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Old 07-25-04, 03:42 PM   #1
saabcaptain
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My wife and I have decided to get our first bicycles in 10 years. I have previous road bike experience and my wife used to have a mountain bike. Since we want to remain sitting upright and relaxed and since our bikes will mainly be used in the "burbs" on pavement and perhaps at most on a highly groomed trail a hybrid seems an obvious choice. The bikes will be used for enjoyment and light exercise more than any formal training goal.

For price considerations we are limiting our selection to the Trek 7300/7200/7100 series of bikes, their hybrids. It seems everywhere in our area the 2004 models are sold out and the 2005 are just starting to arrive so this purchase will be made in the next 2-4 weeks as the appropriate 2005 model arrives. Right now mens frames are only starting to trickle in but our LBS says for sure within the next 3-4 weeks they should have any option available. Based on the 7100 series there have been no changes between 2004/05 accept for paint. Details of the 7200/7300 2004/05 differences are as of yet unavailable.

This is where I get lost: I am trying to decide between the 7100/200/300 series. I feel fine about the price of the 7200 so because I do believe paying more you get better components and features I will rule out the 7100. However the price of getting two 7300's is getting a bit steep for the use of these bikes, but I am willing to do so if it will increase my enjoyment of the bicycle. I have asked folks at the LBS want the differences are and they say "a nicer handle bar, better derailleur etc." None of which means anything to me from a practicle standpoint. How is it nicer? Will I notice? What makes one derailleur better than another? Weight? Reliablity?

Assuming the 2004 stats remain the same here are the areas of difference in the 7300 vs. 7200 series. Can you please help me get a concrete idea of "what I am getting" that is better and why if I buy a 7300! Thanks!!!

Price: 7300 $470 / 7200 $390

Wheels: 7300 Alloy F, Shimano C201 R hub; ACE19 rims / 7200 Alloy F, Shimano RM40 R hub, Matrix 750 rims

Tires: 7300 Bontrager Invert HC, Kevlar belt, 700x35c / 7200 Bontrager Invert Select, 700x35c

Handlebars: 7300 Bontrager Bar-Keeper / 7200 55mm rise

Shifters: 7300 SRAM ESP Pro / 7200 SRAM MRX Plus

Front Derailleur: 7300 Shimano T301 / 7200 Shimano C102

Rear Derailleur: 7300 SRAM X.7 / 7200 Shimano Alivio

Crankset: 7300 Bontrager Sport 48/38/28 / 7200 Shimano C203 48/38/28

THOSE ARE THE ONLY DIFFERENCES, that I am aware of besides paint. How will these differences be seen or felt over time? Thanks again!

Dave
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Old 07-25-04, 06:13 PM   #2
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I purchased a Trek 7200 in May of this year and have been riding it all summer. Its a great bike and I've had tons of cycling fun with it. I originally purchased it for similar reasons to your's, suburban and trail riding. Now that I've become more serious about touring, commuting, and distance riding, I'm beginning to see the flaws in the 7200. Don't get me wrong, its an excellent bike for the money, and that's originally why I went with the 7200 over all other options, price. The LBS chain in my town that sells Trek only had one 7200 left when I bought mine. They are a very popular bike in my area. However, it is not a serious cycling machine. It is designed purely for comfort recreation and some utility purposes. The frame, suspension, handlebars, and gear/shifter set are nice, but nowhere near the best out there. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the 7200 and 7300 are better gear/shifter set and suspension. Its not until you get to the 7500 and 7500FX that you see radical improvements. Of course, those models are more expensive.

Here are my biggest criticisms of the 2004 7200:

- The cable tension on the brakes need constant adjustment. It seems I'm tightening them every time I ride. The pads aren't that worn, so I know I'm not overusing my brakes. Still, I've never had a problem stopping, even when they are loose.

- The handlebar is a riser bar, which was fine when I bought the bike. Now, I wish I had either drop handlebars, or a straight bar with bar ends.

- The SRAM shifters are grip shifters. They are easy to use, but I often accidentally shift gears when I'm steering. That's annoying. Now, I'd prefer trigger shifters, especially because it would be easier to modify or replace my handlebars without grip shifters. Of course, I believe the SRAM shifters on the 7300 are also grip-style shifters.

- The stock pedals are okay for pleasure riding, but I replaced mine with clipless pedals. It would've been cool if the 7200 came with either a clipless option or straps. Of course, that's usually found on more expensive bikes like the 7500.

Everything else including the gears, derailleurs, suspension fork, seat, and wheels have been super fantastic. The gearing especially. I've never had problems climbing big hills or reaching decent speed on flat ground. The seat is comfortable on long rides, especially in the upright sitting position the bike puts you in. The stock tires provide excellent traction on both smooth pavement and gravel.

Overall, I think the 7200 is more of a mild recreational, light utility bike. Its perfect for an afternoon on the trail, or for quick after dinner ride around the block. I'm probably doing things with my 7200 that it wasn't explicitly designed for, like touring/camping and commuting. But, overall, it still performs rather well.

I'd say go with the 7200 unless you can afford the 7300. There's not a huge difference between the two, although I'd love to hear about someone's experience with a 7300. If I wouldn't caught the last 7200 at my LBS, that's probably what I would've gone with instead.


