Trek 2.1 Compact review

Madone handling for the novice

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£1,075.00 RRP

Our review

Fine handling and great quality, but not the best value bike in this price range
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The 2 series range from Trek is based around the same geometry as its top flight Madone. Unlike those all-carbon creations, the 2.1 is constructed with Trek’s 200 Series aluminium, and the frame’s quality is evident with nicely finished welds and a carbon fork plugged in up front.

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The drivetrain is what we’d expect at this price, with Shimano 105 shifters and mechs and a lower spec R600 compact chainset, its 50/34 rings complementing an 11-28 cassette. This is gearing that will get you up and over most climbs. All the finishing components come from Trek stablemate Bontrager, with everything from the bar tape to the tyres bearing the name. The Bontrager SSR wheels have proved trouble-free, good, honest, budget items. Combined with steel beaded R1 tyres they’re no lightweights, and contribute a fair amount to the bike’s 9.2kg.

The ride of the 2.1 is good for its intended rider. Our 58cm test bike has a rider-friendly 57.3cm top-tube combined with a 7-degree rise, 100mm stem, creating a comfortable but not too sedate riding position. The handling is predictable and the ride reasonably smooth, and that comfortable position isn’t so upright that it compromises the out-of-the-saddle feel.

Climbing on a 9kg-plus bike could be a chore, but that’s not what we found. We certainly enjoyed descending on the 2.1, its combination of smooth, vibration-free front end and weighty wheelset making for a very stable and predictable ride. We found we were pushing that bit harder on long descents as the 2.1 really does inspire confidence in its abilities.

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As a choice for your first foray into serious road bikes the 2.1 has plenty to offer. The quality frame has a good, race-inspired position and comes with eyelets for mudguards, making it a great year-round ride and an ideal commuter. We like that Trek has kept the same fine geometry and handling traits of the brilliant Madone for what is, essentially, its novice range.

Product Specifications

Product

Name 2.1 (11)
Brand Trek Bikes

Available Sizes 43 47 50 52 54 56 58 60 62cm
Shifters Shimano 105 STI, 10 speed
Seatpost Bontrager Carbon, 20mm offset
Headset Type 1-1/8" integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
Stem Bontrager Race Lite, 7 degree, 31.8mm
Handlebar Bontrager Race VR-C, 31.8mm
Grips/Tape Bontrager gel tape
Brakes Tektro R540 w/Shimano 105 STI levers
Pedals n/a
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Available Colours Platinum/Carrera Blue/White Trek Red/Black/Yellow
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Cassette Shimano 105 11-28, 10 speed
Cranks Shimano R600, 50/34 or Shimano R-553 50/39/30
Spoke Type Bontrager R1, 700x23c (43: 650x23c)
Rear Shock NA
Fork Bontrager Race, carbon legs, SpeedTrap compatible
Frame Material Alpha Black Aluminum
Saddle Bontrager Affinity 1, steel rails