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I have been looking at both and have ridden both. Exactly same components. Carbon vs. aluminum. This is my first real road bike and I need guidance. I like both and cant really tell that much difference. Only about $400 difference. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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tritonrep said:
I have been looking at both and have ridden both. Exactly same components. Carbon vs. aluminum. This is my first real road bike and I need guidance. I like both and cant really tell that much difference. Only about $400 difference. Any help would be appreciated.
You don't say how extensively you test rode these bikes, but my suggestion is to go back to the LBS and really test ride them before parting with your $$. The geometry is the same, so the fit should be the same, but test handling, ride, comfort, vibration damping, etc. - things you can't do just riding around a parking lot.

Also, post your question on the Trek forum. You're apt to get more feedback.
 

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I'd say...

tritonrep said:
I have been looking at both and have ridden both. Exactly same components. Carbon vs. aluminum. This is my first real road bike and I need guidance. I like both and cant really tell that much difference. Only about $400 difference. Any help would be appreciated.
I'd say none of the above. But that's just me. But if you must get the Trek, get the carbon bike. They are substantially better than their alu bikes, in my opinion.
 

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I would agree.. I'd go with trek carbon over trek alu any day.. there are much better al frames out there for the money. Then again the 4.5 is the white carbon thats made over seas so I'm not sure how that compares with the black/red stuff made in the usa.

i've had the pleasure of cross sectioning a few trek alu frames and I'm not very impressed with their tubing.. pretty thick..
 

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Rule of thumb...

Not that there is a "formula", but the rule of thumb is to establish a budget, then choose the best frame, then wheels, then components, in that order. Unless money is no object, it is always a compromise, but you would be well advised to keep that order of importance in mind no matter how small the budget might be. All else being equal, I think ya gotta go with the 4.5. There is a great trikle down benefit with the Trek carbon frames. Trek's R&D is second to none. While the focus is undoubtedly on the higher end stuff, the lower end frames gain tremedous benefit from the design.
 
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