Choosing a road bike makes a lot of sense!
It’s the most versatile bike among all bike ranges available.
And if you’ve narrowed down your options to Trek and Specialized Road Bikes, you still have one more hurdle to cross.
Which brand makes the better road bike?
Perhaps a better question is: which option is best for you between Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes?
This article highlights the most important details you need to consider so you can make an informed buying decision by the end of this article.
Let’s get started!
- 1 Overview of Trek Road Bike
- 2 Pros and Cons of Trek Bikes
- 3 Overview of Specialized Road Bikes
- 4 Pros and Cons of Specialized Bikes
- 5 Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes: Similarities
- 6 Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes: Differences
- 7 Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes: Which One is Better for Me?
Overview of Trek Road Bike
Founded in 1975, Trek is a US-based bicycle company better known for its road bikes.
The legendary Lance Armstrong made Trek Road Bikes even more popular. The former professional road racing champion won seven straight Tour de France titles on a Trek road bike!
But you don’t have to be a professional cyclist to use Trek.
The manufacturer has an impressive range of bikes for just about anyone – men, women, and even kids!
It doesn’t matter the type of rider you are or your preferred riding terrain. Trek has a bike in its lineup for every style and experience level.
With these bikes, you can expect hydraulic disc brakes. You’ll also find trigger shifters with most bikes in the Trek’s lineup.
SRAM gears and Rockshocks forks are a common feature, too.
Since the manufacturer targets riders in all categories, the bikes are built to suit different budgets.
What Are the Range of Road Bikes for Trek?
- Aluminum Road Bike (Entry-level Emonda and Domane): Beginner and budget models
- Endurance (Domane): Offers a relaxed fit
- Lightweight (Emonda): Great racy model, good for climbs
- Aero road (Madone): Excellent pick for all road cycling
- Gravel (Boone, Checkpoint, and Crockett): Suitable for adventure
Pros and Cons of Trek Bikes
Here are the major pros and cons to keep in mind if you are eyeing Trek Bikes.
- Extensive range of bikes: Trek has a wide collection of bike types for just about any kind of rider. That means you’ll likely find something suitable for your experience level.
- Customizable: The brand designed its bike to allow for easy customization. Plus, you can adjust the bikes to suit long-distance racing and recreational riding.
- Lightweight design: The bikes are constructed using lightweight carbon fiber material. Yet, they are durable and will last for a long time with normal use.
- Aerodynamic design: Trek makes each bike using precise computerized aerodynamics. This means they offer increased comfort and are highly versatile.
- Pricier bikes: In general, Trek bikes tend to be pricier than similar options from other brands.
- Less smooth rides: Although Trek road bikes have impressive stability and endurance, they don’t offer the same level of smoother rides as Specialized road bikes.
Overview of Specialized Road Bikes
Specialized was established in 1974, with the Allez forming the foundation of the manufacturer’s road bike range.
Later in 1995, the brand launched the Full Force range of mountain bikes. It didn’t take long for Specialized to become the company to beat when it comes to mountain bikes.
That doesn’t make it the lesser brand in terms of road bikes.
It closely matches Trek in a sort of fierce competition when it comes to technology, components, and features.
Specialized also has an impressive range of top-notch bikes designed for nearly all kinds of riders.
The manufacturer may be famous for its range of mountain bikes, but it also offers kid’s bikes, e-bikes, active bikes, and of course, road bikes.
Specialized is a fantastic choice if you don’t mind splurging on a first-rate road bike.
What Are the Range of Road Bikes for Specialized?
- Aluminum Road Bike (Allez): Beginner-level or budget models
- Endurance (Roubaix): Offers a relaxed fit
- Lightweight (Tarmac): For races and climbs
- Aero Road (Venge): Excellent pick for all road cycling
- Gravel (Diverge): Suitable for adventure
Pros and Cons of Specialized Bikes
Here’s a quick rundown of the general pluses and minuses of Specialized Bikes.
- Caters to riders of all levels: Whether you are a pro or just getting into the cycling world, Specialized has a bike for you.
- Great build quality: The brand makes bikes with excellent stability and maximum comfort. This makes them a great choice for just about any terrain.
- Suspension system reduces impact: Bumps and bad road conditions are less likely to hamper your riding experience due to the Future Shock Suspension system of Specialized Bikes.
- Lightweight construction: The carbon fiber material used in constructing Specialized Bikes makes them light and easy to handle.
- May be too tall for some riders: Although the inclusion of the Future Shock Suspension system is a good thing, it also increases the height of the bike. This might be a turn off if you are looking to own a road bike with normal height.
- High price point: These bikes tend to come with higher price tags compared to similar bicycles from other bike brands.
Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes: Similarities
Road bikes from both Trek and Specialized share a few things in common. The following are the most apparent similarities.
Both manufacturers use the same materials to build their bikes.
Higher-end bikes from both Trek and Specialized use carbon fiber material. This is a lightweight, stiff, strong, and very durable material.
Also, both brands use aluminum for their lower-end bike models.
But just because they are budget bikes doesn’t mean the construction materials are poor quality.
