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Trek FX: 20in or 22.5in?

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Trek FX: 20in or 22.5in?

Old 04-18-10, 10:33 PM
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eventhorizon
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Trek FX: 20in or 22.5in?

I haven't bicycled in more than a decade. I am considering getting back into bicycling for commute/fitness.

I went to Trek San Jose to try out some of their bicycles. I tried the 7.3fx. The LBS person recommended the 22.5in frame based on my height, etc. I tried that and the 20in frame.

I tried two seat positions. One where my feet could easily touch the ground when I was on the saddle. The second where only my toes touched the ground when I was on the saddle. Overall, the second seat position was uncomfortable for me -- I'd much rather be able to put my feet on the ground until I'm more experienced.

I couldn't quite tell much of a difference between the two frame sizes. 20in seemed more comfortable in the first seat position. 22.5in seemed a little bit more balanced in the second seat position. But, as I was comparison riding the two bicycles, I found myself becoming more comfortable, so I am not sure if my comparison is really that objective.

In both frame sizes, there was enough clearance between me and the top bar.

How do I decide which is better? I want to ensure that I don't make a decision based on current comfort that I will regret in the future.

Thanks.
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Old 04-19-10, 05:16 AM
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Sit on the saddle while riding, straddle the top bar while standing. You should not expect to be able to stand on the ground while seated on a conventional bicycle that fits you properly. Concern yourself with the distance of the saddle from the pedals, not the ground.

You want to have your leg almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Check out the Electra Townie featuring "flat foot technology" if you want to remain seated at stops.

Last edited by qmsdc15; 04-19-10 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 04-19-10, 05:18 AM
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Try this :

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

.... you can adapt seta post but i think it is more important to pick right top tube lenght

I guess most important is try to ride both size of frames and pick one YOU think is better for you

Last edited by Error; 04-19-10 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 04-19-10, 06:46 AM
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Having the saddle tooooo loooooow, maks for really hard pedalling.......

If you like to ride in a more cramped up position, get the smaller - if you like to ride more stretched out, get the larger.

When seated on the bike, you should be able to put your heel on the pedal, and pedal backwards, gaining FULL leg extension, without rocking n the seat. Then, when you pedal normally, with the ball of your foot, you have a slight bend in your knee.

When you stand over the bike, and you can pick up the front wheel off the ground, the bike is not too big - but a too long top bar will have you out of position, unless you like to ride stretched out.

At your height, I'd get the larger, especially in an upright bike.
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Old 04-19-10, 07:50 AM
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Larger probably makes more sense.

For reference, I have a 7300fx (same bike pretty much as the 7.3FX) and I chose the 22.5".

I'm 6'1" with a 34" inseam. It fits well.

You can change the stem size to adjust your reach somewhat.

You definitely don't want to be flat footed on the ground when on the seat. You'll have poor leg extension when pedalling if that's the case.
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Old 04-19-10, 03:20 PM
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The 7.3FX is not a 'flat foot' type bike. The pedals are not placed correctly for such a low saddle position. However, since you're obviously looking at a Trek dealer, see if they have any Trek Pure's. Those ARE flat foot style bikes. You might like them better.
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Old 04-19-10, 03:43 PM
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What a lot of these people have said.

And its less a worry about seat tube length, but top tube length. You can always buy a longer seat post...

Put the saddle at the proper height for full leg extension. This should be the same distance from the pedals on both bikes. Then figure out which one has a more comfortable reach to the handlebars, as the larger one will have a longer top tube.
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Old 04-19-10, 04:31 PM
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try setting the pedal to seat length at 110% of your inseam that should be close to the correct riding height then check how the bars feel. if you go for the 20 make sure the bars have sufficient height adjustment. for sure this will not be a flat foot setup, but then where you ride makes a difference. i am 5'11" and ride a 23" road bike and a 22.5 mtb on the road. i have no problem with the height but my feet only touch the ground at the start and end of a ride.
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Old 04-19-10, 06:05 PM
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I'm 5 11 with a 32 inch inseam. I also measured my inseam with a book, as advised on here by some, and still got 32. I have the 22.5 7.3 FX and it fits me very well. I really thought it would be too big until I actually rode it.
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Old 04-19-10, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by waynesworld View Post
I'm 5 11 with a 32 inch inseam. I also measured my inseam with a book, as advised on here by some, and still got 32. I have the 22.5 7.3 FX and it fits me very well. I really thought it would be too big until I actually rode it.
Hmm.. Interesting. I'm almost 6'1 with a 32.5" inseam and the bike shop fit me for a 20" 7.3 FX on Sunday. I'm comfy on the bike so it's not a big deal but interesting non the less
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Old 04-20-10, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
Hmm.. Interesting. I'm almost 6'1 with a 32.5" inseam and the bike shop fit me for a 20" 7.3 FX on Sunday. I'm comfy on the bike so it's not a big deal but interesting non the less
That is an interesting fit.

