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Trek 7.2 FX vs. Trek 7.3 FX (hybrid bikes)

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Trek 7.2 FX vs. Trek 7.3 FX (hybrid bikes)

Old 07-01-08, 11:57 AM
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beowulf7
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Trek 7.2 FX vs. Trek 7.3 FX (hybrid bikes)

I'm debating between a Trek 7.2 FX and Trek 7.3 FX hybrid bicycles. I'm looking to do some biking around town and hit some light trails. The MSRP differs by $50 but the street price has a $100 spread at a local bike shop (LBS).

I haven't owned a bike in a couple years. My previous bike was a Schwinn Crisscross 21-speed hybrid bike that I used for about 15 years (some years more than others). I enjoyed that bike, but it was getting old and I gave it to a friend before I moved.

I created a spreadsheet comparing these 2 bikes and the higher model 7.5 FX for comparison purposes (see the screen shot below). I don't really know if the component upgrades between the 7.2 FX and 7.3 FX are worth it or not. During the few minute test ride I did on each, I didn't notice that the 7.3 FX was that much lighter or shifted that much more smoothly.

Thanks for any advice and info. you can provide.

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Old 07-01-08, 12:18 PM
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7.3...better frame
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Old 07-01-08, 12:21 PM
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Definitely the 7.3.
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Old 07-01-08, 12:29 PM
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Between the two, the 7.3FX for sure

That said, I'd invest in a used 2006-2007 7.6FX or better for the same price. They are lighter, faster, and has much better componentry like Shimano 105 RD. As for trail riding, I'd invest in a low cost MTB for that with some type of suspension.

Ever think about getting a pure cyclocross bike?
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Old 07-01-08, 12:54 PM
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Thanks for the replies, all. So it looks like 7.3 FX is worth the $100 street price diff. for those component upgrades, such as the better frame, seat, etc. My bike shop didn't have any 2007 and older bikes. In fact, they're clearing out these 2008 bikes I mentioned in preparation for the 2009 bikes, which a salesman said is very similar if not the same as the 2008 lineup, but more expensive.

I'm not familiar with pure cyclocross bikes and I do not plan on getting another bike (such as the low cost MTB that neo mentioned) since we don't have mountain trails where I live. I plan to do mainly road biking and some light trail stuff (grass and packed dirt). That's the type of biking I did w/ my old Schwinn when I lived in NJ.

Thanks again for everyone's input.
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Old 07-01-08, 12:58 PM
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Steel fork on the 7.2 versus an alloy on the 7.3. There is a weight difference of about a pound, but for both were talking about 27-28 lbs.

FWIW, I use a 7.3 to get to and from work. It's great and shifting is pretty good if you keep it well maintained.

Now, for the real question: Which color?
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Old 07-01-08, 01:17 PM
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As far as color goes, I'm going to go with the silver they both offer. 7.2's silver is kind of grayish while the 7.3's silver is a little lighter and brighter. The 7.2 also comes in brown and the 7.3 comes in blue, but I'm not interested in those colors. I think the 7.3 also comes in black, but the local bike store is sold out of those.

BikeAreCool, that's great you use your bike to commute to work. In my case, it'd be about 13 mi. if I took back roads instead of the highway. I may try it, but I wouldn't do it often. My gym is about 9 mi. away from where I live (closer to work than home), so I may do that on weekends.

As far as maint. goes, my bike shop gives free service for life of the bikes. I assume most bike shops offer that. Obviously, that only covers parts. If I break something, then I'd have to pay for it.

My Schwinn that I had was great and I didn't have to replace any components (except for the gel seat that got stolen once ). I hope either of these Treks will be just as reliable and durable.
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Old 07-01-08, 01:22 PM
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I use a 7.3 as my commuter and family bike and my wife rides a 7.2. Only reason she is on a 7.2 and not the 7.3 is we found a 2006 closeout for right at $200 that was hard to pass up. I love the 7.3 for what I use it for and would recommend it to anyone looking for something similar.
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Old 07-01-08, 01:34 PM
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I just did this whole thing with Flatbar bikes. I went with the Specialized Sirrus Comp. Both the Comp and Sport have carbon seatstays, which I found to be a very important feature. Trek has the carbon in their 7.6 FX. It is also $1100. If you plan on riding it as long as you did your Schwinn, the cost, over time, is not that bad. There are other offerings from Giant, Jamis, and Cannondale you might look at. Jamis has the Coda, Cannondale the Road Warrior, and I forget what the Giant is. I am a Specialized fan, and think they offer the most features for the money.
Keep in mind these are primarily fast-fitness road-oriented bikes and that their rims are not really meant for any off-road type riding. You might want to look at their cross-road type bikes.
Good luck, and remember, it's cheaper to buy right the first time.