Instead, both manufacturers use premium aluminum to build less expensive or entry-level bikes.
Price is a major deciding factor for many people, and understandably so.
You might want a bike with the best features, construction materials, and cutting-edge technologies, but paying for it might be a pipe dream if you don’t have the budget.
Sadly, both Trek and Specialized Bikes are not exactly cheap. You’ll have to part with a pretty penny to get most of the high-end models.
Thankfully, both brands offer lower-end bikes.
Comparing the price range of Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes shows that both brands are at par with each other.
Although pricing is similar, actual price tags will depend on specific bike models or types.
If price is the most important consideration, you may want to go with Trek. But it won’t make any huge difference unless you plan to buy a higher-end model.
Entry-level Trek Road Bike models have a starting price of a little above $1,000.
But you might be looking at paying more than $12,000 if you’re eyeing a high-end option, such as an electric model.
On the flip side, budget or beginner-level Specialized Road Bikes start from around $1,000. High-end road bike models can cost up to $15,000.
Parts and Components
Trek and Specialized both use Shimano components and SRAM for their bikes.
These are high-quality components, putting many of the bikes at the same level when it comes to components.
Keep in mind that the final price of a bike is determined by the components and parts used in building it.
That’s another way of saying it is best to compare bikes in the same price range from these brands.
By doing so, can rightly figure out which option has the edge in terms of parts and components.
Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes: Differences
Obviously, these equally great bicycle companies are different.
And while they may have very similar components, features, and even employ the same revolutionary technologies, there are still marked differences between them.
Beginners may have a difficult time picking out these differences, but experienced riders can easily tell them apart.
Here are the major dissimilarities:
You can build the bike of your liking with Trek.
You can choose from frames to forks and colors and just about every other component in-between.
Trek bikes are that flexible!
Considering there is a wide range of bikes to choose from plus the ability to customize the bikes, Trek might be a more appealing choice when it comes to variety.
On the flip side, Specialized doesn’t offer customization services.
You’ll have to make do with the manufacturer’s offerings.
The good thing is there are plenty of bikes and style options to choose from!
Rear Suspension Design
There is a sharp contrast when it comes to how Trek and Specialized design their rear suspension systems.
With Trek, you get the Full Floater rear suspension design. This suspension system prevents an increase in the movement of the shock mount as you pedal.
Here’s a simpler way to say it:
The Full Floater rear suspension offers more pedaling efficiency.
But that’s not all.
Trek bikes also include an Active Braking Pivot rear suspension system that functions somewhat like the braking systems in most modern cars.
The function of the Active Braking Pivot rear suspension is to reduce skidding in the bike’s wheel.
Specialized bikes have a completely different design focus in terms of rear suspension.
The manufacturer uses the Future Shock rear suspension system that provides increased stability and more control during rides.
With this rear suspension in place, riders can enjoy smoother rides, regardless of the road condition or terrain.
Trek Road Bikes tend to have more tire clearance than Specialized Road Bikes.
With Trek, you get a tire clearance of 32mm. On the other hand, Specialized has a tire clearance of 28mm to 32mm.
If you’re new to the cycling world, this may not make much meaning to you. But here’s a quick lowdown to help you get the gist.
Tire clearance for the average road bike is typically 28mm. However, road bikes that are designed for serious racing will have a tire clearance of between 32 and 35mm.
This tire clearance range would have been impossible some years ago. But thanks to modern technology, brands can now manufacture smaller brakes to create more tire clearance.
The more tire clearance your bike has, the more space you have to install wider tires.
And with wider bike tires come increased stability, traction, safety, and overall comfort.
Overall Design and Fit
You’re most likely considering road bikes because of their improved comfort and endurance levels.
Trek Road Bikes offer just the right amount of endurance and stability you need to cover long distances.
On the other hand, Specialized Road Bikes are designed to provide smoother rides no matter where you choose to ride them.
If you are choosing a road bike or any other bike for that matter, you must consider how it fits. And this has a lot to do with how you are built.
Here’s what that means.
Some riders have longer legs with shorter torsos, and others have shorter legs with longer torsos.
Whether you consider your build normal or abnormal is not the point. Instead, it is finding the right type of road bike that fits your build.
While both brands have plenty of bikes to pick from, Trek allows you to build tailor-made bikes.
So, if it seems difficult to find a road bike that will fit you perfectly, you might want to consider going with Trek.
Trek vs Specialized Road Bikes: Which One is Better for Me?
Should you buy Trek Road Bikes or is Specialized Road Bikes a better choice?
Ultimately, that’s your choice to make.
But here’s something that might help ease the decision.
Trek might be a slightly better brand if you are looking for variety. The manufacturer caters to a wider range of riders – in fact, all types of bikers.
But if high-end and pricier road bikes appeal more to you, Specialized might be a better option.
Bottom line: You can’t go wrong regardless of the brand you choose. Both manufacturers offer the best road bicycles, making it a bit difficult to say one is better than the other.
Last Updated on February 18, 2022 by Matthew Carpenter