Is Trek 7300 FX Suitable for Tour

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Climer, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Climer

    Climer New Member

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    Hello,

    I would like to find out if a 2004 Trek FX would be acceptable for a tour I'm planning this Spring.

    This is the bike:
    TrekBikes.com Bike Archive | 2004 7300 FX

    I've used it heavily for commuting and day trips in the Puget Sound area, and find it comfortable. My concern is whether it will be serviceable for a longer tour.

    My plan is to get from the state of Washington to Kansas, via crossing Washington, the Idaho panhandle, Montana, South Dakota, then down through Nebraska. This will involve some mountain passes. Although I'll be camping most of the time (i.e. carrying a small tent and sleeping bag), I've done a lot of backpacking and so am good about keeping gear to a minimum weight.

    My main concern is whether the current gearage will get me over the passes. I'm willing to take it slow and get passed by road bikes, but don't want it to be a miserable disaster.

    One bike shop told me I should get a new touring bike, while another told me with proper pre-trip maintenance and refit (tune up, replace chain/cassette, handlebar extenders, etc.) I should be fine.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this bike for such a trip? I have a feeling it'll get me where I want to go, but if I really need a new machine, I'll get one.
     
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  2. Climer

    Climer New Member

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    Hmmm, two days, no replies. Maybe I'll try looking for another forum.
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    If you are certain that the frame is sound (i.e., you haven't crashed it), then there is probably nothing wrong with using your TREK 7300 FX frame/fork for touring ... what is the one shop trying to sell you?!?

    So, although I would prefer you had steel frame + drop bars, I would suggest that the you follow the advice of the shop which suggested refitting the bike, particularly if you are a budget.

    If you have an 'unlimited' budget, you may want to consider changing some of the components ...

    I think as big a decision should be HOW you plan to carry your gear ...

    Several years ago, I met someone whose tour included some back country routes ... he was riding a MTB + using a BOB trailer. I guess that whether you use panniers or a trailer depends on how much gear you are planning on taking (don't forget a couple of spare tubes + patch kit!).

    FENDERS are a very good idea ...

    If you can find them, I'm going to recommend something like the 700-32 WTB TERRAINASAURUS TIRE ... good for paved roads, okay for gravel.

    I don't know how small of a granny gear you'll need ...

    LOLO PASS? At some point, it may be better to dismount & walk the bike up some inclines ... actually, it's the bends/curves of the switchbacks that are probably the killers.

    Regardless, you can certainly change the gearing -- something like 48-34-24 should work.

    BTW/FWIW. For when you are off the bike, I recommend a GOOD BACPACKER'S PONCHO.

    Of course, there's certainly a lot more for you to consider ...
     
  4. dchaller

    dchaller New Member

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    I started riding quite a bit in fall of 2007, and purchased a Trek 7.5 FX in May of 2008, over the next 15 months, I rode about 4500 miles on my FX.... I really enjoyed it, but as i planning on a 3 day ride of 250 miles (across NYS) I was starting to have hand and shoulder pain..... as I researched, I found that flat bar road bikes are more fatiguing on hands and shouders than a drop handle bar bike....I have some carpal tunnell issues, and i think that the flat bar road bike added to the problem.

    There are a couple of reasons for this: with a flat bar bike, you really only have one hand position to ride in and it puts stress on your hands, on a drop bar bike, you can ride on top, in the drops, on the sides, and a couple of positions on your brake hoods.... so you can constanly move.... it makes for less pain. The other thing, is that the FX has a more responsive handlebar, than a touring bike, so the handle bars need more attenion, this can cause more fatigue in the hands and shoulders.....

    In August 2009 I bought a Trek 520, it is a steel touring bike, and is build more solid than an FX, heavier wheels, (almost bombproof) but yet the steel frame flexs more to give a softer ride. the frame is a little longer from axel to axel so it tracks a little better.... I can take my hands of my handlebars, and the bike tracks well..... I feel like the bike carves turns better....

    I let a loose bungie get caught in my rear spokes this fall, and the bungie steel was straighted, my spokes were unscathed.... if this had happened 300 miles from a bike shop, and I broke a few spokes, I would rather have had the heavy spokes.

    My 520 is a bit heavier, maybe 5 lbs or a little more than the alum FX, but I feel the comfort is worth it. I like it alot. The 520 has similar attributes to the Surley LHT but I didnt want the LHT, since in the smaller frame, I would have had to go with a 26 inch wheel. My 520 is not built for speed, but for a long comfortable ride.... that is what i am looking for. I( have rideen about 1500 miles since August on my 520, hope to ride 4K next year on it.
     
  5. cyclebum

    cyclebum New Member

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    Tune it up and head out. Lower gearing would be a big plus, but if you're reasonably strong, you should be ok. If possible, do a loaded test ride on some 6% grades well before you leave to find out.
     
  6. Gerrypatt

    Gerrypatt New Member

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    I've done long-distance trips on a mountain bike, a proper touring bike and my latest - a cyclocross. I would say that as long as you can manage to get some panniers on your bike (or perhaps a trailer, if you'd like), then you are good to go. Do not fret the gear ratios too much, unless you will be going up extreme inclines.

    Having said all that, if you have the spare cash, then a touring bike is probably going to be more comfortable. However, you are already used to your Trek, so at least you know there won't be any surprises with it.

    Bonne Route!
    gerrypatt.wordpress.com
     
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