Product DescriptionSuperfly is THE choice for the aficionado seeking the fastest, most advanced, best 29er out there.
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Date Reviewed: April 14, 2016
Strengths: for the Superfly 5 2014 18,5 frame which I am rating: frame design - geometry, great handling
Weaknesses: regarding the frame, none. Components, there is Supefly 5 - 9, you get what you pay for, choose the class which suits you and your budget and upgrade what ever you like, mainly the wheels I would recommend.
Great frame, fantastic geometry, handling could not be better. I had TREK Paragon 29“ 2011 which is the same design as Superfly 2012 and 2013. This frame is a next generation from these. I will repeat what I wrote for the Paragon 2011 review; It is fast, nimble, at high speeds as well while maintaining great stability. G2 geometry really works. The frame is stiff, well built. This new frame design only confirms these facts and only adds to the overall riding confidence. One big advantage of TREK 29” HT is the frame length. Probably the longest 29” HT frame out there. Size M is as long as size L of most other brands which means you can get a one size smaller frame to fit you perfectly and you get more standing clearance. It only would not fit the long legged (models). If you are of this stature and want a 29” HT, TREK Superfly is maybe the best option. It does not come with 12x142 rear wheel hub through axle set up. You have to get the TREK 12x142 conversion set. I got it, but still have to get the wheels for it. For now I am using WTB Stryker TCS Cross Country Race 29? 2012 wheel set (9x135 QR) which I used on my Paragon for about 3 years. They are a fantastic wheel set, but can not be converted to 12x142 ;(
Since it was introduced in autumn 2013 I really wanted it. At the time I was still happy with the previous superfly frame design (riding the Paragon 2011) and did not quite realize what can be improved. Compared with the previous frame, this one has: more size options (added the 18,5 which I have), closed convert dropouts - 12x142 rear axle option, internal cable routing, shorter chain/seat stays – stiffer frame, curved seat tube – better pedaling angle and BB are app. 0,5 cm lower which results in better stability. After riding the Paragon 2011 for app 3 years I switched to this Superfly 2014, riding feel is noticeably better. I can not say that the difference is dramatic, but it is noticeable, I have just a little bit more riding confidence feel. Highly recommended.
Similar Products Used: Marin Nail Trail 29" 2011, TREK Paragon 29" 2011
Bike Setup: custom TREK Superfly 5 2014 18,5
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2015
Strengths: Fast, climbes faster than my colleagues at the office, and is much easier to control.
Weaknesses: Haven't found any yet
Similar Products Used: Gary Fischer X-Cal, LaPierre 529, Specialized Stumpjumper.
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2015
Strengths: Fast, responsive, great technical capabilities for an XC bike, wonderful handling at all speeds, strong brakes, great fork, great price, cranks are easily upgraded due to being compatible with many different hollow tech type cranks.
Weaknesses: No TLR wheels on 2014 SF 5 (fixed for 2015 models), a little heavy for an XC race bike (it doesn't feel heavy though)
The bottom line is that the Superfly is light, maneuverable, fast and fun. I've gone back and forth on the same trails with this 29er and smaller 26" wheeled bikes and I can honestly say that even on the tightest of trails this 29er doesn't give up any maneurerability due to it's bigger wheel size and it's much faster on everything else. I know a lot of people go with the carbon frame on this board, and some of them have had durability issues. I just can't justify that extra money, the alluminum frame is already super comfortable for a hardtail, fairly light and I don't have to worry about cracking issues. I've had zero reliability concerns over the last 1200 miles and the only wear item I had to replace was the chain. Even the XR3 tires which have over 700 miles on them at this point look like they will be able to go a lot further.
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2015
Strengths: I'm reviewing a Superfly 5, 2014, 19.5 inch frame:
Handles well at all speeds
Great on flowing trails
Handles technical sections well for an XC oriented bike.
Cockpit dialed in.
Accelerates well if you're in shape
Weaknesses: Not tubeless ready.
A bit heavy for a bike in this category.
Rather have a 2 X 10 drivetrain.
Crank set should be upgraded.
Needs race tires (Bontrager XR1s are good all around tires, but not so "racy" like the Schwalbe 29er tires.
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2015
Strengths: 2011 Trek Superfly ELITE Relatively light, handles well, rides
Weaknesses: Trek Corporation
Trek's Lifetime (limited) is very limited. Caveat venditor- buyer beware of Trek policy's
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2014
Strengths: Great frame for aluminum category ! Fantastic brakes ! Decent shifting. Rides quick !
