Subaru-Trek must have something in the team mandate that requires all of their female riders to be of short stature. The team lost World Cup contender Willow Koerber to the more globally oriented Trek World Racing squad during the off-season, but making the opposite move was Emily Batty, who stands just one inch taller. Despite this, Batty's happily made the move to 29in wheels – once considered the realm of the vertically gifted.
"I do have the option to ride 26in wheels, although after doing some test riding on the 29in wheels and realizing that Subaru-Trek had such a lightweight option for bikes and wheels I've chose to roll on the big wheels," Batty said. "It's such a light setup and gives me a lot more confidence descending and pushing the bike."
"The early season World Cups suit the 29in bike setup so perfectly," she continued. "The later season World Cups make for a difficult decision as the courses could suit either of the bikes' strengths. I'll have to try both bikes and then make my decision. The equipment overall is getting so reliable and lightweight now that it really comes down to the rider's preference on the day."
Despite the bike's short head tube, Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) still has to run a -25° stem
Team bike sponsors Trek produce their top-end Superfly Elite carbon hardtail in an especially accommodating 15.5in size, complete with a short 103mm-long integrated head tube and manageable 570mm effective top tube length. Even so, Batty's position requires a few tweaks: the seatpost is flipped around to provide less setback and there's a -25° Bontrager Race Lite (instead of the usual RXL or RXXXL model) stem up front, sitting right atop the headset compression ring, with the upper cover removed to cut out a few millimeters of stack height.
Aside from the sizing tweaks, Batty's Superfly Elite frame is standard team-issue and supposedly identical to those available to the public. In addition to lighter weight relative to the first-generation Superfly hardtail, this latest iteration also features Trek's trademark extra-wide bottom bracket shell with direct press-fit bearings, a tapered head tube and carbon dropouts. Team mechanics forego the standard Carbon Armor plate on the underside of the down tube, however, in favor of a lighter swatch of clear vinyl.
The bottom bracket bearings press directly into precision molded sockets in the extra-wide bottom bracket shell
For the most part, the build kit is fairly standard stuff, too, including a complete SRAM XX group, RockShox's latest SID World Cup XX fork (with a standard-offset crown instead of the consumer-spec G2 version), CrankBrothers Eggbeater 11 pedals, Bontrager cockpit components and tires, ESI silicone foam rubber grips, Serfas bar ends, and Nokon cables and housing. Total weight as pictured is just 8.93kg (19.69lb).
Batty's prototype wheels foreshadow things to come in the 2012 model year from Bontrager, however. The tubeless-compatible carbon hoops are laced with straight-pull spokes to new oversized aluminum bodies with flanges pushed way out to the edges in a "stacked" configuration that Bontrager product manager Chris Clinton claims to yield a boost in lateral stiffness.
Subaru-Trek team bikes are outfitted with prototype Bontrager hubs
Those new hubs are equipped with freehub internals from an as-yet-unnamed European source (apparently not DT Swiss). The convertible axles will work with 135mm quick-release or 142x12mm through-axle rear configurations, and 9mm quick-release or 15/20mm through-axle front fitments – a good thing since Subaru-Trek have opted for 15mm-compatible front ends for enhanced steering precision. This is a change Trek will likely integrate for 2012 production models, too.
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: Trek Superfly Elite, 15.5in
- Fork: RockShox SID World Cup XX 29in, 100mm travel, 15mm through-axle dropouts
- Headset: Cane Creek integrated, 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in tapered
- Stem: Bontrager Race Lite, 9cm x -25°
- Handlebar: Bontrager Race XXX Lite Flat 31.8mm, 580mm
- Grips: ESI Racer's Edge
- Front brake: Avid XX World Cup, 160mm rotor
- Rear brake: Avid XX World Cup, 140mm rotor
- Brake levers: Avid XX World Cup
- Front derailleur: SRAM XX
- Rear derailleur: SRAM XX
- Shift levers: SRAM XX
- Cassette: SRAM XX, 11-36T
- Chain: SRAM PC-1091R
- Crankset: Truvativ XX, 170mm, 26/39T, 156mm Q-factor
- Bottom bracket: Enduro press-fit for Trek BB86
- Pedals: CrankBrothers Eggbeater 11
- Wheelset: Bontrager Race XXX Lite TLR Disc 29 w/ prototype hubs
- Front tire: Bontrager 29-0 Team Issue, 29x1.9in
- Rear tire: Bontrager 29-0 Team Issue, 29x1.9in
- Saddle: Bontrager Evoke RXL Carbon
- Seatpost: Bontrager Race XXX Lite
- Bottle cages: Bontrager Race X Lite
- Other accessories: Nokon cables and housing, Serfas Stabilizer AL bar ends
- Rider's height: 1.59m (5ft 3in)
- Rider's weight: 48kg (106lb)
- Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 614mm
- Saddle setback: 11mm
- Seat tube length, c-t: 394mm
- Seat tube length, c-c: 315mm
- Tip of saddle nose to C of bars: 459mm
- Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): +29mm
- Head tube length: 103mm
- Top tube length: 570mm
- Total bicycle weight: 8.93kg (19.69lb)