Trek's factory cross-country racers have long been 29er evangelists, so it's no surprise to find Canadian Emily Batty on one at the UCI World Cup round in Windham, New York. Her Trek Superfly isn't just some off-the-shelf rig, however, as there are a lot of special details that set it apart from the pack.
Emily Batty is racing this beautiful Trek Superfly at the World Cup round in Windham, New York
Batty's carbon Superfly is light at 9.20kg (20.28lb) but not outrageously so. The 15.5in frame size certainly helps, as does the smattering of flagship gear such as Shimano's current XTR 2x10 transmission, magnesium-bodied hydraulic disc brakes, and a carbon saddle, seatpost, and handlebar from team sponsor Bontrager. Bontrager also supplies the new XXX TLR Disc 29 wheelset, which uses aluminum rims with a rather Stan's-like shallow profile for reliable tubeless performance at the very low pressures that Batty prefers.
More weight could have been saved with a different fork choice from team sponsor Fox but Batty prefers the instant response of Fox's electronically actuated iCD damper. Instead of the standard handlebar remotes that work on a cable and mechanical valve, iCD instead uses an electronic rotary switch that's quicker and easier to operate on the fly and connected to a fast-acting servo motor in the damper. Power comes from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery tucked inside the steerer tube.
The Fox iCD-equipped fork uses an electronically actuated lockout. The battery is tucked away inside the steerer tube
Full team mechanic support brings with it a bike that's perpetually in perfect tune and Batty's Superfly was literally lemony fresh during the photo shoot thanks to a fresh coat of polish. In addition, though, are several neat tricks that heighten the tune even further.
Instead of the standard quick-release front and rear thru-axles, for example, Batty's bike is equipped with bolt-on axles from Fox and FRM to save weight. Team mechanics even hand file the aluminum non-driveside dropout flange to produce a better interface for the FRM axle's flat head.
Bolt-on thru-axles save weight over the standard quick-release versions
Meanwhile, a small pad is zip-tied inside the front derailleur cage to reduce chain noise on bumpy terrain and the unused bottom-pull cable arm is sawed off. Team mechanic Matt Opperman even omits the pad retaining pin safety clips and bleed port covers from the XTR disc brake calipers, and the rubber hose nut covers on the brake levers, saying they just add needless weight and hassle, anyway.
Standing at 1.61m (5ft 3in) tall, Batty does have to make some adjustments to get the faster-rolling big wheels to fit underneath her. Out back, the saddle is pushed way forward on the rails and the seatpost is also flipped around to produce a +5mm setback. Up front, Bontrager has actually gone so far as to custom machine a 100mm-long stem with a -25° angle. According to Opperman, Bontrager's Race-level stem would have also done the job in terms of fit but these are significantly lighter and apparently also noticeably stiffer given their big, rectangular cross-sections. Production versions are supposedly going to be released soon.
The saddle is set very far forward while up front, there's a custom stem to bring down the grip height
Tire and suspension setup is about what one would expect from a top-level cross-country racer. Opperman said that Batty would run a slightly higher-than-usual (but still low) 21-22 psi to tackle the rocky Windham course but fork pressure is somewhat high at 72psi given her slight 48kg (106lb) weight.
Either way, Batty is coming off of a strong performance at the Commonwealth Games so another good showing here in Windham is a safe bet.
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: Trek Superfly, OCLV Mountain Carbon, size 15.5in
- Fork: Fox 32 Float 29 100 FIT iCD, 72psi
- Headset: Cane Creek Forty, 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in tapered
- Stem: Bontrager prototype, 100mm x -25°
- Handlebar: Bontrager XXX Carbon, 640mm
- Grips: ESI Racer's Edge
- Front brake: Shimano XTR BR-M987, 160mm rotor
- Rear brake: Shimano XTR BR-M987, 140mm rotor
- Brake levers: Shimano XTR Race BL-M987
- Front derailleur: Shimano XTR FD-M986
- Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR Shadow Plus RD-M986-GS
- Shift levers: Shimano XTR SL-M980
- Cassette: Shimano XTR CS-M980, 11-36T
- Chain: Shimano XTR CH-M980
- Crankset: Shimano XTR FC-M980, 170mm, 26/36T (w/ Shimano Deore LX outer ring)
- Bottom bracket: Enduro Zero ceramic
- Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M980
- Wheelset: Bontrager XXX TLR Disc 29
- Front tire: Bontrager XR1 Team Issue, 29x2.0in, tubeless, 21psi
- Rear tire: Bontrager XR1 Team Issue, 29x2.0in, tubeless, 22psi
- Saddle: Bontrager Evoke RXL
- Seatpost: Bontrager XXX, +5mm offset
- Bottle cages: Bontrager RXL (1)
- Other accessories: Fox bolt-on front thru-axle, FRM bolt-on rear thru-axle
- Rider's height: 1.61m (5ft 3in)
- Rider's weight: 48kg (106lb)
- Saddle height from BB, c-t: 660mm
- Saddle setback: 8mm
- Seat tube length (c-t): 368mm
- Seat tube length (c-c): 320mm
- Tip of saddle nose to center of bars (next to stem): 480mm
- Saddle-to-bar drop: +18mm
- Head tube length: 104mm
- Top tube length (effective): 570mm
- Weight: 9.20kg (20.28lb)