Weaknesses: The seat. The seat. The seat. Bike supplied with non tubeless compatible tires.
TREK 2014 Superfly 6. At about $1650 this would make a great casual race bike or a better bike touring load hauler with its nice frame. These should be out there at a discount now that the 2015 models are coming out. A better wheelset, tires, and seat are all this bike needs.
Date Reviewed: September 9, 2014
Strengths: grippy shimano brakes, wide gear range with triple crankset, stiff frame
Weaknesses: a bit heavy, front derailleur a tad slow
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2014
Strengths: Great geometry. Fast, fun and flickable. Good component spec's on the 2014 version. Bontrager components are surprisingly good. Very sensible overall component specs. Love the blue and white.
Weaknesses: White seat on a mountain bike? Who's idea was that? Grips are a little firm.
Duration Product Used: 1 month
Price Paid: $2000.00
Bike Setup: 17.5 inch size. All stock so far
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2014
Strengths: Light and fast
Weaknesses: Wheels shipped with the bike we're defective needed to be replace after 2nd ride, Trek has yet to reply, frame / seat post also have an issue remaining secure dangerous. Again Trek has yet to reply, seems they have numerous defects with Superfly... I in the market for a new bike not a Trek.
Price Paid: $1200.00
Similar Products Used: Stumpjumper Comp, TallBoy
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2013
Strengths: Light, Fast, Cushioned ride for a 29er hardtail, looks good
Weaknesses: Head tube design. The non integrated head tube design is weak and the lower cups separated on my frame.
Duration Product Used: jan - october 2013
Price Paid: $2300.00
Purchased At: Breakaway Cycling
Bike Setup: Upgraded all the componets to XTR trail systems -
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2013
Strengths: Fast, light, X9 parts have been bomb proof and always work well.
Rims have held up very well despite limited online info for "29er mustang rims".
2x10 works well with the bike
Color scheme is sexy
Weaknesses: Fork - CTD (I'm missing the complete lockout from my other bike) and no remote = sketchy DH if you forget to change from C to D. Don't bother reaching to flip the switch on the fly. You will FAIL and fall! Maybe....
Seat - a 2-3 hour max ride time for me; have switched over to my old fizik nisene and has made a huge difference.
Brakes get HOT!
The frame has been through some seriously hard terrain (5 hour fast XC rides through the heart of kananaskis country) with no issues at all.
I'll be converting everything to tubeless soon, for a little more plushness.
If you want to be on a carbon hardtail, and can't afford the really nice rigs (ie Santa Cruz Highball), this is a great bike with components that are decent enough to work well almost all of the time.
Price Paid: $4000.00
Purchased At: Vicious Cycle Jasper
Similar Products Used: 2004 Rockymountain Hammer
2009 Rockymountain Altitude 70
Bike Setup: Stock, minus the seat and Nobby Nic tires when wet.
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2013
Strengths: Light, Fast, carves, compliant (for a carbon HT), climbing, made me forget all about my Fuel 9.9
Weaknesses: not cheap; made me forget about my Fuel 9.9
ACTUAL BIKE REVIEW:
I loved the 2011 Superfly (the one that broke) so much that I never rode my Fuel after the second ride on the SF. Then I rode my Fuel a lot while waiting to get my replacement frame, and after a trip to Sedona in NOV, I almost regretted buying the Superfly. Once I got the replacement frame built back up, I forgot all about my Fuel for a second time. The new frame rides so nice that I NEVER take the Fuel out of the garage, not even for a return trip to Sedona this JAN.
That alone is a reflection of how great this bike is...I CHOSE to take a carbon hardtail to Sedona instead of taking a top of the line carbon FS bike, and this wasn't a trip for easy trails/hill climbing, this was for the technical trails down to Buddha Beach and other fun, rocky, technical sections. I cannot praise the ride of the Superfly enough. It is totally responsive to steering and body english, puts the power down incredibly well, and really does climb and descend faster than my Fuel (so says Strava).
RECOMMENDED for avid riders/xc racers looking for a high performance bike. Must be willing to sacrifice a little comfort to get that extra zip. Perfect match for someone who wants a great cross country bike that can handle a bit of the technical stuff courtesy of the larger wheel diameter.
NOT RECOMMENDED for a recreational rider who wants something comfortable to goof around on. Fuel EX8 is a far better choice for an all purpose bike for the recreational rider.
