Being at the forefront of the 29er movement, Trek’s Superfly FS was one of the first full-suspension, cross- country, 29-inch bikes that just felt right. While it has
continued to evolve, we wondered if our initial love for the
Superfly FS would be reignited with the FS 9.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The FS 9 is Trek’s top-tier aluminum offering in the
Superfly FS family. As such, it’s designed for cross-country
riders and racers looking for a bike that’s ready to pin it
straight out of the box, without jumping wallet first into the
world of carbon fiber.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Trek uses its Alpha Platinum aluminum for the Superfly
FS’ front and rear triangles. The frame features Trek’s E2
tapered head tube, 142-millimeter rear thru-axle design,
PressFit bottom bracket, and internal cable routing.
The Superfly FS rides on 3. 9 inches of Trek’s Active
Braking Pivot (ABP) suspension, which uses a concentric
pivot at the rear axle to keep the suspension active under
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Trek plays it smart with the FS 9 by spec’ing Shimano XT
components throughout. From the brakes to the 2x10 drivetrain featuring the Shadow Plus rear derailleur, Shimano XT
provides superb performance for a group of any price.
RockShox has the suspension spec covered with a SID RL
fork and a Monarch RL shock. Both have external rebound
adjustments, and the fork has a handlebar-mounted lockout
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setup: Getting the suspension sag dialed-in on the
Superfly is a quick process, thanks to RockShox’s
patented sag gradients right on the fork stanchion and
shock body. For a balanced cross-country feel,
we settled on a firm-ish 25-percent sag.
Ergonomics: We’ve always
seemed to feel right at home on
Trek’s Superfly models from
the moment we swung a leg
over the top tube. The FS
9 was no exception. The
Superfly features a fairly
aggressive rider position
without feeling uncom-
fortably weighted over the
handlebars. While the top
tube feels fairly short for
a large frame, Trek specs
a long enough stem to allow
some room in the cockpit.
Pedaling: The shock features
two damping settings: locked and
unlocked. With the shock unlocked,
there is minimal movement under pedaling forces,
and while a racer may look for a firmer platform, we
appreciated the small amount of movement to help soak
up bumps and keep the rear wheel tracking over loose
sections of trail. We only found ourselves using the
lockout lever on the road to and from the trail and on
long fire-road climbs.
Climbing: For an aluminum, full-suspension bike, the
Superfly FS is a snappy climber, thanks to a relatively low
weight and fast-rolling Bontrager XR-1 tires. While we
rarely use fork lockouts, during out-of-the-saddle efforts
on smooth climbs, the remote fork lockout was quite
useful and convenient.
Cornering: Trek has long talked about its G2 29er-
specific geometry—and for good reason. The Superfly
feels confident through fast, sweeping corners while still
maintaining a quick feel around tight switchbacks—an
ability many 29ers can’t claim. The low-profile tires that
help the Superfly rocket up climbs require some restraint
when trail conditions are especially loose.
Descending: Trek’s ABP suspension does a great job of
getting the most out of the bike’s 3. 9 inches of travel, and
the bike’s G2 geometry helps it tackle descents with more
confidence than many bikes in its class. The RockShox
SID fork did a good job eating up small and large bumps
alike and felt very balanced with the rear suspension—a
trait we’ve come to expect from Trek.
Braking: As advertised, Trek’s ABP suspension design
is one of the best when it comes to isolating suspension
performance from braking forces. When paired with
Shimano’s XT brakes, it’s a perfect match.
The Trek Superfly FS 9
Primed For Adventure Or The Podium