Trek 5500

Light, Strong, Cheap, Choose two! (Engineering proverb).

"Black Dog" has been a project of mine for a couple of years starting with a used '97 Trek 5500 OCLV frame. I have replaced/upgraded all components optimizing for weight and strength. He is roughly patterned after Rob's unimaginative first ever web page! showing a smaller (looks like 52 cm) version of the frame on a racing bike weighing only 14 lbs. (Note: Rob's bike is actually illegal in UCI sponsored races, such as the Tour de France, most major races, as UCI sets a 6800 gram ~= 14.9 lb lower weight limit). Today Black Dog represents, in my opinion, a design sweet-spot for a large, strong, light, everyday use bicycle riding clinchers. He sits right on the legal limit. My wife points out that the most additional weight savings could be obtained simply by the rider losing some weight :).

The bike is used for commuting and the occasional fun ride. It does (as Rob reports) climb hills such as the infamous "Alp de Torrey Pine" like nothing else. When you stand up on the incredibly wide and stable Dura Ace 10 spd bottom bracket you can feel the back tire chewing into the pavement almost like stomping the accelerator on a Porsche. In fact sometimes Black Dog seems to be begging his master to go faster. The bike is certainly not the weak link!


Frame: 60 cm Trek OCLV 5500, nude carbon finish 1445g (including screws)
Fork: Reynolds Ouzo Pro, carbon fibre, 1" steerer. 375g
Headset: Chris King NoThreadset 108g
Seatpost: USE carbon alien 270mm 136g
Seatpost clamp: Weyless Pro 16g
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR 135g
Stem: ITM THE, 130mm, 95g
Handlebars: Kestrel Pro EMS carbon 180g
Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed gruppo: STI Levers 420g, Cables, Crank and Bottom Bracket 740g, Chain 280g, Derailleurs front 74g, rear 181g
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed, 11-23, titanium 178g.
Brakes: Zero Gravity 196g pair
Pedals: Speedplay X1 Ti 150g
Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium SSL SC 1530g pair
Skewers: Bold Precision 49g pair
Tires: Kenda Kaliente (165g each)
Tubes Ultra Light Presta (65g each)
Bottle cage: Weyless carbon 23g
Bar tape: 24g (minimal taping with Cinelli cork)
Cable: 14g
Dirt and grease ? 5g
Total Weight: 6832 grams ~= 15 pounds 1 ounce

In the next picture we start winding it up to attack El Tigre, the 7.5% grade, 900 foot mesa in the middle of the Rosarito to Ensenada 50 mile bicycle ride. Yes I noticed those fat-tired mountain bikes in the background. Let's just say we ate a steady diet of them for the first couple of switchbacks but later there were only road bikes to snack on :)

Here is a link showing the course profile of my favorite climb, Palomar Mountain in North-East San Diego County. Palomar Mountain is considered a reasonable facsimile of Alp d'Huez! Floyd Landis, who lives in the area, holds the record for the ascent of the upper section (South Grade Road) in 27 minutes! The last time we tried it my friend Jay and I took 67 minutes :) (I since got my time down to 56 minutes) and our ascent of the whole climb from Pauma Valley usually takes about 2 hours.

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