- The best Trek road bikes are the Trek Domane, Trek Checkpoint, Trek Madone, and the Trek Emonda.
- The best Trek mountain bikes are the Trek Slash, Trek Procaliber, Trek Marlin, and the Trek Roscoe.
- Trek releases alternative model variations of their best bikes which feature downgraded specs at a much more affordable price range.
Trek is a bike brand that has pioneered modern cycling technology and its line-up continues to become more advanced with each year.
The best Trek bikes are the:
- Trek Domane
- Trek Checkpoint
- Trek Madone
- Trek Emonda
- Trek Slash
- Trek Procaliber
- Trek Marlin
- Trek Roscoe
After extensively researching Trek bicycles, I have gathered enough information to shortlist the best bikes in their line-up. My research has indicated that buyers should carefully evaluate the specs of each Trek bike as each model is designed to have characteristics that are better suited for specific riders.
Best Trek Road Bikes
Road bike engineering is rooted in Trek’s history and although the cycling industry has changed over the years - the brand’s dedication to designing top-of-the-line bikes has not. Trek first started building bike frames in the mid-70s and their innovative designs have shaped cycling as a whole.
Any cyclist that has observed the development of bike technology will give recognition to Trek for their groundbreaking work, which is why many people have stayed loyal to the company since they first started riding. As a brand that prides itself in designing road bikes that have won numerous international races and competitions, you can expect nothing short of peak performance and cycling technology when you buy a Trek bike.
Innovation combined with the use of high-end parts and materials is how Trek has built such a stellar reputation within the industry. With that said, you can find top-notch road bikes that vary in specs, performance, and price - which can make choosing the right option a bit intimidating unless you know exactly what you are looking for.
As you evaluate the best road bikes from Trek, try to consider what kind of riding performance and style you favor, as these will be key selling points for most riders. However, you should also keep in mind that a lot of Trek bikes are professional-grade machines that can be quite expensive, which is why having an estimated budget for your road bike can help narrow down your options. With that said, let’s dive into the best road bikes from Trek.
Trek Domane (Best All-Around Road Bike)
The Trek Domane is at the top of the list for so many road cyclists this year. This is one of the most advanced road bikes ever released and Trek has raised the bar for its competition by designing the Domane with incredibly dynamic specs and performance capabilities.
After its initial release in 2012, the Trek Domane has had constant updates and upgrades to its design - with a plethora of model variations for riders to choose from. With the latest third generation of the Domane, it is safe to say that this is the best road bike that Trek has ever released. While virtually all of the Domane models are top-notch road bikes, the one that truly stands out is the Domane SLR 9 eTap Gen 4. This bike is loaded with high-end parts and materials that are guaranteed to give any rider an edge in the race.
The Trek Domane features an 800 Series OCLV Carbon frame and a Domane SLR carbon fork. By equipping the Domane with superior components and lightweight materials, this road bike weighs in at a remarkable 17.2lbs. The lightweight design is complemented by the precision of the electronic shifting of the SRAM RED eTap AXS drivetrain - making this an incredibly efficient road bike.
This is a racing bike through and through, but I was astonished by how comfortable it was for its design. Trek’s refined IsoSpeed swallows bumps so that riders can stay consistent with their performance even when the terrain becomes less agreeable. While the sole purpose of the Domane is to deliver optimal speed and performance, the increased comfort enables many riders to hit light gravel terrain without experiencing too much rigidity.
With the specs and performance capabilities of the Trek Domane in mind, you can expect a steep price tag - with the high-end SLR 9 eTap Gen 4 model costing $14,500. However, one of my favorite things about the Domane is that Trek has released such an expansive variety of sub-models that have downgraded specs. If the high-end models are out of your budget, you can opt for the Domane AL 3 Disc, which is available for a very reasonable $1,150.
Trek Checkpoint (Best Gravel Bike)
Sometimes road biking requires you to get off the paved trail. If you’re the type of rider that enjoys hitting nature trails, then you should consider a quality gravel bike like the Trek Checkpoint. This gravel bike is designed for rugged terrain and trail conditions without sacrificing performance when the road gets rough.
Depending on what you are looking for in a gravel bike, Trek offers a variety of different Checkpoint models that have different specs and price points, so that riders can choose the right bike based on their needs and budget.
The best option is hands down the Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap. This bike features only the best parts and materials, which is why it is the most expensive - but it will deliver the best performance that you can hope to achieve from a gravel bike. Despite its rugged nature, the Checkpoint SLR 9 eTap weighs in at a remarkable 17.86lbs - a weight that even some of the best road bikes in the world strive to achieve.
