Connect with us

CONTACT US (editorial board)

365mountain bikes


TREK Rail 9.8 XT Gen 4 test: TREK's Enduro e-bike proposal

We tried Trek's most gravity e-bike model, namely the Rail, a model that winks at enduro.

Trek Rail Elia Zanini (8)
Rider: Elia Zanini - Photo: Davide Finetto

HI/LOW steering angle (°)Vertical tube (mm)Rear carriage (mm)Wheelbase (mm)Pos/Ant. travel
64,6 ° / 64,2 °450 mm428 mm448 mm150 / 160mm
Size 19″

The Trek Rail 9.8 is an e-bike whose use segment is Enduro, having a frame equipped with 150mm of travel and a 160mm fork at the front. Bosch CX motorization (intelligent system) with 750Wh PowerTube battery (625wh in size S). 29″ format.

The Rail 9.8 is a long-travel carbon e-MTB that tackles the most challenging trails just like its non-electric siblings, but will get you back to the top in an instant – Trek Bikes


The 9.8 model offers an OCLV Mountain carbon frame with modern geometries, a 750Wh battery, RockShox ZEB Select+ fork and RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Thru Shaft shock with Shimano XT 1×12 transmission. It features the Bosch motorization with the latest innovations introduced in the Performance Line CX smart system, including the new Mini Remote and the Bluetooth® System Controller display integrated into the top tube.

The System Controller on the top tube indicates the selected assistance level and the remaining battery charge. It is integrated perfectly into the top tube. Minimal look, it provides the necessary controls to manage power levels or to switch to Walk mode for assisted walking. There is also a handlebar control, more intuitive but also minimal. Present, as per tradition, is the Knock Block system which limits the rotation of the handlebar, useful to avoid causing damage to the frame in the event of a slip.

Bosch controller on the top tube and Knock Block

Intelligent eMTB and eMTB Lite modes automatically adjust assistance based on user input, so as to ensure the right amount of power according to needs.

The new frame is super resistant while the 34,9mm seat tube allows it to accommodate more robust telescopic seat posts. Oversized head tube is compatible with eMTB-optimized forks, reducing flex and increasing steering precision

Active Braking Pivot

Another system patented by Trek, which we have found in the American brand's bikes for several years, is the Active Breaking Pivot, that is, the fact of having a shock-absorbing scheme that works well even under the effect of braking (click here to learn more about the amortization schemes). How does this happen? Thanks to the fact that the Horst joint is made coaxially to the wheel axle, i.e. the joint between the high and low stays are in correspondence with the pin for mounting the rear wheel. See the video below for a refresher.

Thru Shaft Technology

Thru Shaft Technology, not new to Trek, eliminates the IFP chamber from the shock absorber which is replaced with a single piston with a rod that comes out of the shock during compression. See the video below to understand the system better.


What is it about? The Air Wiz system present on the shock absorber and fork, allows you to keep pressure controlled via Sram AXS application. Once the pressure has been sent, the installed software will warn us if the present pressure has remained unchanged or has lost pressure compared to the past.

ebike air wiz
Air Wiz


There are many versions of the Rail: starting point at €4799 up to the top of the range offered at €12.999. On each model we find a telescopic seat post based on the size (from 100mm of travel in size S up to 200mm in size XL. The battery, in some models, is also limited in size S.


The Trek Rail 9.8 in size L is recommended for heights between 177cm and 188cm, therefore on paper also a little larger than other bikes in its category. The reach and wheelbase are abundant, especially the latter, but the very vertical seat tube makes the biker's seat quite compact on the bike. In the geometry table we find 2 values ​​because the Rail, like almost all Trek models, features the Mino Link, i.e. the possibility of changing the geometry of the bike in a more or less aggressive position.

TgPosABActual seat tube angleCDEFGHIJKLMN

But how much autonomy does the Trek Trail have with a 750wh battery?

And here comes the usual question that we try to answer with some outing experiences. Let me start by saying that with the 750wh we really have a lot of autonomy! In my case, with a weight around 80kg in enduro clothing + backpack, I managed to cover 2000m of altitude difference (about 50km), in TOUR mode, still having a good 20/25% of battery left! Naturally, we repeat, the value changes based on our pedaling efficiency, it is not a constant for everyone.

If you shoot in ECO, reaching 3000m is not an impossible task (then naturally it also depends on the mileage), so these values ​​make you understand how much autonomy we have to spare. If we have a good pedal stroke, and are not too heavy, it allows us to complete a classic 35/40km granfondo with 1300/1400m of altitude difference on an e-mtb/turbo!

Below is our past video of autonomy tests with a new 625wh battery with Yamaha engine.


As we said, the new Bosch Performance CX 4gen (intelligent system) has become much smarter and friend of technology lovers thanks to the Bosch ebike Flow app which offers many interesting features. In terms of purely mechanical performance, the Bosch now offers pedaling with less friction and allows it to be pedaled easily with the engine off or the battery flat: thanks to the new freewheel which produces the classic ticking sound when you stop pedaling (only for a few moments) . The powers are 85Nm of torque and power of 250W.

Maximum support level** (%)340%
Maximum possible tensile torque (Nm)85 Nm
DepartureVery sporty
Maximum support up to25 km/h
Intelligent walking assistance with hill assistx
Automatic gear recognitiongear integrated into the hub no****
derailleur gear yes
Weight : about 2,9 kg
Continuous rated power250 W
Maximum power600 W
Maximum power at a cadence of 70 rpm600 W
Maximum power based on weightapproximately 207 W/kg
The new BOSCH system also has an integrated anti-theft system

The modes remain 4: ECO, TOUR, EMTB (adaptive based on the push we give on the pedals) and TURBO. 750Wh battery: now the autonomy is truly infinite and allows us to do laps of substance (provided our weight is not too substantial too). The battery can be removed thanks to the classic Bosch key on the down tube (after removing the plastic cover which does not require tools). Otherwise the classic connection on the tube remains without having to remove the battery.


