Strengths: This is an EXCELLENT entry level bike! Emphasis on ENTRY LEVEL.
I have put over 3000 miles on it, and am still able to honestly say money WELL spent, even though if I knew that I was going to put SO many miles on, I would have gone with a higher level bike!
I was new to road biking. I had a Trek 820 MTB that I used on the local trails on rare occasion,
but out of the blue, I have had several friends who randomly asked if I wanted to do some long rides.
I wasn't sure how well I would take to road biking, but as a kid growing up in Iowa, RAGBRAI would come through my hometown a couple of times, and I always thought it would be cool to do something like that.
So, I bought the 2010 Trek 1.1 as a graduation present to myself for finishing grad school, and what a gift to myself! After 3000 miles, I am ready for an upgrade, but the bike will stay in the family and go to my son when I finally save the cash to buy up on a better bike!
In the 5 (or more) years that I had the Trek 820, I didn't put a total of 100 miles on it, and now I ride over 100 miles a WEEK during the riding season!
Weaknesses: The factory seat was TERRIBLE. I got a $8.00 seat from Walmart that was 100x's better than what came with the bike. I now have a Serfas Gel Seat, and it is great.
The Shimano 2300 components are a bit finicky on shifting, but it isn't a complete washout on them. This is still much more bike than I have ever owned, and I am enjoying it A LOT! 3000 miles, a lot!!!
I am a big guy, when I bought the bike I was over 270lbs. I am now down to about 250. I did have to upgrade the back wheel to a 36 spoke count because I kept popping spokes on the 32 spoke that came with the bike. I popped 3-4 spokes in about the first 1000 miles, and since upgrading to the 36 spoke Velocity 105 compatible wheel, I haven't popped a SINGLE spoke.
factory tire didn't last long... Have tried a few different tires and now have Continental Tires and love them, MUCH more durable!
If at purchase I knew that I was going to be putting on 3000 miles in the first year, I would have bought up a couple levels. However, I didn't know. That being said, this is a great bike! In high school, I had a Huffy 626.
In college, I bought a cheap WalMart MTB that was trash. About 5 years ago, I bought the Trek 820 MTB which I still own and use when the kids ride along and I need to slow down to help them keep up!
So, this is far and away, the fastest and lightest and nicest bike I have ever dreamed of owning.
I never thought I would spend even $500 on a closeout bike without gagging on the thought of that much cash going into a BICYCLE!!! I never knew that there really was that much difference in bicycles.
This experience has opened my eyes to a whole new world, and makes the city I live in, much more scenic and special place to live!
This bike, more specifically, has helped me lose some weight and ride to support research for Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and other organizations! I would have NEVER thought that just over a year since the purchase, I would have over 3000 miles on a BIKE, but I do.
Similar Products Used: I have ridden Giant Defy 3, Bianchi via Nirone, Specialized TriCross and a few others in the low to low/mid level.
I really liked the shock absorption in the TriCross, but I was on a budget and opted for the 1.1.
Giant Defy 3 was great, and if price was the same, would have gone with Giant Defy 3, but I was
able to get a great deal on the 2010 1.1, in April 2011.
Bike Setup: Shimano SPD pedals, Design Profiles AeroStryke Aerobar, Shimano 105 front derailleur, Shimano 2300 rear derailleur, Velocity 36 spoke 105 compatible rear wheel and factory front wheel. Continental Super Sport front and rear tire. Being a big guy, I have gone through a LOT of tires!
I got this 2010 bike used in July 2011, as an affordable bike for general recreation riding and running errands, with occasional overnight “light touring” trips. 800+ miles later it has served all those purposes well.
The bike looked brand new, with no sign of previous use. It came with 2 left toe-clips, and a severally misadjusted from derailer; don’t know if this was Trek’s fault, the LBS where I got it, or the original owner. This is the “Compact“ version with 50/36 chain ring and a 8 speed 12-25 cassette. This is enough gearing for the type of riding I do.
This is Trek’s entry level road bike, and you can see what they cut out to keep the price down. The Shimano 2300 derailers/shifters baulk sometimes but the drivetrain runs smooth once in gear. The brakes stop well enough but the need constant adjustment and oiling to keep one pad from dragging after release. And the original saddle was an ass-hatchet (I replaced it.)
The bike has braze-ons for fenders but I use the extra frame room to mount bigger tires. The bike came with 700C x 23 mm, but I run a 28mm in the back most of the time, and 32mm back/28mm front for long trips. The 32 mms just barely clear the seat post, and mounting anything bigger than 23mm requires a little force to get them past the brake calipers.
I have also run this bike on dirt roads/trails with 20 year old rusted steel wheels and 27” x 1¼” (630mm x 32mm) treaded tires (to avoid damage to the 32 spoke wheels the bike came with.) The old rear wheel has 6 sprockets, and with a little adjustment I can get the 8 speed shifters to work with it.
The bike accelerates and changes direction quickly, especially with the skinny tires. It rides comfortably with the thicker tires. It tracks straight when riding with no-hands. And I’ve carried 20 lbs on the rear rack with ease.
You can get a nicer bike by spending more money. But so far this bike has been fun, reliable and a good value.