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Old 09-09-2009, 12:06 AM   #1
TwoHeadsBrewing
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Default Bought a new Bike - Trek Soho 2009!

Pretty stoked, got a new bike last week!


I finally picked this bike up last week from the LBS for $899. I also rode the Trek 7.5FX and Gary Fisher Mendota, which were both very nice bikes around the same price point. After riding each for a good hour around our local park the Soho just seemed to be the smoothest and most comfortable ride. The 7.5fx was on sale for $820 and the Mendota was $1,050 so the Soho was just in between. I've been commuting to work on a Gary Fisher hard-tail MTB with Specialized Nimbus road tires, which has served me well but is starting to need some major work done on the drive train. All of these bikes blew my old MTB out of the water, but again the Soho had more of the commute-specific features. I came very close to picking up the Mendota which was a SWEET ride...but in the end it was just too expensive for the lighter frame and disc brakes.

This is a commuter bike, and if I want a racing/touring bike I'll go buy one specifically for that task. So far, here's what I think about the bike:

-pros-
Ease of Shifting - internal hub is very smooth and quiet
Quiet - belt drive has no slop and doesn't clang around when you hit bumps
frame and components - all components feel very solid and polished
Comfort - the riding position makes for a very maneuverable, visible, and comfortable commute
Looks - I like the color, the matched painted fenders, and overall clean look of the bike

-cons-
Gearing ratio - I don't know if it's just me, but the 8th gear doesn't feel like it's quite tall enough. I could use another one. Anyone know about a smaller cog on the rear?
Roller Brakes - I'd rather have disc brakes (but I don't want to pay for them ), but for all-weather these are "ok".
No Rack??? - For a commuter, it wouldn't hurt to throw in a cheap Topeak or Blackburn rack in there.
Weight - It's pretty heavy compared to other hybrids. The Trek 7.5fx and Fisher Mendota weigh in at 20# give or take a few ounces, while this beast is closer to 23#. Pretty damn heavy for an aluminum frame bike, but that's the price you pay for the integrated Shimano hub and roller brake hubs.

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Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 09-09-2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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Add HEAVE AS HELL to your list of cons. I checked that bike out the other day and loved everything about (especially that trick belt drive) it except the weight of that rear hub. I nearly went for the S version, but this one super-sale so I went with it instead (I'm getting used to the woodgrain fenders and color, but it's definitely not as sleek looking as your Trek).

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Old 09-09-2009, 11:11 PM   #3
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Cool, I have more than a few bikes myself. Nice bike!

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Old 09-09-2009, 11:35 PM   #4
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Nice ride! Yeah, I almost bailed on this bike due to the weight but then I rode it. Even compared to the lighter Trek 7.5fx and Fisher Mendota it was plenty fast. It certainly doesn't accelerate as fast but there is maybe 1mph difference once up to speed. And since this is my commuter I've since weighed it down with a Topeak Explorer Rack, Trunk bag, pump...oh yeah, and my fat ass! As I like to say, "The weight of the bike is not the limiting factor.". This kind of reasoning is true for almost everyone except for those in terrific shape or race competitively.

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Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 09-09-2009 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:24 AM   #5
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How many miles you ride a week on that thing? Also 23# is not that heavy, mind you I am a poor college kid who rides steel frames, but how does the belt drive feel/work if it is rainy and it gets muddy since it does not have sprokets with teeth to push the mud out of the way?

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Old 09-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmilton1987 View Post
How many miles you ride a week on that thing? Also 23# is not that heavy, mind you I am a poor college kid who rides steel frames, but how does the belt drive feel/work if it is rainy and it gets muddy since it does not have sprokets with teeth to push the mud out of the way?
I ride about 60 miles a week. My commute is a bit over 8 miles round trip, and then I do a 15-20 mile ride on the weekend. So far, I've not had any rain and I ride almost exclusively on the pavement so mud is not an issue. The way this belt drive system was designed is that there are holes in the sprockets so any mud, snow or grime can pass right through. Or at least that's the idea, I'll see if the engineering results in success. This is a pic of the District single speed, but the drive sprocket and cog are the same on Soho.

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Old 09-10-2009, 08:08 PM   #7
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That thing really is sweet! If they would have put that belt on the Soho "S", I would have been sold!

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Old 09-11-2009, 01:30 AM   #8
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Thanks for supporting my local economy.

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Short Drive View Post
Thanks for supporting my local economy.
LOL, you're welcome! I love the bike so far, and it just keeps getting better as I get used to the new riding position. The brakes also take a bit of adjusting before they feel solid. Here are some pics of my actual bike, not because anyone really cares but because I take pictures of just about anything...

All loaded down - Topeak MTX rack, trunk bag, computer, lights, etc.




Cool quick release system...no bungee cords!




Belt drive sprocket and Nexus 8-speed Internal Gear Hub:


Roller/Drum brakes - thing that looks like a disc is actually a heat sink/diffuser:
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