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  1. #1
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    Trek 7300 or 7.3 FX?

    Hello all. I'm looking to get into biking after a number of bike-less years. I intend to ride primarily for exercise and pleasure. I currently have no ambitions for marathon-length rides, and no extremely rough off-roading. That said, I do expect to find myself in a variety of environments. Primarily road/shoulder riding, but also some bike paths, the occasional gravel or dirt road, and maybe even some trail riding. A lot of general commuting situations. Though it'll mostly be paved riding, I feel uneasy about limiting off-road options, because I really don't know where I want to head with the sport just yet.

    I'm looking primarily at Treks, since that's what is easiest to come by in my (small) town and I have a little experience on them. I'm very interested in the 7300, because the hybrid might balance my riding needs. I've also heard great things about the FX series, particularly the 7.3 FX (as it's within my budget). I like the idea of a little extra performance and it may be fitting for my mostly road fitness/recreation riding.

    Again, I'm a complete greenhorn here and any advice at all would be much appreciated, and help me get started out. I'm already excited to get riding a bit when the weather improves! Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    I just got my brother a 7.5FX Livestrong bike that his local shop marked down in its after-Christmas sale. It has a step up in components, wheels and brakes that is definitely worth the money. He was looking to get back into riding, but definitely was leaning more to the fitness aspect than to just cruising around. He wanted something that he could get up to speed easily enough, that wouldn't kill him on hills, and a bike that was nimble but still stable in terms of handling. The FX series was a natural fit. You can definitely get up enough speed to do some faster riding if you like, but you are also on a light and nimble enough bike that it won't chew you up in the process. You can ride an FX for distance easily enough too, which happens a lot of times without planning it as you find yourself becoming more fit. It is a fine bike for paths and light off-road trails too. For the little bit of difference between the cost of it and the 7.3, he got a lot more in terms of bike and long-term performance. He would have outgrown the range of the 7300 after a couple of months or riding.

    My boss was also interested in getting back into biking. He went with the 7500 that he picked up in a model close out sale. It is better for cruising around and basic exercise riding, but comes with an upright riding position and weight penalty that makes it a bit harder to use for any kind of speed or nimble riding. That fits his need perfectly so he loves it. Again, he is really glad that ne spent the extra $100 bucks to get better components in the mix. He would have never really put an FX through its paces, and it would have ended up being a lot more bike than he would ever need.

    I commute on an '05 7700FX, which is similar to the current 7.7FX. It is fast, nimble, climbs like a road bike, and gives me an incredibly stable ride. The only thing that it won't do, that a road bike will, is to allow you a lower riding position to get down out of the wind. It has held up really well to several years of daily bike commuting too.

    Hope this helps with your choices. Have fun!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestions, it has certainly given me some food for thought. I think I'm leaning even more towards the FX series now. It seems like they'll be suitable for some casual cruising and commuting, but maybe a little better for the performance/exercise aspect.

    The 7.5FX's features do look enticing, but it's also a $220 price increase. My local bike shop sells at list price (no competition, small town and only shop in a 30+ mile radius) so that puts the 7.5FX just over the high end of my target budget. I do want the most bang for my buck, but is the 7.5 really worth the extra dough over the 7.3?

    In any case, I can't do any test riding just yet as we still have plenty of snow here, but thanks again for helping me narrow down my selection a bit. Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by movieclockstar
    I do want the most bang for my buck, but is the 7.5 really worth the extra dough over the 7.3?
    I have a 2006 7.5FX, that was worth the extra $$ over the 7.3. IMHO, you would not regret spending the extra for the 2007 7.5 over the 7.3.

  5. #5
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    How about throwing the SU200 into the mix? I've read several other posts pitting the FX series (especially the 7.3) against the SU200, and people seem to be happy with both. It seems the primary difference is just in the wheel size and a little beefier from on the SU200. What exactly are the advantages of one over the other?

  6. #6
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    You are picking up a lot of weight - frame, fork, discs, plus wheels/tires - and taking a step back in terms of the quality of the drivetrain. You are moving to a 26 inch wheelset and wider tire which will likely cost you in terms of road speed as well.

    If you were doing more trails and off-road riding, maybe the SU would be a better fit. If you are doing more road and fitness riding you are going to be trading off a lot as well in terms of speed, quickness and handling.

    As I put it to everybody who asks me this question...how hard do you want to work to go out for a ride?

    I remind them as well that an extra $200 is a small price to pay if it keeps you riding and enjoying it, and is all the better when you are getting more than that for your money as a part of a particularly well-designed bike. And nothing is worse than a bike at any price that is going to end up gathering dust, and mocking you every time that you look at it. Whatever you spend on it will be the worst dollars you have ever spent.

    We hear a lot more buyer's remorse stories around here from folks who aimed too low on their first purchase than the other way around. By definition, you are going to be growing into whatever bike you get. The lower that you aim, the quicker you will be wishing that you hadn't undercut yourself and your potential going in.

  7. #7
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    My wife loves her 7.5FX. It's been a great bike. We're heading to LA (lower Alabama) for three days and will ride on dirt roads and chipseal pavement. She has no trouble. The bike is quite capable of doing a lot of off-road stuff that doesn't include jumps and drops.

    I agree with the other posters that you should get as much bike as you can afford. Better to grow into a bike than outgrow one.

