Need some advice

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Anonymous's picture

I am in the market for a road bike. Unfortunately the eyes are bigger than the wallet and I am limited to about 1000-1200 dollars. Having tested several bikes, here is my dilemma.
For 1000, I can get a 1997 TREK 5500 OCLV with Shimano Ultegra 8 speed cassette, mavic rims. Never crashed or raced competitively.
Or for about 1200, a Giant OCR 1 aluminum, Shimano 105, Xero XSR-5 rims
Both ride great on a short test ride.
Any opinions?

Anonymous's picture
George Arcarola (not verified)

Jon, I've been riding an OCR 1 since March 2004. I love it!!! I'm a good fit on the compact geometry. I also would (for myself), prefer a new bike to a used one (especially a 9 year old used bike).


Anonymous's picture
rb (not verified)

the Giant, hands down.

Anonymous's picture
Ted (not verified)
how many miles

How many miles/ much wear on the Trek? If it was low miles and in good shape, I would pick the Trek. I still think it is a nicer frame with a better ride, even if it is older.
I guess if you wanted to race, I might give the Giant the edge with more gears and it might be stiffer. But for group rides, OCLV.
If it is a 1997, it should have the ICON fork, which was a nice improvement. Also, Chainreactionbicycles says the improved bottom bracket was introduced during 1997.

The one thing I would question is Ultegra. I think they sold the frames alone, but I am pretty sure Dura-Ace was the standard build on those bikes. Also, you do save $200, which is a brand new rear wheel or a few other upgades if you need them.

Anonymous's picture
An anonymous cow! (Christian Edstrom) (not verified)

5500 was Ultegra. 5900 was Dura Ace.

I'd consider getting the Trek if it had Campy, because then he could just upgrade the shift disks and cassette and have 10sp, but 8sp Ultegra isn't great, the brifters aren't rebuildable, and you're looking at $400 plus to get 10 speed shifting. I'd get the Giant. Well, no I wouldn't. But given those two choices, I would.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Bob Shay (not verified)
$1,200 road bike

Give ebay a try. Search for a Trek 2300, there are about six or eight of them. You may be able to score one for $1,200. Fit is everything especially if you plan on longer rides.

Try to stay with a year 1999+. This bike has a composite frame, carbon where it counts, and ultegra. I've ridden mine for over 20,000 miles and it rides well for longer 80 - 150 mile rides. It is a good price value when used.


Anonymous's picture
Karol (not verified)
fit is key, but aluminum sucks

Fit is essential. So make sure it's the right size and fit for you. I used to ride an aluminum Specialized, used, that was too big. I didn't know. I was never comfortable on the bike; my neck hurt on long rides. And aluminum is brittle. You pick up all the road vibration and it causes overall fatigue, especially when you are doing long rides. I now have a carbon Trek 2300 with Ultegra. It fits right and it's like riding on butter. The 1997 Trek's eight gear thing is a bummer though.

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