-Matt C.-
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Old 07-25-04, 07:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tarmac
I purchased a Trek 7200 in May of this year and have been riding it all summer.

-Matt C.-
Thanks for the nice reply Matt. This bike very much will be a "pleasure ride around the neighboorhood after dinner, occasional 10 mile weekend ride" kinda bike. If I find myself getting more serious about the ride I will gladly justify a more expensive and purpose built bike.

Also the 7300 lists the same front suspension system as the 7200 for the 2004 model year (I don't know if the 2005 model I will be getting has changed, the LBS believes it has not.) So that truly limits the major changes to tires, wheels, shifters, and gears. Neither has quick shifters which I agree would be nice, I hear you can get them for $50-60 so that could be an option if I don't care for the grip shifting. I just wonder what the difference in the derailleur system, tires etc. means to me. Would I even notice the difference? Will the "better" one last longer, or need less maintenance? I might end up just going with the 7200... I just wish I understood what an extra $80 of bike buys me. :-)

Either way it seems I will easily satisify my needs. Thanks again... Dave
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Old 07-31-04, 12:11 AM   #4
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I also purchased a TREK 7200 and it is fun to ride. My previous bike was a HUFFY. I go further, faster and farther and enjoy it much more than my HUFFY. I've only been riding it three weeks but have lost 10 lbs. and have over 300 miles on it ( a major accomplishment for me).
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Old 07-31-04, 12:32 AM   #5
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Have you considered the 7300FX? IMHO, suspension is wasted on pavement and even a rigid fork can handle light gravel and dirt trails. The 7300FX ditches the suspension in favour of better components (matter of opinion though) and it's $30 cheaper than the 7300.

http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/...&bike3=1322600
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Last edited by khuon; 07-31-04 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 07-31-04, 03:30 PM   #6
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I bought a 2005 Trek 7300 yesterday and put 12 miles on it. Great improvement over my previous ride, a 12 year old GT. Found the grip shifter to be very smooth and the 7300 to be a superior bike by any measure. Going from a steel frame to aluminum is truly noticable.
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Old 07-31-04, 06:00 PM   #7
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I have an '03 7200. I've put over 3400 miles on it and it has held up real well. I have not replaced a thing on it. Just cleaned and kept the chain and components lubed about once a week. Of course it had he usual cable strtech, that a minor adjustment took care of. All in all I 'd say its a pretty darn good bike for the money.

When I bought it I didn't know how much I actually was going to ride, but once I started, I rode more than I ever expected. Had I known at the time I would ride so much I may have opted for the 7300 or 7500. But looking back I don't think it was a mistake.
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Old 07-31-04, 06:13 PM   #8
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I just bought a 2004 Trek 7500FX and doubt I could be happier, but I was tempted to go with the 2005 7300FX because of the cost savings. In the end the componentry upgrade won out, but I think you could do much worse than the 7300FX. I agree with khuon on the suspension models; added weight, no real necessity, and one more thing on the bike to have tweaked.

Good luck with your decision, in any case.
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Old 09-24-04, 02:58 PM   #9
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I have a 2003 Gary Fisher Zebrano, which is made by Trek and is comparable to the 7200, using the same frame. I have put over 8000 miles on it in 15 months, mostly on good unpaved bike paths and paved paths that are in poor condition in places. I have been very pleased with it. I also test rode the 7200 but thought that the Zebrano was a little better equiped and I was quoted a slightly lower price. In particular, the Zebrano has trigger shifters and the 7200 doesn't. I'm also tall and have the XXL (25") frame, which Trek didn't offer on the 7200 at the time (they do now).

I actually preferred this model to the next higher model (Trek 7300/Gary Fisher Nirvana) because the Zebrano/7200 have threaded headsets, which allow more vertical adjustment to the handlebars than the threadless headsets in the more expensive models. I like to ride in a very erect position.

The one major problem that I've had is breaking rear spokes. A mechanic at a LBS (not the one where I bought it) said that is a very common problem with the spokes shipped on hybrids. I ended up having the wheel re-laced.
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Old 09-24-04, 03:08 PM   #10
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I like to ride in a very erect position.
Must... resist... sophmoric... response.... ugh!
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Old 09-24-04, 03:09 PM   #11
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I recently purchased two 2005 7200FX for my wife and I (same reasons as you stated) and cannot be happier. The difference between the 7200 and the 7200fx is the front suspension fork on the 7200. Like someone else stated it's a waste when used on pavement. I also believe it slows you down when riding as it absorbs all the energy from your upper body. I was told by my lbs that the suspension fork was not all that great (quality-wise). They didn't come with grip shifters, but rapid fire shifters. Anyway I have close to 300 miles on them, and I wouldn't change my decision if I could.
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Old 09-24-04, 03:50 PM   #12
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http://trekbikes.com/bikes/2005/citybike/7200fx.jsp

here's the specs for the 2005 7200FX
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Old 09-24-04, 04:17 PM   #13
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Trek Navagator 300 for her

Trek 7300 FX for you
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Old 09-24-04, 08:18 PM   #14
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Wife and I did the same thing - bought 7200 FX. We enjoy them both. She previously had an old Huffy - she'll never ride that thing again. She's much happier. Tomorrow we are going to ride thru Callaway Gardens - about 10 miles worth of trail.
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