1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Trek 7200 Multitrack

    Going to see a Trek 7200 tomorrow on CL....Hoping to do some light off roading (trails/paths) and some tooling around town....Is this bike capable of handling the trails?....Nothing hardcore.... just looking to keep moving.. Oh...asking price 175 in really good condition..Not sure of the year...Thanks..

  2. #2
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    it's a fine bike for city/bike path/rail trail/gravel road riding.

    it will be able to "handle" smooth trails, but it's definitely no mountain bike.

    I have a friend who has one and has a hard time handling it anytime the going gets rough. but then again, she doesn't "get" the gears in the slightest so I think it's more her than the bike.

  3. #3
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    Yes. Just make sure it fits you comfortably. Get a kit for repairing flats and a small pump (and learn how to use them). Have fun!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the quick replies...and advice....Would this bike upgradeable if I found the off road capabilities lacking?....I like to tinker with everything...so that would be an added plus...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasct View Post
    Thanks for the quick replies...and advice....Would this bike upgradeable if I found the off road capabilities lacking?....I like to tinker with everything...so that would be an added plus...
    meh, not really. it's a road bike, more or less. its off-road handling will not be improved by putting more suspension on it. in fact, that'll probably wreck its' handling characteristics. it might fit wider tires, but I really have no idea what sort of clearance hybrids have. a rigid steel or carbon 29er fork might actually be an improvement over the stock suspension, but the frame is still not designed with off-road riding in mind and so it's probably not as durable as a mtb frame.

    if you want a bike that can go both ways, consider a rigid steel 29er. They use the same size wheels as road bikes/hybrids (29"=700c) and so a tire swap would go a long way towards letting you ride different terrain. unless you find used, though, it'll up the price a good bit. the geometry and durability will be better for riding off road and could support a decent suspension fork if you wanted to put one on.

    You could do similar with a 26" mtb (preferably rigid, if most riding is on the road), but slick tire selection in that wheel size is not as good. gearing will be lower, also. If you go this route, you might try some 700c wheels with road tires at some point, which will give you slightly taller gearing with the larger diameter wheel.

    check out the commuter forum. LOTS of folks riding difficult-to-categorize bikes that can handle varying mixes of on- and off-road terrain. Everything from straight road bikes to full-suspension mountain bikes with slick tires (and some without). lots of drop bar mountain bikes, cyclocross, "monster cross", flat bar road bikes, whatever.

    my own commuter bike is kind of a "burly" road bike that can take 42mm tires and can handle a little bit of trail riding. it's still a road bike and the riding position is too far forward to do a lot of trails. but it's fun to get it dirty sometimes.

  6. #6
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    pavement, gravel, LIGHT dirt trails- fine. anything more than that, no. it's a good cruising, city, commute, fitness bike, but not a mountain bike by any means.

    what size is the frame? how tall are you?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasct View Post
    Thanks for the quick replies...and advice....Would this bike upgradeable if I found the off road capabilities lacking?....I like to tinker with everything...so that would be an added plus...
    No, this bike can not be made into a mountain bike. The tire clearance (as I remember) is quite minimal so you might be able to put something with a bit more traction on there, but it will never fit mountain bike tires on it. Add in that the riding position and geometry will be wrong for mountain riding and if you're looking for something to really tinker with this one might not be ideal.

    Now, it's a solid path bike and would be fine on smooth dirt as was stated. If you're looking for something to get you moving then it's probably a decent choice. If you're thinking that your future might include increasing amounts of off-road riding then look for a mountain bike and get smooth tires for it until you're ready for trails.

    You can make a mountain bike behave like a hybrid (like the 7200) but you can't make most hybrids behave like a mountain bike.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  8. #8
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    I decided to pass on the Trek 7200....After reading some of the replies here, I think I'd better spend some more time looking at and trying other bikes before I buy anything...All my riding has been done on older 10 speed road bikes...I've got a lot to learn...Thanks to all that took the time to offer their advice...

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