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What to upgrade first?

Old 03-25-15, 11:32 AM
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BrockLee
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What to upgrade first?

I just bought a '15 Trek 7.3 FX. What part of this bike should I upgrade first and what should I upgrade it to? I'm clueless. Help?!?!
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Old 03-25-15, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
I just bought a '15 Trek 7.3 FX. What part of this bike should I upgrade first and what should I upgrade it to? I'm clueless. Help?!?!
Mileage, upgrade your seat time.

-Bandera
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Old 03-25-15, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Mileage, upgrade your seat time.

-Bandera
Can I get this on a t-shirt?
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Old 03-25-15, 11:53 AM
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Bandera - Sooooo, I shouldn't worry about upgrading my SEAT, but rather I should focus on riding more? :-) Thank you for that. Point taken.
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Old 03-25-15, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
I just bought a '15 Trek 7.3 FX. What part of this bike should I upgrade first and what should I upgrade it to? I'm clueless. Help?!?!
Which things on your Trek 7.3 don't work well for you? Said another way try to fix problems rather than just buying new parts.

For me after a few months of riding it was apparent that original pedals, gearing and tires needed improvement.
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Old 03-25-15, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
Bandera - Sooooo, I shouldn't worry about upgrading my SEAT, but rather I should focus on riding more? :-) Thank you for that. Point taken.
The "saddle" is a great upgrade since the stock ones are not usually that good. But as already stated, spend some time in it so you know what you do and don't like.

Clipless pedals and shoes are a great upgrade. You'll be amazed how much more power you put to the road with them.

Other than that, there's not much.
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Old 03-25-15, 01:34 PM
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It is amazing how many people know what bike to buy, then immediately have to ask others what to upgrade...

There is nothing on the 7.3 FX that should need immediate upgrading unless something specific bothers you, this however won't keep me from rambling a bit...

As others have mentioned (partially) the parts that are most personal are the contact points.... Saddle, pedals/shoes and grips. If you have no problem with those now, then leave them alone, but if you do, then find a solution that works for you. It is of no real value to ask what the best saddle is, because our needs are quite diverse, grips, there are a few choices, and pedals/shoes there are a myriad of combinations, and we each have our own preferences.

Saddle... Proper fit is key, especially matching the saddle to your sit bone width. Everyone has their favorites, but that doesn't mean they would work for you. I am trying out the Selle SMP TRK this year on my 2011 Trek 7.3 FX because I tried someone else's bike late last year and loved it for a short ride. I'll see what happens on longer rides.

Pedals/Shoes... I really like mountain type shoes and pedal systems because I like to be able to walk normally when I am not on the bike. My shoes are Lake Trekking shoes (a discontinued model) which are mountain shoe-like, but with a little less tread, since I don't ride or walk in the mud regularly. I primarily picked the Lake shoes because they came in a wide width. I have only used Crank Brothers Candy pedals, and find that they work well for me.

Grips... I like oblong grips, and have used a couple different ones. My favorite are the Ergon grips. I currently don't use bar ends, but I do have a set of Ergons with integrated bar ends that I may try at some point. The Ergons to me are better than the other cheaper grips I tried because they are more easily adjusted to the exact angle that works due to the fact that they are clamp on and loosen/tighten with an Allen wrench. In addition to nice grips, I always wear cycling gloves to help my comfort, plus I don't tear up my palms when I fall/crash.

Not necessarily upgrades, but you should also consider whatever you may need with you to help in case of issues on the road. At a minimum I carry: a patch kit and spare tube, something to inflate the tire (usually CO2 and pump) multi-tool (including common allen sizes, and chain breaker), a spare master link that works with my chain (great to have if your chain uses them), water bottle cages and bottles. You will of course need a way to carry the stuff you bring with you. I use a rack and a trunk bag because I carry stuff beyond what I listed here.

I always ride with a mirror to keep an eye on cars behind me, or cyclists on the rail trails... I feel blind without it. I always wear a helmet, but don't want a helmet debate here.

You also need chain lube to keep your chain healthy, but you obviously should lubricate at home, and don't need to take it on the road with you. Other tools would be good, especially if you plan to do your own maintenance.
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Old 03-25-15, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
I just bought a '15 Trek 7.3 FX. What part of this bike should I upgrade first and what should I upgrade it to? I'm clueless. Help?!?!
Tires! 8-)) If the bike came with the H1 saddle, its not a bad saddle!
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Old 03-27-15, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
I just bought a '15 Trek 7.3 FX. What part of this bike should I upgrade first and what should I upgrade it to? I'm clueless. Help?!?!
Question: The first item you adjust when you get behind the wheel of a car?
Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
The "saddle" is a great upgrade since the stock ones are not usually that good.
Item #2 .
But as already stated, spend some time in it so you know what you do and don't like.
That would be one ride. Which I did sans cycling shorts. For good measure.

