Powerfly 5 FS - Any opinions

Hi,
I'm new here - been looking at Full suspension MTB and quite like the options from Haibike. Today my local Trek dealer called me to say they had a Powerfly FS 5 for a client if I wanted to have quick spin - loved it!
Why is there so little on the internet/here on this bike from such a popular manufacturer. Any opinions welcome!

Alexis
 

Jeff Backes

Active Member
I love my Trek Powerfly 8 fs. It's a wonderful bike! I can crush trails that used to be totally out of my reach.

The four major mid drive manufactures are: Brose, Bosch, Yamaha, and Shimano. I have tried Bosch and Yamaha and preferred the Bosch.

I think that the dollar sign is what is keeping the post count down. It will pick up again in spring.

I just checked the specs on the Powerfly 5, and that is a hardtail not full suspension. It looks like the only full suspension we get in the states is the Powerfly 8 fs plus.

jeff
 
Hi Jeff,
Thanks for responding - the Powerfly FS 5 is a full-suspension bike that appears to be widely available in Europe - here is a link to a UK dealer's website showing price and specs - would value your opinion..
http://www.evocycles.co.uk/m1b0s129p6372/TREK-Powerfly-%2B-FS-5-2017

thanx
Alexis
 

Jeff Backes

Active Member
Thanks for the link, I have looked at the specs and it seems very much like my Powerfly 7. The components don't seem to be "top shelf". You might want to upgrade those if you have problems with shifting and braking. I upgraded all my components to XLR very much overkill. I think that SLX or XT are all that are needed. 180mm rotors may be fine for you, depends on how much downhill braking you expect to be doing. Mine comes with 6-bolt 203 front and 6-bolt 180 in the rear.

I think that the PF5 is built for a price £2950.00($3600). That's much less money than I paid for mine at approximately £4000.00. For that much savings you are getting a lot of bike for the money.

The best parts are the tank-like Trek frame, the Bosch mid-drive system, and the 500 Ah battery.

Let me know how it turns out.

jeff
 
I love the integrated (and more modern) look of the Haibike range - both SDuro (Yamaha) and XDuro (Bosch) - which the Trek lacks. Having said that the Trek felt better made and had better fork and rear suspension than the Haibike price equivalent...

Alexis
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Thanks for the link, I have looked at the specs and it seems very much like my Powerfly 7. The components don't seem to be "top shelf". You might want to upgrade those if you have problems with shifting and braking. I upgraded all my components to XLR very much overkill. I think that SLX or XT are all that are needed. 180mm rotors may be fine for you, depends on how much downhill braking you expect to be doing. Mine comes with 6-bolt 203 front and 6-bolt 180 in the rear.

I think that the PF5 is built for a price £2950.00($3600). That's much less money than I paid for mine at approximately £4000.00. For that much savings you are getting a lot of bike for the money.

The best parts are the tank-like Trek frame, the Bosch mid-drive system, and the 500 Ah battery.

Let me know how it turns out.

jeff

Jeff - knowing that you have a Powerfly 7 and that you gave me advice in your XM700+ mods thread, I also posted many of these questions there first. Could you answer a few questions please?

I'm new here, so sorry if this gets to be a pain, and sorry it's so long - in person discussing each point pro and con could be made more easily and be less cumbersome.

I would like to make a decision by tomorrow afternoon between ordering the Powerfly 7 or buying the DualSport+ that I had on extended test ride this weekend. I'm torn trying to decide right now.

From the frame specs, the PF7 might fit me better without making me reach so far for the bars, as with the DS+ I keep finding myself trying to sit on the front part of the seat. Otherwise I don't have any major gripes about the DS+ where I have been on rides yesterday and today that I could NEVER do on a regular bike.

SPEED QUESTION: I decided to skip the XM700+ since it feels too tall for me and it's a class 3 bike that can be treated differently from a regular bicycle, where I might be forbidden from riding in places where my wife's Neko+ is allowed. But I loved the Bosche's extra power, although it almost seemed like the XM700+ motor was holding me back once I hit the top speed limiter, where the pedal resistance really went up and held me back. I'll be mostly riding with my wife who rarely goes past 15-20mph, so a 20mph limit isn't a major issue.

