You are asking if one of the premier bike brands in the world is good? Of course, it is good. Trek Bikes are good, for sure. But how good, that is the question. Let’s find out exactly how good Trek Bikes are, as we break down in detail one of the most well-known bicycle brands in the world today.
Is Trek a Good Cycle Brand?
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First of all, for those not in the know, Trek is an American bicycle brand that has expanded its horizons to become a global sensation. Although it is known for its high-end bikes that are even used in road racing, Trek also produces bikes for the average person. Indeed, from beginner’s bikes to kids’ bikes to women’s bikes to electric bikes, the price and quality range are wide as Trek caters to everyone.
Trek is also one of the most popular cycle brands in the world. On any website you go to, you’ll see Trek being listed as one of the tops. For a long time, such as this 2012 article shows, Trek has been a top 3 bike brand in America.
In short, yes, Trek is one of the best cycle brands. For the long answer, stick with us throughout the write-up. But first, a little bit of a history lesson for us to appreciate how Trek has worked its way to becoming a mammoth in the bike industry.
History of Trek Bikes
It was at the tail end of 1975 that Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg founded Trek Bicycle in Milwaukee. Within a few months, they began, from Waterloo, Wisconsin, manufacture of the first Trek Bikes: touring steel frames. A touring bicycle, as the name suggests, is a bicycle specifically designed for use in tours, and so it is rather long and sturdy in order to carry baggage. These were of mid-to-high-end quality, and in the span of three years, Trek sales almost touched $2,000,000.
However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that Trek truly broke ground. In 1980, Trek upscaled its business by purchasing a 26,000 square feet headquarters, also near Waterloo. With the overhaul, the business began producing road racing bikes. Trek ventured into the mountain bike market as well, and also launched a subsidiary company for bike parts and accessories: Trek Components Group (TCG).
Another milestone came with the transition to full-carbon bikes from all-aluminium. Before, Trek was experimenting with both, but the vision for a new technology coincided with the shift to all-carbon for top-tier bikes.
The first model was the Trek 5000, and though it particularly did not taste success, it paved the way for lightweight carbon bikes that would revolutionize the industry. To add to that, Trek’s hybrid bike — combining elements of a mountain bike and a road bike — made for a clever combo of speed and comfort.
Today, Trek isn’t only one of the leading bike brands in the world, it also indulges in humanitarian and eco-friendly acts. For example, in 2008 Trek launched its 1 World 2 Wheels Campaign which called for people to opt for bikes over cars for short-distance rides (of less than 3 km). The following year, Trek did its share for women empowerment by creating a Trek Women Triathlon Series.
The brands bought out by, or working with, Trek is as follows:
- Electra Bicycle Company
- Diamant Bikes (in Germany)
- Bontrager Parts (bike accessories)
Trek Bike Types
Let us now explore the different types of Trek Bikes. In particular, we will talk about Trek Mountain Bikes, Trek Road Bikes, Trek Hybrid and City Bikes, Trek Gravel and Cyclocross Bikes, Trek Adventure, and Touring Bikes, Trek TT or Trek Triathlon Bikes, and Trek Electric Bikes.
Trek Mountain Bikes
This entry-level mountain bike is the cheapest you can get from Trek. Priced at $470, the wheels are small as well, at 26″. The brakes are also rim brakes, and the components are Shimano Tourney. Indeed, this is a very affordable bike, suitable for a beginner.
This is a step above the 820. With wide 27.5″ to 29″ tires, and equipped with disc (not rim) brakes, front suspension, and 2x or 3x drivetrains, the price is higher. The Marlin may cost between $530 and $1,300.
Enter the top-tier mountain bikes Trek is famous for! In comparison, X-Caliber is quite affordable, with a price range of $1,100-1,900. With powerful hydraulic disc brakes, tires that are specific to the size chosen, efficiently lightweight 1x drivetrains, and 120 mm fork travel, the aluminum-based 29″ X-Caliber is an affordable yet quality Trek Bike for the beginner or the intermediate.
Quite similar to X-Caliber, Roscoe is also an affordable Trek mountain bike made of aluminum. The wheels, however, are 27.5″. Still, its upscale quality makes the price fall in the range of $1,150-2,700.
Farley is a series of fat bikes which work wonders in rough terrain. Pitted against snow, mud, rocks, Trek Farley plows through — or rather, over — with its 27.5″ x 4.5″ tires. The frame can be either aluminum or carbon-based. Price ranges from $1,950-3,500.
