Trek ebike Customer Experience

Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
I purchased my new Allant+ 7S last week and so far am happy with the bike, but the customer experience with Trek in regards to knowledge of the bike and what they provide has not been great (although I must stress that everyone that I have worked with have all been super nice and have tried to be helpful).

For brevity's sake, I will skip the full paragraphs and stick to bullets:

- The bike comes with a generic Trek/Bosch Electric Bike manual: The manual covers multiple motors (w/o telling you which one you have) and provides little in value other than some really basic information. And for some reason, whomever put the manual together thought that each section should be repeated in 3 different languages before moving to the next section as opposed to just dividing the manual into languages (this is a very minor annoyance, but just seems odd).

- There is no information specific to the bike that is provided at all. Maybe I am just expected to know about the certain settings on the fork, etc but it would be nice if they even provided that information on their website.

- Conflicting information on whether to remove the battery when transporting: I know that there is a topic on this already, but the manual says to transport your bike with the battery taken out, but the person at the store told me to absolutely don't do that and that 'lawyers who don't know anything probably wrote that'.

- Selling the bike without the latest firmware: When I bought my bike I was assured that it had the latest firmware, when it got to me (230 Miles later) I find out that it does not have the latest firmware.

- Staff is not knowledgeable about the bike: When I brought the bike to my LTBS I asked about accessing the settings menu so I could do things like being able to turn off my light. After first telling me that I already could turn off the light and trying to do so (and failing) in a way that didn't match what I researched, they told me that I could update the software myself by downloading it from the Bosch site. He said he had confidence in me since I seemed to have done my research and only a few people he knew had 'bricked their bikes', but that I would be ok as long as I followed the instructions. My thought here is maybe he was confusing it with one of the other displays that does allow you to do some some software updating?

- Trek charges for software updates: I realize this is due to Bosch not allowing us plebes access to do it ourselves, but Trek should either pressure Bosch to let people do it themselves or at least cover the upgrades for a certain amount of time like a phone manufacturer. Unless of course that want that extra revenue...

- Frame lock mount: I went to the store and inquired about purchasing a frame lock; after having to explain to the employee what that was, I then asked him how I would mount it to the bike and he had no idea as he did not see any bosses. It was only after someone on this forum pointed them out did I find out that the bike had them.

Most of these things on their own are pretty minor and not a big deal, but combined they are a bit concerning. All this being said, so far I really like the bike and everyone that I had talked with at the Trek stores have been super friendly and helpful (or at least have attempted to be helpful), but one of the main reasons I bought a Trek and paid a premium is for what I thought would be a better experience than going with a smaller company (or one that had less presence in the US). Now it's only been about a week, so hopefully I will have better experiences going forward and I am going to try another LTBS to see if the experience is better there.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Is it a Trek corporate store that only carries Trek bikes or is it a locally owned shop the carried Trek and other brands? This can make a huge difference in terms of the familiarity, knowledge and ebike specific expertise available in a shop. If it is a corporate store, Trek HQ in Wisconsin will want to get your input and comments. If it is locally owned, there is only so much the home office can do, i.e. they can encourage but cannot require.

As to your fork, they should provide a manual from the manufacturer of the fork. If they have not done so they are usually pretty easy to find and download on line. p.s. I have had an Allant 9.9S for over a year now and absolutely love the bike. It took a few early trips back to the shop to address some issues but since those were ironed out, the bike has been a rock star and utterly dependable.
 

Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
Is it a Trek corporate store that only carries Trek bikes or is it a locally owned shop the carried Trek and other brands? This can make a huge difference in terms of the familiarity, knowledge and ebike specific expertise available in a shop. If it is a corporate store, Trek HQ in Wisconsin will want to get your input and comments. If it is locally owned, there is only so much the home office can do, i.e. they can encourage but cannot require.

As to your fork, they should provide a manual from the manufacturer of the fork. If they have not done so they are usually pretty easy to find and download on line. p.s. I have had an Allant 9.9S for over a year now and absolutely love the bike. It took a few early trips back to the shop to address some issues but since those were ironed out, the bike has been a rock star and utterly dependable.
Both stores are integrated into the Trek website and only sell Trek's so I assume that they are corporate stores.

They literally gave me nothing in regards to information other than the generic Trek/Bosch manual. Now I was not the one who picked up the bike, so maybe they would have provided some additional information if I had been there, but I did talk to them over the phone and I trust that the person who picked up for me relayed everything that he was told.

