Trek 1.5, road bike, £800, www.trekbikes.com
Although it's one of the less expensive road bikes, the 2010 version of the Trek 1.5 is a very attractive proposition if you’re buying your first road bike and need a nippy town hacker that’s also good for fitness training. On some short to mid-length commutes, we found it was a handy little performer and its understated, clean lines turned quite a few heads.
While the Alpha aluminium frame is obviously heavier than a carbon equivalent, a Bontrager carbon fork and seatpost help keep the weight down to 9.4kg, which meant we had no problem getting the 1.5 up to speed quickly. We tested the triple-chainset version of the 1.5 which mixes mainly Shimano Tiagra gear with a SRAM cassette and gave us a nice range of lower gears for our local hills.
You may have to reach a little for the deep drops on the Bontrager SSR VR bars, but they’re solid and don’t flex if you need to put your back into a spot of honking.
Trek’s also stuck to its in-house brand for the alloy rims which so far have proved straight and reliable. The brakes — while not quite as powerful as some others tested here — are still effective. In short, the 1.5 is a great value, versatile all-rounder.