We have reviewed the 2022 Trek Rail 9.8 XT
- Price: $9199.99
- Frame: NEW OCLV Mountain Carbon
- Gear: 1×12
- Tires: 29×2.50”
What we like about it: A new carbon frame and a large collection of batteries that take you on a speedy ride.
What we don’t like about it: The price is relatively expensive for some people.
In fact, before reviewing the Trek Rail 9.8 XT, I wanted an e-bike that would take me further afield on a leisurely and comfortable camping trip.
This Trek Rail 9.8 XT has an upgraded NEW OCLV Mountain Carbon frame, the outstanding performance RockShox ZEB Select+ Fork and the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RT3 Shock, a large capacity Bosch PowerTube 750Wh battery, high-end Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain, and tough Bontrager SE6 Team Issue tires. Not only was I pleasantly surprised by its performance on bumpy and rough terrain, but I’m looking forward to many more riding adventures.
After a 3-month review, this carbon e-bike showed off its great battery life on rugged ascents. Not only did it easily carry me to the top of the mountain, giving me a closer look at the clean white clouds. And it also showed off its excellent shock absorption system on the varied descents, allowing me to experience the jumps on the downhill with more ease and excitement.
Below we analysis the climbs, descents, key features, components, and specifications of the 2022 Trek Rail 9.8 XT as well as other versions.
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The one ride we can’t miss on a full-suspension bike is climbing. On this actual ride, we came to the Allegheny Mountains, where I was simply dazzled by the variety of environments and routes.
The climb we chose had stacked gravel knolls, more rutted tracks that made the road slick, and trails covered in fallen leaves that would obstruct our view. The Trek Rail 9.8 XT gets a thumbs up from us for its performance in the face of many problems.
The 29×2.50” Bontrager SE5 Team Issue-based tires have more nimble steering traction and the 120tpi design has strong wear resistance. I was undeterred in the face of gravel rubbing.
The Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain also makes my riding easier. And the easy and fast 1× shifting allowed me to reduce the complexity of shifting. In addition, the dense gear ratio gives me the flexibility to switch to a larger-geared flywheel in the face of steep climbs, making my climbs more body-saving.
I must say that the excellent Bosch Performance Line CX motor and the powerful 85Nm give me more freedom of maneuvering. Accordingly, the large capacity Bosch PowerTube 750Wh battery helped me a lot in my riding. In the face of declining stamina, it gave me plenty of kinetic energy to ride easily to the top of the mountain and enjoy the beautiful and varied scenery of the Allegheny Mountains.
Not only that, but the comfortable Bontrager Arvada saddle gave me the ultimate riding experience. The cutouts in the saddle shell add comfort and reduce stress. Just the right amount of softness and support also allows me to enjoy a more advanced ride.
In short, you can expect the ultimate experience on the climb with Trek Rail 9.8 XT.
On our chosen descent, there were more unpredictable turns and tree stumps than just gravel. But we still have full confidence in the Trek Rail 9.8 XT.
Indeed, the Trek Rail 9.8 XT performed even better than we expected. With the 29×2.50” Bontrager SE5 Team Issue tire, its unique tread pattern design gripped the ground tightly without making me feel floating when facing corners and slippery sections.
Also, the slack 64.2° head tube angle gives me more responsive steering, and the Bontrager XR Trail Elite grips have a unique finned texture. This not only adds to the comfort of the ride but also helps my control tremendously.
In addition, the Trek Rail 9.8 XT’s powerful Shimano XT M8120 4-piston hydraulic brakes stop the tires precisely and steadily when you need to stop in a hurry during a descent.
Be aware that there are always various raised hills in this descent route. This time the 150mm of rear travel and 160mm of front travel absorbed the violent bumps and made my descent more comfortable. And the adjustable Bontrager Line Elite Dropper not only functioned as a shock absorber, but I could sit at the perfect height every time during the bumpy sections.
All in all, the Trek Rail 9.8 XT is outstanding and excellent in both climbing and descending. It is the partner that allows you to venture freely.
In fact, before the ride review, I was attracted to its three paint colors. The gradient Marigold to Red Fade, the tech-inspired Dark Prismatic, and the distinctive Carbon Red Smoke, each with its character. I have to praise Trek for being worthy.
