Trek Dual Sport 1 vs 2 (Read Before Buying)

Are you looking for a straightforward comparison of the Trek Dual Sport 1 with the Trek Dual Sport 2? If so, then you’ve come to just the right spot.

Below, I’ve got a table showing the specification lists of the two bikes, side by side so that you can easily compare them. I’ve also got a look at the some of the main features of these two hybrids to see what you get for your money. We’ll see what extra components you get for your money with the Dual Sport 2 and discuss whether this justifies the additional price.

Choosing a new bike is a tricky job. I often think it’s not too challenging to narrow down a long list – with that ‘first pass’ you can easily cross off the options that are too far outside the budget, have too many of one thing, or too few of another. But, when you get down to the final two, well then it can get much tougher. How do you make the final choice and decide which bike is the right one for you?

I feel your pain.

Hopefully this guide will give you all the information you need, side-by-side for the two bikes, and enable you to make that choice.

Let’s take a look.

Component

Product

Current price

Frame

Alpha Gold Aluminum

Alpha Gold Aluminum

Fork

SR Suntour NEX, 63mm travel

SR Suntour NEX, hydraulic lockout, 63mm travel

Front hub

Formula DC-20

Formula DC-20

Rear hub

Formula DC-31

Formula DC-22

Rims

Bontrager Connection

Bontrager Connection

Spokes

14g, stainless steel

14g, stainless steel

Tires

Bontrager GR1 Comp, 700x40c

Bontrager GR1 Comp, 700x40c

Shifter

Shimano Altus EF500, 7 speed

Shimano Altus M315; 3 / 8 speed

Front derailleur

Shimano Tourney TY510

Shimano Tourney TY710

Rear derailleur

Shimano Altus M310

Shimano Acera M360

Crank

Forged alloy, 48/38/28

Forged alloy, 48/38/28

Cassette

SunRace MFM300 freewheel, 14-34, 7 speed

Shimano HG31, 11-32, 8 speed

Chain

KMC Z7

KMC Z8.3

Pedals

Wellgo nylon platform

Wellgo M141, resin body, alloy cage

Saddle

Bontrager Sport

Bontrager Sport

Seatpost

Bontrager alloy, 27.2mm

Bontrager alloy, 27.2mm

Handlebar

Bontrager Riser; 600/620mm width

Bontrager alloy; 600/660mm width

Grips

Bontrager Satellite

Bontrager Satellite

Stem

Bontrager alloy; 90-110mm length

Bontrager alloy; 70-100mm length

Headset

1-1/8'' threadless, sealed cartridge bearings

1-1/8'' threadless, sealed cartridge bearings

Brakes

Tektro MD-M280 mechanical disc

Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc

Bike weight

M: 30.26 lbs (13.73 kg) 

M: 29.05 lbs (13.18 kg)


Trek Dual Sport overview

If I could only ride one bike for the rest of my cycling years, do you know what it would be? A skinny-tire super-fast road bike? No. A gnarly full-suspension mountain bike? Nope.

It would be a hybrid bike like the Trek Dual Sport.

Why?

One word: Versatility.

You see, road bikes with skinny tires are awesome for riding fast one smooth pavement and roads. They’re very light and those slim tires mean that there’s not much rubber meeting the road. Both of these combine to make a bike that is super-fast. But that speed has some disadvantages. First up, the skinny tires won’t give you much grip on surfaces that are slippery with ice or mud. They also won’t give much protection from punctures when you encounter rougher stuff like gravel or a broken edge of pavement. Road bikes also have a frame shape that forces you to ride in a hunched over (more aerodynamic) position – which can be uncomfortable for some.

At the other end of the scale you have mountain bikes. These can handle all the rough terrain that you can throw at them. They have a more laidback comfy position to ride in and the knobbly tires will give you plenty of grip on loose surfaces. But these bikes won’t go fast on smooth pavement. They tend to be heavier than road bikes and the grippy tires tend to be quite juddery on roads.

Sitting in the large gap between these two bike types are hybrid bikes, just like the Trek Dual Sport.

You can ride them on roads, you can ride them on rough trails. You can ride them to the grocery store with a trailer on the back. You can put child seats on them and take the kids out for a day trip. You won’t enter a Tour de France style race on one, but they’ll still go plenty fast. You won’t take them down any Double Black Diamond mountain bike tracks, but they’ll be more than happy on gravel trails and light-duty single track. Versatile and fun.

Looking at the Dual Sport 1 and 2 in particular, these are both fantastic hybrid bikes and, I’m sure, you’d be delighted with either one. They’re at the base model end of the Dual Sport range, so that might not have some of the bells and whistles that the top models do. However, my view is that they punch well above their weight for their specification and pricing. Let’s dive in and see how these two bikes measure up.


Trek Dual Sport 1 review

Pros: Lower price, versatile and fun to ride
Cons: non-locking front suspension fork, heavier than the Dual Sport 2

If you’re new to cycling or just starting to get back into this leisure activity, then the Dual Sport 1 is a great choice. Like I’ve already said, a hybrid bike is versatile and gives you the opportunity to try your hand at a variety of different types of cycling. During the week they’re an ideal bike for commuting – there’s room for fenders so you won’t splash your clothes, the bikes are light and fast so you can get to the office quickly, and there’s a good range of gears to make sure any uphills are easy. The Dual Sport 1 then moves seamlessly into weekend riding – park rides with the kids or a canine friend, or even get the adrenaline flowing on some gravely single-track trails.

