Trek Rail 5 upgrades and advice appreciated

Blue Moon

Active member
Apr 17, 2019
135
183
North Manchester
Hi all, I’ve well over 2000miles on my PF7 and I’m now thinking it’s time for a change. My wife has a Rail 7 (red/black) and she loves it. There’s no way I could have an identical bike and the yellow/blue option isn’t to my liking. As the basic spec on all the lower Rails is the same I’m seriously looking at a Rail 5 625w. The one thing that I’m struggling with are the SRAM gears. I love the finger/thumb trigger on the Shimano set-ups. I appreciate the SX set-up can be upgraded to GX and at worst this is what I’ll do however can any of the following be done:

Can the Shimano trigger be used with the SRAM GX gears?

What is required to change to a complete Shimano set-up, does everything have to be changed?
 

tobster

Member
Apr 3, 2020
74
36
Oxford
Hi BM
I have a 2019 powerfly LT 9.7 and it came with shimano shifters. I prefer the SRAM gripshift so I've just swapped it over. It works flawlessly, therefore my experience is that Shimano and SRAM are compatible
 

knut7

Administrator
Author
Subscriber
Apr 10, 2018
659
1,186
Norway
To get maximum shifting performance from the Shimano 12s, you need the Shimano-cassette that is only compatible with the micro spline hubs/bodys. So you will either need a new wheel or a new cassette body. Or you could settle for less precise shifting and just get a new shifter and rear derailleur.

If you plan on upgrading the fork on the Rail 5 too then I'm pretty sure it'll end up being more expensive than the 7. And you've still got the cheaper brakes. Just get the 7 and vinyl wrap it? :)
 

Doomanic

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Jan 21, 2018
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Get a Rail 7 and have it wrapped rather than Invisiframed.
 
Apr 26, 2020
109
80
Out west
I have bikes with both systems. I grew up with Shimano but after using the Sram NX for a couple years and Shimano SLX and XT (7000 series?) They are both fantastic.

I wouldn't hesitate on an NX group. The NX is crisper I think. It won't jump up 2 or 3 gears at a time but you get used to that super fast. Are they putting Eagle on ebikes? I thought that they are usually 11 speed. Pretty sure the new Levo I'm riding is Sram 11sp

Also, the Sram bar mount is pretty slick and has some cool adjustment features to put it where you want it - if it feels awkward.
 

Blue Moon

Active member
Apr 17, 2019
135
183
North Manchester
Get a Rail 7 and have it wrapped rather than Invisiframed.
Get a Rail 7 and have it wrapped rather than Invisiframed.
Now wrapping sounds like an idea but surely there are some real tricking parts around the rear suspension where it would be awkward to get a decent finish. Have you had any experience with it? I’ve googled it and there’s a company, Shack Wrap in Bury (5 miles away) that do it. I’ll give em a call or ask even my LBS.
 

WilkyWay

Active member
Dec 26, 2019
120
102
Durham UK
Now wrapping sounds like an idea but surely there are some real tricking parts around the rear suspension where it would be awkward to get a decent finish. Have you had any experience with it? I’ve googled it and there’s a company, Shack Wrap in Bury (5 miles away) that do it. I’ll give em a call or ask even my LBS.

I invisiframed my Rail as soon as I got it, it’s surprisingly easy if you just follow the instructions, even around the suspension parts and strangely therapeutic if you’ve got a spare few hours. You can hardly tell it’s on unless you know where you’re looking.

95AB2A7B-D891-4DD7-8E0D-F1E9572560AA.jpeg
 

Blue Moon

Active member
Apr 17, 2019
135
183
North Manchester
I invisiframed my Rail as soon as I got it, it’s surprisingly easy if you just follow the instructions, even around the suspension parts and strangely therapeutic if you’ve got a spare few hours. You can hardly tell it’s on unless you know where you’re looking.

View attachment 31332
I really want a 7 but there’s only 2 colour schemes. As per yours (my wife’s is the same) and the day glow yellow & blue (can’t see me on that) hence my original post of the 5 in olive/black and gear upgrades. The wrapping in a different colour is a possibility but unlike invisiframe I think it’ll be tricky round the suspension component. Checked out ShackWrap in Bury and they only seem to do protective wraps not colour changes. A 7 with a colour change would be ideal.
 

Doomanic

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Jan 21, 2018
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Essential Wraps

In the Forest of Dean, so not close, but offer full bike wraps.

The biggest problem with the 5 is the forks as they are not upgradeable.
 

RAIL97

New Member
May 16, 2020
4
2
japan
I am replacing the RAIL 9.7 shifter and RD with shimano XT 12s. Other components remain SRAM NX.
There are no particular problems and it is very comfortable.
 

themonkster

Active member
Sep 27, 2019
75
74
Manchester
Trek Rail 5 Owner.

I originally ordered the 7 in the Red / Grey. My LBS couldn't get it for over 3 month's so they knocked my 500.00 off a Rail 5. I actually preferred the Green but liked the spec of the 7.

Before the bike left the shop. I had it Shack Wrapped in a Matt wrap. I'm local to Shack so he picked the bike up from the shop and dropped it back off before I'd even seen it.

I dropped some parts off I wanted changing to the LBS before I collected the bike.

