Superfly for a Superfly!

Besides the camaraderie (used here as a euphemism for trash-talking) of my fellow teammates during training rides or at races, perhaps the next best thing about our team is the support of our sponsors, particularly our title sponsor Jax Bicycle Center.  They’re a Trek dealer and when we signed on with the shop they promised three brand new 2013 Trek Superfly bikes for us to use for racing and training.  Over $15K worth of carbon and metal for free – now that’s support!

The Kasel Cycling team stable now houses a small (15.5″) and large (19″) full suspension Superfly 100 Elite and a medium (17″) hardtail Superfly Elite.  Do a little research (or click this link) and you’ll learn that Trek has put considerable time and energy into refining the 2013 Superfly frame and after seeing it in person, building several up out of the box, and riding them I believe that Trek has built a winner.  This is a bike that forces the rider to size up their own inadequacies rather than the bike’s!

These bikes are starting to trickle in across the Pacific and are still rare things in the wild so I was very excited when Jax let me know ours were in.  I immediately offered to help build them up and to my surprise, the boys at the shop were willing to deal with my inferior-wrenching skills and let me join the bike build work party.  Here are some photos of the Superfly 100 build with some narrative if you click the photo:

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A large full suspension Trek Superfly 100 Elite, stock, tubeless, and with crankbrother candy pedals = 24 lbs, 11 oz.  An impressive stock weight which could come down easily with a couple component swap-outs.

The build finished late Thursday night and I was able to get the Superfly 100 in the dirt for a quick little hour-long spin to get a feel for it before I raced it the next morning.  Nothing like diving into the deep end, right?  The good news is that the race was at Aliso Woods on trails I’m very familiar with and raced last year.  So the only new variable was the bike.  Not being very familiar or comfortable on the bike (I had the seat set too low), I managed a 3rd place effort and my teammate, aboard the Superfly Elite hardtail that I also built up with the Jax boys, managed to finish 2nd after a tiny crash at the end cost him the lead.  So… these bikes are quite capable and we’re looking forward to getting more time on them and dialing them in.

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The Kasel Cycling 2013 Trek Superfly stable (along with our new team kits!).  I’m on the left with the full suspension Superfly 100 Elite while both my teammates are riding the Superfly Elite hardtail.  These bikes are fast!

As I write this, I have three rides on this bike and my initial impression of the Superfly 100 is that it is a full-fledged race bike.  It’s going to power through trail chatter and the Fox CTD system allows it to climb and descend with aplomb provided the rider remembers to flip the switches!  I will provide a more detailed ride review after more time on the bike.

I’m use to the feel of a hardtail 29er and my riding style is conditioned for the standing/sitting routine that is hardtail racing.  I noticed in the race this past weekend that I was doing more climbing in the seated position and my groin muscles began to tire – an obvious sign that the seat was too low and that I was on a different geometry than I’m use to.  All that being the case, I’ve already set some PR’s on downhill Strava segments and without trying approached PR’s on other segments.  This bike is sneaky fast.  The $100 question for me is what type of riding I prefer:  HT or FS?

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Superfly fueled podium spots for my teammate and I.

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The Trek Superfly 100 Elite, eating up a rock garden this past weekend on my way to setting a PR for this segment, appropriately named Rockit DH.

Stay tuned for a detailed long-term ride review of the Trek Superfly 100 Elite.

** Update (5/31/13) – MTBR.com has released their review of the Superfly 100 here.  Check back with Natespin and I’ll have mine up soon.

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8 responses to “Superfly for a Superfly!

  1. Pingback: Safari Time | natespin·

    • Jan –
      I too saw that review (and the MTBR one on the main page) and while much of the review is on point, I can’t agree with their findings on the rear triangle flex. Like they mention in the review, I can put my hand on the seat and the other on the wheel and push/pull to try and get flex. I do get some but it’s all in the 29″ wheel – not the frame. To confirm, I moved my hand from the wheel to the seatstay and didn’t get any flex in the back-end when push/pulling. So… perhaps they got a bad frame. Or… perhaps the allen bolt in the rear suspension linkage had come loose and was the culprit for the slop? (btw – it’s a known issue that the allen bolt can come loose, as is documented in the MTBR forums, and did so on mine. Simple fix with a fresh coat of lock-tite.) Hope that answers your question…. for my $, the Superfly 100 is a great race bike. I am partial to my 29″ carbon hardtail, but for certain courses or endurance races I’d pick the Superfly 100 over my hardtail. I would also pick it for all-day fun/fast adventures.

  2. Pingback: SCST Shootout | natespin·

  3. Hello Nate’ been reading your blog and wondering if you plan to put something down regarding your long term with the Superfly 100, I plan to get one the next few weeks but have also been reading some not so good verdicts about the bike ?

    • Hey – there… thanks for reading! Yes, I’ll do a long-term review. Look for it next week. Short answer… Trek’s Superfly is so well thought of, my wife has a new one!

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