The latest additions to the ‘just-in’ area of BikeRadar HQ are these two belt-driven commuters from Trek – the minimalistic District and the souped-up Soho.
Trek have dubbed the £700 Soho an ‘Urban Assault Vehicle’ and after a quick ride and considering the components on this grey beast it’s easy to understand why.
The first thing you notice about the Soho is the lack of a traditional metal chain – in its place is a carbon composite belt drive, tucked away behind a protective guard. So no more grimy, heavy, rusting chain to maintain. Trek claim it’s stronger and more resilient than a chain too.
Other features include the rubber top tube bumper to protect the frame when you lean it up against railings, for example. Colour-coded mudguards are cool too for keeping the inevitable rain and crud away. Puncture-resistant Bontrager tyres are fitted as standard, to reduce the chances of flatting when you’re navigating city streets.
These rubber bits should are a useful way of protecting the top tube: Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
Great for protecting your frame
Taking care of the shifting is a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal hub, which is a perfect choice for something that’s going to be used day-in day-out in all weathers. It guarantees less maintenance and having no rear derailleur means one less thing to bash on the commute. You’ll be able to shift gear at a standstill too, ideal for changing down at the traffic lights.
The District: a slimmed down Soho
Trek district: Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
The £600 Trek District is a minimalist belt-driven singlespeed, but as you can see unlike the Soho, this is a shouty little number with its orange rims, bolts and frame/saddle paint.
Again taking advantage of a quiet, maintenance-free belt drive, the District has a carbon fork, lightweight aluminium frame, rear rack mounts and Bontrager’s puncture-beating tyres.
District dropout: district dropout Matthew Cole/BikeRadar
Look out for full reviews of both bikes in an upcoming issue of Cycling Plus magazine.