First Road Bike - Trek 1.2 vs. Trek Lexa S - Help?


New Member
Apr 20, 2012

[SIZE=9pt]I am brand new to Tris/Cycling, and admittedly don't know much outside of the "book knowledge" that I've gained by doing my research on the internet (which I understand does not necessarily translate to "real world" knowledge). I have participated in one Sprint Tri (LOVED it!) using a mountain bike w/ road tires, and really fell in love with the sport. I'm preparing to buy my first road bike, and have done a few week's of research/learning.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]I have a pretty good handle on the Shimano component groups, the various frame geometries, the frame materials, and the advantages/pricing of each, and have also read several articles with varying opinions regarding purchasing a road bike vs. a tri bike.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]I will be using this bike primarily for Tris (starting out w/ Sprint distances, and within 6 months doing Intermediate/Olympic Distances - don't really have aspirations to advance to the Ironman level. . . at least no time in the near future). Most of my training will be solo or with 1 friend, but I would like to participate in group rides a few times a month. I want to purchase a bike that will be "advanced" enough that I will be able to ride it for at least 5 years before I "outgrow" it or wear it out.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Initially, I was planning to purchase a Tri bike, but after all of my research, I feel that this would be a bit too limiting since I want to participate in 30-50 mile group rides on the weekends as well, and it's not an option to buy two bikes! I read several articles about clip-on aero bars and the advantages (versatility) and drawbacks (positioning, cramping, and less "save" for the legs going into a run in a tri scenario than an actual tri bike). I think that eventually I will buy a set of aero bars to train/race with, so I want to make sure that I purchase a road bike with geometry that will allow for the addition of aero bars without putting me in too uncomfortable or cramped of an angle. One article that I read said that a road bike could be converted into more of a tri-specific bike by adding a "forward" or "zero offset" seat post, but the guy at the LBS said that no such thing existed for road bikes. . . . and what do I know? lol [/SIZE]/img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif

[SIZE=9pt]So after doing all of this research, I determined that I want a road bike w/ a minimum of Sora Group Components (preferably Tiagra RD). Aluminum Frames fit my price group best, and if I can swing a carbon fork, I'd like to. I'm looking to spend somewhere in the $750 - $1,000 (MAX) range.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]I went into my LBS yesterday and was "fitted" (although all the guy, really did was look at me), and he determined that I would need a 54 (Trek) or M (Giant) frame.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]A little about me: I'm 5'9.5", lean/long/athletic build. I have long legs and arms, fairly broad shoulders, and long fingers (I mention this b/c there is no need for a women's grip - I have crazy long fingers and won't have a problem reaching the shifters/brakes on a standard men's setup). I'm not a newbie to athletics (I CrossFit / Run / Olympic Lift), but I am a newbie to cycling.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]The LBS guy originally showed me the Giant Defy 3, but I wasn't thrilled w/ the 2300 components, so he then pulled up the Trek Lexa S on the computer (didn't have any in stock). He recommended either the Lexa S or the Trek 1.2, either of which would have to be ordered.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]I came home and did some research on both bikes, and they both look like solid and well-reviewed entry level bikes. My question is this, as I won't be able to test ride or sit on either before ordering: How much of a difference in performance is there between the H2 and H3 fits? The 1.2 has the H2 Fit, and the Lexa S has the H3 fit. I know that I won't be breaking any speed records right off the bat, but I'm looking at this as a 5-7 year bike, so I'd like to invest in something that I can be competitive on as I improve.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Other than the women's saddle and handlebars, The H2 vs H3 frame fit was the primary difference between the two bikes. The 1.2 seat post has a 20mm offset and the Lexa S seat post has a 12mm offset - I honestly have no idea how this translates in terms of performance or facilitating/hindering the future implementation of aero bars. Regarding the saddle/handle bars - if I end up buying the 1.2 I'll likely purchase a women's saddle to swap out. I'm actually a little concerned about the "Women's Specific Fit" of the frame/handle bars as I am so "long", and I have found that often "women's fit" things (outside of the cycling world) are too small/compact for me.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Here is a comparison of the Geometry (pretty much Greek to me right now, but I know that these #s translate to differences in performance and comfort - and for the record, I'm more concerned with performance than I am with comfort):[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Lexa [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]S[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]54 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]54 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]Actual Frame Size[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]54 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]54 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]F [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Bottom bracket drop[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]7 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]7 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]G [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Chainstay length[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]41 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]41 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]D [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Effective top tube[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]54.1 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]54.3 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]Frame stack[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]57.3 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]55.5 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]C [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Head angle[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]B [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Head tube length[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]17 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]15 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]H [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Offset[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]4.5 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]4.5 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]L [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Frame reach[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]37.4 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]38.1 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]A [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Seat tube angle[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]Seat height maximum[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]78 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]78 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]Seat height minimum[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]68 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]68 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]Q [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Seat tube[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]51.5 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]50.6 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]K [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Standover[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]75.5 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]74.2 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]I [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Trail[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]5.8 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]5.6 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]J [/SIZE][SIZE=9pt]Wheelbase[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]98.3 cm[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]98.1 cm[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Sooo, with ALL of that said, can anyone provide a recommendation as to which of these two bikes would best suit my needs/fit me? Or is there another bike in the same price range ($750 - $950) that may be better suited that I should check out? I really want to give my business to the LBS, and the staff there was very patient and helpful with all of my questions, but they only carry Trek, Giant, and some other brand that starts w/ a "C" but was out of my price range. . . so I think I'm stuck with one of these brands if I go the LBS route.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Thanks in advance for any opinions/suggestions that you can provide![/SIZE]



Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
The big difference between the Lexa and the 1.2 is that the Lexa uses an H3 fit, while the 1.2 uses an H2 fit. The H2 fit is a bit more racy, but not as racy as Trek's full on H1 (their most racy fit). The question is really which fit will be best for you. I'd suggest looking around to find a Trek dealer that has and H2 and H3 version of a given road bike in stock. This might mean needing to test ride a Madone 4.x, 5.x, or 6.x. Please note that what you would be comparing would be just the difference in position between H2 and H3 fits. That's why I'd suggest that those fits be on the same model frame. Test riding an H2 in one frame model and and H3 in another frame model won't really be a good test, since any difference you feel will also include things resulting from other frame characteristics besides H2 vs H3 fit. It would really be worth driving a greater distance just to find a place with the frames needed for such a test.


Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
Good points about fit. Also, out of the box, the Lexa will be equipped for women with a WSD saddle and handlebar--narrower, with shorter reach and drop.

As alienator says, try them on for size before buying.