My thoughts after 150 miles on my Allant 9.9 (spoiler alert - Awesome Bike)

Rob NJ

Active Member
My Views on my New Allant 9.9 S, moving from SuperCommuter 8+

OK, first a few disclaimers... I am not an avid cyclist, and ride 1,500 to 2,000 miles per year. The bikes are used on 20 to 70 mile rides, and I have only done one 5 day bike tour trip with them. So view all these comments as coming from a recreational biker, not a hardcore cyclist that knows every term.

I received my Allant 9.9S just after Thanksgiving. My SuperCommuter was stolen and instead of buying another, I decided to upgrade the bike. I live in New Jersey, and the weather was not exactly perfect for cycling. As Murphy’s law would have it, just as I got the bike the weather turned cold, and I could not ride it. So, my wife and I decided to take a road trip to Florida for a few weeks so that I could test out my new purchase.

I have been reading all the posts about hard shifting, weird noises, and clunks on shifting with the Allant. Since my wife still has her SuperCommuter (must have been only one thief since they did not take hers), I can directly compare the two bikes. So here is my non-technical view on things.

Firstly, the bike is awesome. It handles well (for me), it takes any road surface fantastically (pavement, gravel, potholes) and is super secure to ride. I call it the SUV of bikes. Fantastic, great machine.

Now some of the complaints that you have seen and my (and Shimano’s) take on them.

Battery - there have been some concerns with the battery popping out. On mine, you turn the key fully clockwise, and the battery comes out. You must turn the key fully counter-clockwise to remove the key. To put the pack back in, it just snaps in. Similar to the older PowerPack 500’s. I have played quite a bit with it, and it seems to work well and solidly. Perhaps the other owners had something mis-adjusted, but mine seems quite fine.

Hub Noise - there has been some comment about a swarm of buzzing bees. I concur about how loud the sound is, and I find it a bit irritating. My wife is riding next to me with the SuperCommuter, so I can confirm the hub on the SuperCommuter is quieter. But - I had a long discussion with Jordan at Shimano and he filled me in on a few things. Firstly, the hub has more “notches” for the pawls to grab onto when you pedal. The advantage is the pedals need less rotation to grab, so that is why you hear a more rapid set of clicks. This is by design. He also explained that it cannot be quieted, although some people stuff them full of grease. He advised against that, as the grease will eventually gum up the pawls and it will be a big mess. His advice was to enjoy the swarm of bees, knowing that it is a much more finely machined hub that grabs with less of a rotation.

Stiff Shifter - others have also complained about a much stiff shifter than the SuperCommuter. Again, I concur, especially since I can put the two bikes side by side and feel the difference. The first thing my LBS did what pull the cable out, put a new polished cable in, and we checked to see if there were any kinks or such in the cable sleeve. The cable slid effortlessly through the sleeve, so the stiffness was clearly coming from the shifter or derailleur. He set everything properly, and made sure that everything was well lubricated. Still quite stiff. So, I put the question to Jordan Shimano if I could perhaps change the thumb shifter or spring to make it shift easier. His basic answer was no. But that perhaps the next level up, the 9100 would shift with less force, but he could not be specific. So if I want to spend $130 to test his theory, I can, but no promises. So basically stuck with the shifting force. Something in me feels there is more to this, so probably will keep working on this item.

Clunking on shifting - So I have about 150 miles on this bike now. I agree again with others that there is more “clunking” on shifting sometimes. Other times, it shifts very sweetly, and just as well, if not better than my SuperCommuter. Again, have one right next to the Allant to try. Most of the time, we are riding in Eco or Tour mode. After all, we just brought the bikes to Florida to escape NJ winter for a few weeks, and it is flat as a pancake here. When we wanted to get quickly across a busy causeway, we popped both bikes up into Turbo, and I really think the Allant has more go than the SuperCommuter. All of a sudden, in Turbo I notice that the clunking is much worse. So after a bit of playing, I realize that the clunking gets worse in Sport and then really in Turbo mode. By my reckoning, it is the extra torque on the motor, just grabbing the chain harder after the motor pauses during the shift. Seems on my bike to be totally correlated with assist levels. More to do on this as well.

So those are my thoughts. Non-scientific, still some things I have to research more (like the shifter). But from my view, and discussions with Shimano there are no defects, but a purposeful approach. I may not like the loud sounds, but they are not product defects. Honestly, a really amazing bike that I am thrilled to have. I do think I like it better overall versus my SuperCommuter. Stronger motor, easier to pedal without power, longer range, a bit lighter, very tight and clean look. Excellent ride.
 

