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Trek city and commuter bikes for 2009

by Richard Masoner

Commuter bikes were front and center at last weekend’s Trek World 2008 dealer show in Madison, with the singlespeed District stealing the show. This flat bar urban screamer features the Gates carbon belt drive that shaves nearly 280 grams from the weight of the bike, according to Trek. No lubrication is required for belt drives, which “produces a ninja quiet ride.”

The District has several interesting details including color matched Bontrager Inform saddle, rims, accents on the stem face plate, and even contrasting colored water bottle bolts!

Trek District

I’ve tried belt drives on a folding bike and a mountain bike (both singlespeed) and I’ll attest that the ride is indeed spooky quiet. I really like low maintenance, low mess, and low noise, all of which are features of the Gates belt drive system.

The Trek Soho is a different city bike in Trek’s existing product line. For 2009, Trek introduces a belt drive version of this popular bicycle. According to Trek, the Nexus 8 speed hub will replace the Alfine hub used on 2008 models. While the demo at the show came equipped with a minimal chainguard and fenders, these are apparently optional features.

Trek Soho

Another outstanding new offering was the Trek Allant, a fairly straight forward bike that eschews the suspension bits of a common hybrid for a standard rigid fork and seat post. A rack is standard equipment, as are fenders, and it comes with Shimano Easy Fire shifters instead of the more common Grip Shift usually found on this sort of rig. The price was sub-$500 for this basic commuter/utility bike. The WSD version trades the rear rack for a front rack, a step through frame, and otherwise is a similar bike.

Trek Allant commuter bike

The Simple City series continues with the three and eight speed internally geared hubbed bikes. The Simple City 8′s being the models that are coming with the front baskets. According to Trek sales reps, Simple City series has been hugely successful, which bodes well for seeing some possible refinements or additions in the future.

A huge thank you to Guitar Ted for the text and photos. G-Ted writes for Crooked Cog site Twenty Nine Inches, where you can find more goodies from Trek in the 29er mountain bike realm.

 
Burley nomad 229

26 Responses to “Trek city and commuter bikes for 2009”

  1. Andrew says:

    Those look great. How well to these belt drives hold up to stretching/wear long term? and any idea on how expensive replacing them is vs. chains?

    I tend to stretch chains out some, something to do with riding hilly roads :p

  2. Fritz says:

    They’re similar to timing and serpentine belts on cars, which should be replaced every 50,000 miles or so. Compare against 3,000 mile replacement for bike chains.

  3. Fritz says:

    I should add these aren’t rubber belts — they don’t stretch like rubber bands.

  4. Siouxgeonz says:

    Oh, boy, a belt that lasts 50,000 miles? I don’t have hills, but I stretch those bad boys out…

  5. James says:

    What? Are you telling me chains don’t last 50,000 miles. OK, I am joking, but I do have an old singlespeed mtb with a seriously stretched chain that has to have close to half that many miles on it. The chainring and cog are obviously very worn too so I am way past the point of changing just the chain (though I have had to swap a few links a couple times). My guess is that I can get another few years use out of it before replacing the chainring and cog too. Anyway, the point is that chains last longer than people give them credit to last, but yeah, if you wait too long you are in for replacing a lot more. That is a fine line, so a chain checker is a pretty useful tool.

  6. jj says:

    I’ve never worn out a chain ever on any bike i’ve ever had. only broke the once.

    please give more details on belt drive/when these bikes will be available.

  7. Ringer says:

    Belt drive or chain notwithstanding, that District sure is a beaut. Wow. Anyone know if you can run a belt drive on a fixie? The District is the kind of bike that just looks like it should be fixed gear…

  8. Roger says:

    .┬┤ve heared of some guys from Germany called Fixie Inc. which have had shown some kind of that recently.. belt driven fixed gear. rad!

  9. Bobby says:

    The issue is that the rear belt drive cog is not threaded, it slides over a typical Shimano freehub body.

  10. Ghost Rider says:

    Hmmm…that opens up a fixed-gear possibility, then. Replace the freehub with a Surly Fixxer, and you just might be able to have the world’s most silent fixie!

  11. Lori says:

    I was just at my Trek dealer and he said the City Bike also came in 24 speed. Did you see that as well?

  12. CJ says:

    The District looks beautiful. I am really diggin that bike. How much $$$$. If it is sub 700.00 I would be interested.

  13. Fritz says:

    I’m not sure if we’re allowed to say yet but it’s definitely more than $700. You can expect bike prices from everybody to be *much* higher in 2009.

  14. AC says:

    My LBS said the District MSRP is $980 (if I recall correctly), but they will list it for $849 and should start shipping late Dec or Jan. They also said since they are one of a biggest dealers they may be able to get it in Nov.

  15. I love the idea of belt drive. Silent, smooth, and oil-free. But how do they get around the problem with sprocket alignment when you change a tyre? Unless this is perfect, the belt skips off the sprockets. If they’ve got a solution (other than “take your bike to your local Trek dealer, who’ll use our patented laser wheel alignment rig”) for this . . . I’m sold on it!

  16. argile says:

    The way it works is that you tension the belt with the 2 horizontal adjustment bolts. Once that is set, the rear wheel will dropout like a standard derailleur design. There is no tension/adjustments needed when changing a tyre. Flawless.

  17. spokendan says:

    i am in australia and just got the soso s but now want the district, when and how for me down under

  18. vang says:

    i really like the District. I’ve been comparing it against the versions from Specialized Langsters. However, my heart would like to see one with disc brakes, is that possible option for the District?

  19. creede says:

    Argile is right about the belt tensioning. I had the same question about how it worked. This was their answer.

    http://trekdistrict.com/2008/10/28/belt-tensioning/

  20. xiousgeonz says:

    They need an editor. effected or affected by removing a wheel?

  21. jaydee says:

    Sorry but just because your chain doesn’t break doesn’t mean that it isn’t worn out. Even with meticulous maintenance a chin will become worn and will in turn wear out your cluster and to a lesser extent your chain rings. A chin must be replaced or it will cost you more than a chain, beside your shifting will improve.

  22. Ruth says:

    Does anyone know where to find the basket pictured on the Allant WSD above? It’s European in style and perfect.

  23. Ringer says:

    @Ruth: I’m not sure where to get that exact basket, but check out Peterboro Baskets in NH. They make them all by hand. My mom got one for her cruiser and loves it.

    http://www.peterborobasket.com/c-48-bicycle-baskets.aspx

  24. Ruth says:

    Ringer,
    Thanks, I will look at their baskets.

  25. Lee says:

    Love that chain drive! No more going into the office with grease stains on the pant legs.

    I don’t get why they have to make that bike a single speed though. Single speed bikes are no good outside of a few flat cities. Why couldn’t they use a multi-speed hub?

  26. Karen says:

    The Simple City – a thing of grace and beauty – but no chainguard. Pity.

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