My New Road Bike: 2003 Marin Treviso
by S. Scott Zimmerman
Below are pictures of the road bike I ordered on March 26, 2003, and received
on June 30, 2003. The pictures were taken right after I did a 64-mile maiden
(So, what's it like to go from an entry-level but serious road bike--my Giant
OCR 1--to a higher end racing road bike--my Treviso? The answer is at the bottom
of the page.)
Marin Treviso specs:
- Made in Italy with all Italian parts
- Columbus Steel Ultra Foco Tubing Frame
- Carve Carbon Fiber Seat Stays
- Muscle Carbon Fiber Chain Stays
- Columbus Carve Carbon Fiber 1-1/8" Fork
- Mavic hubs, Ksyrium Elite Rims
- Vittoria Rubino Pro Tires
- Selcof Aero Forato Seatpost
- Selle Italia Flite Saddle
- Cinelli Devo Handelbars and Stem
- Cinelli Cork Grips
- Campagnolo Chorus 13-29, 10 speed Cassette (specially ordered; standard
is 11-23, way too small for the mountainous roads that I ride on)
- Campagnolo Chorus 39-53 Crankset
- Look pedals (I have on Sidi Titan 2 shoes with Look cleats)
- Cateye Mity 8 cyclocomputer
- Total weight (without water bottles): about 18 pounds
- Novice-to-intermediate rider (I've completed one century ride and did the
56-mile ride at a half Ironman at an average speed of 20.3 mph.)
- Novice-to-intermediate triathlete (I've completed 2 triathlons, Sprint-
and Olympic-lengths, and one half-IM-length duathlon.)
- Veteran marathoner (I've run 11 marathons; PR 2:58 in 1981)
- Old man (58) with young heart and youthful vigor!
So, How Does the Treviso Compare to a Giant OCR 1?
My Giant OCR 1 retails for about $1000 (typical for an entry-level but
serious road bike), whereas the Treviso retails for about $3500 (a "high-end"
bike for amateurs and fitness riders). (I paid much less for the Treviso, but it
was still expensive.) After riding the Giant for a total of 2250 miles and the
Treviso a total of 64 miles (one ride), I offer the following observations and
- If you're riding to do sprint and Olympic-length triathlons, the Giant
(or comparable aluminum road bikes with Shimano 105 components) is an
excellent bike. For most competitors, who are interested mostly in finishing
or maybe even placing in their age group and who are middle-of-the-pack
riders, I would recommend the Giant (or similar) bike. The extra expense of
a higher-end bike isn't justified.
- When I ordered the Treviso, I wasn't pleased with how my Giant fit me.
And indeed the Treviso is a better fit. But by the time I actually received
the Treviso three months after ordering it, I had become more cycling fit
and flexible, and started really liking my Giant. With aero bars, it worked
great as a tri bike. So, again, if you can get a $1K bike that fits and has
reasonably good componentry (like the Shimano 105), then that's probably all
you'll need, unless you plan to do more serious bike racing.
- As far as I can assess, I can ride the Treviso about 2 mph faster than
the Giant while expending the same amount of energy. The speed increase is
due to (a) weight (the Treviso is about 2-3 pounds lighter than the Giant,
(b) better fit, and (c) more aerodynamic wheels and spokes.
- Besides the extra speed, the Treviso is more comfortable. This is due to
(a) steel frame and (b) carbon fiber seat stays and chain stays. (Both bikes
have a carbon fork.) The extra comfort is important to me because I am a
member of a cycling team that will ride a century race and a double-century
(200 mile) race this year and hope to do more cycling events in future
- Some people consider Campagnolo Chorus components far superior to
Shimano 105, and even slightly superior to Shimano Ultegra, and even on par
with Shimano Dura-Ace. I can only compare the Campy Chorus to the Shimano
105, and it's too early for me to tell which one I prefer. In other words,
at this point in my experience, the expensive Chorus gruppo is not clearly
and obviously superior to the inexpensive 105 gruppo.
- The bottom line, when I get totally honest with myself, is that the
Treviso is indeed a superior bike in speed and comfort, but it's main virtue
is psychological and emotional. It's the same reason a Ferrari is, for some
people, psychologically and emotionally superior to a Honda Accord. (I use
Honda Accord as an example, because that's the car my wife and I drive, and
it's a great car.)
So yes, I love my Ferrari--er--Treviso!