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Old 07-01-08, 01:37 PM
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I used to own the 2007 7.3 fx. So it definately gets my vote. I loved that bike. It was the bike that i bought when getting back into cycling. It served its purpose.
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Old 07-01-08, 01:41 PM
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My wife and I debated the same decision. The salesman at out LBS convinced us on the 7.3. He said the frame and components on the 7.3 were worth the extra cash over the 7.2. When we started riding I was at 280 pounds so he steered us away from the 7.5. He said the wheels were stronger on the 7.3.
I really like the 7.3 and have had no trouble with it--even though I only have about 300 miles on it so far.
Look up some videos on YouTube so you can learn how to do minor adjustments on your own--brakes, derailleurs--instead of needing to go to your LBS for every little adjustment. Be sure to get a couple of tubes, a pump and some kind of small tool kit/multi-tool and know how to use them.
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Old 07-01-08, 09:50 PM
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Thanks again for the input, everyone. The bike store didn't have any 2007 or prior models, so I couldn't do any wheeling and dealing on older bikes. Sure I could look on EBay/Craigslist for older Trek bikes that are higher end, like 7.5 or 7.6. But I prefer the warranty of a new bike and the free lifetime service my shop offers.

That said, I'll try to get smart on doing minor bike repairs, like checking out some videos that DTSCDS mentioned. I feel fortunate that the only "problems" I had on my previous bike (the Schwinn I mentioned) in ~15 years were a stolen seat, balding tires due to wear and tear, and a handful of times the chain got knocked off b/c I wiped out.

The next order of business will be accessorizing. I'll read up on some of other sub-forums here.
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Old 07-02-08, 10:59 AM
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The other concern I had is if the 7.3 FX's sporty seat would be too uncomfortable for casual rides compared to the more cushy seat and suspension that the 7.2 FX has.
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Old 07-02-08, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by beowulf7 View Post
The other concern I had is if the 7.3 FX's sporty seat would be too uncomfortable for casual rides compared to the more cushy seat and suspension that the 7.2 FX has.
Don't base a bike purchase on the saddle. Stock saddles are crap (just like stock headphones when buying an MP3 player) and usually are replaced later anyway.

Ride on the stock saddle for awhile -- if it's comfy for you, great. If not, go purchase a better one. The rule of thumb with saddles: The firmer the better. Look around -- the cheap-priced ones are always cushy.
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Old 07-02-08, 11:49 AM
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It is a fact that you won't like the stock saddle on there, the stock Bontrager ones aren't all that good. But I agree with the less cushy=better methodology.
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Old 07-02-08, 12:23 PM
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^ I see, thanks. On my old bike, my upgraded gel seat was comfy as heck. After it was stolen, I got a standard seat for that Schwinn, which worked well. But when I did the 62-mi. (100 km) charity rides (ACS Bike-a-thon, in particular), it was literally becoming a PITA around the 45-mi. marker. Yes, even w/ bike pants. I'll just go w/ stock everything for now and then replace components if needed.

First, I need to work myself up back to those 60-mi. trips.
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Old 07-02-08, 01:57 PM
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I'd say go right for the drop bars... on a real road bike

Three years ago, I started off with a used CL 7500FX from 2003 or 2004. It was too small, but I rode the hell out of it.

The one thing that bike made me want to do was go faster. I loved it, but its like that first taste from a pusher... it makes you crave more. Soon enough, you're wondering whether you can put drop bars on it... you settle for extended grips, but that only feeds the addiction.

Next up... tires! My bike came with Bonty Select Rims.... 700C, just light and fast enough for some fun. And like a crack-***** on a trip into the den (the LBS) you'll be shelling out for some 23mm slicks. Gee those PR3s won't look that out of place on the FX will it? Plus you'll get an extra 1 or 2 mph out of it from the placebo effect alone.

But back to those drop bars, really... I MUST be able to put some one this bike... I wanna get aero, really I do. Oh, Can I flip the step? And yes, you will, in a quest for even more speed.

