Trek 5200 vs. Kestrel Talon

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Curt Bousquet, Apr 21, 2003.

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  1. After several years of increasing my mileage every year, I've decided that I've gotten as many miles
    out of my Canondale R600 as I am likely to get.

    It is at the point where it is costing me more and more to keep it going every month, and there are
    some wear spots on the aluminum frame from rubbing on the bike rack that I don't like the looks of.
    For these reasons and more, it is time to retire it to 'second bike' status, to be ridden in the
    early Spring and late Fall...

    So far, two bikes have caught my eye as a replacement. The Trek 5200 at a LBS for ~$2,500, and a
    Kestrel 'Talon' at a competing shop for about $2,300. The prices on each of these bikes is for
    'Ultegra' and a triple chainring. This is a lot to spend on a bike for me, but I would like to
    plan on keeping it for at least 10 years (each manufacturer has a lifetime warranty on the Carbon
    Fiber frame).

    http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2003/road/5200.jsp
    http://www.kestrel-usa.com/products/road/talon.html

    I'm sure there are plenty of other bikes just as nice, but these are the two choices I have if I am
    going to buy a brand carried by either of the two local shops I do all my business with.

    My problem is that I know little enough about bikes in general that I don't even know the proper
    questions to ask... Looking at the specs tells me little, since I don't know a widget from a
    do-hickey. What I'd like to ask this group is for either:

    1) A comparison of these two bikes or;

    2) Some good pointer about things I should know/questions I should be asking about each of these
    bikes, so I can make a well informed choice.

    I am a pretty big guy (215 lbs, 6'1") and I ride about 3,200 miles per season. I live in Vermont,
    ALL of my rides are hilly so please no comments about needing the tripple :). I mostly ride 30-50
    mile rides 4 days/week, with 3-4 Centuries per year. I don't do any racing unless you count the town
    line sprints during regular club rides.

    I found the R600 I have now to be a little 'twitchy' in handling and wouldn't mind something that
    tracks a little easier.

    I know that a lot of it comes down to how each bike 'feels', but neither shop has one in stock yet
    in my size (59-60cm), so I am hoping to get as much prior research done as possible. Any help anyone
    can give with selecting the right bike would be appreciated.

    --

    Curt Bousquet [email protected] < Reverse for email

    Road biking in Southern VT and Western Mass.

    My 2003 bike log: http://www.scanline.com/bikelog/2003.html
     
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  2. Spot T. Rex

    Spot T. Rex Guest

    There is no better factory support then Trek. That would help with my decision. I have had very
    little support from Kestrel. The Trek is one incredible ride. I would test ride each for at least 10
    miles. If both feel the same go for the Trek.

    urt Bousquet" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > After several years of increasing my mileage every year, I've decided that I've gotten as many
    > miles out of my Canondale R600 as I am likely to get.
    >
    > It is at the point where it is costing me more and more to keep it going every month, and there
    > are some wear spots on the aluminum frame from rubbing on the bike rack that I don't like the
    > looks of. For these reasons and more, it is time to retire it to 'second bike' status, to be
    > ridden in the early Spring and late Fall...
    >
    > So far, two bikes have caught my eye as a replacement. The Trek 5200 at a LBS for ~$2,500, and a
    > Kestrel 'Talon' at a competing shop for about $2,300. The prices on each of these bikes is for
    > 'Ultegra' and a triple chainring. This is a lot to spend on a bike for me, but I would like to
    > plan on keeping it for at least 10 years (each manufacturer has a lifetime warranty on the Carbon
    > Fiber frame).
    >
    > http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2003/road/5200.jsp
    > http://www.kestrel-usa.com/products/road/talon.html
    >
    > I'm sure there are plenty of other bikes just as nice, but these are the two choices I have if I
    > am going to buy a brand carried by either of the two local shops I do all my business with.
    >
    > My problem is that I know little enough about bikes in general that I don't even know the proper
    > questions to ask... Looking at the specs tells me little, since I don't know a widget from a
    > do-hickey. What I'd like to ask this group is for either:
    >
    > 1) A comparison of these two bikes or;
    >
    > 2) Some good pointer about things I should know/questions I should be asking about each of these
    > bikes, so I can make a well informed choice.
    >
    > I am a pretty big guy (215 lbs, 6'1") and I ride about 3,200 miles per season. I live in Vermont,
    > ALL of my rides are hilly so please no comments about needing the tripple :). I mostly ride 30-50
    > mile rides 4 days/week, with 3-4 Centuries per year. I don't do any racing unless you count the
    > town line sprints during regular club rides.
    >
    > I found the R600 I have now to be a little 'twitchy' in handling and wouldn't mind something that
    > tracks a little easier.
    >
    > I know that a lot of it comes down to how each bike 'feels', but neither shop has one in stock yet
    > in my size (59-60cm), so I am hoping to get as much prior research done as possible. Any help
    > anyone can give with selecting the right bike would be appreciated.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Curt Bousquet [email protected] < Reverse for email
    >
    > Road biking in Southern VT and Western Mass.
    >
    > My 2003 bike log: http://www.scanline.com/bikelog/2003.html
     
  3. > I found the R600 I have now to be a little 'twitchy' in handling and wouldn't mind something that
    > tracks a little easier.
    >

    Both the bikes you speced are on the twitchy side of neutral, swapping to a fork with a rake of
    40mm would get them to neutral. There are some 40mm rake carbon forks available. Bigger tires will
    help a bit also.

    > I know that a lot of it comes down to how each bike 'feels', but neither shop has one in stock yet
    > in my size (59-60cm),

    The Trek 62cm is a match for Kestrel 60cm, the bikes are near geometric clones of each other. When
    you test ride them swap the wheels from one bike to the other, tires and to a lesser extent wheels
    swamp frame differences, especially when the bikes are so close in geometry.

    so
    > I am hoping to get as much prior research done as possible. Any help anyone can give with
    > selecting the right bike would be appreciated.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Curt Bousquet

    Scott G.
     
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