Alloy range updated as well
Trek unveils new Powerfly LT carbon ebikes and an updated alloy range, all with side-loading batteries neatly concealed inside the down tube.
Forget torque, watts and even mismatched wheel sizes… integration is the buzzword in ebike tech right now. And unless you go it alone with a custom motor like Rocky Mountain Powerplay, something very few brands are prepared to risk, integration is currently about concealing the power-source.
And the new Trek Powerfly LT has one of the neatest solutions we’ve seen to date. Not only is its drive-side loading internal battery a breeze to use, it means the down tube on the latest Powerfly LT doesn’t need to be disproportionally large, like on the Shimano equipped BMC Trailfox AMP. Trek loves an acronym, and it’s dubbed this latest technology RIB, short form for removable integrated battery. Technology that’s also been implemented on most models of the shorter-travel Powerfly FS and Powerfly hardtails.
With the protective battery case positioned to one side the RIB collects way less dirt too, so you’ll get less grief for plugging the battery in next to the kettle for a quick charge. It even has a handy integrated carry handle for bringing it with you. A port on the down tube means you can also charge the battery in situ. Best to all, RIB leaves plenty of space for a bottle cage, something that wasn’t possible with the battery position on the previous Powerfly LT.
In keeping with the pack-less riding experience, tabs under the top tube let you attach a custom Wolf Tooth B-Rad storage strap.
The big news though, is that Trek has pressed the button on its first carbon ebikes, the Powerfly LT 9.9 and the 9.7. They share the same geometry and sizing as the alloy bikes, which incidentally haven’t changed with the addition of the new side-loading battery. Weight wise, the carbon front ends on the 9.9 and 9.7 are approximately 650g lighter than the alloy versions and offer a marginal gain in stiffness. The real benefit of switching to carbon though, is that it makes the flag-ship Powerfly LT 9.9 look smoking hot, which is exactly what you’d expect from a £7,250 ebike. If that’s a little steep for your budget, the Powerfly LT 9.7 shares the same carbon frame but gets a more affordable build kit to bring it in at £5,200. And while that’s hardly cheap, it is super competitively priced for a carbon ebike of this calibre.
Trek sticking with Bosch
Heat-treated Alpha aluminium or moulded OCLV carbon frames aside, all Trek Powerfly LTs are developed around the powerful Bosch Performance CX motor. Trek’s a massive international player and it sights the main reason for partnering with Bosch is due to its excellent customer service and support. After all, even the top-end carbon Powerfly LT 9.9 isn’t going to be much cop if the motor or battery packs in. All models now come with full capacity 500Wh batteries as standard and the easy to operate compact Bosch Pruion display/control.
Travel on the Powerfly LT is still 150mm on the rear combined with 160mm forks and the frame shares features with Trek’s regular mountain bikes: namely, the Active Braking Pivot suspension, the two geometry settings afforded by the Mino link, and Knock Block protection that prevents the fork crown from hitting the new downtube.
There are three models in the alloy Powerfly LT range. Prices start at £3,600 for the LT 4 which is the only bike not get the RIB treatment, jump to £4,500 for the mid-range LT 7 and top out with the LT 9 at £5,200. And if you’ve been paying attention you’ll already have realised that the flagship aluminium Powerfly LT 9 is the same price as the entry-level carbon 9.7. The difference is that the alloy LT 9 has better build kit that includes a higher spec RockShox Deluxe RCT3 shock and an ebike dedicated Fox 36 fork.
How does it ride?
We were lucky enough to spend two days riding the Powerfly LT 9 in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. The terrain was super steep and most of the climbs would have been impossible for all but and XC racing elite rider to manage on a regular mountain bike – the perfect proving ground for an all mountain ebike then. To find out how we got on with the Powerfly LT 9.7 be sure to pick up a copy of the August issue of the mag which features a detailed first ride.