Are Trek Bikes Worth It? [BRAND ANALYSIS]


Choosing which bicycle brand you wish to follow, if any, will come down to a number of personal choices and factors. Heritage, lifestyle, impact on society, ethics, values, environmental and economic factors are part of the decision-making process in signing on to any company’s goods or services.

Bicycles are a consumer product and manufacturers compete for your attention and cash. They have proven to be capable of fulfilling many needs from essential means of transportation, through to a commuting tool, leisure vehicle and source of sporting competition.

With such a wide range of uses and budgets working from a wonderfully simple design process, manufacturers need to create and furnish values and meanings to distinguish one from another.

This is especially true as many of the component parts are made by third-party providers. The bicycle manufacturer can partner with these companies who are brands in their own right.

Image Credit: Trek Bikes

Trek is a bicycle manufacturer which has been active since 1976. They are a family-owned business from the USA who started out from a small red barn, producing 900 machines in their first year. That barn is still around, just along from their HQ.

They have had revenues reported to exceed over $1 billion per annum from sales of over a million machines and are established as a global cycling brand with main dealerships, authorised repairers and licensed outlets across the world. 

The company offers a huge range of different styles of bicycle and were early adopters of the e-bike model too. They are focused on always thinking about the next phase of their development. They offer clothing, helmets, lighting, accessories, mudguards / fenders, all through their in-house ranges.

We’ll have a little look into the journey the Trek brand has taken, some of the ups and downs and examine some of the values, qualities, messages and principles it brings to the production and sale of its bicycles in particular.

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Is Trek a Good Bike Brand?

The aspects of a brand are what sets it apart from others. They provide stability, foundation and direction. Trek focuses on maintaining quality, they make their employees feel critical to the business and reward them with bonuses and incentives. Brand values help workers put in longer hours. 

A rewarded and well-compensated workforce makes fewer compromises. More of their products meet the high standards demanded from the brand. Their retail stores contain happier people to greet you. They feel invested in the company.

Once you have happy employees, you get more ideas about products, more of the right decisions are made and more people get on board with them and time and effort are saved in the production. Trek spends time caring about its employees. 

According to US business magazines, its minimum wage is above the usual amount in the USA and they have regular ‘pulse’ surveys to check in with teams. There are deliveries of gift boxes and packages to employees.

The company feels that this reflects back into the pride and love that each employee has for the finished products that are designed and made. Customers feel happy and cared about too.

As a global company, Trek needs to ensure that its responsibilities and concerns are in sync with the world around them. The company has taken steps to deliver good messages around the world although there have been rocky roads it has needed to negotiate through as well.

Trek provided the bicycles for Lance Armstrong at times when he was winning the Tour de France. No doubt they saw increased demand during his moments of victory. The fallen hero saw his personal brand take a blow in subsequent years and it is likely that the company had to rebuild its reputation too.

During a time of heightened civil-rights tensions in the US, the company responded to scenes of their bicycles being used by police to control crowds of demonstrators. 

It made a commitment to creating jobs and investing in training and scholarship programmes and funding in underserved areas of the community. It also granted employees paid time off to volunteer in non-profit areas designed to build local communities.

The company has invested over the years in technology to help with the design of frames, geometry, suspension and components too.

They have acquired companies over the years and utilised the expertise and knowledge of similarly motivated pioneers like their own founders.

Gary Fisher and Keith Bontrager are two such radicals who lit up the early mountain biking scene in the USA whose companies have and now sit under the Trek umbrella.

Who Owns Trek Bike Company?

All research done indicates that it is Intrepid Corporation. When Trek was established, an investment of start-up money came via them. The key decisions and passions stem from the co-founders, Richard Burke and Bevill Hogg. Members of the Burke family hold senior positions today.

Are Trek Bikes British?

Trek is a US company which distributes its bicycles, components and accessories all over the world. It has offices across the globe including in the United Kingdom. 

Are Trek Bikes Made by Giant?

Design and manufacture are separate elements of the process and we know that components often come from other parties. Trek designs its own bicycles and some components. Like other manufacturers, frames can be supplied from factories around the world and some of those produce frames for Giant.


Where Are Trek Bikes Manufactured?

Although Trek’s headquarters are based in Wisconsin, USA, their components and bikes are manufactured across the world, primarily in the Netherlands, China, Taiwan and Germany.

Are Trek Bikes Expensive?

Entry-level adult bikes from Trek start at £475 ($500) but can reach as high as £13,600 ($13,549) for premium models. Of the 329 bikes available to buy on Trek’s website, the average price of a Trek bike was £4414.80 ($5840), while the median price was £3,600 ($4,762).

Trek bicycles are more expensive than those you might purchase from bicycle supermarkets and less so than handmade machines designed and manufactured in Italian artisan workshops.

Scatter graph showing the price of Trek Bikes

Why is Trek So Expensive?

