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Right price (free) but not sure if right bike

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Right price (free) but not sure if right bike

Old 09-09-09, 03:55 PM
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deerblue
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Right price (free) but not sure if right bike

A friend of ours had a Trek 7200 FX lying around in the garage. She gave it to us for free. I thought I would like a commuter bike so that I could ride to work which is about 5 miles each way. I have a road bike, a Trek 1200. I only ride the 1200 on bike paths because Los Angeles traffic scares me. I've tried to navigate the Trek 1200 around the enormous potholes of the city but that is also a challenge. I like riding upright in LA traffic. However the problem with the 7200 is that it is so slow. On the road bike, I have to stop peddling in order not to leave my girlfriend behind on her Specialized hybrid. But on the 7200 FX, I'm huffing and puffing to keep up with her. We have traded bikes and I can keep up with her on the Specialized. So I don't think it is me. Is there anyway to make the 7200 faster? Or should I just try to explain to my girlfriend that I need another bike, like another Trek or REI bike? Thanks.
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Old 09-09-09, 04:28 PM
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Try changing the tires. Might make a world of difference.
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Old 09-09-09, 05:53 PM
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Looked up the bike on "Bikepedia". The bike itself won't necessarily be fast or slow. It more relates to how the bike is set up, and how well it's maintained. If the bike has been sitting for a while, it's possible that the grease in the wheel bearings has gotten sticky. I would service the bike, and re-lube the drivetrain and wheel bearings.

If it still is in use, I'd get rid of the boingy seat post. Those tend to rob you of a bit of power.

As Griffin mentioned, a change in tires can do a world of good. If you are going to commute regularly, a puncture resistant tire is probably advisable (especially in LA). All of your major manufacturers will make something that is a fairly fast tire with decent puncture protection. The more features and technology that are built into the tire, the more expensive it will be. If you post the question as to "what tire is best" on this board, be prepared for the onslaught of suggestions. Any of the answers may be right or may be wrong. Ultimately, you will be the best judge of which tire will work best for you, but it may require some homework.

If none of this makes the bike faster, it will at least be easier to sell a recently tuned bike with good tires. You can then use the proceeds to upgrade. If you find tires you really like, you can upgrade, swap out the OEM tires on the new bike, for the tires that you purchased, and then sell the old bike.

Last edited by Kojak; 09-09-09 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 09-09-09, 06:23 PM
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I wish I had friends like yours. Like Kojak stated get the bike checked out and serviced. Change the seatpost and tires to see what happens. Hybrids tend to put you in a less aero position than a road bike which may also be at play. (I'm assuming you set the bike up to fit you properly also)

Commuting 5 miles I don't think there would be an appreciable difference in commuting time between the two bikes (granted both bikes are in proper working condition). I'd say a few minutes give or take. You may also be using different muscles which wears you out faster if you are not used to using them.

Give it some time and some miles before you decide if you need another one.
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Old 09-09-09, 07:08 PM
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I'll take it if you don't want it. I'm going to start riding to work soon. It'd be nice to have a stiffer front end and not sure i'll want to ride my road bike (flats?)

I'm still not sure if I want to take the 'path 2/3 of the way to avoid traffic and possibly have to ride a busier road or ride in traffic the whole way on a moderate path.
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Old 09-10-09, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by deerblue View Post
A friend of ours had a Trek 7200 FX lying around in the garage. She gave it to us for free. I thought I would like a commuter bike so that I could ride to work which is about 5 miles each way. I have a road bike, a Trek 1200. I only ride the 1200 on bike paths because Los Angeles traffic scares me. I've tried to navigate the Trek 1200 around the enormous potholes of the city but that is also a challenge. I like riding upright in LA traffic. However the problem with the 7200 is that it is so slow. On the road bike, I have to stop peddling in order not to leave my girlfriend behind on her Specialized hybrid. But on the 7200 FX, I'm huffing and puffing to keep up with her. We have traded bikes and I can keep up with her on the Specialized. So I don't think it is me. Is there anyway to make the 7200 faster? Or should I just try to explain to my girlfriend that I need another bike, like another Trek or REI bike? Thanks.
I have a 7100 with a similar problem. Its like pedaling a motorcycle.... I keep mine for foul weather rides but am looking into getting another upright bike thats lighter...
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Old 09-10-09, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by exile View Post
I wish I had friends like yours. Like Kojak stated get the bike checked out and serviced. Change the seatpost and tires to see what happens. Hybrids tend to put you in a less aero position than a road bike which may also be at play. (I'm assuming you set the bike up to fit you properly also)

Commuting 5 miles I don't think there would be an appreciable difference in commuting time between the two bikes (granted both bikes are in proper working condition). I'd say a few minutes give or take. You may also be using different muscles which wears you out faster if you are not used to using them.

Give it some time and some miles before you decide if you need another one.
This is a very good point. Even small changes in seating position can engage muscles that maybe haven't been used in your normal pedal stroke, and disengage muscles that you do normally use. It might be worth trying to get your saddle to bottom bracket positioning as close as possible to your road bike.
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Old 09-10-09, 02:29 PM
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And, if you decide to switch tires, I really like the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. Excellent puncture protection, roll easy, spin up fast, excellent traction(even leaned over), no trasition zone when leaning over as the tread pattern wraps right around the sidewall, and, the reflex sidewall is really BRIGHT!
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Old 09-10-09, 02:42 PM
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I have a friend with a Trek 7.2 FX and he's never complained about it being slow. Get it checked out, their might be a mechanical issue. That, or you should work on the engine
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Old 09-11-09, 10:30 AM
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I had a 7200 for a while, its the bike that got me into cycling. It certainly wasn't as eager to go fast as my Cross Check is, but it didn't seem like "pedaling a motorcycle" either. I think for me, the biggest difference is not having the suspension seatpost, not having a suspension fork, and not being so upright. I also had much more saddle setback on the Trek (partly due to poor fit). All this while having a rack and panniers on there. That said I was still able to get decent speeds most of the time when commuting. If you're trying to keep an average 20mph going on it though it may be a bit more of a strain. Then again I can't even do that on the Cross Check.

I suppose if you're going the other way around, hopping on a hybrid after being used to road bikes, it would probably seem very slow by comparison.
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Old 09-11-09, 11:24 AM
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Do the wheels spin freely?
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Old 09-11-09, 11:24 PM
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I took the bike in to my LBS for service. I asked about a different size tire but they didn't think it would make a difference. They will clean and re-lube it. Hopefully, when I ride it tomorrow, it will feel better. Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I love this site.
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