Trek Launches New High Performance Electric Cross Country Ebikes E-Caliber

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys! Trek sent me one of their newest models, the E-Caliber, and I studied the differences between it and the non-electric Supercaliber. It's a cool racing inspired cross country electric mountain bike with the Fazua Evation drive system with the Remote bX and their newest Battery 250X. I'm a big fan of the updated Black Pepper firmware updates that expand power output from 250 to 300-450 watts and increase max cadence support to 125 RPM. There are still some inconveniences, like having to remove the battery pack from the bike each time you want to charge, but overall it performs well with up to 55 newton meters of torque output and drag-free pedaling beyond 20mph (32km/h). Here's my review https://electricbikereview.com/trek/e-caliber-9-9-xtr/ and here's the video I shot:


So I still have access to this platform and am hoping I can answer any questions that might come up here in this thread. I welcome your input about the bike, which starts in the E-Caliber 9.6 model for $6,499 USD. The version they loaned me to review is the 9.9 XTR with upgraded carbon fiber rims, rigid seat post, nicer brakes, and Shimano XTR (with a huge 10 to 51 tooth cassette).

Trek also send this long run launch video, which includes some interviews with the Fazua team. It may be interesting to hear directly from them and get a different perspective from what I convey in my review. Hope you guys enjoy!

 
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Akrotiri

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
Very impressed by this e-bike. Trek is on a roll while Specialized is flailing, R&M is overwhelmed, Haibike is ignored by its parent Accell, Moustache is too small and Giant is stubborn and stagnate refusing to expand operations. Leaving only BULLS standing and being competitive with Trek rn.

Trek seems to have designed an e-bike with all top tier components and frame without it being over-engineered to a fault like some other brands that sell CC e-mtbs at this price point.

Add to the fact you get treks service and support and legendary reliability the e-caliber 9.9 is a much better buy compared to its competitor’s offerings.

The fazua motor is interesting, low on power and small battery but the ability to go analog at will is a trend I like and I bet we’ll see more of it in the future on other e-bikes. Bosch better step up their game with more open source software and removable drive systems or they are going to lose market share quickly.
 
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
Overall a decent review but I get a bit tired of Court’s whining about Trek’s battery lock system. It’s rare that anyone will be using one hand to operate the ebike. Maybe he should learn to use a small tripod for his phone. He whined about this in his Allant+7 review and frankly, it’s just not an issue ANYONE but him has complained about. I haven’t ever had an issue with it.
Its unfortunate that Bosch evidently isn’t progressing their motors to lighter weight versions that could have been used in the e-caliber. Noticed that Court mentioned 27.5 wheels being “phased out”, which I haven’t heard before. I’m curious why.
 

Akrotiri

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
Overall a decent review but I get a bit tired of Court’s whining about Trek’s battery lock system. It’s rare that anyone will be using one hand to operate the ebike. Maybe he should learn to use a small tripod for his phone. He whined about this in his Allant+7 review and frankly, it’s just not an issue ANYONE but him has complained about. I haven’t ever had an issue with it.
Its unfortunate that Bosch evidently isn’t progressing their motors to lighter weight versions that could have been used in the e-caliber. Noticed that Court mentioned 27.5 wheels being “phased out”, which I haven’t heard before. I’m curious why.
I agree, although he’s a good reviewer it’s astonishing he hasn’t realized yet that he has problems removing some batteries because he’s holding a camera with one hand and trying to remove a battery operated with a lock and key in the other. The fact this e-bike lacked a kickstand exacerbated his self-manufactured issue.

My eyebrows raised when he said that about 27.5 tires. Thought it was odd since 27.5 is becoming more popular overall than 29’. A quick glance at Schwalbe’s website proves that. Unless he was talking specifically about e-mtbs where 29er have become quite popular but many still run mullet builds with a 29 upfront and 27.5 in the back. No way their getting phased out if anything it’s as popular as ever across all genres of e-bikes. Perhaps he meant 26’ touring tires which are getting phased out because of the popularity of 27.5 and their do it all capabilities; tour, race, trail, commute, mountain etc.
 
