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
First off, don't believe the bad reviews about Trek's products or warranty, every company has one-off/limited customer service nightmares. Trek stands behind their products, and their products are good. I weigh almost 200 lbs, and all of my Trek carbon bikes (Madone 5.2, Fuel Ex9.9, Superfly Comp) have held up to thousands of miles of (ab)use without unexpected failure. The ONLY issue I had with any of them was the 2011 SF frame cracking at the front der mount (well documented flaw).I knew it when I bought the bike and bought it regardless of the risk BECAUSE OF THEIR WARRANTY.Trek replaced the frame WITHOUT QUESTION with a 2013 Superfly Carbon Comp frame
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.
Favorite Trail: Penasquitos Canyon (not my favorite, but ride it the most)
Duration Product Used: 6
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
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.
Bought the 2009 Superfly back when it was still Gary Fisher to replace my full suspension Trek Top Fuel. Loved everything about the bike! The G2 geometry really is great. Then it cracked between the headset and down tube. They said this was a common issue on that frame and warrantied it. They sent me the 2011 Trek Superfly frame. Many of the components, most notably the fork, were not compatible so more cash out of pocket. Once it was built up it was actually better then the 2009! Felt stiffer and the steering was just a tad more relaxed.
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.
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.
Trek Superfly 2012
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.
a Cross Country Rider
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.
Though I had a lot of problems in the beginning I am still in love with this bike. It is too fun to get rid of despite the money and time sink it has become. Hopefully next season I will have better luck because I'm a better rider and parts were replaced. Buy this bike for cross-country around urban environments such as river trails.
Strengths: None, weakest bike I have ever owned. Wood sticks in the forest are stronger than this bike according to the Engineer @ TREK BIKES! LMFAO
Weaknesses: Weak frame, horrible warranty.
Bike broke 1 week before leaving for the Tour Divide Race. Bike had only ~500 miles on it no scratches or wrecks. TREK could not get me a new bike in time so I was forced to buy a new bike. I bought the Salsa Mariachi Ti and it is the best bike I have ever owned which I rode in the Tour Divide this year. After TREK denied my warranty claim I was pretty ticked off. I made a few phones calls to TREK and talked to one of their engineers that actually looked at the bike. He said that it was an impact probably from a stick. I asked him how a stick was stronger than their frame and he couldn't give me a real answer, instead he compared it to the force of straw flying through the air in a tornado. Pretty retarded answer dude, I have taken enough physics to understand a real answer.
Also I got screwed over because I was told that TREK has great warranties and policies only to be screwed over by them one out more than 2000 dollars and almost without a bike for a race that costs thousands of dollars.
Anyways I will never buy a TREK bike again. They constantly break. And I will never recommend their bikes to anyone in fact I will work at destroying their reputation one customer at a time.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2012
Strengths: Stiff bottom bracket. Great power transfer. Cabon frame definitely mutes trail chatter.
Weaknesses: Low bottom bracket height causes pedals to hit rocks in the rough sections.
Overall the bike is solid. It is very efficient and goes when you step on it. The front end stiffness and geometry helps you hold lines even in rough trails. Bike is right about 24lbs, which makes it reasonable, but not as light as I was hoping. Definitely an upgrade over my EMD.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 17, 2012
Strengths: Light, stiff, good-looking, really fun
Weaknesses: Heavy stock wheels and tires
Of the ten mountain bikes I've owned, I enjoy this one the most. The frame is a stiff, lightweight thing of beauty. The wheelset is a bit heavy, and the 2.2" tires mine came with were too big, but most of the parts are smart.
Bike Setup: stock except: Stans Crest on XTR hubs, Spec Renegade 1.8" tires, SRAM-on-Pauls thumbies, Rockshox suspension post
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2012
Strengths: The bike is very compliant. It climbs very well, it is stiff. It takes the chatters better than other carbon hardtails I've ridden(Specialized & Fuji). The Fox fork is everything i would expect from Fox, Light and it rides very smooth. I did'nt think i would like the tires, but after I tried them, they hook up well in the turns and i can run them under 27psi with no folding(I'm only 150lbs).
Weaknesses: The brake set is the only thing I really don't like. The Avids squeal and don't feather as well as I would expect. A set of Shimano SLX or XT is all it needs, but a set of Hope Minis would make this bike sweet! All the other components are great for the price.
This bike rides GREAT for the price. If your looking for better components, get the next Superfly up with the Shimano XT groupo and RL wheels. Its worth it! Your buying this bike for the frame and a basic set of good components. It is well worth the upgrade from the AL. The bike is extremely compliant and agile for a 29er. It shifts crisp but the braking could be better. I will be getting new brakes soon and lighter wheels eventually.
All in all I love this bike. It rides GREAT an I would highly recommend it to any avid rider looking for a great frame. Like I said before, if you don't want to have to upgrade any components, go with the next Superfly better. I would have if I had the money, It's a lot better!