I originally purchased the Superfly on an impulse. I was having problems with the rear shock on another bike and had some races coming up. I jumped on the deal, and the bike arrived the day before a 12-hour solo race, a division of 24 Hours in the Sage at Hartman Rocks.
The race begins with a mile of road riding before reaching the initial course, which is made up of a mix of fire road, fast single track, and techy rock formations. Thankfully, I felt pretty comfortable on the bike from the get go, and I was happy to finish on the podium in 3rd place.
The last race on my agenda for the summer was the Crested Butte Classic. This is a fun underground race with no entrees, no aid stations (unless you have your husband out on course), and no prizes—just bragging rights.
The course is made up of 100 miles of fire roads and single track with more than 10,000 feet of climbing on Crested Butte’s finest trails. (Most of these endurance races offer up a fair amount of fire roads and non-technical riding.) Last season on the Superfly, I beat my previous year’s time by more than an hour and earned a third-place finish. The Superfly was fast because of its weight; efficient and extremely comfortable because of its geometry; and with its wheel size, it could crawl over anything with ease. It also felt like it had amazing power transfer. All these factors are very noticeable and very much appreciated in these long races.
With the 29″ wheels, I felt like I was cheating on the overall ride with the Superfly. It crawled over rocky features amazingly well and covered more ground with every pedal stroke. Because of the new and improved G2 design and beefy frame, it also excelled at slow-speed bike handling, yet was also very stable in high-speed descents. The G2 offset fork helped the bike feel a bit lighter upfront, while making climbing and uphill switchbacks a little simpler. And as another point in favor of the Superfly’s platform, I felt fully stable standing up while riding uphill technical sections.
Trek did a fantastic job with the geometry of the bike, which includes a bottom bracket height of 31.2 centimeters and made it feel like a 26 incher while cornering. A 69.3-degree headtube in combination with the 29-inch wheels also made this bike pretty slack—for a bike like this, anyway. Making descents and dropping small step-downs were cake with only having 3.3″ of travel.
One of my favorite trails is the Upper Loop in Crested Butte. It contours the hillside while winding though aspens with many technical features. On my long-travel 26er, there were a few spots that were always a challenge, but those same sections were not a problem on the Superfly. In fact, they were super fun.
The Superfly is a hardtail, but for a hardtail it rides pretty smooth. The carbon is stiff, light, and seems to soak up hits well. (I wouldn’t recommend getting this bike in aluminum.) At times, however, it felt like I was riding a pogo stick, especially riding a hardtail for the first time.
The big difference between full-suspension 29ers and hardtail 29ers is the bottom bracket height. Without a rear shock, a hardtail is able to have a lower bottom bracket, and this bike seems to have its geometry dialed in that regard. I really haven’t had any riding experiences on other full-suspension 29ers, but a hardtail seems to be the most efficient at climbing technical situations as well as fire roads and smooth singletrack.