Trek Rail Review
The Trek Rail is the electric mountain bike of choice when you need to spend the whole day outdoors riding tough trails and conquering dreaded terrains. It combines a wealth of high-quality features with the latest Trek technology to deliver a performance reserved for the pros!
Mountain biking is one of the best adventure sports out there! However, it is no walk in the park, and coping with the rough and unforgiving terrains can be overwhelming for some. As such, you need a serious machine that can handle the unforgiving circumstances without breaking down.
If the name is anything to go by, the Trek Rail sounds like a mountain bike built for plowing through the off-road trails. Add a powerful Bosch drive system to the bike and you know that there’s nothing slowing you down.
In this review, we put the Trek Rail in the spotlight by looking at its various features to determine what kind of performance you can expect from it.
Alpha Platinum Aluminum, Removable integrated battery with a tapered head tube
Bosch Performance CX, magnesium motor body, 250-watt, 75 Nm
Bosch PowerTube 625
Shimano hydraulic disc, MT501 lever
Bontrager XR5 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, 29x2.60''
The Trek Rail is one of the most charming mountain bikes you’re going to encounter. Its sleek-looking frame naturally complements the adventurous yellow and teal colors. But beauty goes further than skin deep on this amazing bike. The frame is built using a strong alpha platinum aluminum material that will comfortably cope with the punishing terrain.
Built around Trek’s Removable Integrated Battery (RIB), the frame completely conceals the battery inside the down tube, leaving you with room to mount a water bottle cage. The frame is constructed using exclusive technology that consists of a Mino Link adjustable geometry.
This allows you to fine-tune the head tube angle and BB height without interrupting suspension performance. The Active Braking Point is a patented feature that allows you to adjust how the bike’s suspension reacts to braking and acceleration forces independently, giving you enhanced handling.
The frame’s top tube dips towards the seat post, which helps to reduce the standover height of the Rail. This makes for effortless mounting of the bike, which is something that shorter riders will appreciate. The Bontrager XR Rail comp grips are ergonomic and help to enhance the comfort of the ride.
The Trek Rail will tackle the rough trails just as impressively as its non-electric siblings. It is pretty lightweight and handles effortlessly but sturdy enough to carry riders as heavy as 300 pounds. It is also available in four different frame sizes, ranging from small to extra-large, which will comfortably suit rider heights between 5’.2” and 6”5”.
The only downside to the Rail’s frame is the TranzX dropper seat post, which at only 130mm, is too short for the “Large” frame size.
The Rail is equipped with the new Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which is lighter and smaller than its previous versions. This makes for clear integration and nimble handling while boosting efficiency, helping you to cover more ground on a single charge cycle.
The 250W motor can propel you to top speeds of 20mph, which is something that will impress any daredevil. The 75Nm torque produced by the motor is enough to see you clear steep slopes and hills without breaking a sweat. The low and central placement of the mid-drive motor also increases the stability of the bike for comfortable handling.
Managing the Rail’s motor is an intuitive Purion display situated on the handlebar. Despite being a little bulky, the controller is pretty easy to operate and features an intelligent eMTB mode. This exciting pedal-assist mode will automatically adjust the amount of power delivered depending on the terrain, allowing you to focus on the fun of the ride while also conserving battery power.
The Bosch Performance CX motor is complemented by a Bosch PowerTube 625Wh battery, which is integrated into the down tube to give the bike a seamless design. This is nicely secured inside, which prevents it from rattling while shielding it from debris on the trail.
The battery is designed for long-range riding, meaning that you’ll have more than enough time to explore the outdoors and push your endurance to the limit. An external charging port makes for convenient charging, and this you can do both on and off the bike.
You’ll have an easy time removing and re-installing the battery. To remove it, just pull it out to the side; there’s even an integrated handle to further simplify the process.
You don’t need any tools to do this, which is quite convenient when you want to charge, store, transport, or perform maintenance on the battery.
