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Trek Soho

Trek

Soho
2011

Product Rating
 
4.5 stars
 (51 Reviews)
 

2011 Trek Soho

Turn the bike lane into the fast lane with Trek's Soho. Big-city ready with its lightweight aluminum frame, the top tube even features a bumper to protect it against the street signs and bike racks that you'll be locking it to. Bontrager's 700c Satellite rims and reflective tires roll fast, while the bike's excellent handling makes it easy to dodge potholes and errant vehicles. And, say goodbye to chain marks on your calf, this urban speedster rolls with a chain guard. And, for everyday commuting, you've got 7 speeds thanks to Shimano's internally geared rear hub, a sweet comfy saddle and full fenders.

 
Specification Description
Frame Trek Alpha Black aluminum
Fork Bontrager aluminum
Rims/Wheels Bontrager Satellite Nebula
Hubs Front: Shimano IM70 disc; Rear: Shimano Inter-7
Tires Bontrager H2 Plus reflective, 700 x 32c
Crankset Bontrager Satellite Nebula
Chainrings 44T
Rear Cogs Shimano 19T
Shifters Shimano Nexus 7 Revo
Handlebars Trek Urban aluminum
Tape/Grips Bontrager Satellite Plus
Stem Soho aluminum
Brake Levers Tektro
Brakes Shimano roller brake
Pedals Soho
Saddle Bontrager H1
Seatpost Bontrager SSR
Accessories & Extras Fenders, chain guard

* Subject to change without notice.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
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4.5 stars

(based on 51 reviews)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

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Pros

  • Durable  (28)
  • Great components  (15)
  • Lightweight  (14)
  • Comfortable  (12)
  • Stylish  (11)

Cons

  • Heavy  (9)
  • Poor component selection  (4)
  • Brakes 
  • Flat tire repair 
  • Poor components 

Best Uses

  • Commuting  (43)
  • Pavement  (17)
  • Street Riding  (12)
  • Leisurely Rides  (10)
  • Light Trails  (6)

Reviewed by 51 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

not sustainable

By Don

from Southern California

About Me Commuter

Pros

  • Attractive Design

Cons

  • Poor Components

Best Uses

  • Commuting

Comments:

When it works, it's great. Unfortunately in the two years I've commuted with it (8 flat miles total on weekdays) there's been issues --sporadic irritating grinding from the bearing where the pedals attach (mostly in the cooler months ... FYI am in So Cal so 'cooler' isn't that cold) --changing the rear tire requires a trip to the shop (on account of the tricky rear internal gear/carbon belt arrangement) -- that same internal bearing (refered to above) needing adjusting by the shop -- and now, just today, something gave way in the internal gear box when I pressed down hard when starting up at a light. Enough! I need reliability and ease of maintenance. The Soho isn't it.

  • Gift:
  • No

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great bike, 1 flaw so far

By Derek

from Portland, ME

About Me Commuter

Pros

  • Great commuter

Cons

  • Poor Component Selection

Best Uses

  • Commuting

Comments:

Overall, I've been super happy with this bike. I ride this bike year round in Portland Maine and I love the internal hub and brakes (once I got used to them). My one complaint so far (after riding it for 1.5 years) is that the original rear cog was aluminum and it wore out after only 16 months of riding. I had to replace it and the belt due to excessive wear. I replaced the aluminum with a steel cog (which should be standard on this bike rather than soft aluminum) and am hoping to get signficantly longer life out of the cog and belt.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

wish I could like it more

By matt

from boston ma

About Me Commuter

Pros

  • Durable
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Brakes
  • Heavy

Best Uses

    Comments:

    I was very enthusiastic about the Soho at first, but this waned as I continued to ride it. "In theory" is is a perfect commuter with no chain, no derailleur, no brake pads, etc. I used to call it my "all weather, no maintenance bike." The Achilles' Heel of this bike is, as others have described, the brakes. Although they function identically wet or dry, they are not strong to begin with. I find that V-brakes work better in the rain than these do when it's dry. I've had to swerve to avoid contact when coming down a hill at 20mph because the brakes simply would not stop the bike (with me on it - I'm heavy). I see the new version of the Soho has a disc brake in front which is great. The other thing is that the ride is rough due to the all-aluminum construction. I call it the "bone shaker" because I am rattled on Boston's pavement. I see that the new version has a carbon fork, which should help a bit with that. I was also a bit underwhelmed with the gear range of the Nexus, but that is more of a minor thing. The brakes are a fatal flaw unless you are very light or mostly ride flat ground.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    No Hassle winter bike

    By Milwaukee Ave.

