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Have I made an expensive mistake? 2021 Trek FX1 disc

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Have I made an expensive mistake? 2021 Trek FX1 disc

Old 09-20-21, 05:51 PM
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Have I made an expensive mistake? 2021 Trek FX1 disc

Good morning all

I have just purchased a 2021 Trek FX1 disc in charcoal grey (super colour!)

I bought it mainly for commuting to work as didn't want to keep using my 2015 Trek X caliber 8 on the road.

I have to admit to having no great knowledge or experience of hybrids therefore wasnt particularly fussed re spec although the disc brakes did appeal- I didn't twig these were mechanical ones.

On collecting the bike last week I had a 5 mile or so ride home. I immediately noticed the gears were very poorly set up with lots of clicking/rubbing across various gears and occasional chain slip/jump. The brakes also felt largely ineffective but I knew the pads were new.

Over the coming couple of days the brakes improved slightly however any heavier braking would follow with a chugging/rubbing from the front brake for the next 20 seconds or so.
​​the rear hub also sounded graunchy.

It went back to the shop and they told me they replaced the rear hub (or cassette I can't recall which) however the design of the FX1 means it's noiser than a cassette fixed to the wheel- can you tell I don't know my bikes ha?!

They told me they had tuned the gears and the brakes were normal.

Since then I've found the gears to be a little better- no slipping now but still generally noisy with some gears being worse than others and general drivechain noise/clicking etc

The front brake will still chugg loudly after any heavy braking.

I'm a bit disappointed tbh- surely the drivechain although a basic 3x7 should be quieter than it is? Can I upgrade any parts to improve it without having to change the shifters? (Which are combined with the not very good mechanical disc brakes) I gather another cassette may need a different back wheel fitting.

Any brake suggestions?

I'm kinda thinking it needs upgraded gears/ shifters and hydraulic brakes but that'll be very pricey I expect! Frustrating as the FX2 is only 100 more with a different drive chain altogether (and 2x8 which looks better)

Any help gratefully received!
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Old 09-20-21, 06:19 PM
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Your bike has acceptable specs and all should work well, including the brakes. Take it back and have the shop work on it again.
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Old 09-20-21, 06:32 PM
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Mechanical disc brakes will likely never be "super". They'll probably be, at best, just good. Yes, hydraulic brakes will improve your stopping power. It's surprising that they can't get the gears quiet. 3x7 drivetrains have been around forever and are very proven. There's plenty of forgiveness in the system and they're usually pretty agreeable to ride. If you can give us some more information about which gear combinations are noisy, perhaps we can help guide you in the right direction. Are you mechanically inclined? You may try some of Park Tools' videos on adjusting drivetrains. You probably won't make it worse and you're already disappointed with it and considering another bike shop visit -- you really don't have a lot to use. You'll also gain some experience and may learn some things in the process.
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Old 09-20-21, 07:34 PM
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Shelby has the right advice! Hokie is way off on his advice for the simple reason that it is a NEW BICYCLE That YOU JUST PURCHASED FROM YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP so do not take tools into your hands, TAKE THE BICYCLE BACK TO THE SHOP AND HAVE THEM ADJUST IT AND MAKE IT RIGHT.
DON'T BE SHY ABOUT IT AND BE FIRM AND REFUSE TO BACK DOWN!!!
All too often folks get hustled by the "CAR DEALER TREATMENT" of wanting you (the customer) to disappear until returning to buy something else.
The morons don't want to even take the time to properly inspect and adjust the vehicle based on your initial findings during the first few miles of ownership.
They simply give you "lip service" and what you are telling them about the minor problems with the new bicycle are just going in one ear and out the other.
They will tell you anything to get you to go away. Often this is because their service department is full and their service workload is double of what the trained staff can even get to within the next two weeks, and they are constantly receiving more bicycles being brought into the shop for service work.
You see it is because they don't make any money on "COMEBACKS" of very recently sold brand new vehicles that need to be remediately sorted out because this wasn't done before it left the dealership. COMEBACKS take priority over profitable other vehicle service work, because naturally a brand new vehicle with almost no mileage that has aged only days should function flawlessly with no defects! The dealer however wants the profitable service work, and does not want to piss off that loyal service customer, such that they'd would choose to use a different shop. SO THEY TRY TO WALK A FINE LINE AND TELL THE NEW VEHICLE BUYER, A LOAD OF B.S., JUST TO GO AWAY, IF ONLY TO BUY SOME TIME, TO WHERE THE DEALER CAN COMPLETE SOME OF THIS "PROFITABLE SERVICE WORK" NOW And Essentially Keep Blowing Off and Essentially Delaying Any Attention to the "COMEBACK" until such time as it doesn't impact the profitable service work which is already backlogged. You are likely to get all sorts of explanations and BS that this and that are just NORMAL and go ride it, and it will GO AWAY.......they know it isn't right as the bicycle currently is, but they figure that you'll either bring it back again to them 10 days later, or you'll give up and accept it as it is.
It is simply a business decision that the shop is making. Is it the right business decision, well you could have great arguments supporting this tactic or not supporting it. Reputation and customer service after the sale will really fly out of the window especially when a dealership is struggling with the floor planned inventory and maximizing revenue is their best course of action in the short-term. You typically will not see a financially strong dealership that has a stellar reputation for customer service after the sale resort to doing this, but they certainly will if they are desparate and losing any such profitable backlogged service work is a threat to the business remaining an ongoing concern.


