Is Trek Rail 9.7 Worth Buying? [Trek Rail 9.7 Review]

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Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2

  • Price: $7,773.34
  • Frame: OCLV Mountain Carbon
  • Gear: 1×12
  • Tires: 29×2.50″

What we like about it: The electrical energy boost and full suspension design allow you to take exciting riding trips more powerfully.

What do we don’t like about it: Some people think that the relatively heavy body will cause some hindrance to riding.

Rating: (4.9/5)

2023 Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2

Moving up rough and steep roads, challenging fast descents and crazy climbs, has always been a dream place for us thrill-loving riders. But in such an environment, what we need won’t be simple mountain bikes, we need powerful, wild off-road bikes.

The Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 has a unique OCLV carbon frame, a RockShox Domain RC fork with excellent 160mm of travel, and a RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock with 150mm of travel.

The wide range of Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain makes us marvel at its performance in the rough and changeable mountains.

Over three months, this Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 has taken us to the dangerous and exciting trails of the Allegheny Mountains Loop and through the stunning farmland dirt roads.

Not only did we enjoy the beautiful and seductive mountain scenery of the Allegheny Mountains Loop, but we also got to see the bountiful fields of the fall countryside.

Yes, we can’t stop praising this electric Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 for its smooth climbing performance and its ability to move as if it were one with the trail.

Below we review the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 for mountain climbing, forest descents, general riding, key features, components and specs, and other versions.

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Trail Climbing

I have a question: what are the subjective factors that affect climbing, besides the objective factors of bumps and variable terrain and the configuration of the bike, that are worth thinking about? I have an immature thought about this. During the second half of the climb, the rider’s physical strength is an important factor in whether the climb will be enjoyable.

For many older riders who are already older but still maintain an adventurous spirit, not having enough stamina is a problem.

Based on these considerations, in addition to my real ride review, I also invited an experienced veteran rider to conduct a ride review.

Allegheny Mountains Loop

On this one, we hit the Allegheny Mountains Loop, a densely forested area with stunning views, but rugged and varied trails that also had us a bit worried. However, in the actual ride, the bike made our worries disappear into thin air.

With the fast-operating Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain, we switched to the most suitable gear ratio. In the beginning, we had enough energy to go for an easy ride.

The Bontrager XR5 Team Issue tires, which also have superb grip, not only kept me relatively fast through the turns, it also nestled tightly into the ground and didn’t send me flying out by going too fast.

Not only that, the Bontrager Arvada Saddle’s unique cutout design adds to the comfort level. The use of softer materials not only makes our ride more comfortable but also provides better support for smoother climbing.

That said, both this veteran rider and I were a bit stretched out during the second half of the climb. This is where the lighter, smaller, quieter Performance Line CX motor turned the super-powerful Bosch PowerTube 625 into the kinetic energy we needed to keep us laughing on the second half of the climb.

Yes, this e-bike, with its extra-large capacity Bosch PowerTube 625, will allow anyone to climb long trails.

Forest-Road Descending

We enjoyed a breathtaking view of the Allegheny Mountains Loop from the top. Immediately, we followed the same route for the downhill ride. A lighter pro-speed bike would probably perform better on such a steep and varied route descent.

So many people would think that the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2, which weighs 50.62 lbs, might be difficult to control when descending because of its relatively heavy body. But the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 may surprise these people with its performance.

Based on the powerful Shimano 4-piston hydraulic brakes, there is a braking force that you can fully trust when facing a descent. The outstanding Bontrager Line dropper also served as a shock absorber during my descent. The adjustable dropper keeps us in a proper position and has a safer descent ride.

Further, the powerful Bontrager Comp Handlebar provides a stable base of control for the forward direction on this wonderful forest road.

Still impossible to ignore on the descent are the bike’s Bontrager XR5 Team Issue Tires, a powerful tread pattern on a lightweight construction that gives us a more powerful grip on the descent.

All in all, on this route, this Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 gave us some momentum through the battery on both climbs and descents. Great accessories also made for an easier and more enjoyable ride, as our veteran rider put it: “Off-road, it will bring more convenience and joy to their lives”!

General Riding

This quality e-bike has an impressive performance on your adventures. Likewise, it is indispensable in your daily life.

