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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: YoungGranny on December 30, 2016, 06:55:52 AM

Title: Trek Zektor 2 for Commuting?
Post by: YoungGranny on December 30, 2016, 06:55:52 AM
Hey Guys! I'm super new to the bike world. I have been riding a late 90's Schwinn Frontier that's a bit too small for me for the past year or so as I've gotten back into biking. After realizing I want to bike a lot more and not wanting to stay on a too-small mountain bike for long I've started looking a new bike and find it somewhat overwhelming.

I will use the bike to commute 9 miles roundtrip to work in Michigan weather (ie might be sunny and 60 when I leave for work and sleeting in the 30's when I come home =P).
I also want to start biking for fitness more and want to complete a duathlon this year (30mi for the bike portion).

I think having disc brakes for MI commuting weather seems like a good idea. I also need to be able to haul a change of clothes & lunch to work. I've stopped in a few bike stores and the Trek Zektor 2 (  seems like a good choice to me. Still a commuting bike but with skinnier tires seems like it wouldn't be a bad bike to do a duathlon on. I'm comfortable spending $500-$700 on a bike so it's in the right range.

But to be honest I know very little about biking and while it seems to address my needs I'm worried I'm missing something or that it's a really crappy bike (no idea if it's equipped with good chain/shifters/handles/ etc and every website seems to offer differing opinions and makes it more confusing). So, anyone happen to have any experience with this bike or a different recommendation for me??

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Trek Zektor 2 for Commuting?
Post by: cincystache on December 30, 2016, 10:57:01 AM
Hi YoungGranny,
The bike you propose looks pretty slick. I'm sure it would meet your needs just fine but it seems a little pricey. A couple of points:

1. Hydraulic Disc Brakes:
I've used both disc and rim brakes on different bikes and while I agree that disc brakes offer higher performance, if you are commuting 9 miles round trip on a relatively flat terrain, I doubt you will ever need the stopping power offered by disc brakes. If you have a situation where you are flying downhill at 45+mph in the rain and approaching a busy traffic light, then yes, you might need the performance and reliability of disc brakes.

Again with hydraulic disc brakes, you will need to bleed them on some frequency which requires some time, knowledge, and tools. Or you could let the LBS take care of it, but it will cost you ~$25 and leave you without a bike for a day or so.

The internally routed cables also look cool but they might be a pain to swap out if you ever decide to to that yourself. My bikes don't have them so I'm not speaking from experience here.

The bike below is selling for $285 shipped today on nashbar (25% off). It doesn't have as high quality of components and parts as the Trek but I'd argue it would be entirely sufficient for a 9 mile round trip commute and 30 miles worth of duathlon.

If you don't love it, you could always use it as a backup bike

Good luck with the decision! (
Title: Re: Trek Zektor 2 for Commuting?
Post by: Laserjet3051 on December 30, 2016, 11:11:51 AM
Looks like a nice bike but I would concur with the above poster that disc brakes are an added expense for what you need a bike for, that is unecessary. Especially hydraulic discs, which are more $$ and require more service than mechanical disc brakes. Unless your doing DH biking in heavy mud ,rain, snow, I'd forgoe disc brakes. What is the integrated bluetooth feature about? Do you really need to funnell bike data directly to your phone?

I do like the internal cable routings but am not familiar with the Claris componentry. The built in frame mounts for racks is a really nice feature if you plan to be hauling stuff. 25.53 lbs of bike weight isnt so bad, though one could do better, but as MMM would say, more weight, more workout.
Title: Re: Trek Zektor 2 for Commuting?
Post by: bikebuzz on December 31, 2016, 08:24:45 PM
I'm not familiar with the Zektor line from Trek, but it does sound like it has more features than you'd need.  I'd recommend the FX line of Trek bikes for commuting.  I commute 8 miles each way on my 7.3fx in similar midwest weather and it's fantastic.  A 7.2 or 7.3 is probably all you need unless you plan on going for longer rides.  See if you can find one of the 2015 or 2016 models on clearance from your local bike store.
Title: Re: Trek Zektor 2 for Commuting?
Post by: YoungGranny on January 03, 2017, 06:48:27 AM
Thanks for all the advice this was very helpful! A few of the bike shops I went to had a 'definitely need disc brakes' mentality. After reading your guys advice & remembering that I've never used anything but rim brakes I checked out a few more shops and found a guy who really seemed to want to get me on the right bike instead of upselling me (hooray!). I went with the Trek 7.2fx and snagged it for $475 this weekend. Probably could have gotten away with spending less but it was a really nice ride when I tested it out and I commuted by bike to work for the first time today and damn, it feels good!
Title: Re: Trek Zektor 2 for Commuting?
Post by: cincystache on January 03, 2017, 04:43:45 PM
Great choice! I hope you enjoy your bike and it gives you many years of good riding. Glad you got a good deal as well. Keep up the bike commuting
Title: Re: Trek Zektor 2 for Commuting?
Post by: jmwagner5 on January 03, 2017, 08:04:35 PM
I also want to start biking for fitness more and want to complete a duathlon this year (30mi for the bike portion).

Having purchased a Zektor myself for my commute and also a big fan of triathalons, I can confirm that the Zektor is an awesome hybrid-style bike! It was designed to be durable enough to handle off-road commuting (thus the wider frame and space for larger tires) while also being light and angled forward enough to make you more aerodynamic than most other hybrid bikes.  One advantage of disc brakes over conventional style brakes is that you do have the option of replacing with wider tires in snowy weather to help increase traction. 

That all being said, you cannot go wrong with any Trek bike from what I have experienced so congrats on your purchase and starting to ride in to work! Hopefully you enjoy your training and enjoy some nice duathalons this year!