Electric Bike Action Bike Review: Trek Allant+ 9.9S Commuter Bike
Trek Allant+ 9.9S Commuter Bike
With over four decades of being in the bike business to fall back on for experience, Trek has seen plenty of new bike trends come and go. Now, as one of the world’s biggest bike makers, the Wisconsin-based brand has jumped into the e-bike market with as much vigor as any they’ve done so in the past.
The Allant+ 9.9S represents their top-of-the-line entry in the increasingly crowded commuter/hybrid market.
Trek’s Allant+ 9.9 uses the brand’s proprietary OCLV (Optimum Compact Low Void) carbon frame, and it comes in two variants: the S (tested) and the Stagger, which uses a low step-through frame design. The frame uses a carbon fiber fork and an integrated but removable Bosch Powertube battery. The S model has a nice, slightly curved line that forms the top tube and seatstays.
The frame has two water bottle mounts, and the internal cable routing is cleanly accomplished through the stem.
Shimano components make the bike stop and go, including a Shimano XT 1×12 drivetrain and quad-piston hydraulic brakes. The wheel package is made up of tubeless-ready Alex rims mounted with Trek’s in-house Bontrager brand 27.5×2.4-inch tires, with a reflective side stripe, continuous center strip for smooth rolling and good siping on the sides for cornering in wet or dry conditions.
The bike comes with fenders, a bolt-on rack, and Trek Lync LED lights front and rear. The front light is 500 lumens and the rear is 50 lumens, but it’s small and that light seems really bright, even in daylight. The rack has no top flat spot, it’s set up for any standard set of rear panniers.
The bars have a nice sweep and clear and grippy, ergonomic grips with white accents underneath. The Bontrager Commuter Comp saddle has a clean design and is really comfortable.
The Allant+ 9.9S uses Bosch’s 350-watt Performance Speed motor, which is the fastest and most powerful motor that Bosch makes, and it provides up to 75 N/m of torque and assistance up to 28 mph. This is the fourth generation of that motor, and it’s smaller and lighter than its predecessor by 1.5 pounds, now at 6.3 pounds.
The integrated battery is Bosch’s highest-capacity 625-Wh PowerTube. Even if you love riding in Turbo mode, you’ll get plenty of range out of it. Depending on conditions, hills and rider weight (maximum rider plus cargo weight is 300 pounds), we saw up to 75 miles on a full charge.
The controller is a COBI SmartphoneHub controller made for Bosch by COBI. It offers connectivity to your smartphone, charging, GPS with 2D or 3D map view, live weather, and can even connect to Apple Health, Google Fit, Strava and Komoot. It can show you an overview of training data, including performance, cadence, calorie expenditure and more. You can even pair it to a heart rate monitor, making it the perfect companion for people using an e-bike for the best training strategies. It actually talks to you, telling you what is going on, so you don’t have to look at your phone while riding.
With this connectivity, the SmartphoneHub can get software updates wirelessly using your phone, making it easily updatable.
It can be hard to put large phones into it, but even the larger iPhones fit with a little effort. We’re pretty sure there’s no way it’s coming back out of the holder until you decide to remove it. Pairing your phone to the controller is really simple and very intuitive.
You can use the COBI module by itself. It has a small monochrome LCD that shows speed, battery life, power mode, etc.
WHO IT’S MADE FOR
The Allant+ is a solid commuter bike, but owing to its big battery and long range would also work well as a trekking bike, though it might need a couple of comfort additions for longer rides. As a training bike to improve fitness, with the COBI app and SmartphoneHub display, this is an incredible training machine.
The new Bosch motor is fantastic. It’s the same powerful experience as the previous motor, but now smaller, more attractive and with less internal gearing, there’s virtually no drag if you go above 28 mph. This is a significant improvement.
The ride is incredibly smooth on this bike. It glides across pavement almost effortlessly, at least on good pavement. On bumpier roads, since the frame and fork are carbon, there’s no flex, so any shocks that get past the tires go straight up to the touchpoints and to the rider. Lowering tire pressure in the tires is a big help in these situations. It will increase rolling resistance a little, but comfort is increased dramatically.
“It glides across pavement almost effortlessly.”
We don’t love the pedals. They’re plastic platform pedals with a pseudo-grippy surface. They’re fine for your work shoes, but we’d swap them out for some aluminum platform pedals just the same.
The COBI app is fascinating. We spent time on the bike just playing with the different features and different screens. Depending on how big your phone’s display is, it can make for a huge display. We had a large iPhone that made for an amazing screen.
Better still, the fact that it talks to you is fantastic; you don’t need to look at the screen. It can tell you what mode you switch to, as well as other parameters, including speed, effort level, GPS directions, etc. You can even use it to play music, audio books, podcasts, etc. As a training tool, this has everything someone could want to maximize their training on a bike. You can see your own power in watts, your cadence, heart rate (if you have a connected monitor) and other parameters. You can set the display up to be as simple or as geeky as you’d like.
We would swap out the regular seatpost for one of two options. If you’re using it for a commuter, we’d recommend adding a dropper post to make it the most comfortable to use in stop-and-go situations, so you can more easily touch the ground with your feet at stops, then get better leg extension while pedaling. If you’re riding longer distances, we’d opt for a suspension seatpost to bring more comfort over bumpier roads.
Found within their ever-growing catalog of e-bikes, the Allant+ family is comprised of three levels: the 7, 8 and 9. The entry level 7 starts off at $3,599.
While the Allant+ 9.9S is far from an entry-level price point, from its appearance and included accessories to its range and performance, the Allant impressed everyone. This bike is as swift, smooth and comfortable as a rigid bike can be, and between the power, geometry and technology, it is fantastic as a commuter, trainer or touring bike.
TREK ALLANT+ 9.9S
Motor: Bosch Performance Speed, 28mph
Battery: Bosch PowerTube, 625Wh
Charge time: 3–4 hours
Top speed: 28 mph
Range: 20–75 miles
Drive: Shimano XT, 1×12
Brakes: Shimano MT520 4-piston hydraulic disc, 180mm f/r
Fork: Carbon, 100x15mm thru-axle
Frame: OCLV carbon with removable integrated battery
Tires: Bontrager E6 Hard-Case Lite, reflective striping, 27.5×2.4”
Weight: 51.5 lb.
Color choice: Matte Trek Black/Gloss Red
Sizes: M (tested), L, XL
ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION MAGAZINE
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