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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reviewing both bikes online and in the catalog. It appears to me that both bikes are very similiar as to the components. The primary difference that I see is the frame and I admit that I don't understand the technical aspect of this difference. I do not have the opportunity to test ride these and my LBS would have to order which ever one I decide on.

I currently am a recreational rider for fitness purposes and other than this riding I don't see myself moving up to racing. My question to all of you in that know, is would it be worthwhile to spend the extra on the 2100? It's not that I can't do it but if the money would be better spent elsewhere then that may be better. Thanks for the input.
 

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The difference between a full-aluminum frame (like the 1500) and an aluminu/carbon frame (like the 2100) has absolutely nothing to do with speed or racing. It all comes down to comfort and energy conservation.

The more vibration and harshness a frame transmits, the faster you'll fatigue and the less comfortable you'll be. Conversely, the <b>less</b> vibration and harshness a frame transmits, the longer you'll be able to (and WANT to) ride.

Carbon fiber ride characteristics can almost never be generalized, but in almost every case, carbon fiber will absorb more road buzz and vibration than metallic frame materials. It is, after all, <i>fabric</i>.

Bottom line? The 2100 will provide a noticably more comfortable and smoother ride than the 1500. I know, because I've ridden both. Going to a 5200 or a Madone is even more noticable. After riding a full OCLV frame for the first time, I felt as though the road was covered with a 4 or 5mm mat of rubber, and I felt noticably better after the ride.

Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money. 5, or 10, or 15 years from now, you'll forget about the extra $300 or $400 you spent. Additionally, the resale value of an aluminum/carbon frame will far exceed that of a full aluminum frame.
 

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I agree with Whiskey, and add the following:

The 1500 is pretty much a standard AL frame. The non-carbon bits on the 2100 are a different alloy that is supposedly stronger, stiffer, and lighter. Maybe it is, maybe it's not...still, it's just a little further out of the "beginner" category for most riders. I would personally hate to save $2-300 or so only to find out later that I've developed a taste (and especially and appreciation) for a better steed.

If the bug really bites you, and this becomes an activity that you grow more fond of through time, you'll probably come to appreciate the subtle differences in the two frames on a deeper level than just objective data or theories. the 2100 is a better platform for upgrades as well if you ever become so inclined.

Components that come on stock lower-end Treks can vary from bike to bike, but I think generally the 2100 has slightly better bits such as headset, brakes, and other miscellany...not to mention a nice Ultegra/105 mix in most cases.

I bought a 2100 after finally retiring my old Cannondale 3.0 criterium to strictly trainer duty, and have zero reservations. Plus, the solid black color looks much better than the Disco color scheme IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both of you for the input. I almost hesitate to admit that I am now leaning towards the 2200 the more that I research and review the bikes. I know that I am going to have to hurry and get my LBS to order the bike for me because if I keep looking who knows what I will end up with and spend:D .
 
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