Trek's 2.1 boasts a lightweight Alpha Black aluminum frame with a road-carving carbon fork. The hill-conquering Shimano drivetrain and Bontrager's SSR wheelset will have you rolling farther and faster than you thought possible. Plus, it sports a fine selection of Bontrager components, too, including a comfy saddle and a carbon seatpost.
Strengths: A really light aluminium/carbon frame (2009 iteration). Relatively light RSS wheels. Speed Trap cavity in fork. Feels as if it wants to go. Lively.
Weaknesses: The aluminium steerer, and that Bontrager stopped selling replacement forks for Trek road bikes. The Crane Creek IS40 bearings suck. The corrode too easily. I had to heat the headtube up to get them out last time and ruined the decals on the front. I aim to replace the 40s with stainless steel 110s eventually. The lack of availability of replacement rims and hub parts. A bit on the heavy side (mostly due to the group set: no-name aluminium/steel calliper breaks, tiagra shifters, front deraileur, FSA crank, tiagra cassette and 105 rear dérailleur. The lack of a 53/39 crankset option. Weight.
Stock, 2009 2.1 was heavier than it needed to be. I've had the bike stripped down to just the frame, minus the fork, and it is light as a feather. Since my purchase in 2009, I have replaced the group set with Dura Ace 7900 across the board, including the pedals. I have also gone through a number of saddles in an attempt to find comfort on long trips. I have settled and am happy with the Bontrager Affinity RS. Just those two changes have brought the weight of the bike down by four pounds. I am currently building a set of wheels with Stan's No-tubes rims, Tune hubs and Sapim spokes that should bring the bike down another few pounds. I am aiming for 17lbs. My greatest frustration is that fork. I would love to replace it with a full carbon fork, but Bontrager no longer advertises their sale. I assume because of liability issues. So I may opt for ENVE or 3T carbon fork, stem, handle bars/seat post combo to finish the bike off. Of course, we're talking a paint job on the white/apple seed blue fade . A shame.
Overall, a good frame to build on! I wouldn't trade if for anything less then a Madone 5 series frame.
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2013
Strengths: Good bike for first 1,000 miles. Easy to work on.
Weaknesses: Uncomfortable saddle, Poor stock wheels and tires, Lack of durability in components. Overall lack of durability.
I bought this bike 3 years ago and have put over 5,000 miles on it. I immediately replaced the saddle as the stock saddle is really uncomfortable on long or multi-day rides. While it was a good bike for the first year or so, it has not held up well - I do not think it is a very durable bike. I've kept up with normal maintenance, but have had a lot of problems with the components over 3 years. I had to replace the wheels after about 1,000 miles - I am a 6'2" rider at 210 lbs and after 1,000 miles, they would not stay true - ended up with Mavic Ksyrium wheels and I love the Mavic wheels. The stock Bontrager wheels are way too flimsy for bigger riders. I've replaced the left shifter twice, the front derailleur once and the back derailleur once (as well as new chains every 1,500 miles and a new cassette at 3,500 miles). Every time I replace components, the bike works well for 250-500 miles but then starts shifting poorly or not shifting at all. Barrel (cable tension) and limit adjustments don't seem to fix the problem - it always ends up with component replacement. While this bike might be suitable for an occasional weekend rider, it just has not help up well for me. I've sunk well over $1,200 into repairs on this bike - with the money I've spent on purchase and repair, I would have been far better off to get a higher priced / more durable road bike. I am really disappointed in the lack of durability of the bike. I would not recommend this bike unless you have a shop nearby and a mechanic on speed dial.
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2013
Strengths: Great frame, mostly good stock components, 105 groupset works for a beginner racer. Slick colors and graphics.
Weaknesses: Wheels are heavy, saddle hurts on longer (> 40 mile) rides
I've now had my 2.1 for 2 years. This was my first proper road bike - before this I stuck to mountain bikes. I went for the H2 fit in a 50cm frame size (I'm 5'6" and weight 145 lbs). I lowered the stem one spacer to get a slightly lower riding position.
The bike is fantastic. The frame is stiff, even while sprinting during criteriums. It climbs well, the ride is well damped, and handling is great. It can be a bit twitchy at lower speeds or while really sprinting hard and pulling on the handlebars (I figure most racing bikes are the same way), but it really rides beautifully when you just point it down a road and go. Cornering is very stable. This bike inspires confidence.
Given what you pay for this bike, you are going to run into some compromises. The groupset is not 100% 105, but everything has held up well. The wheels are very, very heavy - I weighed the front wheel and I estimate it at a touch over 1 kilogram without tire and tube. However, they are sturdy wheels, and you can depend on them. (They also look pretty sweet.) Train with the heavy stock wheelset and switch to a lighter set for racing, and you'll really fly. The saddle is fine for shorter rides, but anything over an hour becomes painful. I'm now in the process of finding a good saddle for longer efforts.
In summary, I love my bike. Yes, there are nicer, more expensive bikes, but for where I am as a novice racer and for a first road bike, this was a great choice and a great value. I would upgrade the wheels and saddle and save up for a dream bike, like a Time or Pinarello, but I'd still ride this one. It's a dependable companion.
Bike Setup: Fitted at the LBS when I got it. Get good bib shorts.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 14, 2013
Strengths: Great bike/specs for the price. Like the 105 drivetrain - shifts well. Great starting intermediate bike with upgrade ability if needed. I got the H3 geometry - very comfortable with great handling.
Weaknesses: Definitely stock saddle and tires. I only ride up to about 40 miles but after a handful of rides realized a more comfortable saddle was needed. Selle italia Flite as others have mentioned. I changed tires to Vittorio Pro Slick. Upgraded brakes to Ultegra after a good ebay find.
Mostly ride mountain bike but purchased the Trek 2.1 to help me lose some weight. Bike sat for a few months after I purchased but over the last 2 months I have been riding about 75 miles a week average over a couple rides. Dropped almost 30 lbs. Bike handles my 200 lbs no problem. Very cost efficient bike for me.
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