The other thing I should note is that everyone I talked to has been front of the store people (not the people who actually service the bike), as far as I am aware. Perhaps the service folks will be more knowledgeable which is fine, but if that is the case I would rather the front of the house people just say 'I don't know' and either check for me or point me to the service folks. Now that I am a little more self educated, I will make sure to ask for a service person if the first person I talk to does not seem to be aligning with my research.
 

Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
As to your fork, they should provide a manual from the manufacturer of the fork. If they have not done so they are usually pretty easy to find and download on line. p.s. I have had an Allant 9.9S for over a year now and absolutely love the bike. It took a few early trips back to the shop to address some issues but since those were ironed out, the bike has been a rock star and utterly dependable.
So far the only mechanical issue was that the front fender was rubbing on the wheel which my local Trek store had no issues fixing for free even though they were not the one that sold me the bike. Again - so far - my issue has not been a lack of willingness to help, but moreso a lack of knowledge/knowledge transfer.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I purchased my new Allant+ 7S last week and so far am happy with the bike, but the customer experience with Trek in regards to knowledge of the bike and what they provide has not been great (although I must stress that everyone that I have worked with have all been super nice and have tried to be helpful).

For brevity's sake, I will skip the full paragraphs and stick to bullets:

- The bike comes with a generic Trek/Bosch Electric Bike manual: The manual covers multiple motors (w/o telling you which one you have) and provides little in value other than some really basic information. And for reason, whomever put the manual together thought that each section should be repeated in 3 different languages before moving to the next section as opposed to just dividing the manual into languages (this is a very minor annoyance, but just seems odd).

- There is no information specific to the bike that is provided at all. Maybe I am just expected to know about the certain settings on the fork, etc but it would be nice if they even provided that information on their website.

- Conflicting information on whether to remove the battery when transporting: I know that there is a topic on this already, but the manual says to transport your bike with the battery taken out, but the person at the store told me to absolutely don't do that and that 'lawyers who don't know anything probably wrote that'.

- Selling the bike without the latest firmware: When I bought my bike I was assured that it had the latest firmware, when it got to me (230 Miles later) I find out that it does not have the latest firmware.

- Staff is not knowledgeable about the bike: When I brought the bike to my LTBS I asked about accessing the settings menu so I could do things like being able to turn off my light. After first telling me that I already could turn off the light and trying to do so (and failing) in a way that didn't match what I researched, they told me that I could update the software myself by downloading it from the Bosch site. He said he had confidence in me since I seemed to have done my research and only a few people he knew had 'bricked their bikes', but that I would be ok as long as I followed the instructions. My thought here is maybe he was confusing it with one of the other displays that does allow you to do some some software updating?

- Trek charges for software updates: I realize this is due to Bosch not allowing us plebes access to do it ourselves, but Trek should either pressure Bosch to let people do it themselves or at least cover the upgrades for a certain amount of time like a phone manufacturer. Unless of course that want that extra revenue...

- Frame lock mount: I went to the store and inquired about purchasing a frame lock; after having to explain to the employee what that was, I then asked him how I would mount it to the bike and he had no idea as he did not see any bosses. It was only after someone on this forum pointed them out did I find out that the bike had them.

Most of these things on their own are pretty minor and not a big deal, but combined they are a bit concerning. All this being said, so far I really like the bike and everyone that I had talked with at the Trek stores have been super friendly and helpful (or at least have attempted to be helpful), but one of the main reasons I bought a Trek and paid a premium is for what I thought would be a better experience than going with a smaller company (or one that had less presence in the US). Now it's only been about a week, so hopefully I will have better experiences going forward and I am going to try another LTBS to see if the experience is better there.
Today’s tech companies are very poor at providing up-to-date information at purchase. This is part of their effort to keep you as the owner (and the LBS) ignorant and beholden to the parent company. This brings more dollars coming into their coffers. Do I study more about my Allant+7 than my Trek guy? Of course because I spend hours reading what other Trek owners are learning on this forum!
You may have heard conflicting info about removing the battery for transport but I never have. If the manual (what little there is of one) tells me to do something, I do it. I’ve found that calling Trek‘s corporate number is a good way to get the latest and greatest info, but it’s far from perfect and they don’t have many folks working that line so the waits can be long.
I've never been charged for a software update and I’ve had 3 of them. I don’t know where you live but in the great Midwest the farthest I have to go to get to my closest Trek shop is about two miles and there are two more within 45 minutes. You do not need to take your ebike back to the shop you bought it from to get warranty service.
I ran into lots of car dealers where I’ve known a lot more about my car than most sales folks and even some service workers, including my Corvette and my Toyota RAV4 hybrid. Again, because of great forums like this!
BTW, I was a training curriculum developer for several high tech companies and often taught developers quite a bit because the engineers were frankly oblivious as to how to teach users who were starting from scratch. IMO, It’s a real crime that companies just don’t care about educating their customers about the products people spend big money on!
 
