Trek 2.1 Review (2008)
The 2008 Trek 2.1 is a fast, and comfortable bike on a dependable, and stiff frame. The 2.1 model has been renamed this year, from the former and popular Trek 2100 model (the majority of the Trek line has been renamed).
Make sure to read some of our other bike reviews, mostly to check out the comparable components, visual styles, and pricing, to see which bikes you should test drive at your local bike shop. There are a lot of similarly priced bikes in the Trek 2.1 price range, and I can guarantee they all have slightly different geometries.
If a bike purchase was based on looks alone, I think the 2008 Trek 2.1 would win over a lot of cyclists. The paint design looks a bit familiar with another bike we’ve reviewed, and trying to compare looks of the 1.5 with the 2.1 won’t draw too many differences. Both models look pretty sharp this year, although I’m somewhat more of a fan of the blue, and silver on the 2.1.
The frame is the sturdy, yet graceful, “Alpha Black Aluminum” frame. The frame is built around Trek’s ProTour geometry that seems to be designed to primarily fit the average person as well as possible.
The frame is manufactured using hydroforming, a technique mainly used in automobile manufacturing. From Wikipedia:
Hydroforming allows complex shapes with concavities to be formed, which would be difficult or impossible with standard solid die stamping. Hydroformed parts can often be made with a higher stiffness to weight ratio and at a lower per unit cost than traditional stamped or stamped and welded parts.
It looks like everyone wins with hydroforming…
The biggest upgrade on the 2.1 (from the 1.5) are the TCT carbon fiber seatstays. These definitely absorb some of the more annoying road buzz, and do make quite a difference in the overall comfort of the ride. They also slightly lower the weight of the frame. The 2.1 also includes the Bontrager carbon forks.
The Trek 2.1 forks have the new Speed Trap computer sensor slot in the fork. At this point I can’t say how well this works, as I haven’t tried out a speed trap computer yet, but hope to soon.
Well, it looks like the theme is staying the same for the 2008 Trek bikes in regards to drivetrain components. I would expect that each year the bikes would see an upgrade over years’ past, but this hasn’t been the case. The Trek 2.1 has seen a dramatic drop from a 10-speed Shimano 105 STI shifter to a 9-speed Shimano Tiagra setup. This is a somewhat disappointing trend, although in Trek’s defense, I believe the suggested price has come down some.
The Tiagra components are very good, but it’s too bad that we lose the 10-speed. Many in the industry would argue that the Tiagra components are better than last year, so they fit well on the 2.1, but I don’t see it that way. The 2.1 should see have seen the improvements in the new Shimano 105′s instead.
The front derailleur also goes from 105′s to the Tiagra. The rear derailleur drops from the fantastic Ultegra, to 105.
The pedals are now strap-in pedals (previously clipless), but this isn’t a terribly big deal, as most people have a preference in pedals, and would probably replace the stock pedals either way.
The Bontrager Race Basic saddle sits atop a carbon fiber seat post (Bontrager, of course!). All of these components are quite standard for Trek bikes, and the first thing I do is swap out the saddle. The wheels are Bontrager SSR and are of similar good quality for bikes in this price range, and do look pretty elegant (for wheels).
The brakes are now Shimano Tiagra components. I’ve found the Tiagra brakes to be very, very good at doing what they do. That said, they are a little cheaper than the Shimano 105′s from last year, but there isn’t much difference between the two. I would suggest upgrading the pads though.
All Trek bikes include a lifetime warranty on the frame for the original owner, 5 years on most of the Bontrager parts and the fork, and 1 year on pretty much everything else.
The 2008 Trek 2.1 is a fantastic bike, but does see some downgrades over last years model. Either way all of the components are very good on this model, especially for the price. I think you may want to try this bike out before setting your heart on it, as there is a lot of competition in this price range, including the Giant OCR 1, the Specialized Allez Elite Compact, and the Cannondale CAAD9 6.
The MSRP of the Trek 2.1 is $1,259.99, but you’ll surely find it for less.
As always, make sure to visit your local bike shop, ask lots of help, and get properly fitted before purchasing any bike.
|2008 Trek 2.1||2007 Trek 2100 (for comparison)|
|Sizes||43, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm||50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 63cm|
|Frame||Alpha Black Aluminum w/TCT Carbon stays||ZR 9000 Alloy w/TCT Carbon seat stays|
|Fork||Bontrager Race, carbon; SpeedTrap compatible||Bontrager Approved, carbon|
|Wheels||Bontrager SSR (43cm: Alloy hubs w/650c Alex rims)||Bontrager Select|
|Tires||Bontrager Race Lite, 700x23c (43cm: 650x25c)||Bontrager Race Lite, 700x23c|
|Shifters||Shimano Tiagra STI, 9 speed||Shimano 105 STI, 10 speed|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Tiagra||Shimano 105|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano 105||Shimano Ultegra|
|Crank||Bontrager Select 50/34 or 50/39/30||Bontrager Race 52/39 or 52/39/30|
|Cassette||SRAM PG950 11-26 or 12-26 (triple), 9 speed||Shimano 105, 12-25, 10 speed|
|Pedals||Nylon body w/alloy cage; clips and straps||Shimano 505, clipless|
|Saddle||Bontrager Race Basic||Bontrager Race Basic|
|Seat Post||Bontrager Carbon||Bontrager Carbon|
|Handlebars||Bontrager Select VR, 31.8mm||Bontrager Select, 31.8mm|
|Stem||Bontrager Select, 7 degree, 31.8mm||Bontrager Select, 7 degree, 31.8mm|
|Headset||Aheadset w/semi-cartridge bearings, integrated, sealed, alloy||Cane Creek Integrated w/cartridge bearings, sealed, alloy|
|Brakeset||Alloy dual pivot w/Shimano Tiagra STI levers||Cane Creek 3 w/Shimano 105 STI levers|