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trek 5200 vs. fondriest top level(13 posts)

trek 5200 vs. fondriest top levelreklar
Jun 2, 2003 3:01 PM
I'm debating whether to buy a new fondriest top level frame ($1000) or buy a used stock trek 5200 complete. Total cost would be about the same, roughly $2000...

This will essentially be my first road bike--I've got a Trek cross bike though so I'm not a total road newbie. I've ridden enough that I know it won't go unused...I plan on doing mostly rides of less than 50 miles with lots of hills in the bay area, but will also do the occasional century...

I have a good set (Cane Creek Aerohead/Ti) of wheels already, so I'd sell the wheels (Rolf Vector Comps) on the trek. I've built bikes up before, so that isn't much of an issue for me.

How will the ride quality differ between the two? I won't be able to ride the fondriest before I buy...

One thing that concerns me about the trek is the warranty issue. How much of a concern is breakage on an OCLV frame?
I'm 6'0", 185lbs (and dropping, hopefully ;)...

Any advice would be appreciated!
Do your homework...chazman
Jun 2, 2003 3:45 PM
I've seen brand new 5200's (01) for 1600 bucks.
Do your homework...nellie
Jun 2, 2003 7:56 PM
Curious where you've seen a 5200 for $1,600? I would be very interested at that price.
$1650 demo 5200 at Bike Barn Houstonhycobob
Jun 3, 2003 8:50 AM
Of course, I didn't by the Trek...even for $1650. The owner's son was a prick and wouldn't replace the worn out front and cut rear tires. Thats a silly thing to lose a sale over! He claimed demos were "as is". So I bought a Ti Sampson Silverton and have been as happy as a clam with it ever since.

18.8lbs is kinda heavy for a high end bike anyway, no matter if you weigh 125 or 250lbs. Theres nothing wrong with Trek, but look around. There are plenty of great NON-TREK carbon fiber frames out there...Kestral, LOOK, Calfee, Carbon Sports, even EPX.

Have fun looking and don't be pressured into buying a bike you don't really want simply because your LBS sells that brand. Eventually you should be able to do most of your own work on it so don't be afraid to shop around...even online. I bought my Sampson over the phone and after dealing with Eric I feel confident in recommending them to anyone. They asked lots of sizing/fit/riding style related questions and answered mine where most of the larger LBS salespeople were clueless and passed me off to the manager. This is a big ticket item so don't cut corners...get what you want.
What, no good choices available?.......TNSquared
Jun 2, 2003 4:33 PM
Joking! I wish I faced such a dilemna! :)

I haven't ridden either bike, but I did want to share that someone posted on this board several weeks ago that they bought a used OCLV and called Trek about the warranty. Reportedly, Trek indicated they would honor the warranty to any owner as long as the barcode was still intact on the underside of the frame.

Don't know if that's true or not, but it might be worth calling Trek to see if you get the same answer.

A couple of other notes: I think the Fondriest only has a 2 year warranty, which in my book is not great. If it's well built they should stand behind it longer. Assuming the Trek lasted two years, you're no worse off from a warranty standpoint. I've only heard of a few problems with the OCLV frames, and usually involving wrecks.

Either way you go, I'm jealous!
No issuedeHonc
Jun 2, 2003 4:41 PM
I don't think you need worry about an OCLV frame - in my experience, and I've seen plenty, they are very strong and resilient - in our club we have riders on early OCLV's and they are still going strong. If Trek will pass the warranty to you - you will be fine - lifetime warranty.

Can't comment on the ride quality of the Fondriest - but the Trek ride quality is superb in my opinion.
re: trek 5200 vs. fondriest top levelterry b
Jun 2, 2003 6:33 PM
I ride a Top Level and a CF bike (not a Trek) and they are pretty different bikes.

Both are stiff but the TL is stiffer. The CF bike smooths the road, but the TL is by no means harsh (contrary to the prevailing opinion on AL bikes.) Both are fun to ride and pretty light/quick. And - I'm about your size albeit 10 lbs. lighter. Done short rides, long rides and lots in between. Never disappointed in either.

The Fondriest provides you with a bike that you are unlikely to encounter out on the road or at an organized ride. Don't know if this matters to you or not, personally I would prefer not to be riding 1 of 500 Treks at a Century - call me superficial. Fondriest-USA is great to deal with, good price, good product, excellent customer service.

You'll probably love either one, assuming you do your fit homework. Between the two I have, I prefer the Top Level (the other is a Calfee) but perhaps the Trek will speak to you in a way that the Fondriest can't.

For two very different bikes, it's a toss up.
a few top level questionsnazgul
Jun 2, 2003 7:00 PM
I have also been tempted by the recent offer on the top level and was wondering if you would mind answering a few questions. You say you are about 6'0", which size did you end up getting? Given that it has compact geometry, there are fewer sizes. My current cannondale has a 57.5cm toptube and a 110mm. Thus, I am leaning towards a Large, which has a 1cm shorter toptube, so it should work coupled with a 120mm stem. The headtube on the canny is about 175mm, but it has an integrated headset, so the headtube on the large coupled with the Domina Drive headset (191mm) should be closer to the cannondale than the one on the XL.
My second question is what finish did you go with? I am leaning towards the simplicity of matte black, but was wondering if the SAT finish is something exceptional to look at (the webpage photo doesn't give me a good idea).
a few top level questionsterry b
Jun 2, 2003 7:16 PM
I went with a 57 (L). Typically I ride anything from a 56 to a 57 depending on how they measure. I'm using a 120mm stem and I've been able to dial in both the KOP and reach to my liking using a Ritchey seat post (which has some set back.) I've got 20mm of spacers and the drop is about 2.5 inches.

Mine is the Silver SAT. It's pretty nice looking although the matte black is pretty sexy. I've got 2 black bikes, so SAT presented a nice alternative. Check out the pix. The bike is mostly silver, but the detail is what makes it interesting.
pic two more detailterry b
Jun 2, 2003 7:17 PM
another detail shot.
pic three - the biketerry b
Jun 2, 2003 7:18 PM
can be made to look pretty elegant (if I may say so) with simple parts.
thanks, your bike looks awesome (nm)nazgul
Jun 2, 2003 8:05 PM
beauty! nmJS Haiku Shop
Jun 3, 2003 5:37 AM