If you're ready to ride a bike for fitness but not ready to hunch over like a Tour de France racer or tackle death-defying single-track trails in the mountains, a single-speed, bulbous-tire beach cruiser won't do. You need a "fitness bike," what the industry now calls the broad category that combines the large, fast-rolling 700-C wheels of road bikes, a tough multi-tread tire and the straight handlebars of a mountain bike. Formerly known as hybrids, these lightweight aluminum-frame bikes have become more refined, stylish and specialized; all work for commuting while sporting varying capabilities for pavement and mild dirt paths.Roy Wallack gave this review of the 2013 Trek 7.2 FX Fitness Bike:
Trek 7.2 FX: The all-conditions performance fitness bike for road, trail and commuting comes with 24-speed Shimano Alivio drive-train, puncture-resistant tires and mountain-bike style V brakes.
Likes: Fast, quick and balanced on road and mild dirt paths. Like the Specialized, it has more of a leaned-over, high-performance position than the Electra or the Felt, plus just enough style (note the red accents) to feel hip. Fender mounts make it a worthy all-weather commuter. It's also available in a women's model with altered dimensions. The FX's higher-end models have disc brakes and better components. For more off-road capability, go to the Trek 8 Dual Sport bikes, which have a light suspension fork.