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Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
Today’s tech companies are very poor at providing up-to-date information at purchase. This is part of their effort to keep you as the owner (and the LBS) ignorant and beholden to the parent company. This brings more dollars coming into their coffers. Do I study more about my Allant+7 than my Trek guy? Of course because I spend hours reading what other Trek owners are learning on this forum!
You may have heard conflicting info about removing the battery for transport but I never have. If the manual (what little there is of one) tells me to do something, I do it. I’ve found that calling Trek‘s corporate number is a good way to get the latest and greatest info, but it’s far from perfect and they don’t have many folks working that line so the waits can be long.
I've never been charged for a software update and I’ve had 3 of them. I don’t know where you live but in the great Midwest the farthest I have to go to get to my closest Trek shop is about two miles and there are two more within 45 minutes. You do not need to take your ebike back to the shop you bought it from to get warranty service.
I ran into lots of car dealers where I’ve known a lot more about my car than most sales folks and even some service workers, including my Corvette and my Toyota RAV4 hybrid. Again, because of great forums like this!
BTW, I was a training curriculum developer for several high tech companies and often taught developers quite a bit because the engineers were frankly oblivious as to how to teach users who were starting from scratch. IMO, It’s a real crime that companies just don’t care about educating their customers about the products people spend big money on!
Oh I totally get that I may know more about it from research than them, I just rather them just say they don't know than give me incorrect info. I know a good amount of information in my area of work, but if someone asks me something I am not sure of I either make clear that what I am telling them is what I believe, but am not sure and/or I go to someone else who does know to get the information. Ideally they would provide the information/make it easily attainable so that I wouldn't have to scour forums for some pretty basic information.

And I was making an assumption on the cost to upgrade based on articles I read, but those weren't Trek specific so that was probably a poor assumption on my part.

I oversee IT development and came up more on the functional side. My company typically creates our software development teams of technical (developers) and functional (usually part of the requirements gathering and are the ones that perform the functional and user testing) resources which I think works pretty well, but we work with some other companies that are tech heavy, so I totally get what you are saying.
 

Mulezen

Well-Known Member
I knew almost nothing about eBikes when I bought my first bike, a Super Commuter 7. By the time the bike arrived the next week I knew (Thanks to EBR) the store was less informed than me, so found another LBS who could/would service my bike. Soon I learned a former tech was now the regional Bosch rep. I ran into him at the store when he handed me my diagnostic printout saying “Quit charging below freezing”. I’ve had no problem with the Bosch system but it gave me confidence in CaryTown Bikes and have since upgraded my ride and ordered another.
In short…find another LBS…many options with Trek.
 

Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
I knew almost nothing about eBikes when I bought my first bike, a Super Commuter 7. By the time the bike arrived the next week I knew (Thanks to EBR) the store was less informed than me, so found another LBS who could/would service my bike. Soon I learned a former tech was now the regional Bosch rep. I ran into him at the store when he handed me my diagnostic printout saying “Quit charging below freezing”. I’ve had no problem with the Bosch system but it gave me confidence in CaryTown Bikes and have since upgraded my ride and ordered another.
In short…find another LBS…many options with Trek.
Well I live in a city and currently am limited to where I can bike to as I don't have my hitch installed yet (was supposed to happen yesterday, but they canceled on me), but there is 1 more Trek store nearby that I can bike to and I will eventually have a hitch/bikerack. I am just spoiled in that I will go weeks without having to drive my car 😂

Carytown... in Richmond? That is the first stop I have on a multi city nomadic airbnb trip that I am starting in August (the main reason I decided to get this bike - to be able to explore new cities without having to drive).
 

