Trek Bicycle Company History Timeline


Months later, spring of 1976, in a southern Wisconsin barn located halfway between their homes in Madison and Milwaukee, this pair of visionaries set out to make a business of building bikes of extraordinary artistry.

There were five employees on the payroll when the barn doors opened in 1976.

In early 1976, with a payroll of five, Trek started manufacturing steel touring frames in Waterloo, Wisconsin, taking aim at the mid to high-end market dominated by Japanese and Italian made models.


In 1977, Penn Cycle in Richfield, Minnesota became the first Trek retailer in the world.


"Trek: A Giant is Growing in the Midwest" by Gary Fisher, in Bicycling!, February 1978.


"Road Test - Trek 714" in Bicycling, November/December 1979 pp 59-60.

Within three years, Trek sales approached $2,000,000 in 1979.


By 1980, Trek had outgrown its original plant.

Recognizing the need for expansion, in 1980 Trek broke ground on a new 26,000 sq ft (2,400 m) corporate headquarters on the outskirts of Waterloo.


"Trek 728 - Hurray! True Classic Touring Bikes are Made in Wisconsin" in Bicycling, January/February 1982 pp 87-90.


"Workshop - All about Loaded Touring Bikes" in Bicycling, June 1983 (Includes a review of the Trek 720).


Fueled in large part by the surging popularity of mountain bikes, Trek sold more than 45,000 bikes in 1984.

In 1984, Trek ventured into the aftermarket parts and accessories business, launching its Trek Components Group (TCG) department.


"Technical Edge - Trek 520" in Bicycling, April 1985, pages 98 - 112.

After a conflict with cofounder Burke, Hogg left Trek in 1985 to start his own bicycle company in California.


By 1986 sales had soared to $16 million, and surging demand led to the addition of 75,000 square feet to the company’s Waterloo manufacturing facility.


In 1988, Trek introduced "Trek Wear," marking the company's entry into the cycling apparel business.


In 1989 the Jazz line of children’s bicycles were introduced, and the company opened subsidiaries in Great Britain and Germany.

1989 was a pivotal year for Trek, marking the year that the company unveiled its first molded carbon fiber frame, the Trek 5000.


In 1990, Trek developed a new category of bicycle that combined the comfort features of a mountain bike with the quick ride of a road bike: MultiTracks, Trek's first line of hybrid bikes, were born.


Fauber, John, "Riding a Profitable Cycle," Milwaukee Journal, September 15, 1991.

Trek's sales grew to about $175 million for fiscal 1991, and the company had about 700 employees by that time.

In 1991, Trek opened its first company-owned retail store in nearby Madison, Wisconsin.


Trek's first OCLV carbon road bike, Model 5500, was introduced in 1992, and its first OCLV carbon mountain bikes, Models 9800 and 9900, were unveiled a year later.

These breakthroughs led to the 1992 development of the Optimum Compaction Low Void (OCLV) carbon fiber lamination process.

Beginning in 1992, Trek assembled helmets out of parts purchased from other companies at a new plant in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

In 1992, Trek unveiled its first home-grown, full-carbon framed bicycles, the 5500 and 5200, featuring OCLV Carbon frames.


Altogether, company sales reached $230 million for 1993, a $20 million increase from the previous year.

In 1993, Trek also acquired Gary Fisher Mountain Bikes, named after Gary Fisher, one of the inventors of the mountain bike and one of the most popular names in off-road cycling.


Trek passed the $250 million mark in sales in 1994.

In 1994, Trek entered the growing home fitness arena, introducing Trek Fitness Exercycles.


A number of major developments took place at Trek in 1995.

1995 was also the year Trek opened a state-of-the-art assembly facility in Whitewater, Wisconsin, leaving the Waterloo location free to focus solely on frame production.


As Burke explained in a 1996 Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) interview, "In all fairness, Bevill [Hogg, company cofounder] was more of a dreamer than a manager." Although sales remained solid, Trek began to experience difficulties in a number of areas.

In early 1996, the company announced plans to add another 45,000 square feet to its Oconomowoc distribution center.

In 1996, Trek discontinued the Exercycle line, spinning off its fitness division into an independently-owned company, renamed Vision Fitness.


