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Trek 5200/5500 questions...(12 posts)

Trek 5200/5500 questions...MVN
May 13, 2003 9:50 AM
I'm thinking of getting a Trek 5200 or 5500 pretty soon. I walked into the lbs last week and saw the owner's new red 5500 he had just finished building up. He said I could get the frame and fork for $1499. I've heard that the 5200 and 5500 are the same but with different groups. I know they come with Ultegra/Dura-Ace, but are the frames pretty much the same? Any reason why I would want one over the other? I want a carbon fiber bike and I want to deal with my lbs. I trust them, they are a good shop, and are really helpful. They go out of their way to educate me about bikes, riding, and everything bike-related. I just can't decide which model to get. I like the way the 5500 looked, but I am on a budget so if I can get the 5200 cheaper (and there's no difference) then I may do that. Any Trek owners (or non-owners) care to help educate me further? All opinions and thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
re: Trek 5200/5500 questions...nicholasdunford
May 13, 2003 10:14 AM
I almost bought the 5200, and as far as the website and my LBS have told me the only difference between the bikes is the gruppo. The frame, fork, headset, handlebars, seatpost, and seat are exactly the same. I really like the 5200, but ended up getting the Lemond Zurich because there is something about steel, and it was $600 cheaper. But the Zurich has the exact same drivetrain and wheel set-up as the 5200 so I can tell you that the Ultegra is awesome. The 5200 usually runs $2499 and the 5500 runs $3500. I don't know about you but that seems like a lot just to go to Dura-Ace, especially when Ultegra is so nice for the average rider.
Trek and Shimano pricestorquer
May 13, 2003 10:37 AM
I just checked the Trek website, and the MSRP difference between the 5200 and 5500 is $730. I have no idea if dealers' markup is proportional or not, and of course a dealer may offer a better price on a bike in stock vs. one that needs to be ordered, leaving the shop with inventory.

What I find puzzing is that the difference in price between an Ultegra and Dura Ace groupo (at Colorado Cyclist) is only $400. If everything else (including wheels) is the same on the two models, somebody is making an extra $300 on the 5500.
Everything else used to be different.TJeanloz
May 13, 2003 10:40 AM
I'm not up on current Trek specs, but everything in the build kit used to be better on the 5500 than it was on the 5200. That said, you could always build up a 5500 frame with Dura-Ace and top-shelf parts for less than Trek tried to sell the 5500 for - they charge an arm and a leg for the Bontrager stuff.
Yup, just last year the 5500 had Race X-Lites, while the 5200...jtferraro
May 13, 2003 11:50 AM
had the Race Lite wheelset. I also believe the 5500 had Bontrager Race Lite stem & bars, while the 5200 just had the Bontrager Race series. Lastly, the 5500 had a Thomson Elite post, while the 5200 had a Bontrager Race.

Not same wheelselviento
May 13, 2003 2:13 PM
An assumption you shouldn't be making there.
Trek 5200 pricingsuperdog
May 13, 2003 12:04 PM
Like you, I was looking at the Lemond Zurich and the Trek 5200. I ended up getting a new 5200 for the same price as the Zurich ( $1800 - $1900 range )

I purchased my Trek in March and got a good deal on the previous year's model. That was in 2001. Every year since I've made a point to see if I could locate a previous year's model and check the price tag. Every year I've been able to locate a new 5200 for under $2000.

It pays to shop around. I really liked the Zurich too!
The frames are the sametorquer
May 13, 2003 10:23 AM
As far as I know, only the components (and possibly color choices) are different.

You may want to explore buying a frame and a build-kit separately. This has the advantage of letting you specify exactly the parts you want, and could save you money to boot, especially if you opt for "standard" DA (or Ultegra)/Open Pro wheels in lieu of the Bontragers included in the complete Trek packages.
re: Trek 5200/5500 questions...TNSquared
May 13, 2003 10:24 AM
I suggest checking out the specs on the two at, but everything I've ever read says that the two are essentialy identical except the component group and the paint job. Same OCLV 120 frame material, same geometry, same fork. I believe the price for the 5200 frame and fork only is even the same as the 5500 frame and fork only. You have to move up to the 5900 to get a different frame - it's OCLV 110 (which = lighter.)

There should be no difference in the way the frames look, except that if you go with stock paint/decals then the colors and scheme will be different. You could always customize the color for an extra $350-$500 dollars through the Project One system to get whatever color you want.

Hope that helps.
re: Trek 5200/5500 questions...laffeaux
May 13, 2003 10:27 AM
The frame and fork on the 5200 and 5500 are identical - other than the color of the paint and graphics. For 2003 the only difference is that the 5200 is full Ultegra, and the 5500 is full Dura Ace. If you are on a budget, Ultegra is more than fine.

On 2002 and earlier frames there were more differences (not frame or fork) in the bikes. Last year's 5500 came with an oversized bar/stem combo (instead of a standard one), a Thompson seatpost (instead of Bontrager), and an upgraded wheelset compared to the 5200. For 2003 the 5500 came with all of these parts "downgraded" to the 5200 level, and price tag that was reduced by about $400.
just did this myselfdtufts
May 13, 2003 12:40 PM
I just picked up a 5200 postal colors about 2 months ago. As the dealer to see the Trek catalog (heck, ask them to give you one). on page 66 the specs for the 5200 and 5500 are listed side by side. You can see, exactly the same frame, wheels, etc. Only difference is the dura ace vs. ultegra group. The price difference at all of the LBS's in my town is $800. ($2500 for 5200, $3300 for 5500).

By the way, I'm really enjoying the Ultegra 5200. Like you, I had a budget (which I broke with the 5200). I have no real experience with the D/A group, but so far the Ultegra has been flawless. I can't image that the extra $800 would have purchased anything of value for me. Plus, did you see that there will be new D/A 10 speed out next season. So why pay the premium for stuff that is going to be outdated very soon.
re: Trek 5200/5500 questions...deHonc
May 13, 2003 3:45 PM
I bought a 5500 last July - but since there weren't any in Australia in size 60 - I had to wait until the 2003 frames came out - which happened in October 2002. I point this out because I might be a special case - but my 5500 is different to the other 2003 5500's - and I didn't ask for these upgrades - the LBS I deal with just built it this way for the same dollars!

Firstly, I have the US postal paint scheme - seems like Trek only sell complete 5500s in red. Secondly, I got mine speced with 2002 components - Cane Creek S6 headset (rather than S2 on '03 model), The oversized Race Light bars and stem (rather than the standard Race bars and stem) and a leather/titanium Postal seat (rather than the standard 5500 saddle). I did however get the 2003 wheelset (Race Lite) which incidently are holding up very well.

So to answer your question - the difference between 5200 and 5500 if you get the bike complete from Trek is only in the Groupset. If your LBS builds it - you can swap out components at your pleasure.

Either way - the OCLV bikes are pure genius - I'm growing fonder of mine every day!