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2015 - Trek’s Hybrid Range – IsoZone abandoned, Tubeless Ready rims now the focus

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2015 - Trek’s Hybrid Range – IsoZone abandoned, Tubeless Ready rims now the focus

Old 06-19-14, 11:33 PM
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ColonelSanders
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2015 - Trek’s Hybrid Range – IsoZone abandoned, Tubeless Ready rims now the focus

After pushing IsoZone in the seat stays of Trek's upper end Aluminium Hybrid bikes for the last 2 years, Trek has now dropped IsoZone from the seat stays like a hot potato.

I'm keen to hear people's views on this.
1. Does it mean that IsoZone was a dud or marketing gimmick and if so, how do people with IsoZone equipped bikes now feel, or

2. Was it a legitimate piece of technology that the market didn't embrace, thus effectively forcing Trek to drop it?

3. What are the pluses & minuses of Tubeless Ready rims & even if one stays with tubes, does this mean the quality/strength of these new rims are likely better than the previous rims on Trek's hybrid range?
Whilst there are heaps of other questions I have about Trek's 2015 Hybrid line up, I will leave that to subsequent posts and instead get to posting some pictures.

Whilst the full range hasn't been revealed, what has been revealed to date suggests a massive improvement in the paint schemes of Trek's hybrid offerings, which I thought were pretty bad across just about the whole range for 2014, with only the Black Paint Schemes looking like something I could have lived with.

If the below pictures don't show up, I'll fix that up later when I get home from work.

Trek DS 8.6 - Ball Burnished Aluminium

GARY FISHER COLLECTION 8.6 DS 2015 :: £899.00 :: Bikes :: Leisure Bikes - Hybrids :: Ken Ellerker Cycles


Trek DS 8.5 - Blue Ink

GARY FISHER COLLECTION 8.5 DS 2015 :: £799.00 :: Bikes :: Leisure Bikes - Hybrids :: Ken Ellerker Cycles



Trek DS 8.4 - Viper Red

GARY FISHER COLLECTION 8.4 DS 2015 :: £599.00 :: Bikes :: Leisure Bikes - Hybrids :: Ken Ellerker Cycles


Trek DS 8.4 - Matte Trek Black/Trek White

GARY FISHER COLLECTION 8.4 DS 2015 :: £599.00 :: Bikes :: Leisure Bikes - Hybrids :: Ken Ellerker Cycles




Trek FX 7.5 - Trek White

TREK 7.5 FX 2015 :: £749.00 :: Bikes :: Leisure Bikes - Hybrids :: Ken Ellerker Cycles



Trek FX 7.4 - Trek Cyan

TREK 7.4 FX 2015 :: £599.00 :: Bikes :: Leisure Bikes - Hybrids :: Ken Ellerker Cycles
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Old 06-19-14, 11:52 PM
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Someone rode my 7.5 FX and said it felt soft and I agree. I do think the Isozone works so well that it takes too much off road feel somewhat. Could be someone's enjoyment that way or not.
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Old 06-20-14, 08:07 AM
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Being in the market for a new bike and considering the Trek FX series, I am also interested in the significance of the Iso-zone technology. As I have been unable to test an Iso-zone bike (FX 7.5) versus an equivalent bike without the technology (FX4)......both having the carbon forks, I have had to rely on the experience and opinions of others.

Thus far, with the exception of Trek dealers pushing the Iso-zone, I have yet to find anyone expressing this technology as a big improvement in how the bike rides. There are those who have ridden a lesser model FX and compared it to a Iso-zone model who have praised the Iso-zone model. BUT, I believe the difference they are experiencing is in the carbon forks more than the Iso-zone.

I guess the important question is if there is a difference. ?...How much?

I was talking with a Specialized dealer recently about the Zertz technology used in their bikes. He said it was more gimmick than anything. Only a person who tests similar bikes back to back, on the same roads and conditions, can speak accurately about them.
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Old 06-20-14, 08:42 AM
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Personally I dont like rubber pieces in frames due to the limited lifespan of rubber. Also, lets see how many of these replacement parts are available down the road.

Tubeless rims and tires usually weigh a bit more than regular rims due to the sealing but make up for it by ditching the tube. They also allow you to run lower pressures without pinch flatting.
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Old 06-20-14, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
Tubeless rims and tires usually weigh a bit more than regular rims due to the sealing but make up for it by ditching the tube. They also allow you to run lower pressures without pinch flatting.
Is it likely that the quality of the rims in this case will be an improvement over the non-tubeless rims?
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Old 06-20-14, 11:59 AM
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Glad I bought a 2014 FX 7.5. I feel that the ride on my 7.5 is much better then my old Giant FCR3 but I don't know if that's because of the Isozone or some other design factor. Interesting that the 2015 comes with a 48/34 crank since the first thing I did was swap out my stock 50/34 ring for a 48/34 ring although the 2014 has 9 gears instead of 10 like the 2015. Since I have arthritis in my left thumb switching to the 48/34 allows me here in Texas to ride using the big ring only. I also love the metallic black color of the 2014.
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Old 06-20-14, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by colonelsanders View Post
after pushing isozone in the seat stays of trek's upper end aluminium hybrid bikes for the last 2 years, trek has now dropped isozone from the seat stays like a hot potato.

