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What are the differences between all the materials you use in your frames?

Trek offers many different grades of OCLV carbon, as well as different levels of aluminum for our frames. In addition to the different materials, our various levels of framesets also receive different levels for manufacturing technology to maximize the benefits of the material. These frames, both carbon and aluminum, are designed at our headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, USA.

Road Aluminum

100 Series Aluminum - Trek's high-performance aluminum alloy, with manipulated tube shapes to balance strength and weight savings.

200 Series Aluminum - Trek's premium aluminum alloy, formed into sophisticated tube shapes for maximum strength and minimum weight.

Road Carbon

A carbon fiber frame is made up of multiple layers of carbon fiber, with each layer possibly having a different material, shape, and orientation. These complex combinations of layers are called “lay-ups.” Each of our OCLV carbon frame layups is designed to give you the right balance of performance and value. The following list explains the difference in the carbon layups of these frames:

300 Series OCLV - A great carbon at an amazing price. 300 Series OCLV is a smooth-riding, intermediate-modulus material, which proves that performance and affordability don't have to be mutually exclusive.

400 Series OCLV - Ultra high performance, within reach. The areal weight range and modulus mix of 400 Series OCLV provides an exhilarating sense of acceleration and confident handling.

500 Series OCLV - The best mix of materials available outside of North America. Light, strong, stiff, and perfectly suited to the sophisticated frame technologies that distinguish Trek frames.

600 Series OCLV - Advanced aerospace materials and weight-saving, performance-enhancing processes such as Step Joint technology provide the best frame weight/stiffness combinations in the industry.

700 Series OCLV - The lightest, strongest carbon lay-up in the cycling world, built from military grade materials available only in NATO countries. 700 Series OCLV is the ultimate combination of superior modulus and superior strength, and it's only from Trek.

Mountain Aluminum

Alpha Silver - Our proprietary blend of lightweight aluminum alloy is continuously cold extruded to a single wall thickness. Frames built with Alpha Silver feature mechanical forming and are finished using Trek's smooth-weld finishing process.

Alpha Gold - Our high-performance lightweight aluminum alloy is continuously cold extruded and butted for weight reduction and superior strength. Frames built with Alpha Gold feature mechanical forming and hydroforming to create more complex industrial designs for even lighter weight, and are finished using Trek's smooth-weld finishing process.

Alpha Platinum - Our premium, aluminum alloy is continuously cold extruded and butted for weight reduction and superior strength. Frames built with Alpha Platinum feature extensive hydroforming to create the most complex industrial designs for the lightest weight, and are finished using Trek's smooth-weld finishing process.

Mountain Carbon

OCLV Mountain - OCLV Mountain Carbon takes advantage of our patented OCLV process but the lay-up is adapted for the rigors of off-road use. By reinforcing select areas of the frame with unique materials, OCLV Mountain technology creates a strong, durable frame while preserving the low weight and great feel of a carbon fiber frame. Today, every carbon mountain bike we make is built using OCLV Mountain Carbon—carbon that’s tougher than the trail, without the added weight.

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