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Upgrading Handlebars & Grips on the Trek 7.5 FX

Posted by on April 12, 2011

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UPDATE The bar end adapters are now available from Trek
http://store.trekbikes.com/product/bontrager+satellite+plus+isozone+bar+end+adapter.do

UPDATE 5/26/2011: I have heard unofficially from a Trek sales rep that there will be bar ends released that will fit on these handlebars. Unfortunately he had no ETA on when they will be released.

One of the issues i knew i might run into when i bought my Trek 7.5 FX were the Bontrager Satellite Plus IsoZone Handlebars. I found these handlebars very comfortable, combined with the carbon fork on this bike they produced virtually no impact when navigating potholes and other road anomalies. Unfortunately, this design while very comfortable, does not allow for adding bar ends for multiple had positions. Casual bikers who are not doing long distance will find the IsoZone handlebars more than adequate and possibly superior for their needs. I do a lot of distance riding and after a while the lack of multiple hand positions led to much discomfort. I went to my local bike shop where i purchased the bike and had the handlebars replaced with

Easton Riser Handlebars
Ergon GP1 Performance Grips
Dimension Bar Ends

For my needs i like this setup much better. The bar ends allow for multiple hand positions on long rides and provide a nice hand position when climbing hills aggressively. I find the Ergon grips as comfortable as the stock grips. The carbon fork seems to do most of the work when it comes to absorbing impact and trail vibration and i noticed little difference in that respect from the stock Bontrager handlebars.

Here are some photos of the new and old handlebar setup.

New Handlebars/Grips/Bar Ends

From Bike

 

Old Bontrager Satellite Plus IsoZone Handlebars

From Bike

43 Responses to Upgrading Handlebars & Grips on the Trek 7.5 FX

  1. greg h

    This is EXACTLY what I want to do. Thanks for posting the info. I was disappointed when I found out I couldn’t add bar ends. Coming from traditional road bike drop bars I immediately missed the option for multiple hand positions. Love the bike otherwise. It kinda frustrated me they would use a bar that excluded the option.

  2. Bart

    Id recommend doing the switch, if you do any real distance at all you will appreciate it. After my first 50 mile ride with this bike not having bar ends just didn’t cut it, my hands were killing me. But other than that i really like this bike.

  3. pete

    thanks for the info, i found this very helpful. a quick question..

    i also have a trek 7.3fx (same year make as yours) and am considering changing to some ergon grips with bar ends (like these ones: http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/gx2-leichtbau). is it possible to simply replace the isozone grips with the ergon grips? or will i need to replace the entire handlebar? i have read forums that suggest that because of the make of the bar (to allow for the gel grip) you may not be able to simply replace the grips?

    any advice you can give would be much appreciated. thank you!

    • Bart

      Unfortunately you cannot put another grip on these handlebars. The handlebar is not solid the whole way thru. The ‘bottom’ half of end of the handlebar is aluminum and the ISOZone elastomer insert take up the ‘upper’ half of the end. There is no solid spot to clamp down or fit a standard grip onto the handlebar. If you take the grips off the bars you will see exactly what i mean.

  4. Joe

    I would also like to change the bars and add bar ends. The only difference is I would like to replace the bar with a more flat bar (like the original). I am new to biking and don’t know what I would need to use so the brakes and shifters would be compatible. I don’t want to take up your time but if you had a quick answer as to what would work I would appreciate hearing from you. Thanks! Joe.

    • Bart

      Replacing the handlebars is pretty easy, i would have done it myself but my LBS gave me virtually free labor since it was a new bike. You can pretty much get away with any 31.8mm diameter handlebars so they fit on the stem and the shifters and brakes fit. Unless your raising the handlebars a lot you don’t need to worry about trimming the cables, etc. The brakes and shifters both come off very easy. You will need to get new grips also as the stock ones that come with the bike will not clamp onto a standard bar.

