Trek Powerfly 7, 2017

DrewSkates

New Member
My wife and I came upon the e-bike scene quite unexpectedly and we were instant fans so we decided to purchase our first ever e-bikes. My wife went with the Powerfly 5 Womans which comes in a sky blue that she loves and I opted for the Powerfly 7. We both love our bikes and have enjoyed them tremendously for the last three weeks clocking in 250 miles riding on the weekends. As I primarily ride on the road and in many hills I have quickly found that the top gear is too low for me. Even on a flat I can ride in the 22-25mph range (obviously w/o the motor assist) and would prefer a larger gear to slow down my cadence. I have read on the internet that it is possible to change out the gear on the motor from 15t to 17 or even 18t. Also I am wondering if anyone has looked into changing the tires to something more inclined to the road which would help to reduce rolling resistance. Let me know if you have any suggestions as I would love to be able to ride at 25+ mph (28mph?) for extended clips.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
I'd look for a larger front sprocket first, before tires, since a high cadence seems to be your main complaint. If that's not enough then I'd look at tires in the hope that reduces your effort, but the tires wont help if the cadence at 25-28 mph is already too high for you.

I've found that the Powerfly 7 knobby tires don't have a huge contact patch with the ground (since there's a lot of air between the knobs) and that whether I'm running lower tire pressure or higher pressure that my pedaling effort is about the same.

I also think that I was getting more wear in the center of my rear tire when I was pressuring up to 50psi for my rides on pavement. Iit's no harder to pedal at 40psi, but I'm in a hilly area where I don't get to ride above 20mph that often (I think our tire's recommended range is 30-55 psi). I'm going to leave it at 40psi for pavement and hope to even our my tire wear.

It's funny but when I had an XM700+ on order so I'd be able to go 28mph, I was pricing the cost to install a Rock Shox front fork and knobby tires to be able to ride off road. I'm happy with my slower Powerfly7 because I like to ride with my wife and she doesn't like to ride fast.
 

DrewSkates

New Member
I'd look for a larger front sprocket first, before tires, since a high cadence seems to be your main complaint. If that's not enough then I'd look at tires in the hope that reduces your effort, but the tires wont help if the cadence at 25-28 mph is already too high for you.

I've found that the Powerfly 7 knobby tires don't have a huge contact patch with the ground (since there's a lot of air between the knobs) and that whether I'm running lower tire pressure or higher pressure that my pedaling effort is about the same.

I also think that I was getting more wear in the center of my rear tire when I was pressuring up to 50psi for my rides on pavement. Iit's no harder to pedal at 40psi, but I'm in a hilly area where I don't get to ride above 20mph that often (I think our tire's recommended range is 30-55 psi). I'm going to leave it at 40psi for pavement and hope to even our my tire wear.

It's funny but when I had an XM700+ on order so I'd be able to go 28mph, I was pricing the cost to install a Rock Shox front fork and knobby tires to be able to ride off road. I'm happy with my slower Powerfly7 because I like to ride with my wife and she doesn't like to ride fast.
Thanks Larry, I'm also currently looking into to changing my front sprocket to a 17/18t but what an experience I've had trying to get that done. I could go on and on...
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
You might want to rethink the gearing change if you have to go on any steep climbs at lower speeds. So while I'm waiting for my replacement brake lever to come in tomorrow (my Powerfly 7 is still in the shop after the crash over Memorial Day weekend), I took my wife's Neko+ out for a 10 mile ride the other day. And now I know why on some steep trails she's had to get off and push her bike up.

Her bike is better geared for riding above 25mph on flat ground without assist, while mine is better geared for riding under 25mph on flat ground. With the Powerfly 7 at over 25mph I'm closer to pedaling like a circus monkey, while with her tall gearing the Neko+ cadence is a bit slower. But that sucks for her when climbing a 10-15% grade in 1st gear at low speeds (The Trek DualSport+ would be the men's equivalent of her bike).

I simply can't pedal her bike fast enough to maintain 6mph in a steep climb using 1st gear without putting her bike in HIGH power at 200% assist, while my Powerfly 7 can climb at even slower speeds with lower power assist levels (ECO or Tour), because it's geared to give me enough cadence to deliver full assist on lower settings. On her bike I have to ride faster in high power to keep up my momentum and get enough power output for the climb. This sucks up a lot of battery power in the process.

