Trek Lift+ Review

Trek Lift Plus Electric Bike Review
Trek Lift Plus
Trek Lift Plus Shimano Steps Mid Drive Motor
Trek Lift Plus Shimano Steps Battery Pack
Trek Lift Plus Ergonomic Grips Shimano Steps Console
Trek Lift Plus 10 Speed Shimano Deore
Trek Lift Plus 160 Mm Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Trek Lift Plus Quick Release Wheels
Trek Lift Plus Step Thru Frame
Trek Lift Plus High Step And Low Step
Trek Lift Plus Electric Bike Review
Trek Lift Plus
Trek Lift Plus Shimano Steps Mid Drive Motor
Trek Lift Plus Shimano Steps Battery Pack
Trek Lift Plus Ergonomic Grips Shimano Steps Console
Trek Lift Plus 10 Speed Shimano Deore
Trek Lift Plus 160 Mm Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Trek Lift Plus Quick Release Wheels
Trek Lift Plus Step Thru Frame
Trek Lift Plus High Step And Low Step

Summary

  • A light weight, efficient and more upright city style electric bike with a two year warranty, features an adjustable stem and is available in both high-step and step-thru frame styles in four sizes for improved fit
  • Leverages the Shimano STePs drive system keeping weight low and centered across the frame, the step-thru model is reinforced for rigidity and strength, both get excellent range
  • Rigid fork and seat post aren't as comfortable as suspension but reduce weight and the larger tires help to cushion the ride over cracks and bumps
  • More expensive than I expected at ~$2,729 considering you don't get fenders, a rack or lights and the Shimano system isn't as refined as Bosch or Impulse, the battery pack has to be removed for charging and shift sensing isn't as responsive

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Trek

Model:

Lift+

Price:

$2,799

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Commuting, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Years Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

44.8 lbs (20.32 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.9 lbs (2.67 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.05 lbs (3.19 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy (Continuously Cold Extruded and Butted)

Frame Sizes:

13.5 in (34.29 cm)16.5 in (41.91 cm)17.5 in (44.45 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

Crystal White, Dnister Black

Frame Fork Details:

Lift+ Alloy, Rigid

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore, Shadow Plus, HG62, 11-32T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Shimano for STePs

Pedals:

VP Aluminum Body with Kraton Inserts

Headset:

1-1/8" Semi-Integrated, Semi-Cartridge Bearings

Stem:

Alloy, Adjustable Rise, Quill

Handlebar:

Bontrager Satellite, Swept-Back, 25.4 mm, 50 mm Rise

Brake Details:

Shimano M355 Hydraulic Disc

Grips:

Bontrager Satellite Elite, Lock-On, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Trek Urban Comfort

Seat Post:

Bontrager SSR, 12 mm Offset

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm

Rims:

Bontrager AT-850 Aluminum Alloy

Tire Brand:

Bontrager H2, 26" x 2"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Hard-Case Ultimate Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rear-Mount Kickstand

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, EC-E6000 Fast Charger (Reach 80% in Two Hours), KMC X10e Chain, Manufacturer Part Number (519382, 519383, 519384), Quick Release Skewers

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

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:

75 miles (121 km)

Display Type:

Removable, Adjustable Angle, Monochrome, Backlit LCD, Model SC-E6000

Readouts:

Speed (mph or km/h), Average Speed, Max Speed, Odometer, Trip Meter, Battery Level (5 Bars), Assist Mode (Eco, Normal, High), Time Clock

Display Accessories:

Independent Control Switch near Left Grip

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 50%, Normal 100%, High 200%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (25 km/h in Europe)

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Written Review

The Lift+ is Trek’s most affordable electric bike (unless you count the Townie Go! from Electra which is also owned by Trek). The Lift Plus is significantly lighter at just ~45 pounds and I’m a huge fan of the quick release seat tube clamp, quick release wheels and adjustable angle stem! You can dial this thing in for a range of heights and body types and it comes in two frame style (high-step and step-thru) as well as four sizes… wow, that’s the power of a more established brand like Trek. The downside is that in my opinion the bike is on the more expensive side for what you get. While the Townie Go! mentioned earlier uses a more refined drive system from Bosch, the Lift+ relies on a Shimano system. The difference is that shift sensing is delayed, you get fewer levels of pedal assist, there’s no USB charger on the display, the motor puts out less torque and you have to take the battery off the frame each time you want to charge it. This last point is a big deal for me because I store my bike inside and have accidentally dropped batteries before when removing them so being able to plug directly in without removing the pack would just feel safer… plus, the Shimano charger has a really large blocky plug at the end that just doesn’t seem as well thought out.

