I've ridden a lot of electric bikes as part of my job. From cargo to mountain bikes, Bosch to Yamaha, there's not a lot I haven't tried – until now. When the team at York Cycleworks asked if I wanted to try out the Trek FX+ 2 I jumped at it. Not just because I love a fast, flat bar utility bike, but because it's a bike that I could see myself buying to suit the hills of where I live near Bradford, and thus get me to drive less.
Ever since I got my collie pup three months ago, my riding has taken a bit of a backseat – that is, unless she comes with me in her doggy rucksack. The turbo trainer is a godsend now that she’s stopped barking at it, but any riding time outdoors needs to be efficient, fast, and preferably motor powered if she’s on my back. I borrowed the FX+ 2 for a few weeks and wanted to share some thoughts about using it almost daily, and whether it might be worth a test ride for you.
Firstly, it's a hub motor. Let's get that out of the way – it's not a mid-drive Bosch unit, it uses Trek's proprietary hub-driven system which provides up to 40 Nm of torque. In my eyes, that's more than enough for regular city riding, let alone for the hills of Calderdale. And it is pretty impressive. Even at full assist I could barely hear it, but I knew it was working – it's more like a push along in a strong tailwind than it taking over the ride, but it's a welcome push.
The battery was equally notable. The suggested range from Trek is 55km in favourable conditions, but I managed to complete a 40-mile ride from Bradford to York with two bars left. Granted, there are not that many hills riding in that direction, but there was plenty of stopping and starting, and it was quite windy. If that’s not enough, you can buy a range extender which effectively doubles the range if you need it.
I liked the included pannier rack and the mudguards, which made riding a bit more palatable when it inevitably rained. Even when carrying fully loaded pannier bags, the balance of the bike never felt off, and the handling never felt compromised. It also comes with integrated lights, so you don't need to remember to charge anything. Well, except for the bike of course.
To me, it looks less like an e-bike and more like a fast city bike. It's sleek, there are a few lovely colourways, and it doesn't break the bank. £2,250 for something powerful enough to make hilly rides enjoyable, and enough battery for most people's commutes a few days a week makes it good value and worthy of consideration for a runaround bike or commuting steed to get you to work all year round.
It’s available to buy from York Cycleworks here, or you can chat with the team in-store and make sure you get the right size/spec for your needs.