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Look KG-461 and Trek 5200 for first time road bike buyer(22 posts)

Look KG-461 and Trek 5200 for first time road bike buyerlendog
Apr 14, 2003 10:42 AM
Looking at these two bikes for a first time purchase. I am 6'2", 195 lbs. and have ridden both (although have not ridden the LOOK in what I think is my size 59/61). Since I've no prior experience on a road bike, both feel very nice, responsive and light.

Just wondering for my weight, and size frame I will need, (I think I am a 60 or 62 on the Trek and a 59 or 61 on the Look, which bike will be laterally stiffer for me? BB, headtube etc...

I have received mixed opinions from the shops I have been too. Any feedback from those who have familiarity with each would be appriciated.

Also any pro's and con's about each would be welcome.

What do you ride now? MTB? Fit VERY important. nmSpunout
Apr 14, 2003 10:56 AM
Skip the French bike, buy AmericanBIG RING
Apr 14, 2003 12:10 PM
As I have stated many times before, I love the 5200. Great warranty, ride etc.

Besides, it turns my stomach to think of anyone buying a product from those pussies. Chirac should go eat some brie, drink some wine and keep his mouth shut. One word for that country...........NORMANDY.
Gee, that' s a well thought-out answer.look271
Apr 14, 2003 12:27 PM
Buy what you want. The French people have no more say in their govt's decisions than we do. I can't say anything about the kg 461. It has different geometry than my KG 361 and 271. I will say this, however,I love mine and NOTHING that I've ridden/owned even comes close to the combination of ride, responsiveness, and lightness of my Looks. Plus, you don't see 10 of them every time you go for a group ride.
Gee, that' s a well thought-out answer.raboboy
Apr 14, 2003 1:05 PM
yeah, maybe if you buy a look, you can put a 'freedom-cycle' sticker over the look logo, then it will be acceptable. ;)
There's a reason........BIG RING
Apr 15, 2003 12:16 PM
you see 10 of them on every group ride and the reason isn't Lance. I'm just a little peeved at the French right now. I actually tried a KG 361 and it was very nice. Seemed to be a bit stiffer than OCLV 120 (5200/5500), more like OCLV 110 (5900). Bottom line is that I just like carbon the best compared to Ti, Al or steel.
Ok, that's a little better.look271
Apr 15, 2003 1:36 PM
Nice, rational thought process. See, wasn't that easy? =)
Yes, I like carbon, too. No doubt the Treks are good bikes. I rode a 5200 before I bought my Look(s). It was light and really quick, but it just didn't "sing". Sort of like a Camry or Accord. Great vehicles but no "soul". Love how my KG 361 rides.
And I have one name for you: Lafayette. Now what?tempeteOntheRoad
Apr 14, 2003 4:37 PM
How many friends do you have with opinions like that?

I know who's a pussy. Pussies are coward unable to voice their opinions, let alone form one.
Here's something to smoke dude.tempeteOntheRoad
Apr 14, 2003 4:41 PM
re: Look KG-461 and Trek 5200 for first time road bike buyerraboboy
Apr 14, 2003 12:23 PM
They are both excellent bikes and I can't imagine you'd be disappointed with either. If you like the way both bikes feel, then you will have to go with some other deciding method; which shop would you rather do business with (which one makes you feel more appreciated or pays more attention to fit), which one is a better deal, which has better components, which has a cooler color (i think the black mat look is one of the sweetest looking bikes out there), or even flip a coin. :)

have fun riding and post a pic when you get it.
answer is-Trek is betteralansutton
Apr 14, 2003 1:16 PM
This question comes up often and the censuses has always been the same- Trek is better. I know many people who ride both and the LOOK riders are always slower, complain about soreness, get frequent flats and are generally disgruntled. Whereas the Trek riders are always at the front, always comfortable, good humored and generally healthier. In fact, a well-known University just completed a major study of bicycle bands and their effect on contemporary human behavior and the impact on human biophysical chemical mechanisms. Interestingly enough, it also concluded that Trek was better. Alan
That made me laugh *NM*Mudman
Apr 14, 2003 2:10 PM
Oh, so THAT'S why I'm such a slow, irritable SOB! ;-) nmlook271
Apr 14, 2003 3:53 PM
Yes, it really is about the bike after all :-) (nm)Scot_Gore
Apr 14, 2003 6:47 PM
Tough callIan
Apr 14, 2003 2:18 PM
Both bikes are very nice, and as another poster said, you will probably be very happy with either bike.