It is a fact of commercial life that sometimes the best brands have a price tag attached to the values they highlight.

Rather than specialising in niche areas, Trek offers machines for all riders. This costs more than putting all your eggs in one basket. It invests in quality materials, new technologies and design methods. It runs hundreds of retail outlets around the world. Research and marketing come at a price.

Their trust in the products is the catalyst for their lifetime warranty on newer frame sets (frame and rigid fork), main frame and full suspension swing arms for the lifetime of the original owner and for their in house carbon wheels with carbon rims. Manufacturers have introduced part-carbon, part-alloy wheels so the distinction is necessary.

Clothing, parts and accessories, rear suspension linkage components, including bearings, rocker link and accompanying hardware and components, Bontrager wheels with alloy rims and paint and transfers have a two-year warranty package. Some of their kit made before 2019 also benefits from a warranty package.

They have aftercare for carbon materials and their customer service also supports good relationships and a culture of listening to you when you bring your bicycle in. 

Trek Bikes: Cheapest vs Most Expensive Model

Are Trek Bikes Overpriced?

Trek bicycles are trusted and well thought of in their own country and worldwide. Negative views tend to be limited to brand decisions or sales decisions unrelated to manufacture or design. There are so many competitors to take sales away from Trek but this does not seem to affect them.

Their lowest full-price bicycle for Discerning Cyclists is the 2021 FX 1 Disc Hybrid bike, which retails for £475 ($500). The disc brakes inspire more confidence, it has internal cable routing for cleanliness and reduces the risk of damage.

The Trek Alpha Aluminum frame it uses is regularly reviewed and updated for strength and as an entry-level bicycle offers full mudguard / fender and rack compatibility,

 

Do Trek Bikes Keep Their Value?

With a good level of support via the warranty scheme which extends to secondary owners and a brand-leading reputation, Trek represents a good win for owners and prospective owners. 

Trek invests in frame geometry design and is innovative. They have a reputation for quality and comfort. Trusted around the world, they support pro teams to enhance the value of their products and they have a wide support network. This helps build confidence in their offer and supporting value.

A 2019 Trek Domane SL7 Disc Women’s road bike would cost £4,178 ($5,780) new. In good condition, the value would be up to £2,351 ($3,252). This model retains more value than the average equivalent bicycle. Other examples are available with a search on second-hand sites.

Do Trek Bikes Go On Sale?

Like most manufacturers, when a specific line comes to an end, their prices will be reduced in order to help sales and move the inventory on. Trek has distribution licensing deals with independent bicycle retail outlets and these shops sell them at discounted prices too. 

Is a Trek Bike Worth the Money?

The long-standing nature of Trek in a competitive marketplace is a good sign of value for money.  Reviews and feedback about quality, lifespan and service build the whole package. Decisions made about downshifting to less expensive machines might be linked to other factors like use or budget. 

If your employer is signed up to any one of the many Cycle to Work schemes which operate in the UK, a Trek bicycle could be acquired and the cost can be spread over a couple of years.

How Long Does a Trek Bike Last?

The build quality of the frame and components made by Trek give them a good reputation for being long lasting. As always, use and care play a part and mechanical components on a bicycle wear out through use. I have ridden one Trek frame since 2013 and one since 2019 and each performs well for me.

Trek Bikes Pros + Cons

PROS CONS
Good beginner range In house components may be less well known compared to Shimano, Sram etc.
Build quality Price 
All types of bicycle available at shops nationwide You might itch to upgrade some in house components
Bicycles are results of investment in technology and design
Warranty programme

Is a Trek Bike Good for Commuting to Work?

With the reputation for quality and range of bicycles on offer, Trek would be considered a good bicycle for commuting to work. Many of the products in their range of commuting bicycles come ready made for accepting racks and mudguards / fenders and lighting accessories too.

Best Trek Bikes for Commuting 

Best Electric Trek Bike: Verve +1

As city-living and dwelling increases in the 21st Century, transportation by bicycle is becoming legitimised again as it once was in the early and mid 20th century without shame or embarrassment. 

Road networks are diversifying to accept designated cycle lanes and not just in city centres. The bicycle is sharing space safely, albeit slowly, with other forms of transport and not being shunted to canal towpaths or side streets.

This electric bicycle is intended to work with you and for you to do whatever your life in the city demands. Sure, it’s not designed for trails but it has suspension forks because we know that potholes come around as soon as they are mended.

It comes with your choice of a Bosch Active Line pedal assist battery, is equipped with mudguards, a built in lock and a rack so you are ready to go as soon as it leaves the shop. 

It has wide tyres for stability and disc brakes to help you stop resolutely and assuredly. It has a sit up Dutch-bike style and is available with a standard top tube or walk through top tube. It comes with a chain guard.

As road traffic snarls up congested streets, this is a £2,000 investment that has what it takes, to take you anywhere you want to go in the urban environment and on the country roads each day.