What is it?
This a full suspension race bike from Trek and it is about a pound lighter than last year's frame. Other changes are a 10mm reduction in travel to 100mm and the suspension was tuned for a firmer feel with a more progressive stroke. Trek engineers raised the bottom bracket 5 mm for more clearance and slackened the head angle by 1 degree to meet the demands for slacker head angles these days. Despite losing a pound, the frame is stiffer than the previous model, Trek claims. Prices for this test Superfly 100 Elite SL model is $5,570. A $9,030 Pro SL weighing in at 21.4-pound is available as well and it gives a glimpse to the Elite SL's upgradeability.
We rode the Superfly 100 for about a three months on our local hill climbs, twisty trails and big descents. Below are our observations.
- A full pound lighter than last year's frame
- It's a full-on race bike with slightly less travel and a little higher bb than the previous generation
- The spec is excellent from the components to the bars and saddle
- It's purpose-built for speed with no compromises
- Dropper post compatible with internal top tube routing
- Stiffness is excellent and better than previous generation
- Delivers a good value for the level of frame and components in the XT package
- The wheels are plenty stiff with one of the best tubeless systems available
- The frame is a work of art and it is finished well with internal cable routing and down tube protection system
- 23.85 lb actual weight for medium without pedals is very impressive
Impressive carbon fiber work for drop-in bearing for headset.
Chainstay protector is fully designed in with a little rubber tab on the bottom to minimize chainslap noise
Internal cable routing and formed head tube.
- The bike does not have great range as an all-around bike
- The Bontrager XR-1 tire in the front is quite limiting
- Bottom bracket is a bit high and rear shock ramps up quickly for trail/fun use
- $9k for the Pro SL model?
Trek Superfly 100 and Specialized Epic
Trek knew that full suspension bikes were starting to become a necessary option in racing as World Cup races, National and Endurance events were becoming more demanding with tougher terrain. And since they wanted their racers to have the best opportunity to win, they designed the Superfly hardtail and the Superfly 100 full suspension bike. So here is the Superfly 100 that is fully optimized for racing with minimal compromises. Out of the box, it needs no upgrades. Even the Bontrager XR-1 tires are fully dialed to deliver the highest speed available. The speed, spec, weight of this bike is one of the most satisfying XC rigs available straight out of the box.
But there lies the weakness of this bike. If you're not going to race it all the time, it's probably not the best bike for your $5500. On your local flow trail or your summer road trip, this will not be as fun as many other rigs. If you're going on an epic ride or an endurance race, change the tires to tubeless and switch over to a burlier front tire like the Bontrager XR-3.
We put a KS Lev on the bike and XR-3, XR-4 tires and the bike showed some of its range. It was incredibly fun and capable railing corners and doing jumps. But the bottom bracket is not low and the suspension is a little stiff and ramps up pretty quickly.
In the end, we like the bike and believe is a good match for the Santa Cruz Tallboy and the Specialized Epic. Compared to the Tallboy, this frame is lighter, has better cable routing and frame protection features. Compared to the Epic, the Superfly 100 is lighter and more polished while the Epic is a bit better climbing out of saddle with its automatic lockout Brain system.
If you want a race bike or you just want to dominate your local climbs and loops, the Superfly 100 is an excellent package that will not hold you back. In other words, you won't be able to blame this bike for missing the podium or losing the KOM.