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Trek World: Pavement, commuter specials from Trek, Gary Fisher

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Trek's popular Soho line continues on with simple singlespeed drivetrains plus some additional features like fenders and drum brakes on higher-end models.

Trek's popular Soho line continues on with simple singlespeed drivetrains plus some additional features like fenders and drum brakes on higher-end models. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The 2nd District bars are decorated with natural cork-colored tape and brown rubber hoods.

The 2nd District bars are decorated with natural cork-colored tape and brown rubber hoods. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The 2nd District should appeal to urban commuters who are looking to get to their destinations in a hurry but still only want to deal with a single gear.

The 2nd District should appeal to urban commuters who are looking to get to their destinations in a hurry but still only want to deal with a single gear. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Split dropouts come standard on all Districts so buyers can upgrade to a belt drive later if they so desire.

Split dropouts come standard on all Districts so buyers can upgrade to a belt drive later if they so desire. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Prefer a flat bar instead? Look to the 3rd District, which is essentially the same machine as the 2nd District but with a more upright position.

Prefer a flat bar instead? Look to the 3rd District, which is essentially the same machine as the 2nd District but with a more upright position. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Yes, even commuters can have carbon fiber if they want it. For more budget minded consumers, though, there's also an army of aluminum FX models.

Yes, even commuters can have carbon fiber if they want it. For more budget minded consumers, though, there's also an army of aluminum FX models. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The 7.9 FX's IsoZone elastomer mini-shock takes the sting out of potholes.

The 7.9 FX's IsoZone elastomer mini-shock takes the sting out of potholes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Atwood is part of Trek's new Eco line, which features steel frames, tires made using partially reground rubber and durable components that are easy to recycle.

The Atwood is part of Trek's new Eco line, which features steel frames, tires made using partially reground rubber and durable components that are easy to recycle. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Belleville is the most completely equipped bike in the Eco range with lights, fenders and heavy-duty racks as standard equipment.

The Belleville is the most completely equipped bike in the Eco range with lights, fenders and heavy-duty racks as standard equipment. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Trek designed its Belleville models with a retro flair but also modern features such as generator hubs and drum brakes.

Trek designed its Belleville models with a retro flair but also modern features such as generator hubs and drum brakes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The hard plastic Eco grips on the Belleville are designed to be long lasting but are also labeled for easy recycling when they've eventually worn out.

The hard plastic Eco grips on the Belleville are designed to be long lasting but are also labeled for easy recycling when they've eventually worn out. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The dynamo-powered lights eliminate the need for throwaway batteries.

The dynamo-powered lights eliminate the need for throwaway batteries. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Trek Belleville may be mass produced but it boasts a number of visual cues we're more accustomed to seeing at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

The Trek Belleville may be mass produced but it boasts a number of visual cues we're more accustomed to seeing at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Belleville frames and racks are both powdercoated for a durable finish - plus the overspray can be reclaimed and reused.

The Belleville frames and racks are both powdercoated for a durable finish - plus the overspray can be reclaimed and reused. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Belleville one-piece bar and stem includes a built-in stem extension.

The Belleville one-piece bar and stem includes a built-in stem extension. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The District Carbon's eccentric dropouts are adapted from Trek's ABP mountain bike bits.

The District Carbon's eccentric dropouts are adapted from Trek's ABP mountain bike bits. (Image credit: James Huang)
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We first showed you this over-the-top commuter back in April at Sea Otter but now it has a name (and a part number!): the District Carbon.

We first showed you this over-the-top commuter back in April at Sea Otter but now it has a name (and a part number!): the District Carbon. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The District line includes chain guards to keep pant legs clean.

The District line includes chain guards to keep pant legs clean. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Subtle details add a bit more style.

Subtle details add a bit more style. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The District features a maintenance-free belt drive and color-matched components.

The District features a maintenance-free belt drive and color-matched components. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The District also comes in green and brown for those seeking a more 'natural' look.

The District also comes in green and brown for those seeking a more 'natural' look. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Looks like leather and feels like leather…

Looks like leather and feels like leather… (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Ride+'s LCD display indicates remaining battery charge, boost (or charge) level, and the usual speed and distance functions.

The Ride+'s LCD display indicates remaining battery charge, boost (or charge) level, and the usual speed and distance functions. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Trek's new Ride+ line features a motorized pedal-assist system from BionX. 20mph has never come so easily.

Trek's new Ride+ line features a motorized pedal-assist system from BionX. 20mph has never come so easily. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The rechargeable battery pack slots into the proprietary rear rack while the motor is wholly housed within the rear hub.

The rechargeable battery pack slots into the proprietary rear rack while the motor is wholly housed within the rear hub. (Image credit: James Huang)
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When you hit the rear brake, the system also automatically switches into regenerative mode to help charge the battery on the go.

When you hit the rear brake, the system also automatically switches into regenerative mode to help charge the battery on the go. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Gary Fisher Gritty's BMX-inspired styling carries through to the cockpit setup.

The Gary Fisher Gritty's BMX-inspired styling carries through to the cockpit setup. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Gritty even features three-piece steel cranks.

The Gritty even features three-piece steel cranks. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Gary Fisher aims its new Gritty to urban commuters on a tight budget that want a tough-looking machine.

Gary Fisher aims its new Gritty to urban commuters on a tight budget that want a tough-looking machine. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Simple City range is also available with a less expensive three-speed internal hub.

The Simple City range is also available with a less expensive three-speed internal hub. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Simple City 8's front rack is perfectly sized for two paper grocery bags - or a case of beer laid on its side.

The Simple City 8's front rack is perfectly sized for two paper grocery bags - or a case of beer laid on its side. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Run errands with style using a new Gary Fisher Simple City 8.