The Dual Sport frame (the same on both the 1 and 2 models) is light aluminum – tough but it won’t hold you back on the ascents – and it has a front suspension fork. If you’re new to bike suspension then you’re in for a treat. If you’ve ever ridden a bike over cobbles or rough terrain, you may well have felt as if your arms and hands were going to be shaken to pieces. A suspension fork changes all of that. Working just like the suspension on your car, the bike suspension smooths out the road surface and gives you a much more comfortable experience.

The gears on the Dual Sport are smooth to use and plentiful – there’s 21 gears so you can always find the right one for the uphill or downhill that you’re tackling. Match these with the GR1 Comp tires from Bontrager (grippy AND fast rolling) and the mechanical disc brakes and you’ve got a bike that goes as fast as you want, with all the control that you need, taking you wherever you want to go.

If there’s a downside to the Dual Sport 1 (and a reason to push the budget and buy the Dual Sport 2) then I’d say it’s that the front suspension doesn’t lock. As I’ve already said, front suspension is excellent. However if you’re tackling a steep uphill (and using your arms to try and increase your upwards momentum) or cycling on a very smooth surface, then you don’t need or want the suspension to be working. On an uphill, suspension can soak up some of your power and it’s just not needed on a smooth road at all. The fork on the Dual Sport 1 operates continuously whilst the Dual Sport 2’s fork can be locked when you don’t need it.

Does that matter? Well it depends on both your riding style and the terrain you tend to play on, and your budget. For me, I would try and stretch to the locking fork on the Dual Sport 2. It’s the type of fork I’m used to from my mountain biking and I wouldn’t feel comfortable without it.

The men’s/unisex bike is available in two colorways (of which my favorite is the Viper Red) and the women’s in two. There are a whole host of extras that you can fit to these bikes, including rear pannier racks and fenders.


Trek Dual Sport 2 review

Pros: Locking front fork suspension, hydraulic disc brakes
Cons: More expensive bike

Side by side, the two Trek bikes look similar. But there are some key differences there which, for me, justify the price difference of around $100 between them.

First up, the Dual Sport 2 has a locking front fork, rather than the non-locking front fork on the Dual Sport 1. I’ve already talked about this and why I think the locking fork of the Dual Sport 2 is the one I’d choose. It is, however, a more expensive bike and you may be wondering whether it’s worth pushing the boat out on the budget to go for it. An easy way to decide is to look at the type of riding you’re planning on doing and the style of riding that you tend to do. By this I mean, if your pedaling is going to be of the gentle variety – to the grocery store or down to the beach – then it may not be worthwhile getting the Dual Sport 2. If you’re planning longer journeys though, on a mixture of different surfaces, then it’s worth a look at the 2. If you’ll be tackling plenty of ascents, then having a locking front fork would make a big difference to you as it helps turn more of your effort into uphill gains rather than just bouncing along on the road.

In addition to the locking front fork, the Dual Sport 2 also benefits from hydraulic disc brakes. Both models have disc brakes – which are a big step up from the old style V brakes or cantilever brakes. Those brakes helped bring you to a stop by pressing a brake pad hard against the wheel rims. They’re pretty good brake systems but rely on having wheel rims that aren’t wet, oily or muddy to grip on to. That makes them a bit hit or miss in rain or on muddy trails. By contrast the two Dual Sport bikes have brake systems that use a separate disc near the wheel hubs for the brake pads to grip, so they’ll work even in more challenging riding conditions. The Dual Sport 1 has mechanical brakes (a cable pulls the brake pads) and the 2 has hydraulic brakes (brake fluid pushes the pads). Hydraulic disc brakes are my preference as they tend to be more reliable and are substantially lighter on the bike.

As well as giving better stopping power, those hydraulic disc brakes also contribute to the lower bike weight on the Dual Sport 2 (29.05 lbs vs 30.26 lbs). And lower bike weight means less effort to pedal.

The Dual Sport 2 is on sale in two colorways for the unisex/men’s (I particularly like the Mulsanne Blue) and two for the women’s.


Standout Features of the Dual Sport 1 and 2 bikes

Let’s have a closer look at some of the key features of pair of bikes.

Internal cable routing
Both the bikes have cabling routed internal through the frame. That makes it neater than having cables strewn everywhere like some bikes and gives less chance of them catching on branches or car racks

Hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes
There’s a massive difference between older types of brakes (such as v-brake or cantilever) and disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes (as on the Dual Sport 1) are fantastic and the hydraulic disc brakes on the Dual Sport 2 are even better

Grippy all-rounder tires
The 700x40c GR1 Comp tires from Bontrager (part of Trek) are grippy and responsive, and that gives you a huge amount of confidence. Particularly if you’re heading into a corner on a loose gravel surface or going downhill on some muddy single-track. They’re also perfectly at home on smooth pavement – without the vibration you’d get with a full-on mountain bike tire. The best of both worlds


Conclusion

Choosing bikes is a lot of fun, but it’s never easy. The thing about hybrid bikes is that it makes the job a lot easier because they’re so darn good at some many different types of riding. Ideal for commuting. Perfect for grocery shopping. Excellent for heading down to the beach on the weekend.

Both the Dual Sport bikes are great choices and the selection in the end comes down to budget and whether your riding needs the benefits of the locking front fork and the hydraulic disc brakes. Whichever one you choose I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun on your new bike.

Happy cycling.