Trek Dual Sport+ Review

Trek Dual Sport Plus Electric Bike Review
Trek Dual Sport Plus
Trek Dual Sport Plus Shimano Steps 250 Mid Motor
Trek Dual Sport Plus 36 Volt 11 Amp Hour Shimano Downtube Ebike Battery
Trek Dual Sport Plus Large Shimano Steps Transflective Display Panel
Trek Dual Sport Plus Sr Suntour Nrx Spring Suspension Fork
Trek Dual Sport Plus 10 Speed Shimano Deore Drivetrain
Trek Dual Sport Plus Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes 160 Mm Rear Kickstand
Trek Dual Sport Plus Electric Bike Review
Trek Dual Sport Plus
Trek Dual Sport Plus Shimano Steps 250 Mid Motor
Trek Dual Sport Plus 36 Volt 11 Amp Hour Shimano Downtube Ebike Battery
Trek Dual Sport Plus Large Shimano Steps Transflective Display Panel
Trek Dual Sport Plus Sr Suntour Nrx Spring Suspension Fork
Trek Dual Sport Plus 10 Speed Shimano Deore Drivetrain
Trek Dual Sport Plus Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes 160 Mm Rear Kickstand

Summary

  • A lightweight, trail-capable, hybrid commuter electric bike, the larger 700c wheelset provides efficient rolling momentum and lower attack angle to smooth out cracks and bumps
  • Shimano STePs mid-drive is responsive, less power hungry than competing products, and relatively quiet, The chainring has a guide to reduce drops and keep your pants clean
  • Excellent Shimano Deore XT 10-speed drivetrain with Shadow Plus clutch to reduce chain bounce and noise, decent Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with average 160 mm rotors
  • Removable battery, display panel, and quick release wheels make the Dual Sport+ easy to transport, store, and service but the charger requires a dongle adapter

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Trek

Model:

Dual Sport+

Price:

$2,999

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Years Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

43 lbs (19.5 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.9 lbs (2.67 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.05 lbs (3.19 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

15 in (38.1 cm)17.5 in (44.45 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)22.5 in (57.15 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Large 20": 23" Reach, 30" Stand Over Height, 24.5" Width, 71.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Red Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour NRX DL Spring Suspension, 63 mm Travel, Compression Clicker with Lockout, Preload Adjust, Hydraulic Lockout, 100 mm / 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm / 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore RD-M615 GS Derailleur with Shadow Plus One-Way Clutch, Shimano CS-HG50 Cassette 11-36T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore SL-T610 Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Shimano Alloy 170 mm Length Crank Arms, 44T Chainring with Plastic Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo C015 Aluminum Body, Aluminum Cage

Headset:

FP-H825PL, 1-1/8" Threadless, Black

Stem:

Bontrager Elite Stem, 90 mm Length, 7° Rise, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter, One 20 mm Headset Spacer, One 10 mm Headset Spacer

Handlebar:

Bontrager Approved Lowriser, 600 mm Length, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter, 15 mm Rise, 9° Bend, 4° Upsweep, Blast Anodized Black

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore M355 Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Shimano 3-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Bontrager Satellite Elite, Ergonomic Rubber, 130 mm Length, Lock On, Grey with Black Clamps

Saddle:

Bontrager Nebula H1, Black

Seat Post:

Bontrager Aluminum Alloy, 31.9 mm Clamp, 8 mm Offset

Seat Post Length:

330 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Bontrager Approved TLR Disc 700c, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 32 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14G, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Bontrager LT2 Hard-Case Lite, 700 x 38c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

50 to 80 PSI, 3.4 to 5.5 BAR

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Bontrager Integrated Chainstay Mount Kickstand, ABUS Battery Locking Core

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 3.1 Amp 1.7 Pound Charger with Adapter Dongle, 11.6 Amp Motor Controller, KMC X10e Chain

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shimano STePs

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Shimano STePS, Down Tube, BT-E6010

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

Shimano STePs Large Model SC-E6010, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Transflective Monochrome, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed (mph or km/h), Average Speed, Max Speed, Odometer, Trip Meter, Range, Battery Level Percentage, Assist Mode (Off, Eco, Normal, High), Time Clock

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip (Hold Up and Down for Settings Menu)

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 70% 30 Nm, Normal 150% 40 Nm, High 230% 50 Nm)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Dual Sport+ is an electrified version of the classic Dual Sport bicycle from Trek, one of the world’s largest bike manufacturers. It’s a model that leans towards efficiency, lightweight design, and quiet operation vs. high torque and raw power that many competing trail and mountain models target. To me, this compromise is a welcome one. Weighing in at just 43 lbs vs. the 50+ that so many other competing products hit, it’s an ebike that feels nimble to ride and is easy to lift up stairs or onto bike racks. Even riding unpowered, the bike feels capable and enjoyable, it coasts efficiently and has a wide enough gear range to manage hills without difficulty. The Dual Sport+ doesn’t come with fenders or a rack stock but it does have mounting provisions in place to add them later on… It even has bottle cage bosses on the seat tube! a feature that so many e-bikes lack due to frame geometry and battery placement compromises. For $3k, you get Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, a 10-speed Shimano Deore XT drivetrain, and the Shimano STePs drive system all warrantied for two years. The frame comes in four sizes, ensuring a better fit for most riders, but if you’re petite or struggle with taller high-step diamond frames, Trek offers a sister model called the Neko+ with a sloping top tube that’s about five inches lower. Both frames are diamond shaped vs. wave because of the strength it provides which is important for off-road riding. You’ll forego the bottle cages bosses and end up with a sparkly black paint job on the Neko+ vs. the matte black on the Dual Sport+, but it’s a great option to have, and not overly feminine. Most of the components are otherwise the same between the two models. I met a Trek rep named Stephanie Jones in Colorado for this review and she excitedly referred to the Dual Sport+ as a “Colorado commuter” because it works great on paved and packed Earth alike. I guess that’s part of the naming direction as well. It’s not overbuilt like a true mountain bike, but the hybrid knobby tires and 63 mm suspension fork make it capable as a weekend fun bike or a “scenic route” commuting platform. For me, the relative light weight and removable battery and display panel combined with quick release wheels make it a great “everything” bike. As someone who only has enough space and money for one electric bike but enjoys a variety of bike riding activities, it seemed like a great option.