I'm keen to hear people's views on this.
1. Does it mean that isozone was a dud or marketing gimmick and if so, how do people with isozone equipped bikes now feel, or

2. Was it a legitimate piece of technology that the market didn't embrace, thus effectively forcing trek to drop it?

I have to say I'm not entirely surprised. I actually bought the 8.4 last year, not because I couldn't swing the cash for the 8.5, but because I didn't want the isozone. Seemed like a gimmick at best and a bad idea at worst. As to why they've dropped it, and this is purely anecdotal on my part, I'm going to go with your first theorem. But that's just me.

What I'm even more curious about is the new cut to the frames. Are they going back to their 29er geometry like the 2012 inaugural year? Or following the rest of the pack and going to for a more upright casual ride, or are they sticking with the somewhat less than ideal mid-posture and just toying with the leading edge of the top tube for looks....

Last edited by Sunsanvil; 06-20-14 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 06-20-14, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Daddy Wags View Post
Thus far, with the exception of Trek dealers pushing the Iso-zone, I have yet to find anyone expressing this technology as a big improvement in how the bike rides. There are those who have ridden a lesser model FX and compared it to a Iso-zone model who have praised the Iso-zone model. BUT, I believe the difference they are experiencing is in the carbon forks more than the Iso-zone.

While it would only take a couple of miles to determine if the frame feels "soft" gauging any benefit in comfort would be more difficult... honestly, I think I'd have to test ride a bike with iso-zone for a good 60+ miles before I could say whether or not it was worth it. That said, I'm skeptical that it would in fact feel very soft, given the placement on the frame; at what point in a ride would it feel soft? I need more details from those reporting it as such.
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Old 06-20-14, 03:25 PM
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This is a "massive improvement" in paint schemes? Not to my eyes. The dark blue is nice, the light blue is gross, the red is a bit much and the white is just white. If that burnished aluminum is the same as what they have on the Crossrip then I'll take a big pass on that as well. Black, they already had.
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Old 06-20-14, 03:47 PM
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I like all to colors, new and old, except I still can't decide on the whole ball burnished look. I see the CrossRip LTD and think it looks good....and then not so much. I wonder how it would hold up with scratches, etc.
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Old 06-20-14, 05:01 PM
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I can't remember whether it was Trek or someone else,but the Iso-Zone thing was tried before,only with a simplified shock instead of a rubber piece. If memory serves,that only lasted like a year or two as well. My Brompton folder has a rubber suspension block that connects the rear sub-frame to the main frame;I'm not a fan. Rear suspension really is only useful for off-road riding. Properly shaped seatstays(think older CAAD's) would do just as good of a job without effecting handling and power delivery.

As for tubeless;fine for running low psi off road for traction,but not something I'd do in an urban environment. Tubes are faster to fix(you can just swap in a new one) when dealing with flats.
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Old 06-20-14, 07:25 PM
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It was always pointless. As dynaryder points out, adequate rear damping on a bicycle meant primarily for road/path cycling can be achieved with tube shaping, longer chainstays (both the DS and FX bikes have relatively long rear centres), tire choice, etc.

Lapierre (France) tried the same thing (passive damping with an elastomer) on a road bike series a few years back; dropped it after a year.

I suspect the real reason Trek dropped this nonsense was simple cost-cutting (i.e. to increase profit margin); the marketing appeal wasn't sufficient to generate increased sales to offset the increased production cost.
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Old 06-20-14, 08:40 PM
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I'm thinking Trek's Iso-zone and Specialized Zertz was as much a marketing ploy as it was a technological advancement. I know it was working on me for a while. It entices the consumer to move up to more expensive models to have these extra features.

If Trek has Deore components on their bike another manufacturer can simple add Deore components to have it's model match Trek's. But they can't match Trek's Iso-zone......so Trek is one up on them. Also, if a Trek model has a little lesser components than say an equivalent Giant model, Trek can just say their bike is better because if the iso-zone.

Now as to why Trek dropped Iso-zone, my guess is cost cutting, but it could be they have something else up their sleeve. Marketing wise, bike companies like to have something new to dazzle the consumer every few years.
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Old 06-21-14, 10:08 AM
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I may have lost track but do any of the people claiming IsoZone was a gimmick actually own a bike so-equipped? 2702 seems to think it not only works, but perhaps too well - eliminating road feel. That certainly suggests to me that, at a minimum, it is actually doing what it claims to do.

As for the change - I have no idea - which I suspect puts me in the same boat as everyone else who doesn't work for Trek in a product-planning capacity. Though it seems counter-intuitive to me that if it were just a gimmick all along, they would simply abandon it. Did they suddenly decide to get out of the gimmick business for 2015, having already invested promotional dollars in selling the gimmick to the public? I suspect cost cutting is more likely what is behind the decision.
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Old 06-21-14, 02:43 PM
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The 2015 Treks may have dropped Iso-zone but a peek at a British Trek dealer's offerings indicates the the 2015 Trek FX 7.4 is set up for Bluetooth and is ANT compatible and Blendr equipped. To be honest, all this is lost on me as I am probably the only man in America without a cell phone. However, they continued to say the new 2015 FX's are lighter and sleeker....but didn't say how.
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Old 06-21-14, 10:48 PM
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I wonder if this utube video provides part of the reason for discontinuing isozone - "Trek 2013 DS 8.6 issue, broken rear isozone inserts"
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Old 06-22-14, 08:07 PM
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I have no idea why they ever had the IsoZone dampners and personally I would not have purchased a Trek with them. They seemed like the weak link in the frame. If anything ever went wrong with one of the frames I would have thought this would be the point.


I would also think if you had such an awesome piece of new technology it would have first been used in the high end models and then trickled down. As for why they dropped it... don't know.
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Old 08-29-14, 09:56 AM
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Just turned 1000 miles on my FX7.6 today. Don't know much bout technology.....but I had a FX 7.3 prior to this one. I noticed right away w the 7.3 I could feel every bump I could c and even the ones I couldn't c. I ride city streets and paved bike paths. Li'll twigs n small bumps were annoying to me on the 7.3. Moved up to the 7.6 last May and it's a much smoother ride 4 me and seems faster too w the 25mm tires. This bike a keeper for me. I've had no issues w it but only issues I had w the 7.3 was the not too smooth ride. Plus fatter 28mm tires made ride li'll slower than this 7.6. So far I'm very happy w my Trek FX 7.6. But looks to b discontinued in the 2015 line up....��)))
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Old 08-29-14, 09:26 PM
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My opine on zerts. They are not a be all and end all solution to road imperfections. Carbon is, more or less. My theory: my specialized sectuer is aluminum frame. metal. when metal is struck, it rings or vibrates,not always at an audible level to humans. This vibe adds to fatigue. Imagine a front desk bell. You smack it then snuff it with your hand. Same principal. Why specialized puts them on their carbon bike is beyond me. Carbon is essentially a fabric. Trek's iso-zone decoupler makes more sense.

Back to Hybrids. The iso grommets never made much sense as it seemed it would cause more flex in the chainstays. But I'm not a physicist, so who knows. Anyway, I think the new dee-esses by trek are a better price point than my 13. I'm kinda pissed about that.
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Old 10-29-18, 03:24 PM
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Semi-happy Trek IsoZone owner

Sorry to resurrect this old thread but I thought I'd just add my 2 cents since I do actually own one of these Trek bikes with the rear IsoZone gizmo (the 2013 Trek 8.5 DS, Gary Fisher edition, which is actually a rather nice looking bike with an attractive colour scheme). Regarding comfort, I would have to agree that it does offer some advantage in that sense. It's a very pleasant bike to take on long 8 to 10 hour rides and absorbs rear shocks quite nicely. I think it does a good job of providing some shock absorption on off-road trails too, although I only have a 1980s Peugeot mountain bike to compare it too (my bike prior to this one). It's definitely a taint preserver. On the other hand, I did have a slight issue with it and I think this issue may have been the reason they stopped making them, at least according to my LBS. The problem is that there are two very little screws either side (labelled B in the image below) that hold the top cap (labelled A) of the IsoZone mechanism in place and over time these little screws have a habit of working themselves loose due to the constant vibrations of the IsoZone mechanism and they can fall out, as happened to me. I lost one on the right side and had to buy an entire IsoZone replacement (at a cost of 50 bucks) just to get the one screw I was missing.

[I WAS GOING TO INSERT A DIAGRAM HERE BUT I CAN'T BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE 10 POSTS YET. SORRY! YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION!]

If you don't replace the missing screw then over time the uneven forces acting on the frame can lead to it beginning to bend and deform because there is more movement on one side than the other (again, this is just what my LBS told me, I haven't actually noticed any deformity in the frame yet, maybe because I caught it in time). Also before I noticed the screw was missing I did also experience some slight flexing in the frame and some creaking noises when getting out of the saddle to peddle at a higher torque, but since I have replaced the screw I haven't noticed any more problems of that sort. You can of course just put any old screw in there, which I did in fact do for a while until I decided to buy the replacement pack to get the proper screw and the elastomers in case I ever need to replace them. This time I put threadlocker into it so those screws won't ever be coming out again. Trek should have done this from the start or figured out some other way of holding the top cap in place. Other than that I think it's probably a good gizmo to have apart from the little setback I had, but it isn't really a problem with the design itself more like a poor implementation of it which is easily remedied by using a bit of threadlocker. I like it. Live and learn.
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Old 10-29-18, 06:14 PM
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This might be why I see a lot of the older FX models on CL. I thought it was because they were jumping on the road disk bandwagon.
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Old 11-05-18, 02:46 PM
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2014 FX3 vs New

I know this is an old thread, I am looking at a new 2019 FX 3. One of the selling points was having rim ready wheels for the puncture proof tires.
I just saw a 2014 FX 3 for sale on CL. Is the newer model worth the $$$?
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Old 11-06-18, 02:48 PM
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Don't be fooled 'Tubeless' are not puncture proof.,
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