the many poignant underline of Trek’s Superfly 100 AL Elite is tucked away
behind a chair tube. It’s a Gary Fisher signature decal, signifying that this
bike is, in birth during least, a impulse of one of towering biking’s
founding fathers – and a contriver of a 29er concept.
The AL Elite props up
the bottom of a five-strong, 29in-wheeled Superfly 100 range, charity a trail-worthy spec
at a cost that usually creeps over a sorcery £2k barrier. Great handling, sorted cessation performance, decent components and epic sand clearway make for big-wheeled route fun. The Trek looks a small bit pricey compared to some of a competition, though.
Ride handling: Fast rolling, good doing route appurtenance that’ll tackle anything we can chuck during it
Big wheels usually unequivocally demeanour in suit when they’re connected to a vast frame. So a 17.5in exam bike, in common with many 29ers around this size, has that somewhat disconcerting outcome of looking… well, not utterly right during initial glance. It’s usually since we’re all used to smaller wheels, and we usually discuss it since that ‘not utterly right’ feeling disappears a impulse we stand aboard a Trek and spin a pedals.
From just-so weight placement to a wheelbase that’s flattering many a matching twin of 26in-wheeled competitors and a front circle that goes where we wish it to, a Superfly 100 will have uninformed riders forgetful about a vast wheels within a initial few minutes. Which is, when we consider about it, about a biggest enrich we can compensate it. Get on, ride, and suffer a easy-rolling inlet of 29er wheels.
Fox shocks with a high application damping balance can make a bike feel bound over small bumps. Not here. The vast wheels positively help, nonetheless a Superfly’s cessation stays movable and tranquil on all from technical climbs to flat-out descents. If we were to separate hairs, we’d advise that a front finish is a small bit slower to respond in fast-changing situations, nonetheless that’s a laws of production for we – some-more rotating mass, serve from a centre of a wheel. There’s zero anyone – not even Gary Fisher himself – can do about that.
Big wheels with 100mm of transport interpret into fast, fit and gentle mile-munching. We’ve famous that for a while, nonetheless what a Superfly 100 does so good is to iron out all a small niggles that have raid progressing attempts during vast wheeled full-suspension nirvana. The geometry works, a doing is excellent, a weight is reasonable in an unexceptional kind of a approach and there’s even decent sand clearance. Is it a best 29er full-susser available? No. But it’s good value putting on your shortlist.
Frame equipment: We wish a support finish was a bit neater, quite around a welded areas
big wheels into a bike charity 100mm of transport during any finish isn’t
straightforward. There’s reduction space for many components, a incomparable need to pay
attention to geometry and a series of stiffness-related issues to understanding with.
Trek’s pattern group have been sweating a details, ensuing in a support that’s
bristling with mostly pointed pattern solutions.
the support tubes into a accessible space is arguably one of their less
successful achievements, a conjoined tip and down tubes necessitating vast –
and, it has to be said, not quite neat – welds. Never mind that, though,
because all a organic things has been taken caring of.
Trek’s Active Braking Point (ABP) focus – that places a chainstay pivot
around a hub’s back spindle – is here in versatile ‘Convert’ form, definition that
the customary 135x5mm back spindle can be switched to a stiffer, lighter 142x12mm
design during a after date. A Bontrager-designed heart with widened, bigger diameter
flanges and incomparable castaway hit area performs a same pursuit adult front.
The Superfly 100’s flare uses a climax with increasing offset, that reduces trail (the stretch between a front tyre’s hit indicate on a belligerent and a indicate where a true line by a centre of a conduct tube also meets a ground) and sharpens steering responses, countering the 29er bent to be slow-handling in a turns. Carefully
shaped stays hang deftly around a back tyre, giving this bike a best mud
clearance we’ve nonetheless seen on a vast wheeled machine.
In common with many full-suspension designs a Superfly 100 struggles to accommodate a span of customary bottle enclosure bosses. There’s one set in a common place on tip of a down tube nonetheless a second set has been shunted into a position right in line with a mist off a front wheel, underneath a down tube. You could put a bottle there, nonetheless we substantially wouldn’t wish to.
A Fox Float RP2 shock
matches a flare easily and clip-on slip indicators make a pursuit of removing the
right atmosphere vigour front and back straightforward. Predominantly Shimano SLX-based
components work good and should infer arguable and Bontrager finishing pack is
all top-notch, nonetheless we’d barter a tyres for something with some-more hold if you
ride a lot in soppy conditions.
This essay was
originally published in What
Mountain Bike magazine.