keeping the fx 7.4 in size small or upgrade to a 7.5 fx in the correct frame size... for about 200 $CAN more.
    I don't mind the small frame, in fact i think (after testing the 7.3 and the 7.2 in medium size) that i prefer a small frame as it feels safer (my feet can reach the grounds while i am on the bike).
    I am tempted to upgrade, mainly for the isoframe ( my neigbourghood has very bumpy roads) but i have some concerns about the change in drivetrain and i am not knowledgeable to clearly understand the differences. All i read so far is that the gearing in the fx 7.5 makes it closer to a road bike than fx 7.4...

    1 - what are the implications of moving from shemano acera on the fx 7.4 to the sora ? would that make climbing hill any harder/eaiser ? or maybe the top speed ? should i even worry about this ?
    2- Is the 7.5 a less versatille bike than the 7.4 ?

    3 - How wide of a tire can the 7.5 fit ?

    4 - Any other comment on the difference between the two ?

    Drivetrain fx 7.5 fx 7.4
    Shifters Shimano R440, 9 speed Shimano Acera, 9 speed
    Front derailleur Shimano Sora Shimano Acera
    Rear derailleur Shimano Deore Shimano Deore
    Crank FSA Vero, 50/34 (compact) Shimano Acera M391, 48/36/26 w/chainguard
    Cassette SRAM PG-950 11-34, 9 speed Shimano HG20 11-32, 9 speed
    Pedals Nylon body w/alloy cage Nylon body w/alloy cage

  2. #2
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    I almost bought the 7.5fx myself. My only issues was price. Trek seems to want a little more money than everyone else (at least around my area) so I opted for Cannondale.

    However, if I were in your shoes, I'd definitely go with the 7.5. I wouldn't worry about group set. Even the cheap stuff is good these days. Worry more about the bike. Ride it and make sure you like it. But, imho, the 7.5 is worth it over the 7.4.

    As for size......If your LBS doesn't have more input, your height, weight & inseam, here, might getting you some feedback here, though the nitty gritty part of that decision is still up to you!

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    I prefer the 7.4 over the 7.5. Both have the carbon fork if you stay away from the disc brakes models BUT the 7.4 has the triple crank and the 32 spoke wheels which I prefer over the double and the 24 spoke wheels.
    "If life were logical, men would ride sidesaddle."
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    Thus far, you have no idea as to how you'd feel riding the "correct" sized FX bicycle. That's neither the 7.4, nor the 7.5 FX! Therefore, I say, return the 7.4 FX and either wait to test ride the 7.5 FX before you make a final decision, or move on to other hybrid models.

    I'd personally prefer the Jamis Coda, the Giant Escape, or the Cannondale Quick, over the FX, if given your situation.

    * Just because you've ridden the 7.4 FX and you think it "feels safer", doesn't necessarily make it actually safer, nor the correct size. In most cases that I know of, you're not supposed to be able to place your feet on the ground from a saddled position, when cycling most hybrids or road bikes.

    IMO, that's a dead give away that you have the wrong sized bicycle!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 06-15-14 at 06:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loimpact View Post
    I almost bought the 7.5fx myself. My only issues was price. Trek seems to want a little more money than everyone else (at least around my area) so I opted for Cannondale.
    That's my thought too... decent bikes, but usually over priced. Just the primary brand though, when they were still selling Gary Fisher models, they were a better deal. I loved the Gary Fisher Wingra as an alternative to the FX line until they stopped making it.

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    As you move up the FX line, you get more of a road bike in features. That does mean it is less versatile since you do limit yourself to paved and fine ground paths. It all depends on what you want.

    To me the FX7.5 just seems like it is more fun. Given that you are comfortable in a small frame size, you may just be looking for a comfort bike of sorts. If you just want that upright posture and easy cruising ability, you certainly can keep what you have. But tastes change and you may find yourself one day soon realizing that the bike is way too small and wanted to upgrade.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    It's certainly worth it to get a bike that fits you properly regardless of what particular model that happens to be.

    As to whether the additional features of the 7.5 are worth it - only you can answer the question of whether it is worth it to you. Obviously, the premiums are generally worth it to those who chose uplevel models, and not worth it to those who didn't. Trek offers no shortage of options in the FX line - you can find the value equation that best works for you. My personal "sweet spots" at different price levels are the 7.2, 7.4, 7.7.

  8. #8
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    as for the sizing, if you are comfortable on the 17.5" you probably wont see a big difference going to the 20".