Driving the Dual Sport Plus is an efficient Shimano STePs 250 watt mid-drive motor. It’s compact, relatively quiet, and very durable according to some of the shops I’ve chatted with over the past year. I mentioned that many of the hardware components on this bike come from Shimano, and it might even be a brand you’ve heard of before because they have been designing shifter systems for many years. The STePs motor doesn’t offer as much torque as some of the Yamaha, Brose, or Bosch centerdrives, but I believe it doesn’t use energy as quickly on average or weigh as much. Putting out up to 50 Newton meters of torque, the motor relies on a combination of signals from the controller. It listens to rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque as you spin along. This creates a natural feeling with smooth acceleration that is predictable. It also allows for smoother shifting if you ease off a bit from pressing down on the pedals as you change gears, and this helps to extend the life of the drivetrain (chain, sprockets, and derailleur). The chainring is standard sized and has a plastic guide sandwiching the chain, keeping it on track if you encounter bumpy terrain. The Shimano derailleur has a Shadow Plus clutch mechanism (a little grey lever) that tightens the chain to further reduce the chance of a drop and keep it quiet. During more relaxed smooth rides, you can push this lever into the forward-down position for easier shifting.

Powering the bike is a 36 volt downtube mounted battery pack with Lithium-ion cells. It’s compact, relatively lightweight, and fairly easy to carry because the curved top edge has a recessed area for your hand. I’d call it average in terms of capacity, but the energy is spent efficiently by the mid-motor and if you shift thoughtfully (lower gears for climbing and higher gears for reaching and maintaining the 20 mph top assisted speed) it will offer great range. I love that the battery clicks in from the left side vs. down from the top like most other packs because this reduces the chances of bumping the battery case into the top tube of the frame. It also allows the top tube to be closer to the battery which allows it to be mounted further towards the head tube and make room for those bottle cage bosses. The battery mount is connected to a flattened section of the downtube which was custom designed to keep it lower and nicer looking, blending in with the design of the bike vs. being connected to a standard round tube. You can charge the battery on or off the bike, but one of my gripes is that you need a little adapter piece to do so because the plug design is different on the battery mount vs. the battery itself. If you lose the adapter plug piece, you will only be able to charge the pack when mounted to the bike. In my opinion, the charger is also a bit large and bulky which makes it less fun to lug around.

Operating the Dual Sport+ is a cinch. Once the battery is charged and mounted (and the display is clicked into place) you can press the power button on the battery or hold the black button on the control pad to get it booted up. The display has three menu layouts that provide more or less information but they all show your speed and battery level. I love that the battery indicator shows percentage in one of the readout views vs. just an infographic with five bars. It’s easy to navigate through, but not overwhelming. Shimano has offered two display panels in recent years and this is the larger transflective version. It looks great in bright direct light and is backlit for use in dim conditions as well. With just three buttons to work with, it’s intuitive and easy to use, even without looking down, but offers a surprisingly deep settings area. If you hold the up and down arrows, the settings menu comes up allowing you to change the units, invert the bright and dark areas (which is handy for dim conditions, so the display won’t be so bright), and even turn off the electronic beep that sounds ever time you click the arrow buttons. This is a huge deal for me, the beeping noise can get pretty annoying after a while. The only thing the display does not offer is a USB charging port for your portable electronics. This is a feature that some of the cheaper bikes are offering standard and it can be a great way to use a phone for GPS or just keep your MP3 player filled on a longer ride. All in all, the display panel and button pad work well, are easy to read and reach while riding, and are a big step up from the older square panel in my opinion.

Trek now offers a range of electric bikes but the Dual Sport+ and Neko+ are two of my favorites. I’m not a huge guy and I enjoy pedaling along… but my knee can get sensitive over time and it’s nice to have help climbing trails or just arriving to work without sweating. Being able to lift this bike up stairs, ride across easy dirt paths, and take the battery pack off and into work for a fillup is just right. Yeah, I wish the charger had a leash for the adapter plug (or didn’t require an adapter at all), and yeah I’d love a USB charging port somewhere like Bosch has on their Intuvia display. But I love how open the settings are, it’s a huge deal that the bike comes in so many sizes, and I prefer to buy in person from dealers when possible so Trek (being one of the bigger brands) can offer that. Ebikes are a bit more complex and expensive than regular bikes, so having someone fit you properly and being able to get help or replacement parts in a year or two down the line shouldn’t be overlooked. This is not the most affordable electric bicycle, nor is it feature complete with integrated lights, fenders, or a rack stock, but you can add those things if you need them. The disc brakes work well enough for urban and light trail riding and the hydraulic setup just feels better and is more adjustable than mechanical. Even the larger 700c tires are a nice touch, they roll smoothly and offer better efficiency than 26” but the knobby tires make them trail worthy. By the way, I was test riding the 20″ frame for this review and noticed that on all of the models, the handlebar was a bit shorter than a mountain bike (less wide) which is a nice touch for squeezing through traffic and office doors. I liked the ergonomic grips and riser bar, it felt a bit more upright and comfortable than a lot of the true trail bikes and for me, that was a good thing. Big thanks to Trek for partnering with me on this review and sending Stephanie out to meet me with several bikes to compare back to back. We had a good time and I think I agree that this would make a good Colorado commuting platform :P