When you want to go to Walmart to buy necessities and don’t want to drive, this bike can take you to your destination leisurely and easily with the Bosch PowerTube 625 battery. When you don’t want to just look through the window, you can ditch your bike and take this e-bike to a park to enjoy the fall scenery or to see the sunset in the suburbs away from the city.

Even if you’re heading to work, this e-bike’s Bosch Performance CX motor and Shimano XT M81001×12 drivetrain will not only get you to work on time, but will also make it easier to park.

Main Features


2023 Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2

You probably can’t imagine what I said when I first saw this Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2. This wild Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 made me exclaim “Wow, Unbelievable!” as soon as I saw it.

For one, the frame of this bike is made of OCLV Mountain Carbon, giving it a weight of only 50.62 pounds. The unique material and precise layup process of this material give it a lighter mass, stronger stiffness, and more agile control performance.

Additionally, the internal cable setup not only keeps the cable in a safe position but also allows you to reduce the number of maintenance and have a longer service life while reducing your cleaning and maintenance costs.

If you notice the design of its Knock Block, you will notice that it protects your frame. The steering block is designed to prevent damage from excessive cable pulling. And it prevents the handlebars from touching the top tube, causing some hindrance to your ride.

In addition, Trek’s removable battery system is concealed in the downtube, making it more aesthetically pleasing and easy to remove without the usual problems of difficult disassembly for charging.

And the fully integrated removable battery system in the frame not only makes it easier and safer to charge but even provides a water bottle mounting hole for your water bottle cage to be mounted.

Yes, the rugged Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 has an extremely detailed frame design.


Regardless of the type of bike, scientifically thoughtful geometry design always leads to a more comfortable and efficient riding journey.

The steep head tube angle (75.4°) of this bike not only allows you to stay comfortably upright when you feel fatigued from riding but also allows you to pedal with ease. Also, the relatively standard BB drop (29mm) keeps your center of gravity in a proper position, maintaining a responsive enough turning ability while giving you relatively stable handling.

And the larger trail (127mm) provides higher speed stability. There is some support for self-correction of steering, which will be very useful when you take on rough and rocky trails.

Further, the relatively slack head tube angle (64.9°) makes your descents easier. Not only that, the relatively large wheelbase of this bike (1243mm) allows you to maneuver more consistently.

That’s right, a comfortable and snug geometry will always make your ride fully supported in every way.

Components and Specifications

Shimano XT M8100 1×12 Drivetrain

2023 Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2

Know that a great drivetrain will give you a more complete conversion of your kinetic energy. This will make your riding trip full of laughter.

This Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 is equipped with a Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain that, with Hypergilde+ technology, allows you to shift smoothly and flexibly to another gear even when you put a lot of pressure on the pedal.

Not only does it have more flexible and smooth shifting, but the Shimano 12-speed mountain bike cassette combined with a more dense 10-51 T also. Allows you to shift into the most appropriate gear even on technical route climbs or descents, giving you a more comfortable ride.

In addition to the smooth and flexible shifting, this drivetrain also focuses on its durability. Its rear derailleur uses more sturdy aluminum and steel, so you don’t have to wonder about its durability. However, it must be admitted that this also makes it a little heavier, but this is hardly felt by many riders.

Yes, if you are interested in this drivetrain, you might want to try this Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2.

Shimano 4-piston Hydraulic Disc Brake

Can you live with a bike that doesn’t have enough braking power? I can tell you without hesitation that I would say “No” to such brakes.

It is well known that electric bicycles can be relatively faster. Without a powerful brake, there is no way to get precise and powerful braking when you encounter the need to stop in a hurry, and unpredictable dangers may occur.

When I saw this Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc brake, I was still skeptical about its braking performance. But in the actual ride, it broke my doubts about it.

When I encounter high-speed driving, I need to brake in a hurry and this brake has a faster response time. As soon as I pressed the Shimano Deore BL-M6100 brake handle, the brake lever was able to absorb a large amount of braking distance due to Shimano’s SERVOWAVE technology, which activated the SHIMANO DEORE M6120 caliper extremely quickly and brought me to a stable and timely stop.

