2014 Trek 7.0 FX
Versatility is the name of the game with Trek's 7.0 FX. Whether you're riding for fun, fitness, or transport, it's agile aluminum frame with lightweight, road bike-size 700c wheels speeds you along with grace and ease. The more-upright riding position and supportive seat allow you to roll in total comfort, no matter how long you ride. To conquer all hills, you've got 21 gears to get you up and over, and powerful linear-pull brakes guide you back down safely. The road is yours, have fun!
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I believe that the trek 2014 7.0 FX represents an excellent value in the commuter/fitness bike category. The 2015 model was already out when I purchased mine, so I was able to get a very significant discount off of MSRP. You may be able to do the same. The bike itself has a very aesthetic appeal to it. The silvery gold finish and geometry look a lot better in person than they do in the stock image (usually it's the other way around). I was pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful the bike was when I first saw it in the shop. Many hybrid bicycles from trek and other manufacturers attempt to appeal to people trying to imitate avid cyclists. If it looks like it should be in le tour, I don't want it. In my opinion, one is only paying more for that look in exchange for a lesser quality bike. It also makes it more likely that your bike will be targeted for theft. I try not to attempt to appear like a performance cyclist despite the fact that I am a fairly serious rider. My budget was a large factor in my decision to get the 7.0 FX. I was sick of riding long distance on my department store 26" mountain bike. I'm sure many would have been taken aback by the number of miles that I clocked in a week on that bike. I would've purchased a road bike, but it seems like everything that has a drop bar on it was either another department store bike or was way out of my price range. Besides, I had a steel road bike as a kid and never used the drops anyway. Don't kid yourself, you're not getting anything of what some cyclists consider "quality" on this bike Many cyclists' standards are much higher than mine, however. It's pretty heavy compared to some of the more advanced FX models I picked up in the shop. Weight isn't really a factor for most riders though. Remember, you're only racing yourself. The components [crankset, derailer (that's how Sheldon Brown spells it), stem, fork, pedals, brakes, wheelset] are still bottom of the barrel, and the shifters are nothing special. They feel butter smooth, but they simply cannot be adjusted to the point where the bike can shift through every gear combination without the chain rattling in either the front or rear derailer. With a couple of twists of the adjuster, I can get it to where it works well in either high gear or low gear, but not both. I just adjust it accordingly depending on the surface and grade of where I am riding. This isn't difficult at all. Sometimes the shifters miss a gear or the chain dislodges; It sounds terrible, but it rarely happens. I've pretty handy around tools and getting stuff to work. I've also taken the bike in to the place where I bought it to get the first of my 2 free tune-ups, so the problem isn't on my end. The wheelset isn't the best of quality either. They're just single walled 700x35c entry level alloy. The back wheel does comes out of true. I'll admit that I am not the smallest of riders (Male – 6'2 – 240 lbs. – 22.5"size), and I have hit some pretty nasty potholes on accident. Some might solve this by buying a new double walled wheel (like $100), but I bought a spoke wrench for $5 and learned how to true it myself. Where the bike excels – I'm sorry I've been pretty much talking down about the quality of the bike insofar. The pros vastly outweigh the cons. I love the appearance of the tires and I haven't had a flat despite running over large shards of broken glass and other road debris several times on accident. The frame is absolutely stunning. Great quality, feels very sturdy, looks great. The dropouts are pretty neat. I like how they have little nubs on them to keep the wheel in place if the quick release ever comes undone. You have to unscrew it a bit in order to get the wheel off. It's also a good theft deterrent because on most bikes the wheel comes right off when the lever is flipped. It fooled me into thinking something was wrong the first time – good engineering from trek. The seatpost is great. I like that it does not have a quick release. I always had problems with them slipping in the past. The brakes are powerful. They sound and feel kind of funny at first because the sides of the rims have a brushed finish to them (like a bunch of small scratches). I like this because on some other rims, braking is dramatically reduced by the presence of water on the trail. With the brushed rims, the brake pads still have good grip on the rims. Sometimes on my old bike, the pads would almost hydroplane on the rims, making braking in wet weather dangerous. Multiple reviewers here mentioned they had discomfort with the saddle. I LOVE this saddle. It feels great and looks awesome. There are many who don't understand that one might have to go through a little discomfort at first in order to get used to a saddle (these are the folks one sees riding around on saddles that look like plush recliner cushions). Don't think that getting this bicycle will improve your speed dramatically. Speed only comes from time on the saddle. Of course if you've been sitting bolt upright riding a cruiser with the handlebars way above the saddle, it'll help a lot. I have the stem adjusted the lowest it can go, so I ride in a fairly aggressive riding position. The 700x35c wheels roll very smoothly and I can maintain a fairly remarkable speed on the 7.0 FX compared to my department store hardtail. If you are planning on riding with a group of decently competitive cyclists on road bikes, you will not be able to keep up in the long run. If you ever plan on cycling in a race, don't even think about it on this bike. Another reason as to why I chose this bike is the fact that it does not have suspension. Suspension on a bike like this only adds weight and reduces the efficiency of the pedaling stroke. I hope that I have helped to inform prospective buyers of the 2014 7.0 FX about my opinions on the bike. This model is perfect for my needs. I'm a serious cyclist, but I don't have the pecuniary backings to own better equipment. I believe that there is an underrepresented group out there who are in the same boat. If it says anything, I'm training right now for my first double century (200mi. – now that's a long day in the saddle!). For the average rider looking to stay in shape and maybe considering cycling as a serious passion, this bicycle is comfortable and fast enough to handle that potential. If your financial situation limits you from shelling out thousands of dollars on the premium road bikes that many can afford, this is the perfect bike. It's not premium by any standards, but compared to that $199 department store bike you are considering, it is a world above. Always wear a helmet!!! Happy cycling!
This bike is a great entry level commuter and fitness bike. It does everything you would expect and more for a great price.