Pros:

  • This is one of the lightest weight electric bikes I have ever reviewed, it’s a cross between an urban commuter and mountain bike capable of light trail riding, so you could cut across dirt paths in the city and maintain traction and comfort
  • Removable display panel and battery can be stored inside if you have to park at a bike rack or leave it outside in the rain/snow and even the wheels have quick release for easy trail maintenance or sticking the bike into the trunk of a car for a weekend getaway
  • Purpose-built frame flattens out a bit at the downtube to make the battery look nicer and sit lower, notice that most of the wires and cables are integrated to keep it looking clean and to reduce snags
  • Available in four frame sizes so you can optimize fit, the Dual Sport+ only comes in high-step but is actually a companion bike to the Neko+ which has a sloping top tube, diamond frames tend to be more stiff and sturdy, are easier to lift, and hang off of many car and bus racks better by using that flat top tube
  • There are plenty of provisions for adding a rear rack, fenders, and even a bottle cage at the seat tube which many other e-bikes aren’t able to squeeze in
  • Hydraulic disc brakes provide smooth stopping power without as much hand and finger effort, they tend to stay cleaner if you do ride through mud or dusty terrain, and the brake levers are adjustable so you can bring the reach in if you have small hands or are wearing gloves
  • The 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain is great, it’s a mid-level part that is several steps up from base and not only provides great range for climbing and going fast but allows for multi-shifting and has a one-way clutch to keep the chain tight (just click the little grey lever into the up position to reduce chain bounce on rough terrain), this drivetrain should hold up well between tuneups and is probably overkill for urban riding
  • The bike coasts efficiently and feels smooth over small cracks and bumps because of the larger wheel diameter (lowering the attack angle of the tires) and also because of the rubber knobs on the tires
  • I really appreciate the thick ergonomic grips, comfortable Bontrager Nebula H1 saddle, and 63 mm travel suspension fork with compression adjust and lockout! The blue lever locks the fork out which could reduce bobbing and dive on smooth terrain or for heavier riders
  • Trek is one of the biggest bicycle manufacturers in the world and they have a vast network of dealers who can let you test ride, help you get fitted, and provide warranty and maintenance service
  • The chainring is sandwiched between two plastic discs that help to keep it on track when riding across bumpy terrain and also help your pant leg to not rub or get greasy, it’s a great setup for a trail-worthy ebike like this
  • I’ve become a big fan of the Shimano STePs display + button pad system, the LCD panel is transflective so it looks great in bright daylight conditions and has some adjustability of settings if you hold the up and down arrow buttons for a few seconds when it’s on, this allows you turn off the beeping noise, change the units, and even invert the display colors for night riding, I also like that the readout shows battery percentage vs. just a five-bar infographic like many others
  • Battery and motor weight are well positioned, low and center across the frame, and I love how efficient and responsive the motor is, this electric bike handles well and doesn’t surprise you with jerky acceleration, it actually measures how hard you are pedaling and tries to match it smoothly which has the added benefit of reducing drivetrain wear when you shift… if you just ease off a bit on pedaling as you shift

Cons:

  • Minor consideration here, the disc brakes are average sized with 160 mm rotors vs. 180 at the front, they might not cool as efficiently or provide the stopping power for true mountain biking or long steep descents (especially with the wider 700c wheels), but they are good for urban and light trail riding
  • I’m a big fan of rear-mounted kickstands because they stay out of the way of your crank arms, but this one is also placed strategically to support the weight of a rack and cargo if you add it post-purchase, my gripe is that it does not allow for length adjustment and seemed kind of short during my review, the bike tipped pretty far to the left side
  • As great as the knobby tires and suspension fork are, they are still a compromise towards reduced weight and ride efficiency vs. full comfort… so I’d consider swapping the seat post with a 27.2 mm adjustable Bodyfloat or Suntour NCX suspension post, just keep in mind that these products will raise the minimum saddle height by a few inches which could make the seating position too high for some riders
  • In recent years, Shimano has updated their battery design to allow for on and off-bike charging, but this particular pack requires a special adapter to do so. If you lose the adapter dongle (which is easy to do because it doesn’t have a connector leash to the main charger cord) you could be out of luck for off-bike charging or have to buy a replacement, it’s just bulky and less convenient than if there was only one charging port plug type

Resources:

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Stephen Bookout
2 months ago

The Trek Dual Sport electric bike sounds like best choice for me but have not been able to find a Trek Dealer who has one in stock, or willing to order one, without me purchasing ahead of time. Any ideas on how to find a Trek dealer who might have one available for me to test ride? Or, be able to contact Trek direct for help?

Enjoy your reviews. Good information. Thanks.
Steve

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DOM1NO
3 months ago

Thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately no dealers anywhere close by. We have a Trek dealer, and they JUST got a Super Commuter in the other day and offered to let me test drive it. That was my first experience with an EBike. I really liked it, but I just can't see spending that much.

I commuted on a 250 dual sport motorcycle for almost 3 years so am used to carrying stuff in a backpack (rain gear, my lunch, ect.). I'm hoping to be able to fit everything I need on the bike in a trunk bag though. Luckily I can park the bike inside my office so don't have to worry about a lock.

I really can't see myself doing any open road cruising, just commuting. I'm 53 and it's just not in my DNA to go to a gym, I need to find a way to exercise regularly in an efficient manner, and I'm hoping this commute to work is it. I rode rain or shine on the motorcycle, and am hoping I can do the same on the bicycle.

