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Trek have been quiet with new releases for a brief period in India. Just maybe the wait was worth it. Trek have launched their famous FX hybrid series of bicycles and even though they all have the same basic concept which has been retained over the years, the build technology has always been constantly evolving to create a better cycling experience. From the 2016 range we got the opportunity to test ride the Trek FX 3 hybrid bicycle and here is what we thought.
The Trek FX 3ês Alpha Gold aluminium frame is beautifully constructed, with a gently curving top tube and massive bottom bracket junction for responsive pedalling. The Alpha series of alloy is a frame building method unique to Trek where the hydroformed alloy is used to neatly carve out the frame shape rather than joining 2 parts of the frame with external reinforcements.
As expected at this price there is a carbon fork on the FX 3 2016. This Bontrager Nebula carbon fork isnêt just a component to tick the box, but is a genuinely performance oriented aero forks which drastically reduces the weight of the bicycle. They blend in nicely with the bicycleês cockpit to make handling an easier affair.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder they say and that is quite true when it comes to the design and graphics of the Trek FX 3 2016. Trek have gone with a single colour for the whole bicycle, a sky blue. There is also a pure white colour variant for this bicycle. The elegant frame shapes and the welds arenêt glaringly visible which makes the bicycle look neat. The internal cable routing on the top tube and the bottom tube makes itês a less messy environment around the middle of the bicycle. Other than the legible Trek text on the bottom tube there is no other big brandings or graphics anywhere on the frame or the forks.
The gearing department in the Trek FX 3 2016 is taken care of by a differential range of Shimano MTB range, Alivio at the rear and Acera at the front. It is common to use MTB gearing for hybrids as they provide more depth and range for varied ranges of inclines and downhillês which one might encounter in urban conditions. Shimanoês Alivio and Acera worked seamlessly together. I tried varied types of gear changing during the test ride, ranging from quick rapid shifts for burst speeds to gradual increase while declining from a city flyover. These derailleurs did not throw up any niggles during any of these rough gearing test which I put this bicycle through. The Shimano EF65 Rapidfire plus 2 x 9 gear shifter gave a precise and consistent shifting performance throughout the test ride.
This is a component which will raise a few questions in the Trek FX 3 2016. Mainly due to its Tektro alloy linear pull brakes which are being offered for the steep price. These brakes were reactive and had a sizably lengthy brake pads to hold on to the rims quickly and in a balanced manner. Yes there were the usual niggles of braking in wet conditions and the imbalance while jamming the brakes but these are all the limitations of a linear pull brake. These smaller niggles aside it is fair to expect a minimum of mechanical disc brakes at this price range and Trek have made a debateable decision going for the cheaper alternative.
Bontrager's Satellite Plus IsoZone Handlebar with Satellite inForm Grips is a great set of handlebars and grips in one package. This system offers excellent comfort by providing suspension for your hands with Bontragerês built-in IsoZone elastomer inserts in the ends of the bars. The inForm grips have an ergonomic shape for excellent support and to eliminate pressure. The 31.88 mm length and 15mm raise makes the riding posture slightly aggressive but still open chested for a pain free and comfortable ride.
The Trek FX 3 rolls on a pair of Bontrager Hard Case Lite 700C x 35C tires. The triple flat protection is the selling point for the Bontrager Hardcases. The bead-to-bead woven construction means that the sidewalls of the tires are as tough as the portion of the tire that is hitting the ground, reducing sidewall cuts. There is an anti-pinch rib, protecting against pinch flats and there is a Kevlar belt, virtually eliminating punctures. During the test ride I found the Bontrager Race Lite Hardcases to offer the perfect combination of reliability and comfort on flat tarmacs. The Bontrager Nebula saddle brings inForm technology to the hybrid rider. It's designed for a more upright riding and is one of the first custom fit hybrid saddles inn the market. The overall ride quality was smooth and comfortable on flat tarmacs.
The FX 3 is among the top end Hybrid bicycles in the market and when it comes to performance it shows why this bicycle deserves to be right on top with the best Hybrid bicycles out there. Trekês frame building experience with top notch components gives us a bicycle you will never want to stop riding. As an average rider would think, disc brakes and certainly a missing component which could have been offered at this price. With a price tag of Rs.54,690 the Trek FX 3 2016 is a performance packed Hybrid bicycle for anyone looking to commute and also to take it on long weekend rides.