Last month we tested the Trek FX 5 Sport. It looks stunning, but does it meet the expectations of a speed junkie? Will it help you shed the pounds without busting your lungs? Does it have what it takes to be the best hybrid cycle out there? Let’s find out.
At 10kg, the Trek FX 5 Sport weighs as much as your pet Beagle! Trek is known for its invisible welding technology on the 400 Series OCLV (Optimum Compaction Low Void) carbon frame. The technology attempts to strike the best balance between low weight, high strength and stiffness. This carbon formula has even been patented by Trek.
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The Trek FX 5 Sport being the lightweight hybrid, its frame works best when used for long distances as well as city commuting. The frame gives enough stability on high speed corners as well. On the other hand, because it is so light, I could play around in the city with ease. Covering distances with ascents and descents came with ease.
Owning a carbonfibre-laden bike is obviously expensive. Imagine parking it on the road or even in the basement of a mall? Having spent almost Rs 1.55 lakh, you would not want it to fall into the wrong hands. That’s also where its light weight comes into play. Heading to a cafe? Carry the Trek FX 5 Sport with you. Live in a flat? You can carry it home and put it on display in the drawing room!
The Trek has a flat Bontrager Satellite handlebar with 15mm rise on the 400 OCLV carbon frame makes for an upright position. It is a hybrid road bike (which means the posture is in between that of a city bike and an aggressive race cycle) with narrow Bontrager AW2 Hard-Case Lite tyres for easy manoeuvrability in the city. The FX 5 Sport does not have suspension as it is not meant for mountain biking.
Thanks to all that trickery, I could pedal the Trek FX 5 Sport for 21km straight. And trust me, like I said, I’m not the fittest person around. The combination of a relatively steep seat angle combined with tall stack height and the long head tube, made the ride comfortable even when I was sitting upright throughout the ride. I could get to speed on smooth straight roads, courtesy its lightweight frame and tyres which didn’t bring down the acceleration and speed. At low speeds, I felt confident riding the bike as I cut through the traffic.
On rough roads, the ride wasn’t supple so I did miss the suspension. The lock-on grips and the relatively thin tyres aren’t the most comfortable, especially on our poorly constructed roads. However, the proportion of the saddle to central cut-out, lock-on grips and the nylon body pedals with toe clip and strap, allow for comfortable long rides. Shimano M365 hydraulic discs at both ends do a great job and offer enough stopping power. The braking performance is exemplary. The Tiagra derailleur (that shifts the chain on the various gear sprockets) works well, but feels clunky at low speeds. All the ten ratios are well spaced, reducing the effort on long climbs without droppings speeds too much. Special mention about the lowest gear ratio of the Trek FX 5 Sport which really comes handy when you’re going uphill on a mountain and doesn’t bust your lungs.
The Trek FX 5 Sport comes with a carbonfibre frame and forks, top-of-the line Shimano drivetrain and disc brakes at both ends. Obviously, it all comes at a price but when you consider the package, you do get good value. It’s perfect for someone who wants the best of both worlds. Want to commute to the office at a brisk pace? The FX 5 Sport will get you there comfortably. You can also go mile-munching at will, and speed. And that it looks super-cool is just the icing on the cake.
Words by Vishal Joshi