I have owned a Trek 5200, Look KG361 and currently own a KG381i. I was / am quite happy with all of them. If I remember correctly, the geometry in those sizes is fairly close. At least not so far off that you can't make adjustments with saddle and stem positions. The ride is a bit different. The road is going to disappear a bit more with the Trek. Some people love that feeling, some don't like it, it is a personal decision. The Look is going to give you a bit more feedback from the road, but still have the comfortable ride of carbon. The Trek gives you a lifetime warranty, the Look a five year warranty. Trek 5200's are everywhere, not many KG461's on the road. The Trek comes in two colors, the Look in four.

So, other than the slight difference in ride quality, it really comes down to which one speaks to you. Which frame do you prefer the aesthetics of? Which color do you prefer? Really just basic emotions. But then, isn't that what most buying decisions are based on?

Good luck and happy shopping.

re: Look KG-461 and Trek 5200 for first time road bike buyerdasho
Apr 14, 2003 5:08 PM
I have owned both the Trek 5200 (for 3 years) and a Look KG 281 (about 1 1/2 years). I think the KG 461 is very similar to the 281 as far as ride and construction goes.

In my opinion the Trek ride is more stiff and muted than the Look while the Look is a more lively and comfortable riding (pliant) bike. After a 70 mile ride in the mountains last year I couldn't believe how well my 50 year old body felt afterwards. The Look's handling seems to be a bit more twitchy than the rock solid 5200 but now that I have ridden the 281 for awhile it seems fine.

You really can't go wrong with either of these great riding bikes but if stiffness is your main concern, I think the Trek is the way to go. Trek's lifetime frame warantee compared to the 3 year Look is also nice. If you go with a Look be careful of sizing as they run quite big.
re: Look KG-461 and Trek 5200 for first time road bike buyerpitt83
Apr 15, 2003 6:07 AM
I just bought a 461 and test rode the 5200. My shop wasn't willing to sell me the 5200 frame and migrate my components; made the decision easy for me. I still use that shop; he just wanted to sell whole bike only. That being said, I am VERY happy with the 461. Rode a metric on Sunday with BIG hills and loved it. My times early season are where they were at the end of last year. that's either good winter training or the new bike; who cares which!.

PS: The blue isn't what you see on your monitor. It's VERY grey. I didn't like it when they opened the box and unwrapped the frame, but do now.
re: Look KG-461 and Trek 5200 for first time road bike buyerpitt83
Apr 15, 2003 6:09 AM
Oops, forgot the obligatory photo when you buy a new bike!
thanks for the pic!!! a couple of questions for you...lendog
Apr 15, 2003 7:01 AM
thanks for the pic!! Sweet looking bike. What size is it. I noticed the long head tube, just curious. Also what are your dimensions? Just curious as to how stiff the BB area is for you.

Thanks for the feedback.
thanks for the pic!!! a couple of questions for you...pitt83
Apr 15, 2003 7:05 AM
It's a 59. Head tube looks big; I think because of the integrated headset, it's an optical illusion. First time I saw a C'dale w/ an integrated set, I thought it was huge. Takes some getting used to. I'm a very big rider, 6'4", 240lbs. No flex I notice. That likely is due to the wishbone seatstays. I did a hilly ride Sunday and didn't notice any flex. It tracks great! Could be ther Vittoria tyres, could be the bike. Would be an outstanding crit ride.
thanks, last question...lendog
Apr 15, 2003 7:59 AM
thanks. With your height, I assume your on the bigger of the 59 frames. One shop told me they make two 59 frames, (one with a longer TT and seat tube). Some shops just call the larger frame a 61.

I may buy the bike through mail order and cannot find my size locally to try, so I am trying to make sure I get the right size. I am 6'2" and was fitted to the 59 frame that has a 59 cm seat tube (measured center to center) and 58 cm TT length. Is that the one you are on, or the longer TT version?

Thanks again for your help.


PS - Yours is a very sweet bike, I'm excited to get one. Just out of curiosity, did you like the trek ride better? Or were they both really good, and couldn't go wrong with either?
thanks, last question...pitt83
Apr 15, 2003 9:29 AM
As I know it, there's only one 59cm frame. They indeed make a 61. The geometry chart is on

I got fitted at the shop where I bought it. They gave me a spec sheet for what, if totally custom would be. I paid $125, but that came back with a bike purchase. The 59 fits most of these specs. comes amazingly close to the "professional" fit.

Re: Mail order. I paid exactly what excel sports was charging. Yes, sales tax, no shipping. Therefore, a wash. I did get a professional, thorough, excellent build (cleaned and re-tapped every thread; torque speced every bolt, etc) and was able to have every cable, housing, fitting, etc. available that was needed. I know my home shop doesn't. Unless you're paying more than the $1399 that excel want's, I'd go with the shop.

And yes, Lenny, it is a sweet bike. Only now beginning to appreciate how much. Another photo for you.

Re:Trek. I simply wanted to step into a more esoteric brand; something you don't see every day. The 5200 was fine, just not "wow, what is that".