The bike features an upgraded OCLV mountain carbon frame, which not only maintains its lighter qualities and longer reach but also allows for greater strength.
In addition, the internal cable design is a regular operation on almost all mid to high-end bikes, and the Trek Rail 9.8 XT is certainly no exception. This design not only protects the important cables but also makes your post-cleaning maintenance easier as well.
Not only that, but the Trek Rail 9.8 XT has a frame that completely hides the battery in the frame. And the simple disassembly will make you amazed by its design. In addition, there are water bottle mounting holes for you. So you can take the necessary water with you and be ready for your riding trip.
First of all, it is immediately apparent that the effective top tube length (639mm) of this Trek Rail 9.8 XT will be significantly longer. This is because it requires a larger capacity Bosch PowerTube 750Wh battery to be installed at the downtube. This arrangement not only allows you to ride in a more comfortable position but also gives you a greater boost to your ride by allowing you to mount a larger battery.
Second, the bike’s steep seat tube angle (76.7°) is close to that of a road race bike. This allows for easier pedaling while riding and you can adjust to a more aerodynamic position to get faster.
In addition, the slack head tube angle (64.2°) allows your fork to stick out, even though it does. However, this slack head tube angle gives you more speed stability and allows you to experience an exciting descent ride like a speed bike.
In short, Trek Rail 9.8 XT’s unique, scientifically designed geometry allows you to take on even more adventure-filled routes.
Components and Specifications
Shimano XT M8100 1×12 Drivetrain
This bike with a wide range of 1×12 gearing not only has plenty of speed options. And the gear ratios (10-51T) also allow you to switch to larger gears on steeper trails to get a more effortless ride.
And, the drivetrain borrows Hypergilde+ technology so you don’t have to worry about not being able to smoothly shift to a more appropriate gear even when you’re pushing harder on the pedals.
In addition, the relatively lightweight Shimano XT M8100 12-speed has improved durability and performance. So you can go longer between maintenance and have a longer service life.
Also, on my actual climbing rides, my fear of dropping the chain when I was ready to change speeds didn’t happen. With its new anti-chain drop technology, not only does it have an easier and swifter speed change, but you can also switch speed gears with confidence when facing steep routes.
Shimano XT M8120 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc Brake
On a real ride, the powerful and precise Shimano XT M8120 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes brought the tires to a steady stop when a dry and smooth section of the road required an emergency stop.
Yes, powerful brakes provide you with enough confidence to go riding adventures with more confidence. This brake caliper is made of sturdy material. It can provide consistent braking performance even in extremely harsh conditions.
In addition, the rotor oscillation noise of the disc brake has been reduced and the braking power has been increased by 10% compared to the M8000. And, the quick and easy assembly allows you to do it without spending too much time. And the Banjo-type connections and internal hose routing make maintenance easier.
Bontrager SE5 Team Issue Tires
The Bontrager SE5 Team Issue Tire is a tire that balances professional trail riding and enduro mountain biking. First of all, you can see the central raised tread design that fits perfectly with the side treads. Not only does this provide a better grip, but it also provides traction in the face of slick corners, allowing you to negotiate them safely and quickly.
Secondly, it is made of TM-Grip rubber compound, which gives it a stronger bite. And the special core strength structure also provides stronger tire support as well as tread protection with greater wear resistance.
In addition, the 120tpi design not only enhances its traction but also adds extra tread protection. It is also worth mentioning that the vacuum tires allow you to experience not only relatively lighter weight, but puncture protection will also give the tires a longer life.
RockShox ZEB Select+ Fork
It can be said that this is a fork shock that can push the limits. First off, ZEB is a new design. The use of a sturdy 38mm chassis will increase your rigidity on the track. Because the new Charger 3 RC2 that comes with it has been seen on the podium many times during the season, its addition will give you a whole new experience.
Secondly, the addition of DebonAir+ air springs is not only lighter, but the butter-sensitive and soft cushioning in the face of small bumps also gives you a better descending experience.
Next, the Maxima Plush Dynamic Suspension Lube not only reduces friction so your comfortable ride lasts longer, but it also improves suspension performance after the ride.
RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RT3 Shock
This is a full-suspension e-bike. So it not only has a prominent front fork shock, but also a 150mm travel rear shock absorber. This is also one of the components you can’t ignore.
This rear shock compresses more freely when you are on extremely steep terrain. This will allow you to not feel significant bumps due to steep terrain, instead, you will have a more comfortable and exciting riding experience.
If you notice its ThruShaft you will notice that instead of a separate IFP chamber for compressed air, this ThruShaft uses a solid oil column, and single a damped piston. It exits the rod at the bottom of the shock during compression. This design maintains a constant amount of oil in the shock, eliminating some hysteresis.
This simplified design allows the rider to have better performance on such steep terrain.
Bosch Performance Line CX Motor and Bosch PowerTube 750Wh Battery
In riding, there are always many obstacles and one of them is physical strength. In the face of a ride that requires a great deal of physical effort, you can always go further and farther if you have the help of electricity.
This Trek Rail 9.8 XT has a powerful Bosch Performance Line CX Motor with a maximum torque of 85Nm, which will make a difference and make your operation even smoother.
Also, it uses a wireless speed sensor as part of a smart system. This not only makes the bike look more stylish but also more convenient when riding.
I was really surprised to see the Bosch PowerTube 750Wh Battery for the Trek Rail 9.8 XT. A battery with such a large capacity can be perfectly hidden in the down tube of the bike. And, the battery can be easily removed without tools. It makes charging more convenient and you can also install a water bottle holder as needed.
In addition, it has a huge 750Wh of power, giving you a range of up to 100 km (140 km in optimal conditions).
Some people may think that such a large-capacity battery will certainly take a long time to charge, right? But after our actual test, the battery can be charged to 50% in about 2.5 hours. In about 6 hours, you can fully charge the battery to 100%.
The excellent motor and high-capacity battery can take you further afield for a leisurely and comfortable riding trip.
Other versions of Trek Rail
In this review, we have reviewed the frame of this Trek Rail 9.8 XT, Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain, Shimano XT M8120 4-piston hydraulic disc brake, Bosch PowerTube 750Wh Battery, and other components. For your more comprehensive understanding, we found its version of the same series.
In 2022 Trek Rail has 13 versions in this series, so you can choose different versions according to different budgets. Below we have reviewed the Trek Rail 5 and Trek Rail 9.9 XX1 AXS respectively.
2022 Trek Rail 5
If you’re on a tight budget, you can try this 2022 Trek Rail 5 priced at about $5,649. It doesn’t have the carbon frame of the Trek Rail 9.8 XT, but it does come with high-end components.
Both the 1×12 drivetrain and the four-piston hydraulic brakes are good choices. What’s more, it has a 160mm long travel front fork and a 150mm travel rear shock absorber.
Although the 500Wh battery may be a little small compared to the Trek Rail 9.8 XT. But regardless of Trek’s brand credibility or its technology additions, it will be your cost-effective choice in the same price range.
2022 Trek Rail 9.9 XX1 AXS
Of course, if you want a higher-end experience and have the budget, I think you can check out the 2022 Trek Rail 9.9 XX1 AXS, which retails for around $13,488. For a higher price, you can enjoy a higher-end ride. The carbon frame is lighter and stronger. Secondly, the 1×12 electronic drivetrain also makes your gear shifting easier and faster. Finally, the wireless control is also cleaner and crisper. Plus the large capacity battery and high-tech motor give you more range.
All things considered, the 2022 Trek Rail has a very suitable choice, no matter which one you want to choose. The higher-priced ones are the ones you can’t go wrong with whether you choose to invest or choose to ride, and the price-friendly ones are both in terms of value for money and brand. They will also be second to none at the same price point.
What we like about it?
- The full suspension design allows you to go for more technical route challenges.
- The new upgraded carbon frame is not only light enough, but it will surprise you with its sturdiness.
- Large capacity battery to give you more range in your ride.
- The Shimano XT M8120 4-piston hydraulic disc brake gives you an unparalleled braking experience.
- The Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain has easier shifting and a more dense gear ratio, so you can get a better ride in any situation.
What we don’t like about it?
- Despite the carbon frame, some people think it’s still relatively heavy for a normal full-suspension bike (if you notice its high-capacity battery, which is probably a common problem with high-capacity battery electric mountain bikes).
