Urban Cyclist - - On Test -

Trek’s fu­tur­is­tic-look­ing Su­per Com­muter is a prac­ti­cal elec­tric bike that’s as fun to ride as any e-bike we’ve rid­den and, in our eyes, cur­rently sets the bench­mark in this cat­e­gory. The beat­ing heart is the Bosch Per­for­mance CX mo­tor, which is sit­u­ated be­neath the cranks. The 500-watt bat­tery is also po­si­tioned nice and low.

The Bosch Pu­rion in­ter­face at the bike’s riser han­dle­bar re­lays all you need to know about the mo­tor, bat­tery sta­tus and whether or not the in­te­grated lights are on. Like other Bosch-pow­ered bikes, the Su­per Com­muter’s as­sis­tance can be tai­lored from barely no­tice­able through to its lively Turbo set­ting, which gives you max­i­mum oomph but takes its toll on the bat­tery.

We en­joyed the bike most in its Sport set­ting that makes get­ting close to the bike’s 25km/hr limit rel­a­tively easy re­gard­less of gra­di­ent. Rid­ers who want a purer cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ence can turn the as­sis­tance down fur­ther or even off, but with a tad over 25kg to power with your legs alone, this op­tion is re­served for the hard­core only.

A full charge will pro­vide any­where be­tween 24 and 80 miles de­pend­ing on the ter­rain and power set­ting cho­sen but, typ­i­cally, you av­er­age around 40. The stout al­loy frame and car­bon fork are se­cured by bolted axles, keep­ing flex to a min­i­mum and leav­ing sus­pen­sion du­ties to the plump 2.4in Sch­walbe Su­per Moto-X tyres.

Their bal­loon-like shape ab­sorbs the worst from poor sur­faces with­out los­ing sig­nif­i­cant feel, and the way they spread over the Trek’s wide rims elic­its con­sis­tent, con­fi­dence-inspiring grip.

A pan­nier rack at the rear means there’s no need for a back­pack, while full-length mud­guards en­sure you won’t have to dodge pud­dles. Trek’s Nu­vinci hub gear is a qual­ity com­po­nent that’s con­trolled by a grip­shift-style shifter. It takes a bit of get­ting used to but, when ac­cli­ma­tised, it works well. Less im­pres­sive are the Magura MT brakes that don’t of­fer the feel of some of their com­peti­tors.

Trek’s Su­per Com­muter is gen­uinely prac­ti­cal enough to re­place a car yet fun enough to leave your reg­u­lar bi­cy­cle gath­er­ing dust. Quite sim­ply, the only rea­son there aren’t more of these around is the hefty ask­ing price. Sleek, stylish elec­tric bike… but at a price

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