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Old 02-06-03, 12:26 PM   #1
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Trek 7500 or 7500fx to shock or not to shock?

My Friends all tell me I overshop on fairly big purchases. But I keep doing it.

I'm going to be a noob cyclist that has settle in on hybrid probably the Trek 7500 series. The question is should I get the 7500 or the 7500fx.

My last bike was a 1981 schwinn cruiser. It's hard to determine exactly what kind of riding I'll be doing because I haven't got the bike yet.

This is what I envision. Mostly street riding. I live in Los Angeles so I plan on riding trips down to the beach with a goal of training and riding around Palos Verdes (a fairly hilly area). I'm thinking at most a MINIMAL amount of trail/dirt road/path riding (hence the hybrid). Currently I am going to be riding mostly solo, although I do have one friend talking about dusting of his old bianche road bike and going out with me.

I'm going to checkout a 7500 (and maybe the fx) this weekend in my size (or at least I'm told this). I THINK I want the front shock but honestly I've never owned a bike with one so I really don't know. :confused:

Advice on the need or not front shock? How much will the extra weight affect me versus the extra comfort? If I decide to swap out the shock for a fork can that be done cost effectively? What should I look for when I test ride each bike? How do I know the LBS is getting me the right fit.

I think either 7500 might be a little too much bike but I tend to err on the side of spending the extra bucks rather then regretting it later.

Thanks all.

Last edited by Rats13; 02-06-03 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 02-06-03, 01:03 PM   #2
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Hey Rats13.
I think you're gonna be happy with either choice. The real deal is to start with a quality bike and a quality LBS. Looks like you've gotten off to a good start.
IMO, nobody can know which flavor of biking they're gonna get into, when they first start out. So have lotsa fun with your first choice and expect to try on several biking lifestyles before you converge on whatever happens to float your boat.
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Old 02-06-03, 01:31 PM   #3
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IMO, shocks are a waste of money, weight, pedaling energy and maintenance worry on a road bike. The purpose of front shocks is to help the rider maintain control on irregular surfaces. This is simply not an issue on pavement or other reasonably smnooth surfaces.

For all-purpose road riding in hilly terrain, you could do worse than a 7500fx, and I'd choose it over the 7500 because it's lighter and potentially a bit faster. The main disadvantage to the hybrid design, given your stated purposes, is that the handlebars force you into a position that increases your wind resistance, thd they only give you one hand position, which can be fatiguing on longer rides.

Bar-ends can help (they're a cheap accessory); buying a bike with drop handlebars would help more. If you're going to a Trek dealer, look at the XO1 (a cyclocross bike) and the 520 (a touring bike) as examples of alternative styles to a hybrid.

The most common pitfall when sizing hybrids is choosing too small a frame. Do NOT use "standover height" as your guide. Instead, you want to check three primary aspects of the fit:

1) Can the seatpost be extended high enough so that, when you're on the bike and you place your *heel* on the pedal, your leg is fully extended, with no bend in the knee. Even if you don't want the saddle that high at first, you will eventually (or you may buy a thinner saddle which will require you to rase it more). Do not buy a bike if the seatpost has to come within one inch of its "minimum insertion line" to achieve this much extension. Don't listen to "we can fit a longer seatpost;" the frame is too small.

2) With the saddle in the above position, can it be moved fore/aft to a position that yields the following: with both feet on the pedals, and the pedals at 3 and 9 o'clock, the point on your forward knee just underneath the point of the patella should be vertically aligned with the pedal spindle below. (Using a plumb line makes this easy to check). If you can't get the saddle back far enough to achieve this, don't buy the bike. Again, you may not necessarily want this position, but it should be withing the adjustable range of the bike.

3) With the saddle adjusted up/down/fore/aft as above, can the handlebar be adjusted into a comfortable position? Particularly, does it seem much too close or much too far away? While replacing the stem with one of a different length can correct for this to an extent, you want to avoid extraordinarily long stems, which tend to move your weight too much over the front wheel.

Handlebar height is a preference issue, but on bikes with "adjustable stems" be aware that raising the bars also brings them closer to you. If the bars are just too low, but everything else is good, the shop should be able to order a new sample of the bike with an uncut steerer tube, and cut it to the height you prefer.

Trek is not the only manufacturer of good bikes of this type, and not necessarily the one that offers the best value, either. Jamis, Raleigh, Fuji, Giant and several other bike-store brands compete in this market, and any of them, supported and serviced by a good shop, will serve equally well. Additionally, Cannondale and Specialized are known for offering extensive lines of "flat-bar road" and hybrid bikes.

Finding a shop that gives you the sort of service and support you expect and feel good about is probably even more important than the specific brand and model of bike that you choose. A really good bike shop won't sell you a bike that doesn't fit, and won't let you leave with it until it's properly adjusted.

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Old 02-06-03, 06:08 PM   #4
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I had a 7500fx last summer. It was a fine bike that I mostly rode on the road with 700x25 tires. I did make one 65 mile ride on it and I will say if you plan to travel long distances get a touring bike. The drop bars are life savers in the wind and the bar ends only go so far in helping hand numbness.
Please get a bike that is the right size for you. I had the 17.5 and I wish I had had a 21 inch frame. You won't miss the shocks at all.
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