Typically, riding in my hilly neighborhood nets me approximately 7-10 miles per bar on my Bosche battery (1 bar = 20%). My hardest ride has used up 3/5 bars (60%) over a 25 mile ride, and a gentle ride using ECO mode the whole time used up only 2/5 bars (40%) over 30 miles. But on this 10 mile ride with her Neko+ I went through 40% of her Shimano Steps' battery because I often needed 200% assist, where Tour with 120% assist on my Powerfly would have been enough.

So, in my case I definitely would not want to change to a larger front sprocket on my Powerfly 7, due to all the slow climbing we have to do in my neighborhood. I can see why some members here have both a Speed Pedelec and a mountain eBike, for different situations.
 

elyhim

Active Member
I ordered separate wheels (cassettes, discs, etc.) for a road set but have been waiting almost two months for the line comp wheels and I'm getting ready to ask for my money back. Local Trek store sales man says," yes, these are new so their going on bikes instead of the warehouse for delivery". I'm at a point where I'll just keep my FS in the singletracks anyway, I have other bikes for the greenways and commuting if I want.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Powerfly 7 in Glenwood Canyon Colorado - Wife took a 2 second video on her iPhone 7 instead of a photo by accident, but very steady hands so I was able to get a good screen capture.

Any more Powerfly 7 club members?

Larry Trek eBike Canyon.jpg
 

John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
I'd look for a larger front sprocket first, before tires, since a high cadence seems to be your main complaint. If that's not enough then I'd look at tires in the hope that reduces your effort, but the tires wont help if the cadence at 25-28 mph is already too high for you.

I've found that the Powerfly 7 knobby tires don't have a huge contact patch with the ground (since there's a lot of air between the knobs) and that whether I'm running lower tire pressure or higher pressure that my pedaling effort is about the same.

I also think that I was getting more wear in the center of my rear tire when I was pressuring up to 50psi for my rides on pavement. Iit's no harder to pedal at 40psi, but I'm in a hilly area where I don't get to ride above 20mph that often (I think our tire's recommended range is 30-55 psi). I'm going to leave it at 40psi for pavement and hope to even our my tire wear.

It's funny but when I had an XM700+ on order so I'd be able to go 28mph, I was pricing the cost to install a Rock Shox front fork and knobby tires to be able to ride off road. I'm happy with my slower Powerfly7 because I like to ride with my wife and she doesn't like to ride fast.
Hi Larry,
I've enjoyed your posts. I also have an XM700+ and have ordered a Powerfly 7 2017 ( hardtail ) . My plan is to use the Powerfly 7 on stone dust rails to trails rides,
any groomed trails and roads, but limited to 'back roads'. I tried my XM700+ on a stone dust trail, but didn't feel stable enough with the stock Schwalbe Energizer Plus
tires thus the Powerfly 7...The XM700+ will be for paved conditions.... How do like your Powerfly 7 off road, assuming you ride on stone dust etc ?
I'll never go true off roading so that is not a concern. I'm guessing the Powerfly performs well on paved roads?

Also I truly enjoy the XM700+ stock swept back handle bars, but Trek no longer carries them or I'd install them on my Powerfly 7. Did you stick with the stock
bars on your Powerfly ? I'm not comfortable with true flat bar/ Mtn bars and will be changing to something with a sweep. I installed a Bodyfloat seat post
on my XM700 because it was waaay too stiff, the Bodyfloat is great and made the bike very ridable for me... Is the Powerfly stiff like the XM700 ?
I've purchased a second Bodyfloat and was planning on installing it on my Powerfly. Lastly, how do you like your Powerfly 7 on the road?

Thanks in advance,
John from CT
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Hi Larry,
I've enjoyed your posts. I also have an XM700+ and have ordered a Powerfly 7 2017 ( hardtail ) . My plan is to use the Powerfly 7 on stone dust rails to trails rides,
any groomed trails and roads, but limited to 'back roads'. I tried my XM700+ on a stone dust trail, but didn't feel stable enough with the stock Schwalbe Energizer Plus
tires thus the Powerfly 7...The XM700+ will be for paved conditions.... How do like your Powerfly 7 off road, assuming you ride on stone dust etc ?
I'll never go true off roading so that is not a concern. I'm guessing the Powerfly performs well on paved roads?

Also I truly enjoy the XM700+ stock swept back handle bars, but Trek no longer carries them or I'd install them on my Powerfly 7. Did you stick with the stock
bars on your Powerfly ? I'm not comfortable with true flat bar/ Mtn bars and will be changing to something with a sweep. I installed a Bodyfloat seat post
on my XM700 because it was waaay too stiff, the Bodyfloat is great and made the bike very ridable for me... Is the Powerfly stiff like the XM700 ?
I've purchased a second Bodyfloat and was planning on installing it on my Powerfly. Lastly, how do you like your Powerfly 7 on the road?

