Trek Superfly review

Proven and well-natured performer

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £2,100.00 RRP | AUD $2,999.00 | USD $2,729.99

Our review

The Superfly melds hot-hatch performance with family estate usability. There’s a lot to like
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Trek, or more specifically Gary Fisher, were the first big name to really ‘get’ 29ers. This understanding of the big-wheel phenomenon is clear from their design philosophy. Their bikes look different and ride differently to other 29ers.

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  • Highs: The Superfly is easy to ride fast and easy to ride slow
  • Lows: It needs a bigger front tyre
  • Buy if… You want a go-anywhere, do-anything racer with upgrade potential

Trek’s commitment to carbon is one of the longest-standing in the industry. Their Optimum Compaction Low Void (OCLV) monocoques have 20 years of iterative tweaks to offer frames that are stiff, light and blessed with a comfort factor that makes many other bikes feel like church pews.

Gary Fisher’s G2 geometry reduces trail (the distance between a line to the floor through the centreline of the steerer and a line falling vertically to the ground), which Trek use to increase steering stability. Many mountain bikers like this characteristic, as it enhances performance and confidence on steep or loose surfaces. Add in a tapered head tube for a stiffer front end and a wide, strong, press-fit BB90 bottom bracket, and the Superfly frame is ready for your power. 

The Shimano transmission and brakes mix eye-catching XT rear and SLX front derailleurs, a non-series triple chainset, SLX brakes and that solid workhorse, a RockShox Reba fork. The rest of the bike is a trip through the Bontrager catalogue, with everything from grips to tyres from the Trek component arm. No one liked the overuse of blue anodising, which cheapens an otherwise tidy bike. We’d like a slightly more aggressive front tyre too.

All of our testers commented upon the Superfly’s easy-riding nature. It goes exactly where it’s pointed, exploiting whatever grip the fast-rolling 2.2in Bontrager 29-1 tyres can find. The Trek gets you doing the basics right – climbing in the saddle without having to over reach, carving turns, railing around uphill switchbacks and letting you take liberties on line choice. Not having to jig about in the saddle to bring both wheels into play is refreshing.

This bike has a proven track record for performance, with the same frame being ridden to numerous World Cup podium spots. That the Trek was also popular with less experienced riders speaks volumes – it has a true pedigree not just as a speed machine, but for riding on dirt. There are more glamorous bikes, but few that ride as well as the Superfly.

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This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Superfly (13)
Brand Trek

Description 15.5, 17.5, 19, 21, 23in sizes
Shifters Shimano Deore, 10spd
Front Wheel Bontrager AT850 32h alloy rim, Bontrager 15x100mm hub
Tyres Bontrager 29-1 Expert, 2.2in
Wheelbase (in) 43.9
Top Tube (in) 23.7
Standover Height (in) 30.2
Seat Tube (in) 17.5
Chainstays (in) 17.5
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12.3
Weight (lb) 26.03
Weight (kg) 11.8
Stem Bontrager Race Lite, 90mm
Seatpost Bontrager Rhythm Elite, 27.2x350mm
Brakes Shimano M596 hydraulic disc, 180/160mm rotors
Seat Angle 72
Saddle Bontrager Evoke 2, steel rail
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore XT Shadow
Headset Type Cane Creek IS-3 E2
Head Angle 69.3
Handlebar Bontrager flat bar, 690mm
Grips/Tape Bontrager Race Lite, lock-on
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX direct mount
Frame Material Trek OCLV carbon
Fork RockShox Reba 29 QR15 with remote lockout, 100mm travel
Cranks Shimano M552, 42/32/24T, 175mm
Chain KMC
Rear Wheel Bontrager AT850 32h alloy rim, Bontrager hub