As a sponsor of racing teams and athletes, Trek had the good fortune of signing Lance Armstrong in 1997.

Armstrong joined Trek and the United States Postal Team in 1997 shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer.


In 1998, Trek established its Advanced Concepts Group (ACG), a collection of engineers and technicians dedicated to technologies development.


Adams, Caralee J., "Trek's Leap into Lighter Bikes," Wall Street Journal, February 22, 1999.

Armstrong won his first Tour de France in 1999 aboard a Trek 5500, becoming the first American to win the Tour on an American team riding an American made bicycle.


An interesting presentation of the business history of Trek was made by Richard A. Burke, Chairman and CEO of Trek, in October of 2000.

Responding to the unique needs of female cyclists, in 2000 Trek introduced Women's Specific Design (WSD) bicycle and accessories.


In October 2001, Trek introduced a custom bike program named Project One, which gave customers the opportunity to customize their Trek bike by selecting the bike's paint scheme and component mix.


Trek has created a interesting and well-written history entitled "A Trek through Time – The History of Trek Bicycles". It appeared on the Trek Dealer website in February of 2002.

Hoping to expand into a new market segment, Trek introduced Trek Travel in December 2002, a provider of luxury cycling vacations in Europe and North America.


As part of this strategy, Trek added Swiss bicycle company Villiger to its arsenal in 2003 as well as Diamant, the oldest bike company in Germany.

In 2003, Trek acquired Villiger, a Swiss bicycle company, and Diamant, the oldest bicycle company in Germany.


Armstrong rode the new Madone SL in 2004 and the bike became available to biking enthusiasts shortly thereafter.

The Carlow facility stayed open until late 2004, at which time Trek transferred its European production to a manufacturing facility in Hartmannsdorf, Germany.


Barrett, Rick, "A Bicycle Built for You," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 28, 2005.

Hajewski, Doris, "Trek Starts Selling Bicycles in China," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 12, 2005.

Trek and Armstrong experienced marked success in the early years of the new millennium—by 2005 Armstrong had won seven consecutive Tour de France races.

In fact, when asked in 2005 what type of bike he rode, President Bush responded, "I'm not supposed to endorse products, but it's called a Trek."

Trek's global expansion continued in 2005, when Trek expanded into the Chinese market by opening two stores in Beijing and signing deals with 20 Chinese distributors.


Trek made a total of 805 frames that first year (according to a 2008 article in the New York Times). Two years later they started offering complete bicycles in addition to the bare frames.

Richard Burke died in 2008.

In 2008, after years of behind-the-scenes support for the League of American Bicyclists and the Bikes Belong Coalition (now PeopleForBikes), Trek announced its 1 World 2 Wheels bicycle advocacy campaign at its annual Trek World dealer convention in Madison, Wisconsin.


In 2009, Trek created the Trek Women Triathlon Series.


2011, Trek sponsored three women's triathlon series; the Trek Women Triathlon Series, the Danskin Series and the Iron Girl Series.


In 2012, all of Armstrong's Tour victories were rescinded after Armstrong was found to have violated anti-doping regulations.


On January 6, 2014, Trek announced the acquisition of the Electra Bicycle Company.

As from the 2014 season, Trek became the main sponsor of Pro Tour cycling team Trek Factory Racing, a continuation of its bike sponsorship of Team RadioShack and co-sponsorship of Team Leopard-Trek.


In 2017, Trek paid equal prize money to the male and female winners of the Cyclocross World Cup race hosted at their headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, which was, "the first time in the history of the sport that women would be paid as much as men for racing the same course at the World Cup level."


In 2021, Trek announced the release of its professional level Madone.


Jacobson, Robert; Stansell, Christina "Trek Bicycle Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved June 21, 2022 from

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Company Founded
Waterloo, WI
Company Headquarter
Joseph & Siefkes,Matthew Wilson,Bevil Hogg,Richard Burke
Company Founders
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How Old Is Trek Bicycle?

Trek Bicycle is 47 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Trek Bicycle?

Joseph & Siefkes, Matthew Wilson, Bevil Hogg and Richard Burke founded Trek Bicycle.

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