The Trek Powerfly LT 9.7 is a carbon fibre eMTB that is ready to charge.
Trek has come quite a long way from the big red barn in rural Wisconsin, and its mountain bikes have always been solid performers. Trek makes a vast range of eBikes, covering everything from hardtails and commuters to our test subject, the Powerfly LT 9.7.
The LT 9.7 is the king of the castle, sitting at the tippy top of Trek AU's range of eMTBs (until the Trek Rail is available), with a carbon frame and plenty of squish, the brand say it's up to the task for burly singletrack and big backcountry adventures.
When I collected the Powerfly LT 9.7 from Trek’s Canberra office, the first thing I noticed was how long the bike was. With a wheelbase of 1235mm in my size M/L tester, it was nearly too long for the wheel trays on the Yakima FoldClick 2 hitch rack I’d brought with me — a decent portion of this length comes from the 475mm chainstays. While some eMTB’s have extended stays due to the motor configuration, Trek says the length was intentional on the Powerfly. Trek believes that part of the novelty of eMTBs is the ability to mountain goat up steep terrain you couldn't push up on a standard trail bike, and the extra length was to provide traction and stability when climbing.
The mainframe Trek’s top-end OCLV carbon fibre, with the 500Wh Bosch PowerTube battery neatly integrated into the downtube using the brand’s RIB (Removable Integrated Battery) system, it looks clean and frees up space in the front triangle for a bottle cage. The battery has a flip-out handle, and removal is tool-free.
At the cranks, Trek has specced a Bosch Performance CX drive unit that can provide up to 250W and 75nm of pedal-assist controlled from a bar-mounted headunit.
Clicking through the gears is a SRAM GX Eagle shifter, though it’s an eMTB version that only allows one shift at a time to prevent you from snapping chains like dry pasta. The cassette is also a burly eMTB rated cluster with cogs from 11 to 50t.
Trek calls the paint job Dnister black and Rage red, and it amounts to a stealthy looking ride. With a 65.5-degree head angle and 73.5-degree effective seat angle (low mode), the reach in our size ML Tester is 435mm, and the stack is 607mm. There is a pivot based flip-chip in the rocker that steepens the seat and head angle by half a degree and brings the bottom bracket up have a cm. This could be perfect if you have a lot of flatter rocky terrain where pedal strikes can be a problem.