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  1. #1
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    Please Help Me Find the right Bike!

    Greetings,

    I have a hard time deciding which bike to get. I'm considering the Trek 7.3FX Disc or the Trek 4900. Here are my criterias:

    * Price no more than $600 (give and take $50)
    * Mostly for bike trails and some urban riding
    * Lighter the better
    * Built for fitness or leasure
    * Don't like Road Bike handles

    If there is also any Specialized Bike that are comperable, please advise too!

    TIA!

  2. #2
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    Specialized Sirrus, maybe? http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=12388

    By bike trails, you mean paved? I think if you are going to be riding mostly paved, you don't need anything with front suspension. I was looking at similar bikes and thought I absolutely had to have front suspension in case I wanted to take it on a few hard packed trails. I went into a shop and saw the Jamis Coda sitting there and bought it. I had a feeling that I had purchased the wrong bike on the way home. It was more of a hybrid road bike than a hybrid leaning toward a mountain bike. Turns out, most of what I ride is on the road. The only occasion I have had to ride it off pavement was on the C&O Towpath, and with a little fatter tire, it was fine. Thinking I was missing out, I bought a Cannondale F400 MTB used. I never ride it. I might have ridden it 50 miles in six months. I ride the Jamis all the time. Bottom line, if you think you are going to be riding on pavement mostly, buy accordingly.

    Have you looked at the Trek SU100 or SU200? That might be something you want to check out as well.

  3. #3
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    For your needs, the mountain bike is not a good choice. The 7.3FX is a good choice, but IMHO, the disc brakes are not needed. Get the regular 7.3FX and save some money.

    The 4900 has lower gearing for climbing over rocks and roots; the 7.3 will be faster due to its higher gearing. The 7.3 will also be faster and have better traction with its thinner, slick tread road tires. The 7.3 will be lighter and you can add racks front and rear if you want to haul stuff or use it as a touring or commuting bike. If you want to hit the dirt trails, simply get some off road tires and switch them; with a little practice you can change both tires in less than twenty minutes easily.

    The front suspension of the 4900 also isn't needed for roads, bike trails, etc. Even on dirt trails it's not a requirement. On roads it's just extra weight.

    The 7.3 FX $489


    Giant FCR 3 $500


    The Giant FCR 3 has a triple crank but is geared higher for faster road travel. Its tires are thinner, too. 700 x 25 vs. 700 x 35 for the Trek. If you take this bike off-road it'll be a rougher ride.

    Specialized Sirrus $550


    This is another good choice. Good tires, good gearing. The rear cassette of gears is higher than that of the Trek ( 12-26 vs. 11-32) but with the triple upfront (both at 48 x 38 x28) that shouldn't make much of a difference. Tires are narrower at 700 x 28 vs. 700 x 35. The trade-off is a bit more speed at the expense of comfort.

    If you think you'll be mostly riding on pavement but want the option to go off-road, the Trek 7.3 FX is the better option. If you think you'll be staying on pavement mostly then it's really just a matter of choosing your comfort level. The wider the tire, the more comfortable the ride. Also a bit slower but just a bit.

    What it really comes down to is comfort. If you feel comfortable on the bike, you'll ride the heck out of it. If it's not comfortable, you won't ride it, no matter how much you paid for it. Try to test ride the bikes as much as the bike shop will alow. Make sure they take the time to correctly fit you to the bike.

    If the bike shop, after listening to your requirements, suggests a different bike, take it for a test ride. It may or not be what you are looking for but just because you haven't heard of the brand name is no reason to dismiss it. If it doesn't feel comfortable, don't buy it.

    If the bike fit is close, but you want the handlebars closer, have the stem adjusted. If the stem isn't adjustable, have the bike shop swap for one that is. That way, you can ride more upright at first, then switch to a lower, more aggressive and faster geometry later. On these bikes, the bike shop should be willing and able to do the switch.

    Which one is better? The one that feels the most comfortable. You may want to consider the Jamis or the Marin or the Kona or some other brand the bike shop has to offer.

    If you have more questions, feel free to ask.
    Last edited by bbattle; 05-29-06 at 04:01 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. Great info indeed! My buddy just picked up at Trek SU100 and that is what prompted me to look for a new bike. The SU100 is a nice bike but I wanted something alittle different from what he just bought. I think it's down the the Trek 7.3FX or the Specialized Sirrus. Here is what I see when riding:

    * 80%: Paved Bike Trailed // 10% Unpaved Bike Trail but it is made of small fine gravel and so the trail is still a smooth ride // 10% City

    * 80% Fitness // 20% Leasure

    I assume with the fatter tires on the Trek 7.3FX, it will be more versatile with the unpaved trails and city riding.