  5. Lennon Chionh

    Hi Bart, I’m from Singapore and I enjoy reading your posts – makes me want to ride more! And thanks for your heads-up on fitting bar-ends onto these FX bikes. When I got mine, I thought such handlebars are universal… only to realise I can’t even find a spot for a plug-in mirror! And yeah, it’s half elastomer and half metal tubing. What was Trek thinking?

    Looks like I’d need to upgrade the handlebars, and yours are beautifully integrated!

  6. Bart

    Great to hear from someone from Singapore. I guess the handlebar issue is now a global problem :D.

    Be sure to come back with a photo after you do your upgrade.

  7. Daniel G

    Hi Bart, I’m new to your blog but so far I like every bit of it. I’m from Katy, TX and I take my FX 7.1 for 30-50-mile rides on rural, country and city roads. After my first two rides I found that the lack of hand position options was going to be a big issue for my workouts. So, not giving much importance to the looks or appearance of my bike I went for aero bars. I have ridden my bike a good 400 miles since then and so far I love the way I can use my aero bars to have a more confortable hand position and allowing me to cut opposing wind. Hoewever, I have also realized that aero bars are not designed for off the saddle riding since they will not support your weight. Is this issue something that I can easily fix using bar ends. Do you have any other suggestion?

    • Bart

      Hi Daniel, im glad you like the site. I haven’t seen much use of Aero bars on hybrids from my limited experience, unfortunately i really cant give much of an informed opinion on them. They are an intriguing idea i might check out one day. You could always go the route of adding bar ends to your original handlebars, depending on what you want you can find a pair on the low end for 20$. Ive done 115 mile rides and find them very comfortable when you combine them with a pair of Ergon or similar grips.

      Another thing i can recommend is going to http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php/290-Hybrid-Bicycles and posting your question. There are a lot of experienced riders who might have some better recommendations.

  8. Jesus

    Bart,

    I just happened to come across your blog through a Google search. I just bought a 2011 7.6FX about a month ago. I never thought I’d spend so much on a bike, but I truly love it! Anyhow, I like keeping things relatively OEM so I doubt I’ll be swapping out the handlebar. What does intrigue me is what you used to mount your phone to your handlebars? It would be great to use my phone’s GPS to track my routes and speed (cheaper than buying one of those fancy bicycle computers). In any case, I look forward to your response!

    Thanks!
    Jesus

    • Bart

      I love my 7.5 FX, the FX are a great line of bikes. I thought of upgrading to a 7.6 but am very happy with the 7.5.

      As far as phone mounts it matters on the type of phone you have. I have an original Motorola Droid and i found a mount specifically made for it at amzer.com. Depending on your phone id try to find one specifically made for your phone instead of a universal mount as they will hold your phone more securely. Id try amzer.com, Google or possibly Amazon and try to find something specifically for your phone. If your looking for apps and you have an Android phone MyTracks by Google is a free basic app that works great, and Sportstracker is a more advanced app that has more features and lets you track and look at graphs of your performance on their website. Another thing id recommend is an extra battery from amazon.com if you have an Android phone, constant gps tracking can eat up your battery in 4-6 hours depending on your phone model.

      I must say i love having a single device that i can record my track, listen to music and check my route, surf the net on breaks, etc. I highly recommend an Android based phone if you plan to do this. Iphones are great devices, don’t get me wrong, but they do not allow you to switch out batteries and for distance and touring this is just not practical unless you want to spend lots of cash on external chargers, dyno hubs, etc. Where with an Android device you can buy an extra battery for 5 bucks, put it in your bag, forget about it until needed and not worry about rationing your battery reserve.

  9. Jesus

    You know… I originally went into the store with the intention of picking up a white 7.3FX, but then I made a silly move and test rode a 7.5FX. It just felt better and I wanted it, BUT they didn’t offer it in white FX- Fortunately (or unfortunately?) the 7.6FX is only available in white. Overall, I’m very happy with it.

