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Trek vs Specialized vs others

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
The other day I attended a road coarse race and as I watched the riders come by time and time again I began looking at what brand bikes they were all riding. I noticed alot of Specialized and various other brands. However I did not see very many Treks. Theses were Cat VI through Pro I races. My question is do pro riders other than Lance have a preferance against Trek? If so give me details I do own a Trek but am have no bias towards them as a company and am interested for sake of building knowledge to buy a furture bike. Thanks
post #2 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Pros don't typically choose their own bikes, their team sponsor contracts dictate what they will ride. For this reason professional endorsements are silly for many products.

For the amateur racers, they might also have team sponsors (my team is sponsored by Specialized, and also by a local shop who carries mainly Specialized bikes and equipment) who either provide bikes or give preferred discounts on a particular brand of bike. They still have the opportunity to ride what they want (since they have to buy it themselves), but there's an incentive and possibly a sense of obligation to help support the team sponsors by using their equipment.

So, what you're seeing could be affected by 1) rider preference, 2) possibly Specialized and other brands are doing more to sponsor/support amateur racing in the US, 3) possibly their dealers are doing more locally, 4) possibly there are more Specialized dealers than Trek dealers in your area, 5) something else entirely.

Personally, I like my Specialized better than the Trek I had before it, and I think they are good bikes -- but my preferences are biased.
post #3 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Some pro riders actually ride their own bikes except with their sponsor's paint job over it. I don't know if this practice is still commonplace but it's easy to catch if you look closely.

Trek makes fantastic bikes in my opinion. If you're wondering about racers' preference, the bling factor in comparison to the more exotic European brands (i.e., Pinarello, Colnago, Willier) is kind of low. Buying a Trek is kind of like buying a Ford or a Toyota in many people's opinion.

But keep in mind that the income of the average amateur racer is over $100,000 USD (at least it is in Texas), so they can usually afford really fancy stuff and even some of the Cat 5 racers can be seen on $10,000 bikes.

I ride a Gary Fisher which is pretty much the same thing as a Trek, and so far it's a good bike. I also have a Trek that I use to commute and it's about 8 years old and is almost as good as the day I bought it. Probably the only thing I don't like about them is looks. You'll get the "oh, that looks nice," but not the "damn, that is a smoking hot bike," kind of response...the important thing, however, is to let your legs do the talking.

As for the prevalence of the bikes it really just depends on what bike companies sponsor the teams in your state. Over here in Texas, we do see a lot of Specialized and Trek because they sponsor teams here. Also Cervelo is really big here too. Surprisingly, Giant isn't very popular around here even though they seem to be pervasive worldwide.

There's also a controversial practice in the bike industry where big companies will give discounts to bike shops if they exclusively sell a certain product. I know Shimano used to do this and it's one reason why they became so dominant in the U.S. An antitrust suit put a stop to this practice by Shimano and allowed SRAM to become active in the componentry market. I really wouldn't be surprised if this were still practiced clandestinely amongst the big brands, however...
post #4 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

I agree with the other posters that frame choice, at least professionally, is driven by sponsorship. Just look at the Tour of California...every team rides a different frame, but the components are often common. For us amateurs, my sense is the choice is driven by the manufacturer's marketing plus personal choices regarding looks and ride feel. In my view, Trek has caught up on the 'bling' factor in the last few years and they're technically quite good per the cycling magazine reviews, but they still don't have the 'cachet' of some brands. I ride a 2009 Madone 6.9, but I've never ridden a Look, Cervelo, Cannodale or Specialized, so I couldn't tell you if it was superior to the others or not...but online reviews from individuals are very positive.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

