Trek is without a doubt one of the biggest names in the cycling industry. Their top of the line road and mountain bicycles have made a name for themselves with tremendous performances at tours worldwide. Trek's entry level range of road bicycles is no different. And so we figured this might be the ideal brand to start our reviews with. Meet the Trek 1.5 C 2013 Road bicycle; an entry level road bicycle that, Trek claims, gives you the riding experience of a pro tour bicycle. Here's our complete lowdown
To start off, you can almost instantly notice that Trek has maintained their high standard when it comes to quality and style. With a gorgeous colour combination and impeccable finish quality, the frame looks like a work of art. Trek uses their light weight 100 series alpha aluminium frame that keeps the bicycle lighter without compromising on stability and strength.
We took the bicycle down a route we've done many times and the carbon front fork drastically improved ride experience by absorbing minor vibrations and shocks. And while we had amazing weather to test the bicycle, the frame does come equipped with mudguard mounts that can help you enjoy your ride irrespective of the weather. The cable routing made it convenient to carry around when we needed to take it up or down a flight of stairs.
As far as the fit and comfort are concerned, I had absolutely no qualms. Trek's H2 Frame fit finds the perfect balance between an aggressive riding position and a comfortable upright cruising position. The head tube is a little taller and gave me a slightly more comfortable riding posture. This can reduce strain on your back and neck if you're relatively new to roadies.
The saddle can feel a little hard when you ride on bumps. But this is the case on most road bicycles. There are many advantages to a hard narrow saddle compared to a wide cushioned saddle. So if you're kitted up right and the roads are good, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.
The Trek 1.5 C comes with an entry level road bicycle wheelset. If I were to upgrade any component on this bicycle, this is what I'd start with. Putting on a good set of wheels can do wonders to your riding efficiency, especially if you're looking at participating in local races.
The bicycle features the Tiagra Compact crankset(or Tiagra Double). This means the crankset has only 2 chain rings, 50t and 34t, as opposed to the standard 3 chain ring crankset.
Believe it or not, the larger 50t chainring coupled with the 10 speed cassette was more than sufficient for our test ride. To be honest, I didn't even miss the extra chain ring. And the 34t chainring provided perfect assistance on slow climbs as well. This combination should have you covered on most rides; whether you intend on riding fast or taking it easy.
In addition to reducing the weight of the bicycle a tiny bit, another advantage of having just 2 chainrings is that the wear on the chain reduces and the damage caused by cross chain is greatly lowered.
The Tiagra STI (Shimano Total Integration) Brake levers and shifters worked great. Needless to say, they proved to be very responsive and comfortable. The gear indicators were easy to see while riding as well.
If you've already got yourself the Trek 1.5 2012 model, we'd suggest giving this one a miss. Apart from the colour and finish, there's practically no difference between the two versions. The massive price difference is the result of the import duty hike on bicycles and bicycle parts that was introduced in 2012.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy riding this bicycle. I was able to ride fast when I wanted to and also felt really comfortable when I took it easy. And with the option of upgrading components around this fantastic frame, IÈd say this bicycle is a winner.