Sonoboy
4 months ago

Here's a link discussing the elevation climb capabilities and battery draw for a Bosch Performance speed motor (not the CX).

http://www.ebikeportal.com/test-battery-consumption-after-1000-meters-of-elevation-gain-with-a-bosch-ebike

If you are using the upper ranges of the Bosch, for example SPORT and TURBO, you most definitely will need two batteries.Here is the Bosch range calculator:

https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-assistant/

If you can afford it, get one of the Bosch powered bikes that are dual battery configured. I just got the Riese & Muller Delite with dual battery, and am still enjoying not having any range anxiety. Mine is the 20 MPH version with the CX drive. From what I've read, a speed version (28 MPH) will lose about 20% of range due to air resistance. So, there's that to think about.

E-Wheels
5 months ago

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.
Larry is your PF7 a 2016 or 2017 model

Lost
5 months ago

I'm thinking about upgrading the the TRP HY/RD hydraulic brakes: https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1198&catid=206

It looks like plug-n-play using existing RR brake handles, no change to the hub motor cut-off system, and you use the same RR brake cables. I just haven't pulled the trigger yet.
I too looked into the HY/RD conversion. One huge caveat. They are designed for long pull / road type brake levers, and have read that putting them on mountain type bikes resulted in spongy and bottoming out brakes due to difference in brake lever design. If you do try them, please report back.

Here is what I replaced with on my Specialized Roll Sport, which has identical (I think) brakes to the rover except for the rotor size. (I changed that also!) http://www.ebay.com/itm/SINGLE-TRP-SPYKE-REAR-NO-DISC-disc-brake-Dual-Side-Actuation-MTB-bike/152376587086?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
They have similar attributes of the hydraulic because they are dual acting. Stock calipers work by pushing a pad on one side and pinching it with the pad on the other side, and in doing so actually bend the rotor over slightly in use to complete the sandwich. These calipers squeeze equally on both sides keeping the rotor flat, and wear on each side even. I really like them, and they turned out to be a good choice.

Loving the Specialized Roll, so much that I never ride Rover anymore. Tried to sell Rover, that didn't work, so I will keep it at work and use it there. (130 miles away a week at a time) But Rover, like me, needs to go on a diet. Want to lose the useless fork on the front and go with one 3 or 4 pounds lighter and no suspension. I keep it locked stiff anyway.

Sweetwater
6 months ago

I would hope they never place an ABS system on the eMTB line of bikes.
It ruins dual sport motorcycles offroad and would do the same for an offroad bicycle, IMHO.

Mark Peralta
6 months ago

Same battery capacity, power, number of assist levels.

Giant's advantages:
Cheaper by 100 bucks
Comes with fenders and lights
Dual chain rings (20 speed)
https://electricbikereview.com/giant/quick-e-plus/

Raleigh's Advantages:
Lighter by 1.5 pounds
Stealth appearance
https://electricbikereview.com/raleigh/redux-ie/

Giant appears more utilitarian and more of a commuter setup. Raleigh appears more for fun and sport with lesser practicality (no fenders, no lights).

1/1
JeffDG
6 months ago

Hello!
WOW! I knew e-bikes were emerging, but until my research research I had no idea the number of brands and offerings! Cost is still a factor, so I'm looking to merge the capabilities of a mountain bike with a commuter. Right now, I have a Trek 29er but because of the hills around here and asthma I don't go out much. That and I'm not overly sold on the 29er concept...

So...here is a rundown of my "must haves" and my "like to haves" followed by a couple options that seem to fit the bill.

Price: $2k (give or take)
Wheel size: strongly prefer 27.5"
Tires: not particularly relevant as I'd probably have to change to something amenable to both activities.
Drive: prefer a mid-drive
Suspension: Must have 100mm front suspension... full suspension would be wicked!!... could do front rack in that case (e.g., Thule pack n pedal)?????
Method of drive: prefer torque sensing with throttle
Accessories: needs to have the ability for a rack, fenders, and lights; prefer if they come pre-installed with lights integrated into the electric system
Class: Must be class III (20mph throttle / 28mph assist)

So far I found two that fit these criteria and two more that, well, might just be shooting for the stars:
1. Magnum Peak: a geared hub-driven mountain bike with bolt ons for racks etc.
2. M2S XC Sport - there is a dearth of info on this brand - but this site has done a review of the impressive drive system. The range seems low... are they just a conservative bunch?

is there an option for a 500W motor upgrade
is there an option for battery upgrades
Possible to add a throttle?
is there a gear-shift sensor?
Are the head/tail lights integrated into the electric system?

3. M2S Dual Sport - this is a full-suspension mountain bike...not sure it would work, but it would be incredibly cool if it could!
4. M2S All Go - this looks so cool! And so light! 37 lbs! What!?!?! Looks like there's an option for front suspension based on their photos, but it's not listed on the drop down menus.

It seems that Magnum has been around for at least 7 years...which is a good sign. The M2S fits more criteria but they seem to be an incredibly new company, which has its risks...on the other hand... the parts seem to be all available elsewhere (Bafang Max drive system... shimano shifters, etc.)... M2S' website, while looks great and is nicely navigable, does leave some questions.

I'm open to other options and/or input on the ones above...

THANKS!!

EDIT: Add to the short list the Biktrix Monte 1000... that also seems to fit the criteria. Has a BBS02 motor, hard tail, etc etc.

Saklie
7 months ago

@Saklie, first which model and year of bike do you have with this controller. We can help you better with this info, please.

It's a Trek Dual Sport Plus 2016

Larry Ganz
8 months ago

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).

Larry Ganz
8 months ago

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.

Larry Ganz
8 months ago

I would expect that for a fairly heavy person that a more powerful motor with a lot of torque is more important than it's speed rating.

For example, if you were considering something from Trek (which I researched a lot before buying), I would have recommended the 20mph 75NM Powerfly over the 28mph 63NM XM700+ speed pedelec, because the slower bike has more torque to get a heavier person moving, especially on hills. At 215 lbs I didn't have any trouble climbing with a 50NM Dual Sport+ at 200%, but the 75NM Powerfly makes steep hills almost effortless at 300% assist.