It goes to show that there is no 'right' for everybody of a given size.

Some people are uncomfortable leaning too far forward (with a longer TT).

Others are uncomfortable too upright (short TT).

If you buy a frame that turns out to be 'one size' off, you can often compensate by:

Adjusting your seat forward or back.
Flipping your stem (assuming its not a 0).
Mounting a shorter or longer stem to adjust your reach by +/- 1.0".
Mounting a different size or style handlebar.
etc.

Obviously, you want the BEST size upfront, but don't worry if you think you just bought a slightly too small or large frame. It's not game over.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:42 AM
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Or the bike shop fit him with a 20" because, that was what they had... not uncommon...

But yes, everybody's fit is different.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
Or the bike shop fit him with a 20" because, that was what they had... not uncommon...
Same experience here, the 20 inch felt too cramped, after much insistence on my part, and having purchased/rode a couple of 22 inch bikes elsewhere, I finally was able to get a 22.5 FX ordered through my LBS.
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Old 04-20-10, 11:05 AM
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They had a 22.5". It was right next to the 20" so I would like to think the didn't just sell me what they had. I'm bike dumb and the amount of information is overwhelming. I rode around 10 bikes and picked the one I liked best and specifically asked about frame sizes. Now something in the back of my head makes me feel like I got duped.
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Old 04-20-10, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
Now something in the back of my head makes me feel like I got duped.
Is it a comfortable ride? If so, then you didn't get duped.
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Old 04-25-10, 12:02 AM
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looks like 20in

A big thank you to all of you for your responses.

This weekend, I went to a couple of LBS. First stop (Friday evening) was Sports Basement in Sunnyvale. It was almost closing time, so I couldn't test ride any bicycles. I spoke to Alex who was most helpful. I was looking for Felt Speed and Jamis Coda Sport. Based on his experience, he recommended that I try a 19in Jamis Coda Sport. The standover height is 30.9in.

Today, I went to Tread Bikes in Campbell and met Shawn. Wonderful interaction. He said that he had run out of men's Jamis Coda series bicycles but could get a Coda Comp next week. Based on his experience, he also suggested 19in.

Then, I went to Summit Bicycles in Los Gatos. I tried the Trek 7.3fx 20in, the 7.5fx 17.5in, and the 7500 20in. I spoke to Ken who was amazingly helpful. Based on his experience, he said that a 20in would be best if I felt comfortable with the clearance. He ruled out the 22.5in. The 20in Trek has a standover of 30.8in. Felt is 30.7in.

I am 5'10'' and my pant inseam is 30in. With shoes, I measure barely 32in. While the 20in felt most comfortable (no cramping), the 17.5in with a 28.9in standover seems safest, clearance wise. Should I go with the 20in even though clearance is just about an inch? I guess the biggest concern would be a sudden stop when going up an incline or if the wheels are straddling a depression on the road surface. Any feedback greatly appreciated.

Also, it seems difficult to find a Felt Speed bicycle. I've inquired at various LBS that stock Felt and no one has a Speed. Please let me know if you know a South Bay LBS that has one in stock.

On another topic, based on test riding on rough pavement, the 7500 was most comfortable, the 7.5fx next, and the 7.3fx the most jarring. Riding the 7500 on smooth pavement was like gliding on butter. The 7.5fx was quite a bit more jarring than the 7500. Does one get used to the jarring? Or does replacing the saddle and using bike shorts do the trick? Or go for wider tires? Trek 7500 has 35mm tires; 7.3fx and 7.5x 32mm; 7.6fx, Jamis Coda and Felt 28mm. Ken said that the 7.3fx/7.5fx can accept 35mm tires and the 7.6fx can accept 32mm tires and this wouldn't void the warranty.

Thanks.
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Old 04-25-10, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by eventhorizon View Post

On another topic, based on test riding on rough pavement, the 7500 was most comfortable, the 7.5fx next, and the 7.3fx the most jarring. Riding the 7500 on smooth pavement was like gliding on butter. The 7.5fx was quite a bit more jarring than the 7500. Does one get used to the jarring? Or does replacing the saddle and using bike shorts do the trick? Or go for wider tires? Trek 7500 has 35mm tires; 7.3fx and 7.5x 32mm; 7.6fx, Jamis Coda and Felt 28mm. Ken said that the 7.3fx/7.5fx can accept 35mm tires and the 7.6fx can accept 32mm tires and this wouldn't void the warranty.

