An evolution not a revolution | Trek refines the Rail for 2022

The Trek Rail was first launched in 2020 as a successor to the Powerfly LT. Basically designed to be an electrified Slash, with 150mm of rear travel and a 160mm fork, it was one of the first bikes we saw equipped with Bosch’s 4th gen motor.

For 2022 the top-spec models get an update, with the 9.9, 9.8 and Project One builds seeing refined geometry, Bosch’s latest Smart e-Bike suite and some never before seen electronic ‘Wiz’ardry.


2022 Trek Rail Overview

This update is only coming for the top-end models of the Rail, with the 9.7 and below continuing in their current form. The bike is still based around 150mm of rear travel, a 160mm fork and comes stock with 29in wheels.

The Rail is essentially designed to be a Slash that will help you get up the climbs faster and ride further.

The frame also sees the Knock Block 2.0 headset with an expanded 72-degree steering radius.  Should you dislike the abrupt steering stop, you can remove the steering limiter, and Trek has ensured the fork crown will clear the top tube.

Also carried through is the RIB battery mount. Here the battery integrates almost seamlessly into the downtube but can be removed from the bike with the turn of a key, and there is even a carry handle.

The RIB system is super convenient and we’re stoked to see this carried through

Rail Geometry

Following on from the new Slash that launched last year, the Rail has been brought more in line with its analogue enduro stablemate.The overall changes to geometry are not a full ground-up rebuild, they are more subtle.

Trek Rail

Starting at the reach, the 2022 frame is an average of 19mm longer than its predecessor across the size range. The reasoning for this is twofold; added stability, and to create extra space for the larger 750wh battery. The seat angle has steepened by 2-degrees, the head angle is 0.3-degrees slacker, and the stack height has increased by 7mm.

Trek has brought through its Mino-link flip-chip, and the figures above are all in the high position. When you flip the chip, the BB drops by 5mm, slackening the head angle to 64.2-degrees, and the seat angle to 76.7-degrees.

Trek Rail
Trek has only made minor tweaks to Rail’s geometry.
The Mino-link has been carried through to the new Rail and allows for a mullet rear wheel without blowing the geometry.

Trek should have renamed its Mino-link flip-chip the ‘Mullet’ link because swapping it into the high position makes the bike compatible, with a 27.5in rear wheel. This of course also has an effect on the geometry, bringing the headtube angle to 63.9-degrees and the seat angle to 76.4-degrees.

The new Rail won’t be sold as a mullet, but the frame has been designed to accommodate the smaller wheel if you so please.

Trek Rail
The Rail is ready and waiting for a new haircut, you just need a wheel and an allen key.

Bosch Smart System

The new Rail is one of the first bikes equipped with Bosch’s updated Performance CX Smart suite. This was an incremental update to the Gen4 drive system, that added Bluetooth connectivity to the components that give the motor directions, and saw a new eBike Flow app to make it all work.

Through the app, you will be able to run over the air firmware updates, customise assist modes, and it give you reminders about service intervals.

Bosch didn’t up the specs on the motor with the latest Smart series of parts, but it did upgrade everything else.

The Performance CX Smart System motor is largely unchanged from its ‘dumb’ sibling, however, all the ancillary parts received a much needed revamp. There’s the new 750Wh Powertube battery, the LED Remote, and the full-colour Kiox display.

You can read more about Bosch’s new Performance CX Smart System here.

Green means go, red means grab your shock pump because you need more air.

The Wiz

Launching along with Rail is RockShox’s new AirWiz. This electronic pressure gauge measures the air pressure in your shock and fork, and flashes a red or green light depending if the reading matches what you’ve set in the SRAM AXS app. AirWiz does not offer the auto damping you get with Flight Attendant, nor does it offer tuning suggestions like ShockWiz, it’s purely a diagnostic tool.

The ShockWiz is a pressure gauge attached to the fork and shock.

The AirWiz sensors are integrated into the RockShox Zeb fork and custom Super Deluxe, which is also brought across from the Slash. This specially built rear shock sees Trek’s Thru-Shaft damper, and also receives the offset rebound adjuster complete with the numbered dial

The other new Wiz that’s launching alongside the Rail, is the Bontrager Line 30 carbon wheel with an integrated TyreWiz. Previously these tyre pressure sensors have only been integrated into the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO.

This is the first time we have seen the TyreWiz integrated into a non-Zipp wheelset.

Initially, we were quick to turn our noses up at the thought of more batteries to look after, especially in the name of tracking parameters experienced riders don’t need constant reminders to check. However, for newer riders, or for shops setting people up, the AirWiz especially, will make life so much easier. There is only a sliver of the market dropping the cost of a used Toyota Camry on a new bike that doesn’t know how to set sag, but those folks are out there, and this will help them ride better. For the rest of us and beginner riders with a modest budget, it’s also likely to trickle down at some point.

Anything else we should know?

We’ve seen a few e-MTB’s adopt the 1.8in tapered steerer (gasp!), and the Rail is the latest to jump on board with this new standard, promising to make the front end more stout and help the tubes blend better aesthetically.  New standards are always annoying, but for a 23kg e-MTB, it makes sense to use the widest possible tubing to prevent unwanted flex, especially given the type of riding for which this bike is designed. Also getting fatter is the seat tube, which like the Slash, has moved to a 34.9mm internal diameter.

Inside the front triangle, the sizes M, L and XL have room for a water bottle, but the size S frame will only take the Bontrager Voda 15 (444ml) bottle. Worse, if you’re a small rider who wants the AirWiz rear shock, you’d better have a backpack because the sensor takes up that prime real estate.

2022 Trek Rail pricing and spec

As we mentioned at the top, this update only applies to the 9.9, 9.8 and Project One models of the Rail. The remainder of the range has the same frame, and standard Bosch Performance CX e-Bike kit.

Given these are the most Gucci builds Trek offers it should come as no surprise pricing starts at $12,299.99 AUD for the 9.8 and $15,999.99 AUD for the 9.9. There is a jump from XT to XTR in drivetrain components between the models, but the main difference is whether or not it’s Wiz equipped. Read on for the full spec.

Trek didn’t provide us with an image of the 9.8 build, so imagine this frame with an XT drivetrain, no ShockWiz or TyreWix and a Bontrager Line Elite Dropper.

Trek Rail 9.8 XT

This is the all singing all dancing rail, with the electronic pressure gauges on the suspension and wheels, and Shimano XTR components.

Trek Rail 9.9 XTR

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