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  1. #1
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    Trek Pilot 2.1 WSD?

    Hey all,

    I'm brand new here (both to RBR and cycling), and am looking to get a new bike. I recently got into triathlons and realized that my old commuter mountain bike just wasn't going to do it for me anymore. So I'm hoping to get a decently priced road bike to go on rides out of town and use in tris. More emphasis on weekend/fitness rides than tris.

    I went to a couple LBS and test rode a few bikes, one of which was the Trek Pilot 2.1. It was perfect in that, like many people on here have said, it has a more relaxed frame geometry, which makes the transition from a lifetime of mountain bikes to road bikes much easier.

    Anywhos, it's still a bit steep in price for me. Mostly I can't justify spending that much money unless I'm sure I'm getting quality stuff. I know the components are pretty good, but I can probably find something else out there that feels good enough for me. I mean, I'm new to this stuff so I can't really notice the quality of the shifters and all that as well as someone who's been riding for years (I did notice some differences when test riding today, so I'm not completely clueless). I want something good/decent that'll last a while is all.

    There hasn't been much talk or mention of this Trek Pilot 2.1 bike (or any Trek Pilot for that matter) on the many review sites I've looked up online. Of those that exist, most review older models, like 2007. So, does anyone actually have this bike? What's wrong with it that not many people talk about it?

    So...questions...
    1) Are there any other models/brands I should check out? I've tried Trek, Specialized, Felt, and Giant so far. Do you guys have any other suggestions based on my history and plan for the bike?

    2) Right now I'm looking at a model with a triple crankset, but there's a compact also available (didn't test ride it cuz it wasn't in the shop). Although I'm new to biking, the couple compact bikes I tested were much easier to shift than the triples. Maybe it's just the abundance of gears in the triple that make me confused. I don't know. Which would you guys recommend?

    And lastly...
    3) Are the components on the Trek Pilot 2.1 worth shelling out the extra couple hundred bucks? For example, is the Shimano 105 that much better than the Tiagra? In theory, I could keep going up and up in price to get better and better components, but this madness has to stop somewhere for the sake of my wallet. I'm sure I can find a cheaper bike with as comfortable a fit as this Trek, but sacrificing the quality of the components. Would it serve my purposes of long rides, doing tris, and commuting? Probably. And that's what makes me feel like I'm buying more than I need.

    Thanks so much for your help! I can use any advice you have to offer!

  2. #2
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    Yes, the 105 is much better than the Tiagra.

    I have a triple crank 2008 2.3 WSD and REALLY like it.

    Do a google search for the Pilot 2.1 WSD and the 2.3WSD. Depending on size, it IS possible to find NIB "older" bikes at great sale prices. In many cases, the older version is, in fact, a better bike. Don't be put off by the "we can't ship" announcement on the Trek dealer's web page. They CAN ship to another Trek dealer for assembly and delivery. You get the inter-dealer low shipping and I've paid $75 for local assembly.

    I found this clearance list with lots of Treks in 30 seconds. http://bikeline.com/articles/road-an...eouts-pg59.htm. Remember that a 2007 or 2008 NIB bike is a real drag on the dealer's inventory. Offer them 20% less than the posted price. There's a good chance that they'll take it or you can bargain for them to cover the shipping and local assembly.
    Last edited by Trek2.3; 02-28-2010 at 09:49 AM.

  3. #3
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    105 is much better than Tiagra--after that, there are improvements, but you might not notice. But if your going to use the bike for a few years I would definitely go with at least 105.

    I would also go with the compact crank over a triple. It's not your imagination---compacts do tend to shift better--less hardware, less weight. And depending on your fitness the gear ratio will help you in the hills.

    As for what other bikes to consider, I guess it depends on what's available near you. Ride everything in your size and then choose whichever one fits you. Some people here on RBR have disdain for Treks in general because they are so ubiquitous, but they are decent bikes. Buy whatever you like enough to ride a lot. Have fun!