    Im 5'9", 30" inseam, and wondered if my 17.5" was too small. but this was after switching my 18.5" x-caliber MTB to the 17.5" FX. big difference in length, but Im guessing Hybrids and Road bike are supposed to be compact. I went with the 17.5" over the 20" because I read on treks size chart that "If youíre between sizes, itís generally best to go with the smaller size. Itís easier to make a smaller frame fit a little larger than vice versa. "

    the chart below from the trek 7.4 page, shows the differences in the 17.5" and 20" . as for my size, 5'9", 30" inseam, I dont think theres a big difference in the 17.5" and the 20"


  9. #9
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    I'm 5' 9 1/2". I tried both the 17.5 and 20 (I am often in between sizes). There was a difference - not huge (both could reasonably work) - but noticeable all the same. I went with the 17.5 primarily because I felt I had better control in tighter turns. Both felt fine just riding straight down the road.

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    I would try to get the LBS to cut you a deal. It is getting late in the season and they don't have what you want.

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    This is exactly my experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    I'm 5' 9 1/2". I tried both the 17.5 and 20 (I am often in between sizes). There was a difference - not huge (both could reasonably work) - but noticeable all the same. I went with the 17.5 primarily because I felt I had better control in tighter turns. Both felt fine just riding straight down the road.
    This is exactly my experience

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    Quote Originally Posted by themishmosh View Post
    As you move up the FX line, you get more of a road bike in features. That does mean it is less versatile since you do limit yourself to paved and fine ground paths. It all depends on what you want.

    To me the FX7.5 just seems like it is more fun. Given that you are comfortable in a small frame size, you may just be looking for a comfort bike of sorts. If you just want that upright posture and easy cruising ability, you certainly can keep what you have. But tastes change and you may find yourself one day soon realizing that the bike is way too small and wanted to upgrade.
    Do you mind expanding on the "less versatile" part ? My understanding is that, booth the 7.5 and 7.4 should be handle the same kind of surfarces. Actually the i was think that the 7.5 with the isoframe would handle rough terrain better ...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewRiger View Post
    Do you mind expanding on the "less versatile" part ? My understanding is that, booth the 7.5 and 7.4 should be handle the same kind of surfarces. Actually the i was think that the 7.5 with the isoframe would handle rough terrain better ...
    I could be wrong but I think as you move up the FX line, including 7.4 to 7.5, the tire width gets smaller. If you have a path with larger pebbles and more dampness, there is a big difference between 700x25/28 and 700x32/35 in being able to handle adverse situations.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themishmosh View Post
    I could be wrong but I think as you move up the FX line, including 7.4 to 7.5, the tire width gets smaller. If you have a path with larger pebbles and more dampness, there is a big difference between 700x25/28 and 700x32/35 in being able to handle adverse situations.
    The 7.5 comes with 700x28C tires, which are narrower than the 700x32C tires that come with the 7.4. OTOH, the 7.5 has a "rear shock absorber" called "IsoZone monostay." It should help with less smooth surface. I have ridden my 7.5 on roads in various conditions, including pretty bad pavement with potholes, cracks and tree roots. The 7.5 can handle all of them pretty well.
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    I myself would not put any tire over 28 on a 7.5 FX. The ride is so muted as it with that monostay isozone that it I think it could use some road feedback. I still have my 7.5 and going to 23 front and 28 rear to " spice" it up. I do think slimmer tires are more fun than wider tires.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lanovran's Avatar
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    Turns out now that trek is out of 2014 fx 7.4 for this seasson

    You may want to have them double-check, because I just looked at the inventory (I work at a Trek dealer myself), and they have plenty of 20" 7.4 FX bikes in stock; however, they're only available in the metallic "sepia" color (no more in black). Granted, I'm in the US, so I suppose that supply lines and stock availability could well be different for Canadian dealers, but I don't know for sure.

    I don't mind the small frame, in fact i think (after testing the 7.3 and the 7.2 in medium size) that i prefer a small frame as it feels safer (my feet can reach the grounds while i am on the bike).

    Make sure that you have the correct frame size, because that will affect how often and for how long you maintain your desire to actually ride said bike. An incorrectly sized bike will not be as comfortable or efficient as one of the proper size, and with the FX line, size does matter! There's quite a bit of difference from one size to the next on those. The right size bike will be easier for you to control, and will therefore be the safer choice.

    As has already been stated here, as well, if your feet are flat on the ground while you're astride the saddle, then your saddle is set way too low. You should need to slide forward off of the saddle to stand on the ground, just as you should have proper leg extension while you're pedaling along. It might seem odd at first if you're not used to it, but it's worth having it correctly adjusted.