Mulezen

Well-Known Member
Yes…they have three stores in Richmond now. They carry other brands too like Specialized. I use the store in suburban Short Pump.
In regards to Carytown Bikes the manager I’ve spoken to is willing to learn where she can like in adjustments in the software. All around competence. That seems to be the company philosophy, and they keep you informed when contacting Trek on your behalf. They do sponsor group rides which could be one way to see Richmond.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I agree, the quality of the documentation that Trek provides is abysmal. Bosch isn't much better. For example, I had many problems getting cobi.bike working on my 8s. The online documentation was close to useless, and left out a number of key facts.

Trek's documentation on the bike? Useless. Bikes need maintenance. Does Trek provide any info? Of course not. I guess Trek assumes everything will be done at the LBS. That ignores us customers where the nearest Trek LBS is over an hour away. At least Shimano has good documentation online for its components, even if it is a bit hard to understand.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
not just trek my bulls had almost no real info either. one of our local trek stores used to be a local chain and they kept all the employees and they are really knowledgeable.
 

Nwtravler

Member
Region
USA
I feel your pain. I purchased my 8s in Portland from Bike Gallery (a factory Trek store) the sales people were ok but not especially knowledgeable, the service department was worse. They told me I needed to drive an hour back on another day to have my software updated so the untis could be changed from metric to imperial (all I had to do was sync the app) the fit and finish was s*it, controls on the wrong side, no cable management. I really felt like they feel that the people buying a $4000 ebike aren't serious or informed buyers so they can just "phone it in" when it come to knowledge or details. I went to a few other shops with other brands, not much different. My wife purchased her 7s from an independent and it wasn't much different, a trip bac to have a software update, another for another assembly issue.

Unfortunately I think it comes down to most people just not caring about how they do their job. This is why I buy 95% online and don't bat an eye when a local retail shop fails.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It’s certainly not just Trek. Lots of well-known high tech companies have deleted useful info about their products. It’s sad because they don’t seem to train or document training info anymore. I used to be be involved with printed documents and they went first because product info changes frequently, making printed docs obsolete quickly. Companies just don’t want to spend the money to hire and train folks and document that training anymore.
 

Nashcruiser

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Nashville Tn
Well I live in a city and currently am limited to where I can bike to as I don't have my hitch installed yet (was supposed to happen yesterday, but they canceled on me), but there is 1 more Trek store nearby that I can bike to and I will eventually have a hitch/bikerack. I am just spoiled in that I will go weeks without having to drive my car 😂

Carytown... in Richmond? That is the first stop I have on a multi city nomadic airbnb trip that I am starting in August (the main reason I decided to get this bike - to be able to explore new cities without having to drive).
Agree with everything you’ve said about no documentation. Noticing what you said about living in the city, have you tried the navigation on the Cobi.bike app? Picking a destination and choosing quiet route will give some pretty good alternate ways to go. A little out of the way but we’ve got a motor on our bikes so why not. I’ve used it a number of times and it’s found me some routes I wouldn’t have thought of.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
I purchased my new Allant+ 7S last week and so far am happy with the bike, but the customer experience with Trek in regards to knowledge of the bike and what they provide has not been great (although I must stress that everyone that I have worked with have all been super nice and have tried to be helpful).

For brevity's sake, I will skip the full paragraphs and stick to bullets:

- The bike comes with a generic Trek/Bosch Electric Bike manual: The manual covers multiple motors (w/o telling you which one you have) and provides little in value other than some really basic information. And for some reason, whomever put the manual together thought that each section should be repeated in 3 different languages before moving to the next section as opposed to just dividing the manual into languages (this is a very minor annoyance, but just seems odd).

- There is no information specific to the bike that is provided at all. Maybe I am just expected to know about the certain settings on the fork, etc but it would be nice if they even provided that information on their website.

- Conflicting information on whether to remove the battery when transporting: I know that there is a topic on this already, but the manual says to transport your bike with the battery taken out, but the person at the store told me to absolutely don't do that and that 'lawyers who don't know anything probably wrote that'.

- Selling the bike without the latest firmware: When I bought my bike I was assured that it had the latest firmware, when it got to me (230 Miles later) I find out that it does not have the latest firmware.

