A Surprise XM700+ Demo

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
So a local bike shop's website today displayed a large announcement of a Trek ebike demo for this evening, come and ride the Trek ebikes, with the background of the whole thing a picture of the Super Commuter. Good enough for me, off I go!

Of course, they were stretching things a little bit and no, the Super Commuter is still not available in this country, according to the rep. He seemed to agree that the image was a tad misleading, but of course would not say so, so there you are. Rep was a very nice guy, by the way, as was the store owner.

In the meantime, it's a beautiful sunny afternoon, and what do we have here otherwise?

Well, that would be the Conduit + and the XM700+, among others. I come from the lower end of the rear hub motor commuter world, the eJoe Koda, with which I have been quite satisfied... until yesterday, when I broke my first spoke after 1400 miles. I have heard that broken spokes are part of the hub motor world, so that's life, but now I'm out of business for however long it takes my bike shop to get a spoke in and get it installed.

I've done a hell of a lot of reading our the last nine months, mostly here, and have heard the siren song of the Bosch system, so I jumped at the chance to try the XM700. First of all, it looks far better in person than it ever did in a picture, so that was nice. The bike felt great, right out of the gate. I loved the Bosch system, everything about it. It just felt like a high tech, classy piece of work. Additionally, the bike had some of the best brakes I've ever experienced. I grabbed down on those bad boys in my usual eJoe manner and damn near flew over the front of the thing.

Tried the Conduit as well, which was perfectly nice, but it couldn't touch the smoothness of the Bosch system, particularly in the triggering pad and the shift sensing. The extra speed of the XM700 is very impressive, but not something I really felt I have to have in my next bike, but it would certainly be nice on those long, empty stretches of roadway out in the middle of New York State along the Erie canal. I found it was nothing at all to maintain low to mid 20s in the middle power levels. Don't much care about 28mph, but a nice steady 22 or 23 feels great.

So while I didn't get to play with a Super Commuter, it was never on my list as an actual purchase at $5000 anyway, and I did get a real surprise in that XM700. I feel it has already spoiled me for when I get back on my own bike. I really get the whole mid drive thing now, it feels so natural in the way the power comes along. Nice job by Trek on a terrific bike. Let's see if one ends up here or not.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Good impressions, and sorry for your wallet.

I liked the extra speed of the XM700+ on my test ride, and I found myself easily cruising on level ground at an average of 24-25mph without hitting the 28mph limiter (which was easy to avoid because it took more effort on my part). But my Powerfly 7 (also Bosche drive) frequently bumps the 20mph speed limiter too soon.

Hitting the 20mph limiter is easy on such a powerful bike, and results in an erratic change in power delivery after I pass 20mph which cuts the motor and it becomes harder to pedal, and then I slow down while increasing pedal effort until the motor kicks back in under 20, and then I speed up again when pedaling get's easier and I pass 20 again, and so on an so on... (easy to pedal, hard to pedal, easy to pedal, then harder...)

To keep my pace under 20mph on flat ground I have to keep the power assist below maximum and shift up to a higher gear than normal. This results in increased effort and a slower cadence, so that I can't reach the speed limiter without getting too tired too soon. It works for me, because I'm riding for the exercise and I don't want it to be too easy. (plus I can take the bike off road without mods).
 

Charles L.

New Member
Hey Dave, glad you enjoyed your time on the XM700+. I feel the same way about the Bosch system, and specifically looked for a bike with the Bosch Performance Speed motor. The XM700+ appealed to me as a good commuter bike for my trek (pun intended) to work -- at least once I installed a rear rack and light. I love the upright riding position -- it is a welcome contrast to the more performance-oriented riding position on my other bike. And with that motor, as you experienced, you don't really need to be bent over in an aggressive posture to go fast.

No bike is perfect, of course, and for me the XM's pedals and fenders leave a bit to be desired. A standard rear rack and integrated light would have been nice as well. Other than that, I have no complaints about mine.

Last night I rode my XM for about 20 minutes and then jumped on my mountain bike. My mtb is specifically intended to be a good climber, and yet compared to the XM it felt like I was dragging an anchor. I actually stopped to see whether I had a flat at the rear -- nope! The ebike just has me spoiled now :)
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
...Last night I rode my XM for about 20 minutes and then jumped on my mountain bike. My mtb is specifically intended to be a good climber, and yet compared to the XM it felt like I was dragging an anchor. I actually stopped to see whether I had a flat at the rear -- nope! The ebike just has me spoiled now :)

I had the same experience when I hopped onto my Kona MTB the other day - dragging an anchor is a very appropriate description. It's making me rethink my reluctance to sell it, other than I usually have to bring a tank of oxygen in my camelback when riding it (not a joke).