The Vado 5.0 seems to give you both high speed and 90NM torque, with a larger battery to support the extra power you might draw (350W vs 250W of the 3.0). Regardless, with the mid-drive taking advantage of the gearing I'd expect most of these bikes with over 50NM to work up to 250lbs (max rating for Trek), depending on the number of hills you have to pull.

With both offering 90NM torque, maybe your choice could be based on (1) big price difference and (2) whether you will be riding in places that only allow a class 1 eBike (eliminating the 5.0).

However, Court has the Vado 3.0 and 5.0 both listed as providing lower % levels of assist than Trek, at 20% ECO, 50% Sport, and 100% Turbo. I don't know if that is a typo, but I fear that you'd have to own extremely powerful legs to get the full 90NM out of the motor at only 100% assist. I've run into some hills that have required the 200% support level that the Trek eBikes offer, and some where I was stuck at 5-7 mph uphill if I chose to stick with only 100% support, but I am disabled with only one working lung and fibromyalgia.

I've tried the same steep hill with a 50NM Dual Sport+ and 75NM Powefly 7, and 100% was almost not enough in some parts of my climb, although it was doable at slower speeds. But the 120% assist of the Powerfly in Tour mode was a noticeable bump over the 100% of the Dual Sport+ in NORM mode - and that same hill with 200% pedal assist doesn't make me stop to rest and sees 10+ mph speeds (while my 300% feels like cheating).

I'll have to go watch Court's video reviews now.

EDIT - I mention the hills, even though your ride is flat, because hills make the bike perform as if I'm heavier than I am, which could replicate your experience with an extra 30 lbs to push.

Larry Ganz
8 months ago

We live in a hilly area, and our Trek mid-drive eBikes are a breeze to ride up steep (10% or more) hills, using the proper gearing to get a good cadence rate and power delivery. Mine is a Powerfly 7 eMTN bike with 75NM Bosche system, and my wife's is a Neko+ trail/hybrid with 50NM Shimano Steps system.

Before buying, I test drove a friend's 350 watt hub motor eBike with my 215 lb weight, and if my speed dropped too slow then the motor assist became useless as it fell below it's powerband. With the Trek mid-drive (including the Dual Sport+ with Steps that I test rode before buying) we can drop to first gear and pull the hills in the lowest assist mode (ECO) at 4-5 mph, or kick it up to 200% assist (HIGH or SPORT) and fly up the hills at over 10-15 mph. We tend to use the least amount of boost that will allow us to climb, to get a better workout, so we'll use the lower two power levels the most, even if it means going slower. At those slow speeds the hub motor could not help propel me uphill.

So, after putting 115 miles on our bikes in the first month of ownership, with big elevation changes and climbs on each ride, I could not see myself going with a hub motor for pedal assist. I like how well the mid-drives integrate both torque sensing and cadence into calculating the boost, and how they allow the gears to assist the motor for climbing. On steep mountain bike trails the 300% boost of the Bosche has come in handy in the lower gears when I can't go fast to keep up momentum, but need to power through a tough climb over rocks and roots.

Dual Rider
8 months ago

Thank you both for your time and comments; I really appreciate it! To answer some of pxpaulx's questions: As silly as it may sound given both bikes are fully suspended mountain bikes, I will probably use the bike to commute to work and ride on bike paths (some paved and some gravel or hard pack) more than anything else, which is why I liked the idea of the faster one. If I was going to primarily use it for real mountain bike terrain on actual mountain bike trails, the slower one would be fine. With that said, I do like the idea of having the ability to take it off road as well and perhaps even taking it bikepacking. I currently ride a dual sport and adventure motorcycle as well that I love to take off road as much as possible trying to minimize any pavement or "slab" time. I love camping off of it in the middle of nowhere, so the idea of combining some of that with the bike has a certain appeal to me. I hadn't considered not being able to fit the tires in bike racks, so thank you for that thought. The bike rack at my office wouldn't be a problem though as it has very large spaces, plus no one else seems to ride... Do I truly need 28mph? Of course I don't "need" it, but 20 seems just a bit too slow on the road... I actually wish I could just compromise and have a class 1 that cut off at 25mph as that seems about right, but no such luck unless I mess with the engine or the sensors, etc., which I'm not sure I want to do due to potential warranty and legal issues... I like the idea of the bigger tires for both traction and ride, but again, I don't "need" them...

With respect to some of heliswiss's comments. I will admit that the primary thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on the 45 is the fear of dropping this much money on something that could in the future (i.e. writing on the wall...) be determined not to be a bicycle in the state of Oregon. It's actually already fuzzy here as all of the information from official sources seems to indicate that anything over 20mph is not a bicycle... When I talk to dealers, however, they keep telling me that as long as there is no throttle pushing you over 20mph you are OK with a 28 mph or class 3 bike here. Multiple dealers are selling these types of bikes in Portland, and the chances of anyone ever stopping me on the 45 are probably pretty darn slim, but these things still don't mean it is technically legal, which really bugs me as I just don't want any hassles with the police or legal system in any way... With respect to the German Bulls website saying the Evo 45 is a 250W motor, I saw that too, but my guess was that was because all bikes are limited to 250W or less in Europe...???

Just to muddy the waters a bit, I literally just got off the phone with a dealer in my area that said they can still get the 2016 non plus version of the FS3 and it is $600 less than the plus and $600 - $1,000 less than the 45 depending on which dealer I buy from... I'm guessing this is probably the bike pxpaulx has and from what I can tell, I don't think there were any updates or differences between 2016 and 2017 other than the tire size and colors...??? Is this correct? I'm not sure bigger tires are worth $600... It may be worth more to me to go faster though, but not sure it is $1,000 worth it! I don't think I've ever had a harder time making my mind up and making a decision on something ever in my life! I've bought trucks, motorcycles, and even houses quicker than this with less research time! The money conscious side of me says, this is a gift and it is the answer, buy the cheaper version and be happy! Unfortunately, the other side of me says if I'm spending this much money to begin with, get whichever one I want the most and don't compromise, which again brings me back to the 45, I think, but with some reservations still...