The Most Important Advice: " THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE!"
Take it back to them , and Don't Back Down and be firm and Insist that they Immediately Sort Out THIS NEW BIKE THAT YOU PAID ________dollars FOR.
They will take you seriously and you'll likely get the bike sorted out perfectly within days.......................and IMMEDIATELY REPEAT if it isn't sorted properly when you go to pick it up again three days from now. The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease. ......Lambs get slaughtered, and doormats get stepped upon.
I am certain they will make it right. In ordinary times, they would not hesitate to make it right, immediately but times are what they are and they really don't want to risk aggravating the backlog of really profitable service work right now, so they just pretend that everything is OK with your bike. Maybe they just figure that aw well, you will figure it out and DIY adjust and tweak it to perfect the tuning, and they probably figure that you don't know if they just tell you that all is currently perfect and just ride it because it needs no adjustment when it actually does.
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Old 09-21-21, 01:27 AM
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Thank you all for your replies- it is very much appreciated that you take the time to help a novice out!

Thanks Hokie- I'm not against having a go myself but this early on the shop really should have sorted it. I got the impression that they did zero PDI on it despite having it there for nearly two weeks before I was able to collect it. Also a paint run on the frame however this is just down to poor QC at the factory so I can't blame the dealer for this.

​I don't really have any confidence that they know what they're doing but I'll try again!

The brakes are Tektro MD-U310 mechanical disc, flat-mount, 160 mm rotor- is it normal they catch and rub after any heavy braking? The shop say it's as the pad only engages one side and it briefly warps the disc.

Re which gear combos are noisy I'll have a listen again today- it seems most are tbh! I know you have to be careful not to cross chain with so many gears but the ones mid range are still noisy and just general chain noise if that makes sense? My old X caliber with thousands of miles on it is silky smooth in comparison.

The spec on my FX1 is Shifter: Shimano Altus EF500, 7-speed
Front derailleur: Shimano Tourney TY510, 34.9 mm clamp, top swing, dual pull

Rear derailleur : Shimano Altus M310

Cassette: SunRace MFM300 freewheel, 14-34, 7-speed

Are there any easily upgradable bits on here which are likely to improve the drive chain without complete replacement?
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Old 09-21-21, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Minibbb View Post
Thanks Hokie- I'm not against having a go myself but this early on the shop really should have sorted it. I got the impression that they did zero PDI on it despite having it there for nearly two weeks before I was able to collect it.
Yes, it's pretty clear that they didn't do much about it, and don't seem to be all that willing to go out of their way to make it right.

Originally Posted by Minibbb View Post
​I don't really have any confidence that they know what they're doing but I'll try again!
I'm with you completely regarding lack of confidence in the bike shop. This is why I recommend making some of these adjustments yourself. It's a great way to learn more about the mechanics of how bikes (and your bike in particular) work. If you're like me, you may not have the time nor the desire to keep taking your bike back to the shop. Nip it quickly yourself in your home garage and begin to enjoy the ride!

