Trek Dual Sport 2 Vs. 3: Does Newer Means Better?

Most riders love hybrid bikes because they can be of great use for paved roads and on trails and other terrains. Those who want the best of both would prefer a hybrid bike to a road bike or a mountain bike.

With a few takeaways, a hybrid bike is an excellent companion for a rider anywhere; it could be the ideal all-terrain bike.

Trek Dual Sports series has come out with one of the better hybrid bikes in the past year or two. For this article, we will compare which of the two, Trek Dual Sport 2 and the higher version, Trek Dual Sport 3, is better.

The Trek Dual Sport 2 Vs. 3 is on.

Trek Dual Sports Series

This Dual Sport series features Trek hybrid bikes whose specifications have changed or improved. Trek Dual Sport 2 and 3 are the middle installments in the series and closely resemble each other.

Trek Dual Sports

But the Dual Sports series offer a lot to the riders. They offer excellent performance, provide some comfort for the rider, and pack a certain speed, whether on smooth flat surfaces or on uneven surfaces.

All have excellent suspension and have equally quality components.

All nearly sport the same design and employ the same aluminum frame technology. Each newer version promises to be better than the older one.

If we talk about the price, the more recent version is always more expensive than the predecessor.

Factor the price into the equation, and we can have a better gauge of which among the series is better, and in this case, which between Trek Dual Sport 2 and 3 is worth having.

Trek Dual Sport 2 Vs. Trek Dual Sport 3: Key Similarities

Since they belong to the same series, some features in the older version are in Trek Dual Sport 3. Among these features are:

Nearly the Same Specs Where It Matters

Both sport the same alpha gold aluminum frame and have the same features, like the DuoTrap S compatibility, internal cable routing, and rack and fender mounts.

They employ the same suspension fork, SR Suntour NEX, with the same suspension travel of 63mm.

Since they are the same concerning these components, we expect both to give the same stability and flexibility to the rider, at least regarding suspension brought about by the frame and the suspension fork.

Employ the Same Geometry

Trek Dual Sport 2 and 3 puts the rider in a more upright position than a mountain bike or a road bike. Both, therefore, can give the same comfort to the rider talking about posture.

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Trek Dual Sport 2 vs 3: Key Differences

They may have the same frame, suspension fork, and geometry, but those similarities are superficial. Significant differences exist between them, which may warrant choosing one over the other.

Among these differences are:

The Weight

It seems surprising that Trek Dual Sport 2 is lighter than Trek Dual Sport 3, though slightly only. The difference is due to some upgrades Trek has done involving Trek Dual Sport 3.

This one has a lighter frame than Trek Dual Sport 2.

The Drivetrain

Trek Dual Sport 3 employs a higher version of Shimano, Shimano Acera M3000 for shifter and Shimano T3000 front derailleur, and Shimano Alivio M3100 for the rear derailleur.

The shifter is a 9-speed; in contrast to Trek Dual Sport 2, with Shimano Altus, an 8-speed, the later version presents many options. The difference could be very telling if you deal with a broader range of terrain.

Add to that the smoother shift provided by Shimano Acera over the Altus; the result is a more efficient ride on any terrain, smooth paved roads, or uneven surfaces.

The Bontrager Component

The later version significantly improved the Bontrager components, from the stem to the wheels and tires. The stem is of Bontrager elite, an upgrade from the standard Bontrager alloy Trek employs on some of its bikes.

But the most significant change involves the wheels and tires. The latest version has Bontrager tubeless ready rims; the earlier one has the standard Bontrager connection.

For the tires, Trek replaced the Bontrager GR! Comp with Bontrager GR1 Hard-Case Lite.

The tubeless ready rims and puncture-resistant tires make a crucial difference in durability and performance.

Brake Set

Another vital difference would be the brake set employed by both hybrid bikes. Trek Dual Sport 2 has Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

In itself, they are enough. But the Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes are way better and far superior to the one employed by Trek Dual Sport 2.

Brake Set

Trek Dual Sport 3 has more excellent stopping power than the older version. Again, with a broader range that it can take and a 9-speed gear, complementing it with a superb brake set makes the Trek Dual Sport 3 a notch above the earlier Trek Dual Sport 2.

