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question about the Trek 52/5500...(18 posts)

question about the Trek 52/5500...dustin73
May 17, 2001 1:52 AM
ok, are these bikes really THAT good? i mean, i live in austin, tx and i see them everywhere, and there are so many of them in the pics section. so are they popular 'cause they're really good bikes, or is it mainly due to the fact that Lance rode one and won the TdF?
re: question about the Trek 52/5500...Duane Gran
May 17, 2001 5:47 AM
Your question is a bit subjective, but I have a 5200 and I love it. I can't say it is the best bike in the world because I haven't ridden them all, but given an option to trade it for anything else, there are few other bikes I lust after more (aside from the 5500 and 5900). I occasionally deal with the "wanna be like Lance" accusation/assumption, but that doesn't bother me. As a matter of fact, I do want to be like him and terrorize the competition, but I, like most people, don't believe their bike is more important than the rider in accomplishing this. Some people dislike Trek for one reason or another and won't touch their bikes. That is fine. No issues here, but personally I found an awesome ride at an acceptable cost.
May 17, 2001 8:35 AM
Just like Duane, I own a Trek 5200 USPS for over a year now. At the time, I tried at least 15 different bikes from 5 manufacturers. The Trek was the best for me in terms of fit, comfort, quality, response, and warranty at the price I wanted to pay. For a similar carbon bike with other manufacturers, I would of had to pay at least $1000 more for a similar type bike and sometimes with a lesser warranty. I think you see a lot of people with this bike because it does represent a good value. Having Lance use the same bike to win the Tour De France also helps too.
Carbon Notes ...Breck
May 17, 2001 7:07 AM

I'm not keeping up, but my 1996 Trek 5200 frame set was exactly the same as the 1996 5500 frame set except for color and off the peg built up bike gruppo. The 5500 was Dura-Ace and the 5200 Ultegra. Mine poses as neither as it is mix and match 105/ Ultegra/ Dura-Ace. Hmmm, if this was Arkansas & this was a marriage, some might understand :)

I met the guy while he was Motorola down in Descanso near the old Ramona training camp. Believe he was riding the Merckx Motorola Team issue. I had lived in Richardson, Texas next door to Plano where he is from, but about 28 years prior. Asked him is the Owen's Country Sausage farm was still there. He said yes and the pigs were still squealing. We traded bikes and he kikked my butt up the Guatay grade. "Wow he exclaimed ...sum bike!" in that mild Texas drawl we both have. He said if Eddy ever bowed out he would make sure to pitch the Trek. "Great", I said producing the Chris King al barreled felt tipped pen with the Ti nib & environmentally safe black inko...."sign my frame?". "Sure", he said ..."anything for a fellow Texan". Gawd I thought, all us Texans ...Willie, Waylon, Lance, Tom Paul G., and me!

Last time i was in Austin was in 1959 to represent Arlington High school out of Fort Worth in the two mile State Cross Country Champeen-ship on the golf course near at UT[hook 'em horns!]. Sixteenth over all as a Jr., and rode the bike to school to and fro every day and "that was the reason as all men know" ...that "me and Anna Belle Lee" (the bike) got so fit & thank you Poe (Edgar Allan [ step dad made me spell my middle name Allen, as Breckinridge[from the Steven Warren Meader boyz books] Allan he considered too complicated]:) An aside is that i believe that biking helps running more than running helps biking & so it has for me.

some parts of the story have been changed to protect no-one.
& i hope we all remember fabio casertelli(sp), lance's motorola team mate who died on the descent in the 1995 TdF & lance then won a stage (16th?) for him & the priceless picture of the arms upraised over the finis line to fabio looking down from above. salud lance.
i met him alsoishmael
May 17, 2001 9:07 AM
that reminds me of the time i was doing my favorite climb here in pa, its not a monster but i do a couple of loops and its enough for me...and lo and behold i thought it looked like lance armstrong fly by me but it just seemed so out of place, gladwyne has some nice hills but they arent that nice...luckily it was the top of the hill and i still wasnt too beat to race up to was him..i asked what are you doing training in pennsylvania of all places..he said his wife's family lived there and he was just going to be around for three days till he was off to europe...there wasnt much more to say to him after that except good luck and then i just hung round the back of him...we got back down to the bottom of the hill and started climbing again.. i had so much competative push in me from riding with thee lance armstrong that i passed him for a moment, he ofcourse countered but i was able to barely barely hang with him...he said he was going to go, he'd had enough and was taking it easy that day....i told him it was a blast and he was gone...