Sort of about the bike (29 vs 26 debate):
Being a hard tail, the Superfly is clearly not as plush as the Fuel, but it is still a comfortable ride once your ditch the stock seat post/saddle (I went with an EC90/Sella Italia SLR and LOVE IT). The larger diameter wheels help take some of the edge off, and regardless of terrain, I am absolutely comfortable on demanding 25+ mile rides. I debated for a long time before making the jump to a 29er, but after talking a friend into getting one, I had to get one for myself. I immediately noticed that it rolls smoother and is a bit more stable at speed vs my 26er. While it may give up some handling to a 26er hardtail (geometry), I can rail it through tight single track segments FASTER than my Fuel. On all but the toughest technical areas, it really does flow better. While a 26er HT may be more flickable and agile, from past experience, they are no where near as comfortable. If you are a serious rider (see my recommendation above) and can only have one mtn bike (oh the humanity), 29er HT is your best bang for the buck.
Not really about the bike (Trek Red Shield):
One perk to riding Treks is the Red Shield program. Adds a bit up front, but I have yet to pay for repairs on any of my Treks. Fork leaking, take it in for free...brakes acting up, yup, take it in for free. I wrench my own bikes for simple things, but I like the peace of mind that comes from having what amounts to an extended warranty that covers MOST of what can go wrong.
Duration Product Used: 6
Price Paid: $5000.00
Purchased At: Trek San Diego
Similar Products Used: -Mt. Shasta Pechanga Comp (cro-mo), my first real mtn bike, rigid, then upgraded to an Antigravity susp fork with Power Grip pedals (long ago)
-Giant HT (aluminum), first built up as a light weight geared bike (Mavic 217s, XT cranks, Sid Race fork, XTR v-brakes, etc...), then morphed into a go anywhere/do anything single speed (one of my favorite bikes...Crossmax wheels, Bomber 5" front end, avid bb7 discs)
-2002 Specialized S-works FSR XC- stock
-2008 Trek Fuel EX8- stock
-2009 Trek Fuel EX 9.9- stock, though some parts swapped to new Superfly
Bike Setup: 2013 Superfly Carbon Comp Frame; 2013 Mavic CrossMax SLR wheels/Geax Saguaro 2.2 TNT tires; Race XXXl carbon risers/RXL stem/ESI Chunky grips; EC90 seatpost/Sella Italia SLR saddle;Avid Juicy Ultimate brakes; X-9 shifters/der (upgrading to SRAM XX1 someday); XTR Cranks/pedals
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2013
Strengths: Weight, handling, geometry, stiffness
Weaknesses: Cracked two Superfly frames so far that were claimed to be manufacturing defects. Sure it's great that they warrantied them but I won't have much confidence in the new frame either.
The bad news, now the 2011 frame has just cracked at the front derailleur mount as mentioned in these other reviews. The Trek rep again said that this was a known issue with this frame and that they would warranty it.
LBS told me that the replacement frame will be here in a week and that it would be the 2013 carbon Superfly Comp frame. I pointed at the 2013 Superfly Pro SL on the website and inquired why I wouldn't be getting the latest and greatest like they sent last time. He chuckled and said those frames will never see the light of day. Too many issues with the frames breaking.
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2012
Strengths: The frame and general handling
Weaknesses: Reliability: The bike is one year old: Rear brakes had to be replaced, front brakes replaced. Three times broken spokes. The shock start to leak. Sand and mud in the bottom bracket.
Well as you can see, the bike has been braking a lot down. But I had it for 8 months before it started to brake down. So it was running fine, and im using it a lot.
The dealer is fantastic, thank god.
The handling is fantastic, and I love the bike.
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2012
Strengths: Overall a very solid ride. Easily manages advanced terrain and transitions well to road with the lockout.
Weaknesses: Alot of broken parts. I bought the 2013 version when it came out in early August and have rode it through October, so alittle less than three months. During this time I had four rear wheel flats and one front wheel, broken lockout switch, back tire wouldn't stay true and warrantied, and a bunch of minor glitches that have been worked out. So, probably around ten visits to the bike shop (once a week.) This was a huge frustration, but since the back tire warrantied and I got an upgrade instead I have had zero problems. Also for context, I biked around 40 miles of moderate trail riding a week. I'd say a two flats could be on me, but most were pinch flats. The rest of the problems were definitely on the bike mostly the Bontraeger rim and wheels.
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