  4. #4
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    Trek makes excellent bikes, as does Specialized, Giant, Jamis, Kona,etc. The Pilot is a very nice bike and would serve you well.

    Most important is the bike fitting you properly - do you feel to stretched out on the hoods or drops? Is the handlebar high enough?

    I would try different bikes from your local bike shops. Since you are new road biking, I would avoid buying over the internet to save a few $$. If you get the wrong size or doesn't fit well, that's penny-wise and pound-foolish, as you'll end up selling it for a loss (it's like a car, big depreciation right out of the shop).

    I would recommend the compact drivetrain over the triple, since you already ride and probably have good fitness. If you're in a very hilly area, you might want the triple.

    Forget about Tiagra vs 105 vs Ultegra. The main difference between component groups is weight and finish. They all have the same technology of ramps and pins and teeth that enable smooth shifting. One of my friends owned a bike shop and raced using low end Shimano parts that he cobbled from takeoffs. It didn't stop him from his usual top ten finishes.

    Oh, if you can find a good bike shop and stick with them. They'll help you in many ways with service and advice. You'll often find smaller shops are better in that regards. A telltale sign of a good shop is if there are lots of customers that just hang out to chat and hangout.

  5. #5
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    You guys are amazing! Information overload over here

    Trek2.3 - Thanks for the vote of confidence for the Treks. I haven't heard many people talking about them as compared to other brands/models, so I was a bit concerned.

    karatemom - When you say 105 is much better than Tiagra, what do you mean? I'm hoping to keep the bike around for a while so I'm looking for longevity as well as quality. When I test rode the bikes, I didn't feel much of a difference between the two, but I was also more focused on the fit at the time. I'm going back tomorrow to ride them and a few others again to check out the components more closely.

    veloduffer - The Trek Pilot was the only one I didn't feel stretched out on, but that may be because it's described as more of a "comfort" bike, which helps with the mountain to road bike transition. With regards to components, I'm not looking to get ones that will speed me up in races. I want longevity and quality, since crappy shifting is what really bothers me about the mountain bike I have now.

    Sounds like compact crank it is! One decision down, too many more to go.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by siakaw; 03-02-2010 at 03:40 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by siakaw
    You guys are amazing! Information overload over here

    Trek2.3 - Thanks for the vote of confidence for the Treks. I haven't heard many people talking about them as compared to other brands/models, so I was a bit concerned.

    karatemom - When you say 105 is much better than Tiagra, what do you mean? I'm hoping to keep the bike around for a while so I'm looking for longevity as well as quality. When I test rode the bikes, I didn't feel much of a difference between the two, but I was also more focused on the fit at the time. I'm going back tomorrow to ride them and a few others again to check out the components more closely.

    veloduffer - The Trek Pilot was the only one I didn't feel stretched out on, but that may be because it's described as more of a "comfort" bike, which helps with the mountain to road bike transition. With regards to components, I'm not looking to get ones that will speed me up in races. I want longevity and quality, since crappy shifting is what really bothers me about the mountain bike I have now.

    Sounds like compact crank it is! One decision down, too many more to go.

    Thanks again!
    Both Tiagra and 105 are quite durable and you will not notice any difference unless they are set up incorrectly - it takes a lot to wear out a drivetrain at any level. My point is that the components are the least important of your decision. A frame that fits you is the only point to focus on. If you notice, all the bikes in that particular Pilot lineup are the same, they only change the components. Components can be easily changed, especially after you spend time on the bike and figure out what you want to change, as well as replaced when they wear out.

    The example of my LBS friend was that he could easily use top of the line Dura-Ace but used Sora, Tiagara and RSX parts instead and it didn't break on him, which would have prevented him from racing successfully. All those components work well, you are essentially paying for a little less weight and shinier finish.

    Have fun testing and let us know what you end up with. Cheers.