Thanks in advance,
John from CT
I've taken the Powerfly 7 onto several gravel trails and it's pretty stable at 40psi tire pressure, although if you get into some deep soft <1/8" pea-gravel it will slow the bike way down as you sink in and you need to power up the motor to get through it rather than bogging down. It's not often that I run into that, where it feels like those old playgrounds with 12" deep soft loose round gravel. I imagine that if you were doing a lot of fine loose gravel it would be like riding on sand and you'd want a 4" fatbike instead, or lower the tires to 30psi (or go tubeless and go to 25psi).

On hard pack single tracks with gravel on top of the surface it seems to do pretty well, but as you know any 2.3" tire can still skitter around on gravel, so you have to keep your body loose and let the bike move around and find it's way. On those surfaces my wife can't keep up with me on her Neko+ with 1.5" tires and more of a hybrid tread. Her bike is geared all wrong for climbing on slow/loose dirt trails anyway, and is best on hard pack with mild gravel and pavement.

I've not had my front end wash out yet on loose dirt, but I've come close and it helps when I keep my weight back, which means getting off the seat and moving my butt back, but the bars are a longer reach forward than swept bars and without a dropper seat-post it's hard. Instead I did buy a suspension seat post, but just a better seat could be enough.

I tend to let the bike float between my hands and legs on bumpy surfaces, to absorb bumps and stay on track. So I haven't gotten much use from my Suntour NCX suspension seat post https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IM2JZYY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 but when I force myself to take the weight off my feet and use the seat, I find that the seat post works very well and does a better job absorbing bumps than my front dual 100mm shocks set for 26% sag. If I sit too far forward on the seat then the Suntour seat post doesn't get enough leverage to move (it moves down and back with bumps). If I sit back far enough to get it to absorb everything then I can barely reach the handle bars with my spare tire in the way (okay, my gut).

On most rides I do use up 100% of my front fork travel, and have thought about spacers inside the forks to get it to be more progressive, so I can run a lower pressure for a softer street ride. I think my fork pressure is between 120-125psi but I haven't checked it since May. So, currently I can't go lower on the pressure without spacers to make it more progressive - the front suspension works better off road than on pavement where it doesn't absorb the small bumps as well.

My 2.3" dirt tires still do great on pavement without too much rolling resistance, although I suspect that the grip in emergency braking might suffer with less contact patch on the road due to the knobbies. I've taken mine up to 42.7mph downhill on pavement, and it's steering geometry is much more stable at high speed than the DualSport+ that I borrowed for a weekend before ordering my XM700+ and then canceling for the PF7.

It corners well, although I'd expect that the XM700+ would corner better/faster on pavement with it's tires. Regardless, a bicycle is not like riding a motorcycle, as I'm much higher off the ground (36" vs 28"). So I'm not as confident leaning hard into turns when I'm sitting on a tiny seat 3 feet off the ground. Countersteering still works, but I feel like if I'm leaning into the turn too much that I'll start to slide out. So I have not tested my limits on dirt or pavement, and I slow down to at least 15-20mph for turns.

I do keep the tires at 40psi for all rides now, as I usually have to ride on pavement to get to any off-road riding, and 3/4 of my ride miles are on pavement. I can pedal it up to 22-23mph comfortably on flat ground with a comfortable cadence, and occasionally 26-27mph but then the cadence is too high for me to maintain for long. There's one stretch on the ride back from the local Zoo where I can pedal at what I'm guessing is 100+rpm at 35mph for about 3/4 of a mile which is about a 2% downhill grade where the bike would coast at only 20-25 without pedaling.

I went for the smaller 55cm frame for my 5 foot 9 inch body (30" inseam) and I kept the stock bars. But I went with a shorter and steeper handlebar riser (maybe 110x45 I'm not exactly sure now) which brought the bars closer to me, although I'd wish they were 1" higher and 2" farther back for cruising.

