Have you ever bought a bike and realized it’s not capable of doing what you want it to do? That happened to me and it led me to buying a second bike, the Dual Sport 2. In this Trek Dual Sport 2 bike review I am going to cover what this bike is and is not capable of, as well as some of the issues we have had with our Trek bikes.
This bike is certainly a hybrid bike by definition. When compared to our Trek FX 2 the tires on the Dual Sport are wider and more knobby. That makes the Dual Sport 2 a perfect bike for gravel trail riders and commuters. The Dual Sport also comes with a front fork suspension allowing for 60 mm of travel. This makes it an incredibly comfortable ride over sidewalk deviations, potholes and other bumps.
Trek Dual Sport 2 Problems
The Dual Sport 2 hasn’t been perfect for us. The first problem we ran into was with the lockout on the front fork. You want to lockout your suspensions when you are climbing hills and riding street because it increases pedal efficiency. When you have a lot of travel in your fork, you have to pedal through it making climbs and long rides much more difficult than they need to be.
As a family we own several Trek bikes. Our FX 2 has a rigid frame, while the Marlin and Dual Sport are hardtail bikes. Unfortunately, issues with the front fork have popped up on both Trek hardtail bikes. It is incredibly frustrating to spend $500-1,000 on a bike, only to have suspension issues in the first 6 months.
If you visit the Trek Website or even the website for your local bike shop you will find in the reviews that suspension issues seem to be common. I don’t place all the blame on Trek though. Both forks we have issues with come from SR SunTour. They are entry level forks and as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”
Can You Mountain Bike on Trek Dual Sport?
One of the most common questions I get on my Cycling YouTube Channel is whether or not the Dual Sport works as a mountain bike. The short answer is, it depends. The front fork, when it is working, has 60 mm of travel. Most mountain bikes start around 100 mm of travel for a hardtail.
Trail bikes have less suspension travel than downhill, enduro and all mountain bikes, but 60 mm of travel will really limit the trails you can ride. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You will simply need to slow down and ride defensively. No full sends!
We stick to green rated trails for the Dual Sport depending on who is riding. If I am on the saddle the bike will occasionally make a run down a blue flow trail, but nothing chunky or tech because the tires simply cannot handle it. A Dual Sport with some upgraded shoes (tires) is going to be capable of handling quite a bit more than a stock bike.
Best Upgrades for Trek Dual Sport 2
If you already own a Dual Sport 2 and want to make it an even better bike you may be considering upgrades. The key areas to focus on are going to be the tires and front fork suspension. A front fork upgrade isn’t something that is a must, but I still recommend it if you can afford to do so.
Pinch flats are a common issue and unfortunately the Dual Sport 2 is not setup to be tubeless ready. That means you need to come up with another solution for avoiding flat tires. I have found thorn resistant tubes to be the answer. You can pick up some thorn resistant Presta valve tubes in 700C sizing for right around $10 on Amazon right here.
Another affordable upgrade for the Dual Sport is a chain guide. When you push the limits of the Dual Sport you will quickly find the bike loves to drop the chain at the worst possible moment. A chain guide has completely resolved that issue for us. I went with this Venzo Chain Guide Drop Catcher from Amazon. The upgrade was less than $25 and it completely changes the bikes ability when slapping around on trails.