Dummy Date: Trek FX 7.4 WSD Review.

Just a quickie on my wife’s Trek 7.4 WSD.

Yesterday morning, we loaded our daughter on the Big Dummy, and did a little Dummy Date to the park.

I took the opportunity to snap a few pics of her Trek FX 7.4 WSD.

Back in the day, my wife had the normal assortment of department store bikes.  She also had a (surprisingly nice) Schwinn Moab hardtail mountain bike.  The bad part of that bike was that it put too much pressure on her wrists.  Despite the fact that she’s amazingly strong and fit, my wife has some physical issues–wrists, neck, hips, back and ankles.  Oh, and feet.  So pretty much everything.  But she’s really tough, and doesn’t let these issues slow her down.  (She’s a big inspiration to me as I try to deal with my own health issues).

Anyhow, the MTB had her in a traditional mountain bike position, which put a lot of pressure on her wrists.  After college, we sold that bike, and she was bikeless for years.  A few years ago, when I started riding more, we got her a Trek Pure low step sport…if you’ve not seen those, they have a crank that is set forward of the seatpost…so you can put your feet flat on the ground with the seat adjusted at a position that allows you to pedal comfortably.  I thought it would be a good option for her, to give a very upright riding position and good comfort.  As it turned out, not so much.  It was unreasonably heavy, slow, handled like a school bus, and frankly, was ugly.  So the hunt was on for a replacement.

I talked to Tobie at North Central Cyclery and gave a wishlist.  Light, reasonably sporty/fast, comfortable handling, reasonably compliant over bumps and cracks, comfortable, but not aggressive, straight bar riding position, good range of gears, reliable components, not ugly.  He suggested the FX–and after a test ride, Dana was thrilled.

This is a stock build, with the exception of a replacement saddle (still looking for the perfect saddle), some Bontrager Satellite bars (very, very comfortable), my favorite Ergon grips (in cork…nice aesthetic)…

The great pedals (nice and long…so she can ride in flip-flops or soft shoes without foot discomfort) are shown below:

Stock, it has an aluminum frame, a mix of Shimano drivetrain parts (Deore rear/Acera front derailleurs, 3×9, wide gear range and options for just about any condition you’ll encounter), linear pull brakes, carbon fork:

And 700x32c wheels/tires.  It’s a very nice, appropriate parts spec.  The aluminum frame keeps it light, and the carbon fork really helps with both weight and ride quality (the ride quality difference between this carbon fork and the aluminum fork on lower FXs is surprising).  The 700x32c tires are skinny/light enough to be fast, and high volume enough to take the edge off of bumps.  Really, it’s the perfect bike for an occasional biker in suburbia.  If you wanted to really hammer on it, it’s reasonably responsive.  Pushed to the limits, the geometry holds you back more than the wheels/tires.  It will ride on gravel, but will not be thrilled about it.  The handling is conservative, to say the least.  It’s happiest on pavement, limestone, or other reasonably smooth surfaces.  With its stable geometry, I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to throw a rack on.

Oh, and I’m told that the color is cute.

The 7.4 is a sweet spot in the FX lineup.  Lower in the lineup, the bikes get unreasonably heavy, much more ponderous wheels/tires, questionable components, etc.  The FX 7.5 offers minimal upgrade for an extra $200-ish–It gets a more roady drivetrain.  The FX 7.5 Disc makes sense for a lot of riders or heavy use, but just adds more weight for my wife’s purposes (and an extra $150 over the regular 7.5).  And the 7.6 is really a straight bar roadie, with 700x25c tires and appropriate wheels…for $300 more than the 7.5 Disc.  (Note…I had an FX 7.6 as my first “road” bike, and quickly found the straight bars to be incredibly limiting on rides longer than 10-15 miles, and incredibly annoying on rides into the wind because there was no ‘getting into the drops’.  It was a good transition bike for someone just getting into road riding, but was really limited in what it could do.)

In short, the Trek FX 7.4 is a great bike for suburban riders looking for something sporty but not punishing, comfortable but not ponderous.

14 thoughts on “Dummy Date: Trek FX 7.4 WSD Review.

  1. I have the FX 7.2 WSD and like it. Took it out on a windy ride on the packed dirt / crushed limestone trail just last night. I’ve rode it on a half century, as well as many rides in the 25-40 mile range, primarily using it for crushed limestone trails. I upgraded to a Brooks saddle, right out of the box took it on a 40 miler with no break-in period. I have a rear rack for panniers when I want to pedal out for a picnic. Have had it for a few years and don’t see a reason to get rid of it, so we’ll be pedaling along for many years to come. My only regret was getting the step-through frame. This requires an adapter bar for loading onto the bike rack and I never “step through” it anyway, I just swing my leg over so it is pointless.

  2. Pretty bike! I like the satellite bars! Did you also change the stem? What kind of pedals are those? I’ve been test riding bikes lately and found a used 7.5 fx that I like but think I’d like to change the handle bars like you did.

    • Yes–it is a riser stem, which puts the bar at a better angle for Ms. RATG. I cannot recall what the pedals are off the top of my head, but if I was building this one up again, I’d take a hard look at Ergon’s new platform pedals. They look pretty nifty!

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  6. Awesome! I am planning to do the same thing to my new 2013 model and my husband thought I was crazy. Happy to hear others are as clever about having a great bike be ergonomic as well!
    Look forward to learning more.
    Sincerely
    Carrie

    • Hi Carrie,
      Did you manage to make you bike more ergonomic? Just wondering what you changed. I had them add two stems on the straight handlebars but my neck and arms still get sore on longer rides….and my butt. Changed the original seat to a gel sea but it is still hurting my tailbone.
      Take care,
      Joanne

  7. Hi there,
    Love your blog. Your wife’s story is similar to mine. Went from mountain bike to Townie electra 21 speed. It was great for my neck and shoulder issues but aggravated my knee. I just bought the WSD Trek 7.4 and have been trying to make it a more comfortable. bike. Has your wife found the perfect seat yet? If so can you please tell me which one. Also if you could tell me the specific details for the handle bars, I would really appreciate it.

  8. After finding this blog post, I am a little obsessed with the color of the 2012 model Trek 7.4 WSD … have been spending hours online hunting for a bike shop that still has one. No luck yet. Anyone have any ideas where I might find it?! I need a 17 inch.

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