Run errands with style using a new Gary Fisher Simple City 8. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Gary Fisher Simple City 8 is styled after Dutch commuters with comfortable upright positioning and included fenders.

The Gary Fisher Simple City 8 is styled after Dutch commuters with comfortable upright positioning and included fenders. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Gary Fisher Triton offers fixed or singlespeed (with brakes) flexibilility straight out of the box.

The Gary Fisher Triton offers fixed or singlespeed (with brakes) flexibilility straight out of the box. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Madison, Wisconsin mayor Dave Cieslewicz gets ready to lead a group ride around the city's network of bike paths.

Madison, Wisconsin mayor Dave Cieslewicz gets ready to lead a group ride around the city's network of bike paths. (Image credit: James Huang)

According to Trek president John Burke, bicycle commuting and recreational cycling have surged in recent years and he has the numbers to prove it: numerous cities such as Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California are reporting enormous increases in commuter traffic, US federal spending on bicycle infrastructure (bike lanes, paths, signage, etc) will top US$1.4B in 2009 – up from a few hundred million just five years ago – official 'Bicycle Friendly Community' municipal applications have more than doubled in two years, and there are now 5,200 schools enrolled in the Safe Routes to School program.

Burke also says that grassroots initiatives are also now quickly gaining steam in various corners of the US and his own company's US$1M-plus in donations to the League of American Bicyclists and the International Mountain Biking Association are having a very real impact – for example, IMBA has built or designed over 800km (500 miles) so far in '09 alone.

Much of the work on Capitol Hill, however, has been spearheaded by Minnesota congressman and staunch cycling advocate Jim Oberstar. Oberstay was elected chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in January 2007 and has been hell-bent on improving cycling's status and legitimacy – and it seems to be working.

Either way, Burke says the market and demand is there and Trek and Gary Fisher have both greatly expanded their range of applicable bikes and products for 2010.

From cradle to grave with Trek's new Eco line

Trek's designers adopted a full life cycle approach to their new Belleville and Atwood bikes. The steel tubing requires less energy to produce than other common materials, more environmentally friendly powdercoat paint processes are used, and parts are clearly labeled for proper recycling. Wherever possible, suppliers are selected based on proximity to the factory to minimize emissions and even the rubber used in the tires is a mix of reground materials plus virgin rubber sourced from a certified sustainable plantation.

Trek hopes to make the bikes' useful life as long as possible though with a focus on durability and utility. The top-end Belleville will come fully equipped with fenders, racks, chain guards and hub dynamo-powered front and rear lights while the more bare-bones Atwood does without most of the extras.

Styling is decidedly retro across the board and strongly reminiscent of what we've seen in past years at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show for a classic look that's likely to stay fresh for some time.

Trek partners with BionX for 'sweat-free commuting'

Newer commuters, those living further away from the office or anyone needing to arrive at work looking – and smelling – a little more presentable can also look to Trek's new Ride+ range, all of which use BionX's motorized pedal-assist system. According to Trek, electric-assisted bikes are now the most popular type of commuter in Holland and they're hoping the trend will catch on in the US, too.

In its maximum boost setting, the rear hub mounted electric motor can churn out double the rider's pedaling effort up to 350W and power is drawn from a rechargeable battery located on a proprietary rear rack. Users do have to pedal – the motor won't drive the bike on its own – but 32km/h (20mph) maximum assisted speed has never come so easily. And yes, it's actually quite fun to ride.

The system does add about 7kg (15.5lb) in total however so you wouldn't want to spend very much time on one on with a dead battery. Thankfully, claimed range is about 24-64km (16-40 miles) per charge, charge time is about 3.5 hours, and the battery can supposedly survive 600 charge cycles before a replacement is needed. A regenerative braking feature kicks in automatically when you hit the rear brake, too, and the charge mode can also be manually selected on long downhills.

Trek will include the system on its new 7200+ (in men's and WSD versions), FX+ and Valencia+ models, the latter of which will come equipped with disc brakes, full fenders and lights. Prices top out at about US$2499.99.

District and Soho carry on for '10

Trek's popular District and Soho urban bikes will continue on for '10 and belt drives are heavily featured throughout for quiet, clean and maintenance-free running. Topping the belt-equipped range is the new District Carbon, built around a modified 5 Series Madone Pro fit and sporting a 100 percent blacked-out color scheme.

New for '10 are the 2nd and 3rd District models, both swapping the standard District's carbon fiber-reinforced belt for a more conventional chain-driven singlespeed setup. Both bikes are nearly identical save for drop bars on one and flat bars on the other, and the same split dropouts used on the standard District will allow for a belt upgrade down the road.

Gary Fisher delves further into the commuter game

The Gary Fisher lineup has long contained commuter elements but '10 will see a big push in that arena. Highlighting the range are the Simple City 8 and 3 models with multi-speed internally geared rear hubs, fenders and chain guards. The Simple City 8's front rack is perfectly sized for two paper (or reusable!) grocery bags, too, and there's even a Euro-style tripod kickstand as well.

On the other hand, the Lane and Triton models are based more on road bikes with narrow 700c tires and drop bars for those that need to get to work a little faster. Steel frame tubes provide good long-term durability and both will readily accept racks and fenders for hauling cargo and weather protection.

One of the most interesting models is the bargain basement Gritty, which carries a price tag of just US$399.99. Though built around 700c wheels, the steel frame is more akin of a BMX bike with heavily gusseted head tube and seat cluster areas plus rear-facing horizontal dropouts. A BMX-style stem and brake levers are used, too, and there's even a three-piece steel crank.