Trek XM700+ Electric Bike
A 28mph Class 3 e-bike like the Trek XM700+ can be fully utilized on Class 2 and 3 bike routes in California, but can also be used on Class 1 trails with the electric system disengaged. You’ll have a tough time depleting a full battery, but the bike makes an excellent hybrid even without the pedal assist.
The rich heritage of Trek Bicycles dates back to 1976 in Waterloo Wisconsin where the production of steel bike frames began in a barn. Now Trek Bicycles is one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in the world. A few years ago, they added electric commuter bicycles (e-commuters) to their European line up. Having become a significant presence overseas, Trek Bicycles recently entered the U.S. market with several e-commuter models. Jax Bicycles in Irvine is one of six Trek stores nationwide piloting the effort to test the U.S. market for e-bikes.
We corralled the bike at the Jax Irvine location and were briefed on the specifics by their e-guru, Chris King. He was extremely knowledgeable about e-bikes in general and, since he had just attended a tech session on Bosch-powered models. The XM700+ is a Class 3 California e-bike, 28 mph pedal assist (PAS) only. It is equipped with the superb Bosch CX Performance Speed Drive motor first evaluated on the Haibike Xduro 29 in BICYCLIST issue #130. Four levels of power assist are available on the XM700+: eco, tour, sport, and turbo.
The bike was also equipped with a Shimano drivetrain and brakes, as well as many Trek-owned Bontrager components that functioned perfectly. Additional accessories included front and rear plastic fenders, a high-intensity headlight, and a kickstand that retracted automatically when you mount the bike. Cables are routed through the frame to prevent snags and enhance the bike’s appearance. This was a beautiful package if you love black bicycles with superior technology as much as we do. Also noteworthy is the two-year comprehensive warranty offered by the manufacturer.
The XM700+ was tested on bike trails and roads in Orange County. It accelerated rapidly to a top assisted speed of 28 mph, and could be maintained at that level for long intervals on flat terrain. The 10-speed 11-36 Shimano drivetrain was very useful as it shifted silently on the hills, even though it was rarely necessary to use any of the higher gears because of the assist. Shimano hydraulic brakes, the industry standard, stopped the bike quickly and decisively. Schwalbe Energizer Pro 700x38c tires, with GreenGuard kevlar belts that reduce punctures and reflective stripes on the sidewalls that can be seen at night, provided a smooth ride. It felt as though the tires were glued to the concrete even when cornering on a serpentine trail at 28 mph. The swept-back handlebars and rubber ergonomic grips provided a comfortable cockpit for long sessions on the road.
Of special note is the front “monoshock” suspension contained in the head tube. It provided 35mm of smooth travel and was especially appreciated on the infrequent bumps in the road. The XM700+, Trek’s current e-commuter flagship, is a truly impressive bicycle. ($3,499.99 www.trekbikes.com)