But does the Powerfly 7 (or your XM700+) seem to hold you back if you want to go over the limiter speed under your own steam? The DualSport+ Shimano motor cuts out at 20mph but I could hit 26mph on flat ground for briefs periods of time while pedaling.

POWER QUESTION: On the DualSport+ extended test ride I noticed it has a power output gauge that shows whether you are using just a little bit or a lot of the motor's potential output - a black bar on the LCD stretches out from left > right as you put more force into the pedals or as you click to a higher power level. I maxed out the line several times in a few places along the route on the ride today. I was able to push through those tough spots, but in HIGH power I had to drop it down to one of the 3 lowest gears in a few climbs in order to maintain a high enough cadence rate to keep it at 5-8mph while using full power.

The Shimano power assist seemed to be greater with a high cadence/pedal rate, and it tops out at 50NM torque vs 75NM of the Powerfly 7. How does your Powerfly 7 handle pedal assist in the higher gears vs lower gears? i.e. can it push through using a higher gear than recommended at low speed (grunt), or are you also forced to downshift to get your cadence up in order to get more output?

With my health issues, today's ride would have been an impossible without an eBike. I could happily live with the DualSport+ power output for the types of rides we'll most often go on. But I'm afraid that someday I'll go on a new ride for the first time where I'll find it to be more challenging than I expected for the Shimano's power output. Do you think the 75NM torque is enough reason to get the Powerfly 7, or do you think the DualSport's greater range in HIGH power would be more beneficial because then I could leave it in HIGH more often and not wear myself or the battery out too fast?

RANGE QUESTION: So my previous question leads to the next issue. I'm mostly worried about range on hilly paved roads and hilly packed gravel roads with the Powerfly 7 vs the DualSport+. I can't find a published estimated range for the Powerfly 7, while I've read numbers of 30-75 miles with the Shimano powered bikes, and read about 15-65 miles for the Bosche powered XM700+, depending on conditions.

Today we rode 10 miles on hilly pavement with a cumulative elevation gain of over 1600 feet. We started out at the high point, rode downhill, pedaled back up, and then repeated this 5 mile loop once. By the end of the ride my DS+ battery had dropped to 78%, and my wife's Neko+ was down to 86% - potentially giving me a 45 mile range vs my wife's 70 mile range.

My goal is to have at least 30 miles of range with the PF7 on a ride like this, but the XM700+ that I tried was estimating that I'd only go 19 miles in TURBO, 21 in SPORT, 24 in TOUR, with 55 in ECO.

Using the above XM700+ range estimates, I calculate that if I went about 25 miles in ECO mode then I'd still have 50% of battery available for use in TURBO or SPORT mode, which would translate to at least 10 more miles, for a 35 mile ride (depending on conditions). Since the PF7 has a 500WH battery pack with lower top speed than the XM700+, and based on your experience, how much better range would the PF7 get vs the XM700+ or DS+ in general?

I'm trying to estimate how this would all translate to the Powerfly 7, and I assume that if it has 30% less range than the DS+ today, that it could still complete a ride like this for 30 miles before running out of juice.

OTHER CONCERNS: I like the USB charging port, which only the Bosche Treks have. I also like that the Powerfly 7 has bigger brakes and wider tires than the Dual Sport+, but I worry that the fatter tires would make it harder to pedal with the motor off.
Do the benefits to ride quality and traction from the fatter 29x2.3" tires outweigh the added rolling resistance of the PF7 tires for long rides on pavement and packed gravel, or is increased rolling resistance not even an issue with the PF7?

The DS+ and Neko+ have everything but the hydraulic brakes run through the frame.
Does the Powerfly have anything internally wired through the frame like the others, because it doesn't appear so in the photos?

