Candidate bicycle located

Ottawa tower block

I found a possible bike this evening: a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid. Originally $619.99, it is on sale for $439.99. I would probably have bought it tonight if there had been time to test it out before the shop closed. As it is, I will have some time to research it before I go give it a test ride on Thursday (mandatory orientations are happening for me tomorrow and Wednesday, on the opposite side of town).

The bike has Shimano Deore components, which the salesman tells me are the 6th of eight levels of quality sold on hybrids. It is quite light and seems well constructed. The place promises free repairs and tune-ups for a year, as well as an unspecified discount on a helmet, lock, and pump.

This is the last one available with a 20″ frame, which I am told would suit me better than the 22″. Hopefully, nobody will snap it up before me.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

10 thoughts on “Candidate bicycle located”

  1. Firstly, I have to comment on the MSRP being $50 less than the price at this bike shop. Must be that exchange rate, what with the US dollar being worth so much more and all.

    This looks like it would be a pretty good fit. You’d probably find it suits all your needs. Depending on price constraints, you may want to look at something a little higher up the food chain if you are thinking about components. In my admittedly limited experience, Deore components have a short lifespan of relatively trouble free operation followed by a progressive decline to total failure. The brakes are probably adequate for Ottawa, as you aren’t likely to be doing as much riding in wet weather and on hills as one would in Vancouver, but disks or proper caliper brakes are far superior to the cheap v-brakes that are so ubiquitous now.

    If you can find it, the Brodie Dynamo is a much better build for about $80 more MSRP, better frame, much better wheelsets, much better brakes, better seatpost, and better pedals. Identical Shimano drivetrain though. I find SRAM make superior products in that department, but they seem to be totally absent from the hybrid market.

  2. Neal,

    The Trek site lists the MSRP as $639.00 Canadian. I am getting it for $439.00.

    I do mean ‘getting it,’ incidentally. I gave it a test ride this afternoon and it was a lot of fun. Light, precise, with nice shifting. Even the saddle is good, and I often have trouble with those. Compared to my heavy steel behemoth at Oxford, this bike is a dream.

    They are going to fit it to me tomorrow, put on a rack for paniers, and furnish me with necessary accessories (helmet, lock, lights, pump) at 15% off.

  3. Actually, I have to apologise for an error in my previous post. The wheelsets on the brodie are not “much better.” The rims are superior, but the hubs are better on the Trek. I think overall this bike will be a very effective commuter. One thing you should replace before you get out the door is the pedals. Either some superior flats, good toe clip pedals, or if you are serious about getting the most efficient stroke, think about getting a clipless setup. Either way, get rid of those crap stock pedals. We don’t need matching shin scars.

  4. For some reason, bike companies have a habit of investing no money whatsoever on the pedals. My bike came with decent pedals, which cost all of $20 retail. Usually, stock pedals are much cheaper. The bike store next to mine sells Specialized bikes and they are particularly grevious offenders. Even the $4000 downhill bikes they sell come with $5 pedals. If you get the $5000 dollar model, they upgrade to $60 pedals. The ones that come with the Trek are called beartraps for a reason. You don’t need to find out why.

  5. One thing you should replace before you get out the door is the pedals.

    I will definitely look into this. Five minutes after I set out on my new hybrid in Oxford, one of the pedals broke off at the point of connection between the flat part and the shaft.

    I may also get the grips on the handlebars replaced: right now, they are smooth hard rubber. That doesn’t combine well with hot, muggy weather – unless you want to wear gloves even on a five minute run to a corner store.

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