  7. #7
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    Uhm...I have had both, Tiagra and 105, and in my experience the shifting was smoother with 105. Although when the Tiagra was tuned up and lubed correctly in shifted just fine. It did make more noise, though. I have Dura-Ace now, and really, there's not a great deal of difference. Mostly it's just lighter. Veloduffer is correct--the components should be the least of your considerations--I would tend to lean towards 105 over Tiagra, but it could have just been the bike I was on. Although the noisy bike with the Tiagra was a Trek.

  8. #8
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    IMO Veloduffer is giving you some great advice here. Fit first, then components.

    Being new to road riding, it's wise to expose yourself to a few bikes because it'll help you decide what you prefer in fit, ride and handling. Giant Defy, Specialized Dolce (WSD) and Secteur along with the Felt 'Z' series and C'dale Synapse are all worth a ride. And speaking of WSD bikes, if you're proportioned long legs/ short torso you may want to focus on those bikes, because they're designed for that type of rider - needing a somewhat shorter reach.

    One thing not mentioned in the Tiagra/ 105 debate is speeds. Tiagra is currently 9 spd while 105 is 10. For most riders 9 spd suites the purpose, but it's something to be aware of. Also, your fitness level and the terrain you ride should dictate whether you go with a compact or a triple crankset. Compacts offer a good compromise between standard doubles and a triple and (in general) shift slightly better, but set up correctly, they both perform well - and a triple does offer some advantage with lower gearing on hills.

    And on the topic of set up, as Veloduffer mentioned, key to a quick shifting, smooth running drivetrain is set up, tuning and maintenance. A well tuned Tiagra drivetrain will outperform a poorly set up 105, so as long as Tiagra's 9 spd fulfills your purposes, save the $$ on a good helmet and accessories.
    Last edited by PJ352; 03-03-2010 at 04:07 AM. Reason: addition..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by karatemom
    Uhm...I have had both, Tiagra and 105, and in my experience the shifting was smoother with 105.
    Ditto. And even smoother with the Ultegra. Even if you don't notice it at the beginning, eventually you will appreciate the more polished set.

  10. #10
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    Again, thanks SOOOO much for your responses. The learning curve is huge for road bikes, so any help is awesome.

    I went back to the LBS today to ride the bikes again and focus on the components this time, since last time I was mostly looking at fit because as most everyone says, it's quite important. Well, two bikes fit very well then and they still do now: the aforementioned Trek 2.1 WSD (not the Pilot apparently) and a Specialized Dolce Elite WSD. The only thing separating the two right now are the components (and the price!). So hence the post about components since I already have the fit figured out.

    Anywhos, after trying out a few entry-level bikes with Sora followed by Tiagra, I definitely noticed a HUGE difference between the two. (I stayed away from the 105 so I wouldn't tempt myself...at least in the beginning). The Sora felt and sounded like the shifting on my crappy mountain bike that I'm looking to replace. So no go with that.

    After riding my beloved Trek 2.1 with 105 and comparing that with Tiagra, I noticed a very very very slight difference. Like, barely noticeable. But, if I had to comment, the 105 was smoother and Tiagra was noisier. The employees at both shops I went to said to go with the 105 for the extra $200 since if I do end up upgrading down the line, it'll cost way more than that. So I'm as confused as I was before I went in the store today. (And I was really looking for a reason not to buy the Trek.)

    Same with my decision about compact vs. triple crankset. I live at the base of the Rockies so any way home is uphill. Makes going out for a ride fun, but I sometimes wish it was the other way around. It's not steep enough to necessitate going with the triple (more of a gentle slope), but it definitely makes it much nicer for the hills I do decide to climb. I just have to weigh that against the smoothness and preference of riding with a compact crankset. Back to square one I suppose...

    PJ352 - I rode most of the bikes you mentioned with the exception of Giant Defy (tried Giant Avail 1 and 3 instead) and Specialized Secteur. Can't seem to find them around town. But you mentioning those makes me feel like I got a pretty good cross-section. Awesome.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by siakaw
    Again, thanks SOOOO much for your responses. The learning curve is huge for road bikes, so any help is awesome.

