Cannondale Vs Trek: Who’s The Winner?

So how do you choose between Cannondale and Trek?

Both Cannondale and Trek are great mountain bike manufacturers with decades of experience, and they each have a comprehensive product line to suit any rider’s needs. Hence, it is not simple to pick between Cannondale and Trek.  

But we have done our share of research and asked for the opinions of professional mountain bikers and bike shop owners to come up with a detailed comparison of Cannondale Vs. Trek. We’ve compiled all this information in an impartial, unbiased side-by-side comparison format so that you can make the best decision for your needs.

So, let’s get started!

Cannondale Vs Trek: An Overview Of The Bike Brands

Trek 

Trek is an American bicycle manufacturer founded in 1976 by Gary Fisher and Richard Burke. 

They have been one of the pioneers of the mountain bike movement. Featuring flagship mountain bikes such as the F-1, Domane, and DNA Series (getting rid of the illegal ‘F’ and ‘D’ parts), they have been praised in the mountain bike community for their smooth, nimble handling. Trek has also developed bikes specifically for adventure riding, such as their Enduro line and the Ultimate trail bikes.

More importantly, Trek has been a leader in creating its own proprietary mountain bike suspension systems. The first being the Over-Sized Axehead shock that they developed for their MTB team. It was later followed up by the ABP (Active Braking Pivot) suspension technology, present in most of their bikes.

Pros:

Trek has an entire line of mountain bikes for different types of riding (see below)

Trek offers a wide range of bikes for different needs, prices, and performance requirements.

Trek’s have won many awards for their innovative designs and technologies.

Cons:

The only con that we found out about Trek is that they are known to be slow to respond to customer service issues – because they are so busy putting out the latest bike models and working on the next one.

Cannondale

Cannondale is a bicycle brand produced by SRAM, the world’s largest bicycle components manufacturer.

Introduced in 1996, Cannondale is now a global company that produces bikes for all different riders. Their bikes are primarily for BMX, Hybrid, Road Racing (road racing bikes need to be lighter and stiffer to be responsive), Commuting (with its gravel bike line), and Downhill mountain bikes. 

Cannondale is also known for its innovations that have changed the bike industry. For decades, their oversized Headshok suspension system was considered one of the most reliable and effective suspension systems around. Not to mention their Slice wheel system, which allows riders to change the tire and tube in a matter of seconds without any tools.

Pros:

Cannondale was the first to bring out suspension forks and separate shocks for mountain bikes.

Cannondale is now also producing electric bikes, e-mountain bikes, and fat bikes that are helping to push forward the boundaries of what were possible with an electrically powered bike.

Cons:

Cannondale’s customer service is reported to be slow.

Feature Comparison: The Key Difference between Cannondale and Trek

Are you wondering which bike manufacturer is better? We have your answer.

In the Cannondale Vs. Trek reviews, here’s a list of features that Cannondale and Trek bicycles offer and ask you to compare both.

Frame

The frames on both Cannondale and Trek are made using the same materials and techniques: high-strength aluminum and carbon fiber are common ingredients.  

However, there are a few differences on their frame material. Both Cannondale and Trek use their own proprietary designs. Trek uses a body geometry that supposedly allows the frame design to remain stiff even when the rear wheel is out of alignment with the front wheel and perfect for rough mountain bike trails. Cannondale uses a body geometry that is not as stiff but still very strong and offers more versatility.

Another difference between Cannondale and Trek is the size of the bicycle frames. The larger the frame, the more expensive it is. Some Cannondale frames are even offered in different sizes for riders with varying types of body and height. 

On the other hand, Trek offers very few frame size options. This means that you might have to compromise on either safety or comfort when choosing a bike from Trek. Or you might find yourself spending more on another bike from a different brand just to get the right-sized frame.

Components

Cannondale offers a wide range of drivetrains for their bikes, from hydraulic disc brakes on lower-end bike models to mechanical disc brakes and electronic shifting on high-end bike models. Trek doesn’t offer an extensive range of drivetrains in the lower range, but their high-end models are equipped with Shimano’s Dura Ace 11 speed components.

In the same vein, Trek offers its S Bike Drivetrain System that is computer-controlled and features varying gears to meet rider needs. Their flagship bike, the new Madone, has Shimano’s Dura Ace Di2 electronic shifting.

Compared with Cannondale’s Di2 drivetrain, Trek uses proprietary technology that is not as user friendly and offers a similar set of gears. Both drivetrains are computer-controlled and show up on one of the computers onboard the bikes (Cannondale uses an Elemnt computer, and Trek uses a Flare 2).

