Monday, May 9, 2011

Rider Review - Trek 2.3 Road Bike

Trek 2.3 Rider Review

Despite having several years experience riding bikes I haven't gained much technical knowledge about them. I like how they feel. I like turning my legs in circles. I like going fast. I like swooping  through turns. I like to jump some curbs - it's that simple. Of all of the bikes I have ridden, the Trek 2.3 is the most enjoyable in all categories, except the jumping of curbs, which I avoid.

First thing great about this bike is that it is new. Bam - everything is smooth. Rolls nice. Shifts nice. Looks nice. Second thing I noticed right away when I rode it was its stiffness. My previous bike was an aluminum frame with carbon forks and carbon stays. I thought it was fantastic and full of springy life when I first rode it. However I have come to realize that compared to most bikes, it was like riding a wet noodle - especially in the handle bars. So much so that it is scary. I'm not sure why, but I have it on good authority that it might be because of a carbon steerer.

The Trek is stiff. The handlebars don't move when you pull on them. Instead the whole bike moves forward when you pull on them. I like it. The Trek frame is all aluminum with carbon forks. This time though there is  an aluminum steerer and it seem to make all the difference. I feel like the bike wants to go forward.

I also love how this bike turns for me. I suspect that it is partly because of a longer wheelbase since this bike is a 60cm  and I have always ridden on 58's.  This is just a guess though like I said I know little about frame geometry and the resulting ride, but it makes sense right? However you slice it I feel like I'm on rails when I corner. Taking turns on a stable glide.

The 2.3 has a full Shimano 105 gruppo (Italian for group) and the braking and shifting are great! Today's 105 is yesterday's Ultegra.

The one thing I wasn't sure about was the compact gearing. It has a 50x34 crankset instead of the 53x39 to which I was accustomed.  This set-up screamed hurky-jerky -spin- legs to me.  As it turns out I like spinning; it's my new thing and have been completely satisfied with the smaller chainrings. In fact I really haven't noticed them and when it is time to push the big gears the 50x11 is slightly faster gearing than a 53x12.

Finally, if all my previous bike were asses this would be the baddest of them.

Taylor Pilant

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