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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to cycling, and am looking to buy a good new bike for both weekly riding and sprint triathlon training. I do not wish to spend more than $2500, and all my research points to the 2006 Trek 5200 being a solid bike. I took a spin at a LBS, and I was really impressed vs. other models. Could all you smart people provide me some feedback about the benefits and drawbacks of this make and model? How about alternatives? What standard parts might need replaced, and when? What should I be looking for? Unbiased responses please. Thanks in advance!
 

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Lost on the Backroads said:
I am new to cycling, and am looking to buy a good new bike for both weekly riding and sprint triathlon training. I do not wish to spend more than $2500, and all my research points to the 2006 Trek 5200 being a solid bike. I took a spin at a LBS, and I was really impressed vs. other models. Could all you smart people provide me some feedback about the benefits and drawbacks of this make and model? How about alternatives? What standard parts might need replaced, and when? What should I be looking for? Unbiased responses please. Thanks in advance!
Options are endless and will only confuse the situation. Opinions are like....and often meaningless. By all reports the Trek 5200 is a great bike. If you like it and it fits get it and don't look back.
 

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check out the cannondale six13 vs. the trek. I could have gotten a trek for less $$ than my DA 613 but liked the c-dale much better. I've been riding for 20 yrs, raced Cat 1, ridden a lot of bikes - and along w/ every other 613 owner, think it's the best bike I've ever ridden.

(Everybody and their brother has a trek too - they score very low on style points)
 

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Just be careful of the geometry......

the 5200 is a good bike with a weird geometry.......seattube length is measures frm center of BB to top of collar, so a 56 is really closer to a 52 C to C ST with a 56 C to C TT. This results in a shorter than average headtube which either requires spacers/upright stem or has a hugh saddle to bar drop for a normally proportioned individual.

This is not good or bad,just be a ware of it as you are sizing yourself.

Len
 

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Get the Trek, don't overanalyze the situation. Trek sells lots of bikes for a reason (Lance rides them). As you liked the way it road/fit, then it doesn't matter if someone else says get a "Something Different".

As far as components, add some areobars for the triathloning.
 

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sorry to disagree

but if you are new to cycling then that is a big entry point
nothing against trek from my point of view except i pass way too many (that's just me reason i did not by a bmw when i had a car--prefer something a little different now, prefer smaller builders or else a crazy good deal on mass produced stuff).

you may not have ridden enough to know what really feels good/fits--it takes more than a 3 minute spin in a parking lot.

what i did when i started riding was buy a giant tcr on sale in september--compact geometry allowed me to play around with adjusting posts and stems to make it also work for triathlon aero positions. over the months my position and power changed so i wanted to be lower/more stretched at front.

anyway, that was the last bike i bought retail--since then it has been classifieds here or ebay.

so, i'd start a little lower if you are truly new to cycling, and then upgrade once you know what you prefer.

if you really know your fit (get fitted?) and riding style/position then press on--get the best frame you can afford and upgrade components when they wear out, if that is a 5200 so be it

jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats the feedback I am looking for....

jim,
thanks...i see a lot of positive reinforcement on this site, and that is a good thing, but in this case the "if it feels good go with it" paradigm may not fit. I am too clueless to know what may be good or bad for me, so I appreciate your forward response.
So as to further the discussion, I was formally fitted with a 58cm frame (6'1"), and I tested Trek 1500, 2100, and 5200. Having broken my ischial tuberosity (the bone that connects your hamstrings in your buttocks) doing the splits in high school (first baseman!!), saddle comfort is a premium. The carbon frame was much more comfortable than aluminum; in fact, it wasn't even close. I figure I will trash the factory saddle (eBay?) and give my butt a little more comfort once I get some input on a good one.
But.....no pun intended.....I am looking for people who are familiar with the 5200, its strengths and weaknesses, and some other apples to apples bikes. I looked at the Giant TCR on the web. Is it comparable?
Merci beaucoup en avance.
 

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Hey Lost! The 5200 is a good bike. I've ridden a 58cm and I'm 6' 190lbs, 33.8" inseam. You should be able to judge if the LBS is competent enough to fit you properly. The contact points are most important. Seat, pedals, bars ( stem length ) should be paid most attention to. Ask them questions about their fit philosophy. If anything sounds funny, ask them to clarify. Yes, you will probably want to trash the Bontrager seat ( torture rack ). Don't be afraid to buy a quality saddle, it'll probably be your best investment. Ask the LBS if they have a saddle test policy. Saddles are the most subjective of all components. Buy what you feel is best for you! Now go out and ride!!! :D
 

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The only thing I would advise is to spend maybe a little less $$. A 5200 is a pricey bike, especially for an entry level machine. That said, if it's comfortable then buy it. Do go ride other bikes, for longer than 5 minutes if possible. A few suggestions are the Cannondale Six13, Giant TCR series, Lemmond Tete de Course, and the Klein Reve. These should be available local to you. And you could try a steel or alum/carbon combination bike.
 