Does the PF7 have a quick release rear wheel like the Dual Sport+, and can a kick stand be added that works as well as the one on the DS+?
(can't find pics of the bike's left side)

Do you have any other advice that you can share?
 
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Jeff Backes

Active Member
Sorry for the delayed reply, I am on a road trip across the US from CA to FL..

I own three Trek e-bikes, XM700+, XM700+ Woman's, and a Powerfly FS 8.

They all have different strengths.

I'll try to answer all of your questions:

  • There are times when I bump into the 20 MPH limit on the PowerFly, it can be chipped, but not my style.
  • The powerfly in a low gear on loose surfaces can leave a rooster tail in 1st gear.
  • I am able to take off in all but the top two gears.
  • It climbs hills like crazy in 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
  • I have never had an issue shifting on hills, the Bosch system does a great job of making sure the motor eases up when I shift.
  • I normally move the 500 battery to whatever bike I'm riding. My wife is half my weight so she uses a 400 and I use a 500. We still have to swap batteries at the end of a 20 mile ride so I have enough to finish. I spend most of my time in TURBO she in tour.
  • When I am riding on hard surfaces I air up to 35/40 lbs and the rolling resistance seems to be a non issue
  • All of the cables on the PowerFly are in the frame.
  • KickStand mount is there, but stand is not included. I use the same stand as came with the XM700
  • The PowerFly has through axels which are much stronger than quick release but let you take off the wheels quickly

Look at it this way. You can use the PowerFly on street and dirt, the same can't be said for the 700

Buy the PowerFly, it's much more flexible on/off road, the FS makes it a more comfortable ride.

Jeff
 
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Larry Ganz

Active Member
So, would most of that apply to the Powefly 7 that I'm considering (has 500WH batt)?

I think in the Powerfly 7 that I'm considering that the cables to the rear for shifter and brakes runs next to the frame, but that's the least important issue. The XM700+ has been ruled out before the weekend, and I've been evaluating the Dual Sport+ on Sat and Sunday, as the don't have a Powerfly in stock.

I'm reading above that you can go almost 20 miles in turbo with Powerfly 8FS+ and still have enough juice left for your wife to finish the ride with your battery if you swap to hers. Unfortunately my wife is on a Neko+ with Shimano Steps. That's why I'm testing out a Dual Sport+ that I have to return tonight, or keep it and get it sized for me.

The Shimano has three power levels, or off, and I spent most of my time in OFF, ECO, or NORM and only needed HIGH for a few of the harder hills. We are on hilly roads but not off-road trying to climb a trail. I imagine off-road climbing a trail that I'd be in HIGH/SPORT or TURBO mode more often, but that will be rare vs more civil bike trails and paths that we'll ride. So, I believe that my range will be a bit higher, and I have been estimating 30 miles with a mix of power levels.

The Dual Spor+t Riding position is more aggressive than I'd like, leaving me angled more forward like with a street touring bike. Will the Powerfly 7 seating position be more upright as I'm guessing from the bike's geometry numbers?

Thanks!

Larry
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Jeff, I was a little confused when you wrote here on Feb 16 2017 that you had a Powerfly 7, sorry as I saw elsewhere you had the 8FS+ model.

Anyway, I brought the Dual Sport+ loaner back to the shop tonight, and after further discussion with the shop owner and salesman I went with the Powerfly 7. It'll be here next week. I have only owned mountain bikes for the past 25 years (Huffy, then Trek, and currently a Kona Nunu mountain bike) and trying to ride a street or hybrid road/trail bike just didn't feel as good as what I'm used to riding, even though I do less time on the dirt than when I was younger.

It would have taken a little bit more work to get the riding position more upright with the Dual Sport+, if I had decided to buy the loaner (it was new but with 17 miles on it when I took it home Saturday, and I put another 13 miles on it). I certainly don't plan to have them order the Powerfly for me, and then tell them I'd rather have the Dual Sport+ after all. If anything would make me unhappy with the Powerfly 7 I think it would only be the range, only if it's not as good as I have estimated above.

