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Did I buy the wrong bike? Help!

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Did I buy the wrong bike? Help!

Old 05-07-15, 08:00 AM
  #1  
Sarah1126
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Did I buy the wrong bike? Help!

About a week and a half ago I bought a Trek FX 7.3 and while I do like it I'm already thinking of ways I'd like to change it. Before buying the Trek I was riding a Schwinn Voyageour. Now that I'm getting more into biking I like to go 20+ mile rides and I've done about 3 good rides on the Trek so far and I'm finding that maybe I should have bought a road bike? I'm thinking I might like to put drop bars on the Trek so that I have more options for where my hands are but if I do that I'd like to put my shifters on the drop bars and then put an extra brake lever on the flat. My boyfriend has a Felt roadbike so when I ride with him I'm still finding that I have a hard time keeping up, could be too that he's in better shape than me. I'd like to have a bike that I can use to ride with him, go for rides as a workout by myself, and then ride with the local shop group potentially when I feel comfortable. I did test ride a few road bikes and really liked them because I like the more aggressive feel to it. My budget when looking was $700 but now I'm thinking if I switch out my handlebars I'm going end up spending another $150 at least, right? So my main concern about buying a road bike was that I felt like I wasn't a "serious" enough biker for a road bike and also that we live near a few trails that are not paved so that would be out of the question if I had a road bike. I really don't know what I should be looking at, should I keep my Trek and make a few changes or return it and go for something else? Sorry this turned into a bit of a rambling! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-07-15, 08:06 AM
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I think if you like the feel of a road bike, you should get one. If you choose to keep the Trek, look at this forum link for no-cost and low-cost ways you can make your hybrid perform more like a road bike.

Ten Tips for Improving Hybrid Performance
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Old 05-07-15, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Sarah1126 View Post
About a week and a half ago I bought a Trek FX 7.3 and while I do like it I'm already thinking of ways I'd like to change it. Before buying the Trek I was riding a Schwinn Voyageour. Now that I'm getting more into biking I like to go 20+ mile rides and I've done about 3 good rides on the Trek so far and I'm finding that maybe I should have bought a road bike? I'm thinking I might like to put drop bars on the Trek so that I have more options for where my hands are but if I do that I'd like to put my shifters on the drop bars and then put an extra brake lever on the flat. My boyfriend has a Felt roadbike so when I ride with him I'm still finding that I have a hard time keeping up, could be too that he's in better shape than me. I'd like to have a bike that I can use to ride with him, go for rides as a workout by myself, and then ride with the local shop group potentially when I feel comfortable. I did test ride a few road bikes and really liked them because I like the more aggressive feel to it. My budget when looking was $700 but now I'm thinking if I switch out my handlebars I'm going end up spending another $150 at least, right? So my main concern about buying a road bike was that I felt like I wasn't a "serious" enough biker for a road bike and also that we live near a few trails that are not paved so that would be out of the question if I had a road bike. I really don't know what I should be looking at, should I keep my Trek and make a few changes or return it and go for something else? Sorry this turned into a bit of a rambling! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Where do you live? Someone might be able to help you find an inexpensive road bike near you.

What kind of shape are those non-paved trails in? A road bike with 28mm tires can often handle gravel paths if they are good gravel paths that pretty hard packed. Is your boyfriend able to ride them with his road bike (or does he even try)?

So you still have the Schwinn Voyageur? If so, you might be able to ride that on the non-paved paths, and have a road bike for other rides.

How often are you planning on riding? Solo? With your boyfriend? If you're going to be doing most of your riding with your boyfriend, then you should probably get a road bike, because the hybrid is always going to be heavier, have more rolling resistance with the tires, and be more upright than a road bike.

How you answer these question will probably tell you what you need to do.

GH
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Old 05-07-15, 10:58 AM
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You can get bar ends for about $15 to give you more hand positions. Converting that bike
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Old 05-07-15, 11:00 AM
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Can you 'return' it? Could you go on a longer test ride on a road bike?
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Old 05-07-15, 11:08 AM
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I have a Trek 7500FX (older version of 7.5 FX) and a Jamis road bike. I've logged 10,000 + miles on the Trek and almost all my rides have been above 30 miles. It does fine on the road. However, I do prefer the road bike in most situations. It sounds like for some of the functions you described you would rather have a road bike. Personally, I would not try to convert the Trek to a drop bar. It can be done, but I think you'll find it is complicated and more expensive than its worth. Depending on the road bike and trails it is possible to take a road bike off road too. I have taken my road bike on packed dirt trails with 25MM wide tires. My Trek wasn't all that much better on the dirt than my road bike.
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Old 05-07-15, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
Where do you live? Someone might be able to help you find an inexpensive road bike near you.

What kind of shape are those non-paved trails in? A road bike with 28mm tires can often handle gravel paths if they are good gravel paths that pretty hard packed. Is your boyfriend able to ride them with his road bike (or does he even try)?

So you still have the Schwinn Voyageur? If so, you might be able to ride that on the non-paved paths, and have a road bike for other rides.

