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Trek 5900 vs 5500(10 posts)

Trek 5900 vs 5500Bob1010
Nov 23, 2003 5:21 AM
Is their a huge difference between these two...Does the 5900 climb any better and would the Madone have any advantages besides maybe an edge in a time trial..
re: Trek 5900 vs 5500teoteoteo
Nov 23, 2003 6:45 AM
The answers you seek all depend on your riding style and preferences.

(I have ridden all 3 bikes and owned a 5500)

Madone--Stiffer bike, climbs well, light, more aero, better for larger/more powerful riders or riders who like stiffer bikes, came to market pretty fast from conception--could use a little more tweaking before they have it perfect.

5900--Lightest(around 150 grams less then Madone),climbs well, more compliance, Lance's training bike of choice, better suited for smaller, smoother riders. Frame and fork changed this year but based on platform Trek has been refining for years.

5500--heaviest of the 3 but not a heavy bike, climbs well, compliance and stiffness it rates between 5900 and Madone, Trek's made and refined for years and thats good in my book.

More details....

Big differences between the 5500 and 5900 are in the fork and some of the house brand components--the second difference is in the frame construction. On the outside they look identical but the 5900 has been lightented.

As for the Bontrager parts Trek created xXx Lite stems, fork, seatpost, these are standard issue on the Madones and 5900. Aside from the fork I wouldn't keep the components if I any of the 3 models--their not bad parts but there are ones I like better (Mavic wheels, Deda bar/stem)

5500 uses a heavier weave of carbon in frame, a heavier fork and heavier fork but the bike is no porker--I haven't weighed a stock 04 5500 but suspect it would be safely in the 17 to 17.5 range depending on pedal choice. For reference my shop scale weighed the Madone at 15.5 with no pedals for a 58. Trek claims 15.3 for a 58. The 5900 has same parts kit as Madone but frame is about 150 grams lighter.

Confused yet?

Like I mentioned upfront I'd prioritize what I do with my bike and then try and work with model that suits me best.

I am lighter and don't have monster power output, I like more compliance. The 5900 or 5500 would be my top choices.

My co-worker likes stiffer, does 1-2 tri's a year. He'd go Madone.

Hope this rant helps
Adding to Teo's excellent post...russw19
Nov 23, 2003 12:37 PM
As a bigger rider, here's my input. Everything Teo said is accurate. The only thing I noticed and maybe it's because I am over 200 lbs is that the 5900 has a much more flexible bottom bracket. That is also where they lightened the bike was the internal lug at the bottom bracket. It made it lighter, but more flexy too. If you are smaller, you may not even notice it. I did.

The Madone should be a great bike for someone like me, but I wasn't that happy on it. It's overly harsh for a carbon bike. Not uncomfortable, but also not what I was expecting from an OCLV bike. And I have to agree with Toe's assesment that it was rushed to production and wasn't perfected. I bet next year's Madone will be better. It rode like a harsh aluminium bike to me... normally I really like stiff aluminium frames and I won't say I didn't like the bike, but just that it didn't ride like I would have expected it to. So if you are at all interested in this bike DO NOT BUY IT MAILORDER or EBAY! Make sure you ride it first... don't buy it site unseen, or you may be shocked with what you get.

Then we have the 5500. In my opinion, this bike and the Colnago C-40 (haven't riden a C-40 HP or a C-50 personally) are about as close to perfect as you can get for a carbon frame. And between those two the Trek is about half the price. I really like the 5500 for a carbon bike. It's really nice and if you want to lighten it up, order one Project One and get the Bonty XXX fork on it. It will save over 120 grams (from what I am told) over the standard 5500 fork which is a Bonty Race X Lite. The XXX fork is lighter and uses an alloy steerer so you can use a lighter star nut instead of the much heavier compression nut for carbon tubes.

