The Lexa S is the second cheapest of Trek's range of aluminium-framed women's road bikes, as distinct from the carbon-framed Silque, Madone and Emonda ranges.
It has Shimano's inexpensive but rather good Sora components and the women's specific WSD geometry 100 Series Alpha aluminium frame is paired up with Trek carbon road forks. The frame also has mounts for mudguards and even a rear rack.
Saddle, seatpost, handlebars and bar tape are all Bontrager, as are the tubeless ready rims and tyres.
One of the innovative things about all four bikes in the Lexa range is Trek's exclusive and rather clever Seeglass coating, which uses crushed glass to enhance reflectivity from 360 degrees.
The result is also subtly sparkly, so it's an extra safety/sparkly bike double win.
With that sparkly black frame and occasional red accent (seat post collar, cable ends etc), it's a smart looking bike and suggests a price tag far above its modest £650.
It would be a very picky soul indeed who couldn't be happy with the look of this, and it doesn't scream out girly.
Out and about, it was a very enjoyable ride. There was no real feeling of being overburdened with weight, the handling was steady and reliable but nimble enough to be engaging and it rode well both up and down hill, as well as on the flat.
The frame and carbon fork are decently stiff, but don't present any major problems with road buzz.
The fit felt spot on for me, with everything within comfortable reach, although the Sora levers weren't the most comfortable for female hands.
I would probably have upgraded the unbranded alloy brakes if it were my bike, since the braking itself, although reliable and effective, was a little on the sluggish side.
The bar tape was comfortable and reasonably well cushioned.
Climbing, the bike felt quite positive, and responded nicely to me getting out of the saddle. The gearing a combination of 50/34 chainrings and 11-28 cassette, which gives gears low enough for slogging up most gradients, with decent high gears for descents or giving it some welly on the flat.
Cornering was also a case of the bike going where you asked it to, rather than taking its own radically different line. It's always reassuring when your bike goes where you ask it to.
Even the Bontrager Affinity 1 WSD saddle was comfortable. In my experience that's almost unheard-of with the seats that come fitted to bikes, but the Affinity has good width and firmness, and supported sitbones well over a variety of distances.
While not delivering the ear-to-ear grin of some road bikes, the Lexa S certainly punches above its weight in terms of looks, comfort, value for money and in providing a reliably enjoyable and encouraging ride.
It's a bike that's sure to keep new riders riding, and most likely keep them in the Trek fold when they get round to upgrading.
Attractive, great value for money, punching well above its weight in performance too
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Make and model: Trek Lexa S
Size tested: 54
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
Frame 100 Series Alpha Aluminium
Fork Trek carbon road
Sizes 47, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Front hub Bontrager alloy
Rear hub Bontrager alloy
Rims Bontrager Tubeless Ready
Tyres Bontrager T1, 700x23c
Shifters Shimano Sora, 9 speed
Front derailleur Shimano Sora
Rear derailleur Shimano Sora
Crank FSA Vero, 50/34 (compact)
Cassette SRAM PG-950, 11-28, 9 speed
Pedals Nylon body w/alloy cage, toe-clip/strap
Chain KMC X9
Bontrager Affinity 1 WSD
Seatpost Bontrager SSR, 2-bolt head, 27.2mm, 12mm offset
Handlebar Bontrager Race, VR-C, 31.8mm
Stem Bontrager Race Lite, w/computer & light mounts, 31.8mm, 7 degree
Headset 1-1/8" semi-cartridge bearings
Brakeset Alloy dual-pivot
Bar tape Bontrager gel cork tape
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Trek says: "Lexa is a light, fast women's road bike. Sleek shaping and a carbon fork make Lexa the perfect choice for road rides, triathlons, or however you choose to rack up the miles."
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
A tried and tested frame built to a high quality. The same for the carbon forks.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Frame is made from Trek's 100 Series Alpha Aluminium
Fork is Trek carbon road
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The women's specific geometry of the frame gives a nice mid ground between long distance sportive type comfort and the nippy handling of a race bike. It delivers enough of both to please most types of road rider.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
Felt less rangy than some other women's specific bikes of a similar size, and definitely less rangy than unisex models of a similar size. Everything felt easily accessible and within comfortable reach. The effect was pleasantly compact without feeling like I was on a tiny circus bike, and there was none of the toe overlap problems and the like which can sometimes be a problem with small bikes.
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Very comfortable. The ride felt responsive without being twitchy, smooth, fast enough for fitness riding and comfortable over good distances.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Felt stiff enough at all times and yet no road buzz problems.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Felt surprisingly efficient given it's a fairly entry level bike.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Steering was fairly neutral. Nice and reliable.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The bike handled well in all situations. It was capable in all areas, but did not excel at climbing and descending. There were no problems in this area, it just felt its limitations at this point.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
All the components were well selected for comfort, but I'd probably have changed the Sora levers and the brakes, and perhaps also the bars for a fractionally more female friendly set-up. Even the saddle was good!
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
No changes- everything well selected, particularly at this price point.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The bars set-up and levers weren't as comfortable for smaller hands as some
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Very much.
Would you consider buying the bike? Definitely .
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? In a heart beat.
Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?
A cracking first road bike or an excellent value choice for those on a budget. Capable, a good all-rounder and looks fabulous.
Age: 42 Height: 1.65m Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.