For a new rider who is unsure about a road bike’s handling, the Trek 1.2 could be a great solution, as its slow steering makes it stable at slow speeds.
Ride and handling: Cushioning and stable
All our testers commented on how well the Trek 1.2 rode in terms of comfort and stability.
While not super stiff or quick to turn (attributes a racer might look for), the Trek 1.2 was easy to steer at slow speeds, and felt comfortable and stable riding over rough pavement and on choppy dirt roads.
Frame: Neutral frame with extra-stable fork
Two things set the Trek apart from the other seven bikes in our “Best Road Bikes Under $1,000” test. One, the bike has the slowest steering of the bunch, more akin to an easy-riding cruiser that a twitchy track bike. And two, the Trek comes in more sizes than any in our test: an 8-size array runs from a tiny 43cm to a towering 62cm.
Equipment: A beginner-friendly arrangement
As with all the bikes in the “Best Road Bikes Under $1,000” test, the F85 features a compact 50/34 crank (a standard crank has bigger 53/39 chain rings). The cassette is 11-28.
Chain rings and cassette cogs have an inverse relationship: bigger chain rings mean more gear, more speed and more effort, while bigger cassette cogs mean a smaller gear, less speed but less effort – especially when going uphill.
Bottom line: the Trek 1.2 can get you up and down mountains without blowing out your knees or your lungs.
The wheels, tires and saddle are from Trek’s Bontrager house brand. They are all of good quality.