Again thank you both for your comments and I welcome any additional thoughts or comments from you or others!!!

Wasta
8 months ago

Hello,

Started biking again, two years ago, at age 72. Statins have weaked my legs, so I'm pretty much
confined to flat roads. I mainly ride bike paths & gravel trails.
My bike is a trek Dual Sport, which works fine. E-bikes look like the
answer to my weak leg issue. They will help me last longer and conquer hills.

So far, I've tested a Trek mx-700, but found the ride too uncomfortable.
I also took out a Trek DS e-bike, which felt a lot like the Dual Sport. I haven't seen any reviews on it, but the components must be like the Conduit. It seems to handle the ride that I'm after--but I'm wondering if there are any other e-bikes, in the same price range, that I ought to be checking out?
I'm 5'11" and 175 lbs.

Thanks.

Larry Ganz
9 months ago

I loved my test ride with the XM700+ when it came to cruising at 28mph, but the standover height was a deal breaker. As it is, my Trek Powerfly 7 has only a slightly lower standover height, which is unusually high for a mountain bike. I don't understand why the Dual Sport standover height is so much lower (but the reach to the handlebars was too long for me on the DS+ or XM700+).

Matt A
9 months ago

Visited Best Electric Bikes today, and test rode the DeLite, of which they have the high speed dual battery belt drive on the floor as a demo. It is *very* nice! Between the relatively fat tires and suspension, it is a very luxurious ride. The belt is silent, so the only noise is the motor, which is pretty quite at ECO and TOUR, and more noticeable at SPORT and TURBO, perhaps heightened for me by the lack of drive-train noise that I'm used to. Having ridden many thousands of miles on a Bosch speed pedelec (Felt NINEe) setup for commuting duty in similar tires, fenders, rack, but a significantly lighter bike without the full suspension and second battery, it does seem like ECO is not so practical on the R&M, while it's required on the Felt by the lack of battery capacity. However, my interest in twice the battery capacity is to be able to run at higher speeds on higher assist, so not feeling like ECO works as well seems an acceptable tradeoff. I am curious how much efficiency is lost due to the belt and Nuvinci, though again this to me is an acceptable trade-off for lower maintenance.

At this point, I am ready to pull the trigger, and will probably place an order in the next week, but not necessarily for the DeLite. I'm still drawn to the Charger. I'd love some feedback from anyone regarding maintenance and reliability of two models and trim levels, as follows:

DeLite with full suspension vs Charger hard tail. The charger is bound to be lighter, and more efficient, and simpler, which means lower maintenance. Any thoughts on how the extra roller in the belt on the DeLite will effect belt life? How about suspension care?
Each of these models is available in either chain/Rohloff or belt/NuVinci configurations. I'm drawn by lack of need to clean and lube the belt and the long duty cycle of the belt to go with the NuVinci config, despite reservations that it will hold up like the Rohloff. But I'm afraid with the Rohloff I'd wind up doing frequent chain maintenance, and/or need to replace the chain and sprockets frequently.

My riding is all commuting, year round, on relatively smooth, clean paved paths and roads. I'm used to a hard tail, and rode the last 30k miles on one, so the full suspension has more future use case appeal than any daily justification. So I'd happily trade simple, lighter, and durability for suspension, but what really is the impact of the suspension on reliability? And with the price difference of the NuVinci and Rohloff, I'd be happy with the NuVinci provided it lasts something in the neighborhood of 15k miles or more...

As nice as the DeLite is, I'm leaning toward the Charger because I'm aiming to put 1500+ miles per month on it, and my preference is for reliability. Thoughts on reliability between the two configs? And is there any justification to consider the Rohloff, given the chain drive?
Hey Dan, I have owned the Delite GT Nuvinci HS for over a month now, and I just ordered a Charger GT Nuvinci HS for my girlfriend. I have ridden the Delite GX Rohloff on multiple occasions. In my opinion, the Rohloff is clearly a better system and a higher gear ratio of around 540%. The NuVinci is 380%. Having owned the Delite and Nuvinci for a while, I tried it at Propel again with the Rohloff to see if I made the right decision. It does have a better gear range, but really I feel the NuVinci has enough for most uses. The only time I have thought I would want a higher gear was going downhill at 30mph, so not really necessary. The low end of the range is enough for the most extreme climbs.

What I really have come to love about the NuVinci is being able to dial it in perfectly to whats comfortable, no jumping between ratios. While riding, I can keep pedaling and riding along like normal while making adjustments, which is great for taking off quickly from a stop in the city and racing up to that 28mph mark. With the Rohloff, you have to stop pedaling in order to shift, which I do not like. I am sure I would get used to it and it would become normal, but the Nuvinci just feels like a smoother and more luxury system. The Rohloff is supposed to have a longer life than the NuVinci, but I expect my NuVinci to last thousands of miles. I cannot really comment on longevity.

For me, the NuVinci lifespan is enough, I plan to put around 1,000 miles a month on the bike. The Rohloff will give you a longer life and some extra gear range if you really want to push it on those flats or downhills. But the tradeoff is the chain, and the price. You can buy 5 NuVincis for the price of the Rohloff when it comes time to replace it. I particularly did not like to stop pedaling everytime I wanted to shift gears.