    I plan to visit the bike stores tomorrow but have a couple of questions before I go in:

    1. Is one bike lighter than the other (Trek 7.3FX vrs. Specialized Sirrus) or at that price range, they are all about the same weight.

    2. Is the Trek 7.3FX lighter/Specialized Sirrus lighter than my friend's SU100? I couldn't find the weights on Trek's Website. I find my friend's SU100 not too heavy but also not that light either. I prefer a lighter bike but I know it would cost alot more.

    3. Does Disc Brakes add alot more weight to the bike? I know shockes do but just in case I find one at a special price with Disc Brakes and it doesn't add much more weight, I might go for it.

    4. Can the Trek 7.3FX and the Specialized Sirrus be taken on unpaved dirt and grass trails that are more smooth than rough (just incase there is a time I need too)?

    5. Where is the best price online to purchase a Trek or Specialized?

    Thanks again...just want to be fully informed before I go compare the bikes at the store.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    God, I love my Sirrus. I ride it 5x more than my road bike which costs more than double. It's a fast little ride. Can't compare it to the Trek, but they look like they'd ride similarly. You have to try them out.

    A newbie should never, ever buy a bike over the Internet. That's like buying shoes over the Internet. Do so only if you know exactly what you want, without any hint of doubt, and you are able to competently set-up the bike yourself. But I don't think that describes you, meaning no disrespect.




    Quote Originally Posted by meridianholmes
    Thanks guys. Great info indeed! My buddy just picked up at Trek SU100 and that is what prompted me to look for a new bike. The SU100 is a nice bike but I wanted something alittle different from what he just bought. I think it's down the the Trek 7.3FX or the Specialized Sirrus. Here is what I see when riding:

    * 80%: Paved Bike Trailed // 10% Unpaved Bike Trail but it is made of small fine gravel and so the trail is still a smooth ride // 10% City

    * 80% Fitness // 20% Leasure

    I assume with the fatter tires on the Trek 7.3FX, it will be more versatile with the unpaved trails and city riding.


    I plan to visit the bike stores tomorrow but have a couple of questions before I go in:

    1. Is one bike lighter than the other (Trek 7.3FX vrs. Specialized Sirrus) or at that price range, they are all about the same weight.

    2. Is the Trek 7.3FX lighter/Specialized Sirrus lighter than my friend's SU100? I couldn't find the weights on Trek's Website. I find my friend's SU100 not too heavy but also not that light either. I prefer a lighter bike but I know it would cost alot more.

    3. Does Disc Brakes add alot more weight to the bike? I know shockes do but just in case I find one at a special price with Disc Brakes and it doesn't add much more weight, I might go for it.

    4. Can the Trek 7.3FX and the Specialized Sirrus be taken on unpaved dirt and grass trails that are more smooth than rough (just incase there is a time I need too)?

    5. Where is the best price online to purchase a Trek or Specialized?

    Thanks again...just want to be fully informed before I go compare the bikes at the store.

  6. #6
    \||||||/ ZachS's Avatar
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    get the specialized (if it fits and you like it), put some nitto north road bend bars on it, maybe a brooks saddle eventually and you will be a happy monkey for years to come.


    (north road bend bars)


    (brooks saddle)


    both are a bit old fashioned --- but EXTREMELY comfortable and FAST -- and would be absolutely wonderful on a modern bike like the specialized - or any of the above, for that matter.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridianholmes

    * 80%: Paved Bike Trailed // 10% Unpaved Bike Trail but it is made of small fine gravel and so the trail is still a smooth ride // 10% City

    4. Can the Trek 7.3FX and the Specialized Sirrus be taken on unpaved dirt and grass trails that are more smooth than rough (just incase there is a time I need too)?



    You probably would be fine with either. I put 700 x 35c Specialized Infinity tires on my Jamis for the sole purpose of riding the C&O, just a couple of weeks after I bought the bike. It came with smooth 28c tires, but I never went back to them, even though I mostly only ride city streets now. I only got to ride a very small section of the C&O, and a decent section at that. I probably would have been fine with a 32c, but I felt the 28c would have been to small for my liking. The 35c's and the Coda were right at home. I find the tires that I have on there to do just fine on rough streets, riding in the grass a little bit, and even a little sand, if I have to. I am sure I give up some speed with the 35c tire, but I am not in that big of a hurry But I see no reason to go any bigger than that.

    Here are some pics I took on the C&O between Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry. Maybe you can compare them to what you would be riding. http://community.webshots.com/album/505822957snaiwd


    One other thing, I am not sure if the Sirrus would take a 35c. If that size tire is what you are looking for, it might not fit...not sure.

