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Time for a new toy - but Trek carbon series or Ti frame?(3 posts)

Time for a new toy - but Trek carbon series or Ti frame?KCnyc
May 28, 2001 11:10 PM
I'm looking to upgrade my '99 Specialized Allez Comp, probably for the sake of it to be honest. The Allez is a fine bike and I don't have big issues (yet) with its relatively rough ride, as the longest ride I do tends to be about 55 miles (nyc to Nyack) and I don't find time to ride every day. I don't race in competition (yet) but I do like to race "informally" and I also particularly enjoy making swift progress on hills.

I ride a 58cm Allez and recently test rode a 60cm Trek 5200 (it got a lot of glowing reviews on this site) as I heard you should move up a size on it? In any case they would only allowed me several minutes on it on level pavement so I didn't get a great feel for it but I thought I'd need to try the 58cm frame (I'm 6'1", 185lbs). Next day I go into another bike store and the guy gets me interested in testing a Litespeed in the near future. His idea is a Vortex, which is less harsh than the Ultimate - but would run at least $4400 with an Ultegra setup versus the $2500 retail for the Trek 5200. Some of you guys also seem to like the Cannondale frames (among others of course).

I hate to be vulgar and say that money is not an issue as it should be regardless, however I realised some "free" $$$$ on a well timed stock trade recently and my upgrade's in a good cause as I can sell my Allez cheap to a friend whose wife won't allow him to spend more than a few hundred bucks!

Anyway, enough rambling. I'd appreciate any enlightened answers as to whether to go with carbon in the first place (someone told me the BB begins to flex after a year or so?); has anyone tested the Trek carbon series and compared to Litespeed / other Ti frames; Is it worth spending the extra to get a higher spec Ttrek (upgrade to Dura Ace? - prob not for me but what about the 5700 with seemingly better frame material?). I'd basically like a bike that I won't feel like upgrading for another decade.
Also, anyone know of a good bike store in the NYC area that will allow a decent test ride - more than a couple of miles?
Test ride both on same course...Len J
May 29, 2001 5:52 AM
I was faced with a similar choice recently, only between the Trek & a Lemond Vittoria (Titanium). Since both had the exact same compnoent group a comparison test ride, seemed the best way to choose. I had read somewhere that If you really wanted to tell the difference between two bikes, ride a long uphill followed by a curvey downhill. You will get a good feel for both the climbing ability as well as the handling, it also exaggerates differences. I did this with the two bikes, with my pedals, during a 5 mile test ride. I noticed a dramatic difference (in favor of the Trek).

I "treated" myself to the 5500 (D/A & Roldf Sest. wheels).

A few other things:
Make sure that the seat height and setback are as close to your current ride as possible.
Make sure the tires are inflated similiarly. (nothing will make a bike feel more sluggish IMHO than underinflated tires.
If you can't test ride it, don't buy it.
Any shop that wants you to buy a $4,400 bike off a flatr parking lot test ride is not a shop I would want to deal with.

Good luck & enjoy the process of shopping.
re: Time for a new toy - but Trek carbon series or Ti frame?repoman911
May 30, 2001 10:35 AM
I would see if your LBS is hosting a Serotta test ride day. We just had one here in Cincy last week. I got to try the Legend Ti for a 35 mile ride. What a incredible bike. Fast, and yet very comfortable. I normally ride a CAAD 4 Cannondale with the Carbon Slice fork. My Cannondale is actually softer, and more flexy than the Legend, but still seems to transmit all of the small stuff from the road. The Legend was smooth, but absolutly stiff during hard sprints and climbs. The Legend also seemed to really damp all of the small chatter from the road.

I was very impressed with this ride quality. I rode the Serotta over my normal 35 miler the day after doing the same ride on the CAAD 4, I also swapped my wheel set on to the bike to be sure the ride of the wheels and tires remained the same as my current bike. I think this helped me see the frame difference more clearly.

Sorry for the ramble, good luck on your choice. If money is no object than the Serotta should be in your price range!