Clipless pedals and shoes are a great upgrade.
These were items 3 and 4 for me.
You'll be amazed how much more power you put to the road with them.

Other than that, there's not much.
I always thought so too. But one recent test showed they didn't matter.

Last edited by KraneXL; 03-27-15 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 03-27-15, 06:24 AM
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A Mountain Myrricle mirror, so you will be more aware of your surroundings.

If you decide to change grips, or add bar ends - I have some favorites. I have both Ergon and Specialized ergonomic grips. I like the Specialized ones better, as they are slightly softer, and just a little more comfortable. I also now prefer the Specialized P2 Bar Endz, to the tubular ones (I have both)

Those would be my first suggestions (after finding the seat you like best). So, come back with questions about how to fix problems you find, or how better to make it your own.

Other than those - there's lots of stuff I have changed over the years, to fit my bikes to me.

Now, go get some miles, and enjoy your new bike
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Old 03-27-15, 06:25 AM
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You have some good advice here - particularly the mirror. I will add a bike computer. Knowing my speed has helped me a lot. I also like that it logs the miles.
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Old 03-27-15, 06:31 AM
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The saddle IF it isn't working for you.

Pedals if you don't already have clipless pedals on it.

Otherwise upgrade when you need to replace something that's broke or worn out.

Tires or the chain will probably be first to go. There isn't all that much difference in chains, but there are choices in tires.

Next may be brake pads. KoolStop pads can make a difference.
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Old 03-27-15, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
I always thought so too. But one recent test showed they didn't matter.
Being a road cyclist I just assumed so, but this winter I joined a gym and took spin class 4-5 times a week. I also rode my son's MTB a few time with flat pedals since i didn't have MTB shoes. I had problems trying to keep my feet on the pedals in the best position.

Well, last week I picked up a Trek 8.5 DS and bought MTB shoes. I was amazed how much more control I had on the spin bike and how much easier it was to spin.

Shoes made a huge difference. (just my personal experience)
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Old 03-27-15, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Being a road cyclist I just assumed so, but this winter I joined a gym and took spin class 4-5 times a week. I also rode my son's MTB a few time with flat pedals since i didn't have MTB shoes. I had problems trying to keep my feet on the pedals in the best position.

Well, last week I picked up a Trek 8.5 DS and bought MTB shoes. I was amazed how much more control I had on the spin bike and how much easier it was to spin.

Shoes made a huge difference. (just my personal experience)
I agree with this. I'll be honest, I don't try to lift on the upward part of the stroke very much when I ride clipless, so I probably get no power advantage, but I definitely like the feeling of security knowing that my feet are locked into the proper position.

As a large rider with minor balance issues, I don't ride clipless early in the season until I build up some "stability", but then I love to move to clipless. The last few years I didn't get there, and I definitely miss it. By the time it felt right last year, it was too late in the season to make the adjustment for me.
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Old 03-27-15, 09:12 AM
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I put Shimano PD-A530 pedals on my Dual Sport since they have a flat side for sneakers and a cleat side that for SPD cleats.

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Old 03-27-15, 11:05 AM
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OP,

I'm firmly in the 'ride it a year, then figure out what you want to change (or 'upgrade') -- if anything' camp.

That said, there might be some initial/early changes you want to make, but these are not for upgrade reasons but rather fit/comfort: contact points. These are i) bars/grips etc; ii) saddle; iii) pedals.

Bars and saddle are obvious; you may or may not find the stock saddle comfortable, and you may or may not find the stock bar configuration quite right. You might find yourself wanting to change these, but I'd certainly give even that a little ride time so that you get a clear sense of what you might find preferable. Pedals? You might like the feeling of control etc. with clipless -- I do, but don't go clipless with the idea that doing so will make you 'faster' -- it won't. So pedals are discretionary, to my mind.

