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Trek FX 7.4 vs Novara Express vs Specialized Sirrus Elite

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Trek FX 7.4 vs Novara Express vs Specialized Sirrus Elite

Old 03-26-13, 09:08 PM
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Trek FX 7.4 vs Novara Express vs Specialized Sirrus Elite

I am 57 yo rider with 31yo Trek 400 (1982!) that I still love but is slowly falling apart. I decided to buy a $500-900 hybrid for riding railtrails in Philly area. This forum was helpful to me. So I am trying to repay the favor. I rode about 20 bikes in one weekend.

REI Novara Express
Great bike from a great store. Very responsive, very firm ride. Very good components for the price. ( ~ 630 after 20% coupon) Shimano Deore with 700 x 28's It felt very sporty but almost a tad too firm. Even with carbon fiber fork.

Specialized Sirrus Elite (~ $740)
I love this bike... I should have bought one. Maybe I will still! It is comfortable but still quick. It just felt right. I think Specialized is way ahead in frame design based on what I felt. The only downside is the Shimano Acera rear gear. It does not shift as smoothly as the 7.4 FX or Novara Deore's .

Trek FX 7.4 ( ~ $740)
800 x 32 I think with Shimano Deore. It was the safe ride. No surprises but really good ride. Good shifting. On my old Trek I hardly shifted at all but since the shifting is so smooth you tend to use it more. The ride is definitely different (worse/firmer?) then the Sirrus. I think Trek recognizes this and that is why they put that rubber insert in the rear fork of the FX 7.5 (too expensive for my blood) I wonder if Trek designers are playing it safe and Specialized taking more chances with frame changes? I think the trek's are really more of a commuter bike that yes can be used on trails. The Sirrus is the opposite, a light trail bike that could be a reasonable urban bike.

I went with Trek FX 7.4. Bikeline is close to my house. They had the bike. The derailer difference is real but the ride difference is a very subjective thing. Were the ride differences all in my head? (Somebody help me!)

Rode a dozen other bikes, Cannondales, many other Trek's. I think the Sirrus stands out.
Good luck shoppers

Last edited by DonHamp; 03-27-13 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 03-28-13, 11:41 PM
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The Trek and Shimano are very similar. The rear derailleur on the Trek is Deore and Alivio on the Specialized, but cranks, front derailleur, and shifters are Acera, on both. They really shouldn't have felt any different because the shifters are basically the same. If it wasn't shifting correctly, it could have been that Specialized was slightly out of adjust, maybe one click on the barrel adjuster would have fixed it.

When looking at the bike, don't just look at the rear derailleur. That is a very inexpensive way to make the bike look more high end because the logo is so prominent. When I didn't know what I was doing, I almost bought a bike with Ultrega (same level as XT) rear derailleur except everything else was a mix of Sora and Tiagra (same as Alivio and Deore).

If you find that the ride is too firm, you could try lowering the tire pressure. On 32mm tires, I've had the tires all the way down to 55PSI before so that is something you could try if the ride is too hard.

As far as the frames are concerned, I don't think that Specialized and Trek have advantages over each other, but they may have designed them for different characteristics. Design wise the frames are modeled on computers and hydroformed so they can shape pretty much anyway they want for different characteristics.

Last edited by jsdavis; 03-28-13 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 03-29-13, 12:50 AM
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In my experience, Specialized bikes tend to have a slightly longer effective top tube length than most others, this makes them well suited to long torso riders.
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Old 03-29-13, 04:06 AM
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Al I know is when I test rode bikes, the specialized felt and fit me much better,. obvious in even a short test ride. I am still happy.

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Old 03-29-13, 10:34 AM
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Specialized has always felt better to me, maybe because I like to ride more stretched out...... Never knew that difference existed, other than feel.

You did the right thing, buying the one that you liked the best.
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