GuruUno

Active Member
I too love the bike, BUT, yes....they fixed the battery, the hub noise (clicking) is fine with me, the stiff shifter, is a 100% issue and might be a deal breaker for me so if you have info on the "9100" benefit(s), please advise, as at this investment phase, whats a $130 to possibly make it the way it should be. I spoke too with Shimano a few weeks ago, discussed putting the Di2, however, even though it's a hefty investment, it's 10, not 11 speed and lots of stuff would need to be changed. I personally thin Trek should step it up to figure out a solution, as my thumb is like dog meat, sore as hell and getting worse from the effort required to push the lever.
Re: the clunking, I've got none, so I'm curious and will do more elaborate testing.
Me too, just a tad over 150 miles, too cold in NJ but the forthcoming week is look promising.
Where in Florida are you hanging out?
 

EMGX

Active Member
Nice, very premium bike. Trek states at is 51.5# for medium frame. Is that correct, have you weighed yours? It seems heavy for a full carbon bike.
 

Rob NJ

Active Member
I too love the bike, BUT, yes....they fixed the battery, the hub noise (clicking) is fine with me, the stiff shifter, is a 100% issue and might be a deal breaker for me so if you have info on the "9100" benefit(s), please advise, as at this investment phase, whats a $130 to possibly make it the way it should be. I spoke too with Shimano a few weeks ago, discussed putting the Di2, however, even though it's a hefty investment, it's 10, not 11 speed and lots of stuff would need to be changed. I personally thin Trek should step it up to figure out a solution, as my thumb is like dog meat, sore as hell and getting worse from the effort required to push the lever.
Re: the clunking, I've got none, so I'm curious and will do more elaborate testing.
Me too, just a tad over 150 miles, too cold in NJ but the forthcoming week is look promising.
Where in Florida are you hanging out?
Hi GuruUno,

Yeah, the shifter is too stiff. The no brainer response from Shimano “that‘s the way it is” is kind of inadequate. While it is true that Trek made the choice in shifter, it is one of the highest quality shifters that Shimano makes and well suited for the bike’s intended use. Shimano designed and built the shifter for a market segment, and to a certain extent my 58 year old thumb is an outlier. So I really see this not as a Trek issue, but an exercise with Shimano on “customizing” the shifter for my slightly arthritic thumb.

Having said that, I think that the stiff shifter bears some more work. Just going out and buying their top of the line shifter in the hopes it will shift more smoothly does not strike me as particularly clever. So I am going to do some more searching, talk to the guys at my LBS (and likely some others in my travels) and discuss this further with Shimano. If I could be assured that the 9100 shifter would be easier, I would change it out in a second. For now, I will do more research.

The “clunk” is the motor kicking back in after the shift. I just think the higher torque is making it more pronounced than the SuperCommuter.

We are in St. Petersburg. My sister‘s friend lives here and rents out her “over the garage” apartment near downtown. Drove down to Nashville for New Year’s, and since we were going to be halfway there, decided at the last minute to put the bikes on, and go the rest of the way. We are looking to relocate to St Pete after we sell our house in NJ this spring.
 
Last edited:

Rob NJ

Active Member
Nice, very premium bike. Trek states at is 51.5# for medium frame. Is that correct, have you weighed yours? It seems heavy for a full carbon bike.
Have not weighed the bike. No reason to doubt them, as easy to verify and the lighter it is, the more they can brag about the weight. Like the SuperCommuter, riding the Allant feels solid, comfortable, reassuring. We rode to from St. Petersburg to Tampa and back the other day. All sorts of road conditions, places where the bike path was under construction, gravel, sand, potholes - it would be a nightmare on a road bike. You would not want to do it. This bike does it, and when you are going over the causeway with cars wizzing by you at 60 mph, you kick it into Turbo and at 28 mph that time in that traffic is much shorter.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Nice write up, Rob Nj. Thank you.
I’m wondering if the other Allant ebikes have similar issues or is it just the 9.9 with different components?
Side note: just checked Trek’s site and did not see the Allant+ 7 listed.
 

GuruUno

Active Member
Hi GuruUno,

Yeah, the shifter is too stiff. The no brainer response from Shimano “that‘s the way it is” is kind of inadequate. While it is true that Trek made the choice in shifter, it is one of the highest quality shifters that Shimano makes and well suited for the bike’s intended use. Shimano designed and built the shifter for a market segment, and to a certain extent my 58 year old thumb is an outlier. So I really see this not as a Trek issue, but an exercise with Shimano on “customizing” the shifter for my slightly arthritic thumb.

