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In this article, I’ll help you navigate the Trek Dual Sport hybrid bike family by comparing the Dual Sport 1, 2, and 3.
You’ll learn about the differences between each model, who they are best suited for, and more.
Plus, I’ll tell you which model gives you the best value for your money to help make your decision easier.
This article compares Trek Dual Sport Gen 5. The main differences between Dual Sport Gen 4 and Gen 5 are the different frames, rigid fork, higher-volume 650b tires, and lower weight on the Gen 5.
Trek Dual Sport 1 vs. 2 vs. 3
The following table summarizes the main differences between all Dual Sport bikes that belong to the Trek’s hybrid bike families.
|Dual Sport 1||Dual Sport 2||Dual Sport 3|
|Wheels||Bontrager Connection||Bontrager Connection||Bontrager Kovee
|Tires||Bontrager GR0 Comp|
|Bontrager GR0 Comp|
|Bontrager GR0 Expert
|Pedals||Wellgo nylon platform||Wellgo nylon platform||Wellgo nylon platform|
|Saddle||Bontrager Sport||Bontrager Sport||Bontrager H1|
|Grips||Bontrager Satellite||Bontrager Satellite||Bontrager XR Endurance Elite|
|Buy||Buy Dual Sport 1||Buy Dual Sport 2||Buy Dual Sport 3|
Specifications source: trekbikes.com, updated 26/04/2023
Dual Sport Pros & Cons Summary
I summarized the pros & cons of the Dual Sport series below.
Dual Sport Pros
- Suspension fork better riding comfort (only on Gen 4, Gen 5 has a rigid fork)
- Availability in multiple sizes and colors
- Pedals included
- Compatible with racks, kickstands, etc.
- Integrated cable routing
- Lifetime warranty
Dual Sport Cons
- Aggressive geometry may not fit beginners or less flexible riders
- Wide tires have a higher rolling resistance
Dual Sport Main Features
Let me now explain the most important features of the Trek Dual Sport bikes and compare them.
Frame and Geometry
All Dual Sport bikes come with an aluminum frame and are available in S-XL sizes but with forks made of either steel, aluminum, or carbon.
But it’s not as aggressive as on road bikes. But still, it might take some time to get used to.
Remember that the Dual Sport bikes don’t have low-step or step-through options.
Wheels and Tires
The wheel size on Dual Sport Gen 4 was 700c, but the newer Gen 5 uses 650b wheels with wider tires.
Dual Sport’s high-volume 50mm tires make them suitable for off-road terrain. Thanks to lower pressures, they can also better absorb bumps and vibrations, contributing to a more comfortable ride.
However, they have higher rolling resistance, so you won’t be able to reach the same high speeds on paved roads as you would with road bikes or hybrid bikes like Trek FX.
Remember, only the Dual Sport 3 has tubeless-ready wheels but doesn’t come with tubeless-ready tires. Therefore, you may need to swap them later if you wish.
The Dual Sport Gen 5 has removed the 3X groupsets, which were overly complicated without significant benefits. Instead, they use 2X and 1X drivetrains that are simpler to use and maintain, as well as lighter.
The groupset is one of the features that differentiate individual models. The most significant difference is with the Dual Sport 3, which uses a 1X drivetrain with 10 gears. The other two bikes have 2X drivetrains.
The main disadvantage of the 1X drivetrains is the limited gear range, which can make it challenging to find the right gear for your preferred cadence on some gradients.
Dual Sports use disc brakes instead of rim brakes. The entry-level Dual Sport 1 has Tektro mechanical disc brakes, while other models have hydraulic brakes from C-Star or Shimano.
Hydraulic disc brakes require less effort to apply and have a more controlled stopping power.
TIP: Learn about the differences between hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes.
However, all Dual Sport bikes provide sufficient braking power, so you don’t have to worry about not stopping on time.
Dual Sport Gen 5 bikes have almost fully integrated cable routing, including the handlebar area.
Dual Sport frames come with mounts for kickstands, racks, and fenders, making it easy to install these accessories. These mounts are located on the front fork, top tube, and rear triangle.
Lastly, Dual Sport bikes come with slip-on grips, while the top-tier model, Dual Sport 3, has ergonomic lock-on grips that are easier to install, more comfortable, and help alleviate pressure on your hands.
Trek Dual Sport FAQ
So, which Trek Dual Sport bike is the best?
I believe the Trek Dual Sport 2 provides the best value for your money. This is due to its use of hydraulic disc brakes and lower weight than the Dual Sport 1. While the Dual Sport 3 is even lighter and uses better components, I don’t think it’s worth the extra $200. However, you should consider it if you prefer a 1X drivetrain, as the Dual Sport 2 has a 2X drivetrain.