Q:

What's the best bike for singletrack and urban commuting?

What's the best bike for singletrack and urban commuting?
— Amy
Philadelphia, PA

Jul 12, 2010
Outside
Outside Magazine
A:

With less than a $10 price difference, you can't go wrong with either the Trek FX 7.3 WSD or the Cannondale Quick 4 Fem. You can always swap out tires for more or less tread. And a carbon fork might shave off a few ounces and soak up a little more road vibration, but unless you plan on riding more than 20 miles at a time, I'm not sure how much of a difference you'll notice. (It's interesting to note, however, that the Cannondale does offer this bike in a $2,029 fully carbon frame.)

As for components and other differentiating bells and whistles, it looks like both bikes offer quality, come with a women-specific seat, and have braze-on eyelets to mount racks, panniers, and fenders, an important element if you're going to use the bike for commuting.

So really, it all comes down to fit: The Trek FX 7.3 WSD ($640; trekbikes.com) has four women's specific design diamond and two step-through frames, while the Cannondale Quick Feminine 4 ($649; cannondale.com) comes in five sizes, from small to jumbo. On any kind of ride--whether it's commuting to work or riding on a gravel country road for pleasure--you're going to want to love the way the bike feels. Both of these options offer upright riding geometry, which is generally comfortable, but I recommend trying to spend some quality time in the saddle of each bike before you buy to determine which one you'll like to ride best.

You might also want to check out Specialized's Vita Sport ($830; specialized.com) or the Giant Dash 3 ($570; giant-bicyles.com) before you make your final decision.

Filed To: Bikes and Biking

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