Unlike other bikes from Trek, the Dual Sport does not seen a lot of change from year to year. It’s a bike that is great at nothing, but good at everything, which makes it a great bike for mixed terrain trail riders. In this Trek Dual Sport review we’ll compare the Dual Sport to Trek’s FX and Verve hybrid bikes. We also compare specs across all 2022 Dual Sport bikes in the lineup.
The Trek Dual Sport is a hybrid bike. It comes with 40mm gravel tires, but is capable of holding a 2.1″ mountain bike tire. However, don’t get any ideas that the Dual Sport is capable of hitting mountain bike trails, because it’s not. The front fork is limited to a maximum of 63mm of travel. A hardtail bike with such limited travel will not be comfortable on chunky trails, placing it firmly in the hybrid bike category.
Trek Dual Sport 1 vs 2 vs 3
There are only three bikes in the Dual Sport lineup for 2022. In recent years Trek has offered a Dual Sport 4, but with the changes made to the drivetrain from the 3 down, there was no longer a need for a 4 this year. This is the first year the Dual Sport has had a genuine overhaul, and the changes are for the better overall.
2022 Trek Dual Sport 1 Review ($689 USD)
The main components to look for on a bike are the groupset, drivetrain and fork if the bike has suspension. The groupset determines how reliable and accurate your shifting will be, and if the chain remains tensioned while riding on rough terrain.
Groupset: The 2022 Trek Dual Sport 1 comes with an entry level groupset from Shimano that includes an Altus derailleur in the rear and Tourney up front. There is no clutch to keep tension on the chain, which means when the trail gets rough expect the chain to slip. This problem is easily resolved with a $14 chain guide/tensioner like this universal one on Amazon.
Drivetrain: The drivetrain gives you plenty of range for climbing hills, as well as low end gearing to go fast. With bikes moving to simpler drivetrains, it’s not surprising to see the 2022 Trek Dual Sport 1 make the change to a 2×8 drivetrain from a 3x in 2021 and older models. There is so much crossover on a 3x setup that you aren’t getting a true 24 speed bike. With the move to 2x there is less chance for crossing the chain and less duplicate gearing.
Fork: The front fork suspension is the weak point on the Dual Sport 1. It is equipped with the SR Suntour NEX fork. The fork features 63mm of travel and a 100x5mm quick release.
2022 Trek Dual Sport 2 Review ($789 USD)
Groupset: The 2022 Trek Dual Sport 2 gets a slight upgrade from the 1 when it comes to the groupset. The front and rear derailleur are Acera and Altus, respectively. You still don’t get the benefit of a clutch, which means a chain guide/tensioner is a must have upgrade. It is amazing how this part part costing less than $15 can eliminate your chain jumping gears and slipping, but the bike doesn’t come with one from the factory.
Drivetrain: You get more range making the upgrade from 1 to 2. The Dual Sport 2 drivetrain is 2×9 with an 11-36T cassette. The additional range will help cyclists living in extremely hilly or mountainous areas.
Fork: The fork on the 2022 Dual Sport 2 gets a hydraulic lockout added to the same SR Suntour NEX that comes on the one. Lockouts on front forks are usually worth the upgrade, but don’t expect a lot of life out of this one. After owning four bikes that have the SR Suntour NEX with lockout, I’ll never buy another. All four of the forks broke after six months of use. The lockout either stays locked and your fork is useless, or it breaks and doesn’t lock anything out.
Don’t expect your warranty to make the claim process easy. Your local bike shop cannot fix everything. In other words, you are forced to work directly with SR Suntour. My experiences with them have been awful unless you’re a full time bike mechanic that speaks in part numbers.
2022 Trek Dual Sport 3 Review ($979 USD)
It’s rare for the best value bike to also be the top of the line bike, for any model. That’s the case with the 2022 Dual Sport 3.
Groupset: The biggest upgrade to any bike in the lineup is the groupset on the 2022 Trek Dual Sport 3. It comes with Shimano Deore, and it includes a built-in clutch. That means your chain stays in place while pedaling over rough terrain. The reliability and accuracy on any groupset improves when it has a clutch.
Drivetrain: Another great find during this Trek Dual Sport review is the 1×10 drivetrain included on the DS 3. With 1x drivetrain you are getting easy and simple shifting so your focus can stay on the trail. The 11-46T cassette offers plenty of high and low end range, too.
Fork: An upgrade to the front fork puts this bike’s price tag over $1,000, so it’s an understandable move neglecting it. The 2021 Dual Sport 4, retired in 2021, came with a shifter lockout. It would have been nice to add that to the 2022 Dual Sport 3, especially since it’s still an SR Suntour NEX known to have problems.
Dual Sport vs FX vs Verve
Comparing the three most popular hybrid bike models from the largest bike manufacturer in the world is inevitable. Before diving too deep, these three bikes (Dual Sport, FX and Verve) may all be hybrid bikes, but they were all designed for completely different types of usage.
I love riding a bike designed for a specific usage. For example, I ride my road bike in the road, ride my gravel bike if there’s gravel, and my mountain bike on the trails. If I am riding just to get some exercise, I ride my FX 3. (Read: Trek FX 3 Review).
The Dual Sport is not a bike I would ever choose to ride when compared to my other bikes. My gravel bike will be faster than the Dual Sport on gravel trails, and my mountain bike more capable on rough trails. A commuter will choose the Verve over the Dual Sport because the riding posture is more upright to better see traffic.
Overall, the 2022 Trek Dual Sport is an excellent bike for cyclists that do a lot of mixed trail rides. It’s a great bike to explore a new trail on because no matter what you come across, its capable of handling it. It’s great at nothing, but really good at everything. The