    1 - what are the implications of moving from shemano acera on the fx 7.4 to the sora ? would that make climbing hill any harder/eaiser ? or maybe the top speed ? should i even worry about this ?

    The 7.4 and 7.5 are a bit like apples and oranges. The FX bikes are split into three categories: casual/recreational, daily use/commuting, and sport/fitness. The 7.0 and 7.1 are entry-level bikes meant for casual riders on a budget who aren't looking for quite as much from their bike. The 7.2-7.4 are lighter weight bikes with better componentry, lighter forks on the 3 and 4, lighter wheels on the 3 and 4, and some additional features that would be more efficient and comfortable on longer rides, over greater distances, and with heavier use. The 7.5-7.7, meanwhile, are basically flat-handlebar road bikes, with road bike style gearing, wheels, and such, plus the IsoZone monostay for rear vibration damping. The latter are designed more for being speedy, sporty fitness rides.

    2- Is the 7.5 a less versatille bike than the 7.4 ?

    Again, the 7.4 is more designed for commuting, perhaps light touring, etc. The 7.5 is geared primarily towards picking up speed and getting a workout without getting drop handlebars involved. They're both quite versatile, but if you have any substantial hills to climb, or if you plan to carry much of a load on your bike, then I'd go with the 7.4.

    3 - How wide of a tire can the 7.5 fit ?

    The 7.5 has road bike wheels, albeit with more hybrid-like tire clearance. I probably wouldn't try anything wider than 28, but 32 might be doable.

    4 - Any other comment on the difference between the two ?

    What's your riding style? Is your riding typically more sport-oriented, or more utilitarian? If it's the former, the 7.5 could be a good fit. If it's the latter, I might recommend the 7.4 instead. They're both great bikes, both can support racks and fenders, both are warranted and will last a long time. Above all else, though, I definitely recommend making sure that you get the correct frame size.

    On a final note, the new "2015" versions of the FX bikes are just starting to become available, and they have some cool new features. So far, only the new women's 7.3 and 7.4, and the 7.2 disc are showing up, but the rest of the FX family could potentially be coming out in upgraded forms before too long.
    Last edited by Lanovran; 06-15-14 at 09:13 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    ^^^ Now that was a seriously informative post.

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    Last edited by NewRiger; 06-16-14 at 09:38 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Lanovran's Avatar
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    The 7.5 will be a smoother ride on account of the IsoZone stay, yes. That means that it should be more comfortable over rough roads. The stock tires will be a bit narrower on the 7.5 (28 vs. 32), which may mean a bit more speed for a bit less "cushion;" however, if it helps, I recently did a week-long fully loaded tour on 700x28 tires, and I thought it worked out perfectly well. Finally, the 7.5 does also have the E2 tapered head tube and steerer, which due to its shape, helps to keep the system stiffer under pressure, more evenly distributing cornering forces for stability, and longer-lasting bearings.

    As for the new FX, the entire line will now be compatible with Bontrager DuoTrap S speed/cadence sensors, which mount into the bike's non-drive-side chainstay. DuoTrap S will be both ANT+ and Bluetooth, so it will work with various cycling computers or your smartphone. Some of them will also come with Blendr stems, which include integrated mounts for a light, computer, or iPhone case. The whole thing sort of works together for a seamless, clean, and easy-to-use bike computer or fitness tracking system. Beyond that, the frames may have received a slight redesign (not sure on that one), and there are some new color options coming out.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanovran View Post
    Turns out now that trek is out of 2014 fx 7.4 for this seasson

    You may want to have them double-check, because I just looked at the inventory (I work at a Trek dealer myself), and they have plenty of 20" 7.4 FX bikes in stock; however, they're only available in the metallic "sepia" color (no more in black). Granted, I'm in the US, so I suppose that supply lines and stock availability could well be different for Canadian dealers, but I don't know for sure.

    I don't mind the small frame, in fact i think (after testing the 7.3 and the 7.2 in medium size) that i prefer a small frame as it feels safer (my feet can reach the grounds while i am on the bike).

    Make sure that you have the correct frame size, because that will affect how often and for how long you maintain your desire to actually ride said bike. An incorrectly sized bike will not be as comfortable or efficient as one of the proper size, and with the FX line, size does matter! There's quite a bit of difference from one size to the next on those. The right size bike will be easier for you to control, and will therefore be the safer choice.

