Trek Powerfly Review (Updated 2020)

May 12, 2020

Powerfly 5
Our Rating - 4.3/5
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   The Trek Powerfly 5 is a highly advanced electric mountain bike that comes with impressive specs to deliver unrivaled versatility. It offers the kind of power you’ll need to tackle challenging off-road terrains, yet still feels natural on a leisurely weekend cruise around the neighborhood!

Trek Powerfly - In-Depth Review

E-bikes take your riding experience to the next level! They allow you to ride on all surfaces with relative ease, something that is not possible on a regular bike. However, these bikes don’t come cheap, and investing in one requires all the due diligence to shield you from buyer’s remorse down the line.

In this post, we review the Trek Powerfly 5,  a great eMTB that has earned praise in the market for its all-round performance! Let us look at the different specs it has to offer and check whether its overall performance is worth your dime!


Key Specs

Weight

50.70 lbs

Frame 

Alpha Platinum Aluminum

Tire Size

27.5 BY 2.35

Motor

Bosch Performance CX

Battery

Bosch PowerTube 500Wh, Lithium-Ion

Max Speed

20 miles per hour

Brakes

Tektro HD-M275 Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Frame

The Trek Powerfly 5 features an alpha platinum aluminum frame that gives it the ruggedness to handle unforgiving terrains while keeping the overall weight manageable. This has been reinforced by a motor armor protection. This protection enhances the durability of the bike.

I fancy how the frame is designed to fully conceal the battery inside the downtube for maximum protection against elements. The battery can also be removed without tools, which is very convenient. It also slants down towards the seat tube to reduce the standover height, which is great for shorter riders. 

Overall, the Powerfly has a nice geometry that features a straight handlebar and lets you maintain a comfortable posture during the ride. Rack mounts are also included for those long excursions that require you to carry along a water bottle and other accessories.

Included are internal wiring on the bike’s frame for additional lights if you intend to ride the bike in the dark. The Powerfly is available in frame sizes ranging from small to extra-large and will make an excellent fit for riders between heights of 5’2” and 6’2”. There’s also a model dedicated to women riders.

This bike will comfortably carry as much as 300 pounds and is available in exciting color combinations of blue and black, red and black, etc. 

Engine

This bike is powered by a top-of-the-range Bosch Performance CX motor that greatly complements its 500Wh battery. The motor boasts a smaller, lighter, and stealthier design for more agile handling and cleaner integration. It is quite efficient and lets you cover more ground on a single battery charge cycle.

Black  Bosch Engine

The motors 75Nm of torque will make light work of strong headwinds and challenging climbs. You get to enjoy a top speed of 20mph on pedal-assist mode, which is amazing. However, at such high speeds, your bike will be more prone to flat tires.

I also like Bosh’s gear-shift detection technology that is used on the bike to ease the strain on the chain as it switches between gears. The motor will automatically cut out at 15mph but still offers you plenty of pedaling force, as much as 300% in turbo mode.  

Another fantastic addition on the bike is that you can set it on intelligent e-MTB motor mode. This mode is a convenient “set-and-forget” mode that will automatically adjust the level of motor assistance depending on the general nature of the terrain. It allows you to forget about the struggle and focus on enjoying your ride.

Battery

The battery is another feature that I guarantee will impress you! The Bosch Power Tube 500Wh lithium-ion is fully integrated into the frame and this makes for great protection against dirt, mud, water, and other elements that may reduce its performance. 

The battery can also be removed from the frame and placed back without using any tools, which reduces the hassle when you need to recharge it. You are able to enjoy a 130-km range in the eco mode for those laid down cruises or 60km in turbo mode when you need the full power of the motor.

Man`s hand removes the battery from the frame

I must also commend the manufacturer for using a waterproof battery that allows you to continue the ride even when it starts to rain. The included armor further shields the battery against stones, twigs, and other debris that are common on the off-road terrain. 

There is also an external charging port that simplifies charging the battery. My only complaint is that waiting for the battery to charge feels like an entirety. The 7.5hrs it requires to fully charge may just end up messing up a once-promising adventure in the outdoors.

Brakes

The Trek Powerfly is fitted with Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brakes that will stop the ride on a dime. These brakes guarantee safety when riding at top speeds and provide the rider with the confidence required to tackle wet and slippery surfaces. 

The brakes will also come in handy when you’re faced with a descending trail with lots of twists and turns.