At least, talking about performance and specs, Trek Dual Sport 3 seems better than its earlier version. But those things are not the only consideration.

The Price

We all love high specs, top-quality parts, and bikes with excellent performance on the road. But all of those things should be weighed and balanced on the price.

A bike would be above its competitor if it could sport an excellent bike-price ratio.

Why would we settle for some bike if we have an unlimited budget? The budget then is a primary consideration, and the problem with Trek Dual sport 3 is that it is way too expensive compared to Trek Dual Sport 2.

It has an excellent drivetrain, added gear options, a fantastic brake set, and tires. But the difference also amounts to Trek Dual Sport 3 being more expensive by 200 dollars.

It is quite a sum, especially for a bike priced less than a grand.

Here things could get a little complicated. One can say that all the improvements on the Trek Dual Sport 3 justifies the price difference.

Others would say that it does not, and the later version is just too expensive compared to the price of the earlier one.

Interestingly, if you go out of the Trek website and look at both bikes sold at a much lower price, the 200-dollar difference does not shrink.

Maybe, in the assessment of sellers, the price difference between the two, considering the upgrade on the Trek Dual Sport 3, is fair and justified. Buyers, of course, will have a different take.

Why Buy Trek Dual Sport 2

Many will still prefer the earlier version due to following reasons:

The Performance is Still Excellent

It may not be the better between the two, but it does not mean it is not a good bike, far from it. At its price, Trek Dual Sport 2 is still an excellent bike.

The Shimano components may not be high-end, but it is highly serviceable. The tires are not tubeless, but it is still of excellent quality nevertheless.

By its merit, Trek Dual Sport 2 can give any rider the thrill it wants.

You Do Not Care About the Upgrades.

No, you care about the upgrades. Only, it does not justify the significant price difference between the two.

Those are great upgrades, and they could impact the bike’s performance or the rider’s comfort. But as a rider, you do not need them and can do with what Trek Dual Sport 2 offers.

Why Buy Trek Dual Sport 3

But this one has some significant advantages that you cannot ignore. If you are this type of rider, you will enjoy what Trek Dual Sport 3 has.

A Rider Who Likes High-Quality Bikes

Simply put, there is no reason why you cannot choose this one over the other. If a bike is an upgraded version that sports parts that are of higher quality than the previous one, then you will love Trek Dual Sport 3.

If You Love Riding On A Wider Range Of Terrain

With the drivetrain and gears, an improvement on some of its parts, and more efficient wheels and tires, this one can take more terrain than the previous version. It can handle paved roads still but has a lot of leverage, taking on rougher terrain and rugged trail.

Wider Range Of Terrain

 Simply put, this one is the better dirt bike. The significant improvements make it more efficient on rougher trails.

If You Want A Better-Performing Bicycle

The improvements on the drivetrain can make you faster on paved roads and more adept at handling shifting terrain. Trek Dual Sports 2 can take most of them too, but with the improved parts, Trek Dual Sports 3 can take them more efficiently. Improved specs mean improved performance.

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Trek Dual Sport 2 Vs. 3: Final thoughts

Ultimately, the question of which between the two is better depends on the type of rider. If you are a rider who only enjoys riding in as many terrains as possible, you can surely enjoy what Trek Dual Sport 2 offers.

If you want an available hybrid bike for all purposes, one that you can use in whatever road or weather conditions, this one suits you. If you consider the excellent bike-price ratio, this one can approximate the performance of the later version, but at a few hundred dollars less.

But if you care for better specs and a high-quality version of a particular bike, then you should go for Trek Dual Sport 3. Significant improvements on components make it more efficient on or off-road.

It is more adept at handling a wider range of terrain. With improvements on the brakes, wheels, tires, and drivetrain, it is more than adequate to take more extreme weather conditions and rougher terrain.

Given that a better bike is available, there is no reason why you will not pick this up, especially if you think that a few hundred dollars difference does not matter for a quality bike like this.

The Trek Dual Sport 2 Vs 3 debate will ultimately boil down to rider preferences. But there is no doubt that the two are good quality bikes.

Thomas Kersten

Hi, I am a passionate biker, and I have been riding for more than ten years and share my biking tips and tricks with the world. I've tested more than 300 bikes.

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