The Rail uses a pair of Shimano MT-520 four-piston hydraulic disc brakes that perform well when coupled with 200mm rotors. These should give you an all-weather braking performance and the confidence to take on the loose trails and steep descents without fear of losing control.
The hydraulic discs offer far better performance than mechanical ones. The brakes levers are also responsive and will stop the ride on a dime with a slight pull
The Bontrager Line Comp 30 29" tubeless-ready wheelset pairs well with the 29ers and offers great durability. They hold up comfortably with you on the bike and remain stable even after day-long adventures in the harsh terrains.
The 29-inch Bontrager XR5 tires that the Rail runs on roll quite fast and will have you covering more ground with the least pedaling effort. They are also chunky and provide great stability during your ride. However, the tires deliver little traction when leaning the bike into a corner.
So, take care not to lose your handling on those sharp turns on loose surfaces.
What Do We Like?
The first thing that will catch your eye about the Trek Rail is its sleek design with exciting colors. The yellow and teal frame mixes well with the black of the tires, allowing you to look funky on the rugged trail and stand out from the crowd.
The Removable Integrated Battery system is a useful feature that won’t make it too obvious that you’re “cheating” with an top electric bike. It also allows for effortless removal and installation of the battery, leaving you with the luxury to charge the battery either on or off the bike.
The all-new and fresh Bosch Performance Line CX motor is not only smaller but also lighter and quieter than previous versions. Despite this, it offers greater functional efficiency, meaning you get extra hours to enjoy the adventure. Furthermore, it doesn’t add too much weight to the bike, which makes for easy handling.
You’ll also be impressed by the overall geometry of the bike. Thanks to the Mino Link adjustable geometry, you get to fine-tune the head tube angle, as well as the BB height without affecting the suspension performance. This is a Trek exclusive feature that ensures you remain comfortable on the Rail.
Another great spec is the 625Wh battery, which is appropriately hidden inside the down tube. The battery pack offers great range to power your ride for as long as you want. With the eMTB mode, the battery is nicely conserved for durable performance on all kinds of trails.
The tubeless-ready Bontrager rims and tires make it possible for you to do away with the tubes when you want better traction on the road surface. This also means that there are fewer flat tires and less weight on the bike, for you to remain mobile at all times.
What Don’t We Like?
The stability of the Rail is a little bit off when negotiating corners at low speeds. The Bontrager tires don’t offer sufficient traction when leaning on the bike, which is something you should be aware of on those sharp turns.
If you’re a tall rider, you won’t be comfortable with the height of the seat post, especially for the “large” frame model of the bike. It may feel a little bit awkward to ride on.
Advice to Buyers
The Trek Rail is an amazing electric mountain bike that will bring a new meaning to your off-road escapades. It takes advantage of the latest in Trek technology and mixes the best specs to deliver a performance for the ages.
With this bike, you’ll be able to conquer hills and slopes on the trail with ease and comfort. If you don’t mind spending just under $6000 to get your hands on this exquisite machine, then what’s holding you up?
Trek Rail E-bike Series
In the above review, we’ve been highlighting the Trek Rail 7 but the Rail is a series that consists of seven bike models. In addition to the Rail 7, you'll get the Rail 5, 9.7, 9.8, 9.9, 9.9XTR and 9.8XT. These all vary in price, with the Rail 5 being the cheapest of the bunch and the Rail 9.9 the most expensive one.
Aside from the colors, the stark contrast among these bikes lies in the frame material. The more expensive models, including the Rail 9.7, 9.8, and 9.9 come with an OCVL Mountain carbon frame whereas the lower-end, i.e. Rail 5 and 7 are made of an Alpha Aluminum Platinum.
Overall, the Trek Rail is stashed with a variety of high-quality features that bring out the high-level performance you can expect from a manufacturer of Trek’s caliber. From a powerful Bosch motor, high-tech frame geometry, long-range battery, just to mention a few; you’ll have a great time whenever you take this bike out for a ride.
The few negative aspects on the Rail don’t come close to being a deal-breaker. This bike is exactly what you need to venture into those tough and uncharted off-road territories!