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Marin KENTFIELD CS2 vs Trek FX 3

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Marin KENTFIELD CS2 vs Trek FX 3

Old 03-26-20, 09:14 PM
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neda88
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Marin KENTFIELD CS2 vs Trek FX 3

Hello,
I a newbie and want to buy a good hybrid bicycle. I usually bike about 25 to 30 miles on the roads but there are a lot of hills around my city. So prefer a bicycle that is stronger for hills over going fast. My budget is limited and I narrowed my options down to Marin KENTFIELD CS2 and Trek FX 3. I really appreciate any help.
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Old 03-27-20, 07:09 AM
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After a quick glance at the specs I would go with the Trek. I'm assuming you're talking about 2020 models. I do not like the adjustable stem on the Marin. Also, the Trek groupset is a little better than what is on the Marin.
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Old 03-27-20, 09:03 AM
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I have the male counterpoint to your bike--Larkspur CS2. I actually like the adjustable stem. I find it easier to get into a comfort zone. The TREK is a great bike, but I think it is about $200 more than the Marin. Some if not most of that money is for the name. Try out both and get the one that feels the best, but don't be afraid of the Marin--it is a good bike.
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Old 03-27-20, 12:49 PM
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I own a 2020 Trek fx-3. It has plenty gearing for attacking hills, in fact after the cassette needed replacement I actually replaced it with one with a shorter range(I don’t remember the exact numbers but I believe the original was something like an 11-37 and was replaced with an 11-34). However i am somewhat disappointed in the quality of the components, specifically the bottom bracket and wheels, In hindsight it probably would of been cheaper in the long run for me to buy a more expensive bike with higher quality components. To be fair at the time I bought it I didn’t envision myself putting 600 + miles a month on it, so depending on the miles and abuse your going to put into it, it could be the right bike for you. On the plus side the handling, ergonomics, and breaks are spot on.
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Old 03-29-20, 07:24 AM
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Hi, and welcome!

The Marin bike looks to sell for under $500, and the Trek FX3 is in the $800 range. The FX 1 Stagger Disc is more in line with the Marin in terms of price ($549) and components. At this price range with the Trek, you get mechanical disc brakes and a 3x7 speed freewheel drivetrain (pretty basic). The Marin offers rim brakes (which are arguably at least as good as cheap mechanical disc brakes) and a nicer drivetrain (3x8 speed cassette). To get a 3x8 speed cassette drivetrain in a Trek, you have to move up to the FX 2 Disc Women's Stagger, which retails for $629. You're getting the same basic drivetrain as the Marin, but you are getting hydraulic disc brakes, which would be nice to have. You'd essentially be paying a $160 premium for the Trek with hydraulic disc brakes vs. the Marin with rim brakes.

What's more important than that stuff, though, is the fit of the bike. Do you enjoy riding it? Some bikes just fit people differently, and I would definitely recommend riding both brakes to see what feels the best to you. The Marin's adjustable stem will offer a lot of adjustability without you having to buy additional components, so that's a plus. Your bike shop may offer to swap the Trek's fixed stem for an adjustable one if you asked for it at purchase.

Good luck!
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Old 03-30-20, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Hi, and welcome!
rim brakes (which are arguably at least as good as cheap mechanical disc brakes)
With respect to stopping power, yes, I would say rim brakes and mechanical disc brakes are about the same. (Neither holds a candle to the stopping power of hydraulic disc brakes!)
But in my experience, mechanical disc brakes are much easier to keep adjusted than rim brakes. So much so that I would absolutely not buy another bike with rim brakes.
In all fairness, maybe some types of rim brakes are easier to keep adjusted than others, but disc brakes are just way too easy.