As for your first concern, the Delite is heavier, and more complicated than the charger. But in my opinion, it rides much nicer because of it. When I get off the Ben Franklin bridge into Philadelphia, there are cobblestones with deep and wide spaces between it where all the mortar or whatever eroded. So it would be a very bumpy ride. Have you ever seen that gif for the bodyfloat where it shows the guy sitting on the saddle which stays perfectly still while the bike vibrates beneath him? That's how I actually felt going over those cobblestones, and it was at a speed of about 20mph probably. It is at the bottom of a long hill but it curves so I wasn't flying that fast. The bike rides like a motorcycle. For suspension care, I was told the suspension can be rebuilt easily if it ever starts losing pressure. Other than that, just clean the salt off it during the winter and clean it in general with just water.

The roller on the Delite keeps the belt from bouncing over bumps and causing varying tension. I would think the life is the same with or without it.

This has all been from my experience and what I learned at Propel, I am new to ebikes.

BurbManDan
9 months ago

I totally understand. There is actually a dealer in Denver called Best Electric Bikes, but I know very little about them. Maybe you should give them a shout or stop in.

Visited Best Electric Bikes today, and test rode the DeLite, of which they have the high speed dual battery belt drive on the floor as a demo. It is *very* nice! Between the relatively fat tires and suspension, it is a very luxurious ride. The belt is silent, so the only noise is the motor, which is pretty quite at ECO and TOUR, and more noticeable at SPORT and TURBO, perhaps heightened for me by the lack of drive-train noise that I'm used to. Having ridden many thousands of miles on a Bosch speed pedelec (Felt NINEe) setup for commuting duty in similar tires, fenders, rack, but a significantly lighter bike without the full suspension and second battery, it does seem like ECO is not so practical on the R&M, while it's required on the Felt by the lack of battery capacity. However, my interest in twice the battery capacity is to be able to run at higher speeds on higher assist, so not feeling like ECO works as well seems an acceptable tradeoff. I am curious how much efficiency is lost due to the belt and Nuvinci, though again this to me is an acceptable trade-off for lower maintenance.

At this point, I am ready to pull the trigger, and will probably place an order in the next week, but not necessarily for the DeLite. I'm still drawn to the Charger. I'd love some feedback from anyone regarding maintenance and reliability of two models and trim levels, as follows:

DeLite with full suspension vs Charger hard tail. The charger is bound to be lighter, and more efficient, and simpler, which means lower maintenance. Any thoughts on how the extra roller in the belt on the DeLite will effect belt life? How about suspension care?
Each of these models is available in either chain/Rohloff or belt/NuVinci configurations. I'm drawn by lack of need to clean and lube the belt and the long duty cycle of the belt to go with the NuVinci config, despite reservations that it will hold up like the Rohloff. But I'm afraid with the Rohloff I'd wind up doing frequent chain maintenance, and/or need to replace the chain and sprockets frequently.

My riding is all commuting, year round, on relatively smooth, clean paved paths and roads. I'm used to a hard tail, and rode the last 30k miles on one, so the full suspension has more future use case appeal than any daily justification. So I'd happily trade simple, lighter, and durability for suspension, but what really is the impact of the suspension on reliability? And with the price difference of the NuVinci and Rohloff, I'd be happy with the NuVinci provided it lasts something in the neighborhood of 15k miles or more...

As nice as the DeLite is, I'm leaning toward the Charger because I'm aiming to put 1500+ miles per month on it, and my preference is for reliability. Thoughts on reliability between the two configs? And is there any justification to consider the Rohloff, given the chain drive?

Larry Ganz
9 months ago

so you are clearly at much more hilly terrain and elevation than me--I'm near the coast. Off hand on a full battery the range estimate I see for eco and tour is about 60 mi and 30 mi. I can check when I get on the bike--I didn't ride into work today as I have some errands to do in the evening.

My bike dealer told me there is a 600 WH battery coming out soon, if you are going to buy a spare you may wish to check into that option. It is pretty sweet that with the pedal assist you can now power up those two hills instead of walking the bike.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to your next report. We plan to take a long but relatively flat ride along the river bike path in town this Sunday, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the range estimate will show after that easier ride. Then I'll have an idea of my bike's best range under better conditions, and I hope that the range will double over what I'd get in the steep hills.

The following weekend we plan to do the same ride at Garden of the Gods that I did with the Dual Sport+ two weeks ago. On that 10 mile ride I used up 22% of the Dual Sport+ battery, and I estimated that I'd get a total 45 miles on the battery at that discharge rate - which matched the avg estimate from the bike's computer. So we'll see how the PF7 compares under those conditions.

Unfortunately, based on a 5-bars battery meter, I wont be able to see actual % used like you can with the dual sport - when the first bar goes away I know I'm at 80%, and when the second bar goes away I know I'm down to 60%, with no way to know when I'm at 90% or 70%, etc. They should offer a flash ROM update for s better battery gauge.

NOTE - When I first picked up the bike last Saturday it had been ridden by the shop mechanic on flat ground to test it after assembly, and it was showing 27/34/45/88 miles on the display at the different power levels. When I got home I gave it a full charge, and it was showing 29/36/48/94 before I took it out on the hills for the first time. Then I rode it 6 miles to the bottom of the hill and back home with my son twice, plus a shorter 4 mile ride by myself. After those 16 miles on the hills, and topping it off each time, I get the current 12/15/20/40 estimate.

Larry Ganz
9 months ago

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.

Larry Ganz
10 months ago

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.

Larry Ganz
10 months ago

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
10 months ago

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?

Larry Ganz
10 months ago

So now I'm officially off-topic, sorry. I didn't take the XM700+.

By the time I was going to add a 500WH battery, knobby tires, and Rock Shox Paragon Gold forks I'd be up there in price between a Powerfully 7 and 8FS+. The bike shop didn't put up any resistance regarding letting me change my deposit from the XM700+ to either a Dual Sport+ (in stock) or Powerfly 7 (must order). They're just putting the XM700+ on the sales floor to sell. My two concerns between the two new choices are riding position and standover height.

