I bought Trek 1.5 as my first roadbike and have ridden more than 3000 miles. This is great bike...comfortable and stiff frame. The price around $1000 is very valuable.
After 2000 miles, I replaced original wheels to lighter ones. Then the bike has been much faster and easy to climb hills.
The stopping power of original break calipers is poor. Even I replaced to good pads, I didn't see an improvement. So I am replacing to shimano's one. The calipers to fit Trek 1.5 should be a long reach calipers (57mm). So selections are limited. Don't buy regular calipers, such as Shimano105 or Ultigra.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2013
Weaknesses: wheels, seat,bb,
take the wheels / tyres off and throw in the bin along with the seat and factory chain as soon as you buy it. After thats done it is the best racing commuter available. Bb needs regular replacement along with drive chain but this is routine maintenace. Brillient frame a real giant killer. Axium race wheels and gps 4000s tyres are unbeatable on this frame. The tiaga groupset works well and will last longer than any other groupset. Brakes are stiff and dont flex. Cheap compedative bike.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2013
Strengths: Lightweight (my 54 is 22lbs, take it as you will), affordable, decent groupset, comfortable ride
Weaknesses: some flex, not a great wheelset
I have a 2011 Trek 1.5 that I got for about $800 dollars during an end of season super-clearance. I bought this bike as my first road bike, and have since gotten a new bike, a 2012 Orbea Orca Bronze Di2. I used the 1.5 as a race and training bike for several seasons, and have had no major issues with it. I only have one complaint and that is the wheels seem to get out of true fairly easily. I would chalk it up to hard, constant use though more than anything. The frame is fairly light weight and handles well. I did end up lowering the bars, but that is more personal preferance than a flaw in the bike. Other than that, I've only changed the bar tape after a couple of bad crashes. It does have some flex when you are really hammering it out of the saddle, but it is nothing most people should worry about. It is a great bike for someone looking to get into the sport, or to start racing.
Bike Setup: Shimano Tiagra groupset, FSA cranks, Bontrager saddle, seatpost, bars, and grip tape
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: October 4, 2012
Strengths: Inexpensive, upgradeable, great beginner bike, not afraid to mess with it.
Weaknesses: Heavy, shifting with front derailleur, wheels feel unresponsive.
2010 version. I really have enjoyed riding this bike the past 3 seasons. I ride mostly flat and rolling hills so the weight has not really been an issue but when I do climb I feel it (I weigh 68kg/150lbs). Standing in the pedals the wheels can feel a bit unresponsive and slow. I plan on upgrading them soon. It is a great entry level bike and has really allowed me to learn how to work on bikes because I am not afraid to mess with it. The front derailleur sucks. I have had major problems shifting into the small cog and even dropped the chain twice just before important climbs. Sometimes it would just freeze up and not allow me to shift. I have had it adjusted and adjusted it myself numerous times. The rear derailleur on the other hand I have never had to touch! The front brake also gave out after one season but my LBS replaced it on warranty.
I dropped the bars to a more agressive riding position after 2 seasons and it made a huge difference in how the bike felt. The geometry is rather relaxed but this is good for getting used to putting in the miles. I have the white paint job and I know now I will never own another white bike. Everything shows on the frame. I would go with a darker frame color.
Strengths: Light (compared to old steel bike). Decent component Tiagra components. Fast and responsive. Carbon fork makes for smooth ride. Strong - I had a crash and frame and wheels held up (tire & tube didn't.)
Weaknesses: Need to get used to this bike's compact frame geometry. Foot on pedal can hit back of front wheel during certain turning configurations. Compact double gear-set not as conducive for hill climbing as triple.
This is my first modern road bike. Previously, I was riding a 20 year old steel Huffy 12 speed that weighed something like 33 lbs. This thing is at least 10 lbs. lighter and the difference is very noticeable. I bought it used on Craigslist so my value rating may not be realistic, but I really didn't want to spend $1k on an entry level road bike which is what this is. On the other hand, I don't understand what $4k - $6k for high-end bikes will get you, either. I plan to either replace the cassette or possibly just change the gearing a bit so I can get a lower gear that will be better for hill climbing than what comes standard with the compact double. This model came in two versions; a compact double and a triple. If you live in a hilly area, get the triple.