Trek Bikes Superfly FS 100 Elite SL  2013 Mountain Bike Review

Trek Bikes Superfly FS 100 Elite SL 2013

Reviews / XC Bikes

Trek Bikes 1,552,613

At A Glance

Trek announced this year that they will no longer be releasing bikes on a yearly deadline, instead they will be working on frame design and bike design and releasing the bikes when they are ready. As such for 2014 some of their bikes remain unchanged, in terms of the frame, with new graphics and component upgrades. The Superfly FS therefore remains a relevant test for both the 2013 and the 2014 models.

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The Superfly FS is a cross-country bike aimed at winning races and being the fastest bike round the track. The lightweight carbon frame sports aggressive geometry aimed at attacking the climbs, coupled with high end components the bike is all about speed.

Tech Heads

Having made the decision to focus the Superfly squarely at the XC race market Trek set about dropping 1lb off the frame weight, it now comes in at a stunning 4.2lbs with shock.

The frame has a carbon front triangle, shock linkage and seat stay while the chain stay is aluminium.

Features include a tapered head tube, 95mm press fit bottom bracket, internal cable routing, 12 x 142 rear ABP axle, post mount brake tab and direct mount front derailleur.

It is worth noting that the headset and bottom bracket bearings are mounted directly into cups formed in the carbon frame.

The 100mm of front and rear suspension come courtesy of Fox. The forks are Float 32 FIT CTD 15thru and this is matched to a Float Performance CTD rear shock.

Spec wise the Superfly 100 drive train and brakes are all Shimano XT.

Wheels are Bontrager RL and they are dressed in a pair of Bontrager 29-1 Team Issue 2.0 tyres.

Finishing gear is Bontrager too; a RXL 85mm stem clamps a 680mm low rise carbon bar finished with Bontrager lock on grips. An Evoke 3 saddle sits atop a Rhythm Elite seat pin.

Trek Superfly 100 SL 17.5

Seat tube 445mm
Effective top tube 588mm
Head tube 115mm
Chain stay 452mm
Front triangle 679mm
Wheel base 1131mm
BB height 330mm
Head angle 70°
Seat angle (effective) 70°
Reach 421mm
Stack 603mm

Weight w/o pedals 23.75lbs

On The Trail

Climbing aboard the Superfly FS 100 you can instantly feel the aggressive geometry and nature of the bike.

Weight bias is very much forward so that your head position is forward and low and this sets you up in an almost road bike type pedalling position. Combine this with the light weight and progressive rear suspension and you really do feel like you are on board a racing hardtail, yet the rear end is working and helps maintain momentum across sections of chattery terrain and offers excellent grip when climbing. Add in the fact that downhill sections were taken at greater pace yet more calmly and the overall effect was one of greater speed for less effort.

Part of the recipe that supplies such high speeds is the tyres, they are very lightweight and very fast rolling, but grip is an issue in anything even remotely muddy. By changing the front out you can make the most of the fact that you are weighting the front wheel, pedal hard and trust the front and the Superfly FS 100 is astoundingly fast through flowing woodland tracks, often amazing our testers at just how quickly they could turn into and power out of corners. The Superfly FS holds its line and tracks well, for such a light frame stiffness is good and the wheels flexed far less than expected for their weight and purpose.

Climbing on the Trek is best done with vigour, attack either in the saddle or standing and you scamper uphill, the rear end seeking out grip where a hardtail would struggle.

Point the bike down anything steep and the forward position can make it feel jittery, for racing this should not be an issue, but if you are intending to use the bike for trail use then you will want to swap the seat clamp for a quick release or fit a dropper. Once the saddle is out of the way things settle down, but finesse is needed with regards to speed and line choice.

For

Lightweight, fast, and aggressive.

Against

Very race focused, while it could be run as an everyday trail bike it would not be the most comfortable choice.

Overall

Trek has achieved what they set out to do and have produced a true thoroughbred.

The Superfly is light, agile and quick. If you want to step up your game and want the best equipment to take you to the next level then the Trek Superfly 100 has all the attributes to take you there.

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This review was in Issue 26 of IMB.

For more information visit Trek Bikes

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By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

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