Trek 1.1 Review

Updated May 31, 2013
Trek 1.1
Bottom Line Bottom Line

An excellent budget-priced racer, the aluminum Trek 1.1 has a short wheelbase that makes it fast and fun to ride. Components include Shimano 2300 gearing, alloy brakes, and Bontrager wheels and tires. Reviewers say the Trek 1.1 is a good road bike for beginners and casual cyclists.


Trek DNA at heart. According to Bicycling Magazine's 2012 Buyer's Guide, "with Trek's name on the down tube, riders can rest assured that even the baby of the bunch shares some of the same DNA as its better-appointed siblings." Editors say the Shimano 2300 derailleurs and STI shifters are a reliable eight-speed drivetrain option.

  • Handles well
  • Lightweight for the price
  • Eight frame sizes
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Tires could use an upgrade
  • Iffy durability

While many testers find that the Shimano 2300 shifting componentry works well, some wish the Trek 1.1 came with the option for a triple crankset; three front chain rings are common on budget road bikes. editors say, "less keen climbers or those returning to cycling might appreciate a lower bottom gear for tackling severe climbs more comfortably, while the top gear won't please power pedalers." Some users say shifting can be a bit finicky and suggest the 2300's initial performance may decline over time. reports that the Trek's short wheelbase "contributes to some sharp handling, though some toe overlap could result," adding that the wheelbase and light weight make the bike fast and nimble without twitchy handling. However, editors would like to a see a little more weight reduction, such as adding a carbon fork.

Some owners complain that the Trek 1.1's stock tires need more grip and traction, especially in tight corners and turns.


Needs a few upgrades. Experts call the Trek 1.1 a great value, saying the ride is smoother and more race-oriented than the price would suggest. Testers find the bike fun to ride and it comes in eight sizes, making it easy to obtain a precise fit. The rear-rack braze-on mounts and fender tabs built into the aluminum fork make it easy to accessorize this bike for light touring or commuting, according to Bicycling Magazine.

On the downside, one owner says, "the stock pedals are terrible, I upgraded to egg beaters within a week of having the bike." Another calls the stock seat "terrible," preferring an $8 alternative.


Iffy durability. While several customers find that the factory tires didn't last long, one rider had problems with several components. "I've had the bike for 7 months and have had a derailleur fall off, grip tape completely went to shreds, a flat tube every 150 miles," he explains.

At, another owner describes his experience switching wheels as he kept breaking spokes. However, he admits to weighing more than 270 pounds and road bikes aren't meant to hold such large riders. Another user posts at Bicycling Magazine's website that the Trek 1.1's hub cracked during a ride.

Customer Service

Frames for a lifetime. All Trek bicycles are sold exclusively through authorized dealers and specs can be personalized when ordering through Trek's Project One custom program. Warranty limits include lifetime on frames for the original owner; three years for aluminum frames; and two years on carbon frames, swing arms and Bontrager forks and components. Customer service reviews are mostly positive, especially experiences at Trek "superstores."

Our Sources


Cheap Road Bikes - Our Pick of the Best, Editors of, Nov. 13, 2012

Editors pick the best entry-level bikes that all score highly in tests by and Cycling Plus. They say the Trek 1.1 is fast and fun and they place it third on the list, although there's no indication that this is a ranking of any sort.


Trek 1.1 Review, Editors of, Jan. 19, 2011

In a thorough review, editors give the Trek 1.1 4 stars out of 5. They say the road bike has a smoother, more race-like ride than its price tag would suggest, but they'd like to see a triple crankset option.


Trek 1.1, Contributors to, As of June 2013 compiles owner reviews, mostly from the Trek website. Overall, the Trek 1.1 gets 4.3 out of 5 stars from about 100 users. They call it a great first road bike, but an overwhelming number complain that the saddle is uncomfortable.

4. Bicycling Magazine

2012 Buyer's Guide: Entry-Level Road Bikes, Editors of Bicycling Magazine, Not dated

In this 2012 roundup, editors present what they consider to be the best entry-level road bikes. The Trek 1.1 gets a brief review that highlights the frame geometry and components, and no rating is given.


Featured User Review: Trek 1.1 Road Bike, Thien Dinh, July 20, 2012 editors compile user feedback for road bikes from around the Internet. The Trek 1.1 receives only two such reviews, but one of them is detailed and informative.

6. Triathlete's World

Trek 1 series - 1.1, Editors of Triathlete's World, June 2011

Triathlete's World calls the Trek 1.1 a versatile bike that's suitable for casual racing or long rides. Testers report solid shifting and a good range of gearing options, but the tires have little grip in corners.