For where I like to ride (street and dirt), and riding 10-20mph with my wife, the Powerfly 7 is perfect and very versatile. Although it would be nice to also have a 28mph speed pedelec with street tires, after dropping so much on the Trek if I get a 2nd eBike it might be something like the Juiced Crosscurrent S at a much lower price. I can't justify another $4K bike to my wife, but if money grew on trees my Bike #2 would be a Stromer ST2 S.
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
PS: at 450 miles I rotated the rear tire to the front, where the front looks new and the rear was 1/2 way worn out in the center. I should get another 300-400 miles from the most worn tire that's now up front, and another 500+ from the other that is now in the rear. I'm at over 500 miles now, but the bike was down for 4 weeks after that crash over memorial day weekend. It's not a commuter for work, just for fun, but because of my health and all the hills around Cheyenne Mountain, one ride can wipe me out for a few days before I feel good enough to do another. Otherwise I could hit 3-4K miles a year.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
John, re the handlebars, Origin8 makes a bar that is extremely close to the xm700 bar - I had bought it for my last ebike and when I got the xm700 I didn’t bother swapping them out since they were so similar. Might be worth a look for your Powerfly. I got them at Amazon, where else...

https://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Space-Off-Road-II/dp/B0046VYHI0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475791468&sr=8-1&keywords=origin+8+space+bar&th=1&psc=1

I really like the Origin8 stuff. Have a pair of their very flat pedals as well that I just used on my Erie Canal trip on my xm700, it handled the stone dust quite well also -there’s many, many miles of it - though a little more tire would have been nice for sure.
 
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John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
PS: at 450 miles I rotated the rear tire to the front, where the front looks new and the rear was 1/2 way worn out in the center. I should get another 300-400 miles from the most worn tire that's now up front, and another 500+ from the other that is now in the rear. I'm at over 500 miles now, but the bike was down for 4 weeks after that crash over memorial day weekend. It's not a commuter for work, just for fun, but because of my health and all the hills around Cheyenne Mountain, one ride can wipe me out for a few days before I feel good enough to do another. Otherwise I could hit 3-4K miles a year.
Hi Larry,
Thank you very much for your complete and thorough reply...So much for me to learn. I should have my Powerfly7 by this weekend. I'll take
it out for a 'maiden voyage' and report back. You've provided a lot of good info, not the least of which is alerting me to body position while riding, on and off
the pedals etc, something I hadn't given much consideration to...

As mentioned I'll never do 'real' off road, single track (rocks, sticks, logs etc) because I have neither the strength and bike handling skills. A
crash would probably end my riding days. Groomed stone dust, rails to trails type will keep me busy. I'll catch you on the flip side.

Be well,
John from CT
 

John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
John, re the handlebars, Origin8 makes a bar that is extremely close to the xm700 bar - I had bought it for my last ebike and when I got the xm700 I didn’t bother swapping them out since they were so similar. Might be worth a look for your Powerfly. I got them at Amazon, where else...

https://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Space-Off-Road-II/dp/B0046VYHI0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475791468&sr=8-1&keywords=origin+8+space+bar&th=1&psc=1

I really like the Origin8 stuff. Have a pair of their very flat pedals as well that I just used on my Erie Canal trip on my xm700, it handled the stone dust quite well also -there’s many, many miles of it - though a little more tire would have been nice for sure.
Hi Dave,
Wow ! What a great lead...Origin8. I was not familiar with them. Thank you very much. I debated between the handlebar you bought and the one below and
went with it because it appears to have a slightly less sweepback, which is what I think I want,won't know until I get it. If not I'll go with 'yours' . I'll
also check out Origin8's pedals 'cause I'm using the stock basic ones that came on the XM700.

When I first bought my bike in July I went with the simple Shimano clip-ins, not the fancy road ones, but all things considered they weren't worth 'the risk'.
I switched to those stiff plastic toe clips and I'm quite happy. Thanks for the lead Dave. I really appreciate it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ACTKH34/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

All the best,
John from CT
 

Larry Ganz

Active Member
Hi Larry,
Thank you very much for your complete and thorough reply...So much for me to learn. I should have my Powerfly7 by this weekend. I'll take
it out for a 'maiden voyage' and report back. You've provided a lot of good info, not the least of which is alerting me to body position while riding, on and off
the pedals etc, something I hadn't given much consideration to...

As mentioned I'll never do 'real' off road, single track (rocks, sticks, logs etc) because I have neither the strength and bike handling skills. A
crash would probably end my riding days. Groomed stone dust, rails to trails type will keep me busy. I'll catch you on the flip side.

Be well,
John from CT
Bosche makes a big deal about “uphill flow” and for a reason - I actually like to ride up the single tracks in low gear and turbo assist power level, because the Powerfly 7 climbs like a tractor. I’m still a bit scared to just fly downhill at speed and kill myself too.

But we ride the Santa Fe Trail a lot, and it’s a rails to trails kind of path (wide and packed gravel for the most part) but not really RTT as it runs alongside the real train tracks from Colorado Springs to Palmer Lake (50-60 miles of trail I think). Except for a few spots the XM700+ might be just fine on that, until you hit the 2-3 short spots that are loose and deep.