If a gravel bike is this light, you can expect carbon fiber parts to be scattered throughout the design. The Trek Checkpoint features a 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame and a tapered carbon steerer tube. The Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37V wheels suit the 35c gravel tires perfectly, allowing riders to roll over rugged gravel terrain.
To top it off, Trek designed the drive solely with high-end SRAM components. All in all, these are the parts and materials that you usually find on top-level racing bikes, but Trek decided to up the ante on what a gravel bike can truly do. So, whether you are looking to achieve peak performance on gravel or shatter your previous speed record on paved, the Checkpoint is a bike that can do both.
The one downside to the high-end model of the Checkpoint is that its price tag is painfully high at $13,000. If you like the design and performance of the Checkpoint but cannot afford the cost of the SLR 9 eTap model, Trek has a solid variety of model variations - some of which are much more reasonably priced at just $3,000.
Trek Madone (Best Aero Road Bike)
If you are looking for a Trek bike that can compete in the Tour de France, the Madone is going to be your best option. If you want to have an edge in your next race, the Trek Madone will not let you down.
Naturally, this is an aero road bike that was designed specifically for speed and agility. The rigid ride feels perfect for maintaining optimal speed on long-distance races and the light weight of the frame makes this bike an aggressive performer. The latest Madone SLR 9 eTap Gen 7 has the best specs out of the Madone line-up - with enhanced parts and components that make it superior to virtually every other aero bike on the market.
This 7th generation of the Madone and Trek claims that it is guaranteed to give riders a 60-second advantage over the previous generation at 45km/h. Competitive cyclists who are looking for any tactical advantage in their next race have their eyes on the Madone for this characteristic alone. Trek made some serious upgrades to the frame design, which has made the latest Madone model significantly more aerodynamic.
Trek equipped the high-end Madone with an 800 Series OCLV Carbon frame and a full carbon KVF profile fork. With that said, these top-of-the-line components and materials enable the Madone SLR 9 eTap Gen 7 to weigh in at a remarkable 16.3lbs. The drive is loaded with high-end SRAM parts such as the eTap AXS derailleurs & shifters, AXS Power Meter crank, and XG-1290 cassette.
Despite the ride rigidity and performance of the Trek Madone, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the bike is. This aero bike was designed with a sophisticated geometry that enables cyclists to harness the aggressive power of a competitive racing bike without making the ride feel stiff.
Much like with many of Trek’s bikes, the Madone is available in a variety of different models. The Madone SLR 9 eTap Gen 7 is hands down the best option within their aero line-up, but you can find alternative models with competitive specs. However, the majority of Trek’s collection, even the downgraded versions of the Madone, are not in the budget category.
While the Madone SLR 9 eTap Gen 7 is available for a whopping $15,700, you can opt for alternative models that are more reasonably priced at $6,000.
Trek Emonda (Best Climbing Road Bike)
Competitive riders looking for a quality racing bike are going to have a hard time deciding between the Madone and the Emonda. Both of these Trek road bikes are designed for competing but depending on the conditions of the race, you may find that one is more suitable than the other.
The Trek Emonda is particularly regarded for its superior climbing. Uphill battles are going to feel a lot more efficient with the Emonda, which is why Trek is advertising this carbon fiber road bike as the fastest climber that they have ever released.
This road bike has been in production since 2014, but Trek has made some serious improvements to its design over the years. With each new model, Trek has miraculously been able to achieve a lighter Emonda than the previous version, which is largely attributed to their ingenious design and high-quality components.
A key characteristic of this road bike is the Ultralight 800 Series OCLV carbon frame, as well as the Emonda SLR full carbon fork. With the frame and fork materials of the Emonda in mind, this ultra-light road bike weighs in at just 15.2lbs. Astonishingly, this is over 1lb lighter than Trek’s iconic aero bike, the Madone.
While the Emonda is not technically an aero bike, its aerodynamic design and lightweight characteristics make it a contender for any race. The top model of the Emonda is the SLR 9 eTap and it costs $13,100. However, you can find alternative variations of the Emonda with downgraded parts for as low as $5,800.
Best Trek Mountain Bikes
As a company that has been manufacturing mountain bikes since the sport took off, Trek is at the forefront of MTB technology and they are credited with releasing some of the best hardtail and full-suspension models ever made.
The popularity of mountain biking has not ceased over the years and the demand for better specs and performance is what drives brands like Trek to constantly up their game. Mountain biking technology requires annual innovation and competitive riders are looking for any edge that they can get.
With that said, MTB riders need to consider their bikes carefully, as the advanced technology behind full-suspension models has given traditional hardtail riders something to think about. However, high-end mountain bikes from Trek are stacked with top-of-the-line parts and components, which do come at a price.
To make their bikes more accessible and affordable, Trek strives to release alternative variations of the same model with downgraded components so that budget riders are not left out of the fun. Let’s dive into the best mountain bikes from Trek.
