Beefed up the parts to deal with the beatings that e-bikes get.
Up hill or down, ebikes take an absolute beating, so the new Trek Powerfly LT 9 has a beefed up the parts package to handle the additional abuse.
2018 Trek Powerfly LT 9 need to know
- 150mm travel ebike with Plus size tyres
- New Bosch E-MTB Mode that automatically selects the level of assistance from the motor
- Compact Bosch Purion display
- Bosch Performance Line CX motor
- 500Wh battery on all Powerfly models
- SRAM EX1 8 speed drivetrain
- Tougher Bontrager Powerline wheels
- Integrated battery pack, with tool free removal
- RE:aktiv shock on all models
The Bontrager Powerline wheelset gets heavy-duty rims that exceed the strength tests used for the wheels on Trek’s DH bikes, while extra stopping power comes care of SRAM’s excellent four-piston Guide RE brakes.
From the outside, the Fox 36 suspension fork looks just like a regular 36, but this ebike specific version gets thicker walled upper tubes and a solid crown to boost strength and handle the extra forces a heavier, faster bike typically generates. The GRIP damper has also been tuned specifically for ebikes.
Trek was an early adopter of SRAM’s 8-speed EX1 drivetrain and after one ride on the new Powerfly LT 9 it was easy to see why it’s sticking with it.
Smooth, silent shifting is the norm, and with the 11- 48t cassette you won’t come unstuck even in the steepest terrain. We also like the fact that the EX1 shifter limits you to one shift at a time, as this stops you grinding through the gears under load and dramatically reduces the risk of snapping the chain.
Also, because the 8-speed cassette has bigger jumps between each gear, you never feel the need to crank though multiple gears at once anyway.
Trek has also maintained its partnership with Bosch, the Powerfly LT 9 coming with the top-end Performance Line CX motor and 500Wh battery pack. Not only is this a proven system, but Trek doesn’t want any rider to be left high and dry if anything goes wrong and Bosch has the technical support and service to match it’s performance.
A new feature on the Bosch system is the E-MTB mode that automatically toggles between all four assist modes to match the demands of the terrain.
The rider still has the option to select any of the four modes manually, but having the motor decide the necessary level of assistance gives you one less thing to think about, switching your focus back to gear selection and line choice rather than power mode.
It is not all about new component parts or firmware updates though, the Powerfly LT 9 frame has also been revised.
The 500Wh battery pack now sits in, rather than on, the down tube. This places the weight of the battery lower in the frame for improved stability and because it’s not completely enclosed it also makes the proportions of the frame look more normal than some designs. And added bonus being that and it makes the battery very easy to remove.
So Trek has tweaked the test-winning Powerfly LT 9. The wheels and fork are stronger, the brakes are more powerful and it looks better than every thanks to the semi-integrated battery pack.
It’s also smarter, the new Bosch E-MTB mode seamlessly calculating the correct amount of pedal assistance in every situation.
One thing that hasn’t changed though is the ride quality… the Powerfly LT 9 is still an absolute ripper.
The RE:aktiv damped 150mm rear suspension handles hits, big and small and the frame is stiff enough that you never feel the need to back off when things start to get really hairy.
The long chainstays and steep seat angle make even the steepest assents manageable with added stability and poise on the descents.
Sure you could argue that the new Shimano Steps motor has smoother power delivery than the Bosch system but we’ve yet to ride and ebike that’s put as big a smile on our face as the new Trek Powerfly LT 9.