Strengths: Smooth gear changing
Suspension works well.
Weaknesses: Noisy and poor brakes.
I found the Utopia very attractive to look at and is a joy to ride. It is a well balanced bike and handles brilliantly, it is very smooth at going up and down the gears. However the brakes are very poor and really let down a good overall bike, they squeal and often there isn't enough friction between the pads and the disc itself, I have more than once pulled the disc brake apart and tried to rough up the pads and remove dirt from the disc. This works for about 5 miles or so then the dreaded squealing returns. Although it is a fantastic bike once it has some decent brakes fitted.
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2011
Strengths: Fun to ride, fast on road (17-18mph without breaking a sweat).
Lockable shock works great.
Good quality paint job (no chipping despite power wash and hail storm abuse)
Fairly light weight for such a large and solid frame with shock.
Weaknesses: Horrible useless disc brakes.
Bolts under seat, on handlebar and on frame are all rusted after 3 months.
2011 Trek Utopia.
Bought the bike as a first, not sure if I'd ride pavement or trails.
Have been back to the LBS about 10-15 times to buy stuff, try and have them look at something or buy repair or replacement stuff.
The saddle is hard as a rock and shocks to the rear tire are transferred straight to the saddle.
The brakes squeal, rub and don't always provide full stopping power. Sometimes none at all. They'll stop squealing and actually work better in the rain, for some reason.
Got first flat within a few weeks (500 miles), due to a tiny rock lodged in the tube, arguably it must've been there since the installation by Trek.
Rear derailleur cable and ferrule was all worn out at 700 miles, rendering the shifting frustrating. Needed new cable housings and cable.
Tires wore out by about 1200 miles (with rotation at 800); could've kept them going longer, but the way they became flat with huge knobs on the side made them ride unstable in turns.
The real fun problem I've now discovered at 1400 miles: the front disc is no longer aligned with the brake housing. It rubs on the housing of the disc brake assembly. The LBS refused to help me with this problem (as well as the above problems), tactfully dismissing my requests for maintenance or the free tune ups they promised. So I put a flat washer by the quick-release bolt to move the disc into alignment; it is now back to the middle of the brake house assembly between the pads, but stopping force from the front brake is almost non-existent. The wheel and disc itself is not bent and runs completely true, so I'm guessing the problem is the quick release bolt/nut has worn.
The grips do not stay on the handlebars, constantly have to twist them back on.
The crank/bottom bracket is making cracking sounds, as is the steering/stem. There is also a clicking sound when pedaling, coming from the pedals. Applying lube or washing it hasn't resolved it, and as I mentioned, the authorized trek dealer I bought it from isn't providing the tune-up as promised.
Strengths: Lock-out front fork, 700c "knobby" tires, disc brakes, and overall ride-ability.
Weaknesses: None so far. I know most complain about their saddles, but so far so good; its comfortable enough for me.
2011 Gary Fisher Utopia by Trek. Excellent bike for the price, and I really love the options I get with this bike. It rides smooth and fast down the streets, and I can jump off to a dirt trail with no hesitation.
Weaknesses: Disc brakes, tires, component group is average at best, fork is spongey, but I do weigh in at 250lbs.
It's a 2009. Good frame, fits me well being a clydesdale rider. I changed the tires to something with a less aggressive tread, and the fact I had three flats in as many rides! Disc brakes are absolute garbage. They squeal like a bottle rocket going off. I may put on some V-brakes and take off these disc's. Other than that, it has been relatively good.
Strengths: Durable, well balanced, and fast for the size and weight. For a mid-priced commuter bike, you can't beat the Utopia. The geometry is even better if your heigth is in the torso, not the legs, like me. I'm 6', 220 lbs (down from 250 in 7 months) but most of my heigth is in the torso.
Weaknesses: Weight and mediocre components. Shifting is sometimes unpredictable (Shimano 105) and the disc brakes will quickly teach you the art of adjusting and replacing pads yourself. None of these weakness diminish the strengths of this bike.
Great bike for commuting; albeit, a little heavy. The the money, the bike is honey. The packaged components are basic entry level items; however, the frame is sturdy, durable, and will yield many years of service and pleasure.