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:
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.
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?
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.