Procaliber is a series of true racing bikes. The carbon and aluminum cross country hardtail bikes have 29″ wheels, 1x drivetrains, and strong hydraulic disc brakes. Trek’s patented technology also makes Procaliber a comfortable bike to ride. Although a racing bike, a Procaliber bike costs as low as $2,200 but can also go up to $4,300.
- Fuel EX
Here come the big guns! With efficient 1x drivetrains and a price that can go up to as much as $10,500, Fuel EX is truly a top-tier full suspension (140/130 mm) Trek mountain bike. Wheels are 29″, and the cheapest model costs $2,500.
- Top Fuel
Another upward step in Trek mountain bikes: from Fuel EX to Top Fuel. Like Fuel EX, Top Fuel Trek Bikes are for racing. The price is a little bit higher, with a range of $3,000-10,500.
Another line-up of top-tier mountain bikes, Slash Trek Bikes are made for pro racers and downhill endurance enthusiasts. Built from premium carbon frames and equipped with large 29″ tires and 160/150 full suspension, Slash bikes slash through the competition — unfortunately, also the price competition, with a price range of $3,700-11,500.
This line-up is quite the budget choice, being that price ranges from $4,100-6,000 and it still packs a heavy punch with its 160/150 full suspension and wide range 1×12 drivetrains and dropper posts. The aluminum frame Remedy bikes cost less than the carbon frame, and the wheels are smaller, at 27.5″.
This is a step above the Remedy line. Priced in the range of $5,000-7,000, Session Trek mountain bikes are equipped with a monstrous 190 mm RockShox travel, top-tier Shimano and SRAM components, and 29″ tires. A Session can win you the most brutal downhill world championships!
- Super caliber
We saved the best for the last. Super caliber is indeed super with its premium bike components: IsoStrut rear suspension, pivotless seat stays, 100 mm front travel, 1×12 drivetrains, 29″ wheels, and even a specifically designed geometry for progressive racing. The available premium product models cost from $4,200 to $11,000.
Trek Road Bikes
Beware! All the bikes in this category have a high upper limit when it comes to price! But also take solace in knowing that the lower limits are reasonable. $1,000-12,500.
The Domane line-up contains bikes with starting prices of $1,000. If you choose aluminum frame bikes, the price is low. The SRAM and Shimano components also vary in quality. Trek’s unique IsoSpeed frame suspension technology is there, so you are welcome to choose the lower-tier ones as well.
The Emonda line is known for its lightweight and efficient road bikes. There are three frame options to choose from: lightweight aluminum, 500 OCLV Carbon, and 700 OCLV Carbon. With a price range of $2,150-12,500, these road bikes are suitable for both beginner and elite level riders with the desire for a quality lightweight riding experience.
We do not recommend this for the beginner or even the intermediate, for Madone is designed to cater to the elite of the elite for whom marginal differences in speed and riding experience matter enough to dole out thousands of dollars extra. But indeed, if you decide to buy a Madone Trek road bike, you’ll get the lightest, fastest, and most efficient road bike that Trek has to offer. Price starts from $4,700 and can go up to $12,500.
Trek Hybrid and City Bikes
Finally, some good news for those on a budget. For these bikes, you don’t need to spend anywhere as much as the above bikes. But rest assured that they are quality bikes.
Though cheap at prices below a thousand dollars — $630-900 — Verve Trek bikes are quite comfortable and durable. The frames are made of aluminum and the brakes are disc brakes. Therefore, it’s quite the bargain, if you ask us!
- Dual Sport
These bikes also have disc brakes and are more durable than Verve, as they can be used off the road as well. There is a 63 mm front suspension as well. Due to the slight improvements, the price is also slightly more: $630-1,270.
An affordable mid-tier Trek bike under $2500? Yup, it exists, as FX provides you with multiple options to choose from, with prices ranging from $540 to $2,200. The wheels are skinny, though, but an FX bike will suit your every need (commuting, running errands) and also even serve as a fitness bike.
Trek Gravel & Cyclocross Bikes
These are also quite budget bikes, though some of them approach and exceed the $5,000 mark.
Starting at as little as $1,700, Checkpoint cyclocross bikes can get you through a rough jungle — the traveling part, only, not obviously the animal hazards! With 700cc tires and 1x or 2x drivetrains, these aluminum bikes are both durable and efficient. The price, however, can go up to $6,300.