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Lost on the Backroads said:
jim,
thanks...i see a lot of positive reinforcement on this site, and that is a good thing, but in this case the "if it feels good go with it" paradigm may not fit. I am too clueless to know what may be good or bad for me, so I appreciate your forward response.
So as to further the discussion, I was formally fitted with a 58cm frame (6'1"), and I tested Trek 1500, 2100, and 5200. Having broken my ischial tuberosity (the bone that connects your hamstrings in your buttocks) doing the splits in high school (first baseman!!), saddle comfort is a premium. The carbon frame was much more comfortable than aluminum; in fact, it wasn't even close. I figure I will trash the factory saddle (eBay?) and give my butt a little more comfort once I get some input on a good one.
But.....no pun intended.....I am looking for people who are familiar with the 5200, its strengths and weaknesses, and some other apples to apples bikes. I looked at the Giant TCR on the web. Is it comparable?
Merci beaucoup en avance.
A 3-minute test ride is not nearly enough to determine whether a bike is "right" for you or not. Especially not if you're just getting into the sport. Not that there's anything generally wrong with something like a Trek 5200 or Giant TCR something.

Let's put it this way: you want to maintain a good posture in all situations, which inevitably will include: casually riding around the block (which is what you have done), riding \'a bloc on a straight stretch of road with your hand in the drops, accelerating off corners, riding off the saddle while sprinting, off the saddle while climbing, slowly spinning your way up a climb, going down a fast twisty descent, etc etc etc. And you want to maintain that comfort for hours and hours.

Given that you already have an existing injury, the best investment you can make now is to go to a good shop with a good bike fitting system. A visual inspection is not likely to be good enough: it depends too much on the person's mood that morning.

There are too many wives tales in bike fitting. A higher handlebar position may not be better; in fact, it can be bad for you. Search through the archives of this site to get examples of this.

There's a decent interview on Pezcyclingnews about the higher-level view of fitting, and some of the misconceptions:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3507
 

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lost--here is another 2 cents for you to consider

i was rear ended in 2001 (car accident) and had low back pain for a few years after. i have tried every frame material--ti (3), steel (4), aluminum (2), carbon (2) and scandium. I was also lucky enough to make these apples to apples by putting the same wheels, tires, post, bars, and saddle on all and the same fork on most (2 had forks different than the others)
what i found was that the frame was secondary to my ride feel compared to the other things--especially wheels, post, saddle, and bars
that said, with the bikes equipped the exact same i found the steel was overall the most comfortable and this tied with my carbon. then the scandium with carbon stays, then the titanium, and last the aluminum. this is on the same 60 mile route.
the aluminum was harsh enough that if i rode 60 daily i would not have wanted to, but for rides of 2 hrs or less it was fine.
so--for far less you could try a steel bike with quality wheels, fork, bars, saddle, etc
i don't take much stock in how a bike feels on a short test ride--more on how it FITS--but then i build up the frame the way i want.
SO, if you plan on riding the bike as it is built in the shop, then try to do a longer test ride and go with what fits and what feels good. otherwise my advice is the same--you know your fit, get something more affordable that will offer a nice ride and then you will be able to afford your needed suspension seatpost or fizik arione saddle or whatever is required for your old injury.
having ridden some very top steel and carbon (pinarello opera, waterford, kelly, and calfee and crumpton) I would honestly advise an entry point into cycling as STEEL. again i don't ride trek, but for your type and level of riding i think all you are getting from carbon is some lighter weight and very high cost.

good luck
jim
 

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I have to agree with Jim. I have a CAAD7 Cannondale (probably one of the stiffest things known to man) and I think it is comfortable. But I wouldn't do a century on it. If you're planning on going distances > 30 miles or 2+ hours on the bike, go with steel or carbon. I like steel for long term durability (strictly my opinion). And I think it rides nice. Even more important to that however, spend $$$ on shoes, bars, and saddle. Contact points should get most of your consideration.
 

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Lost on the Backroads said:
I am new to cycling, and am looking to buy a good new bike for both weekly riding and sprint triathlon training. I do not wish to spend more than $2500, and all my research points to the 2006 Trek 5200 being a solid bike. I took a spin at a LBS, and I was really impressed vs. other models. Could all you smart people provide me some feedback about the benefits and drawbacks of this make and model? How about alternatives? What standard parts might need replaced, and when? What should I be looking for? Unbiased responses please. Thanks in advance!

I had a 5200 ( 2004 ) for about 14 months. I could never get comfortable with its handling characteristics or somewhat sluggish feel. My current Specialized Roubaix Comp. feels more responsive ,handles better and is smoother on less than perfect paving surfaces. I would certainly test ride a few bikes before committing to the Trek. I know there's a million of them out there,but it wasn't my cup of tea.
 

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Dude...I don't think you want to be doing crits on a steel frame. You want something light, stiff and agile. Not that you won't get that in a steel frame, but you might have to pay $$ for it (i.e. Colnago Master X-Light).

On the same token, you do want something easily replaceable. This coming from a former collegiate racer at GaTech. You will crash. There's nothing you can do about.

With that being said, Cannondale's and Trek's alike are a dime a dozen. You should be able t find either one, for a reasonable price. Try the classified or ebay, or maybe by word of mouth. Im pretty sure you can find a Six13 on ebay, put 105 on it....you're good to go.

It's for racing. No need to spend crazy $$ on it.
e
 
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