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Trek 5500 or Look KG281 ??(9 posts)

Trek 5500 or Look KG281 ??gator325
May 9, 2003 4:06 AM
I am looking to buy a new frame/fork and wanted to hear from those bike experts out there and those who have ridden these two bikes to give me there 2 cents on which is the better bike.
get the Look KG281filtersweep
May 9, 2003 4:22 AM
The 281 is basically the same as the newer 381i except the headset is not internal, the 281 has a 1" steertube, and the lugs are mildly different in appearance (there are a few other "cosmetic" differences as well). The 281 can be found at a bargain because it is no longer produced.

If I'm not mistaken, isn't the 5500 f/f the same as the 5200? I think you will find the Look fit and finish to be better than the Trek, and the ride is superb. Some will argue that the Trek is lighter and has more aggressive geometry, but the Trek geometry never did agree with me. I'd gladly pay for a great ride with a few ounces in a weight "penalty."

There is nothing wrong with the Trek- BTW... but the Look is one of the most "overlooked" options out there- and it can be built up for about the same money as a Trek OCLV frameset.

Finally, they are sized very differently- a 57cm Look will actually be larger than a 58 cm Trek- so be advised. The Trek will have a better warranty and easier warranty service, but the Look has a three year warranty (I believe) and by then, either frame will be heavily depreciated anyway.
Correct on TrekTNSquared
May 9, 2003 7:29 AM
The 5200 and 5500 are both OCLV 120 frames with the Bontrager Race Lite fork. Only difference is Ultegra group on 5200 vs DA on the 5500.

And they do run small. I'm on a 58 and still had to put a 130 cm stem on it. My buddy who rides a Colnago guessed it was a 54 or 56.
Trek doesn't run that small in the ttLazywriter
May 9, 2003 7:43 AM
In fact I just got a 58cm frame (5200 or 5500 depending upon the components). The tt length is 57.2cm on the Trek and 56.5cm on my Litespeed (57cm) which are known to have long top tubes. Your friend has a really long torso then.
They do measure frame size to the top of the seat tube clamp which makes a 58cm more like a 56cm in frames measured the more traditional c-t way.
Also CorrectTNSquared
May 9, 2003 8:16 AM
But I am all torso, which is one reason I went with Trek in the first place. I could have gone with a 60cm, except the 1mm standover made me a bit nervous. :) So a 58 with a long stem suited me.
STA also a factortorquer
May 9, 2003 11:43 AM
When I compared Trek's geometry with Look's (forget which model, but they were on close-out sale early last year), I discovered that the more laid-back seat tube angle of the Look had the effect of "shortening" the top tube. (This has been discussed thoroughly in this forum and others, so you may want to do a search.) As a result I would have required a longer stem to maintain my position relative to the BB/pedals.
The KG281 gets my vote.High Gear
May 9, 2003 4:26 PM
Comparing it to my old 5200, the ride is so much better. Matter of fact, it's my best riding frame. My steel De Rosa would be second and my Cyfac would be last. I'm only refering to comfort, but the Look performs well at everything too. I hate to say it, but it is my favorite. If the geometry fits you, then go for it.
re: Trek 5500 or Look KG281 ??kelmeboyAZ
May 9, 2003 7:21 PM
I owned a year 2000 (1" headset) 5500 and rode it about 5000 mi before buying a year 2002 Look KG381 Kelme Team frame and HSC 4 fork. Swapped over the D/A comp's and Ksyrium SSC SL wheelset. Trek was wonderful but after 5000mi on the Look there's no comparison. The Trek did feel dead or woody whereas the Look feels as comfortable on rough roads, but bright and bouncy like steel! Size is very different and geometry. I road a 56cm Trek and fit perfectly on a 54cm Look. I don't have experience with the 281, but if it is similar to the 381 (which I'm sure it is)get the Look without hesitation. Beautiful paint and finish! Rarely see another Look in a sea of Treks.
Hey kelmeboyAZ, here's my kelme 361;KG 361
May 10, 2003 5:54 PM
Not a great pic, but look familiar? (No pun intended....) Thought you might appreciate it =)