The Trek Gasoline EXe is a little bit of an outlier within the present e-MTB market. Most e-mountain bikes fall into one among two classes: Excessive-powered, long-travel beasts, or light-weight, short-travel fashions with lower-power methods.
The Gasoline EXe sits within the center, with 150/140mm journey and beneficiant, adjustable path geometry, and the brand new TQ HPR50 motor that’s ultra-quiet with average output. And it really works, delivering a balanced, succesful bike and an especially enjoyable trip expertise.
Should you’re searching for an eMTB that rides like a path bike and helps you conquer larger trails and longer days, right here’s all the pieces it is advisable to know in regards to the Trek Gasoline EXe…
The Fast Overview
The Trek Gasoline EXe interprets their fashionable Gasoline EX path bike line into an electric-assist mannequin that “empowers you to do extra, with out interrupting the best way you expertise nature.” That was the purpose, they usually nailed it.
It begins with a full OCLV carbon body with absolutely inner routing and built-in TQ HPR50 drive system. The tiny motor sits the place the BB is and nonetheless permits brief 440mm chainstays. The 360Wh battery sits within the downtube and the facility button/system monitor is flush within the prime tube.
A easy two-button distant is barely seen on the bars. It cycles by way of the modes, initiates Stroll Mode, and a protracted press of the decrease button will flip off all help. Which means, default is Eco mode, you must maintain the decrease button for about 3 seconds to show help off…I want it was only a fast press as for the opposite modes.
The bike has 29er wheels entrance and rear, 140mm rear journey paired to 150mm forks, a 65º head angle, and 77º efficient seat angle (in Low place; their Mino hyperlink flip-chip permits you to tweak the geo by 0.5º steeper in Excessive).
Dimension-specific dropper posts vary from 120mm to 170mm in journey relying on body measurement. All sizes get 165mm cranks.
Verify our launch protection for the complete tech story on this bike.
How’s the TQ motor?
It’s sensible. Till I believed to concentrate to it, I heard nothing.
And after I was paying consideration, it seems like a lightweight, barely perceptible whistling of the wind.
The sound of my pal’s common eMTB using 20 toes behind me drowned out any noise from this bike.
Mainly, noise is not any concern right here, not even at most energy. You really do hear nature, not the bike.
The TL;DR is that this: It’s extremely quiet, pumps out clean energy supply, and 50Nm of torque is lots that will help you alongside the path and up the hills. It’s additionally ultra-light, weighing 2.5+ kilos lower than opponents’ bigger 85-90Nm motors. As such, it makes use of a smaller, lighter battery with out giving up vary or trip time.
What about battery life?
Trek claims 2-5 hours of trip time per cost. With even handed use of Eco mode, I routinely received greater than 3 hours of using on a single cost. Meaning combined use of largely in Eco however utilizing Path mode on most climbs and Turbo on the steepest climbs.
Luckily, Eco felt excellent when pedaling alongside. Path was enjoyable, and a bit quicker, however largely not needed for maintaining with others.
That mentioned, when using with others on eMTBs with extra highly effective methods, it was clear that they have been quicker. However on the path, within the woods, issues evened out sufficient that all of us simply rode collectively completely high quality. I by no means felt under-gunned until we have been nailing it up a clean hearth highway.
A 160Wh Vary Extender is offered for $599 and provides 44% extra capability. It’ll take up the one bottle cage on the bike, but it surely’s price it for large days when vary anxiousness is an actual factor. Personally, I’d add it to the cart.
One notice: Contemporary out of the field, TQ says the system wants just a few full cost and discharge cycles to precisely estimate vary and battery life.
My first trip’s help abruptly ended with 7% battery displaying on the show. My second trip ended at 3%.
Subsequent rides are getting nearer to 0%, however even at 0% displaying, there’s a small reserve left to energy the electronics. Which is essential as a result of the SRAM AXS rear derailleur is plugged into and powered by the bike…not its personal battery.
Beginning with 1%, I nonetheless managed to get 2.5+ hours of using out of it earlier than it lastly, absolutely shut down and left me with a single pace.
Sure, you’ll be able to borrow the battery from the Reverb AXS and use that, however then the wire and plug resulting in the derailleur are left dangling about… and more likely to get ripped off or sucked up into the chain.
Luckily, the system additionally fees rapidly, attending to about 80% in about 90 minutes, and absolutely charged in about 2.5 hours.
It’s price noting that when TQ’s system drops beneath 10% cost, it limits output to Eco mode whatever the setting you select. This helps make sure you maximize your vary.
Why not simply get a high-powered eMTB?
I’ve been requested, “yeah, however in the event you’re paying for an eMTB, why not simply get a high-powered e-MTB?”
That’s an excellent query. I’ve a few good solutions.
First, this bike is so much lighter, not less than 10lbs lighter. It’s solely pedal-able even with out help, one thing I unwittingly proved after I confirmed up on the trailhead and realized I hadn’t charged it.
Three hours later, I used to be spent, however had a good time using. Granted, this was on flowing trails with none huge, lengthy climbs, however I nonetheless had a whole lot of little punchy climbs and sprints to rise up and down the path.
Second, full energy feels about like half energy in comparison with a top-level Bosch- or Shimano-equipped bike. However that’s OK. The Gasoline EXe’s output feels extra pure, so in the event you’re searching for an e-bike that rides like a daily bike, that is it. It simply permits you to get a bit additional a bit quicker. Huge days will be larger. Little days generally is a little quicker.
On free, technical, or solely too steep climbs, I truly most well-liked the decrease output of the Gasoline EX-e. It was greater than sufficient to assist me up (I nonetheless needed to work), but it surely wasn’t spinning out or lurching uncontrolled the place extra highly effective bikes have been. It makes actually steep, sketchy climbs extra manageable.