The Rail is a bike of substance: it is not a light e-bike and sitting on the saddle gives us a feeling of robustness and stability. The seat is quite compact despite a very long wheelbase (1278mm): this is given by the fact that the vertical tube marks a value of around 77°. All these numbers, on the trail, are transformed into a bike that gives great satisfaction uphill. Yes, you understood correctly, I started the test by talking about the climbing qualities of the Trek Rail, a bike that was created to be an Enduro.

The long wheelbase and vertical seat angle make it stable and less inclined to lighten the front end compared to its other competitors. Then the shock-absorbing scheme is in full Trek style, that is, very plush (soft), a term that I have often used in the past on bikes of this brand. This means that you always have the sensation of having grip on the technical uphill sections. Then the steps forward by Bosch, as well as by other competitors, make these e-bikes increasingly linear in terms of delivery.

I remember that it is possible to modify many parameters of the Rail thanks to the Bosch Smart System which allows the battery, motor and drive unit to communicate with each other and therefore allows you to adjust the drive unit via the app (we talked about it here).

Trek Rail Elia Zanini (8)

But downhill? Downhill the Rail is stable. Damn stable. An e-bike planted on the ground, in the true sense of the word, capable of giving a lot of satisfaction even to less advanced riders. It's not the most fun bike on the market, if by fun we mean a bike you can ride around the trail with, but it does a lot of speed. For this reason I also recommend it for a competitive user, given that I found myself recording times in line with my muscular enduro. The components are of a high standard and this certainly helps: the 4-piston Shimano XTR brakes offer a lot of power.

34,1cm: this is the value I would like to focus on. This is the height of the bottom bracket from the ground in the Low version. A very low value which gives a huge advantage on flow routes: a well-planted and easily steerable bike which pleasantly surprised me on the faster routes. Precise and performing.

However, on very technical and stony tracks, or on uphill "trial style" sections, the low ground clearance often leads to digging up the ground. So if you often use the e-bike off the beaten track or on trails that are not properly groomed, it is an aspect to take into consideration and, in this case, I recommend using it in the High position.

Trek Rail Elia Zanini (8)

The shock block actually works and makes the Trek Rail perfect for long rides. Trek's RIB (Removable Integrated Battery) system is easy to use, the battery remains protected in the frame but can be removed without having to use tools. Of note is the excellent door designed by Trek for the charger attachment: it seals well and is resistant.


Particular signs CARBON FRAME
Quality OCLV Mountain Carbon frame with oversized seat tube and head tube – great choices for a gravity e-bike product.


Rear shock absorbing scheme
Frame stiffness (and lifetime warranty)
Door for battery connection
-Low bottom bracket height (if you are a rider who rides on "ungroomed" terrain)


€ 9.799 €
Official Website:  
Weight (without pedals)23,6kg
ForkROCKSHOX ZEB Select+ 160mm
Shock absorberROCKSHOX Super Deluxe Select+ RT, 230mm x 57,5mm
HandlebarBONTRAGER Line Pro, OCLV carbon, 35 mm, 27,5 mm rise
Handlebar stemBONTRAGER Line Pro, 35mm, Blendr compatible, 0 degrees, 45mm length
wheelsBONTRAGER Line Comp 30, Tubeless Ready, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru axle, 29″
MotorizationBOSCH Performance Line CX, Smart System, magnesium motor body, 85 Nm
BatteryBOSCH PowerTube 750Wh (625wh in size S)
ServiceBONTRAGER SE5 Team Issue and BONTRAGER SE6 Team Issue
Rear gearboxSHIMANO XT M8100, long cage
commandsSHIMANO XT M8100, 12 speed
BrakesSHIMANO XT M8120 4-piston hydraulic disc
Buy BoxesSHIMANO XT M8100, 10-51, 12-speed
DiscsSHIMANO RT76, 6 bolt, 203mm
Rolling mill chocksETHIRTEEN Espec Plus, length 165mm
seatpostBONTRAGER Line Elite, 170mm travel
SellaBONTRAGER Arvada, austenite rails, 138mm width
ColorBlack (test) / Red / Yellow

The verdict

An e-bike with stability to spare

The Trek Rail 9.8 XT is a super stable and high-performance enduro e-MTB. It is a vehicle with a racing connotation which can however also be appreciated by bikers with not too much experience (but a robust build), given the stability which gives you a lot of confidence. If you are a smaller biker and not with much experience, perhaps it is better to go for a slightly lighter and less tanky model (this applies not only to the Rail). The intelligent Bosch system embellishes this e-bike with many interesting features in terms of customization.

Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').


BCA High tech Performance andrea brioschi BCA High tech Performance andrea brioschi

[VIDEO] High Tech BCA Performance: chat with Andrea Brioschi

Puliti Dentro Biker Fuori

Trek Italia closes its doors: bad news from the Bergamo headquarters


Podium and well know ghe enduro 2024 Podium and well know ghe enduro 2024

Daniel Cavosi unbeatable at the EBSG Enduro in Lugo di Grezzana

Racing World


365mountainbike is a newspaper registered at the civil and criminal court of Verona on 10/01/2012
Copyright © 2019 | 365 sport srl (04835100233)
via Brenta, 7 - 37057 San Giovanni Lupatoto (VR)

© 365 sport srl All rights reserved. The articles contained in the site cannot be copied or reproduced by other means without a license granted by the author. The public reproduction of a content of the site, in whole or in part, by any means, without the express written permission of the author, is prohibited.