Russ
Russ, you da man.....Dave Hickey
Nov 23, 2003 2:58 PM
It's nice to see someone recommend a frame that is not a manufacturers top model. My hat's off to ya....
Adding to Teo's excellent post...scipiones
Nov 23, 2003 10:18 PM
Russ,

I am a little concerned after reading your reply?? I have a Madone on order and currently have a 04 5200 that I am trading in for it when it arrives. Obviously I have not ridden the madone yet which brings about my concern to your post. I hate the extreme stiffness of an aluminum frame and love how smooth my 5200 is but I wanted to upgrade so I ordered the madone. I am 5'9 so I ride a 54cm and I weigh 204 lbs. I live in florida...so no hills to speak of. Given this info...since you have some knowledge of the bikes what would work best? I know that it is indivdual taste...but I am looking for opinions as I am pretty new to riding again...it has been about 15yrs.

Thanks!

Tony
Tony, all I can tell you is to ride it firstrussw19
Nov 24, 2003 11:33 AM
Make your decision after you ride it. Don't take my word as I can only describe it like I feel it. Your opinion may be totally different. But that said, I am willing to bet that if you don't like the Madone, your shop won't really mind, as it is a hot frame. I don't anticipate any dealer's that get hold of that frame being stuck with it for too long. If you don't like the ride of the Madone, swap out the Ultegra parts on your 5200 for the better stuff on the Madone and sell the Madone with your Ultegra stuff for what you paid for your 5200. No matter what you do, I don't think you will be stuck with two bikes or out a bunch of money.

If you take anything out of my post take the line of riding the bike first as the most important statement that I made in that post. Don't buy that bike site unseen... ride it first! By the way, where in Florida are you and what shop did you get your bike at?

Russ
Tony, all I can tell you is to ride it firstscipiones
Nov 24, 2003 12:18 PM
russ,

I live in the jupiter area and puchased my bike from cycle science. The owner has really worked with me and they do a great job there so I am very happy with them. I believe that if I do not like the madone that they will have no problem getting rid of it. Unfortunatley it is such a hot item that I had to order without riding first just so I could get one in a decent time frame. I will definitley test ride it before taking it home!

Thanks for your help!

Tony
re: Trek 5900 vs 5500hudsonite
Nov 23, 2003 7:23 AM
Huge difference - No. Subtle difference - yes. Does it matter on a long climb, No.

Any weight difference between the two naked bikes will be lost with water bottles, water and the other stuff we carry.

A strong racer will be just as strong on either bike and if they could win on one, they could probably win on the other.

Now the ride is different between both bikes. Which is better is very subjective. It depends upon where and how you ride. Different tires will make a bigger difference than the frames in my opinion. Not that the tires will make one better, but the feel will be different.

The weight of the rider, the roads, the size of the mountains, the length of rides are all different between bike riders. Only you know what you like to do and intend on doing. The bike that is most comfortable on a 100 mile ride, may be different than what feels best on a fast sprint.

Now if we consider that high end bikes are as much a hobby and passion than practical, the choice of bikes comes down to what touches the soul and spirit. The visual appearance of each bike is a little different. This may or may not matter to you.

If the 5900 or madone moves your cycling spirit, then so be it. It is your cycling spirit, determination and strength that will get you to the top of the mountain faster. Does the bike matter, yes, but less so than your brain and body.

All three bikes are great. But at a certain point, the choice becomes more personal than technical. Ride all of them and, if you can affort it, go with the one you like the most.

As a reference point, I wanted to buy a Trek 5200/5500/5900 this summer. But after riding them, my choice was between a ProjectOne 5500 and the 5900. I liked the 5500 a little better, but I liked the appearance of the 5900 better. Both of them are great values in high end bikes. But for me, two things worked against the bikes, one was the fit, which was not perfect for me and the other was the number you see on the road. I see so many on group rides, that I felt something a little less popular would work better; hence why I was looking at the ProjectOne. In the end though, it was the fit that worked against the trek. By the time they set me up where I was comfortable, the short stem looked like crap. I just did not fit on the Trek geometry. Too bad, so sad....
Have you found a geometry/bike that fits yet? -nmTig
Nov 23, 2003 6:20 PM
Look 381i -(nm)hudsonite
Nov 23, 2003 7:04 PM