Whether you just want a bike to commute to everyday needs, or if you feel daring enough to cross a jungle on vacation, Crockett bikes can offer you a versatile and dependable bike. The only available model costs just $2,400.
Enter the premium Trek cyclocross bike line. Boone Bikes are super light, super-fast, and are good-looking to boot. They are designed to race and so are equipped with premium technology. The only model available sells for $4,000.
Trek Adventure & Touring Bikes
More good news! As these aren’t racing bikes, these also come relatively cheap, all at below $3,000.
The 520 was one of the first Trek Bikes made, way back in the 1970s! The latest 520 is of course quite advanced after five decades of evolution. This budget deal costs $1800.
As the model number reveals, the 920 is an enhanced version of the 520. However, the price isn’t that high: $2000.
1120 is the ultimate Trek adventure bike. With its aluminum frame, carbon fork, wide 29″ tires, you can take this dream adventure bike to the harshest of tours with harsh abuse. The model costs $2,900.
Trek TT/Triathlon Bikes
- Speed Concept
Speed Concept is the only line of TT bikes Trek produces. And with total aerodynamic integration, a 2×11 Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, an extremely lightweight carbon frame — Trek doesn’t really need another. The price range is $4,200-4,700.
Trek Electric Bikes
Remember the regular Verve series? The + in Verve+ signifies an electrifying enhancement, as Verve+ is an electric hybrid line-up of Trek bikes that can go up to 20 mph thanks to Bosch electronics. The price of the only available model is $2,800.
Also topping at 20 mpg, Powerfly electric bikes are quite high-end bikes, living up to the name. Downhill enthusiasts will dig this line-up. The price range is $3,800-6,200.
These mid-to-high-tier electric bikes can go up to 28 mph. Equipped with aluminum and carbon frames, and made of premium Shimano components, prices go from $3,700 to $6,300.
With astounding 160 mm travel, 29″ wheels, and top-tier Shimano and SRAM components, Rail Electric bikes cost a fortune: $5,500-13,000.
- Domane+ HP / Domane+ LT
Built with the most lightweight and yet the most durable carbon, the HP series maxes out at 28 mph, whereas the LT series reaches up to 20 mph. Regardless of which one you pick, the cost is super high, and currently, low-price models aren’t available. You’ll have to dole out $12,500 if you want one of them!
Kids’ Trek Bikes
Yup, Trek has everyone covered, even kids. Some of the best Kids’ Trek Bikes are outlined below:
- Electra Kids’ Bikes 16″, 20″, 24″
Now that Electra Bikes are part of Trek, these Kids’ Bikes are under Trek’s name. The wide range of sizes, from 16″ to 24″, means that both younger and older kids can ride them. The colors are also quite funky if we do say so ourselves, with orange, pink, and black color choices. What’s more, these models are available in both single-speed and multi-gear.
The Electra Kids’ Bikes do not offer balance bikes, which may be a problem for kids just learning to cycle. Kickster solves this problem as it is the only balance bike offered by Trek.
With 12″ wheels, Kickster is suitable for kids around 3 feet tall, give or take a few inches. Also, it costs really low: $160. Thus, we recommend it for kids who have not learned the game yet.
- Precaliber, Wahoo & Roscoe
Equipped with rim or disk brakes, rigid or suspended forks, and much wider tires, these are upper-tier in comparison to Kickster. Roscoe has 24″ wheels, double that of Kickster, and Wahoo and Precaliber offer a range of sizes: 16″, 20″, 24″, and 26″.
Considering all these factors, these bikes will appeal to both younger and older children as their sturdy build provides safety on both paved and unpaved roads.
- MT-201 Pedal Trailer
This is a tag-along bike that attaches to a parent’s or a guardian’s bike. This makes for a perfectly safe learning experience. Even larger children — around 4 feet tall — can ride it as it has 20″ wheels. But of course, preschoolers and even toddlers can ride it as it is a tag-along bike!
The Electra Bicycle company was a separate bike brand prior to 2014. After being acquired by Trek, Electra Bikes are now available under the Trek name as well.
Like Trek, Electra Bikes also boasts a wide spectrum of bikes — both traditional and electrical bikes with steel or aluminum frames — suitable for everyone. Indeed, now with the brand name and value of Trek, you can rest assured that Electra Bikes are also of high quality and affordable at the same time.
Electra Bikes are known for their patented Flat Foot Technology. This function allows the rider to plant their feet flat on the ground in such a convenient way that they still get full leg extension while doing so. This ingenious design is implemented by the automatic positioning of the pedals forward according to the position of the saddle.
