Typically 'city bikes' are slightly pared-down MTBs or flat-handlebar road bikes with fatter tyres. Bike maker Trek hoping its collection of urban warriors will appeal to riders who want a rig that's specifically suited to the city street, as Tim Maloney found out when he visited the range's launch in - where else - New York City.
It was a cold November day in Manhattan with a strong north wind blowing through the canyons of skyscrapers that line the Big Apple's boulevards. All the usual traffic chaos like gridlock from a burning parking structure full of cars was on offer to keep Cyclingnews from getting to Trek Bicycle's Urban cycling launch, appropriately called RideManhattan. With urban traffic chaos ever increasing worldwide, spiraling energy costs and unfathomable parking, the bicycle may just be the way to get around the worlds ever growing conurbations.
To that end, Trek Bicycle went out to thoroughly research how to develop bicycles more suited to urban riding. The process began with product manager Chad Price defining the urban landscape, measuring the interaction between bikers and the city, then boiling it all down to create specific profiles of urban bikers. This led to product concepts and eventually to real-life bicycles that Price and Trek believe can improve the urban cycling experience because they were specifically created for city cycling and not just called a "city-bike."
Trek's new Soho model pays homage to Manhattan's South Of Houston neighborhood (SoHo), a locale that is an icon for urban chic. And the Soho mirrors this approach, as Trek's Zapata Espinoza told Cyclingnews that "Soho is a bike for the urban professional that wants to ride to the coffee shop, store or office in style. We like to think of Soho as the bike many of our current Trek OCLV owners would want as a sweet get-around-town bike." Trek's new Soho has a unique new Alpha Aluminum frame, with an innovative protective rubber "bumper" on its top tube that keeps Soho from sliding and scratching the frame. Posterior support is provided by a special Bontrager SoHo Leather saddle with abrasion resistant side panels and shoulder friendly rubber carrying pad as well as matching leather saddle and grips. Soho has a special Bontrager Satellite Plus handlebar set for a sleek modern look and extra comfort, plus more room for lights, cycle computer and it will even hold your U-lock in a pinch! And each Soho comes with a sleek, custom-designed coffee thermos.
See the entire Trek goes Urban article here.