  8. #8
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    It's not a good idea for a new rider to purchase a bike online and with companies like Trek or Giant or Specialized you aren't going to get a "deal" buying online unless it's a close-out. Bikes shops nearly always provide a free tune-up or service for a year after you buy the bike and they provide you with a lot of valuable maintenance tips, too.

    All of these bikes will weigh about the same. Losing a pound off the bike isn't going to make you any faster except up long climbs. Losing pounds off the engine(you) is easier, cheaper!! and the point of getting a bike in the first place.

    If you want to use the bike as a commuter, you'll probably want to get some fenders and a rack. I know the Trek will take fenders; pretty sure the others will, too.

    Disc brakes are not needed unless you are doing a lot of braking in very wet conditions. I blast down descents at over 40mph and have no problems slowing/stopping with my brakes. I would use the money saved for other things like a helmet and floor pump.

    These bikes can be ridden on grass, trails, whatever you like. Treads on your tires are useful for muddy trails, keep the road slicks for the rest. Bikes cannot hydroplane so don't feel like you need treaded tires for roads, either.

  9. #9
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    Thanks guys for all the help! I decided to get a Trek 7.3FX Disc.

    Just for comparison, I had the bike shop weigh both the 7.3FX Disc and the 7.3FX (non Disc) and the 7.3 FX Disc came out to 28.5 lbs while the 7.3FX (non Disc) came out to just shy of 27 lbs. This is with size 17.5. The disc was only $50 more so I went with it (had a special during Memorial Day weekend). The Specialized Sirrus Sport was very nice but after the Trek discount, it was $150+ more.

    My question is getting the front disc to align perfect inside the brakes. It seems the brakes would touch the disc slightly (a certain section) when it's rotating free. I tried to adjust the wheel before locking the quick release but the best I can adjust is when the pad is touching the disc very slightly. Anyway to adjust it perfectly so the pads aren't touching the disc when rotating freely?

    TIA!
    Last edited by meridianholmes; 06-02-06 at 08:16 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Citizen DiRt DeViL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridianholmes
    My question is getting the front disc to align perfect inside the brakes. It seems the brakes would touch the disc slightly (a certain section) when it's rotating free. I tried to adjust the wheel before locking the quick release but the best I can adjust is when the pad is touching the disc very slightly. Anyway to adjust it perfectly so the pads aren't touching the disc when rotating freely?
    The alignment can be changed due to the amount of force applied to the fork by the squewer. Always try to tighten it the same way to minimize this.

    To solve this:

    1) Readjust the squewer as you normally would.
    2) Unscrew a bit the caliper mounting bolts or adjustment screws
    3) Press the brake lever and at the same time tighten the bolts (may need help here)
    4) Rotate and verify for drag

    If it keeps draging repeat the first 2 steps and go by eye until you get it right, it's not rocket science.
    "Life is not like a box of chocolates ...
    it's more like a jar of jalapenos.
    Whatever you do today,
    may burn your ass tomorrow."


  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info. This is my first bike with Disc so not sure how to adjust. In fact, this is my first bike since my Haro Master in 7th grade. Thanks again for instructions!!!

  12. #12
    Senior Citizen DiRt DeViL's Avatar
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    Which brakes does it have,

    mechanical (cable) or hydraulic (brake fluid)?

    brand?

    With that info I may be able to get pics and better instructions.
    "Life is not like a box of chocolates ...
    it's more like a jar of jalapenos.
    Whatever you do today,
    may burn your ass tomorrow."


  13. #13
    Senior Citizen DiRt DeViL's Avatar
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    After posting the questions went to trek's site and got the answers.

    The bike has Hayes mechanical disk brakes (Hayes MX-2, mechanical disc w/alloy levers, Kraton inserts), mechs are the easiest to deal with and maintain.



    Download the manual from here: http://www.hayesdiscbrake.com/pdf/MX...EnglishWeb.pdf

    To adjust losen the cable fix bolt and move the piston lever up or down to get close or away from the disk and tighten the bolt. This can also be done at the lever moving the adjuster bolt.

    Hope this helps.
    "Life is not like a box of chocolates ...
    it's more like a jar of jalapenos.
    Whatever you do today,
    may burn your ass tomorrow."


  14. #14
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    Yes..helps alot! Thanks! I just found the manual that came with the bike also as I thought I'd lost it.

    Thanks again!

  15. #15
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    Have fun with the new bike

  16. #16
    Member JerseyBoy's Avatar
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    go with Specialized Sirrus or Sirrus Sport. both in your price range. both are less punishing, lighter and mroe responsive.

  17. #17
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    hello new user, this thread is two months old. most times here, it's considered bad form to top old threads without a good reason.

    this is definitely one of those times.

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