Regarding price, the range is $300-4,500. Don’t fret; you can get e-bikes with a budget of $1,500. Therefore, we can conclude that Electra Bikes give you quite the bang for your buck when considering the comfort level and good brand name. In particular, we recommend you buy Electra Bikes for comfortable and casual riding, such as daily commuting.
Trek Women’s Bikes
First, are our women’s bikes different from men’s bikes? The answer is both yes and no. You see, women can comfortably ride any bike men can, and vice versa, if they are of roughly the same size. However, as women, in general, are shorter and have shorter torsos, some modern bikes are designed to differentiate between the genders, and so enter the women’s bike.
Trek, however, mostly produces unisex bikes. This means both men and women can ride almost any Trek Bike. However, there are some women-specific models. Typically, those bikes have a specially designed saddle, shorter stems, and are available in more “feminine” colors. Despite these small differences, Trek is of the opinion that any bike a woman rides is a women’s bike!
If you have not realized it by now, 27″ wheels are on the shorter end of the spectrum, and 29″ wheels, the longer. We’re speaking about adult bikes, of course. As for kids’ bikes, they can be as thin as 12″ but also up to 26″.
Going back to adult bikes, Trek offers 6-7 sizes (and 8 sizes for the Domane series) that are appropriate for people under 5 feet tall and also those over 6 foot 3″. To find out which size fits you, just take a look at the reference sizes that Trek provides — something, by the way, many other brands don’t.
Are Trek Bikes Better than Specialized Ones?
Specialized Bicycle Components is another top bike company and is considered neck-and-neck with Trek Bikes. But which one is better?
There is no definitive answer as there are nearly equal amounts of pros and cons to both. At the end of the day, it depends on what you need and which of the brands will be slightly better at filling that need than the other. But if you are worried about a bad choice, there is no bad choice between the two.
|Trek Bikes||Specialized Bikes|
|Range of Bikes||Wider||Less Wide, Niche in Mountain Bike|
|Mountain Bike||Arguably worse||Arguably better|
|Appearance||Less Unique||More Unique|
|Shipping||Around $50||Free for orders over $150|
As you can see, all the categories have very close winners and losers. Therefore, the only thing that can be concluded definitively is that Trek Bikes are as good as Specialized, but maybe slightly better or worse depending on a specific category.
Another word about technology. Trek is more tech-savvy than Specialized, though the difference is not massive. Trek has its patented Active Braking Pivot and Full Floater. The former keeps the rear suspension moving even when brakes are applied. The latter manages shock from bumpy terrains, almost making it seem like you are floating!
On the other hand, Specialized has Future Shock Rear (FSR) technology which is even better at handling bumpy roads. Thus, Specialized mountain bikes are often touted to be the best. Indeed, the downhill world champion Loic Bruni is also sponsored by Specialized. Of course, Trek has the Lance Armstrong effect.
Why are Trek Bikes so Popular?
For a couple of reasons, actually. One is the range of products, as Trek Bikes are for people of all budgets, from general use to championship racing.
Secondly, the quality of the top-end Trek Bikes speaks for itself. World cup bike competitions have been won with Trek Bikes.
And this leads to the third reason: Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven consecutive (including the inaugural) Tour De France wins.
Next, Trek is the only top bike brand in America that still makes bikes in the country. When it comes to production and sales, America is not at the top. Rather, China and India are responsible for a big chunk of bike production.
Besides promising quality and a wide range, Trek also has goodwill for its social campaigns. The 1 World 2 Wheels campaign was an eco-friendly project to urge more Americans to ride their non-pollution-causing bikes rather than cars for short distances.
Also, the fact that Trek Bikes are so available helps popularity. Indeed, they can be bought both online and offline.
What all of this boils down to is that Trek Bikes are RELIABLE. Due to all these reasons and more, Trek has built up a reputation in the eyes of consumers: it caters to everyone and also adheres to positive values.
Is a Trek Bike Worth the Money?
If by this point you are still questioning whether Trek Bikes are worth the money, then there are two things we need to consider in order to answer this question. First, calling something expensive can be quite subjective at times. What matters is a reference point. Only when we compare a brand’s price with another can we then judge whether a brand is more expensive than its worth. So, what’s the reference point for Trek?
