An eminently likeable eTrail bike with all of the technology from Trek’s analog mountain range. But what of that Bosch system and how entertaining is the base-level model?
THE BOSCH SYSTEM
It is a popular system that is used by more than 80 bike brands. The spec sheet for this new Bosch Performance Line CX system certainly ticks all the boxes required for a versatile, full support eTrail bike. It is light, compact in design and optimized for trail riding in that it is designed to handle quick changes in cadence and deliver plenty of brawn when it is needed. Crucially, for this region, it is set to provide assistance up to the 32kmh point. The system puts out 75Nm, up to 340% support and features a 625Wh battery. It is not necessary to remove the battery for charging and Bosch says the expected range of this system on a typical ride using all four modes, in favorable conditions, is a little over 80km.
| New Bosch Performance Line CX, 250 watt, 75 Nm, 32km/h assist
| 160mm travel RockShox Yari RC, Debonair spring with RC
damper, short offset, eMTB optimized
| RockShox Deluxe RL
| 780mm wide, 15mm rise, Bontragrer Rhythm Comp
| 50mm Bontrager Rhythm Comp
| Bontrager Arvada
| TranzX 130mm Dropper post
| Bontrager Line Comp 30
| Bontrager XR5 Team Issue, 120 TPI, 29 x 2.6″
| Shimano SLX 12 speed, 10-51t
| Shimano XT
| Shimano SLX 12 speed
| eThirteen, 165mm
| Shimano SLX 12 speed
| Shimano MT520, 4-piston
| R99 999
All the models of the Rail feature the same geometry, travel and ship with the Mino Link (flip-chip) in the low position. The Rail enjoys all the modernized geometry that a 150mm travel bike should have, plus one crucial change that not all of them do – short seat tubes. This means the Rail easily accommodates longer dropper posts which improve the handling dynamics significantly. The size medium test bike I rode has a stubby little 420mm seat tube which marries well with the 450mm reach. The rear end of the bike is shorter, the front end a little longer and the head angle is on point at 64.9°.
ABOUT CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE eTRAIL BIKE: The weight of eTrail bikes improves stability and creates a ‘planted’ feel on the trail. For this reason, if I am unsure about which size bike to ride, I tend to go for the smaller option which boosts agility and playfulness. Lastly, the two most important numbers to consider when choosing the right size eTrail bike is reach and seat tube length.
If the base level model rides this well, I can only imagine what the range-topping version rides like. Overall, I think this Rail heralds a new era of success for Trek’s eMTB range.