My wife is slightly frustrated that I didn't see the sky blue Powerfly 5 before we ordered her black Neko+ because it's prettier. She saw the 18" Neko+ in the shop and picked that model in small over the small low-step orange Lift+ they had, and she'd never complained about the color. But she's already struggling to pick up the 42 lb Neko+ and the Powerfly 5 women's bike is 4 lbs heavier.

I'm slightly frustrated with myself that I didn't see it, because we'd be able to swap Bosche batteries. It's too late now - I can't screw around the bike shop forever with changes, especially when she likes the fit of the Neko+. She'd always ridden road bikes and hasn't owned a mountain bike, and the Neko+ as a hybrid trail bike fit's her perfectly. A PF5 women's model might have been a poor fit for her needs, and then we would have declined delivery of both bikes we ordered.
 
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Jeff Backes

Active Member
I hope you have hours and hours of fun.

Our bikes are on vacation with us, currently we are 2,400 away from home, looking forward to breaking 8,000 before we are home. We travel by car one day, then ride around whatever city we land in. Currently we are in New Orleans LA. A day of riding today, then off to the east coast. I'm wanting to see Key West but I never know which way the wind is going to blow the car :) My first ever "Flip a coin" vacation.

Jeff
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
How do you secure the bikes to your car against theft during short stops if using a rear bike rack?

And do you use a U-lock with your bikes, and if so where do you mount them so that they stay out of the way when riding? My cable locks are decent and we'll only lock the bikes outside unattended while stopping for a food/water or bathroom break, but with the cost of these bikes I'd like better.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
I use U locks through the fame to the bike rack. I'll post a picture tomorrow.

But how do you carry the u locks with you when you ride, so you can lock up during breaks for food and drink or bathroom breaks, such as if you were riding on the bike paths through town like at Steamboat Springs, Glennwood Springs or Breckenridge, etc?

Is there a good spot you found to mount them to the bikes or do you only do remote trails and only stop to lock them up on your car after a long ride?
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
I know, but when I hold the locks at the bike shop up against the bikes I'm struggling to find a spot on the frame to mount them where we won't hit the lock when we pedal. The batteries take up the space inside the frame, so they have to mount outside the frame and not be jostled with bumps or our legs. I need suggestions on mounting points please.
 

CurryMonsterCA

New Member
hey Larry, how are you liking your PF7? I recently got one too--and was deciding among the xm700+ and other options. Like you I went with the PF7 since I'm a mountain biker. Even though this bike will be used for commuting I felt way more comfortable on it vs. the commuter style bike.

BTW, for the U-lock you could consider going to a rack and pannier setup. That's what I'll be doing since I needed the rack for commuting.
 
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Larry Ganz

Active Member
hey Larry, how are you liking your PF7? I recently got one too--and was deciding among the xm700+ and other options. Like you I went with the PF7 since I'm a mountain biker. Even though this bike will be used for commuting I felt way more comfortable on it vs. the commuter style bike.

BTW, for the U-lock you could consider going to a rack and pannier setup. That's what I'll be doing since I needed the rack for commuting.

Thanks. I'm trying to avoid a rack if possible - I wear a camelback for my gear, but don't want the added weight of a u-lock inside that, as sometimes I'll have an oxygen C-tank in there if I'm riding above 7500-8000 feet elevation (one working lung, so without eBike I needed the tank for every ride around here).

I LOVE THE POWEFLY 7 - MINI REVIEW:

It's quite well built, with nice welds and workmanship - everything is perfect except the following. I was surprised that the rear axel is not a 15mm thru axel like the front, but is a 9mm mountain bike quick release with slots instead (didn't know if this was typical). The seat padding is nonexistent, but if you get your butt back far enough it's livable, although I replaced it with a slim foam seat that's a little thicker. They also didn't run the derailleur cable inside the frame like with their other eBikes, so it runs along the right side of the lower frame while the rear brake line still runs along the left side. Lastly, I was surprised that the Deore XT shift lever doesn't display which gear I'm in for reference, while the feature is on the other 3 bikes.