- Staff is not knowledgeable about the bike: When I brought the bike to my LTBS I asked about accessing the settings menu so I could do things like being able to turn off my light. After first telling me that I already could turn off the light and trying to do so (and failing) in a way that didn't match what I researched, they told me that I could update the software myself by downloading it from the Bosch site. He said he had confidence in me since I seemed to have done my research and only a few people he knew had 'bricked their bikes', but that I would be ok as long as I followed the instructions. My thought here is maybe he was confusing it with one of the other displays that does allow you to do some some software updating?

- Trek charges for software updates: I realize this is due to Bosch not allowing us plebes access to do it ourselves, but Trek should either pressure Bosch to let people do it themselves or at least cover the upgrades for a certain amount of time like a phone manufacturer. Unless of course that want that extra revenue...

- Frame lock mount: I went to the store and inquired about purchasing a frame lock; after having to explain to the employee what that was, I then asked him how I would mount it to the bike and he had no idea as he did not see any bosses. It was only after someone on this forum pointed them out did I find out that the bike had them.

Most of these things on their own are pretty minor and not a big deal, but combined they are a bit concerning. All this being said, so far I really like the bike and everyone that I had talked with at the Trek stores have been super friendly and helpful (or at least have attempted to be helpful), but one of the main reasons I bought a Trek and paid a premium is for what I thought would be a better experience than going with a smaller company (or one that had less presence in the US). Now it's only been about a week, so hopefully I will have better experiences going forward and I am going to try another LTBS to see if the experience is better there.
Amongst other things there is a shortage of experienced ebike mechanics. If I wanted to live in Seattle,
there are at least 3 places I´d make $15+, But I don´t want to work in seattle. I´m retired.😌
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
Trek's documentation on the bike? Useless. Bikes need maintenance. Does Trek provide any info? Of course not. I guess Trek assumes everything will be done at the LBS. That ignores us customers where the nearest Trek LBS is over an hour away. At least Shimano has good documentation online for its components, even if it is a bit hard to understand.
I still get notifications from Ford for my 2013 Focus EV (Electric Car) to schedule an oil change.
1st, EV's don't use oil, 2nd, haven't had that car for 6 years.
Incompetence and ignorance run rampant.
 

Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
Agree with everything you’ve said about no documentation. Noticing what you said about living in the city, have you tried the navigation on the Cobi.bike app? Picking a destination and choosing quiet route will give some pretty good alternate ways to go. A little out of the way but we’ve got a motor on our bikes so why not. I’ve used it a number of times and it’s found me some routes I wouldn’t have thought of.
I am pretty comfortable (maybe too comfortable) riding in the city and know my way around it pretty well. DC is pretty bike friendly between bike lanes and parts of the city that don't get a lot of automobile traffic (example the National Mall), but I will keep that in mind when I am traveling to other cities.

Edit: Just realizing you might have been replying to my 'limited' comment - I meant that I was limited in how far I could travel to a bike store since my only way of getting my bike there currently is to ride it there.
 
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Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
I went to the other local Trek store that is just a bit further from me and the experience was much better. The technician clearly knew what he was talking about and offered to update my software for free on the spot (they were busy and quoting people 1 week to replace recalled pedals so I was expecting to have to come back later). He walked me through the updates and chatted with me about the bike for a bit. He asked me where I got it and even though the location was 230 miles away, he expressed surprise that the software wasn't up to date when they gave it to me b/c he knew the manager there and said that they ran a tight ship.
 
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Shogun7s+

New Member
Region
USA
Yes…they have three stores in Richmond now. They carry other brands too like Specialized. I use the store in suburban Short Pump.
In regards to Carytown Bikes the manager I’ve spoken to is willing to learn where she can like in adjustments in the software. All around competence. That seems to be the company philosophy, and they keep you informed when contacting Trek on your behalf. They do sponsor group rides which could be one way to see Richmond.
Good to know! I'll have to check them out when I am down there.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I am pretty comfortable (maybe too comfortable) riding in the city and know my way around it pretty well. DC is pretty bike friendly between bike lanes and parts of the city that don't get a lot of automobile traffic (example the National Mall), but I will keep that in mind when I am traveling to other cities.

Edit: Just realizing you might have been replying to my 'limited' comment - I meant that I was limited in how far I could travel to a bike store since my only way of getting my bike there currently is to ride it there.
Used to live in, and ride in, DC. Great biking city, as long as you ignore Rock Creek Park! Lived in NW DC. Rode Conn ave downtown all the time.