Brakes - Shimano MT520/501 4 Pots + Ice Tech Rotors
Dropper Lever - One Up Components V2
Shifter - GX E-Mtb
Derailleur - GX Eagle
Tyres - Maxxis DHF 2.5 up front and Maxxis Aggressor 2.5 rear. Both set up with Tannus Armour

I'm really glad I went with the 5. I love the colour. I was a bit gutted it doesn't come with the 625kwh. I did a 40 mile ride the other day with 4000ft climbing and didn't kill the 500kwh. I'm happy with that.

It's handled everything I've thrown at it at the moment no trouble. Fantastic bike for the money.
 

Blue Moon

Active member
Apr 17, 2019
135
183
North Manchester
Trek Rail 5 Owner.

I originally ordered the 7 in the Red / Grey. My LBS couldn't get it for over 3 month's so they knocked my 500.00 off a Rail 5. I actually preferred the Green but liked the spec of the 7.

Before the bike left the shop. I had it Shack Wrapped in a Matt wrap. I'm local to Shack so he picked the bike up from the shop and dropped it back off before I'd even seen it.

I dropped some parts off I wanted changing to the LBS before I collected the bike.

Brakes - Shimano MT520/501 4 Pots + Ice Tech Rotors
Dropper Lever - One Up Components V2
Shifter - GX E-Mtb
Derailleur - GX Eagle
Tyres - Maxxis DHF 2.5 up front and Maxxis Aggressor 2.5 rear. Both set up with Tannus Armour

I'm really glad I went with the 5. I love the colour. I was a bit gutted it doesn't come with the 625kwh. I did a 40 mile ride the other day with 4000ft climbing and didn't kill the 500kwh. I'm happy with that.

It's handled everything I've thrown at it at the moment no trouble. Fantastic bike for the money.
If you’re local to Shack Wrap you’re probably local to me. Which LBS do you use, Cooksons Whitefield?
 

LunarHybrid

New Member
Jun 25, 2020
4
24
KCMO
This is my Rail 5 with a "few" bolt on's that have completely changed this bike. Started with ditching the dropper and derailleur with the Reverb dropper & AXS wireless derailleur which cleaned up the cockpit almost perfectly till I swapped out the "purion" for the "kiox" controller which seemed like the icing on the cake till I got my Sasquatch top tube cap. Then I scrapped the weak brakes with Sram Code RSC w/ 220 rotors that stops this beast perfectly. So for suspension I replaced the rear with a Rock Shox Super Deluxe with Meg Neg kit and tossed the stock fork for the 2021 Fox 38 Performance Elite 170 mm Fork. So to wrap up last major bolt on will be the wheels and shoes. Lastly slapped on 29" Bontrager Line Comp 30 with 29" 2.5 Maxxis Minion DHF up front, and 29" Bontrager Line Elite 30 with 29" x 2.6 Pirelli Scorpion eMTB R in the rear(Cush Core inserts & tubeless.). A few minor odds & ends, replaced both hubs(click,click,click,click), Session Grips, Bontrager flat pedals, tool kit/water holder kit, rear brake light, carbon wrap(lol,) few decals, and a pretty chain. I have just under 10K US and in my opinion is perfect build so far.
20200903_142213.jpg
20200903_142335.jpg
 

Hamina

E*POWAH Master
Subscriber
Mar 22, 2020
492
390
FIN
Trek Rail 5 2020 changelog

- Cushcore Pro 29" front + back wheel
- Cushcore valves (included)
- OKO Magicmilk tubeless
- Stans Tubeless tape
- Cane Creek Helm MK1 160mm coil front suspension
- Maxxis Minion DHR II + DHF tires
- EBC Redstuff brake pads front and rear (CFA493R)
- Volspeed V3

- SRAM GX Eagle derailleur (SX snapped to branch)
- SRAM GX Eagle chain (SX lasted 500km)
- SRAM GX Eagle trigger (Was so cheap and easy to replace the SX)
- SRAM NX Eagle cassette (tooth snapped from SX)

- Trek OEM freewheel/driver (old started to breakdown and the new as already play = shit formula quality)

GEARS
Gears feel ok and really hard to think what more I could ask from them. Not a limiter to my speed right now.

TIRES
Tubeless + new tires and maybe Cushocores ended tire problems totally. Few times training was expected.

SUSPENSIONS
Cane Creek Helm fork was a BIG game changer compared to sticky 35 Gold. Riding became so much smoother and more reliable and predictable.

BRAKES
Brakes have been decent. They could be even more powerful and sensitive(?) with one finger but they're ok at the moment. Shimano XT could be next step. New pads was 50% not needed as I could have sanded the old ones, but it was just too nice to buy cheap new pads and change them.

OTHER
Dropper started to became sticky but servicing got it a lifetime extension. Only feature that could be "nice to have" is to get it down with just a button. AXS can do this but 600 euros is totally too much for it.


Plans for future
- Coil rear shock or a shock that "pairs" with current Helm front suspension. Now it feels maybe a little unbalanced combo. Riding skills are too poor to make any deeper analysis.
- Pair of wheels DT Swiss EX511/FR560 with DT 350 hubs
- Kiox/Nyon/etc. upgrade should be considered when it's possible to get full bike datalog out of it. Now feels a bit startup thing.
 
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