- It has a price that discourages many people.
What is the frame material of Trek Rail 9.8 XT?
The Trek Rail 9.8 XT frame material is a NEW OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame.
What is the drivetrain of the Trek Rail 9.8 XT?
The Trek Rail 9.8 XT’s drivetrain is the Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain.
What heights are Trek Rail 9.8 XT suitable for?
Size chart for Trek Rail 9.8 XT.
|S||153 – 167 cm5’0″ – 5’6″|
|M||161 – 175 cm5’3″ – 5’9″|
|L||174 – 188 cm5’9″ – 6’2″|
|XL||186 – 196 cm6’1″ – 6’5″|
Trek Rail 9.8 XT Specs
|Frame||NEW OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame, 1.8” lower head tube, Removable Integrated Battery (RIB), Knock Block 2.0, guided internal routing, 34.9mm seat tube, magnesium rocker link, Motor Armor, Mino Link, ABP, Boost148, 12mm thru-axle, 150mm travel|
|Fork||RockShox ZEB Select+, DebonAir spring, Charger 2.1 RC damper, eMTB optimized crown, tapered steerer, 44mm offset, Boost110, 15mm Maxle Stealth, 160mm travel|
|Shock||RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate RT3, DebonAir spring, Thru Shaft 3-position damper, 230mm x 57.5mm|
|Max compatible fork travel||170mm (580mm axle-to-crown)|
|Wheel front||Bontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru-axle|
|Wheel rear||Bontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, Rapid Drive 108, 6-bolt, Boost148, 12mm thru-axle|
|Skewer rear||Bontrager Switch thru-axle, removable lever|
|Tire|| Size: M, L, XL|
Bontrager SE5 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, Core Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 120 tpi, 29×2.50”
|Tire part||Bontrager TLR sealant, 6oz|
|Max tire size||Frame: 29×2.60″ Fork: See manufacturer|
|Shifter||Shimano XT M8100, 12 speed|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano XT M8100, long cage|
|Crank||E*thirteen E*spec Plus, 34T, 165mm length|
|Cassette||Shimano XT M8100, 10-51, 12 speed|
|Chain||Shimano XT M8100, 12 speed|
|Pedal||VP-536 nylon platform|
|Max chainring size||34T|
|Saddle||Bontrager Arvada, austenite rails, 138mm width|
|Seatpost|| Size: M|
Bontrager Line Elite Dropper, 150mm travel, MaxFlow, internal routing, 34.9mm, 440mm length
|Handlebar||Bontrager Line Pro, OCLV Carbon, 35mm, 27.5mm rise, 780mm width|
|Grips||Bontrager XR Trail Elite, nylon lock-on|
|Stem||Bontrager Line Pro, 35mm, Knock Block, Blendr compatible, 0 degree, 45mm length|
|Headset||Knock Block Integrated, cartridge bearing, 1-1/8” top, 1.8” bottom|
|Brake||Shimano XT M8120 4-piston hydraulic disc|
|Brake rotor||Shimano RT76, 6-bolt, 203mm|
|Bicycles||Price||Drivetrain||Battery Capacity||Front Fork Travel||Click View|
|2023 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp||$6749.99||1×12||700Wh||160mm||Click View|
|2023 Santa Cruz HECKLER R / Carbon C / 29||$8749||1×12||720Wh||160mm||Click View|
|Scott Patron eRIDE 900 Tuned||$8999.99||1×12||750Wh||160mm||Click View|
|2022 Nukeproof Megawatt 297 RS||$9095||1×12||630Wh||170mm||Click View|
2022 Trek Rail 9.8 XT VS 2023 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp
You can see that the 2023 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp has a carbon frame, but the Trek Rail 9.8 XT’s newly upgraded OCLV carbon frame will provide an even better ride.
If you’re more concerned about battery capacity, you’ll find that the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp has a 700Wh battery, which is slightly less durable than the Trek Rail 9.8 XT, which has a massive 750Wh battery.
And in actual riding, it was found that the motor of the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp produces some noise at high torque. Despite the same four-piston hydraulic brakes, the SRAM Code RS four-piston brakes did not perform as well as the Trek Rail 9.8 XT Shimano XT M8120 four-piston brakes.
And, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp is now priced at $6,749.99 from the original $9,000. So if you want to invest I think Trek Rail 9.8 XT will be more suitable.
If you’re more concerned about better range, I think the Trek Rail 9.8 XT might be an unmissable choice for you.
2022 Trek Rail 9.8 XT VS 2023 Santa Cruz HECKLER R / Carbon C / 29
This Santa Cruz HECKLER R / Carbon C / 29 is set up with the same removable battery as the Trek Rail 9.8 XT. This not only reduces the hassle of not having a long enough charging cable but also makes it easier for the rider to operate and maintain the battery afterward. However, the Santa Cruz HECKLER R / Carbon C / 29 has a smaller battery capacity than the Trek Rail 9.8 XT. So the Trek Rail 9.8 XT will be stronger in terms of battery life.
Also, in actual riding, this Santa Cruz HECKLER R / Carbon C / 29 climbs with a complimentary performance. Its smooth chassis is very solid, the excellent geometry makes for a balanced ride and the excellent pedals are well-supported. It has to be said, however, that the lighter carbon frame compared to the Trek Rail 9.8 XT will be of slightly more interest to those seeking lighter mass.
However, the Trek Rail 9.8 XT not only has an upgraded OCLV carbon frame with more flexible handling. The 1×12 drivetrain is also simpler and faster and has a stunning performance on the dropouts and climbs.
If, however, you are focused on a high-capacity battery and a quieter, more agile ride, I think the Trek Rail 9.8 XT would be a good one to try.
2022 Trek Rail 9.8 XT VS 2022 Scott Patron eRIDE 900 Tuned
It is worth mentioning that the Scott Patron eRIDE 900 Tuned not only uses the Bosch Performance CX EU motor but also has a battery capacity of 750 Wh. So it is on par with the Trek Rail 9.8 XT in terms of battery and motor configuration.
However, if you notice the weight, even though both bikes have carbon frames, you’ll notice that the Trek Rail 9.8 XT is 1.31Ibs lighter than the Scott Patron eRIDE 900 Tuned, so for an expensive carbon bike the Scott Patron eRIDE 900 Tuned is a bit heavier. is a bit heavier.
In addition, the protection around the motor Scott Patron eRIDE 900 Tuned is not as detailed as the Trek Rail 9.8 XT. And I hope it can have more detailed protection in this aspect.
But the Scott Patron eRIDE 900 Tuned has a much brighter performance on the climbs. The huge traction and excellent pedal support the climbing plays a significant role in helping.
However, on the ride Trek Rail 9.8 XT has excellent performance on the descent. Whether it’s the powerful Shimano XT M8120 4-piston hydraulic disc brake or the excellent full suspension design, it has an excellent performance in descending to give you a better riding experience.
If you are more focused on detail and descent riding, the Trek Rail 9.8 XT may be to your liking.
2022 Trek Rail 9.8 XT VS 2022 Nukeproof Megawatt 297 RS
What makes it stand out is the electronic drivetrain of the Nukeproof Megawatt 297 RS. Not only is there a wide range of 1×12 speed options, but the wirelessly controlled electronic shifting also provides a better experience. And the extra-long fork travel of 170mm will also have excellent shock absorption ability in the face of bumpy descents.
However, in front of the 630Wh battery capacity of the Nukeproof Megawatt 297 RS Trek Rail 9.8 XT mega capacity 750Wh battery will catch the eye more. Not only does it have a longer battery life, but the removable design also makes it easier for you to charge and maintain.
Not to mention, its battery location is designed to be perfectly hidden in the frame, allowing your bike to have a sleeker and cleaner look even with its full performance pull.
Plus, it uses an aluminum frame for the $9,095 price tag. And with the Nukeproof Megawatt 297 RS weighing in at 54.4 Ibs, I would have preferred the Trek Rail 9.8 XT for those looking for a better carbon frame, as the new upgraded OCLV carbon frame and weight of only 51.59 Ibs had me hooked. Although the Trek Rail 9.8 XT is not an electronic drivetrain, the Swift Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain is just as good.
In short, if you are also a rider looking for a carbon frame experience, I think the Trek Rail 9.8 XT would be a good choice.
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