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reed scott

Well-Known Member
Strikes me this is a revolution in ebike design. Not sure I care for it right now, sounds kinda wimpy, but this could be a wave of the future.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I agree, although he’s a good reviewer it’s astonishing he hasn’t realized yet that he has problems removing some batteries because he’s holding a camera with one hand and trying to remove a battery operated with a lock and key in the other. The fact this e-bike lacked a kickstand exacerbated his self-manufactured issue.

My eyebrows raised when he said that about 27.5 tires. Thought it was odd since 27.5 is becoming more popular overall than 29’. A quick glance at Schwalbe’s website proves that. Unless he was talking specifically about e-mtbs where 29er have become quite popular but many still run mullet builds with a 29 upfront and 27.5 in the back. No way their getting phased out if anything it’s as popular as ever across all genres of e-bikes. Perhaps he meant 26’ touring tires which are getting phased out because of the popularity of 27.5 and their do it all capabilities; tour, race, commute, mountain etc.
It’s understandable that a bike like that isn’t set up for a kickstand. I’m sure there are ways around it if someone really wants to find one.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Strikes me this is a revolution in ebike design. Not sure I care for it right now, sounds kinda wimpy, but this could be a wave of the future.
That rear suspension looked a bit lightweight. Part of that was appearance because of the white paint on top, I think, though it did seem to be wiggling a bit from the top-down video Court shot while riding it.
A7C457A3-68DD-44C0-9447-3361D2FDD32B.jpeg
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Overall a decent review but I get a bit tired of Court’s whining about Trek’s battery lock system. It’s rare that anyone will be using one hand to operate the ebike.
You're right, it's probably not a big issue for most people. I mention it because I see room for improvement and I'm an emotional communicator, I can see how the current design could cause some people to struggle. I was in a hurry unlocking the pack (with two hands) and the battery tumbled out because I pulled and held the unlock latch. I do lay my bikes down occasionally and that's a safe position to get the battery pack out, so why not have the key hole on the drivetrain side? Trek is very capable, and I've got to believe that Fazua is too... so I'm treating them with the high level of respect and expectation that that comes along with the high price :)
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
You're right, it's probably not a big issue for most people. I mention it because I see room for improvement and I'm an emotional communicator, I can see how the current design could cause some people to struggle. I was in a hurry unlocking the pack (with two hands) and the battery tumbled out because I pulled and held the unlock latch. I do lay my bikes down occasionally and that's a safe position to get the battery pack out, so why not have the key hole on the drivetrain side? Trek is very capable, and I've got to believe that Fazua is too... so I'm treating them with the high level of respect and expectation that that comes along with the high price :)

@Court your review was very nice. Supercaliper was one of Trek's models that I liked most and it is good to see that hey made a light ebike version.

Your point was actually spot on. Some people has to realize that this bike does not have a stand so you can not use both of your hands to take off the battery every time. That's why one may prefer to lay the bike on its side (in mtbing people do this all the time). The placement of the key hole makes it difficult to take off the battery and it will be prone to scracthes. The price of this bike is 6.5K goes all the way up to $13K ? At such a high price range and given that you get a 250Wh battery and a fazua motor, the rest of the details do matter.

It was also nice to see that Fazua upped the power to 450W which is more than enough for this light bike and xc riding. Is 250Wh battery expendable? If not that would be a bummer, especially for long distance riding/climbing.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Just to chime in related to the battery removal.