(Just to be clear, I'm not one to disagree with Hokiefyd. There is probably no more helpful nor knowledgeable member on this forum than him. I just wanted to add my experience with different types of brakes.)
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Old 03-31-20, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AU Tiger View Post
But in my experience, mechanical disc brakes are much easier to keep adjusted than rim brakes.
I haven't been satisfied with the sets of mechanical discs I've tried. :-( I have a pair of Avid BB7s (which are usually cited as the best of the bunch) and some cheap Tektro ones similar to what would be had on one of these hybrids new. The BB7s are definitely the best of the ones I've tried, with the feature to adjust both pads at once. However, most mechanical discs seem to have a fairly narrow range in which they work correctly. By that, I mean there are definitely many ways to set them up, but (like traditional cantilever brakes) there's definitely a "sweet spot" in terms of operation. I have found that moving the caliper itself so that the disc is right up against the movable pad, and then adjusting the fixed pad all the way to the left, produces the best result. Of course, you continually have to re-adjust the calipers as the brake pads wear. Except with Avid BB7s...where you can adjust BOTH pads, obviating the need to adjust the caliper body itself. If I were using mechanical discs, I would use only the BB7s (which would have to be purchased separately from the bike, as only higher-end bikes come with those stock). There are some newer designs (like Tektro Spyke) that actually move both pads towards the disc, like hydraulic brakes do. I haven't used those, but they sound pretty neat.

The thing I like most about disc brakes (all types) is the consistency you get in braking power and modulation. Rim brakes are subject to a bunch of different environmental and mechanical variables. If there's any amount of rim surface runout, you'll feel that either in the brake lever or in a pulsing feeling when braking (similar to a car that needs its brake rotors resurfaced). I've also found that differences in humidity can really make them squeal. I keep all my bikes in my shop in a walk-out basement and my rim brakes will squeal for a while after taken out on a humid day because of the sudden change in humidity.

There are definitely pros and cons to both.

Cheers!
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Old 03-31-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
There are some newer designs (like Tektro Spyke) that actually move both pads towards the disc, like hydraulic brakes do.
I have TRP Spyres on my gravel bike which have that feature, and I like them.

Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
The thing I like most about disc brakes (all types) is the consistency you get in braking power and modulation. Rim brakes are subject to a bunch of different environmental and mechanical variables. If there's any amount of rim surface runout, you'll feel that either in the brake lever or in a pulsing feeling when braking (similar to a car that needs its brake rotors resurfaced).
Yes, that's part of what I mean by difficult to keep adjusted. They just seem like they constantly need attention. But I'm sure part of that is my own lack of knowledge... knowing the little tricks to prevent this or that from being a problem.

Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I've also found that differences in humidity can really make them squeal. I keep all my bikes in my shop in a walk-out basement and my rim brakes will squeal for a while after taken out on a humid day because of the sudden change in humidity.
That's interesting. I never considered that before. But my bikes are all kept in the garage, so humidity could certainly have been an issue.
Fortunately now the only bike I have left with rim brakes is a kids bike that is waiting for my second son (11 years behind his big brother) to grow into it.

Looking at the two bikes the OP asked about, I would go with the Trek. Not just because of the brakes, but also the tires and gearing. OP mentioned hills and speed. The Trek's lowest gear is 30/36 which is about 0.833, while the Marin's lowest gear is 28/32 which is 0.875. That's not a huge difference, but on some hills it might make a difference. And the Trek comes with 32mm tires vs the 38mm on the Marin. I've found 35mm to be the sweet spot for me, but if speed is one of the OP's main goals, the 32s might be better than the 38s. But the Trek is also a good bit more expensive than the Marin.
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Old 03-31-20, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AU Tiger View Post
That's interesting. I never considered that before. But my bikes are all kept in the garage, so humidity could certainly have been an issue.
If the difference in temperature and humidity is high enough, the bikes will "sweat" for a few minutes as humid air condenses on the relatively cool surface temperatures of the bikes. This is when rim brakes are most apt to squeal (at least for me).

I'm probably killing my steel bikes just a little bit each time I ride them (in the summer, at least). Going from 72 degrees and dry to 90 degrees and humid probably deepens any interior surface rusting just a wee bit each time.

My primary bike has hydraulic disc brakes, which seem about impervious to everything.
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