The top brands, of course. Giant. Specialized. Canyon. Those brands. And when looking at the price range of Trek in comparison to these brands and other top brands, we can conclude that Trek Bikes, while not the cheapest, are indeed reasonably priced.
The next point to keep in mind is to look at the prince range, not only one or two price tags, and conclude that Trek Bikes are too expensive. As established, Trek not only produces high-end bikes but also quite cheap ones. Indeed, the price range is significantly wide, with a cheap lower limit.
Considering both points, not to mention discussion till now, we can safely conclude that a Trek Bike is worth the money, but of course, not all of us have the budget to pay for the high-end Trek Bikes.
How Long Do Trek Bikes Last?
In the event of a crash? Not even a day if you’re that unlucky. But of course, you mean how long they last on average, with an expected amount of maintenance. Let us answer that question.
For life! Yes, no joke! At least, the warranty is for life, and Bontrager (Trek’s bike components brand) offers a warranty for individual parts. Typically, bikes should be replaced after five years of regular use. But Trek Care (their pun, not ours) takes care, in the event of damage, of your Trek Bike for life!
For the lifetime warranty, first, you need to register your bike. Upon purchasing your Trek Bike from a retailer, you should register immediately. Your registration will be of utmost importance in the unfortunate event of your bike being stolen or damaged. Moreover, Trek can easily contact a registered user for important information.
In the event of a crash, Trek will replace a registered user’s damaged parts for free, but there is a time limit for that facility. A damaged helmet, if bought from Bontrager, will be replaced if damaged within the first year of purchase. If the damage is to the wheels, then you will be able to get a free replacement within the first two years of ownership. As for damage to other carbon parts, Trek’s Carbon Care facility offers significant discounts for replacement parts.
What if you purchase a Trek Bike but then regret it days later? Can you return it? Yes! Trek provides a 30-day return policy with a full refund, which essentially means a 30-day test ride!
Interesting Facts You Would Love to Know about Trek Bikes:
- Lance Armstrong, the legendary cyclist, set the record of winning seven consecutive Tours de France, and he won them all riding Trek Bikes!
- In 2005, President George W. Bush and Lance Armstrong rode Trek mountain bikes together! This momentous occasion took place.
- Trek made history by paying both men and women the same amount of prize money at a World Cup bike racing event.
- Trek bike production was so high until 2014, it was responsible for making 25000 bikes in America on a yearly basis — this is about half the amount of yearly bike production in the country! Now, Trek still operates from its headquarters in Waterloo but also has global manufacturers.
Can I sell an old Trek Bike?
Glad you asked! Actually, Trek Bikes have excellent resale value. If it’s in working condition but just worn out, you can sell it for good money.
As for buying a used bike, you can do so if it’s in good condition. But we recommend buying a brand new bike if it’s within your budget. But although we don’t recommend you buy a used Trek Bike, we do welcome you to sell your old one if you don’t need it anymore, and if it’s in a good enough condition.
Are all Electra Bikes electric bikes?
While Electra Bikes are known for their electric bikes or e-bikes, they also make traditional bikes. From city bikes to cruisers to hybrids, Electra Bikes have something for everyone.
Are Electric Bikes motorcycles?
Yes and no. Motorcycles function like cars, allowing you to drive without physical exertion, apart from pressing on pedals. On the other hand, electric bikes or e-bikes allow you to both drive them like motorcycles, as well as to pedal them like other bikes, just with an added power behind your pedaling.
In other words, whereas no pedaling is needed in motorcycles, pedaling is needed in e-bikes, with the motor in an e-bike acting as a supplement (and also allowing you to solely depend on them on a high-end e-bike).
Does Trek sell other bike-related stuff besides bike parts? Such as bike merchandise?
Yup! You can find a wide assortment of merchandise on Trek’s official website, including t-shirts, jerseys, gloves, helmets, shoes, shoe covers. A lot, a lot more!
Are our carbon frames better than aluminum frames?
Yes. Carbon frames are lighter and more expensive than aluminum frames. They can also be replaced easily and at lower prices. Thus, top-tier Trek race bikes have carbon frames.
Though aluminum frames can be more durable, the latest carbon frames — due to Trek’s OCLV Carbon technology — makes sure your riding experience is very lightweight and still safe.
Steven is a professional cyclist and his passion is cycling. He has been cycling for the last 6 years and he loves using bikes while outing as well. Based on his experiences with the different types of bikes; he is sharing his opinions about various bikes so that a beginner can start right away. Find him on Twitter @thecyclistguy Happy Biking.