Of the two choices I've given myself, I'd still prefer one with a Bosche drivetrain (which can be hacked) that has 75NM torque vs 50NM of the Shimano steps drivetrain. I also like that Bosche can charge my phone with my USB adapter, and has a more responsive motor. But after them fetching me an XM700+ and then finding out it's not the right bike for me, I don't want to ask them to order another one until I've ruled out the DualSport+ that they have on hand.

In order to help me rule out/in the Dual Sport+ they let me try out the 17.5" bike on the streets around the shop, and it's certainly adequate, but the riding position is more aggressive than the XM700+ (or the Powerfly 7 based on specs on paper). While riding I'm bent over at a sharper angle so that it's harder to breath with only one working lung and a large tidal volume to compensate for that.

The Powerfly 7 specs for the same size bike looks like I'd be in a more upright riding position without being crowded between the seat and bars. However, the standover on the Dual Sport+ or 8FS+ is a nice and short 75mm vs the Powerfly 7 at 79mm. So the PF7 standover is only 1cm lower than the XM700+ (every little bit counts). The shop says the DualSport+ would have less rolling resistance with the narrower 700x38 tires vs the 29x2.3" tires on the PF7, but they have a vested interest in making me choose the DS+. More rolling resistance can be made up with the more powerful motor, at the expense of slightly less range.

Anyway, to see if the Dual Sport+ was strong enough to get me up the hill to our house, they let us take it home on a two day drive-test till Monday. We paid for an picked up my wife's Neko+ while we were at the bike shop, so we could ride together. With the 250W/50NM Shimano Steps drivetrain we were able to do the 6.79 mile round trip with 1140 foot climb up from the shopping center to my house and back down (per my Apple watch).

I had to use a mix of ECO, NORM, and HIGH power, and I definitely had to use HIGH more often than my wife did, who is very good shape. It would be nice to know if we take a new route that the Bosche would have some extra oomph to keep me out of trouble, but I could make it with this one. However, going downhill puts a lot of pressure on my wrists and made my hands tingle after 10 minutes, although it did the same to my wife on her Neko+.

So, we're going to ride more on Sunday, but my wife is pushing for me to just get the DualSport+ and my son is pushing me to get the Powerfly 7 with fatter tires and moar power, because I think he wants to inherit the bike if I die soon.

1/1
Dooneegomaface Ifinnaspring
2 weeks ago

These big brand bike companies should just give up trying to cater to ebike consumers. We do not care about your Tour De France, LBS, Macho man, BS. I despise your agenda and your consumers. Keep your overpriced bikes.

Lars Ödman
1 month ago

1800$ in Sweden, merida espresso 600 almost the same bike. Asian produced.

Zepto Sextillion
4 months ago

Anotha One!

Matt Green
4 months ago

Can you do a review of the bikes from Lithium Cycles (Super 73)? Love your videos man!

Lysle Basinger
4 months ago

Anxious to see your coverage of Sam's open house.

Jacklamotta 001
4 months ago

jedes deiner videos der selbe scheiß

Greg Palmer
4 months ago

My Wife and I tested both the Bosch and Shimano trading back and forth. I really felt the Shimano was much stronger at takeoff from a stop.I was going to ask if Shimano made a high speed - but you answered that.Thanks ,

stupidscum josh
4 months ago

🚵🏿

stupidscum josh
4 months ago

Good looking bike

Jessa Phillips
4 months ago

if i remember correctly the bosch mid drive has something like 2:1 gearing so the electric motor is more efficient, wouldn't that make the range way better on a bosch mid drive vs this shimano with a similar battery and amp/hour rating? or does that affect the reaction speed of the motor or the peak power more?

Jessa Phillips
4 months ago

by the way i like that you're putting the price in the title of the videos now, wish you could go back and do it on the old reviews but it's all at the website

Jessa Phillips
4 months ago

actually i think you touched on this in the video around the 12:45 mark... the torque is less but the efficiency is more and its quieter

James Mason
4 months ago

are you going to review that 8s

F r e e l e e
4 months ago

All large production E bikes are under powered and over priced best get a bike from Luna, double the power and double the range oh and a lot cheaper also.

F r e e l e e
4 months ago

Big TIt loves 500 watts what a fool.

Big T
4 months ago

@Freelee from where I'm sitting, it looks like you're the one that's brainwashed.

F r e e l e e
4 months ago

Steve your comment shows im correct.

Steve Donovan
4 months ago

good grief

F r e e l e e
4 months ago

Sounds like you have been brain washed.

samz1069
4 months ago

Thanks Stephanie!

samz1069
4 months ago

Nice bike ! tfs!

Finn Green
4 months ago

capable

maybe restating your height every so often will provide a better sense of sizing and proportions of the bike being reviewed

always professional

and detailed

and appreciated

MBA NONI
4 months ago

Every trek bike ever made is overpriced except for their touring bike , trek 920. Trek makes great bikes. Just not a lot of bang for the buck.

Dooneegomaface Ifinnaspring
2 weeks ago

"Service" is laughable at these LBS. You get hipster "Sup Man" condescending, second-guessing, sabotaging BS. I work on my own bike unless its a personally trusted mechanic. No one with tattoos or piercings will ever touch my bikes.

Big T
4 months ago

Trek pricing in the UK has gone nuts recently, earlier this year I paid £2400 ($3100) for a Powerfly 7 - for next year the retail price for the 2018 model is £3300 ($4260)!!! No wonder they call us 'Treasure Island'...

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 months ago

I've seen prices drop a lot in recent years from all brands but part of what you pay for with a Trek is the dealer network, warranty, and service. It also costs more to offer a range of sizes

Martian Megafauna
4 months ago

Here is what my MBA taught me: the price of anything and everything, and the value of nothing. Talk amongst yourself.