That said, the 4-piston calipers on these brakes not only enhance confidence and control downhill but also provide consistent braking performance in all conditions, allowing you to be more relaxed on your adventures.

Bontrager XR5 Team Issue Tires

2023 Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2

Outstanding tires that take you further, meet more like-minded riding partners, and experience more exciting rides.

The Bontrager XR5 Team Issue tire on this bike is a relatively light mountain bike tire. It allows for more powerful cornering traction without sacrificing rolling speed.

In addition, the center tread design and aggressive side treads allow it to adapt to more terrain. The proprietary TM-Grip compound and 120tpi construction provide confident cornering traction that will make your turns easier in tight or slick corners.

Not only that, the soft and lightweight casing makes your tires more wear-resistant. The puncture-proof protection also gives it longer service life. In addition, the vacuum tire is ready to go so you can achieve a more relaxed and enjoyable ride.

RockShox Domain RC Fork and RockShox Deluxe Select+ Rear Shock

Excellent rebound, outstanding ability to absorb vibrations, which is you swim in the bumpy route. One of the necessary factors for a comfortable ride, then, is the need for a shock absorber for the bike.

This RockShox Domain RC Fork with 160mm of travel is not only fender-compatible but more valuable is the DebonAir air spring that matches the reliable Motion Control RC dampers, allowing you to have a relatively lightweight with a responsive and fast rebound cushioning at the same time.

You’ll marvel at it even when you’re doing step-drops. Its extra-long travel of 160mm counteracts the feeling of more vibration by working without lag up and down retraction in the forward motion.

Turning our eyes again, we see its streamlined, easy-to-install Deluxe Select+ Rear Shock. It not only has the latest upgrades but offers maximum adjustability in an easy-to-install package.

In addition, the DebonAir+ air spring system not only has a lighter weight, but air as a softer medium offers more adjustment potential than ever before.

If you then focus on its 150mm of travel, you will understand that it will be suitable for more terrain and will impress more riders. Whether it is a shock fork or a rear shock system, they all have a locking function.

What is the purpose of such locking? This will allow you to lock in their damping function on flat surfaces, or when you want to experience exciting vibrations, reducing kinetic energy loss due to cushion retraction and achieving faster speeds.

Bosch Performance CX Motor and Bosch PowerTube 625 Battery

Do you know about electric motors? The motor converts the electrical energy contained in the battery into kinetic energy that drives the tires forward. Therefore, an excellent motor is essential in your electric bike.

The Bosch Performance CX Motor on this bike is lighter and quieter than its predecessor and has more agile handling. So as long as you charge it once, it can take you farther.

In addition, the intelligent eMTB mode automatically adjusts to changing terrain. And with a single setting, this mode always gives you the power you need, so you can focus on the ride.

Do you have this problem? The battery of your e-bike cannot be charged easily and you need to pull a long cable. Or the battery can’t be removed and it has to be exposed to the hot sun, wind, and rain.

As I’m sure you know, this will reduce the life of your e-bike, so Trek brings you this Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 that will solve these problems perfectly.

The Bosch PowerTube 625 is a new battery, 625Wh is a lot of capacity, but its size would make you think it might not be 625Wh, but if you ride it, you’ll see it’s not false advertising.

With a powerful battery capacity, high-density energy, and relatively lightweight, you can easily put it in a frame for optimal battery protection, and with an easy-to-remove and install setup, you never have to worry about charging again.

Other Versions of Trek Rail

In this review, we review this Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 with OCLV Mountain Carbon frame, RockShox Domain RC fork and RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock, Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrain, the Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, and other components.

To have a more comprehensive understanding, we found 11 versions of the same series of Trek Rail.

If your budget isn’t that full, there’s also the relatively price-friendly Trek Rail 5 500 W Gen 2. It uses a more affordable, extensive aluminum frame and the same Bosch 250W 85Nm mid-drive motor.

But the slightly more expensive Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 will perform better in terms of drivetrain. And the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 also has a large battery capacity, allowing you to ride farther.

If you want a more high-end ride, then this Trek Rail 9.9 XX1 AXS Gen 3, priced at $13,376.93, might be right up your alley.