Hardly any e-MTB is made for a kickstand use. Since you should never lay your bike on the drive-side (and the key-lock is typically on the other side of the bike), any e-MTBer just supports their e-bike over a tree (wall, a post, etc) and then battery removal is very easy. Of course using both hands.
 

drodg

Active Member
Good review. I am picking up my new Trek Domane HP tomorrow with a Bosch motor & I wonder how long it will be before I go to an e MTB. I rode the Trek Domane LT with the Fazua motor and I along with LBS employee had a hard time with the battery. I wish Fazua equipped their bikes with a charge port instead of always having to charge the battery directly.
 

ghukins

Member
I just purchased the 9.6 base model and will let you know what I think in a week. Frankly, I prefer the base model with a dropper post as standard. I also agree with other posts in that battery removal is easy when you are not holding a camera. On a related note, Court, when you attach the camera to the seat post to show us the noise the engine makes, could you please aim the camera forward? We don't need to look at your feet - over and over again :) I like the Fazua drive as it is much more powerful than the 30 Nm of the SL1 (Specialized) yet much lighter than the 85Nm Bosch. We'll see how it goes.
 

Akrotiri

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
I just purchased the 9.6 base model and will let you know what I think in a week. Frankly, I prefer the base model with a dropper post as standard. I also agree with other posts in that battery removal is easy when you are not holding a camera. On a related note, Court, when you attach the camera to the seat post to show us the noise the engine makes, could you please aim the camera forward? We don't need to look at your feet - over and over again :) I like the Fazua drive as it is much more powerful than the 30 Nm of the SL1 (Specialized) yet much lighter than the 85Nm Bosch. We'll see how it goes.
Only one week wait from day of purchase to take delivery of your e-caliber?
 

ghukins

Member
Only one week wait from day of purchase to take delivery of your e-caliber?
Waiting for weather and a few days to ride. The bike was on the floor and ready to go. Scotts Bikes in Cleveland, TN had a medium and two large bikes in stock. (They also have Rails and Powerfly's for anyone in the southeast US).
 
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ghukins

Member
Went out for a ride on Sunday and can report the following. The bike was very tossable and had just enough power. The suspension for flow trails and moderate rocks/roots was more than adequate. It is not meant for, and at my age will not be subjected to, rock gardens or drops. So far I am very happy with the performance. Battery charging could be less of a hassle, but I will live with that. The bike has 55Nm of torque. Quite a bit more than a Specialized Turbo Levo SL (35Nm) and a lot less than a Trek Powerfly at 85Nm. I didn't do any crazy stuff, but there wasn't a climb I couldn't get up.
 

Akrotiri

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
B
Went out for a ride on Sunday and can report the following. The bike was very tossable and had just enough power. The suspension for flow trails and moderate rocks/roots was more than adequate. It is not meant for, and at my age will not be subjected to, rock gardens or drops. So far I am very happy with the performance. Battery charging could be less of a hassle, but I will live with that. The bike has 55Nm of torque. Quite a bit more than a Specialized Turbo Levo SL (35Nm) and a lot less than a Trek Powerfly at 85Nm. I didn't do any crazy stuff, but there wasn't a climb I couldn't get up.
Very good to hear it’s already getting great user reviews. Since its a very low weight e-mtb and with substantial torque I was wondering if it would be *very* tossable and nimble and glad to hear confirmation that indeed it is since you’re the first owner of an e-caliber on EBR.

Did it come with the extra downtube empty casing so you can ride it without the fazua motor and battery or is that a separate accessory purchase?

If it did come with that downtube accessory did you ride it yet without the Fazua motor and battery?
 

ghukins

Member
B

Very good to hear it’s already getting great user reviews. Since its a very low weight e-mtb and with substantial torque I was wondering if it would be *very* tossable and nimble and glad to hear confirmation that indeed it is since you’re the first owner of an e-caliber on EBR.

Did it come with the extra downtube empty casing so you can ride it without the fazua motor and battery or is that a separate accessory purchase?

If it did come with that downtube accessory did you ride it yet without the Fazua motor and battery?
It did come with the blanking tube, but have not tried it yet. Will report back when I do.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Very impressed by this e-bike. Trek is on a roll while Specialized is flailing, R&M is overwhelmed, Haibike is ignored by its parent Accell, Moustache is too small and Giant is stubborn and stagnate refusing to expand operations. Leaving only BULLS standing and being competitive with Trek rn.
Yamaha is doing great !