The bike works very well on smooth streets and sidewalks but isn’t as cushioned as some of the other models I’ve covered in recent years. You don’t get a suspension fork or seat post shock and while the rubber ergonomic grips feel great and the sizes compliment the adjustable stem for a more upright, relaxed seating position I found the saddle to be very firm. The tires are slightly oversized at two inches in diameter and I’d probably run them a little low for added comfort… just don’t go so low that you get a pinch flat! The recommended PSI is listed on the sidewall so follow that closely and check often if you run low because air tends to leak slowly over time. So what am I really saying? Consider a suspension post like the Thudbuster, Body Float or something more cheap on Amazon and just make sure you get the correct size 36.1 mm diameter or use a shim to convert from the more standard 27.2 mm diameter.

All things considered, the Lift+ is an efficient and well made ebike. It’s backed by a reputable brand with dealer outlets all across the country so you should be able to take a test ride. There’s room for improvement with the motor system but I don’t hold that against Trek. I would love to see those bottle cage bosses added but I love that you get them for adding a rack and fenders because the bike would make an excellent commuter. There are ways to improve comfort with accessories and depending on your environment those may not even be necessary. I had a blast riding this bike on the smooth paved streets of Irvine California for the review and I felt well taken care of by Jax Bicycle Center because they spent time on fit and provided feedback about regular maintenance and things like hydraulic disc brake adjustment. There are some high end systems at work on this bike including the ten speed drivetrain but I’d love to see the price closer to $2,500 because it’s very plain compared with the next level up (the Conduit+) and doesn’t deliver the same feature set as the Electra Townie Go! which can also be had from Trek.

Pros:

  • All Trek bicycles have to be shipped to a local Trek retailer but this is free of charge, from there some retailers will deliver to your house
  • Awesome two year comprehensive warranty, they recommend storing the battery in a dry room at 60° to 70° Fahrenheit and keeping it fully charged, expect a 5% degrade each year
  • Unique frame designs (the high-step version has a curved top tube for easier stand over) both are stiff and I love the internal cable routing
  • Quick release seat tube clamp makes adjusting the ride quick and easy, the front and rear wheels also feature quick release skewers so maintenance and transport are both quick and easy
  • Mid-drive motor system leverages the rear cassette for efficient energy use, the bike should get excellent range in Eco and Normal settings up to 75 miles per charge
  • Highly adjustable stem and handle bar will accommodate shorter and taller riders, with four frame sizes (and two frame styles) this model should fit most riders
  • Hydraulic disc brakes are smooth and powerful, much more enjoyable to use than band brakes or v-brakes but may require a shop’s help to adjust and bleed occasionally
  • Premium drivetrain (especially for a neighborhood/city style electric bike), ten speed Shimano Deore Shadow Plus… enough gears to climb steep hills comfortably and also max out the 20 mph motor speed limit (you can also pedal faster than that but the motor won’t help)
  • Front and rear mounting points for cargo racks, you could outfit this bike to carry a lot gear or add premium fenders to stay dry commuting
  • The step-thru model is reinforced with two downtube/top tubes as well as an extra tube at the rear for improved strength and rigidity (this combined with the mid-mount motor and battery feel very balanced and stiff)
  • At just under 45 lbs I consider these to be light weight electric bikes, they could easily reach 50 lbs with fenders and a rack but not everyone needs these things and the removable ~6 lb battery and quick release wheels make transporting much easier than comparable e-bikes
  • Shimano STePs features a remote button bar that’s easy to reach while riding (to adjust assist level), I like that it clicks when you change levels and there’s also an electronic beep (that can get a little annoying), I also appreciate that the display is removable

Cons:

  • Battery must be completely removed from the frame in order to charge it, the charging socket is located at the base where it connects to the mounting plate, this adds work and increases the potential for accidental drops vs. leaving it on the frame to charge
  • Firm ride, no suspension fork or seat post shock but the larger 2″ tires, ergonomic grips and enlarged saddle help, I found the saddle to be firm and would probably replace it
  • It seems like there’s room on the high-step frame to add a bottle cage mounting point and this would be useful given that the bike doesn’t include a rack, the more expensive Conduit+ model does offer bosses on the seat tube
  • The Shimano STePs drive system isn’t as refined as Bosch or Impulse in my opinion, shift sensing isn’t as smooth and the on/off activation isn’t quite as fast (but it’s still a top level drive system)
  • In my opinion this electric bike is priced a little high, you get an excellent warranty but the frame is basic and you don’t get accessories like fenders, chain guard, rack or lights
  • Limited color choices with this model… not a huge deal but basically gloss black for the high-step and gloss white for the step-thru, as a guy who would probably get the high-step model I’d like a silver option for increased visibility to cars at night
  • The rear hydraulic disc brake cable is not run through the frame and stand out on the white step-thru model, perhaps it’s easier to service and I appreciate that most of the other cables are internally routed but considering the price I’m surprised this one was left out because it could snag more easily and just doesn’t look as good

Resources:

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Comments (8) YouTube Comments

Jon in Seattle
2 years ago

The 2017 model Trek ‘Lift’ has been updated so the battery can be charged while it is attached to the bike.

Shifting any geared transmission while under load [aka power shifting] will stress the system and create some interface noise. Manual-shift cars and motorcycles have a clutch to allow smooth gear changes. On a standard pedal bicycle with a derailleur shifter it is common practice to decrease force on the pedals while shifting to obtain smooth engagements. Changing gears on the Lift in that manner works perfectly for seamless shifting.

Power from the Shimano Steps with its 44-tooth chainring is quite surprising. The motor is a mere 250 watts but its internal gearing in combination with the torque, crank rpm, and wheel cadence sensors, and smart software, creates a lot of hill climbing energy. My testing showed the Lift to be a noticeably stronger [and much easier] climber than a 350-watt geared-hub bike using the same battery voltage. With the Step’s optional 38-tooth chainring, it would be even better.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

That’s correct Jon! Thanks for chiming in about the updates to charging on the 2017 Shimano STePs system. I just reviewed the Wallerang which also uses the new battery. You’re completely correct about easing off pressure while shifting and given how smart the Shimano motor is, you can usually avoid mashing by gaining some speed, easing off the pedals a little and then shifting. Thanks for adding your thoughts, it sounds like you’re enjoying the product and I hope this helps others consider it as an option. Indeed, the smaller chainring would increase torque but for most of the urban riding the Lift+ seems designed for I feel like the 44 tooth is great :)

  Reply
Jon
2 years ago

Shimano changed the Steps battery mount which now includes a receptacle for on-bike charging, and the charger has a new small plug to fit that port. To retain the off-bike charging option, the updated charger includes an adapter for direct connection to the end of the battery.

The earlier Lift could be updated with the new battery mount, and new charger.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Great comment Jon, you’re exactly right! The new Shimano batteries allow you to charge on-bike and do indeed require an adapter/dongle for charging off. You and others can see this new battery in my Walleräng review here, in the video mostly.

  Reply
Julia
1 year ago

I tried this bike out; it was really comfortable and in my opinion, quiet. I am surprised that there are no integrated lights on this bike. No fenders, no lights, and no way to plug the bike in with the battery on board… that’s a few too many deal-breakers for me for a rather expensive bike.

Again, I appreciate your expert review Court; you mention details I wouldn’t even think about. Each review I listen to, I become a bit more educated … a bit wiser consumer. Thanks! Julia

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hey Julia, well thanks for the positive feedback. I agree that there is room for improvement with this bike and am glad to have contributed to your awareness and education. With so many ebikes available now, I hope you find one that fits and feels like a great deal :D

  Reply
Jean
1 year ago

No site ever gives the dimensions of the trek or Towine bikes. How long are they?
How high are they? This information lets one know if it will fit into their vehicles.
Thank You.

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi Jean! I do this for all of my new reviews (at least for the frame size I have to test) and have got the measurements for the 2017 Medium 16.5″ Lowstep which are: 22″ Reach, 19″ Stand Over Height, 24″ Width, 71.5″ Length and also for the 2017 Large 21″ Highstep which are: 23.5″ Reach, 24″ Width, 30″ Stand Over Height, 71.5″ Length. I hope this helps you! I do my best to be thorough here and provide an open space to help people… but I’m just one guy ;)

  Reply

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