Trek Valencia+ electric bike £1800

Not just for commuting

BikeRadar score 4/5

We rode this bike round part of the infamous Fred Whitton sportive course in the Lake District a few months ago – so we know that when the battery’s full, the electrics are dry and everything’s working right, that it can be a stunning performer, regardless of the gradient.

With a triple chainset on the front and an eight-speed cassette on the rear, all controlled with Shimano Acera thumb shifters, the Valencia+ has decent gearing – something that's surprisingly rare, but very useful, on electric bikes.

Add to that the excellent performance of Shimano mechanical disc brakes front and rear, tough Bontrager rubber on strong 36-hole alloy rims, and you have a good, fast and competent bike to begin with – before you start loading it with batteries and motors. It’s even available in five sizes from 15-25in.

It certainly helps that Trek have been sensible enough to buy in the impressive Bionx pedelec system, with its clever regenerative braking and smooth 200W power delivery. You also get a really useful LCD display head unit, which allows you to adjust the level of assist or regeneration on the fly, and even turn the decent front and rear lights on remotely.

We’re not sure what situation would have you riding the Valencia in full regeneration mode but it would have to involve lots of heavy baggage and descending off a very big mountain – otherwise you’d have your work cut out to counteract the massive engine braking.

None of which is inconceivable – with low-rider rack mounting points on the alloy fork, a solid aluminium frame and plenty of room on the rear rack for some more panniers, there’s no reason why the Valencia needs to be restricted to commuting duties. This bike’s ready to go anywhere, just so long as there’s electricity when you get there.

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