    from Chicago

    About Me Commuter

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Can wear light color pant
    • Nothing to rust
    • Nothing to get you dirty
    • Great Components
    • Handles Well Off-road
    • Durable

    Cons

    • Replaced bars w bullhorns
    • Tires good not bombproof

    Best Uses

    • Pavement
    • Commuting

    Comments:

    Great commuting bike. Had it four winter months. No need to grease or oil. Just hose it off. Belt drive is clean, smooth and needs no maintenance. It is usually quite difficult to keep a chain and brakes in good shape when exposed to salt slush. The tires are way better than average stock tires, but I replaced them with Scwabe Marathons as both the back and the front got flats within 500 miles--and the back in particular is a pain to replace. Chainguard is the only part I've had trouble with--it is a little flimsey. This is the second bike I've had with roller brakes and Nexis hub. Probably best to get a pro to adjust and lubericate them occasionally even if you are a good home mechanic. If you do so, then they are super dependable. I got this in a very small size and used a long seat post. This gives a good aggressive geometry and keeps the weight quite reasonable.

    • Gift:
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    (5 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Tremendously dissapointed

    By Alexander

    from Michigan

    About Me Commuter

    Pros

      Cons

      • Poor Component Selection

      Best Uses

        Comments:

        First off, I bought this bike as an all-season commuter. I live in Michigan, which is well known for it's intense weather. The bike works great in clear, sunny weather, but hey, so does every bicycle. Once snow hits the ground, however, it becomes inoperable. The tires kick snow up into the belt drive, which quickly jams and derails. What's more, re-railing it is a difficult process that requires several minutes. In attempting to ride this bike in the winter, you will spend more time trying to fix the belt than actually riding. You'll get wear your going faster by walking. Words cannot properly express how disappointed I am with this bike. I cannot fathom how Trek is selling a bicycle as an all-weather commuter that becomes inoperable in bad weather. You're much better off getting a good three season and an old beater for the winter.

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        (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Excellent commuter except for the brakes

        By JT

        from Portland, OR, USA

        About Me Commuter

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Great Components

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Commuting

          Comments:

          This bike works very well for commuting, looks great and requires almost zero maintenance. It is quiet, and shifts very smoothly. After a year of all-weather commuting in Portland, OR, I'm very pleased with this. On the negative side, the internal roller brakes require VERY strong pressure. The brake modulation is better that with disks, and for normal slowing, they work well. Emergency braking is another story. If one happens to be down-shifting while braking and happens not to have 2 or 3 fingers on the brake levers, the brakes have real trouble stopping the bike. Same for high-speed braking. This can lead to some "oh my god - I can't stop in time" moments. Trek seems to have addressed this with the new soho dlx model, which has a front disk brake. I wonder if there is an upgrade option? All in all, a good bike, but I would buy the soho dlx over the standard soho.

          • Gift:
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          (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Fun Bike, Easy to Ride

          By Cycle Guy

          from Vancouver, Canada

          About Me Commuter

          Pros

          • Durable

          Cons

          • Flat Tire Repair

          Best Uses

          • Commuting

          Comments:

          I bought the 2009 version of this bike at the beginning of the 2010 model year. The reason I selected this bike was for the internal gears and brakes and to a lesser degree the lubricant free drive belt arrangement. Here in Vancouver I cycle over a bridge that gets a lot of sand in the winter so I expected having everything internal and grease-free would be a real maintenance free bonus. After seeing the hundreds of different commuter bike designs on the market it is clear to me that if this bike were the perfect bike then we would be seeing lots more on the streets and bike paths. That being said, I am happy with what I got and the features have lived up to my expectations. I also think I got good value for money. I have ridden this bike for 11 months and for over 4000 km. I have a long back and short legs, my dealer was great fitting the bike to me on the day I bought it. I haven't used the new design that is configured with the front disc brakes, but I think this is a much safer solution than the front internal hub brake system on the earlier versions. I have a steep hill on my commute that is about ½ km long and my 50 year-old legs really miss the bottom two gears I had on my old commuter/mountain bike. If you live in a community with longer steep hills and you are not a powerful rider consider buying the optional lower gear-set range. I also rarely use the 8th gear. I like liveliness of the Aluminum frame and the larger tire diameter. I like the low key grey color because I think it attracts less attention from thieves. I'm aware that the hub makes the bike heavier, but then so is all the gear in my pannier! The single issue I would want to draw any potential buyer's attention to is that it is difficult to change a rear flat tire on a belt driven, split frame bike. The first and only time I had a flat it took me an hour to change the tire! If you are considering buying a Soho then go to a Trek dealer and have the salesperson take you step-by-step through the tools you'll need and the operations required to change a rear inner tube at the side of the road. I know I couldn't do it at night and if you are mechanically challenged, then this could be a show-stopper. Despite these technical issues, this is a sturdy, easy and fun to ride bike and it will not be spending time in the shop getting adjustments and tune-ups. Happy cycling!