How often are you planning on riding? Solo? With your boyfriend? If you're going to be doing most of your riding with your boyfriend, then you should probably get a road bike, because the hybrid is always going to be heavier, have more rolling resistance with the tires, and be more upright than a road bike.

How you answer these question will probably tell you what you need to do.

GH
I live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago up towards Wisconsin. The trails that I am familiar with aren't in terrible condition, some parts are more packed than others. My boyfriend hasn't tried riding on them at all. I still have the Schwinn and I'll either keep it or give it to my mother since she doesn't have a bike.

I'd like to ride like 3 or 4 times a week, longer rides on the weekends. The longer rides are usually with my boyfriend but other times I ride alone around town. I've lost about 95lbs through working out so I'd like to use this as a new way to work out and enjoy myself while doing so. I always think it's such a great idea to ride with my boyfriend and then halfway through I'm kicking myself and getting frustrated because I can't keep up or if I'm setting the pace then I'm embarrassed because I feel like I'm going to slow. I've been averaging about 13-14mph on the Trek currently. I did think about just switching out the tires and putting some thinner tires on the Trek and then maybe switching out the handlebars with ones that aren't odd shaped so that I can atleast add different grips and bar ends. With the current Isozone ones I can't really change the grips or add bar ends unless I buy an adapter.
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Old 05-07-15, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sarah1126 View Post
My boyfriend has a Felt roadbike so when I ride with him I'm still finding that I have a hard time keeping up, could be too that he's in better shape than me.
Sounds to me like this is your BF's problem, not yours or your bike's. I'm serious here, I group ride with people all the time, including leading "CC" level rides (12-14 mph for us) which are predominantly women, some of whom ride hybrids, and you learn how to ride at everyone's comfortable pace. If you ride with your BF, tell him to slow down a bit so you're not constantly struggling to keep up, or even better, you set the pace.

Equally I've ridden with people on hybrids who have blasted out in front of everyone and lead a group ride for 70+ miles. Hybrids are not fundamentally slow bikes, most of the speed is down to fitness, although clearly road bikes have the edge when going really fast, but not at the 13-14 mph pace!
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Old 05-07-15, 12:02 PM
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If you think road cycling is something you are going to want to do more and more as you continue to get more fit, I would bite the bullet now and see if you can work a deal with a shop to trade the Trek in on a road bike. You can certainly adapt it to a road bike feel through various part changes and such, but it will cost money and will most likely not end up being an ideal solution. You are better just taking the hit now if you can afford it and getting a road bike that fits you.

On another topic, as a husband who rides with his wife, let me assure you of something. Just as you are worried about going too slow and holding your boyfriend back, he is worried about going too fast and wearing you out too much such that you will not enjoy the ride. My wife and I go through this all the time. My advice is to relax and enjoy riding together. When it is too fast for you, ask him to slow down, when you are on the front, go your speed and quit worrying about whether it is fast enough. Don't suffer in silence and blow yourself up trying to go too fast to the point where you end up miserable and not enjoying the experience of riding together. Enjoy riding together when you do it. But also set aside certain times or rides where you each "do your own thing" and have some established plan to wait for each other or meet up somewhere along the way. My wife and I do that with group rides quite often. I will go out and ride the first half at my pace and she will ride her pace, then I will wait for her at an intermediate break point and we will ride the rest together. Or, if there are different distance options that join up later in the ride, she will go the shorter route and I will go the longer route. It makes for a fun competition for both of us, where she tries to beat me to the point where we join back up and I do the same. Above all, just communicate your intentions to each other before the ride, then stop worrying and feeling guilty/rushed/too slow/etc. about it. Just enjoy riding together.
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Old 05-07-15, 12:09 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Sarah1126 View Post
About a week and a half ago I bought a Trek FX 7.3 and while I do like it I'm already thinking of ways I'd like to change it. Before buying the Trek I was riding a Schwinn Voyageour. Now that I'm getting more into biking I like to go 20+ mile rides and I've done about 3 good rides on the Trek so far and I'm finding that maybe I should have bought a road bike? I'm thinking I might like to put drop bars on the Trek so that I have more options for where my hands are but if I do that I'd like to put my shifters on the drop bars and then put an extra brake lever on the flat. My boyfriend has a Felt roadbike so when I ride with him I'm still finding that I have a hard time keeping up, could be too that he's in better shape than me. I'd like to have a bike that I can use to ride with him, go for rides as a workout by myself, and then ride with the local shop group potentially when I feel comfortable. I did test ride a few road bikes and really liked them because I like the more aggressive feel to it. My budget when looking was $700 but now I'm thinking if I switch out my handlebars I'm going end up spending another $150 at least, right? So my main concern about buying a road bike was that I felt like I wasn't a "serious" enough biker for a road bike and also that we live near a few trails that are not paved so that would be out of the question if I had a road bike. I really don't know what I should be looking at, should I keep my Trek and make a few changes or return it and go for something else? Sorry this turned into a bit of a rambling! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
My advice is to try to return the Trek, which is barely 1 week old. Surprised the bike shop didn't pick up on your preferences and steer you towards a road bike, or maybe a drop bar touring adventure bike like the Trek Cross Rip, Giant AnyRoad, Salsa Vaya, or Kona Rove. Switching out to drop bars will likely cost more than $150, and you still basically have a hybrid. So don't do it.
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Old 05-07-15, 12:09 PM
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The shop that sells Trek near me has a 30 day return policy. Allows for trading in to get the road bike that better suits needs. Check with the shop you got it at. can't hurt.
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Old 05-07-15, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
The shop that sells Trek near me has a 30 day return policy. Allows for trading in to get the road bike that better suits needs. Check with the shop you got it at. can't hurt.
Yea I'm going to check with them and see what they say.
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Old 05-07-15, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Sounds to me like this is your BF's problem, not yours or your bike's. I'm serious here, I group ride with people all the time, including leading "CC" level rides (12-14 mph for us) which are predominantly women, some of whom ride hybrids, and you learn how to ride at everyone's comfortable pace. If you ride with your BF, tell him to slow down a bit so you're not constantly struggling to keep up, or even better, you set the pace.