*some of the names have been changed so as to embelish the story
re: question about the Trek 52/5500...4bykn
May 17, 2001 8:28 AM
I think they are really quite good bikes, and the reason(s) we see so many is because they are so good, and also the "Lance factor". I would probably be riding one, except the local dealer (IMHO) is unfriendly, snobbish, unhelpful, poor mechanics, etc....
re: question about the Trek 52/5500...Jon Billheimer
May 17, 2001 9:35 AM
I ride a '97 LeMond Chambery, so nobody associates the bike with the Lance factor. It's a great bike, but so are Kestrels, Calfees, Colnagos, etc. Trek's sponsorship of USPS is perhaps one of the greatest marketing coups of all time in the cycling industry. Also, I live in Western Canada. You don't see nearly as many Trek OCLVs here as in the States. So what you're observing around Austin is the result of great marketing. But the OCLV is definitely a good bike. Can't stand the USPS paint jobs though!
re: question about the Trek 52/5500...SlowPedal
May 17, 2001 9:48 AM
Ditto Postie paint work! Also from Western Canada, ride a 5500 smoke grey, got it on warranty for a 5000 (99), also ride a Bianchi (steel) not a valid comparison between the Bianchi and the 5500 totally different class (and price bracket), but compared to the 99 5000 the 5500 is streets ahead, lighter, feels stiffer, handles way better (maybe b/c the 5000 was misaligned in the first place). The 5500 is a very comfortable bike, is it worth the $$$, not sure never ridden another brand bike of comparable cost. But the true value is the warranty got a brand new frame in two years without too much hassle. Also tested Dales from RD800-CAD1000, was not impressed with the ride or handling of the Dales.
What does OCLV stand for?eugene
May 18, 2001 4:58 AM
Pardon my ignorance on this matter, but although I know you're referring to a carbon fibre bike, I have no idea of what OCLV stands for?
Optimum Compaction Low VoidHap
May 18, 2001 6:57 AM
This is a Trek Trademark. The idea is all the air pockets in the Carbon fibre are pressed out which makes the material stronger, therefore they can use less. The OCLV 120 weighs 2.4 lbs. The OCLV 110 weighs 2.27 lbs.

re: question about the Trek 52/5500...LC
May 17, 2001 12:21 PM
What you really have is the worst possible combination for a long lasting frame. You have ALUMINUM sleeves, GLUED to carbon fiber tubes at every joint. If the tubes don't come unglued, then the aluminum will fatige. The carbon/aluminum combination is also a disaster waiting to happen, since the materials together form a nice battery that will eventually corrode the joint away. The reason to good CF bikes cost more is that they have no joints. They are nice frames, but don't expect to have it forever. If Trek would give me a new frame every year, then I might consider it.

Trek may have a warranty on the frame, but alot of good that will do you when a tube comes unglued while screaming down a hill.
re: question about the Trek 52/5500...amflyer
May 17, 2001 1:20 PM

Are we talking about the same frames here? I've never heard about the Al sleeve in the Trek frames. I believe they are carbon lugs bonded to carbon tubes. The old 2xxx series frames were carbon tubes bonded to Al lugs though, if I remember correctly.


i think you are confusing the looks and treksishmael
May 17, 2001 6:51 PM
the looks have aluminum but even they dont really fall apart..if they did no one would buy them..the treks are all carbon lugs if i have heard it correctly, atleast the newer ones are..
LC, a question for you.Ian
May 18, 2001 7:10 AM
Do you own a carbon fork? If so, then you have a carbon / aluminum joint. As do nearly all of the other riders on this board. Carbon / aluminum joints don't need to be of concern if they are bonded properly. Which I'm sure Look, Time, Profile and many others take care to do.
Love MineJerry near St. Louis
May 17, 2001 2:43 PM
I've got a silver Y2K 5200 so I don't look like Lance at all. Compared to my old Trek 1100 aluminum bike, the 5200 rides much nicer, handles better, and is about 4 pounds lighter. There may be better bikes but the 5200 is better than me anyway.

Last Sunday out of the 8 riders, 6 had Trek OCLV bikes, my daughter was on her new Trek 2300, and one guy was on a nice Waterford. All the OCLV guys were 40+ years old. We all agreed that the bikes substituted for our mid-life crisis sports cars.
5200 vs. Klein vs. Lemond 853...Don in OKC
May 17, 2001 5:04 PM
There is a 40 mile loop from my house, thru the country, mostly flat, but not all smooth. The Lemond was good. The Klein seemed quick, stiff, responsive, absolutely great on hills, but transmitted vibration when on cobbly pavement. For a young racer used to abuse, probably the best pick. However, the steering geometry of the Trek seemed to let it 'track' straight line comfortably and it really smoothed out the rough pavement. Then I got some 16 spoke WH-7700 wheels and picked up an old set of Spoks. The Spoks are the training choice!!! (Considering the road conditions.) Mabe I'm getting soft, but the 5200 is a smoother riding frame than some of the others. This really pays off as the miles go by. Oh yes, also tried a thank you!

About Lance:....wasn't it reported that he was riding a Litespeed with Trek decals on some stages of the tour?

Don in OKC
5200 vs. Klein vs. Lemond 853...Hap
May 17, 2001 8:23 PM
In the 1999 Tour, Lance rode his old Litespeed TT bike with Trek decals. In an interview, he said that he hadn't had a chance to get comfortable on the new Trek TT bike in development. In 2000, he rode three Treks, his "white" every day ride (5500), His "grey" climbing bike for mountains (5900), and his new Trek TT bike. He rode the grey bike at Amstel Gold this year and still got Dekked.

5200 vs. Klein vs. Lemond 853...Andy
May 17, 2001 10:43 PM
I used to have a 2000 LeMond Buenos Aires, now I have a Trek 5200. The LeMond frame was, in some ways, smoother than the Trek because of the relaxed frame geometry. I'm happy with my Trek but I wouldn't mind a LeMond again.