    As has already been stated here, as well, if your feet are flat on the ground while you're astride the saddle, then your saddle is set way too low. You should need to slide forward off of the saddle to stand on the ground, just as you should have proper leg extension while you're pedaling along. It might seem odd at first if you're not used to it, but it's worth having it correctly adjusted.

    1 - what are the implications of moving from shemano acera on the fx 7.4 to the sora ? would that make climbing hill any harder/eaiser ? or maybe the top speed ? should i even worry about this ?

    The 7.4 and 7.5 are a bit like apples and oranges. The FX bikes are split into three categories: casual/recreational, daily use/commuting, and sport/fitness. The 7.0 and 7.1 are entry-level bikes meant for casual riders on a budget who aren't looking for quite as much from their bike. The 7.2-7.4 are lighter weight bikes with better componentry, lighter forks on the 3 and 4, lighter wheels on the 3 and 4, and some additional features that would be more efficient and comfortable on longer rides, over greater distances, and with heavier use. The 7.5-7.7, meanwhile, are basically flat-handlebar road bikes, with road bike style gearing, wheels, and such, plus the IsoZone monostay for rear vibration damping. The latter are designed more for being speedy, sporty fitness rides.

    2- Is the 7.5 a less versatille bike than the 7.4 ?

    Again, the 7.4 is more designed for commuting, perhaps light touring, etc. The 7.5 is geared primarily towards picking up speed and getting a workout without getting drop handlebars involved. They're both quite versatile, but if you have any substantial hills to climb, or if you plan to carry much of a load on your bike, then I'd go with the 7.4.

    3 - How wide of a tire can the 7.5 fit ?

    The 7.5 has road bike wheels, albeit with more hybrid-like tire clearance. I probably wouldn't try anything wider than 28, but 32 might be doable.

    4 - Any other comment on the difference between the two ?

    What's your riding style? Is your riding typically more sport-oriented, or more utilitarian? If it's the former, the 7.5 could be a good fit. If it's the latter, I might recommend the 7.4 instead. They're both great bikes, both can support racks and fenders, both are warranted and will last a long time. Above all else, though, I definitely recommend making sure that you get the correct frame size.

    On a final note, the new "2015" versions of the FX bikes are just starting to become available, and they have some cool new features. So far, only the new women's 7.3 and 7.4, and the 7.2 disc are showing up, but the rest of the FX family could potentially be coming out in upgraded forms before too long.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanovran View Post
    Turns out now that trek is out of 2014 fx 7.4 for this seasson

    You may want to have them double-check, because I just looked at the inventory (I work at a Trek dealer myself), and they have plenty of 20" 7.4 FX bikes in stock; however, they're only available in the metallic "sepia" color (no more in black). Granted, I'm in the US, so I suppose that supply lines and stock availability could well be different for Canadian dealers, but I don't know for sure.

    I don't mind the small frame, in fact i think (after testing the 7.3 and the 7.2 in medium size) that i prefer a small frame as it feels safer (my feet can reach the grounds while i am on the bike).

    Make sure that you have the correct frame size, because that will affect how often and for how long you maintain your desire to actually ride said bike. An incorrectly sized bike will not be as comfortable or efficient as one of the proper size, and with the FX line, size does matter! There's quite a bit of difference from one size to the next on those. The right size bike will be easier for you to control, and will therefore be the safer choice.

    As has already been stated here, as well, if your feet are flat on the ground while you're astride the saddle, then your saddle is set way too low. You should need to slide forward off of the saddle to stand on the ground, just as you should have proper leg extension while you're pedaling along. It might seem odd at first if you're not used to it, but it's worth having it correctly adjusted.

    1 - what are the implications of moving from shemano acera on the fx 7.4 to the sora ? would that make climbing hill any harder/eaiser ? or maybe the top speed ? should i even worry about this ?

    The 7.4 and 7.5 are a bit like apples and oranges. The FX bikes are split into three categories: casual/recreational, daily use/commuting, and sport/fitness. The 7.0 and 7.1 are entry-level bikes meant for casual riders on a budget who aren't looking for quite as much from their bike. The 7.2-7.4 are lighter weight bikes with better componentry, lighter forks on the 3 and 4, lighter wheels on the 3 and 4, and some additional features that would be more efficient and comfortable on longer rides, over greater distances, and with heavier use. The 7.5-7.7, meanwhile, are basically flat-handlebar road bikes, with road bike style gearing, wheels, and such, plus the IsoZone monostay for rear vibration damping. The latter are designed more for being speedy, sporty fitness rides.

    2- Is the 7.5 a less versatille bike than the 7.4 ?

