E-downcountry is now a thing | Trek launches new 2021 E-Caliber

E-Caliber cross-country e-MTB based around Fazua Evation motor system

2021 Trek E-Caliber launch

The new 2021 Trek E-Caliber is an electric XC mountain bike built around Fazua’s Evation motor system. The E-Caliber is based on broadly the same frame as the non-assist Supercaliber, including Trek’s IsoStrut suspension system.

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The E-Caliber is pitched as something in between a typical ebike and a normal bike, providing, in Trek’s words, “unobtrusive assistance” – don’t expect a full-blown motocross experience here.

The 2021 Trek E-Caliber range starts at £6,300 / €6,799 / $6,499.99 for a Shimano Deore-equipped model, rising to a two-eyebrow raising £11,750 / €12,999 / $12,499.99 for the top-spec SRAM Eagle AXS-equipped model.

An efficient and snappy XC frameset

Trek E-Caliber IsoStrut suspension
The IsoStrut suspension system is the heart of the E-Caliber.

Though there are a few tweaks to the overall shape of the frame, the E-Caliber is largely similar to the Supercaliber cross-country bike, which launched in September last year.

The heart of this bike is Trek’s unique IsoStrut rear suspension system.

We went into detail as to exactly how this works in our detailed original Supercaliber story but, as a brief refresher, IsoStrut incorporates the suspension components structurally into the frame and relies on flex within the frame to totally do away with pivots and linkages.

This setup offers 60mm of rear wheel travel, reduces weight and claims to increase efficiency compared to a conventional suspension system.

The geometry of the E-Caliber is slightly tweaked compared to the Supercaliber – the reach grows by 15mm across most sizes (a size medium has 440mm of reach) and the head angle also slackens out from 69 degrees to 67.5 degrees. The travel of the stock fork is also boosted to 120mm.

These changes will, in Trek’s words, provide “more control at sustained speed”, which you would expect to encounter given this is an electric bike. This gives the bike a more downcountry-like silhouette, to use the trendiest phrase in mountain bike marketing at the moment.

2021 Trek E-Caliber geometry chart

Frame SizeSMLXL
Seat tube (mm)39.441.94750.8
Seat tube angle (degrees)72.3°72.6°72.8°72.8°
Head tube length (mm)91010.511
Head angle (degrees)67.5°67.5°67.5°67.5°
Effective top tube (mm)5861.764.867
Bottom bracket drop (mm)5555
Chainstay length (mm)44.744.744.744.7
Fork offset (mm)4.24.24.24.2
Trail (mm)10.910.910.910.9
Wheelbase (mm)112.6116.5119.7121.9
Standover (mm)76.876.876.876.8
Frame reach (mm)40.5444749
Frame stack (mm)60.961.862.262.7

“Unobtrusive assistance”

Trek E-Caliber Fazua motor system
The Fazua motor system is pretty damn stealthy.
Trek

The E-Caliber is built around a Fazua Evation motor system.

Unlike a conventional bottom bracket-based electric bike motor, the Fazua motor and battery can be removed as one unit. Only the gearbox, which is permanently affixed to the spindle, is left behind.

This means the E-Caliber can be converted to a ‘normal’ non-assist bike by removing the battery and motor pack, and blanking the slot with a hollow down tube cover.

The claimed weights for the Fazua motor system are as follows:

  • Battery pack: 1.38kg
  • Drivepack (casing and motor): 1.92kg
  • Bottom bracket: 1.31kg

The very lightest build (the top-end E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS) weighs a claimed 15.75kg in an unspecified size. With the motor removed, that weight drops down to 12.45kg – which compares to a claimed 9.4kg for a top-end Supercaliber.

The Fazua motor system features a 250Wh battery pack. That may sound small in comparison to your typical ebike battery, but bear in mind that the Fazua system offers lower power overall, topping out at 450 watts.

There are various options for controlling the Fazua motor available. Some brands opt for an integrated controller that usually sits just behind the head tube on the top of the top tube.