    Thanks a bunch for the reply, I have an HTC EVO 4G that I plan to use… much as you do. However, I doubt I’ll be doing much touring- I’m still a newbie when it comes to cycling.

    Thanks!

  10. Mot

    I have a 2010 7.5 Fx in black. I replaced the grips with Ergon grips and added bar ends using the original handlebar. I had to slide in the brake lever and shifters inward a little bit to accomodate the bar ends. I have ridden over 1,200 miles and haven’t had any problems with my bar ends. I don’t know why you state you can’t add bar ends to the original handle bars. By the way, the Ergon grips are awesome.

    Tip: If you have to remove the original grips and they won’t come off easily……..either cut them off with a razor knife or take an awl and push it under the grip, pull up on the awl slightly and spray WD40 inside the grip. Let the WD40 sit a minute and then work the grip up and down on the handlebar until you can wiggle it off the handlebar. Either method works great.

  11. John

    Thanks so much for the pics. I am taking your suggestions to heart and have ordered the same gear. Looking forward to less fatigued hands.

  12. Dave

    Do you still have those isozone bars? interested in selling them to me? Had them on my bike but a thief stole em! I’m having a hard time finding these bars for sale anywhere! email me if your interested!

  13. Barbara

    I have a new 2012 fx 7.5 15″ WSD and thanks for all the information. I couldn’t add bar ends either. I would like to order an Ortlieb medium handlebar bag, but don’t know if it will fit (on the standard bar). What is that handlebar bag you have? I added a Ritchey Comp Adjustable Road Stem and will wait for the “promised” bontrager bar ends.

  14. Eric Shelton

    From Trek: “There will not be specific bar ends for it, but there will be bar end adapters to allow you to add bar ends. The adapters can be ordered through your local dealer as part number 428359.

    Trek Bicycle Corporation | Technical & Customer Services Representative | 801 W. Madison St, Waterloo, WI 53594

  15. bob

    Hi Bart,
    I am emailing you from the North East of England.I have a 2011 TreK 7.5. I bought a handle bar bag online only to find it didn’t fit.Would you mind telling me the make of yours and did you have any problems fitting it.
    Bob

  16. Allen

    Ok, I agree with everyone that the handlebars on the 7.5 FX are extremely unusual, but I’m in a bit of a different situation. I bought a new 2012 7.5 FX as a Christmas present for my wife. Since she won’t ever need bar-ends, the inForm Satellite grips should be adequate. However, like a complete idiot, I broke both of the inside lock-rings. Trek says the rings aren’t available separately and I’ll be damned if I can find them anywhere on the net.

    If anyone has a set of inForm Satellite take-offs I’d be happy to take them off your hands. Just let me know what you need for compensation.

  17. Melman

    Thanks for the heads up on the Trek FX. I like to stretch out and your suggestion looks good.

  18. Carl

    hey guys, i have a 2012 7.3fx…and i was searching to see if i could get some bar ends and came across this blog (gotta love google). I was a bit discouraged when i first read this post b/c i do like the original Bontrager Satellite Plus IsoZone Handlebars. GOOD NEWS…there IS a Bontrager bar end kit for the grips that come with the bike. I went to my LBS and had the kit and ends installed with no problems.

    here’s a pic:
    http://cfjrphotography.com/images/trekSevenThreeBarEnds.jpg

    much more comfortable ride with different hand positions

    also, my android cell phone mount is on the way! (gotta love ebay)

    great post for inspiration….thanks!

  19. dave

    Hi guys, i have a Trek 7.6fx and id like a more forward and down position. The bar stem is a its lowest, but is there a way of lowering it further? I notice there are 2 ‘spacers’ on the stem…can they be removed?Appreciate ur comments : )

    • Bart

      I think you can invert the bar stem so its angled down instead of up to get it at a lower angle, this might give you what your looking for. As far as removing the spacers i have no idea, but would assume they are needed.

