Review: 2019 Trek FX Sport 6

In April, I took a chance and bought a “Hybrid” bike (a “road” bike with bigger tires, and flat bars) to replace my trusty Lemond Buenos Aires. I have written about the Lemond elsewhere, but in summary, it provided 17 solid years and way more than 10K miles of service (only major repairs were replacing the bottom bracket, and in 2014 the wheels died and were replaced).

As I tend to keep my bikes a long time, I was interested in something modern, with a carbon frame, and decent components. Fortunately, the fastest growing segment of the market is the “Fitness” bike, or this hybrid. After looking at several entries, I settled on the pricey, but well equipped Trek FX Sport 6.

Built around an OCLV frame made specifically for this bike (prior versions were Domane road frames) it offers a solid platform, with some cool twists. The isomeric dampener near the seat post is a nifty idea (I can’t really judge how much it helps, but I will take Trek’s word for it), and coupled with mid range wheels, good (very good) disc brakes, and a solid Shimano 105 component group, it is a solid performer.

Shod with 700×32 tires, run at 80 PSI, it is nimble, quick handling, and most importantly, it is comfortable to ride. As I age (and as my weight has that late middle age rise) the crouched position with a traditional drop bar bike had gotten agonizing. While I have a mountain bike (the Specialized Crave Expert I have also written about), it is tedious to put any real miles on. And I do like being on the open road, ticking off miles and feeling good about myself.

The component group is a 2×11, with ample gear ratios to do climbing, as well as wind at your back pounding at 30MPH. With a little over 330 miles on the bike in 4 months, it has broken in, and seems to be shifting well.

The only downside I have experienced is that the thumb shifters are a little persnickety on staying in tune for the indexed shifting.

Since I have only had steel framed road bikes, this is my first experience with carbon. I am a bit terrified of over tightening fasteners and damaging things, but I also bought a couple of torque t-handles for the basics, and at this point in my life, any major service will be left to the shop.

but otherwise, the carbon is solid, and forgiving. Enough absorption of road harshness, it is a pleasure to ride on after the aggressive geometry and the twangy steel of the Lemond it replaced.

While the Lemond was faster on equivalent segments (as per Strava), it isn’t by much faster. And it was a far less forgiving of a ride.

With the bike, I also bought a Wahoo Elemnt GPS cycling computer. A bit cheaper than the Garmin’s, although that wasn’t strictly a criteria, the Garmin’s have a ton of bad reviews, whereas the Wahoo is just feature rich enough. It integrates with my iPhone, and all my sensors (speed/cadence/heart rate). Installation was a breeze, and its integration with Strava is pretty slick.

Pretty soon, I will take the bike in for its first (free, part of the shop’s offer) tuneup. Only thing it could use is some expert attention with the shifters.

Future upgrades

Where I will likely upgrade in the future is to replace some components. If I can get my weight below 220#’s I will likely buy a set of carbon wheels. The current ones are pretty stout, and heavy.

Then I will look at better than 105 components. Perhaps move to XTR groupset. Maybe even a Di2 setup. Pricey, but a significant upgrade.

And of course, I am sure that the first component I will be forced to replace will be the bottom bracket. For some reason, even on a big $$$ build, the builders reach into the mediocre bin for such a hidden component. But every bike I have had in the last 30 years has needed to have the BB replaced within 2 years. Mark my word.

Final thoughts

Not sure why it took me so long to take the plunge (well, it was costly) but this is a great bike, a solid performer, and a fair value for the components you get. Solid all around, and a genuine pleasure to ride.

The Elemnt cycling computer is easy to use, non-distracting, and has great integration with my tracking app of choice – Strava.

If the carbon version is too dear for you, for about half the price, you can get a solid aluminum framed version, and then customize as your budget allows. Anything that keeps me on the road is a good thing.

Photography – The ultimate consumerism

I have been a shutterbug for a while. Well, that is an understatement. I have had a camera and been shooting pictures since my early teens. I started with my grandfather’s ancient Canon SLR (he brought it back after a tour of duty in Japan. It had the “Canon” logo ground off to get it past customs) and literally thousands of rolls of film later I am fully immersed into the world of digital photography.

Continue reading →

The Trek Century Challenge

About a month ago, I got a notification from Strava about a challenge for the month of July. Ride 100 miles, and you can earn a t-shirt, and some badging. If you complete 500, or 1,000 miles, you get an opportunity to win a slick bike, and a chance to tour their design center.

Since I have been riding consistently again, I figured why not, so I signed up. At the end of 3 weeks, I had a total of 96 miles, and feeling pretty good about myself.

Continue reading →

Time for new Tech

My last “fresh” computer I bought was a 2015 vintage MacBook Pro, 13″ with retina display. I bought it refurbished in 2016, and it has served me well, but it was getting tired.

All the while i had a 2014 vintage Mac Mini that started life as a editing computer for my wife’s video production consulting. It was decent for the time, a dual core intel i7, with 8G ram, and a terabyte “hybrid” disk. But it has been feeling its age, and with the payment of my salary from the trust/estate, I vowed to upgrade my tech.

Continue reading →

Time to retire

(My other blog that is…)

When I began my journey on the internet back in the 1990’s, I signed up with a small-ish ISP at the time, Best Communications. One of the “benefits” of their ISDN service was the inclusion of a domain for my email.

At the time, I had an English Mastiff, a giant of a dog, named Astro – from The Jetsons, and of course that domain was gone. However, there was a twist, the name of Astro before he was adopted by The Jetsons was “Tralfaz”. Surely, this was a meaningless name dreamt up by the scriptwriters to make the episode work, it was a good choice in the early days of the internet.

Continue reading →

Car Shopping

As I age, I am increasingly finding it less and less comfortable to fold myself into my current car, a Honda S2000. I wouldn’t have noticed this if I hadn’t spent a few months with the use of my Step Father’s Jeep Cherokee after he passed. A compact SUV, it was comfortable to drive, and I found that I enjoyed that.

Continue reading →

54 and Counting…

54 down, ? to go…

Today marks the completion of my 54th trip ’round Sol, a time for reflection, celebration, and looking to the future. Not to wax philosophically, but with what is certainly the greater fraction of my life gone by, it is a bit of an eye opener.

There are good things to be thankful for. My health remains good (even though I could stand to lose some weight,) I am doing meaningful – if highly stressful – work, I have a wonderful family, my wife and our two fur kids, and finally, it could be a lot worse.

Continue reading →