Trek E-Caliber Fazua motor system
The ability to convert the bike to a ‘normal’ bike is touted as one of the main benefits of the E-Caliber.
Trek

Trek is keen to stress the bike can be converted and, with that in mind, the brand has opted for a new removable band-on handlebar remote. This is less obtrusive than a fully-integrated controller.

Trek E-Caliber Fazua motor system
The bike uses a new style of controller.
Trek

The new controller allows you to turn the system on without removing the battery (to activate the old system, the battery had to be disconnected and reconnected).

The Evation motor is pre-loaded with Fazua’s Black Pepper motor tune, which offers the following control modes:

  • Breeze – 100 watts of constant assistance
  • River – 210 watts of max assistance
  • Rocket – 250 watts of max assistance

These are the default motor settings and can be configured to your liking within the Fazua app, either on your computer or phone.

With an assumed rider input of 200 watts, the claimed range of the system is up to 60km with 1,000m of climbing in River Eco mode, or 70km with 1,200m of climbing in Breeze Eco mode.

2021 Trek E-Caliber electric mountain bike range overview

The 2020 Trek E-Caliber range starts at £6,300 / €6,799 / $6,499.99, rising to a truly eye-watering £11,750 / €12,999 / $12,499.99 for the top-spec model.

We have featured more expensive bikes from mainstream manufacturers before, but these have, usually, been special-edition models available in limited numbers. With that in mind, it’s fair to say that this is probably one of the most expensive production bikes out there.

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS spec highlights

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS
The 2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS is one of the most expensive serial production bikes from a mainstream manufacturer that we have ever come across.
Trek
  • Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS with ethirteen Race Carbon crank
  • Wheels: Bontrager Kovee XXX 30 OCLV
  • Tyres: Bontrager XR3 Team Issue 2.4in
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120 four-piston
  • Claimed weight: 15.77kg / 13.05kg
  • Price: £11,750 / €12,999 / $12,499.99

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.8 XTR spec highlights

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.9 XTR
The XTR-equipped model is the second-tier build.
Trek
  • Fork: Fox Factory 34 Step-Cast
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XTR M9100 with ethirteen Race Carbon crank
  • Wheels: Bontrager Kovee XXX 30 OCLV
  • Tyres: Bontrager XR3 Team Issue 2.4in
  • Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120 four-piston
  • Claimed weight: 15.95kg / 13.23kg
  • Price: £9,700 / €11,999 / $11,499.99

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.8 GX spec highlights

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.8 GX
The 2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.8 GX is available in a range of truly fabulous paint jobs.
Trek
  • Fork: RockShox SID Select+
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle with ethirteen Race Carbon crank
  • Wheels: Bontrager Kovee Pro 30 Carbon
  • Tyres: Bontrager XR3 Team Issue 2.4in
  • Brakes: SRAM G2 RSC
  • Claimed weight: 16.99kg / 14.27kg
  • Price: £7,750 / €8,399 / $7,999.99

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.8 XT spec highlights

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.8 XT
The 2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.8 XT is available in the same colour options.
Trek
  • Fork: RockShox SID Select+
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT M8100 with ethirteen Race Carbon crank
  • Wheels: Bontrager Kovee Pro 30 Carbon
  • Tyres: Bontrager XR3 Team Issue 2.4in
  • Brakes: Shimano XT M8120 four-piston
  • Claimed weight: 16.94kg / 14.22kg
  • Price: £7,750 / €8,399 / $7,999.99

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.6 spec highlights

2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.6
The 2021 Trek E-Caliber 9.6 is available in one colour option.
Trek
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  • Fork: RockShox 35 Gold RL
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 12-speed with E*Thirteen alloy crank
  • Wheels: Bontrager Kovee Comp
  • Tyres: Bontrager XR3 Team Issue 2.4in
  • Brakes: Shimano MT4100 four-piston
  • Claimed weight: 18.49kg / 15.77kg
  • Price: £6,300 / €6,799 / $6,499.99