The other thing is tire choice. There's probably nothing at all wrong with the stock ones, but they are likely heavier and have more rolling resistance than many up-market tires of similar size and puncture-resistance. So that is an initial or early change that would make sense -- but unlike (i) and (ii) above, that's to my mind a discretionary as opposed to necessary (fit/comfort) change. You could easily wait until the stock tires are due for replacement and 'upgrade' then.
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Old 03-27-15, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Being a road cyclist I just assumed so, but this winter I joined a gym and took spin class 4-5 times a week. I also rode my son's MTB a few time with flat pedals since i didn't have MTB shoes. I had problems trying to keep my feet on the pedals in the best position.

Well, last week I picked up a Trek 8.5 DS and bought MTB shoes. I was amazed how much more control I had on the spin bike and how much easier it was to spin.

Shoes made a huge difference. (just my personal experience)
Well to be honest, the test didn't use the scientific method so the results could be debatable. However, in this test, the rider in the test agree with you as far as the shoes reduced his attention and focus to his peddling. Again, the test proved zero advantage in power and/or efficiency with respects to clipless vs non clipless. A fixed incline on a treadmill over a timed interval.
Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
OP,

I'm firmly in the 'ride it a year, then figure out what you want to change (or 'upgrade') -- if anything' camp.
Agreed if its your first bike. But I already know what I wanted from my previous bikes so the upgrades needed no consideration. I did try out the seat though, just for good measure.
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Old 03-28-15, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Well to be honest, the test didn't use the scientific method so the results could be debatable. However, in this test, the rider in the test agree with you as far as the shoes reduced his attention and focus to his peddling. Again, the test proved zero advantage in power and/or efficiency with respects to clipless vs non clipless. A fixed incline on a treadmill over a timed interval.Agreed if its your first bike. But I already know what I wanted from my previous bikes so the upgrades needed no consideration. I did try out the seat though, just for good measure.
Sounds flawed to me.
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Old 03-28-15, 06:17 AM
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If I am buying a new bike, the first thing I do is install clipless pedals and my favorite saddle, which is the Brooks B17. As for the rest, just ride and you will figure out what to upgrade next. Three years in, and I have switched out the following.

Upgraded the stock tires to Panaracer Ribmo.
Switched the brake pads to Kool Stop Salmon.
Replaced the stock back wheel to a 36 spoke custom wheel with a Velo Orange Grand Cru Touring hub.
Switched out the stock cassette from 12 - 25 to 12 - 27.
New chain, bought at the same time I installed the new cassette.
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Old 03-28-15, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Sounds flawed to me.
Judge for yourself


Results @ 5:17

Last edited by KraneXL; 03-28-15 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 03-30-15, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
I just bought a '15 Trek 7.3 FX. What part of this bike should I upgrade first and what should I upgrade it to? I'm clueless. Help?!?!
Confusing question. Are you interested in adding an accessory and do not know where to start? Otherwise, why do you think you need to upgrade something on your bike? Have you ridden it long enough to figure out what didn't work for you?
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Old 04-01-15, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by "oldnslow2


Clipless pedals and shoes are a great upgrade. You'll be amazed how much more power you put to the road with them
Is it generally advisable to check out clip less right away?

I've decided to get a good amount of seat time in first. My bike is stock; I'd like to build a bit of an engine, then try Clipless pedals out.

Also, I'm guessing that it uses a different profile of muscles, or the same muscles in a different way.
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Old 04-01-15, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2
If I am buying a new bike, the first thing I do is install clipless pedals and my favorite saddle, which is the Brooks B17. As for the rest, just ride and you will figure out what to upgrade next. Three years in, and I have switched out the following
Have you done this more than once (put brooks on more than one bike)? Did you notice a big difference between the broken in Brooks and the new one (since you could ride both seats back to back to compare)?
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Old 04-01-15, 02:42 PM
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Took my Sirrus for a ride today, about 20 miles.

Stopped by the LBS to order fenders on the way home! I forgot they are closed on Wednesday................. just enuf water on the MUP to remind me why I like fenders.

Tomorrow!
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Old 04-01-15, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Calder Benson View Post
Is it generally advisable to check out clip less right away?

I've decided to get a good amount of seat time in first. My bike is stock; I'd like to build a bit of an engine, then try Clipless pedals out.

Also, I'm guessing that it uses a different profile of muscles, or the same muscles in a different way.
I like riding clipless, but I am not very stable early in the season. Therefore, I wait for a while. Once I use clipless, the muscle usage doesn't differ much for me, since I don't lift up like others do, I just "unweight" the upward moving pedal. Ironically, what I like about clipless is that I feel more stable in them because my foot position is solid... but I need a certain level of comfort with my stability before I make the move.
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