Powerfly 8 FS

elyhim

Active Member
I'm nearing 50, overweight. Hadn't ridden much since hit by a car 6 years ago. Wanted to start commuting via bike and being more healthy. I was waiting for the Supercommuter. I went with the Powerfly thinking I could switch wheels and try both.

The Powerfly on pavement is a beach cruiser. It can roll over curbs without pulling up but is pretty slow although coasting uphills is something new. I discovered it's not as great on pavement as I'd hoped. It's still great but I don't know if it's really worth investing in another set of wheels to switch.

The trails. The. Trails... It's been almost thirty years since I'd been on a mountain bike in the trails....

I started no power, then economy, by the time I was in turbo on a singletrack my mind was blown. There was no way I'd be investing in wheels for pavement. This was too perfect to ever think of changing.

I'm shopping for a commuter again but every spare minute will be with an aye to the trails.

The Powerfly in the woods is like being eight again and discovering that bicycle = freedom.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Great story!

I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice with the Powerfly 7 instead of the 8FS, but I've always felt that a hardtail was more efficient when climbing and that's the big reason I needed an eBike - with my health I can't climb without pedal assist.

The Powerfly 7 hardtail is still great on the trails, and the 29x2.3" tires seem to roll pretty easily over rocks/roots and on the pavement for long rides to get to the trails. I have settled on pressuring the tires up to 50psi for the street and down to 30 for the trails, but it does well off road even at 45psi. When I'm on pavement at 30psi I do feel like I need more pedal assist than when aired up to the max.

I found my Powerfly 7 to give me a better riding position than the XM700+ commuter or the Dual Sport+ hybrid trail that I tried out, both of which had too much weight on my wrists and made my hands go to sleep too quickly. I still went with a shorter steeper stem to move my handlebars up and back a little, but the shop tried a similar stem on the XM700+ for me to test ride the bike, and it didn't help.

So you may still want to consider new wheels/tires for commuting rather than investing $$$ into a second bike. The money you save could get you a second battery, and it's not that hard to swap the wheels out - unless you really are just dying for a second commuter eBike that can hit 28mph like the Supercommuter or a Specialized Vado 5.0.
 

elyhim

Active Member
I went to all the bike shops in my area today, the Giant Commuter is OK nice torque up to 12 mph and would have bought it if I hadn't already ridden a Bosch motor. I didn't get to get on an XM700 as someone broke the chainguard on the Demo and it's "not for riding" now (liability of pants in chain I guess). I would have to order an XM700 and liked the idea of a step through. but the SuperCommuter ship date is now only six weeks away. That thing is so gorgeous I might wait and see if it's worth the extra cash.

How is the powerband on the XM700, does it take you to 25 mph if you keep the cadence? I love the Bosch motor on the powerfly but want 5-10 more mph from a road version.
 

Charles L.

New Member
XM700 can hit 25 with little effort. Heck, you can hit 25 uphill with some rider effort. And if you're going 25 at the crest of the hill, you can generate decent speed downhill :




At 5'7", I appreciate the Lowstep version and would not really want the Highstep XM nor the SuperCommuter. And I quite like the riding position on the XM, though we are of course all built differently. But I like Jeff's idea -- get a Powerfly and a commuter!
 
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Larry Ganz

Active Member
XM700 can hit 25 with little effort. Heck, you can hit 25 uphill with some rider effort. And if you're going 25 at the crest of the hill, you can generate decent speed downhill :

What a coincidence, I've had my Powerfly 7 up to that same Max speed (not on flat ground).

I can do 20mph easily with assist, but once the assist cuts off above that my pedaling on flat ground tops out closer to 26-27mph for brief periods.

IMG_7492.jpg
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Nice, Larry! But you'll have to break the tie, as that was fast enough for me :)
It's funny how a heavy motorcycle feels safe and planted at highway speeds to me (cruiser or sport), but a Trek eMountain bike feels too light and less planted = pretty scary flying downhill above 30-35mph (but much safer than the Dual Sport+ hybrid trail with it's steeper steering angle).
 

ahkim

New Member
Hey guys - thanks for posting your experiences with the Powerfly FS8. I'm leaning towards ordering one this weekend and was wondering if could share what other FS bikes you considered and why you went with the Powerfly. Also, did you pay the retail price of $5000? Also, I'm 5'6" with a shorter inseam, does the 17.5 seem like the right size?
 

Jeff Backes

Active Member
I also considered a Felt. The full suspension, 500 AH battery, 27.5 plus wheels, Bosch drive where the purchasing decision points. I paid $200 less than retail. Enjoy your new ride.

jeff
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
ahkim, I'm 5-9 with a 30" inseam and I chose the 17.5" Powerfly 7 - if I went any bigger I'd have trouble standing over the top tube. Most dealers won't drop the price but some will give you a modest store credit for accessories after the purchase (mine did $200).

The 8FS+ was the only full suspension ebike that I considered before buying the hardtail version instead (more efficient climbing, lighter weight, 2 sets of water bottle bosses vs none, and was $1000 cheaper where every penny counts since I was also buying a Neko+ ebike for my wife). But I still think about getting an 8FS+ since it's very cool and my son is interested in riding my 7. Unfortunately doing that will cost us $2K more than if I keep my 7 and he just gets a new Powerfly 5.