Thanks.
A jarring ride is what kept me looking at bicycles for 3 years in a row... My Sirrus is a nice ride, around the block on the asphalt, but as soon as I hit the trail, the ride becomes quite jarring. It's worse in the spring with the ruts and the horse hoof prints.

So I got a Specialized Crosstrail. It's like riding a big comfortable Buick on the trails. But it's slower. Quite a bit slower. The Crosstrail has a lockout on the fork, so I can speed it up a little bit, but it's still heavy and slow. Mine is 31 pounds. Also the tires are 45mm wide.

So I just picked up a Cannondale Quick CX Ultra. The LBS said it's like a cross bike with flat bars and disc brakes. Kinda of a weird animal. But it's only 26 pounds. It came with small block 8 tires. The ride was quite a bit faster than the Crosstrail. And because it has a headshok, it's not jarring either. The headshok has a lockout too, so when the trail gets smoother, later in the summer, I can lock it out, and go even faster.

I just put my Continental Travel Contacts on the Quick CX, but I have not had a chance to test the speed yet. The Travel Contacts are 35mm tires, but they actually measure 33mm. And with the smooth center section, they should be quicker than the small block 8.

I put the pics of my Quick CX Ultra in this thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...a#post10703661

If the jarring is going to be an issue for you, then the 7500 would be a better choice than the 7.5FX. But that suspension in the front fork doesn't lock out. If you are not riding for speed, or to keep up with a group of riders on cross bikes, the 7500 should give you a nice comfortable ride.

Mikey

Last edited by mikeschn; 04-25-10 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 04-26-10, 08:44 AM
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Different people will have a different tolerance for vibration and ride comfort.

I have a pretty stiff road bike so I'm used to feeling plenty of road vibration.

When I hop on my rigid hybrid, the ride is super comfy in comparison, even w/o a suspension fork.

You should buy the bike that makes you want to ride more. It sounds like the 7500 (or any hybrid with a front shock) will make riding more pleasurable for you.

The only thing you really sacrifice is a bit of speed (via a loss of efficiency) but this will be minor and if you're not out to race, who cares? The bike might be heavier to load/unload too by a few pounds. Again, who cares?.

You can buy whatever brand and width tire that suits your needs or preference (as long as it fits).

I have found that tires very noticeably affect ride comfort. I have 28c tires that roll fast and smooth for my hybrid. I also have 40c tires I use for trail riding and are actually good enough (but a little slower) for path riding.
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Old 04-26-10, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by opie View Post
Hmm.. Interesting. I'm almost 6'1 with a 32.5" inseam and the bike shop fit me for a 20" 7.3 FX on Sunday. I'm comfy on the bike so it's not a big deal but interesting non the less

If you're comfortable, you're fine. We may just like different riding positions.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:04 AM
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QUIT talking about pants inseam - it has nothing to do with your real inseam - which is measured in stocking feet, against a wall, with a book pulled up, tightly, between your legs. With the book also against the wall, mark the level of the top spine of the book. That is your true inseam length.

When riding bikes of two different sizes, for comparrisons, you must have the seat and bars at the exact same height, and the tires at the exact same pressure (preferrably at max). Only by doing this, can you get a real feel for the differences of the different sizes.

When worrying about standover height - the only real thing you have to be concerned with - is - can you get the front wheel off the ground by at least an inch, while you are standing over it.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
When worrying about standover height - the only real thing you have to be concerned with - is - can you get the front wheel off the ground by at least an inch, while you are standing over it.
Pretty much. And I find that a bike that fits me magically has a suitable standover height. Ignore it.
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Old 04-27-10, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
QUIT talking about pants inseam - it has nothing to do with your real inseam - which is measured in stocking feet, against a wall, with a book pulled up, tightly, between your legs. With the book also against the wall, mark the level of the top spine of the book. That is your true inseam length.

When riding bikes of two different sizes, for comparrisons, you must have the seat and bars at the exact same height, and the tires at the exact same pressure (preferrably at max). Only by doing this, can you get a real feel for the differences of the different sizes.

When worrying about standover height - the only real thing you have to be concerned with - is - can you get the front wheel off the ground by at least an inch, while you are standing over it.
As noted above, I did that, and still got exactly 32 inches. Maybe my pants don't fit properly

The point about standover height is a good one.
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Old 04-29-10, 04:44 PM
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lift the wheels up to pubic bone. tires 1-2" off the ground is good.

Last edited by common man; 08-30-10 at 08:25 PM.
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