Trek Conduit + test ride

Corey

New Member
I have been in the market for an e-bike and thought I was settling on a hub drive. Tonight I just happened to be waiting to meet up with a friend and there was a bike shop on the corner. Decided to go in and look around while I waited. I wasn't interested in anything, but happened to see a Trek Conduit+. I have not seen one, knew nothing about one, nor knew anything about the Shimano stEp except the few articles mentioning it along with bosch, brose, and yamaha etc.

The guys in the shop threw me a helmet and a few instructions, and let me go without a care. Of course I got lost, but in a section of the city that had a little of everything. To make a long story short, I thought the bike was very good. The control system was very simple, three modes, bike freewheeled (coasted) quite well and was comfortable. The LCD was clear and uncluttered with the assist buttons about as simple as you could want.

The Shimano system was smooth, the assist level even yet noticeable between levels but not shockingly so. The components are Deore, and never can tell which level of hydro brakes are involved (315, 415, 515 blah, blah). The bike reminds me of a Haibike Trekking, and Felt I rode but with a 28mph Shimano. The bike was well balanced and noticeable lighter than rear hub bikes I've ridden.

Fenders were nice and frame had braze ons for other stuff. No one was sure of the exact specs for battery and motor, website even seems light on that information. The lights were for being seen, but definitely not sufficient for personal lighting during a commute. I have to say it was worth another look in the next few days if the weather holds out. I thought the drive system was nosier than any other mid drive systems I've ridden, but I wonder if thats a big factor in the long run. It does use a larger chainring vs the Bosch which seems to be a good thing for the chain wear. I like the quiet drives, but this was interesting enough to make me want to take another ride.

Cheers, Corey
 

GregS

New Member
I never got a chance to ride one but I had my eye on it last month. The shop I visited suggested I place a $500 deposit to order it so I could take a test ride -- not happening. I did get a chance to ride the Lift+ and the XM700 which were very nice. The Lift+ also has the STEP system and is more of a easy riding cruiser type bike. The XM700 had the Bosch drive and is the high end model. I like the STEPS system that Shimano has on other bikes I rode like the Raleigh and the Canondale, too. The Conduit looks to be a really nice set-up for an urban commuter.
 

Corey

New Member
I went back for another test ride during the day to evaluate my first experience. I once again thought the bike was well put together and the step system smooth and easy to manipulate with the controls. Lots of good information on the lcd display that was easily found without much instruction. I did realize that it was limited to 20 mph on the assist function. Riding in the daylight did give me a little more information than my first dusk ride. I will say the noise from the shimano system was less noticeable than my first ride impressions.

I did have a few issues, which I will mention. After a long, winding, up and down ride I was coming back to the shop and decided to take a rather steep 4 block climb on the way back and the system hesitated several times during the climb. Almost acted like it the motor shut off for a split second. I was doing about 14 mph so I don't think it was the speed limiter. I wondered if it was sensing a gear change and doing a momentary power off to allow a change of gears. Not sure if I was changing gears the first time it happened, but several times after that the same hesitation occurred when I was only pedaling. Once I reached the top and resumed pedaling on the flat I never noticed the hesitation again. I mentioned it to the shop, but got no response as to what may have happened.

I still liked the bike overall, but was dismayed at the hesitation. The shop indicated they stopped selling hub motor bikes due to the problems of breaking spokes. Unfortunately I am trying to test ride all styles and the specialized was near the top of my list, so now I don't know which way to turn. They did not have a 700+ in stock, and I've ridden several Bosch systems but none with the 28mph limit.
 

GregS

New Member
hmmm. If it happened on the climb maybe it was the sensors or motor "informing" you that it was an optimum time for a downshift. Kind of like when a motor chugs or bogs down when a driver is in third gear from a dead stop/start with a manual transmission....? Would an electric motor bog down or respond that way under stress in an uphill climb? It's not clear if the hesitation occurred on a flat level road. I don't know if that theory is plausible but seems like it's possible.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Corey those are good observations. Hope you provided feedback to the bike shop.

I suspect that you overloaded the battery and the BMS cut out due to high amperage load.. The solution would be to downshift to reduce speed and load.

Trek is among the best of mass produced bicycles for the USA, and they will get this eBike design right.

I'd wait a year before buying a Trek eBike. There will be many improvements after a year of feedback and maintenance issues.
 

Corey

New Member
Interesting, I hadn't thought of an overload situation, but again I have not done a lot of hard hill climbs on e-bikes so not sure what to expect. I didn't feel like I needed a downshift, but like I said I don't have a lot of experience with Ebike climbs, mostly long gradual grades. On that note does this type of hesitation happen when climbing, and may it happen when out of the saddle? Long time road and mtb rider but still have a lot to learn from everyone about these different systems. Overall I liked the shimano, but then again I've only got the Bosch to compare it to at this point, no impulse systems ridden to date.

