Could you ever think of a bike as a competent replacement for your car? Hardly! But that is what Trek hopes to achieve with the Super Commuter+ 9. With top speeds to beat any you can achieve during the typical morning rush hour traffic, the bike lets you arrive at work right on time without having to break a sweat.
Performance, Performance, Performance
Given the way the Super Commuter plus 9 is seriously fine tuned, it really does seem like they had a voice in their ear repeating the word “performance” through the entirety of the design and production phase. At the heart of the bike is the Bosch Performance CX motor, placed so low that it hangs beneath the cranks.
The motor is powered by a 500Wh battery unit, the longest-lasting battery to come out of Bosch. Paired with Trek’s knowledge and technology – as can be seen in the low positioning of the battery and its neat and seamless integration into the rest of the system – the Super Commuter is amped-up for the harshest of commutes.
But it is not only the motor that is fine tuned for performance. The wide tyres, a pair of 27.5 x 2.4” Schwalbe Super Moto-X tyres are designed to roll over any debris and pothole with relative ease, while maintaining a good all-round grip. For the brakes, Trek turns to the huge 180m direct-mount Magura CarboTecture hydraulic disc brakes, known for their consistent delivery of powerful stopping abilities in every weather condition.
Aesthetically, the Super Commuter is also primed for success. The hydroformed body frame plus a carbon fibre e2 fork create an elegant bicycle that is lighter than the sum of its parts (although with about 25kg of weight, it certainly does pack some weight of its own), without compromising on strength, durability and comfort.
Ensuring that there’s no drop-off in performance between daylight and nighttime, the cleverly integrated SuperNova lights excellently come through to keep your way properly lighted up at all times. Aesthetically, the e-bike is a balance between sleekness and solidity, with the slender frame concealing the ultra powerful motor within its belly.
Flexibility and Control
The Trek Super Commuter+ is indeed primed for the ultimate control. The handlebar plays houses the Bosch Purion interface which indicates the battery status, while also indicating the condition of the integrated lights.
However, bikers will be particularly drawn to the flexibility the bike affords. A range of power modes allow you select just how much pedal assistance you wish to receive; from the ‘Turbo’ setting which gives you maximum assistance, while draining the battery faster, to the ‘Eco’ setting which really reduces the assistance level, and all the way down to a completely unassisted riding experience.
Further flexibility is ensured by the Nuvinci hub gear at the rear wheel. Whereas most bikes are hampered by their drivetrains, the Harmony N380 provides an automatic continuous variable shifting system. This allows you focus on your riding without worrying any about the shifting.
The battery also offers flexibility on the lifetime, with the level of assistance desired determining just how long it lasts. Thus, the 3-5 hours charge time required can give you enough juice for a 24 to 80-mile ride (65 to 235km). As with every e-bike, though, you need to mentally expect the tail-off of assisted riding at the 25 km/h mark (no thanks to those frustrating assistance laws!), but it is something you can live with.
Essentially, Trek brings all of the features we have now come to expect with off-road e-bikes to the Super Commuter+ 9, and we are more than happy to indulge them.