Okay, okay, the top of the line build for Trek’s new e-Caliber is technically $12,499, so we rounded up a little, but with tax and possibly shipping, you’re cozying up next to $13 grand. There’s an “entry”-level version that runs about $6,500 too, for those out there on a “budget.”
So what is it?
It’s an electric version of Trek’s Supercaliber, a XC race machine that can be built at about 21 pounds, a weight so light it may already feel as though it has a motor. The e-Caliber has the same 60mm of rear travel and a slightly longer 120mm fork than the Supercaliber’s 100mm front squish.
It uses a Fazua Evation motor is supposed to be whisper quiet. Max power is 250 watts, mid is 210w, and low is 100w, though the settings are called Breeze, River, and Rocket in ascending power order. With that 250wh battery, you get a range of anywhere from 20ish to 50ish miles depending on about a gazillion different factors.
Cool: the battery and motor are one solid unit that weighs seven pounds and can be removed entirely from the downtube, giving you a kinda light human-powered bike.
Not cool: the two top spec models don’t include dropper posts, while the bottom spec ones do.
Oh, right, the weight. What does a nearly $13K bike buy you in terms of weight savings, relatively speaking since this is an e-bike? The top trim weighs just 34.8 pounds. Which raises the question: Who is this bike for? Are there that many XC riders out there who love going fast but will take the assistance? Maybe. But then, wouldn’t you just get a short-travel trail bike since the motor can push more bike? Trek seems to think there are enough XC riders who want the juice to plop down some serious coin, and they’d know better than me. Someone ought there should buy one and loan it to us for a test.
– Justin Housman