I really appreciate the feedback

Cheers
 

Jim123

Member
Other reviewers of the STEP Shimano system have had the same problem. I was worried that major manufactures would use brand loyalty to Shimano in deciding what system to use. Instead of looking at an individual items quality when deciding what to use. Brand loyalty is like having blinders on in regards to being able to monitor quality and performance. STEPS sucks.
 

David Barovian

New Member
Other reviewers of the STEP Shimano system have had the same problem. I was worried that major manufactures would use brand loyalty to Shimano in deciding what system to use. Instead of looking at an individual items quality when deciding what to use. Brand loyalty is like having blinders on in regards to being able to monitor quality and performance. STEPS sucks.
Bosch Midmotor is better than STEP
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/city/urban-utility/xm700/c/B448
http://www.bosch-ebike.de/en/ebike_systeme/ebike_systeme_overview.html
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Shimano has the best reputation in the recreational bike industry, and they are reasonably priced, unlike Bosch. They will figure out what needs improvement in short order.. I'd give them until next year.

Major bike companies like Trek and Specialized have long term relationships with Shimano, Sram and Campy.. They'll still with those guys unless it fails them.
 
The XM700 has been available for some time in the Netherlands--a year, I think. So Trek will have had lots of opportunity to field test the model by the time it becomes available in the U.S. later this year. I'm confident that Trek will use this European experience to work out any problems. Mine is on order and I'll share my experience here. Cheers!
 
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Shimano has the best reputation in the recreational bike industry, and they are reasonably priced, unlike Bosch. They will figure out what needs improvement in short order.. I'd give them until next year.

Major bike companies like Trek and Specialized have long term relationships with Shimano, Sram and Campy.. They'll still with those guys unless it fails them.
I like Shimano equipment, and own a good bit of it. Bosch, however, is obviously a leader in the eBike world, and I'm confident that they will continue to improve their products. Trek is adding more Bosch-equipped models, as are Haibike, BH-eMotion, Cannondale, and others. I'm sure that I'm going to enjoy my Trek XM700 when it arrives.

It's good to know that Shimano is getting on board with eBikes, and will no doubt be contributing to the evolution of this amazing technology.
 

Pigpen

New Member
I had exactly the same experience randomly walking into a bike store and taking a Conduit+ out for a test ride. I had done a lot of research but only tried a few e-bikes. I definitely knew I wanted a bottom bracket based system. Anyway, after test riding it I couldn't get it out of my system. To make a long story short, I bought one and am using it for my 13 mile commute in the Boston area (half of which is on a bike path).

I am loving it!!! There are only two days a week when I can actually ride a bicycle due to commuting concerns but I try and ride it as much as possible. I have not noticed the cut out described above. That may be because I have always liked a high cadence so I do not put that much torque through the pedals anyway. I always down shift at the first sign of any back pressure even on a non-assisted bike. The only thing I have noticed is in 20F weather the charge lasts for far less miles than at 40F but I guess that is to be expected.

I will be happy to keep posting my impressions if people are interested.

Fred
 

foldingfusilier

New Member
I had exactly the same experience randomly walking into a bike store and taking a Conduit+ out for a test ride. I had done a lot of research but only tried a few e-bikes. I definitely knew I wanted a bottom bracket based system. Anyway, after test riding it I couldn't get it out of my system. To make a long story short, I bought one and am using it for my 13 mile commute in the Boston area (half of which is on a bike path).

I am loving it!!! There are only two days a week when I can actually ride a bicycle due to commuting concerns but I try and ride it as much as possible. I have not noticed the cut out described above. That may be because I have always liked a high cadence so I do not put that much torque through the pedals anyway. I always down shift at the first sign of any back pressure even on a non-assisted bike. The only thing I have noticed is in 20F weather the charge lasts for far less miles than at 40F but I guess that is to be expected.

I will be happy to keep posting my impressions if people are interested.

Fred
Hey Fred,

Noting it's been some time since you purchased your Trek Conduit+, but I'm interested in your impressions to date (or any other owners for that matter)? I'd been considering a Conduit+ here in Australia however Trek have since removed them from their line-up for 2019 - so stuck with a lower end Verve, the Powerfly series, or a Super Commuter.

How does the Conduit+ ride? With rigid front and rear fork, and the urban-style geometry, it strikes me as something perfect for asphalt, but how does it handle on bike paths and light gravel trails? I like the fact the Conduit+ is very efficient and likely to travel well at speed even after the speed limiter kicks in (Australia is 25kph before the assist cuts out) but is it comfortable on longer rides (think 38 km or 22 miles - for example)?