I am excited to get into the details of this Trek FX 2 review because it is the bike that got me started into the world of serious cycling. One of my favorite things about cycling is the people who share the same passion. I’ve never stopped on a trail or bike path without several people passing by asking if I need assistance. The people are a big reason cycling has been so great.
Another aspect of cycling that has drawn me in is how much different it is when you ride the proper equipment. I used to be one of those people that visited a bike shop for the first time and left thinking, “People that spend that much on a bike are crazy!”
Now that I have ridden for a few years, I know the differences between a bike from your big box retail store and a high end bike from a shop. It is a night-and-day difference in ride quality. The bottom line, a better bike will enhance your riding experience. My ride quality was dramatically enhanced when I started riding the FX 2, a fitness hybrid from Trek.
What Is A Trek FX 2 Hybrid Fitness Bike?
There is a broad spectrum of bike styles to learn about when you get into cycling. On the left you have your traditional road bikes with lightweight frames and drop handle bars. On the right you have your rugged full-suspension mountain bikes. The Trek FX 2 is a fitness hybrid that lands somewhere on the left hand side of that spectrum.
A fitness hybrid will usually have flat handlebars like a mountain bike instead of drop bars like a road bike. Fitness bikes also come with lightweight frames like a road bike. There are hybrid bikes that have 40mm+ wide tires that land closer to the mountain bike side of things. The Trek FX 2 Disc (the disc refers to disc brakes instead of rim breaks) comes with 700x35c tires. They are thin and fast giving you an efficient ride on pavement, but also the ruggedness you need to handle hard pack and very fine gravel.
The fitness part of a fitness hybrid is an indication that the bike was made with a focus on efficiency. There is no front suspension thus saving on weight. The tires are thinner so there is less resistance on the road when riding. Meanwhile, a hybrid bike like the Trek Dual Sport 2 comes with wider tires and a front suspension. It gives up a lot of speed and efficiency for comfort on more rugged terrain.
Features and Benefits of the Trek FX Series
One of the best features on the Trek FX 2 Disc is the brakes. You cannot have a Trek FX 2 review without talking about hydraulic disc brakes. The last few years have seen major changes to braking in the cycling industry. Rim brakes that hug your wheel used to be the standard on the road. Now, you get the best braking power from hydraulic disc brakes like the ones included on the Trek FX series bikes.
The FX 2 comes with Tektro flat mount disc brakes with 160mm rotors. These brakes are far from the high end of what is available. However, they still do an excellent job stopping your bike. I have had several close calls where cars pull out in front of me, or I am coming across a huge deviation in the road. The brakes saved me from a terrible accident on more than one occasion. Hydraulic disc brakes will be one of the most noticeable upgrades compared to bikes from a big box retailer.
Another benefit of the Trek FX bikes is their light weight. The FX 2 comes in at 26 lbs. and with a couple part swaps on the contact points (grips, saddle and pedals) you might be able to shave that number down. Of course, any weight saving will be offset by the time you put a water bottle cage on.
When I started the Trek FX 2 review I couldn’t wait to talk about the range you get with the 3×8 drive train. With 24 speeds you can climb with ease. It is easy to make the most of flat and downhill sections of path and road too. With proper maintenance and shifting technique you will have no issues with chain drop. The bike is spec’d with Tourney and Acera front and rear derailleurs, respectively.
How Long Will The Trek FX 2 Last?
One of my biggest issues with bikes from retail stores is they don’t last. You can get one or two years of riding out of them before things start falling apart. All the maintenance and brake adjustments in the world cannot fix the poor quality of components on those bikes. That will not be an issue with the Trek FX 2. It will last you as many years as you’re willing to properly care for it.
For maintenance, I make sure to clean the bike when there are visible signs of dirt and grime. I always clean and lubricate the chain. When I feel signs of issues with the brakes, I will inspect the brake pads and swap if needed. I have several thousand miles on my Trek FX 2. I had to take the bike in to a shop one time for service. That was for a brake bleed due to my negligence getting the cable caught on something during transport.
If you take care of your bike, it will last a very long time. While out riding I have seen many bikes that I know are 10+ years old. They still look and ride like new. Maintenance is the key to longevity in the cycling world.
Is the Trek FX 2 A Good Bike?
With an affordable price tag of $699.99 from Trek many serious cyclists ask if the Trek FX 2 is a good bike. Just because it is very affordable does not mean you are sacrificing quality. I often answer that question with a resounding no, then proceed to tell them it is not a good bike, its a great bike.
If you have never ridden the FX 2 I would highly recommend you head to your local bike shop to do a test ride. Many shops are offering test rides again now that they have had time to put Covid-19 protocols in place. Have some patience as they will likely need to clean the bike before and after your test ride. I promise it will be worth it. The second I rode my Trek FX 2 around the bike shop parking lot I knew I loved the bike.
Trek FX 2 Review Accessories
The most important accessory any cyclists can have is not something that connects to the bike. A good pair of cycling shorts will make a huge difference in the quality of your ride. People that complain about discomfort from their saddle would be better off trying cycling shorts rather than replacing a saddle. Read my Pearl iZUMi Escape Quest bike shorts review to learn more about my favorite pair.
After cycling shorts the second most important accessory will be a bottle cage for your water bottle. Staying hydrated while riding is a must. There have been studies that show even mild dehydration can reduce your efficiency on the bike in excess of 5 percent.
Depending on how you plan to ride your Trek FX 2, you may also want to look at a rear rack. I know many people that commute on FX series bikes. The rear rack is great for tying down gear so you have a more comfortable ride. I put a rack on my FX 2 because I was tired of a backpack causing increased sweat while riding. The Ibera Bike Rack was an obvious choice to to build quality and price. (Check Current Price on Amazon)
Trek FX 2 Review Upgrades
Part of the fun that comes with cycling is customizing your ride. I would not count these areas against the bike in terms of problems that would be discussed in a Trek FX 2 review. However, these are areas you can improve the look of your bike and increase quality.
First is a set of ergonomic grips. A good set of grips will improve your ride. Wrist pain and hand fatigue are common when getting into cycling, and part of that is do to poor riding posture. Ergonomic grips will correct that for you. Bontrager, Trek’s house brand makes some awesome grips, but I prefer the GP 1 grips from Ergon.
Pedals are another area that needs an immediate upgrade. I’ll have information on clipless vs flats coming soon, but for now you need to know clipping in will give you the best ride. You get 100% efficiency in your pedal stroke with clipless pedals. Flats will lose efficiency on the upward portion of your pedal. Shimano SPD is the way to go, and I would recommend pedals that can reverse into flats. I’ve forgotten my cycling shoes before and having the option for flats is a life saver.