Featured image for Hardtail Happiness blog post

HARDTAIL HAPPINESS

If you are under 40 years old, you probably can just move along, nothing to see here.  Because even when I was the big FIVE-OH, I was probably still too cool to be riding an electric bike.  Part of the package deal that typically comes with age, is how our body’s metabolism slows down and the LBS start showing up like your friends for a good Superbowl party.  Which means, the argument about full-suspension mountain bikes versus a hardtail is a no-brainer for a guy like me.  Hardtail mountain bikes are less expensive, lighter and mostly more efficient than having my fat ass (not PHAT) absorbing bumps on the trail.

Trek Powerfly 4 at Red Rock
Trek Powerfly 4 at Red Rock

This blog post is about my new 2022 Trek Powerfly 4 with comparisons to my trusty RadRover 5 fat-tire bike I have put over 7500+ miles on in the past 2+ years. And, not gonna lie – having a bad-azz looking whip is part of the fun and IMHO  the Powerfly full-suspension bike looks sorta like an old man’s Caddy to me.

Once I got excited about owning one of these Powerfly 4’s, the bad news thanks to Covid supply chain issues was that our new local Trek corporate bike store informed me that maybe in 18 months they might get 2022’s in stock.  WHAT WHAT WHAT?  I understand Covid threw many corporations for a loop, but, that seems beyond ridiculous. But, I don’t give up that easy!

All hail the golden bro’s and specifically a good dude named Darcy at the Los Gatos Summit Bicycles shop.  They had a hard-tail in stock and Darcy made sure the order went through, and he got it shipped out promptly.  I had them ship it to my local Trek store for final assembly and for some other add-ons.

Once I had a UPS tracking number, I headed over to the local Trek store to give them headsup that there was an incoming bike with MY NAME ON IT so, HANDS OFF!  LOL

Rock Shox Judy disc adapter
Rock Shox Judy disc adapter

Like any super-consumer of anything fun, before the bike I arrives I jump onto Youtube looking for legit reviews of the bike. Sort of difficult to weed through the standard copy-and-paste pandering that is really just gets clicks for cash.

The best and most informative review was from a dude’s channel called Caroline Cowboys talked about recommending replacing the front fork with an air fork and I opted to have the dealer put in a Rock Shox Judy Gold 3.5 – installed was about a $500 add-on.  What CC mentioned was that it required a weird adapter for the front disc brake assembly.

I mentioned that to the dealer and they were like “yea, yea, yea” until they installed the fork and sure enough.  But, the shop ordered it, installed it and we were good to go.

FIRST OUTING ON THE 2022 TREK POWERFLY 4

This first ride was glorious and the joys of an e-bike with technical capabilities it was great to be out on the trails I love but, since I am so out of shape and overweight, not have to walk 83% of the trails.  On any slow grind inclines, just a bit of a power-assist allowed me to keep a desired 10-16mph forward motion. The “turbo” mode was super helpful in a steep technical climb, especially when the surface was rocky or uneven. Going slow on single-trak is more dangerous than going at a managed faster speed.

In the video you can discern my falling – part of this was because I was going slow, and the main reason was that I trusted the final assembly from the local bike shop, and they forgot to tighten two of the handlebar headset allen-head screws.

RadRover 5
RadRover 5

A couple key factors to compare with my RadRover 5 fat tire bike and this bike.  Primarily, the RadRover is 85lbs.  That is one heavy bike.  On the paved bike trail, it makes it relaxing, but ANYTHING that comes in your way you can easily ride over.  Think of your grandpa’s old Cadillac.  But, try and take that same Cadillac through turns and mixed conditions, and GAME OVER.

This Powerfly 4, since it is a hardtail probably comes in at under 40lbs which means you could actually ride the bike without any e-assist.  Not possible with the RadRover.  If you run outa juice, you are basically jacked!  In fact, I opted for the more expensive AAA Auto Club membership that would actually pick up you and your electric bike. hahahah Not required with the Trek Powerfly 4.

Overall, the stoke is high looking forward to this upcoming year of riding! Since the battery consumption is efficient compared to the RadRover, once I get in better shape I will be able to take longer rides, which means more calories to burn and muscles to build.  Take that you OLD BODY METABOLISM!

The  two things about this bike that I can be critical of –

  1. For about $4K, it deserves some sort of air shock front fork.  This is a svelte, capable bike, and it would be like buying a new Porsche without power windows.  What?
  2. I was absolutely befuddled why, on this $4K MOUNTAIN BIKE (not a road bike), there was a fixed allen-head collar for the seat post?  What?  So, the shop had to order me a quick release collar because of the nature of this frame they did not have in stock.  This is where the engineers that probably don’t ride, forgot to collab with actual riders.

But, as someone that has been riding bikes for literally over 55 years, if those are the only two bad mentions, you can tell that Trek has come up with a winning bike, and I am looking forward to a great summer of riding, improving my health and losing weight.

RB Profile

ABOUT ROBERT BAKER

I have been shooting for $$ since 2000 opening my shop with a Nikon D1.  I am primarily interested in shooting adventure lifestyle and travel with a host of my  day-to-day clients being within the industrial sector.  Many of my editorial stock photos have been published in all major news outlets, with my primary focus is distributing my images on a client-by-client basis to ensure their branding is unique and compelling.

Recent Posts