Trek Slash (Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike)
The Trek Slash is a mountain bike that allows riders to climb about as quickly as they can descend. This is a full-suspension mountain bike with some of the best specs and performance capabilities that I have ever seen in a Trek MTB.
Trek equipped this mountain bike with its advanced ‘Flight Attendant’ technology that automatically adapts the suspension of the bike based on the terrain conditions. As soon as you encounter rough terrain, the suspension will adjust itself to absorb so that ride performance is not sacrificed. Whereas for consistent terrain the bike’s suspension feels incredibly rigid.
The slacker geometry of the Slash makes this a monster of an MTB for going downhill. There have been a number of different Slash models released over the years - with the latest being the 9.9 XX1 Flight Attendant. Naturally, this model features the best parts and components that you can find in a modern mountain bike such as the OCLV Mountain Carbon frame and the RockShox ZEB Ultimate Flight Attendant fork.
Given that this is Trek’s most advanced full-suspension MTB, you can expect the price to be quite high - with $14,500 being the current asking price. Alternative models with downgraded parts and components are available at more affordable price points which can cost as little as $3,400.
Trek Procaliber (Best Hardtail Mountain Bike)
If you are into cross-country racing, you are going to have a hard time transitioning from a hardtail, and with the Trek Procaliber on the market - it’s easy to understand why. XC racing is here to stay and the sport constantly demands lighter and better-performing machines than the previous year.
To meet the demand of cross-country riders, Trek has launched their latest hardtail XC model, the Procaliber 9.8. This MTB reminds us all why we love hardtails and why they still triumph over full-suspension bikes in an XC race - explosive power matched with precise agility.
The Procaliber 9.8 is equipped with high-end parts and components throughout its entire design. The OCLV Mountain Carbon frame and FOX Performance 32 Step-Cast fork will give you a serious edge in a race, which is why many riders have their eyes on the Procaliber this year.
The sophisticated design combined with the quality materials allows the Procaliber 9.8 to weigh in at an impressive 22.15lbs, which makes it one of the lightest XC mountain bikes in the world. Naturally, the price tag for an MTB of this caliber is going to be quite high - with $4,100 being the current asking price.
Trek Marlin (Best Budget Mountain Bike)
One of the most challenging things about getting into mountain biking is not learning how to ride, but having the bankroll to pay for a quality MTB. Mountain biking is expensive and opting for a low-end machine with poor specs can seem like a defeating notion for a lot of intro and budget riders.
Trek fully understand this struggle, which is why they designed their Marlin series. This is the ultimate budget mountain bike from Trek and the shining model from the series is the Marlin 8 Gen 2. This is a quality MTB that was designed for mountain bike racing and it’s guaranteed to deliver solid performance.
When I took a closer look at the Marlin 8 Gen 2, I was surprised that Trek was able to design a mountain bike with so much potential at such an affordable price. The Marlin 8 Gen 2 is equipped with a quality Alpha Silver Aluminum frame which is extremely durable and lightweight. In addition, this MTB features a RockShox Judy Silver fork and SRAM parts throughout the drive.
With these specs in mind, the Marlin 8 Gen 2 could easily give some high-end MTBs on the market a run for their money. This mountain bike has a very reasonable sales price of just $1,024, which is practically unheard of in the industry for a machine of this caliber. Trek has proven that an affordable MTB does not need to be a ‘cheap’ bike.
Given that this bike is near the $1,000 range, it should be accessible to most budget shoppers who are looking for a phenomenal starter model. If this price is outside of your budget, you can opt for one of the previous-generation Marlin models - some of which cost as little as $524.
Trek Roscoe (Best Value Mountain Bike)
The latest release of the Roscoe is the best value mountain bike from Trek. This hardtail is guaranteed to shred and it’s a solid option for competitive riders and hardcore MTB enthusiasts.
Unlike many of Trek’s high-end mountain bikes, the Roscoe features an aluminum frame instead of carbon fiber. While the Alpha Gold Aluminium frame does add a bit of weight to the Trek Roscoe, it significantly increases its durability. With that said, you should not expect to harness the same speed performance with the Roscoe as you would with Trek’s competitive XC hardtails.
However, this is actually a major selling point for a lot of riders that want to hit harsh terrains without worrying about frequent repairs. The Roscoe is equipped with high-end Shimano parts in its drive, as well as a Fox Rhythm 36 fork - with a total weight of 28lbs.
As I said, the increased weight may not make the Roscoe the best contender for an XC race, but the superior specs and design will still deliver fantastic performance on adverse trails. At a sales price of $2,750, this is the best value mountain bike that Trek has in its line-up.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson