Well, it is actually a great idea but if you're living somewhere with traffic as looney as Noida, you tend to think twice. But I did do it anyway. To be quite honest, I wanted to ride the Trek bicycle that was sent to me for some days a bit more. It was not a regular bicycle though, not to me at least. We grew up in a world where Rs 10,000 was considered expensive for a bicycle and this one from the latest Trek FX series was Rs 70,000. To say the very least, one ride on it and I thought it was substantially different compared to a sub-Rs 10,000 bike. Different how though?
Yes, the basic concept remains the same – you pedal to go forwards and the basic body movement is the same. It isn't like motorcycles, where one full twist of the throttle is different on all of them. But on the FX4 Sport, I do just love the riding position. It's relaxed. The flat handlebar makes sure of it. If sitting on a bicycle for longer times didn't cause sore bottoms, I'd spend more time astride one. But that is an unavoidable part of the parcel.
The handlebar grips are wide on the edges, so the wrists are happy. The overall ride and position are comfy and you don't have to be clad in stretchable lycra all over. Now, this was about sitting on it. Moving on to the ride. This was by far the smoothest bicycle I've been on. The large thin tyres make for a buttery set-off when your legs provide the torque.
It gets Trek's lightweight Aplha Gold aluminium frame and it features internal cable routing so it looks very neat. The frame has made for a surprisingly light bicycle. It can easily to be carried for several minutes. Not that you'll carry it a lot but point is, it's very light and that comes in handy if you're shown a short set of stairs.
Another reason that adds to the price tag is the carbon fibre fork. Yep, the stuff engineers use in supercars to keep weight in check. In bicycles though, the benefit is more than weight reduction, it also helps in vibration damping.
A lot of kit comes from Bontrager - tubeless ready wheelset, lightweight bar, stem, seat post, saddle, and puncture resistant tyres. For the drive, the FX4 Sport employs Shimano Tiagra 10-speed. The shifts are easy and smooth, and it does make climbing or fast riding simpler and fun.
|Frame||FX Alpha Gold Aluminum, DuoTrap S compatible, rack & fender mounts|
|Fork||Bontrager Nebula, carbon|
|Wheels||Formula TK31 alloy front hub, Formula TK32 alloy rear hub, Bontrager Tubeless Ready rims|
|Tyres||Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x28c|
|Shifters||Shimano Tiagra, 10 speed|
|Crank||Shimano R460, 48/34|
|Cassette||Shimano Tiagra, 11-34, 10 speed|
|Head set||VP Slimstak, sealed semi-cartridge bearings|
|Brake set||Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes, Tektro adjustable-reach alloy levers|
|Weight||20" - 10.12 kg|
|Weight limit||136 kg (combined weight of bicycle, rider and cargo)|
On a bike like this, I'd expected disc brakes but then the bite from the pull brakes is appropriate - especially for something this light. It's got mounts for panniers front and rear, and you can add several more accessories like lights and a bell if you like. These bikes don't come with a stand which I thought was quite odd.
A stand would add some weight I suppose but if I do decide to go to work on a bicycle, it'd be nice if it could stand on its own. But to sum it up, Trek FX4 Sport got me to ride to work on a two-wheeler that has no engine for a change. And that's something considering I'm not the biggest fitness enthusiast there is. For a commute that's 4.5 km in one direction, I was happy using the Trek bike for a 9 km ride in a day. It is smooth, comfy, lightweight, and it looks simple and smart. If your commute is 6-7 km or under, consider getting a bicycle. It is all the worth it.