In other words, the components on both bikes are very similar, and the only difference is in the range of gears and transmission type.

Ride Quality

Cannondale is well known for the quality of ride that their bikes offer. Cannondale bikes are stiffer and provide the rider with a more responsive ride. They can also handle rougher terrain better as compared to Trek bikes. They specifically tailored their bikes for aggressive mountain biking.

Trek is not far behind when it comes to quality of ride, though. Trek’s Roubaix series offers a comfortable riding position and high levels of stiffness to make the bike more efficient and responsive. The build of the bike is designed to support the rider’s weight when the bike is leaned over. If you are looking for a performance bike, Trek might be better for you.

Wheels

Both Cannondale and Trek use disc brakes on their high-end bikes. Cannondale uses a flat-mount calliper that is designed to reduce flex and increase stopping power, while Trek uses post-mount callipers.  

Cannondale also offers disc-specific wheelsets. These are stiffer, lighter and faster than their regular road bike wheelset counterparts. Trek does not offer a specific wheelset for disc brakes on their high-end bikes, but they do offer a wide range of wheel options that can be used with disc brakes.

Handle Bars

Cannondale Vs Trek

Both Cannondale and Trek have road bikes with “drop bars,” which are also called “cambered” or “CX” bars. This type of handlebar is long and flat to give riders the ability to shift their weight easier while riding.  

By shifting their weight directly on the front of the bike, they can maintain a more upright position on the bike, which helps riders control their speed. It is expected that both companies use similar drop bars because they are selling similar products. 

Wheels

Cannondale uses aluminum rims on most of their bikes, which they harden to make them lighter and stronger. Trek, on the other hand, uses carbon fiber rims for their high-end models to make them lighter and offer better aerodynamics. Cannondale also offers a carbon fiber rim at an extra cost to increase rider comfort.

Suspension

Both Cannondale and Trek offer nice bikes with front and rear suspension. Cannondale uses a single pivot suspension design, which means that the front and rear wheels move independently. When either wheel moves, the other moves as well.  

This type of suspension is efficient and provides a smooth and comfortable ride for high-performance cyclists. Trek uses a dual pivot suspension design, which allows the wheels to move independently of each other but also control how much they move at the same time. This gives more control and helps riders achieve a more upright position on the bike. 

Price

When it comes to prices, both of them can be classified as expensive bikes. Although Cannondale boasts a lower price, most of their high-end bikes are available at about $6,000. Trek’s high-end models are starting at about $3,500.

Design

Most users agree that Cannondale has a more edgy, aggressive look. Their bikes have sharp and innovative designs and are meant to be fast. Meanwhile, Trek opted to showcase its engineering by creating a very streamlined and aerodynamic design for their flagship bike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Trek better than Cannondale?

This really depends on what you are looking for. Although Cannondale is known for its smooth, stable riding position, Trek offers a more upright riding position that is more efficient for aggressive mountain biking.

Are Cannondale bikes good quality?

Cannondale bikes are quality and solid bikes that offer great performance. Cannondale bikes are meant for more aggressive riding, and they are not for everyone. They are designed to be stiffer than Trek bikes and, as a result, faster. 

Are Cannondale bikes worth the money?

If you are looking at high-end models, then yes. If you are looking at the value range, then probably not. Some of their mid-range bikes like the Flow or the Scattante are a good deal for the money, but you have to compare these with other bikes from other brands.

Why are Trek bikes so expensive?

Trek bicycles are expensive because of the high-end materials that they use. Trek also uses specialized technologies that are not available to other brands. The best way to look at it is this: You can get the same performance from the other brand with a lesser price. It just might not be as smooth and comfortable as a Cannondale bike.

The Verdict: Who Is Our Winner?

Overall, Cannondale is known as one of the strongest and most durable brands in the bicycle industry. They have been creating different types of bikes for just about every range of riders.

From BMX to commuting to hybrid bikes to downhill mountain bikes and even electric bikes, they offer a wide range of products that can suit any rider’s needs.

Yes, but you will end up spending more money on parts and accessories.

On the flip side, Trek is known for its quality and innovation. They created a perfect fit for aggressive mountain biking and are also considered to be one of the best mountain bike brands. Their bikes are lighter and stiffer than Cannondale bikes, which is why they are considered to be faster.

Just note that both bikes are great in their own right, so there is no wrong choice. Keep in mind that the bike that you choose will depend on your specific needs and skill levels.