The eMTB has come a long way in the last few years. Many of the models we've seen are geared to the bike park or more aggressive trail riding, but Trek's new eCaliber is a bit of a different take than. Aimed more at the distance chasing, marathon cross-country crowd, the E-Caliber aims to give the long-distance 'XC' style rider a little more gas in the tank on those epics.
The E-Caliber looks quite similar to Trek's XC race bike, the Supercaliber, except with a larger downtube where the battery and Fazua Evation drive system lives, but there are a number of other differences between the two.
Trek E-Caliber Details
• Wheelsize: 29"
• Travel: 60mm (r) / 120mm (f)
• Carbon Frame
• 67.5° head angle
• Fazua Evation drive
• 250 Wh battery
• Weight: 34 - 40 pounds
• $6,500-12,500 USD
While the E-Caliber uses the same IsoStrut suspension system and 60mm of travel that the Supercaliber does, it has a 120mm fork, and a slacker 67.5-degree headtube angle. The reach is also between 10-15mm longer depending on the frame size for increased stability at speed.
The E-Caliber is designed to fit somewhere in the middle of the gap from standard non-pedal assist bike to eMTB. It's not a full throttle with minimal effort style of ride, and riders will still need to have some fitness. Trek calls it more of an equalizer for riders who may want a little extra assist, for instance, you trying to keep up with your World Cup level friend on their recovery day without it feeling like a World Cup race to you.Frame and Drive System Details
The E-Caliber uses Fazua's Evation drive system to deliver 55Nm of torque. This is powered by a 250 watt-hour battery giving the bike a range that Trek's team claims to be in the 30-80km range - a huge variance, but it depends on terrain and rider weight and riding style. The bike can be ridden without the electric assist and the battery can be removed and replaced with an included cover. This drops about 6lbs or 2.7kg off the total bike weight, giving riders the option of riding it as an XC bike without the heft of the complete eMTB system, with a huge portal for storing food and snacks. Complete bikes weigh between 34-40 lbs, depending on build.
The Fazua system is tuned specifically for mountain biking. Their new "Black Pepper" tune is said to give better assistance at higher cadences along with more differentiation between the three assist modes, a more responsive start, and the ability for riders to customize the support modes.
There are three separate modes on the remote. The remote is smaller and more ergonomic than Fazua's previous model and the system can be turned on from the remote. There's an LED battery indicator along with a 'rain mode' which can disable the touch interface making the mechanical button the sole control.
The modes are Breeze- a gentle constant 100 watts, compared to a strong tailwind, River- a more progressive and sporty mode for extra strength and support which tops out at 210 watts, and Rocket- an aggressive power for going up steeper sections of trail with moderate driver power, which tops out at 250 watts. The maximum power is 450 watts. Additionally, there is Bluetooth LE connectivity for connecting to phones or a bike computer. All of the modes are completely tunable through Fazua's app and there are sub 'eco' modes to each of the mode settings which can help even more fine-tune range and power.
Tire clearance on the E-Caliber is a generous 2.4", up from the claimed and more conservative 2.2" on the Supercaliber. In our experience, Trek is historically cautious with this number so riders can likely run an even larger width tire than advertised, they'll just have to check fitment. Brake rotor size also gets a bump up from the Supercaliber with a 180mm direct post mount being standard with bikes having the clearance to run a 203mm rotor. All frames are compatible with dropper posts - the small has 205mm of insertion and the M-XL clearing 270mm posts.
All of this is built into the unique chassis Trek developed for their Supercaliber race bike a couple of years back. For more information on how the IsoStrut system on that bike operates, check out the article and video from the XC Field Test
The E-Caliber is available in a number of different builds depending on the market. Not all builds are available in all countries, but there are plenty of options to choose from. Starting with the base model E-Caliber, there's a full carbon frame, Shimano 12-speed drivetrain, RockShox 35 Gold 120mm fork, Kovee wheels, dropper post, and 4-piston brakes fir $6,500 USD.
There are several models moving on up with both SRAM and Shimano build options. The top of the line E-Caliber 9.9 XX1 AXS has a SRAM XX1 AXS drivetrain, RockShox SID Uptimate 120mm fork, Kovee XXX carbon wheels, an XXX seatpost, and SRAM G2 Ultimate 4-piston brakes. It sells for a wallet burning $12,500 USD.
For more information, visit trekbikes.com