    I went back to the LBS today to ride the bikes again and focus on the components this time, since last time I was mostly looking at fit because as most everyone says, it's quite important. Well, two bikes fit very well then and they still do now: the aforementioned Trek 2.1 WSD (not the Pilot apparently) and a Specialized Dolce Elite WSD. The only thing separating the two right now are the components (and the price!). So hence the post about components since I already have the fit figured out.

    Anywhos, after trying out a few entry-level bikes with Sora followed by Tiagra, I definitely noticed a HUGE difference between the two. (I stayed away from the 105 so I wouldn't tempt myself...at least in the beginning). The Sora felt and sounded like the shifting on my crappy mountain bike that I'm looking to replace. So no go with that.

    After riding my beloved Trek 2.1 with 105 and comparing that with Tiagra, I noticed a very very very slight difference. Like, barely noticeable. But, if I had to comment, the 105 was smoother and Tiagra was noisier. The employees at both shops I went to said to go with the 105 for the extra $200 since if I do end up upgrading down the line, it'll cost way more than that. So I'm as confused as I was before I went in the store today. (And I was really looking for a reason not to buy the Trek.)

    Same with my decision about compact vs. triple crankset. I live at the base of the Rockies so any way home is uphill. Makes going out for a ride fun, but I sometimes wish it was the other way around. It's not steep enough to necessitate going with the triple (more of a gentle slope), but it definitely makes it much nicer for the hills I do decide to climb. I just have to weigh that against the smoothness and preference of riding with a compact crankset. Back to square one I suppose...

    PJ352 - I rode most of the bikes you mentioned with the exception of Giant Defy (tried Giant Avail 1 and 3 instead) and Specialized Secteur. Can't seem to find them around town. But you mentioning those makes me feel like I got a pretty good cross-section. Awesome.
    Don't fret about not finding a Secteur to ride. If you rode the Dolce, you've found the Secteur's WSD equivalent.

    I agree with you re: Sora vs Tiagra. Easy choice there.

    RE: the LBS's recommendation to go with 105 and why. While it's true that once you're running a 10 spd drivetrain any subsequent upgrade will be simpler, that doesn't mean it's the best course for you to take now. And getting the Tiagra equipped bike and saving the $200 doesn't mean you can't upgrade to 105 at some point in the future, it'll just take a little more to accomplish in the way of parts and $$. BUT, Tiagra will last you for years, so it's not like you're buying a bike that needs to be upgraded immediately, or is going to be required before you get a season out of the bike.

    OTOH, in the interest of full disclosure (and to serve to confuse you further) I will agree that the $200 upcharge is pretty reasonable given the fact that you'll go from 9 to 10 speeds, but I really think you should primarily focus on bike fit, feel, ride and handling and let that determine the component question. At least for now.

  12. #12
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    I know it's been a while since we had this discussion, but I finally went with the Trek 2.1 WSD with 105 components. The shifting on it is impeccable and it fits like a glove. I didn't think I would be able to tell the difference between Sora, Tiagra, and 105 that well, but when I paid attention to that when test-riding I could totally see what you guys (and the LBS guys) have been talking about. And since the shifting is what was bugging me most about my other Trek bike, I figured it was a good investment.

    I took it out for a ride today and it was absolutely AMAZING! Great feel, great ride, great everything. Riding felt so effortless and I was going so much faster than before. Good call on the 105.

    Thanks again for all the advice and input you guys offered. I couldn't have made this decision without you! Here's a pic of my beauty:


  13. #13
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    Nice looking bike, congrats!!

  14. #14
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    Thanks, I'm also considering the Trek 2.1 wsd and it was so nice to read all the posts. Bike is beautiful.

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    Wendy,

    I'm glad we could be of some help Good luck with your decision. It's a tough one, at least it was for me. Obviously I'm a little bit biased, but if the fit is good, get this bike. It's FAST! And amazing.

