Trek vs Giant vs Specialized vs Cannondale – Which is the Ideal Bike?

Riding a bike is extremely liberating and refreshing to the mind, body, and soul. Which between the Trek, Giant, Specialized, or Cannondale is the ideal bike for you?

Take a minute and think of your ideal cycling routine and picture yourself riding off into the horizon with the wind against your cheeks and flowing through your hair. Hold that image and think of the bike type you are riding.

Live in that moment for a while and hold onto that image. That is exactly how I envisioned my first bike ride and now I’m here to pick out one between these four great choices. Having some years of cycling experience, it shouldn’t be much of a hassle.

What is the difference between Trek vs Giant vs Specialized vs Cannondale Bikes?

ALUXX Aluminum
Float ReactivThruShaft
SuntourRaidon R
Shimano XT 4-Piston Hydraulic disc
Shimano M200
Hydraulic disc

Trek vs Giant vs Specialized vs Cannondale Bike: How do they compare

Frame and Design

Trek offers longer-travel at 120mm front and 130mm rear which is a bit large. There is a 140mm RockShox or FOX 34 or FOX 35 fork which is stiffer with the frame measuring anywhere between 10 to 20mm.

Giant’s bike model has a SuntourRaidon rear suspension and it works on the Maestro designed four-pivot point system that is a trademark of Giant premium bikes. Relying on the geometrical positioning of the aluminum Giant Connect seat stays and chainstays, this is essentially a single-pivot shock-absorbing component. It has 120mm travel.

Designed in carbon fiber material, the Specialized bike features a Syntace MegaForce2 stem and a specialized command seat post and a comfortable Phenom Expert type saddle. It also features threaded SRAM bottom bracket shells.

Cannondale’s head angle measures 66 degrees and is combined with 51mm offset forks for 29 inch and 44mm for the 27.5 inch wheel. The trail is 112mm in length, chainstay is 435mm and the arms-reach is 430mm. The boost rear axle measures 12x148mm is a standard Cannondale measurement.

Trek bike stand out as the exception by offering 130mm rear travel as compared to the Giant, Specialized and Cannondale brands which have a shorter rear travel at 120mm.


Trek bikes have a travel length of 130mm. They offer 12 speeds on an SRAM XO1 Eagle crankset with a Float 36 Grip 2 fork running on the SRAM XG-1275 Eagle 10-50t cassette and a rear SRAM Eagle Dub derailleur for easy gear shifting.

Giant’s aluminum bike frame is fitted with a 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle gear system that operates on an 11-50t cassette and SRAM SX Eagle Dub crankset supported by a Radon 34 Boost fork. Featuring tubeless-ready Giant XCT rims over MaxxisForekaster 29-inch tires, you are protected from pinch flats.

Specialized bikes are available in carbon fiber and their frame is supportive of the SRAM XX1 Eagle cranks and chain fitted into the SRAM X01 Eagle 10-50t cassette and a rear SRAM XX1 Eagle derailleur resting on a Fox Float 34 Factory FIT4 fork.

Cannondale bikes have a 120mm travel. The drivetrain system is the SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed and is fitted with Shimano 1×10 groupset, RockShox Recon fork, and a fixed seat post. A full carbon frame has Shimano’s XTR 1×12 group, Fox Transfer Dropper post, and a FOX 34 fork.

With all four bike brands settling for the SRAM Eagle gears in varied models, the Specialized bikes are better placed because they have the more durable Eagle XX1 carbon-built chainring system.

Extra Features

A trap-door is built into the Trek’s downtube which allows you to have secret storage space using an organizer roll designed with pockets to fit a tube, inflator head, cartridge, and tire lever. For your water bottle, a sideload cage is also built into the frame.

Giant bikes feature the trademark Maestro designed four-point fork. Giant Connect is the type of saddle used that provides a stable platform for the Giant Contact saddle that is comfortable to ride on for hours

Specialized bikes have specialized SIP grips for maximum security while riding and the Command Post seat post is raised 160mm to support the Phenom Expert saddle.

Cannondale frames use a boost rear axle, fit a water bottle, feature internal cable routing and the carbon frames are fitted with full-length tubes to minimize rattling and assist with routing.

Trek’s secret storage and Cannondale’s Ai offset function give them a leg up over the Giant and Specialized brands which focus more on providing a comfortable saddle.

Trek vs Giant vs Specialized vs Cannondale Bike: A comparison Overview

Trek Bike Review

With the FOX 36 GRIP 2 damper, the Trek mountain bike is quite sturdy which keeps you on the desired track making the experience exciting yet controlled.

It lacks a decent dropper making the Bontrager post sticky and sluggish in performance.The bike weighs 30 pounds which is considerably light.


  • Expanded range available
  • 140mm forks and 2.6 inch tires
  • Rear suspension
  • FOX 36 fork


  • Sticky Bontrager stock post

Giant Bike Review

This bike model has a Suntour rear suspension and it works on the Maestro designed four-pivot point system that is a trademark of Giant premium. Relying on the geometrical positioning of the aluminum seat stays and chainstays, this is essentially a single-pivot shock-absorbing component. It has 120mm travel.

It comes with a single chainring at the front and a rear-mounted derailleur. With 12-speeds on an 11-50t cassette and running on MaxxisForekaster tubeless tires.


  • Great roll-over on rocky terrain
  • Wide gear range


  • No dropper post

Specialized Bike Review

Designed in carbon fiber material, it minimizes proprietary extras for a simple build that repairs easily and is low maintenance. It also features threaded bottom bracket shells.

Specialized Horst link FSR provides deep suspension with fine-tuning capabilities and an SRAM XXI drivetrain with rubber padded bumper which quietens the bike’s operations and keeps the chainstay well covered from effects of external elements.


  • Reactive to corners FSR Deep Suspension
  • Rubber padded bumper


  • Repeated stutter-bumps and holes
  • Gripton tires feel sketchy

Cannondale Bike Review

This bike is designed into a dual-link, four-bar suspension that is very responsive and capable of handling all types of terrain. It is a very sensitive bike that offers riders lots of traction for greater acceleration and braking power.

This four-bar system is perfect for mountain bikes because when braking, it minimizes the anti-rise effects which increase the responsiveness of the suspension making for great traction and control. However, this also increases the forward weight transfer created when braking so be cautious.


  • Minimized drag
  • Seat Post and Stays are designed to comply
  • Integrated front wheel sensors


  • Doesn’t work with derailleur


Trek bikes are perfect for hard terrain, Giant bikes have amazing roll-over in varied terrains, Specialized bikes are ideal for maneuvering sharp corners and the Cannondale bike is dominated by aerodynamics.

Verdict: Which is better – Trek vs Giant vs Specialized vs Cannondale Bike

Trek bikes are the better option for added features and benefits. If you love a bike with great extras and value for money, this is it!


What does the shock mount on the Trek bike do?

It minimizes the frame’s rigidity. Which guarantees smoother mobility by absorbing road vibration.

Why is a four-point fork better than a single fork?

Because they minimize bobbing that then hampers your cadence.