Almost every day, somebody comes to this blog looking for a review of a Trek 1600. I had a hard time finding any information on the bike before I purchased it too. This post is for you 1600 review seekers.
I've been a mountain biker since 1989, and have ridden many different mountain bikes over the years. I had a Raleigh Grand Prix 10 speed as a kid in the 80's, but I just putted around on it. Road biking had always been in the back of my mind, but I never really got a chance to give it a try. I got an old Specialized Expedition touring bike from my dad last year, and that was my first real taste of road biking. The Expedition is 26 pounds, but was easy to put a lot of miles on. It got me thinking of how a lighter, more modern bike might feel.
Kristy and I decided to give Road Biking a try and both bought 2007 Trek 1600's. We were looking for a bike that wasn't too expensive, since we figured mountain biking would still be our main bicycling discipline. At the same time though, we were looking for a bike that would perform well, and not have us wishing for upgrades soon after the initial purchase. There were a few bikes at this price point, all with similar componentry. We decided to go with the Treks, since they were readily available for testing at our local shop. The Trek also seemed to have a bit more for the buck.
The bike retails for around $1,300, but we got them for $1,100. For this price you get an all aluminum frame, a carbon fork and seat post, Shimano 105 component group, and a Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur. The total weight of the bike with Shimano SPD pedals is around 20.5 lbs.
Kristy has had her bike since the Fall of 06, I got mine the beginning of this year. Both of us have several hundred miles on them. I was worried that an all aluminum frame might be too harsh on the road, but after several long distance rides, I have no complaints. The shifting has been pretty much flawless. The 10 speed rear cassette is great for finding the perfect cadence, and the shifts are crisp and precise.
I'm used to mountain bike braking performance, so I'm not sure how the brakes compare to high end brakes. The brakes aren't what I'm used to on my mountain bikes, but it's certainly not bad either. I just wonder if it could be improved in this area. Maybe just a brake pad change would do the trick.
Most bikes come with cheaper tires, so I suspected this bike would be the same. I took the front tire off to weigh it, and sure enough it was a wire bead tire, weighing 285 grams. It looks like similar tires with a Kevlar bead weigh in at around 220 grams, so it would be a cheap upgrade to shave a 1/4 lb off the wheels.
The bike handles well and is comfortable for all day rides. The handlebars appear to be bit higher than a racer might have them. In fact the top of the bars is about level with the seat. This helps with neck comfort on long rides, but also gives you the option of being more aerodynamic in the drops. The handling on fast descents is good too. The front end of the bike feels stable, and top speeds are only limited by my level of bravery. I think the handlebars could be a bit better ergonomically designed. The bend in the drops is a bit tight for my hands. Bars that I've tried with a flat section in the drops are more comfortable.
The carbon seat post is a nice touch, and the seat is firm but fairly comfortable. The grip tape and hoods are nice, but not as good as the Specialized offering in this price point. The Allez that I checked out in the shop had more cushioning in the bar tape. But again, this would be a cheap upgrade.
Bottom line: This bike is for you if you're looking for a bike with enough performance to keep you happy, but won't bust your bank account. If this was my only bike, I may have been willing to spend more, but since it is one of the many bikes in my collection, the price was just right. I've really grown to love road biking because of this bike.
If you have further questions about the bike, feel free to shoot me an email or comment here. The email link is on my blogger profile.