I currently own a Trek Dual Sport 3 2020. I'm very happy about the versatility of the bike from a riding point of view, but also "accessorization". I'm mostly doing light trails (no jumps, but roots and loose stones) and road. I'm also planning a 800km tour — road and gravel.
But I'm not so much happy about the components. I have the impression that I'm using a bit harder that what the bike has been designed for, and would like to either upgrade it or buy a new one.
I've read many comments saying that upgrading an entry level bike is a money hole and money is better spend buying a new one, and I agree if speaking about well-defined categories or old bikes. It seems less categoric here, the options I see are:
- upgrade it to better components;
- buy a new bike from a similar category, but from brands that have better value for money (like Cube Nature or Giant Roam), and either resell the Trek or keep it for guests;
- buy a new gravel/cross-country MTB: my main reserve is in fact that I would loose versatility: a gravel would be less capable off-road, and a cross-country less capable on-road (I'm sometimes doing the 2 in a single trip).
I have a couple of questions:
- is "worth" spending the value of the bike in wheels and drive-train? (thinking about Mavic Allroad (S) wheels, SRAM Eagle NX/Apex drivetrain). The total cost - including the bike - would be a bit more than the highest spec'ed Dual Sport for slightly better components. My interrogation with this approach is about the suitability of the frame: if I have sturdier components and I keep using hard, there will be more fatigue for the frame.
- is my assumption that I'll loose versatility correct? For gravels, I would think so because of the lack of suspension and the dropped handlebar. And for X-country, if I fit thinner tires and a 42T crankset, it would be possible to have a similar specs, but I noticed that for example Trek specifies that 32T cranksets are the max for their X-calibers, so it wouldn't be possible to install such cranksets. I haven't seen similar restrictions with other brands, but only a few are selling frames separately.