  8. #8
    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    i'm a noob but i own a 7300 so i'll share my thoughts;

    i like the 7300. i don't love it. i don't like the sram x7 rear derailleur or the x4 shifters. the shimano tourney components on my comfort bike shift more accurately and smoothly. i like the shimano revo-shift grips. i don't like the sram twist shifter....it is raised and too wide. until i upgraded grips, i couldn't get my hands in a comfortable position. they definitely weren't designed for larger hands. also, i like to ride with my thumb/forefinger up on the edge of the shifter. the inside edge of the sram shifter is raised too high for this.

    also, i recommend swapping out the saddle if you go with a 7300. i found that i needed a more cut-away saddle so that i didn't get a "nerve pinch" between the back of my thigh and sit-bones.

    the front suspension has an adjustable preload on the 7300. frankly, i can adjust from the stiffest to the softest setting and still not notice a difference.

    i haven't figured this out yet, but i'm faster on my comfort bike (which has been modified to be more of a mtb now). however, the 7300 is more aggressively geared. strange.


    if i were to do it over again, and could only choose between the trek fx line or the hybrid line, i'd go fx. i think the fx is a bit more versatile because you can set it up like a hybrid or like a flatbar road bike. however, if i were to go without a front suspension, i'd lean towards a carbon fork. i think you have to look to the 7.5fx for a carbon fork.

    happy hunting.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle
    My wife loves her 7.5FX. It's been a great bike. We're heading to LA (lower Alabama) for three days and will ride on dirt roads and chipseal pavement. She has no trouble. The bike is quite capable of doing a lot of off-road stuff that doesn't include jumps and drops.

    I agree with the other posters that you should get as much bike as you can afford. Better to grow into a bike than outgrow one.

    Great, this dispells most of my concerns. The roads are a far cry from pristine around here, and I there are enough dirt roads that I'll be unable to avoid them completely. Good to know the bike handles that just fine.

    Thanks to everyone all for chiming in. I think I've decided I'm going for the 7.5, pending a test ride. I'll let you know how it turns out. Looking forward to contributing to the forums more once I start riding! Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    I think you'll like the 7.5FX - I've got a 7300 and like it, but after getting in good enough shape, I moved up to a road bike (actually 2 of them, and a cyclocross bike, too). For a lot of reasons, I didn't want to get rid of the 7300, but I'm essentially turning it into an FX bike (rigid fork, road gearing and saddle). The 7300 is comfortable, but after a certain point, I was more interested in speed and fun than I was in 'comfort'.

    That being said, I have done 50 miles at a time, and 150 miles in a week on a stock 7300. I just think you'll like the FX more.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    I have a 7500 and it is a great bike...but heavy. I thought I would like the suspension fork but I have decided that the extra weight is not worth the slightly softer ride. I also have a full road bike now and I have set my 7500 aside as my bad weather bike and hauler for short errands.
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  12. #12
    Fat Guy in Bike Shorts! manual_overide's Avatar
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    I've got a 7.3 and it's great. plenty of clearance for fenders, mounted a rack, and switched to some conti contact safety tires because the stock bontrager select invert tires were really slow. The thing is a champ errand runner and commuter. Plus it has front rack mounts too should i ever decide to go on a long tour or something.

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    Hi, I am in the ssme situation the yoy were, choosing between 7.3 and 7300. I like the 7.3 but I will use the bike in the city. I live in seville, Spain and many streets have pot holes etc, so I donīt know if the suspension fork is a very good thing to have. Did yoy have problems in that sense with the 7.3 or 7.5? riding in the city without suspension?

    Also I think that the 7300 in the states is total different model than the one in Europe, as I saw in the USA trek site and in anu Europe site

    Thanks very much for your help

    Best regards

  14. #14
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    I just labored for weeks with the same dilemma and I ended up with the FX. I do only paved bike trails and some road. I just started biking a few weeks ago. I went with the FX because #1 I did not like the front suspension system on the 7300. It felt very squirrly and I felt it took alot of energy from my pedaling. I also didnt think it really dampened the bumps enough to notice. The FX has a few nicer components as well. Finally, I think the FX is one step closer to a road bike.
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  15. #15
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    I fynally got the 7.3 too, I Have to wait for a week, the bad thing here is that they donīt have these bikes in stock, maybe similar models and a lot or road an mtb, so is real pain that I canīt try myself and have to imagine the best choice for me.

    So is good to hear that about the 7300 suspension, I think I made the right desition then, weīll see. Another thing, Components are better in the 7.3 and looks nicer as well. But the frame, I think SLR is probably better than hydro alpha, more resistant, they use SLR in a lot of models, road bikes and others and the alpha Hydro is only in the FX series. I guess these bikes are more recreational and need less strenght

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by maltess View Post
    I fynally got the 7.3 too, I Have to wait for a week, the bad thing here is that they donīt have these bikes in stock, maybe similar models and a lot or road an mtb, so is real pain that I canīt try myself and have to imagine the best choice for me.
    I'd ask the shop if they have a return policy in case you discover after riding it that the 7.3 isn't the best fit for you..... maybe a "try it and return it" or exchange it for the same bike but different size within XX days. Ask before you pay, if you haven't already paid....
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  17. #17
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    I've got a 7300, imo it's no road bike, but it works well for what I use it for. The rear derailleur shifts smooth for me, although the front derailleur takes a bit of adjusting to get just right.

  18. #18
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    What about KHS urban extreme? I found no opinions aout this one and looks really good

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