Cannondale vs. Trek Mountain Bikes

trek vs cannondale
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Ben Walker
Ben Walker
I have loved mountain biking ever since growing up in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I love downhill, dirt jumping, and free-riding.

So you’re looking to buy a mountain bike and out of all the different brands out there, you’ve narrowed it down to two – Cannondale and Trek. They both have solid reputations and global distributions. They both offer hardtails and full-suspension models, ranging from intro bikes for beginners to huge beasts for seasoned downhillers.
So how do you choose which is better out of Cannondale and Trek? Well, I’ll break down the major differences between the two companies in this article. Finding the right bike means finding the right bike for you, and by comparing the differences between Cannondale and Trek, hopefully, I’ll help you decide which one makes the best mountain bike for you.


Founded in 1971, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation is now an American division of a Canadian conglomerate called Dorel Industries. Today, Cannondale makes mountain bikes, road bikes, electric bikes and bikes for kids, and is regarded as one of the best mountain bike brands in the world. Cannondale make their bikes in China.

Carbon frames

They have a history of using aluminum frames, but they started exploring carbon and carbon/alloy frames in the 2000s and have never looked back. These frames are lighter than other materials, a feature that the employees of Cannondale seem to obsess over.

The Lefty

Cannondale developed a fork called the Lefty, so called because it only has a fork on the left side, or what’s called the “blade” of the fork. This design was introduced to reduce weight, a goal of Cannondale’s when it was at its prominence in road racing competitions.

Award-winning designs

Cannondale has always had a pioneering design for their bikes, and have won multiple design awards from industry experts such as including Bicycling Magazine, Popular Science, and Business Week. Because of its innovative designs and unique look, Cannondale has acquired a relatively passionate fanbase.

Hardcore fanbase

Riders who buy Cannondale seem to swear by them and will often buy nothing else. Because of their reputation and emphasis on quality, Cannondales are some of the more expensive bikes on the market, with prices often breaking $1,000.

Here are some of the most popular Cannondale mountain bikes out there today. Each list goes from less expensive to more expensive.


Cannondale popular XC mountain bikes:

Cannondale’s popular Sport Hardtails

Cannondale’s popular Downhill bikes:

Trek Bikes

Trek Bikes was founded in 1976 in Wisconsin. Trek till produces 25,000 bikes in the United States, but most of their bikes are made overseas in Germany, Holland, and China. They offer a huge range of bikes and prices, from mountain bikes, road bikes, and electric bikes.

Carbon-composite frames

Similarly to Cannondale, Trek started with aluminum frames but quickly moved to carbon composite frames. Because of the range of models, Trek is more budget-friendly than Cannondale, and it offers a good number of models under $1,000.

Competition winners

This doesn’t mean cheap, though, and Trek’s top bikes are championship winners, having won the Tour de France seven times. One of my favorite things about Trek is their dedication to being an environmentally friendly company.

Environmentally friendly

Trek has helped in setting up initiatives in the United States to help commuters swap cars for bikes. They take pride in their work for sustainability, committing themselves through Green facilities, waste reduction, and forest restoration initiatives

Trek’s popular Hardtail mountain bikes:


Trek’s popular Downhill mountain bikes:


Cannondale or Trek? Now you should have a better idea of which company makes the right mountain bike for you. If you’re a die-hard fan of interesting, innovative design, and want to spend your money on exactly that, then Cannondale would be a great choice for you.
Cannondale offer their riders the opportunity to fall in love with an extremely well-designed and well-built machine.

If you’re looking for something more traditional, then maybe Trek is the better choice for you. With a greater range of models and prices, Trek truly offers something for everyone. Especially if you’re a beginner, then Trek is probably the better option for you.

Hopefully, this article is helpful for you in choosing between Cannondale and Trek and will help you get the right mountain bike for you.

Happy riding! 🙂 

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1 thought on “Cannondale vs. Trek Mountain Bikes”

  1. Hi Ben,

    Thank you for you article.

    Can you please give me your opinion about …
    Cannodale Trail 7 vs Trek Marlin 5 for a 9 years old.

    Thank you.


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