    Again, the 7.4 is more designed for commuting, perhaps light touring, etc. The 7.5 is geared primarily towards picking up speed and getting a workout without getting drop handlebars involved. They're both quite versatile, but if you have any substantial hills to climb, or if you plan to carry much of a load on your bike, then I'd go with the 7.4.

    3 - How wide of a tire can the 7.5 fit ?

    The 7.5 has road bike wheels, albeit with more hybrid-like tire clearance. I probably wouldn't try anything wider than 28, but 32 might be doable.

    4 - Any other comment on the difference between the two ?

    What's your riding style? Is your riding typically more sport-oriented, or more utilitarian? If it's the former, the 7.5 could be a good fit. If it's the latter, I might recommend the 7.4 instead. They're both great bikes, both can support racks and fenders, both are warranted and will last a long time. Above all else, though, I definitely recommend making sure that you get the correct frame size.

    On a final note, the new "2015" versions of the FX bikes are just starting to become available, and they have some cool new features. So far, only the new women's 7.3 and 7.4, and the 7.2 disc are showing up, but the rest of the FX family could potentially be coming out in upgraded forms before too long.
    Very informative post indeed


    Yes, the sapia colors bike are still available in canada also, but i really don't like that color.
    I am very new to riding, as for what is my riding style ? i don't really have an answer yet. i just like riding my bike. My goal in purchasing the bike was to get more fit (especially cardiovascular training) by commuting. My commute definitely has some hills but nothing crazy and I do carry some load with me when i commute (about 20 lbs/10 kg of laptop, bike lock etc...)....Again nothing crazy. So i think for my usage and skill level both bike would be good enough. The main reason i wanted the 7.5 is again for the isoframe, can you comment on that ? wouldn't that make the 7.5 better at handling/be more comfortable on rough terrains?

    My main fear about the 7.5, is that in my novice mind the closer a bike is to a mountain bike , the more solid/durable/able to withstand abuse that bike is. And from that logic the 7.4 would be a more durable bike for me.

    Also any comment on those cool new 2015 features ?
    Thanks

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Lanovran - any intel on changes to the 7.7 for 2015?
    Last edited by Jaeger99; 06-16-14 at 09:45 AM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanovran View Post
    The 7.5 will be a smoother ride on account of the IsoZone stay, yes. That means that it should be more comfortable over rough roads. The stock tires will be a bit narrower on the 7.5 (28 vs. 32), which may mean a bit more speed for a bit less "cushion;" however, if it helps, I recently did a week-long fully loaded tour on 700x28 tires, and I thought it worked out perfectly well. Finally, the 7.5 does also have the E2 tapered head tube and steerer, which due to its shape, helps to keep the system stiffer under pressure, more evenly distributing cornering forces for stability, and longer-lasting bearings.

    As for the new FX, the entire line will now be compatible with Bontrager DuoTrap S speed/cadence sensors, which mount into the bike's non-drive-side chainstay. DuoTrap S will be both ANT+ and Bluetooth, so it will work with various cycling computers or your smartphone. Some of them will also come with Blendr stems, which include integrated mounts for a light, computer, or iPhone case. The whole thing sort of works together for a seamless, clean, and easy-to-use bike computer or fitness tracking system. Beyond that, the frames may have received a slight redesign (not sure on that one), and there are some new color options coming out.
    Hi Lanovran,
    I'm waiting to see what Trek, Giant & Specialized's 2015 DS/CrossTrail models look like, so are you able to shed any info on Trek's DS range?

    Cheers
    You can have my Disc Brakes, when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Lanovran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Lanovran - any intel on changes to the 7.7 for 2015?
    Nothing specific to that model so far, no. Unless they've made some drastic change, I imagine that it would be fairly similar to this year's model, but with the DuoTrap compatibility included. That's merely my guess, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
    Hi Lanovran,
    I'm waiting to see what Trek, Giant & Specialized's 2015 DS/CrossTrail models look like, so are you able to shed any info on Trek's DS range?

    Cheers
    The Dual Sports will also have the new DuoTrap S compatibility, along with a frame redesign to give them a more aggressive look and greater standover room, while maintaining the DS's current neutral geometry. There may be some nice new paint schemes, too.

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    [QUOTE=Lanovran;


    The Dual Sports will also have the new DuoTrap S compatibility, along with a frame redesign to give them a more aggressive look and greater standover room, while maintaining the DS's current neutral geometry. There may be some nice new paint schemes, too.[/QUOTE]


    Oh no! I'm having a hard enough time choosing now!?! Maybe I should sit tight for a few more weeks....but I'd really like a new ride for the summer.

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