Hello everyone, for the last 12 months I have been biking around on a trek f/x 7.1 This bike was a nice bike and I enjoyed it a good deal, and I was not ready to replace it. However, the frame gave up on life at that small triangle part that holds the wheel/chain/gears together and this is, as a couple shops told me "unfixable." So, what does that mean for the bike commuter who suddenly has NO transportation. Why it means a new bike must be bought in the next 48 hours!
Quick background - I commute 70-90 miles a week, I am a competitive runner and I bike for fun/work/cross training....and do not want to pay $3.89 for gas.
I ultimately ended up choosing a Fuji Absolute 3.0, a road-oriented hybrid.
Speed - 24 gears (3/8)
Seat - Not comfy at first, just like how my Trek was. Im sure after a few more weeks it'll be my new best friend.
Handle bars - Im 5'4 and had to choose a rather small frame, so the handles feel a bit small however once you start riding you do not even notice. Very grippy.
Gear changing - The gears on this bike change very smoothly. One complaint I had about my trek was that when I was going uphill, upshifting seemed to cause some issues. My daily commute is 5 miles up-hill, 5 miles down hill each day so I do a good deal of gear changes on these hills to get to work. (<3 the downhill commute)
Pedals- The pedals come with 2 reflectors equipped onto each one for added safety. This bike has some go. One thing I did not notice about my trek untill I got the fuji is how much the previous bikes pedals resisted me. With the Absolute, I feel like the pedals are working with me, not against me. Did I mention it has reflectors on the pedals!
The nitty gritty: How does she ride?
I once read an interview of a pro cyclist where the interviewer asked him how he knows he found the right bike. The answer he gave him was that with most bikes, whether your going downhill, flat, or uphill you spend almost all of the time in the same 2 or 3 gears. The "right" bike for him was one where every gear felt like the right gear. Well, I must say for me that this is the right bike for me, as it seems like whatever I want to do, any gear I choose works. If that does not make sense, do not worry, it did not make sense to me untill I finally experinced it.
Bumps: As with most of these road-hybrids, there is little to no shock abosorption. Keep this bike off sidewalks and any rough terrain. Your going to feel it in your wrists more than anything. Especially rail road tracks. It could probaly do flat rail-trails but stability may be an issue if that is not something your used too.
How about when you come across a group of cyclists with the $600+ range bikes, how does it do?
I live in an area where endurance sports are popular, so its very common to see large groups of people running/biking in the afternoon and evening all across the county. There is also 3 sponsered bike clubs in my town that compete with each other, so I often have the oppurtunity to try to pedal with them. Do not get me wrong, if these guys are working you are not going to touch them on this bike. However, if there on a base building ride or a cool down you will have no problems keeping up with them. Just be prepared for a strange look since your not "one of them" (no offense to those who are competitive, but you know what I mean. I think you call us Fred's or something like that)
Would I recommend this bike over the Trek f/x line? Yes.
As always, test any bike out and do your research before purchasing. Im sure we have all had that moment when we walk into walmart/dicks with a brand new bike, so excited to ride, then find out its garbage. Go to a true bike shop and get help from people who see the sport as there passion, not just a way to get more money from a shopper.
Thanks for your time, have a wonderful day.