Originally Posted by Minibbb View Post
​The brakes are Tektro MD-U310 mechanical disc, flat-mount, 160 mm rotor- is it normal they catch and rub after any heavy braking? The shop say it's as the pad only engages one side and it briefly warps the disc.
The shop is correct that only one pad moves and that it pushes the rotor over into the other pad. This is so heavily nuanced, though, and I've found that mechanical disc brakes can be pretty finicky to adjust correctly. In other words, there's not a lot of room between "great" and "terrible". It's not normal for the pad to catch and continue to drag after the brake is released, no. What is catching? Does the actuator arm on the brake caliper spring back to its rest position, but the pad itself stays engaged against the rotor somehow? Or does it seem like the actuator arm itself doesn't retract correctly?

Originally Posted by Minibbb View Post
Are there any easily upgradable bits on here which are likely to improve the drive chain without complete replacement?
Frankly, everything's pretty easily replaced. All of these parts are simply bolted on to the frame. You shouldn't have to replace anything to get a satisfying ride, however. All of this stuff can and should work nicely together. If the gears are noisy in nearly all combinations, it's possible that the derailleur hanger is bent. When looking at the derailleur from directly behind the bike, does the derailleur cage appear to hang down vertically? And when looking at the derailleur from directly above the bike, does it appear that it's "straight" (in line with the centerline of the bike frame)? If it's visually out of alignment, then that's pretty far out of alignment and is something your bike shop should be able to fix. Even if it's not visually out of line, it can still be slightly out of alignment and negatively impacting performance. Again, your bike shop should have the specialist tools to check this for you.

Another resource you have is Trek itself. If you can't get any satisfaction out of the bike shop, give the Trek customer service department a call and let them know what's going on. They may have other ideas for you, or may help encourage the shop to do the right thing. At the end of the day, though, its your time you're spending with all of this. I've dealt with bike shops, car dealers, and other vendors who don't seem to care enough to get it right. I also have things I'd rather do with my life than argue with them about it. If there's something that I can do myself, then I do it and move on with life. If I learn something in the process, that's even better.
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Old 09-21-21, 05:49 AM
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The TRP/Tektro Spyke/Spyre is their best mechanical brake and works very well. Choice depends on your brake levers. Just one for the front or the pair, should be inexpensive and you'll have no complaints about the braking. Ask your shop.

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Old 09-21-21, 07:21 AM
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The money you spend on upgrading parts on that bike will end up being more expensive than just buying one of the higher end of models of the FX series.

As new as the bike is, I would ask about returning it and getting a higher grade model.

Last edited by prj71; 09-21-21 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 09-21-21, 10:24 AM
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I would agree with prj71 on this. See if you can return this, even if there is a restocking fee, it would still be cheaper to go the higher grade model than upgrading.

The OP's original post clearly shows an unhappiness with the bike. Not really sure there is a problem, this level of bike with the equipment typically can make more noises and require more effort on use.

OP is expecting and needs a better bike than what this one is.


Edit: Just compared the FX1 and FX2, OP, don't expect a huge difference. Brakes will be better, you will have 1 more gear with an actual cassette over a freewheel, but it's very much the same bike other than that. If it wasn't an issue with theft for riding to and from work, I would suggest going for a FX3 instead.

Last edited by travbikeman; 09-21-21 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-22-21, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Yes, it's pretty clear that they didn't do much about it, and don't seem to be all that willing to go out of their way to make it right.



I'm with you completely regarding lack of confidence in the bike shop. This is why I recommend making some of these adjustments yourself. It's a great way to learn more about the mechanics of how bikes (and your bike in particular) work. If you're like me, you may not have the time nor the desire to keep taking your bike back to the shop. Nip it quickly yourself in your home garage and begin to enjoy the ride!



The shop is correct that only one pad moves and that it pushes the rotor over into the other pad. This is so heavily nuanced, though, and I've found that mechanical disc brakes can be pretty finicky to adjust correctly. In other words, there's not a lot of room between "great" and "terrible". It's not normal for the pad to catch and continue to drag after the brake is released, no. What is catching? Does the actuator arm on the brake caliper spring back to its rest position, but the pad itself stays engaged against the rotor somehow? Or does it seem like the actuator arm itself doesn't retract correctly?



