Trek's Steel Cross Lane CX Bike: Is It A Rip-Off?
So I was perusing the Trek website the other day, when I ran across a cyclocross bike, called the Steel Cross- Lane. It comes in matte black and since black is my favorite color and steel is my most favored material in bicycle frames, I decided to go to my nearest Trek bicycle shop for further investigation.
As I prepared to go to the Trek dealership, I kept thinking about how the website, never mentioned anything about the Lane having a chromoly steel frame. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed suspicious to me. Most bicycle manufacturers are more than proud to boast the fact that a particular bicycle is made of chromoly steel. Sometimes, they have two or three labels that mention it somewhere. On the frame, you'll usually read, "Cromoly", "520", "631", "853", or "4130". Next, I thought to call the LBS first, before riding there in vain. I asked the responding salesman to verify the fact that it was "chromoly" steel and not something else. The salesman then responded by saying, "Yes! It's platinum series steel!"
..."Ok! So what's platinum series steel?", I asked. He then told me that I'd have to hold and that he'd be right back. After about ten minutes on hold, he assured me that, though he couldn't find the information, he was certain that it was chromoly steel. I then suggested that he look directly on the bike. He placed me on hold once again and stated, " You know, it's not on there! That's weird!" I called two other Trek dealerships. Each gave me conflicting reports, about the frame of the Lane.
I then decided not to go inquire about the Lane, due to this uncertainty. Instead, I emailed Trek Corporation with an inquiry concerning the type of steel that composed the Lane. A representative soon returned, much to my surprise, with a very disturbing answer. He stated that the Lane is composed of 100% Hi-Tensile steel.
In my opinion, the Lane is a complete scam. First, they tell you that the Lane is made of "Platinum Series" steel. That alone places you under the impression, that it's a type of steel that is of a higher quality than others, because of the word "platinum". Most people associate platinum with quality and expense. Therefore, quality steel or a high grade of steel is inferred. Next, the LBS sales people can't even verify the exact type of material from which the frame is made.
Finally, when it is determined that the frame material of the Lane is Hi-Tensile steel, then you have to reconcile the fact that the Lane is prohibitively overpriced. Trek's suggested retail price for the Lane is $1,100. That's quite a bit for a bicycle with Hi-Tensile steel. Sure, it comes with a Tiagra rear derailleur and a Sora front derailleur. Those are fairly decent components when operating together, but that still doesn't justify the hefty price tag. That quality of bike is something you would expect from Walmart. However, Trek is offering the bike at a premium price. At least, if Walmart were to sell it, you could get the Lane on sale for $300 or less.
Just what gives with Trek! ...Have sales slumped to the point of misrepresenting products? ...Are they now employing scam tactics to make sales and increase profits?
Do you consider this Trek bicycle called, the "Lane" to be a Rip-Off?
- Slim :)
Altogether, I must have made at least five phone calls to verify the composition of the Lane's frame. Two responders gave me completely incorrect answers.