Which bike is best?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve researched and written about bikes made by Cervelo, Fuji, Cannondale, Trek, Gary Fisher and Specialized. This has me thinking.

Each year I write about 40ish companies for the Catalyst Cycle Guide, a cross between a magazine and a catalog (a magalog?) that promotes the bike industry. We mail about 1 million per year, and you’ve probably received one from your local shop. The Cycle Guide informs and stokes customers, and it drive sales. Win-win.


It’s my job to understand each brand and its technology, then to translate that information to the reader, using the voice of your bike shop. Hopefully, I help you pick a brand (Trek or Specialized), then a product type (XC Race or Trail), then the specific model (Stumpjumper Pro Carbon).

It’s a pretty cool job. I learn a lot about the bike industry, marketing, bike shops and the holy craft of writing.

Today I’m writing about Trek mountain bikes. They have some cool features, and Trek really believes in them, and a whole lot of people love their Treks. Same with every other major bike maker.

OK, which bike?
If you’re buying a quality bike from a reputable company and a good bike shop, you can’t go wrong.

1. Pick the bike style that suits your riding style and conditions. Spend as much as you can afford.

2. Make sure the bike is dialed in.

3. Develop the skills and fitness to ride it properly.

4. Rip it.

Fuji vs. Cannondale vs. Trek vs. Fisher vs. Turner vs. Intense vs. Santa Cruz vs. Felt vs. Yeti vs. Specialized is less important than Numbers 1-4 above.

But Specialized is best! 🙂

— Lee

4 replies
  1. jimmy says:

    I think you need to expand your first line to include local terrain and conditions. e.g.

    “1. Pick the bike style that suits your riding style and local conditions.”

    Most locals will favor a brand or type of bike because of the conditions.

    Friend of my picked a VPP bike and was all hyped up about the technology. Enter a 24 hour race was ended up being a mud fest. The mud here is not the soupy watery mud. We have the sticky clay type that really screws up bearings. A week later he was complainng about spending a bundle to replace all the bearing.

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