Having said that, I think that the stiff shifter bears some more work. Just going out and buying their top of the line shifter in the hopes it will shift more smoothly does not strike me as particularly clever. So I am going to do some more searching, talk to the guys at my LBS (and likely some others in my travels) and discuss this further with Shimano. If I could be assured that the 9100 shifter would be easier, I would change it out in a second. For now, I will do more research.

The “clunk” is the motor kicking back in after the shift. I just think the higher torque is making it more pronounced than the SuperCommuter.

We are in St. Petersburg. My sister‘s friend lives here and rents out her “over the garage” apartment near downtown. Drove down to Nashville for New Year’s, and since we were going to be halfway there, decided at the last minute to put the bikes on, and go the rest of the way. We are looking to relocate to St Pete after we sell our house in NJ this spring.
My brother lives in Clearwater Beach, and for the last 2 years I went to visit I rented Pedego bikes in Dunedin, did the Pinellas Trail to Tarpon Springs and then to the other end close to St. Pete. I also rented an e-bike (Specialized Como 3.0) from a bike store on Gulf to Bay (Outspokin). Going over that Courtney Campbell Causeway was freakish when in Tampa, there really is no alternate opportunity to come back over any other bridge. I also noted that auto traffic and bike respect are horrendous. LOTS of homeless or possible people who can't drive for whatever reason. Did you know that Florida has the highest incidence of deaths for bicyclists? BE CAREFUL!! It's almost like here in NJ at times. (I live in Metuchen, I'm sure you heard just last week the e-bike rider who got hammered on Rt. 27 in Edison at the I-287 Exit by Vineyard Road). Last time, I visited my buddy in Ft. Lauderdale I used his regular road bike and did 28 miles....amazing once you build up your endurance with he e-bike for a few years how easy a "normal" bike becomes. My LBS said, "What do you expect, the land is a flat as a piece of paper"! So much for the encouragement.
In any event, I'm envious, you got 11 years youth on me and I'm itching to get outta NJ...but the wife is set on getting the mason contractor to build concrete burial vaults in the back yard next project :(
Keep me posted on the trigger shifter issue. I am at with end, and it is a serious issue.
 

Rob NJ

Active Member
Nice write up, Rob Nj. Thank you.
I’m wondering if the other Allant ebikes have similar issues or is it just the 9.9 with different components?
Side note: just checked Trek’s site and did not see the Allant+ 7 listed.
I just compared the Allant 9.9S to the Allant 8.8S. They have different components. So shifting force would likely be different. Might be more, might be less. Certainly the shifting force is not a defect, and perhaps I am just more sensitive than others.
 

Rob NJ

Active Member
My brother lives in Clearwater Beach, and for the last 2 years I went to visit I rented Pedego bikes in Dunedin, did the Pinellas Trail to Tarpon Springs and then to the other end close to St. Pete. I also rented an e-bike (Specialized Como 3.0) from a bike store on Gulf to Bay (Outspokin). Going over that Courtney Campbell Causeway was freakish when in Tampa, there really is no alternate opportunity to come back over any other bridge. I also noted that auto traffic and bike respect are horrendous. LOTS of homeless or possible people who can't drive for whatever reason. Did you know that Florida has the highest incidence of deaths for bicyclists? BE CAREFUL!! It's almost like here in NJ at times. (I live in Metuchen, I'm sure you heard just last week the e-bike rider who got hammered on Rt. 27 in Edison at the I-287 Exit by Vineyard Road). Last time, I visited my buddy in Ft. Lauderdale I used his regular road bike and did 28 miles....amazing once you build up your endurance with he e-bike for a few years how easy a "normal" bike becomes. My LBS said, "What do you expect, the land is a flat as a piece of paper"! So much for the encouragement.
In any event, I'm envious, you got 11 years youth on me and I'm itching to get outta NJ...but the wife is set on getting the mason contractor to build concrete burial vaults in the back yard next project :(
Keep me posted on the trigger shifter issue. I am at with end, and it is a serious issue.
We are going out today from St. Petersburg to Dunedin today - that will be about 55 miles round trip. Mostly on Pinellas Trail, but you are right, you always have to be careful. St. Pete has a lot of bike lanes and streets where bikes have priority, but you still have to watch out for the fools that do not look.

Our friends/NJ neighbors have a place in Belleair Beach, and we have stayed with them three times in the last year and a half. Weather is going to be great, so after 10 days in St. Pete, we think we will go ”house sit” there for another 4 or 5 days. We will get 200 to 300 miles on the bikes before we come back.