The Trek FX+ 2 feels like a bike. Trek has definitely made an effort for this city-focused eBike to look and feel like a bike as much as possible and in that effort, it succeeded. The FX+ 2 felt like riding a traditional bicycle until you really turn on the pedal assist, and even then it still largely kept that feel. At around 40 pounds, it also is closer in weight to a traditional bicycle, at least compared to the competition. I was able to get it up and down stairs without breaking a sweat, which was convenient.
Weight: 40.13 pounds
Max rider weight: 300 pounds
Gearing: 9-speed Shimano Altus
Motor: 250W HyDrive motor
Max assisted speed: 20 mph
Max estimated range: 35 miles
For all these successes, the $2,399 FX+2 is significantly more expensive than our best budget electric bike, the Aventon Soltera ($1,399) or our best overall electric bike, the Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus ($1,999). This despite the FX+ 2 having no throttle, no LCD display and no removable battery. As enjoyable as riding it may be — and it is — it’s tough to recommend it over the competition.
Trek FX+ 2 eBike review: Price and availability
The Trek FX+ 2 came out in May 2022 at a starting price of $2,200, but the version we reviewed came with a price tag of $2,399. Unfortunately, it looks like the price has gone up since launch, with the 2023 models of the FX+ 2 coming in at $2,499 on Trek’s website.
The good news is that you are not forced to buy the FX+ 2 from Trek. Trek offers its bikes through local retailers in addition to its website, and those retailers may offer lower (or higher) prices than Trek. So make sure to check with your local bike shop before adding the FX+ 2 to your cart.
Trek FX+ 2 eBike review: Design
Trek offers the FX+ 2 eBike in four sizes (S, M, L, XL) and three colors: Satin Trek Black, Viper Red and Satin Mulsanne Blue. The model I was provided with was a Satin Mulsanne blue in size L, which worked perfectly with my 6-foot 2-inch height and 32-inch inseam.
At first glance, the FX+ 2 looks like a traditional bicycle. That’s because Trek has intentionally designed it this way, with the cables and battery stored within the tubes of the bike. Unfortunately, that means the battery isn’t removable — at least by you. Trek says that the battery can be removed by a trained technician, so you’ll need to head to a shop if anything goes wrong.
That said, you can still add an external battery for extra range. There are two water bottle holders, one on the seat tube and one on the down tube, and the one on the downtube allows for a 250Wh plug-and-play Range Extender battery. This allows you to easily double your range if needed. That battery life comes at a price though; the Hyena Range Extender Battery costs $499.
Designed for commuters and city bikers, the FX+ 2 comes already equipped with some much-needed accessories. The eBike comes stock with a front fender, rear fender, headlight, taillight, kickstand, bell and rear bike rack — no need to buy one of the best bike lights separately. There’s also a chain guard to prevent clothes from getting caught in the chain.
Still, there are a couple of things missing in the design that would be nice to have. First, the Hyena pedal assist control system has an LED display for the battery status and pedal assist mode. It is easy to use and read, but many eBikes now have LCD displays, so this feels cheap by comparison. Additionally, the wheels are not quick-release, which means if something goes wrong you’ll need tools on you to get the wheels off.
But the biggest design flaw is the lack of any shock absorption in the bike. The FX+ 2 definitely feels every bump and pothole, especially at top speed. Even merely adding a seat post shock absorber would be a welcome addition.
Trek FX+ 2 eBike review: Performance
The performance of the Trek FX+ 2 was more than adequate. Between the three power modes (Eco, Normal and Turbo) and the nine-speed rear cassette, I was able to hit the top speed of 20 mph frequently, regularly averaging 13MPH while riding through the streets of Atlanta.
Hills were also not a problem once you get a feel for the bike. I could regularly keep my cadence going up hills by using the full range of the bike’s gears and the Turbo pedal assist mode. The pedal assist modes kicked in very smoothly and with almost no lag.
The only shortcoming the FX+ 2 really has in terms of performance is the lack of a throttle to give riders fully motor-assisted thrust (i.e. no using your pedals), which does come on some of the FX+ 2’s competitors like the Soltera and RadCity 5 Plus. However, I would be lying if I said I missed it. The bike is plenty quick and easy to ride without it.
Trek FX+ 2 eBike review: Battery life and range
Trek states that the FX+ 2’s 250Wh battery can provide riders with up to 35 minutes of range. This of course depends on a range of factors, from the pedal assist mode you typically use to how hilly your terrain is.
My commute to work was just over five and a half miles round trip and I would go through about a quarter of the battery. That puts my estimated range at closer to 22 miles. However, I almost always used the Turbo (highest) pedal assist and I do have a large hill each way. So had I been more conservative I could have probably got more range out of the FX+ 2.
Luckily if you do need to charge the bike, it only takes around two hours for a full charge and the charger can be plugged into any wall outlet.
Trek FX+ 2 eBike review: Competition
Unfortunately, the Trek FX+ 2 really struggles when compared to the competition, at least on paper. I have yet to ride the Aventon Soltera, but it is currently our best budget eBike and has a very similar feature set and design aesthetic compared to the FX+ 2. While the pedal-assist seems like it is not as smooth and responsive as the FX+ 2 and it lacks a 9-speed option, you can still get a 7-speed for $1,399. That’s $1,000 less than the FX+ 2 I reviewed, but you get more range, a throttle and an LCD display.
If you want something higher-end, the Rad Power RadCity5 Plus is our best budget bike and would still be my pick over the FX+ 2 based on the research I have done on the RadCity 5 Plus. The FX+ 2 is lighter, and significantly so (over 20 pounds!), but the RadCity 5 Plus has a feature set that really sets it apart. Yes, you only get a 7-speed rear cassette, but you also get a throttle, a removable battery and two LCD displays compared to the zero LCD displays on the FX+ 2.
Trek FX+ 2 eBike review: Bottom line
Ultimately, if the Trek FX+ 2 eBike was cheaper it would be a lot easier to recommend. It was a lot of fun to ride, easy to carry with its 40-pound weight and has a very clean design. If price weren’t a factor, I would say the quick pedal assist make it a great choice, and the fact that it comes with fenders and a rack standard is a nice touch.
But none of that can make me get past the fact that this bike is hundreds — if not a thousand — dollars more than its competition without providing a lot of reasons why. Yes, it's lightweight, and it's a Trek so the build quality is excellent, but it lacks the LCD displays, removable battery or throttle that so many of the best electric bikes have. If the FX+ 2 had even some of those features, I’d rate it significantly higher, even with the price.