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!
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.
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.
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.