Friday 6 August 2010

The Trek District 2010 Single Speed Hybrid

Advertised as a "ninja-quiet ride", the Trek District 2010 Single Speed Hybrid lives up to its billing thanks to its unusual and futuristic carbon-fibre belt drive instead of a conventional metal chain. You cruise along almost in silence, occasionally startling pedestrians and other cyclists accustomed to the clink of metal on metal. As well as being quiet, the belt drive doesn't need any lubrication, so it won't muck up your trousers or your hands, and it is reputed to be durable, lasting twice as long as a conventional chain. While the easyish single speed gear is perfect for a slight incline, the reasonably fit will often find their legs spinning on the flat or going downhill. Still, this bike, with its aluminium frame and carbon forks, is pretty light and it has slick, narrow road tires, so it will shift. And you can get up most hills in London without getting out of the saddle.

Orange blobs
With its bright orange rims and trim, this edition of the Trek District 2010 is a bit flash. It turns heads, but could also be a magnet for thieves. Some potential buyers may prefer the more sober, but rather militaristic, olive green version. In general, the finish, decorated with the Trek shield, looks pretty good, but the orange blobs of paint on the allen bolts are a bit haphazard, while the saddle and grips are mock leather, rather than the real thing. You may also want to replace the conventional handlebars, which seem out of keeping with the modern styling of the rest of the bike, with a narrow, straight bar and add leather toe straps to get a better grip on the pedals. At £750, the Trek District 2010 Single Speed Hybrid is not a lot of bike for quite a lot of money. But it is great fun to ride because it is so quiet and smooth. For many, it could be the ideal, low-maintenance urban bike. 8/10

Update, January 2014
After three and half years on the road, you should find the Trek District 2010 is still going strong, coping well with an almost daily commute. The bike's original tires were prone to punctures and should be replaced by something much tougher, such as Continental Gator Skins. After two or three years of regular riding, you will likely need to replace the bottom bracket, which takes a lot of strain on a single speed machine. But other maintenance is minimal - you just to change the brake pads from time to time.