So this is Cole's Dad's bike that I borrowed for our little trip we made- a Trek 7.3FX. It was my first time riding it- I picked it up the night before our trip, put the rack on, boxed it up, and went to Chicago. If you read our tour stories you know the mini-horror i went through, but come time to go, I was ready and so was the 7.3FX.
With a few slight adjustments- mainly the seat and bars, lubed it up, pumped the tires, and we were ready to go. As loaded down as I was, this bike was smooth and handled well. Shifting was smooth- no problems climbing up long, steep grades, nor any going down them...no wobbles, nothing. Sturdy. The brakes were fine through it all. I really liked the fact that it had thumb/finger shifters as opposed to grip shifts. My mountain bike has them and I've never liked it, but then again I've never switched it out either... but that's what I prefer. It's more comfortable for me.
I also liked that this bike has straight bars instead of drop bars. I'm just not a fan-never have been. While I realize I'm losing a hand position or two with this decision, Cole's dad had put bar ends on, so that helped. If this ends up being the bike I ride on our next trip, I wouldn't mind putting some Aerobars on as well.
I think this would be a fine bike for touring pretty much anywhere you want to go as long as you have the right tires. It's got plenty of stays for racks all around, fenders, and two bottle cages. It would also be nice for anyone living in a hilly area for getting around every day, or pretty much anywhere for that matter. A good cross bike, although it's in Trek's road category. All in all, we had a good time together, this bike and I. Me & Cole did too. And thanks to Dan for letting me borrow it!