How a lot does the Trek Gasoline EXe weigh?
I examined the highest of the road Trek Gasoline EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS in measurement XL. It weighed in at 41lb 11oz (18.76kg) with out pedals…and that’s with a powerful (and costly) mixture of each light-weight and tech-laden components.
Trek says the complete TQ HPR50 system provides simply 3.9kg (8lb 10oz). The EXe is barely about 10lbs greater than the practically identical-looking customary Gasoline EX, in order that they didn’t add a lot past the TQ system to make it an e-bike.
The body feels stiff and sturdy. The tires are huge and meaty.
The bike appears to be like powerful, with square-ish tube profiles and large cross sections. All of that provides as much as an especially laterally stiff body.
The one-piece RSL handlebar stem and Line Professional 30 carbon wheels save weight, however as a proportion of whole bike weight, they’re not making the identical affect they might on an analog bike. And, at 820mm large (on all body sizes!) it’s actually large…if it have been mine, I’d reduce it down (they embody marks measured to 740mm).
I’d additionally most likely swap the grips to one thing with a bit extra vibration damping. Should you select a mannequin with a typical handlebar and stem, I’d advocate one thing like the OneUp or Race Face path handlebars with added compliance.
An excessive amount of tech?
Different spec highlights on this explicit trim degree embody an entire SRAM AirWiz and TireWiz system, providing distant tire stress and fork & shock stress monitoring.
The Trek App reveals beneficial tire, fork, and shock pressures primarily based in your using weight, together with starter rebound settings. With AirWiz/TireWiz put in, their app will even present present precise pressures, too.
Verify it there, or simply search for the blinking lights on the bike to be inexperienced, and also you’re good to go. Pink lights imply one thing’s out of the beneficial vary.
I discovered that the beneficial tire stress settings have been a tad excessive. I ended up at 22psi entrance and rear with no points (I’m about 192-195lbs absolutely kitted out, able to trip).
The Bontrager SE5 Staff Difficulty 29×2.5 tires are glorious, I run them on a few of my different bikes, too. Like most aggressive path tires, and significantly these spec’d on e-bikes, the casings are stiffer and may take lots of abuse, so decrease pressures assist enhance trip really feel. I should go a bit decrease.
At 22psi, they’ll mould to the bottom and take successful, however I nonetheless haven’t felt a rim strike regardless of some apparent deformation over roots and rocks.
The rear shock’s air stress advice was spot on, giving me full journey on the massive days.
The fork, nonetheless, was too excessive. Trek beneficial 102psi, however even at 87psi I used to be solely getting ~85% journey. I’m nonetheless tinkering right here, all the way down to 84psi, however the takeaway is that you just don’t have to stay to the beneficial settings.
And, as soon as you discover what you want, you should utilize the Trek (or SRAM’s AXS) app to manually set your preferences. If the bike has the Air/TireWiz units, these will probably be up to date to blink crimson/inexperienced accordingly, too.
Personally, I feel the Wiz units are intelligent, however overkill, they usually positively add value. I like that I can set my preferences and use the Trek app to avoid wasting them (as a result of I’ll positively overlook), however I might take or go away the additional electronics on the bike…and, if I have been purchasing, would most likely choose to not pay for that tech right here.
How does the Trek Gasoline EX-e trip?
Briefly? It rides like an aggressive path bike. A actually good aggressive path bike.
Trek’s ABP suspension is environment friendly and efficient. There’s a lockout swap on the rear shock, however in most cases it’s not wanted. I solely used it on lengthy hearth highway stretches or when using the highway to the paths. As soon as on the dust, it stays open with no points on sprints, standing climbing, or simply powering alongside.
On the descents, I might smash by way of prolonged rock and root sections, prevalent on the paths at Carven’s Cove close to Roanoke.
Whereas I’m nonetheless fidgeting with the fork’s air stress to enhance small bump and low pace consolation, the Lyrik Final on this bike completely demolished excessive pace hits.
Mixed with the stiff body and succesful tires, the Gasoline EXe evokes lots of confidence at pace over gnarly terrain.
The suspension stays energetic underneath energy, which is sweet as a result of I (like most eMTB riders, based on analysis) have a tendency to remain seated extra typically on e-mountain bikes. The motorized help helps a rider energy by way of tough stuff in concept, and an excellent suspension platform like this makes it occur in actuality.
The Gasoline EXe hammers by way of the tough stuff when standing, too, sustaining traction.
Conditions like these, the place a bit bounce and skip is inevitable is one other argument in favor of average energy output from the motor. By no means as soon as did I spin out, and by no means did I actually want for extra energy. It’s an excellent steadiness.
The bike’s geometry is completely balanced, too. I might simply preserve rear traction whereas conserving the entrance wheel firmly on the bottom, even on some monstrous 18%+ free, rutted hearth highway climbs.
Even the bike’s weight feels well-balanced, by way of dealing with. Jumps really feel pure…
…as do drop-ins…
…and drop offs.
However there’s a particular heft to getting the entrance wheel up and over logs or rocks.
The end result was that I’d simply smash into stuff that I might often pop up and over on a daily bike. Up to a degree, after all … there are some stuff you merely should raise the wheel up and over, so simply know that it takes extra effort.
Which suggests using this bike, regardless of its relative mild weight, is extra of a full-body exercise, as is any eMTB. And I really feel like I pedaled extra constantly and turned extra whole revolutions, many occasions additionally using a bit longer than I in any other case would have.
The purpose is, on the finish of every trip, I used to be all grins and knew fairly effectively that I’d earned them. Properly completed, Trek.