I do see alot of amature riders riding Trek but I didnt know if the pros or semi pro riders had some sort of knowledge that us common people did not. I have also noticed that online reviews and magazines tend to rate Trek competitively with the other major manufactures. Would you say online people bashing Trek is probable equal to the bashing that other companies get?
post #6 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdt1793db View Post
I do see alot of amature riders riding Trek but I didnt know if the pros or semi pro riders had some sort of knowledge that us common people did not.
Common people that do their homework probably have as much knowledge as the pros. Those that also work on their own bikes probably have more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdt1793db View Post
I have also noticed that online reviews and magazines tend to rate Trek competitively with the other major manufactures.
Again, consider who's writing the paychecks of the the people writing those magazine reviews. I've never seen a magazine review with the nuts to do anything but heap praise on the newest, most expensive thing that the major manufacturers put out there -- they aren't going to risk their advertising dollars for the sake of telling you the truth that none of that crap is going to make you noticeably faster on the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdt1793db View Post
Would you say online people bashing Trek is probable equal to the bashing that other companies get?
My sense is that Trek gets more online bashing that other companies, but that's still beside the point. If you're getting in the market for a new bike, then go ride some different bikes in your price range. They all fit and feel (and let's be honest, look) a little different and more than likely one or two will stand out from the others for one reason or another -- focus on those. How you feel on the bike is 99% of everything that matters.
post #7 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdt1793db View Post
The other day I attended a road coarse race and as I watched the riders come by time and time again I began looking at what brand bikes they were all riding. I noticed alot of Specialized and various other brands. However I did not see very many Treks. Theses were Cat VI through Pro I races. My question is do pro riders other than Lance have a preferance against Trek? If so give me details I do own a Trek but am have no bias towards them as a company and am interested for sake of building knowledge to buy a furture bike. Thanks
Who cares what bikes pro riders prefer? After all, it's not like you have to ride their bikes, and it's not like they always or ever ride the bikes they prefer.

Do you buy underwear based on what underwear other people wear?

You should buy bike based on:
  1. How it fits.
  2. How it feels when you ride it.
  3. How excited you are about it.
Factor in price and customer service as your needs dictate.
post #8 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

I think a lot of amateurs ride Trek because there are a lot of stores that carry Trek. Trek gets bashed as the 'Chevrolet' of bikes but not by Trek riders, just those who bought Look, Cervelo, Time, etc.. Since the Madone came out, in my humble opinion, it is the equal of any frame out there. Why not ask Lance, he rode one to seven Tour du France victories!
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Good point on the magazines I have also noticed that with other magazines that cover any specific topic they are very biased towards the new greatest thing. I dont so much care what other riders ride I'm fairly new to cycling and am trying to aquire information however I would like to not step in some of the pit falls that others have stepped in a was hoping to learn from their lessons. I am pleased with the bike I have a Trek 2.3 and I do feel like the bike fits me well. My curiosity was based more on an observation not that I had any desire to fit into the whos who of the bike community.
post #10 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

The strange thing is, Trek still "makes" some darn good bikes. Sure, a lot of it is outsourced (manufactured by Giant?) overseas, but when you ride one, it's impressive. Spec is still very, very competitive as well. They typically have custom geometry for each size as well.

They have certainly not settled into a bloated mediocrity like America's Big 3 automakers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickg99 View Post
I think a lot of amateurs ride Trek because there are a lot of stores that carry Trek. Trek gets bashed as the 'Chevrolet' of bikes but not by Trek riders, just those who bought Look, Cervelo, Time, etc.. Since the Madone came out, in my humble opinion, it is the equal of any frame out there. Why not ask Lance, he rode one to seven Tour du France victories!
post #11 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by new_rider View Post
The strange thing is, Trek still "makes" some darn good bikes. Sure, a lot of it is outsourced (manufactured by Giant?) overseas, but when you ride one, it's impressive. Spec is still very, very competitive as well. They typically have custom geometry for each size as well.

They have certainly not settled into a bloated mediocrity like America's Big 3 automakers...
What has manufacturer's location got to do with quality? Uhm, nothing. That's what.
post #12 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by new_rider View Post
The strange thing is, Trek still "makes" some darn good bikes. Sure, a lot of it is outsourced (manufactured by Giant?) overseas, but when you ride one, it's impressive.
Madone 5s and 6s are made in Waterloo, Wisconsin. 4s are made in Taiwan. Just a point of information.
post #13 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by alienator View Post
What has manufacturer's location got to do with quality? Uhm, nothing. That's what.
Yes, all those lead paint poisoned toys from China recently had nothing to do with location/quality issues. Now, that's not saying that location and quality are absolutely tied together at a specific level. They are not. It is saying that in some cases there is some correlation between location and quality.
post #14 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDB View Post
Yes, all those lead paint poisoned toys from China recently had nothing to do with location/quality issues. Now, that's not saying that location and quality are absolutely tied together at a specific level. They are not. It is saying that in some cases there is some correlation between location and quality.
An argument that is off point. If you're going to use logic like that, then quality in the US can be bad. Just look at the US workers did on the Deep Horizon drilling platform. Look at the crummy American built bridge that collapsed on I-35W in Minnesota. Look at the crappy breeder reactor that was built in Hanford, Washington. See how useful, stupid, unrelated examples are?
post #15 of 18

Re: Trek vs Specialized vs others

Quality in the U.S. sometimes is bad, further reinforcing the point that location does not determine quality but that in some cases location and quality are related.
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