These days it seems you can’t go anywhere without seeing a Trek being ridden by a rider of any age. Winning seven tours has made a big difference. Lance’s victories have certainly been good for the Wisconsin based company. He’s been made an ‘executive’ of Trek to salute his input into the company – that’s how much they value his input.
But there was a time when Trek road bikes (and to some extent bikes from other big US giants) weren’t that highly regarded as quality bikes, at least in the European cycling world. They’d built their reputation in the Mountain bike boom years. Back in the early nineties if anyone had suggested a Trek, Cannondale, Specialized or Scott would be a recognised ‘pro-peloton’ bike you’d be met with fits of laughter. Now though, that has all changed. Trek has worked closely with the Discovery team (and before that US Postal) to deliver bikes that are faster than the competition. And all this rapid development has been great for the consumer, as the technology has gradually worked down to the cheaper models.
Frame and Fork
The 2000 sits bang in the middle of Trek’s impressively large road bike range. When first setting eyes on the blue/black/silver paintjob, you’ll either like it, or loathe it. But love or hate it, the paint hides an impressive frame. Trek has continued to develop their own aluminium tubing, ZR9000, which is used for all the main tubes except the seat stays. Here, a pair of fat OCLV carbon seatstays provides a nice amount of seated resilience. The main tubes of the frame are fat and chunky, and neat and smooth welding looks business-like and is really well executed.
Up front a Bontrager Race full carbon fork slides into the integrated headset. A nice touch is how the mainframe paintjob is extended seamlessly to the forks. The 2000 uses traditional non-compact geometry, with a 73.8° head angle and 73° seat angle, this has a familiar feel and the fork certainly tracks and smoothes the road ahead.
Most of the kit on the 2000 comes with a Bontrager label, much of it is functional and lightweight, if a little repetetive (all the components are Bonty’s). But the Race wheels didn’t disappoint. They might be low down in the overall range, but they worked great and are very strong. They’re not particularly light though, 1070g for the rear and 760g for the front. We found the Bontrager 23mm Race Lite tyres fast and comfortable, though we slashed the sidewall within the first few rides (it was wet), so long-term durability maybe an issue, but at least they’re wearing reasonably slowly. Overall the DT hubs and tight build made for a very sure set of hoops and they look the nuts.
A complete Shimano Ultegra groupset works faultlessly, in fact there isn’t much more that can be said that hasn’t be said already – so I won’t. The Hollowtech II chainset/bottom bracket is super stiff and matches the stiffness of the frame perfectly, it also has smooth lines that echo the intergated front end and the overall look is very pleasing, in an almost sculptural way. Bontrager also supplies the 44.5cm wide handlebars, with an ergo shape. Bar shape is a personal thing so we can’t really fault them [I can! – ed]. An 115m stem keeps the steering tight, and the now standard carbon seatpost provides some additional comfort and looks great. The Bonty saddle wasn’t too popular and those who rode it swapped it for a more familiar perch pretty quickly.
Seeing as the 2000 is Trek’s somewhere-in-the-middle-of-the-range race bike, its doesn’t excite like some bikes further up the range, Lance doesn’t ride one for starters. But it is the kind of bike that anybody can jump on and straight away feel at home. The handling is very stable, very reliable and very predictable. Limits can safely be explored, and the bike issues so much confidence you can feel safe about hooning around back lanes, congested city streets or the race track with the assured feeling any good bike should endow you with.
The marriage of 6061 aluminium and Trek’s properierty carbon, OCLV, provides a resilient and lively ride. Compared to the all carbon Pilot the 2000 feels more alive. We tested the Trek Pilot earlier this year and concluded that it is a fantastic Etape/Audax bike. Well if you want to make the step up to racing you could consider the 2000 instead. it’s certainly less sedate and a triple option could offer you both Etape gearing and race performance.
The Pilot is excellent at dampening every little road bumpiness though, and this is nice, but it does kind of feel a little dead in direct comparison, like you’re riding along on a cushion of air. On the 2000 the combination of the aluminium main tubes and carbon seatstays, and carbon fork, relays just enough road surface through to the controls, giving you more feel of what the tyres are rolling over. It makes for a more involved ride, far more suited to whipping up a sprint at the head of a road race bunch.
The 2000 is a fast looking bike for sure, but does it ride fast? Well, yes it does, but in a reassuringly safe way. It doesn’t scare you when pushing it hard, instead remaining well poised and stable under all conditions, and it’s this fact that makes it a pleasure to ride. We’d describe the bike as having a somewhat split personality; on the one side it’s devastatingly fast, but on the other it’s happy and comfortable to just cruise along… It does what it says on the tin, which is probably how Trek intended it to be.
Bad: Not much – paint design wasn’t everyones cuppa
Specification (2006 model too)
Frame sizes: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 63cm
Size tested: 58 cm
Frame tubing: Alpha 9000 w/OCLV VC Carbon mono stay seat stays
Fork: Bontrager Race
Headset: Cane Creek Internal, sealed, alloy
Crankarms: Shimano Ultegra Hollowtech double
B/B: Shimano Ultegra
Chain: Shimano 10 speed
Freewheel: Shimano Ultegra 12-25, 10 speed
F/D: Shimano Ultegra
R/D: Shimano Ultegra
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra STI
Handlebar: Bontrager Race Lite, 31.8mm
Stem: Bontrager Race
Tape: Bontrager Cork
Seappost: Bontrager Race
Brakes: Shimano long reach w/STI levers
Wheels: Bontrager Race X Lite 20/24 spoke
Tyres: Bontrager Race X Lite AC, 700x23c
Weight: 19.3lbs (less pedals)
Contact: Trek UK 01908 282626
Bonty’s seatpost is a gem
plenty of seated comfort
Ultegra cranks and gears