Trek Superfly 7 review

Lightweight, blisteringly quick ride

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,300.00 RRP | AUD $2,199.00 | USD $2,029.99

Our review

Hard driving, smooth floating, super-fast Superfly is a fantastic speed machine for the money
Skip to view product specifications

While carbon might be seen as the ultimate aspirational frame material, bikes like Trek’s Superfly show just how advanced the latest alloy frames have come in terms of performance. The complete bike is also a great example of how spending the money in the right places can get you a fantastically rapid yet fiscally astute ride.

Advertisement
  • Highs: Thru-axle fork and G2 geometry make for an accurate steering setup; skinny back end means it’s not as hard as most hardtails.
  • Lows: Tiny inner chainring too small for a naturally talented climber

Frame and equipment: booming for your buck

At this price point a screw-thru axle fork is still a relatively rare accuracy-boosting bonus on a race hardtail. The short, tapered E2 head tube keeps a firm grip on the custom G2 geometry Reba fork at the top end too.

A broad but shallow down tube and top tube with buttress shaping to reinforce the super thin walls lock down stiffness at the front end. The result is a very quick steering feel for a 29er but underlined with an inherent stability as speed rises or traction runs out.

Trek has dropped its old super swept cruiser bars for a more conventional aggressive shape that syncs much better with the eager race rapidity of the super light Superfly. Down on the ground, meanwhile, the small volume (for the claimed 2.2in width), low tread Bontragers spin up to speed very fast for a 29er.

A quick glance of the tiny seat tube piercing the broad top tube shelf that splays out into flat, S-bent seatstays suggests the tail is far from hard.

The Superfly's flexy tail makes it a pleasure to take on long rides
The superfly’s flexy tail makes it a pleasure to take on long rides:
Russell Burton

The Superfly’s flexy tail makes it a pleasure to take on long rides

Ride and handling: feel the flex and float

Even with the skinny tyres, that built in flex is obvious as soon as you ride it. It sucks the sting out of sharp edges and floats across rough sections without rattling your teeth out or disrupting pedal rhythm. The result is a surprisingly forgiving, traction boosting long ride friendly character without the extra weight or faff of suspension.

While big cowled dropouts and a 142x12mm screw-thru axle increase stiffness at the rear end there is definitely a fair amount of cornering twist and sideways twang on off camber sections. Stomping on the pedals can get the bottom bracket swaying sideways too. That doesn’t stop it being seriously quick though, and all our testers commented that the 22-tooth inner ring of the FSA chainset was too small for such a talented climber.

Advertisement

Fatter rubber would also complement the shock-absorbing ride of the rear and add predictable traction to underline the keen handling front end. Neither change is expensive on a bike that’s already better than many of its more wallet-damaging peers.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Superfly 7 (14)
Brand Trek

Available Sizes 15.5in 17.5in 18.5in 19.5in 21.5in 23in
Brakes Shimano SLX, 180/160mm rotors
Cranks FSA F2000 double chainset
Fork RockShox Reba RL G2 custom geometry, 100mm
Frame Material Alpha Platinum alloy
Front Derailleur SRAM X7
Front Tyre Bontrager XR1 Expert, 29x2.2in
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
Rear Tyre Bontrager XR1 Expert, 29x2.2in
Shifters Shimano SLX
Weight (kg) 11.44
Wheelset Bontrager Mustang rims, Bontrager hubs
Year 2014
Weight (lb) 25.2
Frame size tested 18.5in