Trek FX+ 2 Review: The complete ebike commuter package

The FX+ 2 has a 250 watt Hydrive rear hub motor, which is the European standard. That may seem a little underpowered for Americans who want to climb huge hills, but the bike is so light and nimble that having a smaller engine doesn’t really matter. The medium frame size weighs 40 pounds—nearly 30 pounds lighter than my own Tern GSD S00.

Not only is it easy to ride up hills, it’s easy to maneuver onto crowded bike racks when I’m away, or lift onto our hanging bike rack in my garage. Plus, in the past two weeks, it’s the first bike both my dad and I have taken to run errands around the area. The stated range is 35 miles, but we’ve put at least 10 miles on it by now and the battery seems mostly untouched. The fast 45c road tires didn’t hurt either.

Nothing over the top


It lacks a few features we’ve come to expect on more expensive e-bikes, like a low-maintenance carbon belt drive or a continuously variable shifter. Instead, it has a regular bicycle chain on a nine-speed Shimano shifting system, with a derailleur that, yes, you have to adjust every once in a while.

But to be honest, I thought this was more than fine. I didn’t have to learn a new shifting system or figure out how to calibrate the gearing with the assist levels. I wasn’t riding a bike that tried to predict how much help I’d need and when—I could just shift more or less as I rode. It felt much easier and more natural that way.

It also has a lot of accessories that can be just as important, especially since the weather here in Oregon has turned cold, gray and wet in recent weeks. The 120-lumen headlamp is incredibly bright. The bell is incredibly loud. The fenders have kept my jeans relatively dry and I have been able to bungee stuff onto the rear rack. A kickstand holds it up in the garage for quick access, and hydraulic disc brakes work even when it rains.

The price may seem steep compared to direct-to-consumer bikes from Aventon, Lectric, or Rad Power. But once you start adding up the cost of quality components, labor, and accessories, their prices start to rise. Mail order companies can offer much lower prices for basic models because their engines are less expensive. With a nicer engine, a mail order bike like the Ride1Up prodigy is priced similarly to the FX+ 2, and you have to assemble it yourself and check it for safety.

Over the years, I’ve seen bike manufacturers debate and then struggle to add or subtract features that make electric bikes more appealing to people who haven’t ridden a bike before. Extremely low entry! Weird switching systems! Applications! Huge tires! Perhaps the best way to get people on an electric bike is the same way you get people on a regular bike: by making it fun, light and easy.

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