Bicycles

Trek powers over trail with lightest full-squish e-mountain bike yet

Trek powers over trail with li...
The range-topping E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS becomes Trek's lightest full-suspension e-MTB ever
The range-topping E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS becomes Trek's lightest full-suspension e-MTB ever
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The range-topping E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS becomes Trek's lightest full-suspension e-MTB ever
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The range-topping E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS becomes Trek's lightest full-suspension e-MTB ever
Unlike other e-drives that have their hardware integrated into the bike, the Fazua Evation removes to allow the bike to be ridden with pedal power alone
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Unlike other e-drives that have their hardware integrated into the bike, the Fazua Evation removes to allow the bike to be ridden with pedal power alone
The Fazua Evation has lighter, more compact hardware that allows for a sleeker, lighter ebike
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The Fazua Evation has lighter, more compact hardware that allows for a sleeker, lighter ebike
The removable e-drive offers quick indoor battery charging
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The removable e-drive offers quick indoor battery charging
Modeled after Trek's Supercaliber XC mountain bike, the E-Caliber comes with a IsoStrut rear suspension that's more neatly integrated into the frame than other rear suspension designs
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Modeled after Trek's Supercaliber XC mountain bike, the E-Caliber comes with a IsoStrut rear suspension that's more neatly integrated into the frame than other rear suspension designs
Fazua's Rider App connects with the Evation drive to deliver sensor and system data for analysis
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Fazua's Rider App connects with the Evation drive to deliver sensor and system data for analysis
Swap the e-drive out for the hollow sleeve, and you gain a lighter, unassisted E-Caliber mountain bike
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Swap the e-drive out for the hollow sleeve, and you gain a lighter, unassisted E-Caliber mountain bike
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We've already seen recently how the removable Fazua Evation electric drive can create an award-winning two-for-one ebike combo and a versatile gravel bike. Now it paves the way for the lightest full-suspension e-MTB ever to come from one of the world's largest names in mountain biking. The 2021 Trek E-Caliber leverages the lightweight, removable drive toward separating itself from the hard-hammering downhill e-MTBs to offer a light, nimble cross country ride.

Ebikes have been growing lighter over the years, but it's still a feat for a manufacturer to break 30 lbs (13.6 kg) with a full-size, unsuspended urban commuter. When it comes to the beefier, full-suspension build of a modern electrified mountain bike, you can forget it — you're lucky to come in under 45 lb (20.4 kg), and dropping below 40 puts you among the lightest of the light.

Specialized made "lightest full-suspension e-MTB" headlines in February 2020 with its Turbo Levo SL, a 38.3-lb (17.4-kg) e-MTB that weighs in just a hair away from the comparatively low-priced 38.4-lb (17.4-kg) Forestal Siryon that debuted a few weeks later. Orbea followed up in Fall 2020 with its gorgeously painted 36-lb (16.3-kg) Rise.

Trek takes yet another step forward in lightweight ebike design with the E-Caliber, claiming the bike weighs in as low as 34.2 lb (15.5 kg). That weight, of course, comes only with the tippity-top E-Caliber spec and its five-figure price tag, but crazy prices for low weights are hardly news to anyone who's ever shopped for a lightweight bike, electrified or not.

Unlike other e-drives that have their hardware integrated into the bike, the Fazua Evation removes to allow the bike to be ridden with pedal power alone
Unlike other e-drives that have their hardware integrated into the bike, the Fazua Evation removes to allow the bike to be ridden with pedal power alone

Trek fancies the E-Caliber a race-grade cross-country e-MTB in a world dominated by beefier e-mountain bikes best left to pedaling up short, steep hills and throwing their bulk at bombing back downhill at record speed. The E-Caliber's 10-lb (4.6-kg) 250-W Fazua Evation electric drive kicks out power assistance to help riders top steep hills, pedal farther distances, close the gap with stronger, faster riders, and smoothen out the knobby-tire experience whenever else they might need a boost.

The Evation delivers assistance at speeds up to 20 mph (32 km/h) and offers up to 43.5 miles (70 km) of range on its lowest 100-W mode. Trek promises a smooth assistance experience, with no jolts at the start and no mechanical resistance once the motor cuts out. Riders can switch through three available modes with the low-profile touch-sensitive handlebar controller.

If and when the rider feels that electric assistance is unnecessary, he or she can remove the entire Evation drive, replacing it with a hollow down tube insert and enjoying a classic pedal-powered XC mountain bike that weighs 6 lb (2.7 kg) less. The non-electrified aspects of the bike are modeled after Trek's Supercaliber XC bike, employing the same IsoStrut structural rear suspension design with 2.4 in (60 mm) of travel. The E-Caliber features slightly longer, slacker geometry than the Supercaliber, and a longer-travel 120-mm fork, both tweaked around its electrified design.

Swap the e-drive out for the hollow sleeve, and you gain a lighter, unassisted E-Caliber mountain bike
Swap the e-drive out for the hollow sleeve, and you gain a lighter, unassisted E-Caliber mountain bike

Like other Trek bikes, the E-Caliber comes in a full range of models, starting at $6,500. The range-topping $13,000 E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 ASX is the one that gets buyers down into 34-lb territory (34.8 lb/15.8 kg with a pre-production medium-size painted frame, according to Trek's spec sheet). This top build includes a carbon frame, SRAM XX1 Eagle ASX wireless electronic drivetrain, Fox Factory rear shock and RockShox SID Ultimate fork.

For more info on other E-Caliber models and specs, you can jump to the Trek source link below, but we suggest you first watch the E-Caliber devour ridge-splitting singletrack, muscle through boulder fields and wade through rivers in the quick clip below — definitely got us more excited for digging into the details.

Trek E-Caliber: Wondering what's over the next ridge?

Source: Trek

View gallery - 7 images
8 comments
8 comments
CAVUMark
I remember when you had to sweat to get up a hill.
c w
Patiently waiting for the "too expensive", "people should stop being so lazy" comments to show up.
MarkGovers
One way to sweat a lot on an E-bike, is simply leave the motor off :), jokes aside, I find I use my E-bike like a gym, adding or subtracting "weight" as desired, the best of all worlds
George
I remember (reading about) men-with-red-flags in front of cars, amputations without anaesthetic, shios taking years to circumnavigate the globe...etc :-) But hey, progress happens. Having said that, I'm happy with my no-name 26" and Sondors 20" eFat's - Specialised etc wayyyyy out of my price-range and requirements as a recreational rider. Exactly as MarkG says - you want sweat - you hit the Off switch ;-)
wendorms
Would re-generation of the bloody battery be to much to ask for a $6.5K-$13K bicycle? Bollocks I say!
Douglas Rogers
One of the worst things to happen on a bike is to stall up hill with your feet locked in!
ADVENTUREMUFFINffin
Curious if this is a regenerative system so that it can be used for consecutive days without needing to recharge between runs-in other words, riding down will recharge the battery, riding up will discharge?
Rustgecko
For those complaining about having to recharge between rides, my Trek mtb with 650Wh battery will do 160 km on one charge on eco setting so already there's no need for daily charges for all but those on longest rides. However the daily chsrge takes 10 seconds to plug in so it's no problem. As for the regenerative charging, it will only ever be a minor contribution todidtance. (I weigh 95kg btw so I'm no little elf the battery is carrying).