This bike uses a higher-end carbon frame. The premium high-end Bosch Performance Line CX motor and battery also allow it to ride further. The electronically wireless SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS 1×12 drivetrain allows you to have an even better speed change experience. That said, this is a bike worth investing in.

The 11 versions of the Trek Rail series, each of bikes offers impressive performance. No matter what your needs are, you’ll find the perfect bike for you. Also in this series, all of our review partners have the most praise for this Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2, all things considered.

What do we like about it?

  • Super strong battery support and a lighter, higher quality motor allow you to not only ride farther but also keep you fully stretched to enjoy more good riding time.
  • Wide range of Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrains to make your shifting easier.
  • Powerful Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes for consistent braking in all conditions.
  • OCLV carbon frame, with stronger characteristics and lighter mass.
  • The premium Bontrager XR5 Team Issue tires give you faster speeds and outstanding wear resistance for longer life.

What do we don’t like about it?

Relatively few paint color options.

The slightly higher price makes it difficult for many people to afford.


  • What is the frame material of Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2?

The frame material of Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 is OCLV Mountain Carbon.

  • What is the tire size of Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2?

The Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 has a tire size of 29×2.50″.

  • What is the size of Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2?

Size chart for Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2.

SizeRider HeightInseam
S153 – 167 cm 5’0″ – 5’6″72 – 79 cm 28″ – 31″
M161 – 175 cm 5’3″ – 5’9″76 – 82 cm 30″ – 32″
L174 – 188 cm 5’9″ – 6’2″82 – 88 cm 32″ – 35″
XL186 – 196 cm 6’1″ – 6’5″87 – 92 cm 34″ – 36″

Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 Specs


FrameOCLV Mountain Carbon main frame, Removable Integrated Battery (RIB), tapered head tube, Knock Block, Control Freak internal routing, magnesium rocker link, Motor Armor, Mino Link, ABP, Boost148, 12mm thru axle, 150mm travel
ForkRockShox Domain RC, DebonAir spring, Motion Control damper, lockout, tapered steerer, 44mm offset, oversized crown for eMTB, Boost110, 15mm Maxle Stealth, 160mm travel
ShockRockShox Deluxe Select+, 230mm x 57.5mm
Max compatible fork travel170mm (580mm axle-to-crown)


Wheel frontBontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru axle
Wheel rearBontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, Rapid Drive 108, 6-bolt, Boost148, 12mm thru axle
Hub frontBontrager alloy, sealed bearing, alloy axle, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru axle
Hub rearSize: S, M, L, XL
Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, 6-bolt, Rapid Drive 108, Shimano MicroSpline freehub, Boost148, 12mm thru axle
Size: S, M, L, XL
Bontrager alloy, sealed bearing, 6-bolt, Shimano MicroSpline freehub, Boost148, 12mm thru axle
Skewer rearBontrager Switch thru axle, removable lever
RimBontrager Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru axle
TireBontrager XR5 Team Issue, Tubeless Ready, aramid bead, 120 tpi, 29×2.50”
Tire partBontrager TLR sealant, 6oz
Rim stripBontrager TLR
Max tire sizeFrame: 29×2.60″ Fork: See manufacturer


ShifterShimano SLX M7100, 12 speed
Rear derailleurShimano XT M8100, long cage
CrankE*thirteen E*spec Plus, 34T, 165mm length
CassetteShimano SLX M7100, 10-51, 12 speed
ChainShimano SLX M7100, 12 speed
PedalVP-536 nylon platform
Max chainring size34T


SaddleBontrager Arvada, steel rails, 138mm width
SeatpostSize: S
Bontrager Line Dropper, 100mm travel, internal routing, 31.6mm, 345mm length
Size: M, L, XL
Bontrager Line Dropper, 150mm travel, internal routing, 31.6mm, 440mm length
HandlebarBontrager Comp, alloy, 31.8mm, 15mm rise, 780mm width
GripsBontrager XR Trail Comp, nylon lock-on
StemBontrager Rhythm Comp, 31.8mm, Knock Block, 0 degree, 50mm length
HeadsetKnock Block Integrated, 58-degree radius, cartridge bearing, 1-1/8” top, 1.5” bottom
BrakeShimano 4-piston hydraulic disc, M6100 lever, M6120 caliper
Brake rotorShimano RT76, 6-bolt, 203mm


BatteryBosch PowerTube 625
ChargerBosch standard 4A (100-240V) charger
ControllerBosch Kiox with Anti-theft solution
MotorBosch Performance CX, magnesium motor body, 250 watt, 85 Nm, 20mph or 32km/h max assist


WeightM – 22.96 kg / 50.62 lbs
Weight limitThis bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 300 pounds (136 kg).