That won't suffice, and eventually the FX will be put onto CL for another would be addict to enjoy. You'll take the proceeds and invest it into a proper road bike. You'll be grinning from ear to ear the first time you put your hands on the hoods, the drops... oh the many hand positions. Wait this new bike is lighter too... which means its faster, and the addiction kicks in again.

If you're posting in the Road Cycling forum, you know the kind of enabling that is common around here.

I'm not really trying to talk you OUT of the FX, just letting you know what you have coming. ;-)

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Old 07-02-08, 05:30 PM
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^ BlackTaloN, I see what you mean about the addiction. I don't think I'll ever become that hardcore about it, but you never know, I suppose. Yes, there's a need for speed, but based on my previous exp. in biking before I moved, I didn't take the bike out that much. Then again, it was an aging bike and in its latter years, I pretty much used it for the occasional weekend ride and the annual charity ride.

I'm not comfortable with the bent over position of a real road/racing bike. I know it's more aerodynamic, but it doesn't feel comfortable from the few times I've tried it on friends' bikes (and the gym's spinning class when you're at position #3).

I'm hoping this bike doesn't become the money pit that beckons upgrades after upgrades! My car was like that at first and a couple of my friends who have motorcycles are like that about their rides. Must ... resist ... must ... enjoy ... stock ... bike. We'll see.
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Old 07-02-08, 05:42 PM
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As you ride more, you'll become more flexible, and believe it or not, flat bars will seem just weird.
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Old 07-02-08, 08:56 PM
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I got a 2006 7.2FX as my commuter. Now, it's been 'downgraded' to my bad weather ride. In it place, i ride a Peugot 103 (classic road bike made in the 80s!!)
- It climbs better.
- It feels lighter - though i'm not sure if it's ALL STEEL frame is any lighter than an Aluminum 7.2FX

If you love speed, you're prolly going to want to get a road bike. IMO. I'm debating whether to sell my 7.2 and get a newer road bike....
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Old 07-02-08, 08:59 PM
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I bought my 7.5 on craigslist for $275 with 100 miles on it. Even came with a computer and a rack.

Great bike, the only complaint I have about it is the seat which is easily replaced.
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Old 07-03-08, 02:44 PM
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I was trying to avoid having to buy 2 bikes (road and mountain) by getting a hybrid. We don't have steep hills in my part of TX, so climbing the gentle ones won't be a problem. I'd like to even do some commuting w/ my bike, but I fear getting killed by the crazy drivers here speeding w/ their F-150 pickups while talking on the phone.

So I'll mainly be using this for exercise and the occasional trip to the gym or local store.

Oh, while I was looking through the Trek catalog, I noticed their 7.x FX lineup has everything except 7.1, 7.4, and 7.8. Why were those 3 model #s skipped?

robvas, you got an excellent deal on the 7.5 FX for $275!!
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Old 07-03-08, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by f0s_man View Post
I got a 2006 7.2FX as my commuter. Now, it's been 'downgraded' to my bad weather ride. In it place, i ride a Peugot 103 (classic road bike made in the 80s!!)
- It climbs better.
- It feels lighter - though i'm not sure if it's ALL STEEL frame is any lighter than an Aluminum 7.2FX

If you love speed, you're prolly going to want to get a road bike. IMO. I'm debating whether to sell my 7.2 and get a newer road bike....
I think my 7200FX is great, but it really is on the boat anchor side of things. My ancient and retired low grade high tensile steel road bike easily weighs less. But the road bike has all aluminum alloy components, and the FX has alot of chunky steel in the mix (I'm looking at you, Mr. Crankset).

Not that I'm complaining. As long as I don't run out of low gears going up the hills.
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Old 07-04-08, 09:27 AM
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I took delivery of my Trek 7.3 FX bike yesterday. A friend who has a minivan is storing it for me until I pick it up today (in another friend's SUV) and bring it home. I'm looking forward to many years and miles of biking. Thanks for everyone's input. Have a Happy 4th!
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Old 07-07-08, 12:45 AM
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So far, over the holiday weekend, I did some riding on my bike along w/ a friend on his Trek 6700 MTB. My Trek 7.3 FX is pretty quick. It just wants to go and my friend was constantly telling me to slow down.

I've put on about 16 mi. on the new bike and look forward to hundreds and even thousands of miles over the next many years.
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