Trek Belt Driven Bikes: District and Soho

February 2, 2009 Sports and Outdoors : Sports By


It’s safe to say that very little has changed on bicycles since they first became popular at the beginning of the 20th century.   So, when I saw the new Trek District and Soho, I instantly thought “GAME CHANGER.” Trek has gone all Mavericky on us and dropped the ubiquitous chain for a new carbon fiber belt driven system on both bikes.

According to their website, “The belt drive is a carbon fiber composite belt reinforced to prevent stretch. The worry-free, lube-rejecting, lighter-than-any-chain-you’ve-ever-owned belt also produces a ninja-like quiet ride.”

What this means to you:

  • One, no lube means no grease stains on the pants, which are a big deterrent if you’re on your way to the office.
  • Two, removing the toothy sprocket and the adding a belt guard means your new Bonobos shouldn’t get torn up.
  • Third, these belts have an advertised lifespan of three years, as opposed to the typical one year life of a chain.  Plus, they require no lube, so they’ll take less time and money in maintenance.
  • Finally, unlike past failed belt driven bikes, this one has teeth built in so there is no slippage, regardless of weather conditions or how hard you pedal, key for dodging cars at rush hour.

Editor’s Note: There are a few things to consider: both bikes have aluminum frames, which are generally thought to have inferior ride quality to CroMoly. For those of you looking for a fixed gear, the District does not have a flip-flop hub.  Trek is developing an in house solution, but nothing yet.  The District is a single speed and the Soho has an internal hub 8-speed, so one or the other should fill your commuting needs and wants. Bonus points to the District for rocking the GP colors.

Cost: $930-$990

Also See: Giant TCR Advanced 3 | Mission Bicycle

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