Electric bikes have become increasingly popular in recent years as people look for more eco-friendly and cost-effective modes of transportation. If you’re new to the world of electric bikes, finding a lightweight, easy-to-use, and fun entry-level model can be a great way to get started.
One excellent option for beginners is the Trek FX+ 2. This electric bike is designed to be both affordable and user-friendly. It also has a low center of gravity, which helps to improve stability and balance.
There are two configurations and three sizes available for the FX+ 2. The FX+ 2 Stagger has a step-through top tube while the standard model has a regular step-over top tube. Both are available in small, medium, and large sizes and a range of colors. The small Stagger fits me well because I am 5’2″. If you’re under 5 feet tall, you might want to consider a different bike.
Trek FX+ 2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a lightweight, easy-to-use, and fun entry into the world of electric bikes. Its affordability, stability, and cargo capacity make it a versatile and practical option for a variety of different riders. Before proceeding to a detailed review, you can watch our video test.
|Frame||Alpha Gold Aluminum|
|Hub front||Formula DC-20|
|Tire||Bontrager H2 Comp|
|Motor||HyDrive hub drive motor, 40Nm, 250W|
|Shifter||Shimano Altus M2010, 9 speed|
|Range||Up to 35 miles|
|Charger||2A, 42V output, 100V-240V AC input|
|Weight||M - 18.20 kg / 40.13 lbs|
|Weight limit||300 pounds or 136 kg|
Trek FX+ 2: Design and Build Quality
In the frame are the cables, battery, and motor. A small unit with only three buttons – a power button, plus and minus signs, and no other indicators – serves as the FX+ 2 Stagger’s sole indication that it is an ebike. The bike’s lights come on when you turn it on, and two light meters display your battery life and the level of pedal assistance that is currently selected.
The seat stays of the aluminum frame have lights built into them. At the front of the bike, a headlight is also mounted just below the stem. That has more features than the Swft Volt, a different inexpensive ebike that only has a headlight. The Trek FX+ 2 is available in three different colors. For the singlespeed model, Trek advertises the Trek FX+ 2’s weight as 40 pounds.
Additionally made of aluminum, the wheels pair with Shimano hydraulic rim brakes. The wheels are bolted on rather than having quick release levers. Beginner cyclists who might not be familiar with quick release lever functionality will likely benefit from this.
The Trek FX+ 2 is a Class II e-bike, so in addition to the pedal-assist modes, it also has a throttle. If you’d prefer, you can take the throttle out to convert it to a Class 1 e-bike. 20 mph is the maximum assist speed.
The frame’s downtube features an integrated removable lithium-ion battery for Phylion. The Trek FX+ 2 barely resembles an e-bike at all, which is a nice compliment to the efficiency of Trek’s battery integration. The battery is physically smaller than many batteries on comparable bikes, which enables it to blend into the frame more successfully.
Trek is the manufacturer of the rear hub motor, which has a 40Nm and 250W power output. This motor, according to Trek, is “white-labeled,” which means that Trek obtained the motor from another business.
For convenient viewing in low light, the Bluetooth display has an integrated backlight. It can sync with an app that lets you set goals for yourself, record rides, track mileage, view battery life percentage, and configure your lights.
According to Trek, the Trek FX+ 2 can carry a maximum of 300 pounds. If having a single speed drivetrain makes that seem overwhelming, Trek does offer a 9-speed Trek FX+ 2 with disc brakes.
A kickstand for the Trek FX+ 2 is included, and it attaches to the chainstay just behind the bike’s rear wheel. It feels substantial and stable, which will be useful if you decide to add any weight to the bike. But if you want to carry cargo, you’ll need to buy racks separately because the Trek FX+ 2 does not come with any out of the box.
Trek FX+ 2: Motor and Battery
The 250-watt Hydrive rear hub motor found in the FX+ 2 is the industry norm in Europe. The bike is so light and maneuverable that having a smaller motor doesn’t matter at all, even though it might seem slightly underpowered to Americans looking to power up steep hills. The 40 pounds of the medium frame size are nearly 30 pounds less than the weight of my own Tern GSD S00.
The Trek FX+ 2’s comfortable riding position won me over right away. The Trek FX+ 2 is enjoyable to ride, especially for those who lack the flexibility to support aggressive riding positions. This is because of the comfortable saddle and upright riding position.
Inspiring was the head unit display as well. Even in direct sunlight, it is very bright and simple to read at a glance. The handlebar control buttons make it easy to navigate the menus, and changing the assist level is just as simple with those same control buttons.
Not only is it simple to scoot up hills, but it’s also simple to lift onto our hanging bike rack in my garage or maneuver onto crowded bike racks when I’m out. It’s also the first bike that my dad and I have used to run errands in the neighborhood over the past two weeks. We’ve driven at least 10 miles past the 35-mile stated range, and the battery still appears to be largely intact. The quick 700 x 40c road tires also didn’t hurt.
Using the pedal-assist or throttle to do the majority of the work can make it difficult to start the bike. Regardless of whether you’re using the throttle or the pedal-assist mode, it takes about a second or slightly longer for the assist power to start working.
That implies that you will begin pedaling independently after coming to a complete stop. For the majority of riders, that’s not a big deal, but if the bike is heavily loaded or you plan to rely heavily on the motor assist to get going, that lag can be too long and cause issues.
The motor engages and provides smooth acceleration once you’re standing and pedaling. But regardless of whether you’re using the throttle or the pedal-assist feature, it takes a second or longer for the assist to engage and a second or so for it to disengage.
Both in throttle mode and pedal-assist mode, the assist itself is a little underpowered and bogs down, especially on hills. If you live in a hilly area, you will have to pedal under your own power more.
The Trek website claims that using only the throttle and no pedaling will result in a range of up to 35 miles. You can travel up to 70 miles on a single charge if you choose to use the pedal-assist modes instead.
During my testing, using the throttle rapidly depleted the battery. I used the throttle for less than five minutes at 100% charge and was at 97%. I covered about 0.8 miles using that. When the bike is heavily loaded, the throttle is best used for short trips or when you need to start the bike from a complete stop. If not, you should probably use it sparingly to preserve battery life.
If you only use the lowest assist setting, you’ll get the 70-mile range that Trek lists as its outside best. You can reasonably anticipate a 25 – 35 mile range on a single battery charge in the middle settings, where you’ll probably spend the majority of your time.
Trek FX+ 2: Conclusions
I’ve watched bike makers argue over, then struggle to add or remove features that will make electric bikes more appealing to people who have never ridden a bike before. Making an electric bike enjoyable, light, and simple to ride might be the best strategy for getting people to use them.
The parts package isn’t the best out there, and the pedal-assist isn’t the fastest. However, the Trek FX+ 2 still offers a smooth and enjoyable ride in a stylish package. That seems like wise investment, especially if you plan to use the Trek FX+ 2 to transport large loads.
Although its battery is non-removable and both its design and display are less sophisticated, it also has a 250-Watt motor and an estimated range of up to 35 miles if you’re looking to save a little money.
Even though the Trek would benefit from some more contemporary features like disc brakes and quick release levers, beginning e-bike riders and frugal commuters will be more than satisfied with the Trek FX+ 2’s no-frills package.