Equally I've ridden with people on hybrids who have blasted out in front of everyone and lead a group ride for 70+ miles. Hybrids are not fundamentally slow bikes, most of the speed is down to fitness, although clearly road bikes have the edge when going really fast, but not at the 13-14 mph pace!
That may be true, but when the smaller/weaker person is riding the heavier bike, then that can cause issues.

To the OP, Trek makes good road bikes. See if you can return the bike to the Trek store, and get a Trek road bike. A good LBS should let you do this, since it's been less than 2 weeks. The Trek road bikes may be a little more expensive, but if you enjoy riding the road bike more, so you do ride it more, then it's not too expensive.

I don't know which shop you bought from, but I do see some Trek road bikes (Trek 1.2 C - 2014; Trek 1.1 C - 2013) in the Chicago area that are new, but from the 2013/2014 model years that are right at $700 or below.

GH
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Old 05-07-15, 04:47 PM
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I agree that your best bet would be to see about switching out for a road bike.

There's the 'women's specific' LEXA model, but really, unless you're particularly small, most of the treks have sloping top tubes and shouldn't be a problem.

Of course, depending on your budget, you might actually want to keep the FX for those trail rides and have the Lexa/1.5/Madone/Emonda/Domane for the road riding...

However it turns out, congrats on the weight loss!
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Old 05-07-15, 06:17 PM
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I converted my Trek Zektor into a road bike, just swapped the handlebars and all peripherals. Best thing to ever happen to that bike.

I'm not sure you have it there in the states but this is what it looked like before the conversion:

Last edited by Tickstart; 05-07-15 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 05-07-15, 06:28 PM
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I was in your same predicament, in a way.. I bought a hybrid,nquickn5 I traded it for a road bike 1 month later,and a year later I am on a Trek Madone 2.1 and wow what a nice workout. O yourself a favor and test ride a Domane or a Madone ....
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Old 05-07-15, 07:01 PM
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Same here. Hadn't ridden in ten years. Bought a nice Craigslist hybrid for $250. Rode it for about 5 months, but always had the numb hands issue. Finally got my old road bike out of the rafters. After fighting through the intimidation of the aggressive riding position and the clipless pedals, remembered how much I loved riding the road bike. No more numb hands. Stopped riding the hybrid altogether and eventually resold it on CL for $250. I am CL shopping for a Domane as we speak. The Bikesdirect Di2 Motobecane is also very tempting.
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Old 05-07-15, 09:10 PM
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Once you know about road bikes...there's no going back.

This is why I recommend that newbs buy used if at all possible. In almost every case, a new rider will want a different bike/better bike before long. Might be a month; or might be a year; but regardless, if they buy new, they're going to lose 50% of their money when they sell it. Whereas if they buy used, it's usually possible to sell for what you paid for it.

The good news is: You've discovered the joy of road bikes! There's nothing quite like 'em! I had ridden all sorts of bikes as a kid- single-speeds; 5 speeds; 10-speeds- all heavy BSO's. Then, in my 20's, I rode a road bike for the first time, when I rented a bike to ride in Central Park....and I was instantly hooked!
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Old 09-23-16, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tickstart View Post
I converted my Trek Zektor into a road bike, just swapped the handlebars and all peripherals. Best thing to ever happen to that bike.

I'm not sure you have it there in the states but this is what it looked like before the conversion:
I'd love to see a pic of the after!! Trek now is seling these in the US, yet another bike that I don't need.....but really want to buy.......
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Old 09-24-16, 10:48 AM
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You could just put drop bars on it and call it a day.
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Old 09-24-16, 10:52 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by side_FX View Post
I'd love to see a pic of the after!! Trek now is seling these in the US, yet another bike that I don't need.....but really want to buy.......
Really? An almost 18 month old thread for that?
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Old 09-25-16, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by thin_concrete View Post
Really? An almost 18 month old thread for that?
Sure, trek just started selling these bikes in the US
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