Frankly, everything's pretty easily replaced. All of these parts are simply bolted on to the frame. You shouldn't have to replace anything to get a satisfying ride, however. All of this stuff can and should work nicely together. If the gears are noisy in nearly all combinations, it's possible that the derailleur hanger is bent. When looking at the derailleur from directly behind the bike, does the derailleur cage appear to hang down vertically? And when looking at the derailleur from directly above the bike, does it appear that it's "straight" (in line with the centerline of the bike frame)? If it's visually out of alignment, then that's pretty far out of alignment and is something your bike shop should be able to fix. Even if it's not visually out of line, it can still be slightly out of alignment and negatively impacting performance. Again, your bike shop should have the specialist tools to check this for you.

Another resource you have is Trek itself. If you can't get any satisfaction out of the bike shop, give the Trek customer service department a call and let them know what's going on. They may have other ideas for you, or may help encourage the shop to do the right thing. At the end of the day, though, its your time you're spending with all of this. I've dealt with bike shops, car dealers, and other vendors who don't seem to care enough to get it right. I also have things I'd rather do with my life than argue with them about it. If there's something that I can do myself, then I do it and move on with life. If I learn something in the process, that's even better.
Crikey sorry for such a late response I didn't get a notification that anyone had replied!

Thank you very much for such a comprehensive reply. I hadn't seen it prior to going out on the bike today so can't answer fully- re the brakes on any heavier braking especially on the front brake (which is necessary as a fair few decents around my parts) the front will tick tick tick after the braking and remain doing that for 15 seconds or so. Next time it does it I'll stop and see in what way it's catching if I can.

Derailleur wise it looks straight and in line as far as I can see. Gear combo wise for noises I noticed 2x4 today was particularly noisy given that the chain was pretty much in a straight line- also 3x7 is also pretty noisy. I wonder if the chain is touching the front derailleur slightly in these gears perhaps.

I am a total novice at bike mechanics (you'd never guess ha!) but will get on YouTube and take a look.... Unfortunately I have an important work exam coming up in just under three weeks so can't get too involved with things until that's out of the way.


​​​​​​Going to Trek is a good idea- I'm not sure if they have an office here in the UK so I'll do some digging and find out.

Thank you once again- your help is very much appreciated 👍
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Old 09-22-21, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
I would agree with prj71 on this. See if you can return this, even if there is a restocking fee, it would still be cheaper to go the higher grade model than upgrading.

The OP's original post clearly shows an unhappiness with the bike. Not really sure there is a problem, this level of bike with the equipment typically can make more noises and require more effort on use.

OP is expecting and needs a better bike than what this one is.


Edit: Just compared the FX1 and FX2, OP, don't expect a huge difference. Brakes will be better, you will have 1 more gear with an actual cassette over a freewheel, but it's very much the same bike other than that. If it wasn't an issue with theft for riding to and from work, I would suggest going for a FX3 instead.
Thank you PRJ71 and travbikeman 👍

So I can't return it as purchased it via a cycle to work scheme (in the UK where you save on tax by the bike cost being taken from your wages monthly). If they did take it back I think I'd only have the equivalent money to spend which wouldn't get me much.

My wife has a low spec Cannondale quick hybrid which I imagine is similar specification and it's smooth and no rattles! Caliper brakes but otherwise a joy to ride.

I think mine can be sorted with the right knowledge and effort- other than the issues described it is nice to ride and handy being low value around theft etc.

Point taken around upgrading parts though- if I can get it sorted I'll leave it stock until things wear out!
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Old 09-22-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Minibbb View Post
Thank you PRJ71 and travbikeman 👍

So I can't return it as purchased it via a cycle to work scheme (in the UK where you save on tax by the bike cost being taken from your wages monthly). If they did take it back I think I'd only have the equivalent money to spend which wouldn't get me much.

My wife has a low spec Cannondale quick hybrid which I imagine is similar specification and it's smooth and no rattles! Caliper brakes but otherwise a joy to ride.

I think mine can be sorted with the right knowledge and effort- other than the issues described it is nice to ride and handy being low value around theft etc.

Point taken around upgrading parts though- if I can get it sorted I'll leave it stock until things wear out!
You have a decent bike; mechanical disc brakes will stop the bike just fine, and the drive train should be quieter. It all sounds like adjustments that the shop should have made when they put the bike together. I agree with the others; if the shop won't do it, go to Trek, they'll look after you. Please keep us updated on the situation.
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