Trek vs. Specialized Mountain Bikes

trek vs specialized
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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 you’ve narrowed it down to two different brands – Trek and Specialized. Both companies make a good range of bikes for men, women, and kids. They both offer bikes bor beginners, intermediate riders and advanced, as well as an excellent range of price options.

But how to know which one to choose? In this article, I’ll break down the major differences between Trek and Specialized bikes, their reputations, features, and reviews, and offer a list of suggestions of models for you to take a look at. Hopefully, it helps you figure out if a Trek or a Specialized mountain bike is the right bike for you


Trek first started making bikes back in 1976. Trek is an American company and they still make 25,000 bikes a year in the States, but most of their bikes are manufactured in Taiwan. Trek makes a comprehensive range of mountain bikes for men, women, and kids, as well as offering models for every level of ability.

Good range of bikes

For a long time, Trek was known for making mainly cross country bikes. Then, about a decade ago, they started pushing into other styles of riding. Today, in 2019, they make some of the sickest bikes for everything from dirt jumping to cross country to slopestyle to downhill.

Solid components

Trek put some of the best components on their bikes, and you’ll see forks by Rockshocks and gears by SRAM. Most of Trek’s bikes have trigger shifters and hydraulic disc brakes, though a few of the low-end models have mechanical disc brakes.

Green bikes

As a company, Trek is dedicated to helping the environment. They helped set up an initiative to get more American commuters riding bikes instead of driving cars and they are always trying to improve their sustainability as a company. Environmentalism seems to go hand in hand with enjoying the outdoors on a mountain bike and it’s helped Trek’s image grow substantially over the last few years.

Popular Trek Bikes (from cheapest to more expensive)


Trek’s popular XC mountain bikes:


Trek’s popular Hardtail mountain bikes:


Trek’s popular Downhill mountain bikes:


Trek’s popular fat-tire mountain bikes:


Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc, otherwise known as Specialized, was founded bt Mike Sinyard in California in 1974. Since 2001, 49% of Specialized has been owned by a Taiwanese company called Merida Bikes

World-class Reputation

Beginning with touring and road bikes, Specialized made the leap to mountain bike in 1995 with the Full Force range. Now they are one of the leading companies making top-of-the-line mountain bikes. Their sponsored riders include downhill world champion Loic Bruni.

Superb range

Specialized make bikes for everyone, from beginners to experts, men, women, and children. Their introductory models like the world-famous Rockhopper start somewhere around $500. On the other end, the S-Works Turbo Levo has a price tag of just over $12,000.


Specialized offer some of the best mountain bikes on the market. If you’re looking for precision, strength, top-end components and supreme designs, and you’re looking to drop a few thousand, then Specialized can make all your dreams come true.

Solid components

If you’re looking to step into the world of serious mountain biking, but don’t want to spend a thousand, Specialized’s lower-end bikes are also amazing choices. Decked out with mechanical disc brakes, Shimano components, and Suntour forks, their less-expensive bikes are of no less quality.

Awesome bikes

I’m a huge fan of Specialized. They put a lot of effort into pushing what mountain bikes can do, and even if you don’t want to spend as much on a bike as their top models, their low- and mid-range models still benefit from the company’s experience with high-end mountain bikes.


Specialized popular XC mountain bikes:


Specialized’s popular hardtail mountain bikes:


Specialized’s popular trail and downhill mountain bikes:


Specialized’s popular fat-tire mountain bikes:


So, out of Trek and Specialized, which one gets the recommendation? Trek makes an awesome range of awesome bikes, from first-bike introductory models for absolute beginners to advanced riders looking to hit some serious trails. But in this case, I’m going with Specialized. Their superbly designed and made bikes are hard to beat.

Specialized uses the best components on the market to complement their fantastic bikes. If you’re passionate about mountain biking, do yourself a favor, and invest in a Specialized.

Happy riding! 🙂 

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