13/05/2013 | 2 comments
The Trek Superfly 100 is a finely honed 110mm rear travel cross-country/marathon/race/ride all day 29er. This £2,200 Al Elite model is the entry into a five bike range that includes a couple of carbon models too. With Fox suspension, Shimano SLX/XT components and Bontrager wheels, tyres and cockpit, it’s a trail-ready package that weighs in at 28lb.
The Superfly 100 of course used to be a Gary Fisher, but a couple of years ago parent company Trek rolled the Fisher bikes into their range and dubbed them the ‘Fisher Collection’. The only clue to this is a tiny GF graphic on the top tube; otherwise Trek logos dominate the frame. I think it’s a shame they’ve eliminated the Fisher logos as significantly as this, but there’s little point in dwelling on it for too long.
What Gary Fisher set out to achieve when he started championing 29ers a decade ago lives on in this bike, and that’s the important thing. It also benefits from Trek’s mighty depth of resources and borrows from their own full suspension bikes.
Its Alpha Platinum Aluminium frame is cold extruded and butted at key points, giving shape and profile where it’s needed most. The down tube is curved at both ends and the cables are slung across the top and bottom making for clean routing. The straight top tube carries the shock mount and the short rocker that is driven by the straight seatstays. A curved tube struts the extended seat tube.
Asymmetric chainstays keep the drive side stay lower and away from the chain, making for a quieter rider. Trek’s clever ABP (Active Braking Point) Convert places the chainstay pivot around the rear axle. It can be switched from 135x5mm to the stiffer 142x12mm setup. Clearance around the rear wheel is impressive, and there’s room for much wider tyres if the fancy takes you. Rare to see such tyre/muck clearance on a US designed bike.
Other details include a Press-Fit bottom bracket, direct-mount front mech and an E2 tapered head tube – 1.5in at the bottom and 1 1/8in up top.
The Superfly 100 has a different approach to 29er geometry. Gary Fisher’s G2 geometry uses a custom fork with an increased off-set to get around the problem of slower handling of the bigger, heavier wheels, without resorting to a crazy-steep head angle (imagine the difference in angle from crown to hub with a ‘normal’ fork compared to the G2’s extra off-set/curves at the crown which give the fork a steeper angle without upsetting the head angle or wheelbase of the bike). The fork is a Fox 32 Float Evolution with a 15mm bolt-thru axle and shares the new CTD low-speed compression dial with the Float Evolution rear shock.
Trek made the job of setting sag easier with the provision of plastic clip-on sag indicators. They’re marked with 20 and 25% and you simply fit them to the forks/shock, sit on the bike, and line the rubber band with the desired position on the indicator. It certainly makes the job a lot easier and gets you a very good setup that should be spot on from the first ride.
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£2,200 is a lot of money but the Superfly 100 is well kitted out with a predominantly Shimano SLX groupset, but with a downgraded M552 triple chainset. It’s a shame Shimano don’t do a well-priced double 2×10 chainset at this level yet. The rear mech is upgraded to an XT Shadow item and the 11-36 cassette provides plenty of low-end gears. Brakes are SLX as well and the levers feature a nice easy to use lever reach dial.
There’s a lot of Bontrager kit on this bike, as you’d expect, and fortunately it’s all very good stuff. Bontrager Mustang 32-hole rims with alloy hubs with sealed bearings with very fast-rolling Bontrager 29-1 Expert 2.2in tyres. They might be fine in the dry but I can’t see them hooking up much in the wet.
The stem, bars, saddle and seatpost are all Bontrager too. The stem is 105mm so that might be coming off for something a little shorter, and I’ll see how I get on with the 690mm bars.
The Superfly 100 is available in five sizes. This is the 19in and the important geometry numbers look like this:
Head angle: 71.0 °
Seat tube angle: 73.6 °
Chainstays: 17.80 in
Bottom bracket drop: 12.80 in
Effective top tube: 24.29 in
Wheelbase: 44.84 in
So that’s the gist of the bike, I’m going to start thrashing it on my local and more distant trails with an interest to see how it compares to other 29ers I’ve ridden, such as the excellent Santa Cruz Tallboy and Specialized Camber, both similarly equipped 29er full-sussers.
More information: Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite