Trek’s latest Superfly Elite 29er carbon hardtail gets a host of upgrades that yield a claimed 150g of weight savings, a 15 percent bump in torsional stiffness, and expanded trail capabilities relative to its Gary Fisher-badged predecessor thanks to a 20mm increase in front wheel travel.
The Superfly’s tube proportions have grown all around for an expected improvement in handling precision and drivetrain rigidity thanks to a wider BB95 bottom bracket setup and newly tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in E2 head tube.
Both afford more surface area for much bigger cross-sections in the down tube, seat tube and chainstays. Trek have also added the Gary Fisher Control Column concept with bigger front hub end cap diameters to reduce fork flex. Seatstays are still relatively slender and seatpost diameter remains 27.2mm, though, so ride comfort should still be pretty reasonable.
Weight savings come through more careful placement of carbon fiber and also more of it. Whereas the previous Superfly used a variety of aluminum inserts, the current model is nearly 100 percent carbon. Headset and crank bearings now drop directly into precision molded recesses in the head tube and bottom bracket, the dropouts are now carbon as well – and the extra reinforcement brace on the non-drive side has been removed.
A bonded-on carbon armor plate guards against rock strikes.: a bonded-on carbon armor plate guards against rock strikes. James Huang/BikeRadar.com
A bonded-on Carbon Armor plate guards against rock strikes
Lest you worry about impact resistance and long-term wear, Trek have fitted the new Superfly with a Carbon Armor protective plate on the down tube underside and aluminum faces on the rear dropouts.
Our 17.5in test sample arrived with SRAM’s new X0 2×10 drivetrain – a close cousin to the company’s top-end XX package – a Fox F29 RLC fork with manual lockout and Bontrager’s G2 offset dimensions for more natural-feeling handling, and Bontrager Race X Lite tubeless-ready wheels with scandium-enhanced aluminum rims.
Bontrager also provide the forged aluminum Race X Lite stem, Evoke 3 titanium-railed saddle, Race X Lite ACC seatpost and refreshingly wide Race X Lite Carbon Big Sweep flat bar with 12 degrees of backsweep for wrist comfort. Total weight as pictured is 10.11kg (22.29lb) without pedals and suggested retail price is US$4,279.99. Look for a full review in the coming months.