It FITS me much better than the 50mm XM700+ that they originally ordered for me, or the 18" Neko+ and 17.5" Dual Sport+ that they had in stock. They did put a 17 degree riser on the handlebar stem (I think a 17x90), after having seen the issues I had on the other 3 bikes. With the riser the riding position is perfect - I've been able to ride down the 1140 foot hill from my house to the shopping center and back up to my home twice (6 mile trip each time), and my hands never went to sleep like with the Dual Sport+ and Neko+. I can lift the front wheel about 1" off the ground when straddling the bar, and I can just get my toes on both feet down to the ground when sitting on the seat.

VS the DUAL SPORT+: Despite the higher weight I still can hop up curbs fairly easily, and the fatter tires absorb the bumps better. At high speeds downhill on the road the PF7 is more stable and not as scary as the Dual Sport+ which put too much weight on my hands and seemed absolutely twitchy. I also have more confidence in the PF7's larger brakes and it's fatter tires which have a tight enough knobby pattern to work well on pavement and dirt. With the PF7 I could lean the bike farther in turns with more confidence, due to the larger contact patch.

BATTERY RANGE: My only concern is that the battery clearly isn't going to last as long as the Dual Sport+. After the ride on hilly roads yesterday and then giving it a full charge, it was estimating the battery will give me 16-48 miles on my next ride (in high vs low power). That's vs 30-55 miles estimated by the Dual Sport+ after the same ride and re-charging procedure. This includes my going to ECO or OFF whenever the ride is flat but requires pedaling, or downhill without pedaling. Before my riding it hard yesterday, the PF7 was estimating 29-94 miles, after only 1/4 mile of an easy flat-ground test ride by the shop after they assembled it.

After a quick 4 mile ride today (with only a 600 foot climb) and before I put it back on the charger, the PF7 estimated that I still had 13-42 miles of battery left to keep riding (13 miles in TURBO, 16 miles in SPORT, 21 in TOUR, and 42 in ECO mode). I would have been able to complete todays ride in only ECO and TOUR mode in the low gears, but I really needed SPORT and TURBO to finish it with decent double digit speed.

So, with a mix of all 4 power levels I believe that I could go an additional 18-21 miles on this hilly terrain; however, I'd prefer to have 30 to last a weekend before charging. But the 32 mile round-trip ride that we have planned this summer is fairly flat with only a slight climb of 300-400 feet over the first 16 miles, and slightly downhill on the way back, with two short hills both directions. So I should be able to make that particular 30+ mile trip just fine.

POWER: I'm not convinced that TURBO (300%) feels stronger than SPORT (200%) when I'm pulling a hill while seated in higher gears with a slower cadence. However, in the lower gears with a higher cadence I can really feel the increase in power on the hills. Unfortunately I poop out with a cadence rate about 65+, and tend to cruise at 50-60 rpm in higher gears, so I wont get as much benefit from TURBO except on a really hard steep hill at low speeds.
 

CurryMonsterCA

New Member
quite the review! I share some of your thoughts, in particular the no gear indicator on the XT shifter and the external cable routing. The no shift indicator is actually okay IMO as the handlebars are already pretty cluttered with stuff. More of a nice to have as I see it. The external cable routing is a bit surprising, and the use of zip ties is pretty cheeseball in my view, esp in this price range.

I haven't had a chance to take the bike off road, and it may be a few weeks before I can get around to that. My commute is fairly flat and the bike has been pretty comfortable on that ride. I've taken it to work a few times, mostly keeping in the eco mode and occasionally in the tour mode. Sometimes I shut off the assist altogether, but these bikes are heavy and with no assist launching from a dead stop is tough and not advised if cars are around. I've played with the other modes but on flat ground they aren't that interesting to me just yet. I'm sure things will change when I get it off road though.

The way I'm using the bike, the range on the battery is more than sufficient. Looks like I'll be able to ride to work for at least two full weeks before recharging.
 
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