2014 Bible of Bike Tests Roundtable Reels: Trek Superfly 8
Find out why Trek's line of cross-country 29ers leaves riders spoiled for choice
Trek’s line of Superfly cross-country 29ers includes nine hardtail models and seven full-suspension versions, giving riders ample options at multiple price points. We tested the more affordable aluminum Superfly 8 on the rocky-and-ledgy trails of Sedona, Arizona. Find out what our testers thought of the bike in today’s Roundtable Reels video.
TREK SUPERFLY 8
Direct Link: trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/mountain/cross_country/superfly/superfly_8/#
Final Take: One of a bevy of Superfly 29ers that will force buyers to think hard about how to get the most bang for their buck.
Trek’s line of Superfly cross-country 29ers is massive. There are nine models of hardtails and seven full-suspension versions, so a lack in choice is never an issue—especially since the top models are fully customizable.
We tested the aluminum-frame Superfly 8, which at $2,360 falls at the lower-priced end of the spectrum. With its 51-millimeter fork offset, the G2 geometry offered quick and precise high- and low-speed handling, although one tester felt the 69.6-degree head angle was easily overwhelmed in Sedona, where it was difficult to maintain traction over technical climbs. In many cases, we felt that the Superfly performed as a 29er should—rolling easily over obstacles and pedaling fast on fireroads, but, ultimately, this bike is all about where you’re riding. This version is better suited to a newer cross-country rider who lives somewhere with smooth, fast trails versus someone who rides mostly steep, rocky terrain where an aluminum hardtail is likely to require post-ride trips to the dentist and chiropractor.
The 25-pound bike is well built for the price, with a Fox Evolution Series 32 Float CTD fork, Shimano’s solid SLX 10-speed drivetrain and Bontrager tubeless-ready rims paired with the surprisingly grippy XR1 Expert 2.2 tires. The broad range of Superflys forces prospective buyers to think about their priorities: Does a higher-quality frame trump the level of parts on that frame, or the other way around? For $160 more, you could step up to a Superfly 9.6, which gets you a carbon-fiber frame with a small sacrifice on components. For less than $500 more, you could get a full-suspension alloy frame. For our money, we’d be hard-pressed to opt for the aluminum frame when the carbon-fiber version is so close within reach. –Nicole Formosa