Rims

The bike uses Bontrager Kovee double-walled rims that deliver a long-lasting performance while taking punishment from the rough and unforgiving backcountry trails. The wheels are tubeless-ready making them stiff to increase friction and provide a stable riding experience.

Black tire on the black background

Tires

The Bontrager XR3 Comp tires on the bike will offer great traction on loose terrain. However, I must say that the bike tends to slightly overshoot corners, which can be as a result of the 2.35” wide tires. This may rob you of the stability needed to take on rugged surfaces effectively. A possible solution would be to use a wider set of tires that will prove crucial during descends.


What Do We Like About Trek Powerfly 5?

The alpha aluminum frame of the bike is strong enough to tackle rough rides but light enough to keep your ride comfortable and agile. This makes the bike very versatile in its design. This design makes it comfortable to ride on both unforgiving off-road trails as well as laid-down cruises on the tarmac.

The slanting design of the frame makes it easy for riders to get on or off the bike. It also features multiple rack mounts for carrying water bottles and accessories like a bike pump when you’re embarking on a long trip. 

I can't forget to mention the Removable Integrated battery used on the Powerfly, which makes for durable usage and enables riding on all kinds of conditions. The battery remains free from water, dirt, mud, grime, etc. Not to mention that the hidden battery design won’t make it obvious to the public that you’re “cheating” with an electric bike. 

Two Powerfly blue bikes of different sizes

Overall, the bike offers a versatile performance on different kinds of surfaces. You will be just as comfortable riding the Powerfly up a steep hill as you would be commuting to work with it. Essentially, there is no limit to where your outdoor bike adventures can take you!

The Bosch Performance CX motor is quite powerful and provides you with the assist to go on aggressive climbs. It is also light, stealthy, and the eMTB mode allows you to enjoy the efficiency of the ride. 

The bike is also available in different frame sizes that will be suitable for any rider. There is also a Powerfly model dedicated to women riders, leaving you with a bike that is pretty all-inclusive!

PROS

  • Sturdy design
  • Powerful motor
  • Hidden and waterproof battery
  • Versatile performance
  • Rack mounts available
  • Comfortable frame geometry

What Don’t We Like About Trek Powerfly 5?

The bike’s battery will require slightly more than 7 hours to recharge once it is fully drained, which can prematurely bring an end to your exciting adventure. This is especially true when you consider that riding the Powerfly without the pedal assist is a whole different ball game!

The feel of the tires may seem a little bit off when riding on descending trails. This limits full control of the ride as the tires tend to overshoot when negotiating corners. I believe using a wider set of tires could offer a much-needed solution to this!

Cons

  • Long charging time
  • Not wide enough tires


Trek Powerfly Series

The Trek Powerfly series features at least ten variations of bicycles, with the cheapest going for around $2600 and the priciest a little more than $4000. These range from models such as the Powerfly Sport, Powerfly LT, Powerfly FS, Powerfly Plus, Powerfly 4, Powerfly 7, along with their female versions. Aside from the differing prices, other notable differences include an eMTB-specific fork and four-piston brakes on LT models, Bontrager XR4 tires on all Plus models, SRAM Eagle groupset on some models, lights and mudguards for the hardtail Powerfly Sport, etc.


Advice to Buyers

The Trek Powerfly 5 is a high-performance electric mountain bike that will allow you to expand the scope of terrains you want to explore. The bike is light yet powerful and is very versatile. It can provide you with a great ride on a tough and rugged off-road adventure, as well as a great ride on leisure cruises.

It is just the perfect machine for whenever you want to ditch the indoors! Nevertheless, the bike will cost you upwards of $4000. So, if you have a budget that can stretch this far, I see no reason why you shouldn’t invest in such an awesome bike!


Conclusion

For those who appreciate a great time outdoors, the Powerfly 5 will be a superb acquisition! This bike is light, durable, and comes with a powerful motor engine to offer you amazing speed. The battery allows an excellent range and powerful hydraulic disc brakes ensure that you’re always in control of the ride.

Aside from the long charging time and narrow width of the tires, the Trek Powerfly 5 will impress any e-bike enthusiast looking for a quality bike. It is a remarkable invention with an all-round top performance that will let you explore all different terrains and enjoy the experience! 

About the author

Emma was born and raised in the UK, studied in Amsterdam (where she discovered her passion for biking), and is currently living in Ohio. Her main passion is cycling, that's why she is always looking for an amazing new e-bike to make her journey even more unforgettable!