Comparison Table

Pivot Shuttle SL Ride SLX/XT$8,2991×1229 x 2.4″FAZUA RIDE 60 Click View
Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT 2 $7,5001×1229 x 2.6″Bosch Performance Line CX 250WClick View
Trek Rail 7 $6,649.991×1229 x 2.5”Bosch Performance CXClick View
Kona Remote 160 DL  $7,2991×1229 x 2.5″Shimano EP800 20MPHClick View

Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 vs Pivot Shuttle SL Ride SLX/XT

2022 Pivot Shuttle SL Ride SLX/XT

This Pivot Shuttle SL Ride SLX/XT has a much richer paint color scheme, so it may be of interest to riders who like more color. But the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 is also available in two paint color options.

The Pivot Shuttle SL Ride SLX/XT is only 36.25Ibs, not only because of its carbon frame but also because the battery capacity is only 430Wh, so the distance it can be ridden is not that long in practice.

Although the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 weighs in at 50.62Ibs, its frame is also made of premium oclv carbon. And it has a Bosch PowerTube 625 battery with a larger battery capacity, and the new Bosch Performance CX motor has a more efficient conversion capacity.

So whether in terms of speed or terms of riding distance, I think Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 has the absolute advantage. Not to mention it’s almost $525 cheaper.

If you want to ride further distances for adventure or camping, you might want to try the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2.

Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 vs Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT 2

2022 Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT 2

I was a little surprised to see that the Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT 2 has a fork with 170mm of travel. The extra-long travel of fork has a more sensitive and powerful damping effect. It also uses a Bosch 750Wh battery, which has more capacity and can be ridden for longer distances. But for its Magura MT5 4-piston hydraulic disc brake, it will be a bit less responsive in my actual riding.

Although the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 will be slightly inferior in terms of travel. But with the rear shock absorber and dropper configuration, its damping effect is not to be underestimated. In addition, the 1×12 drivetrain and Shimano 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes also have amazing performance in real-world riding.

If branding is more important to you, why not try Trek? Not to mention that Shimano brand brakes have always been well received.

Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 vs Trek Rail 7

2022 Trek Rail 7

The frame of this Trek Rail 7 is Alpha Platinum Aluminum, which is also a relatively strong and lightweight frame material. But the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2’s oclv carbon will be lighter and stronger. Both bikes are Shimano XT M8100 1×12 drivetrains, though, so they don’t give me any noticeable differences when it comes to shifting gears.

The hydraulic disc brakes are the same, giving them a stronger braking effect together. However, the heavier Trek Rail 7 is a little less powerful than the carbon Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2.

If, however, you are more comfortable with carbon, you may want to try Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2.

Learn More: Trek Rail 7 Review – Long-travel Electric Mountain Bike

Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 vs Kona Remote 160 DL

2021 Kona Remote 160 DL

The frame on this Kona Remote 160 DL is not the lighter carbon, but the more affordable aluminum frame. So it costs $7,299, which is about $474.34 cheaper than the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2. But for the higher price, you’ll have a better riding experience.

First off, we can see that the Kona Remote 160 DL uses a Shimano 504Wh battery, while the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 uses a Bosch PowerTube 625. the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen is slightly better in terms of battery capacity.

Moreover, in terms of drivetrain, although both have a wide 1×12 drivetrain, the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 will be more agile in real-world riding.
Also, the unique tire setup gives the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 excellent speed and traction.

Anyway, if you’re looking to go camping further afield with your bike, you might want to give the Trek Rail 9.7 Gen 2 a try.

In case, the above comments are helpful to you, please remember to share the subscription. Have a great day!

Learn more: Top 9 Best Mountain Bike Rear Shock – Make Your Rinding More Stable

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