      Disclaimer.. i am not a bike mechanic these are just some assumptions on my part.

  20. Rudy

    @Dave. The spacers can be removed, however, they must be placed above the stem so that you can place the top cap and still tighten your head bearings. This will give your bike an odd “fork steerer tube” through the stem look however. If you do not like this look (and are certain that you prefer the stem in this permanent lower position) then can also cut your stem so that it’s 3-5mm below the top of the stem.

  21. Rudy

    Oops, I meant cut your fork steer tube, not your stem.

  22. Howard

    Can the handlebars on a 2011 fx 6 be raised to get a more upright position?

    • Bart

      You would need to either get a different stem with a stepper angle, an adjustable stem or handlebars with some rise.

  23. Alex

    I wasnt to buy the bontrager handlebars that come with the fx7.5, but i am not sure what width to order. my wife’s WSD model comes with the 600 mm version. But I am wondering what’s the width on the men’s model (the 20″ size version). Anyone cares to measure the isoZone bar’s width on their fx?

  24. Walter H

    Thank you so much for posting this! I was looking at doing something similar on my Trek and wasn’t sure if it would work with the stock shifters and brakes, but they look great!

    I am ordering these now!

  25. Coop

    What handlebar options are available for FX 7.1 to get the handle bars closer to the rider? Basically the rider needs to sit more upright

  26. Bart

    Your best bet would probably be switching out the stem for an adjustable stem. Then you can be more upright or angle to your bike more. Your local bike shop should be able to help you out.

  27. Study That

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  28. Karen Schneider

    Hi Bart,

    Yea…, I have an Trek 7.3 FX. Most importantly; I’m a new bike rider “this summer” and love my bike. I know next to nothing about them. Prophylactically my hands and arms are numb after riding a short 6 miles every other day. I would like to possibly change that. I’ve seen some idea’s on other sites that say Richie adjustable stem could help. Does this mean, by changing the stem my reach is shorter and bars higher & I can keep the original bars? I have the crowbar sport handle bar.

    This weekend our local town had a bike race in which I saw a Trek bike locked up in front of a shop with the look of comfortable style handle bars! I think this could work for me. I think it’s a rise bar with adjustable stem? After researching the web tonight, I think thats what I saw. Could this work for my Trek? What would it take to make the up grade and is it possible.

    So what I’m tring to say/ask so poorly is what would you recommend? I really want to ride farther and not worry about my hands & arms. I’m looking forward to riding to the beach and back I’m ready.

    Respectfully,

    Karen

    P.S. I have no health issues!!!

  29. bikingbill

    I enjoyed your Blog. Has a very nice ‘feel’ to it. Ride on!

  30. Tom

    The handlebars come in different rise amounts,which did you choose?

  31. Paul

    Does anyone know whether the Trek bar end adapters will allow fitting of Ergon GP-2’s to the isozone handle bar? Just bought the GP-2’s and only realised the issue when I went to fit them. Thanks in advance. Paul

  32. Eugene Quigley

    I want to do the same as you with regard to the handle bars on my Trek 7.3FX. I have the Easton EA50 on order. I would really like your advice on the Ergon GP1 grips and a suitable bar end. I’m in Ireland and can’t get Dimension bar ends. I’m considering the Ergon GP3’s with built in barends. What are your thoughts on this combo?
    Regards

    Eugene

    • Bart

      Hi, i havent checked my blog in a big, but I actually ended up replacing the Dimension bar ends with the Ergon GP3 and i find them even more comfortable.

  33. Can

    Hi Bart,

    Greetings from Turkey. I have a 2014 Trek FX 7.3 with isozone handlebar and would like to add a bar end. I have recently bought an isozone bar end adapter. Now, I am looking for a compatible bar end. Ergon GP series look nice and have very good reviews. Do you have any idea if any of Ergon GP bar ends are compatible with my configuration? If not, what do you suggest?

    Thanks my friend.

    Can

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