  16. #16
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    Having ridden and owned several Trek MTBs, I went road/rogue with a 2009 2.1 (bloke's version) and love it. Even if it has the old 9-spd Tiagra shifters and front mech (105 rear at least). I plan to ride the hell out of it... at any rate, once I get used to the rock hard saddle, or swap it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
    Poast of the Day™.
    .

  17. #17
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    So what year/model is that bike in the picture? I can see it says Trek and 2.1, but I can't find that color for any 2.1 (2.1, 2.1wsd, pilot 2.1, Pilot 2.1wsd) in any of Trek's literature, nor Bikepedia.

    Edit: Nevermind, I found it. 2010 Trek 2.1wsd Gloss Lava Black
    Last edited by hlring; 05-25-2010 at 10:54 AM.

  18. #18
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    Looking for a WSD bike for my daughter to race and was considering the Pilot so this thread has been very interesting to read. I agree that your new steed looks great siakaw and you will notice a huge difference from the old machine but absolutely THE best thing you could do now is swap those pedals for some that fit shoes with cleats. That way you are pushing more efficiently, you also pull on the upstroke and you feel part of the bike. Honestly, once you have ridden with cleats you will wonder why you never did before!

    Keep on pushing those cranks round.

    Jonathan

  19. #19
    wim
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    Pull-up myth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fatboyonabike
    That way you are pushing more efficiently, you also pull on the upstroke and you feel part of the bike.
    Not sure how much more efficiently you push being attached to your pedals, but I am sure that "pulling on the upstroke" is not a good thing unless you're talking about sprinting out of the saddle. The metabolic costs of "pulling up" while seated are high, with the gain non-existent or very small. "Push down harder and more often" would be a more effective mantra.

    I'm not denying that there are advantages to riding clipless. For one, muscles used to stabilize a non-attached foot can remain at rest. People on clipless pedals also wear cycling shoes with stiffer soles, which is helpful. The most important advantage for recreational riders is simply bike control and accident prevention: attached feet stay on the pedals in situations which would have unattached feet come off the pedals with dire consequences. In that sense, most everyone does feel better riding clipped-in rather than pushing platforms.
    Last edited by wim; 05-11-2010 at 06:09 AM.

  20. #20
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    Wim,

    Thank you for correcting me. I concede that my explanation was based on a perception rather than an educated assessment. I could try to expound on my 'pushing more efficiently' phrase but I think your response is more eloquent. Hopefully you would still agree that siakaw would be well-advised to invest in clipless pedals.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatboyonabike
    Hopefully you would still agree that siakaw would be well-advised to invest in clipless pedals.
    Agree completely, with one caveat: there are people whose fear of having their feet attached to the pedals is so large that given the choice between riding clipless and not riding at all, they would stop riding. For those folks, staying with platforms would be the right thing to do. And who knows: coming off a platform pedal while out of the saddle and pushing hard on an uphill might make them reconsider their choice.... :-)

  22. #22
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    I wanted to know if you are still happy with your bike? I just bought the same exact one.
    This is my first bike. My husband had bought a motobecane online bikesdirect and i returned it after reading reveiws. Then i went to the LBS and tried the speacialized dolce elite and said i was going to buy it. Then the owner came out with this bike and told me to try it and like you said yourself it fit like a glove and my mind was changed. Please let me know if your still happy with it .

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    I'm back way late to this thread (my roommate is looking for a bike and I thought I would point her to this discussion about components), but a response is better late than never.

    The picture was taken right after I got the bike home, before I had time to swap out the pedals. I did go with the clipless a couple weeks later, once I had saved up enough money for new pedals and shoes, and have been enjoying riding attached ever since then. And what a difference that has made!

    przc4 - I'm very happy with my bike. Like, extremely satisfied! It's fast, shifts great, and fits wonderfully. I've since gotten a new saddle and a somewhat professional fitting, but other than that, I haven't made any adjustments. It's a sweet ride and I'm really glad I made the decision to buy it. I hope you're enjoying yours as well.

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