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Riding Characteristics. Trek 5900 v Trek 5500(5 posts)

Riding Characteristics. Trek 5900 v Trek 5500Citius
Nov 6, 2002 2:08 PM
How does the ride of a Trek 5500 differ from the ride of a Trek 5900? Does the higher modulus carbon of the Trek 5900 dampen vibration as well as the Trek 5500? Is the $500 difference between the framesets justified? Stiffness (performance) difference?

re: Riding Characteristics. Trek 5900 v Trek 5500outofthesaddle
Nov 6, 2002 3:02 PM
I have an '03 5900 and a '99 5200 so I can't speak to the difference between the 5900 and 5500 because the set ups on my bikes are so different. I can say that the 5900 does a good job of dampening road vibration. I rode my 5900 200 miles on Sat at the Death Valley Double which has just over 9000 feet of climbing. Against good judgement I used a brand new SLR saddle that had about 50 miles on it. I felt great at the end of the ride -- no problems.

Instead of the complete bike, bought the 110 frame and had it built with Dura Ace, TTT Zepp stem, Prima bar, Thompson post and Ksyriums. It climbs effortlessly and is extremely responsive to pedal input. Is it worth $500 more than the 5500?? I don't know -- you'll have to decide. I agonzied for a long time but can say that I'm really happy with my decision.
Another vote for the 5900TrekFurthur
Nov 7, 2002 11:34 AM
The 110 OCLV dampens vibration just as well as 120 OCLV (a quality of the basic material); however, the trade off for the lighter weight is a stiffer frame. The 5900 is designed to be a climbing bike (though mine is an all-rounder), and as such must be responsive to sprint-type efforts; it's designed to waste as little of the rider's effort as possible. So, the frame is not quite as resilient as the 5500.

Here's the real trick, though; we put a 5500 and a 5900 on a scale back-to-back--only a tenth of a pound of difference between them (these are STOCK bikes).

End result--the 5500 ways approximately the same as the 5900, the components would perform as well (unless you get an '03 with the Racelite wheels--upgrade to the Xlites), and which might be more comfortable. The last of these three is, of course, subjective.
Ever used RaceLites?deHonc
Nov 7, 2002 8:06 PM

I've just taken custody of my first elite bike - a 5500. I havn't ridden a 5900 but I'll bet its very sweet fruit although the 5500 is without question a very fine ride. Mine has non stock parts (Race Lite bars and stem, S6 headset, Ti railed saddle) but it does have the Race Lite wheels. Hey, I can't believe these wheels deserve to be disregarded and upgraded without question to Xlite - I've already buckled the rear and I only weigh 175 pounds (6'2'') - I reckon I'd break the Xlites! For 200g, $1000.00 more Australian dollars is better spent appeasing the wife!

Ride Safe,

Yes--3000+miles of training and 0 problems.TrekFurthur
Nov 8, 2002 5:53 AM
However, I'm fairly easy on wheels (not that light either).