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          wonderfully versatile bike

          By Irv

          from Exeter, NH

          About Me Casual/ Recreational

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Handles Well Off-road
          • Great Components
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • None so far

          Best Uses

          • Pavement

          Comments:

          My wife and I each bought Soho's, and we are both really pleased. Having been agressive cyclists in the past, we were concerned that the Soho might seem too "tame" compared to the more speed oriented upper range bikes to which we were accustomed. No need to fear! The Soho feels light and responsive, and the belt drive makes the transfer of power feel direct and positive. The gears cover the standard range for most bikes... just with fewer increments. Thanks to the versatility of the Soho, we've added bags and increased our usage to include daily errands as well as recreational riding. The upright riding position is far more comfortable and relaxed than being down on the drops all the time, and we both enjoy our rides more. You won't be breaking any records on the Soho, but as an all-around bike that's a joy to ride, I think the Soho is tough to beat.

          • Gift:
          • No

          (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Poor show

          By Jus

          from Bristol, UK

          About Me Avid Cyclist

          Pros

          • Looks good

          Cons

          • Heavy
          • Really bad brakes
          • Nexus 8 hub very poor
          • Poor Component Selection

          Best Uses

          • Commuting
          • Touring

          Comments:

          I have been cycling for 30 odd years now and my last bike lasted 20 of those just fine. So I thought I'd try out a new bike. Well, I have never been so disappointed in a bike as I have with this. The hub gears are so noisy I don't need a bell on the cycle path as pedestrians can hear me coming anyway. The brakes are poor yet when pressure is applied fully squeal like a stuck pig. Seriously these brakes are dangerous especially living in a hilly area. They will not stop you if you're going any faster that 15mph if you had a kid on the back forget about it. This is the 21st century and brakes can stop you on a dime in most cases why TREK are using sub standard components speaks volumes about the profit vs customer safety and satisfaction policy. It has been back to the shop and the mechanic doesn't seem to know what he's doing? Good choice of dealership? I can only hope the hub will completely fail within the warranty period so I'll at least be able to sell it on. Personally if I had the money to throw away I would skip this bike. Tip for next bike better disc brakes and alfine hub. Oh and TREK I want my money back ;o) I can't understand all the good reviews above....

          • Gift:
          • No

          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          all-weather, no-maintenance commuter

          By mtalinm

          from boston

          About Me Commuter

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Commuting

              Comments:

              Have put 500+ miles on this bike since January, commuting from the Boston suburbs into the city (12-15 miles each way). Snow, rain, and sun. Three things I love about the Soho: 1. All-weather. The brakes work identically wet and dry. The gears don't get mucked up with mud. There's no chain to rust and worry about. You don't have to worry about the seat getting rained on / soggy. It's got fenders. I ride this bike year round and it is fabulous when the weather isn't. 2. No maintenance. I haven't touched the brakes, gears, or belt drive since I got the bike. I **love** not having to oil, adjust, or even think about the belt drive. This is a HUGE advantage. I'm also not checking brake pads every few weeks or poking at a derailleur. That's fine for a weekend bike where I need total performance and am going to spend time planning out a ride, but my everyday commuter needs to be ready in a snap. 3. Conversation starter. Plenty of people have stopped to ask me about the bike, especially when they see the belt drive. One guy actually pulled over while I was commuting and asked me how I liked the bike b/c he had heard about it and was considering one. Just last Friday another bike commuter was tailing me so he could check out the belt drive & internal gears/brakes. A couple of other things: - the internal gears are an absolute godsend if you are riding in city traffic where you're stopping at intersections or for irresponsible drivers. with a regular bike you'd have to downshift while pedaling while braking, or risk having to start up again in a high gear. with the internal gear setup, you just shift while you're stopped. beauty. - bike is rated to 300 lbs, which is good for us heftier riders who carry a lot of stuff on a rear rack. - small thing but the cables are routed on the downtube, so it's very easy to put on a car rack (nothing in the way) - the coffee mug is great for carrying your lunch to work and keeping it warm! The only trouble I've had with it was a rattling sound on the front brake, but the LBS fixed that. The brakes can require a bit of squeezing and are probably not as responsive as discs though I haven't done a side-by-side comparison.

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