I've always been a fan of Trek and only briefly considered the Felt hardtail in stock at another local ebike shop, since the Powerfly 7 which was not in stock at my closest ebike shop. But the Felt was $600 more than the Trek, so I ordered my Trek and my usual bike shop had it ready to pick up within 7 days.
 

elyhim

Active Member
I have an 18.5 and 5'9" almost with 30 length on pants.. I have no trouble standing over it, I liked the bosch motor. Considered the hard tail but with the motor I felt like FS was the way to go. I paid retail.

I would do so again.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
I have an 18.5 and 5'9" almost with 30 length on pants.. I have no trouble standing over it, I liked the bosch motor. Considered the hard tail but with the motor I felt like FS was the way to go. I paid retail.

I would do so again.
I did not realize that the Powerfly 8FS+ standover (73-74cm) is 5-6cm lower than with the Powerfly 7 (79cm) for the 17.5" frame. That's a huge difference and I would really have preferred a lower standover, regardless of the extra $1000.

My son is interested in a Powerfly 5 someday, but maybe I'd get the 8FS+ at that point and would hand down my 7 to him...
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
XM700 can hit 25 with little effort. Heck, you can hit 25 uphill with some rider effort. And if you're going 25 at the crest of the hill, you can generate decent speed downhill :

...
I had some time to think about it, and as Barney would say, Challenge Accepted!

IMG_7522.jpg
 

elyhim

Active Member
That is pretty fast! I had thought I wanted to ride pavement and trail and am still considering separate wheels for it but I've now considered purchasing a Fuel EX 9. I'm going to give myself two months of electric FS biking on trails but both myself and the kids are all about getting into the woods now and not just biking greenways and pavement. I went to see about my battery charger and the 9 year old spotted a Fuel mini for sale at the Trek store and we've been hitting trails every non-rainy day now. The older boys are now interested so I'm hoping by next year to have everyone on trails and may have to pick up a small version of the powerfly for my wife. It's really changed my perspective on biking and what I can be capable of.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
PS: In my photo above with 2 bars down on the battery, I was riding on very hilly paved roads and ran the battery down one bar in the first 7 miles, and then the second bar in another 7 miles, using mostly Sport mode with an occasional drop down to Tour or up to Turbo.

If the drivetrain behaved consistently, with the 500WH battery I estimate that I'd have a total range of 35 miles in Sport mode on such hilly terrain, which included about 1500 feet of climbing total.

Off road in Turbo mode I might see as low as 5 miles/bar on the battery, but in ECO mode on a gravel bike path I was getting closer to 15 miles/bar of battery on a 30 mile ride with a mild 800 foot climb over the first 14 miles. My expected range was almost 70 miles on that trip, and I stayed in ECO mode even when assist wasn't needed, just to see how it would drain the battery.

So, you could use the Powerfly 7/8FS+ with 500WH battery as a commuter with decent range, although limited to 20mph. On some of the steeper hills that I have to climb in my neighborhood I can't get past 10mph, while my healthier teenage son can pass me up easily while riding my wife's lesser power Neko+.
 

ahkim

New Member
Just ordered the 17.5! If the shop gives me a good deal, I'm hoping to swap to the XT Di2 electric shifting. Can't wait!
 

ahkim

New Member
I thought about starting a new post but I hope it's ok that I added it here. I was talking with another shop about the Giant Full E+1 before I ordered the Powerfly and they called me after I ordered the Trek and let me demo the Giant over the weekend and it was great. Now, I don't know which bike to buy. My Powerfly has arrived but I haven't taken delivery yet since I haven't decided. I'm looking to you guys for some opinions. I realize I'm asking in the Trek forum so the opinions might be biased but that's ok...

I'll list the few differences:
  • Price: The Giant has been used a couple times so they are selling it for $500 off. Basically the same price as the Trek.
  • Motor: Giant uses the Yamaha. It worked very well on the trails. I like that it has zero cadence where you get e-assist immediately, but the Bosch seems to be just as good.
  • Tires: Giant has 2.6" vs Trek 2.8" I like the larger tire width of the Trek but the Giant has the Rocket Ron which looks like a bit more aggressive tire.
  • Standover: Trek's standover is an inch better than the Giant. Both are ok though.
  • Overall fit: I feel more comfortable on the Giant. It has a slightly more upright position which I like.
  • Style/Look: I like how Giant incorporated the battery into the frame - it's a cleaner look.
  • Components: very comparable
  • Weight: The Trek is 5 lbs lighter.
  • Suspension: The Giant has the Fox 34 and has 10mm more travel. I don’t know much about the Rock Shox Yari and how it compares to the Fox. How is the fork?
  • Electric off performance: The yamaha motor is a regular drivetrain when the motor is off. It's also a 2x up front. The Bosch seems to penalize your more when the motor is off and seems like it would be hard to use if the battery died. Have you guys ridden much with the motor off?
As I write these differences out, I'm thinking the Giant is a better choice for me. It's too bad I can't take the Trek on the trails for a ride. Thoughts? Anything I missed in favor of the Trek?

I posted some comments about the Giant in the Giant section of the forum: https://electricbikereview.com/foru...-e-1-initial-thoughts-and-quick-review.13442/