Wet weather commuter

2013 Trek District

TrekDistrict 001_1 002_1

Upon writing this blog I noticed the absence of the District in the 2014 line of Trek bikes. Have I got a limited edition? This is good thing! Or, is there a reason it was discontinued, possibly a very bad thing!

So why the District? I was after a wet-weather commuter; a bike that could take a beating from the elements; wind, mud, sludge…you name it.  Logically a singlespeed would be a great starting point, and the weather-invariant Gates carbon drive nailed it for me. A singlespeed is an amazing bike at the best of times, and this one ramps it up a few notches. One, its arguably quieter than ‘chain’ singlespeeds that I’ve owned in the past. Two, it’s self-cleaning!!….water and mud simply go right through it and it does not get bogged down.

positives

  • it’s very quiet
  • Gates carbon drive
  • relative low maintenance
  • the ratio of 55/22  (2.5) is perfect for the commuting I do.
  • general look of the bike is hot.
  • not too heavy.
  • as singlespeed enjoyment goes, it’s hard to beat.

negatives

  • I really would have preferred disc-brakes, particularly when it does get wet I would prefer more reliable grip via some Shimano XT as opposed to the simplistic v-brakes it comes with. This is one area where I would have welcomed extra weight.
  • I’ve only owned one other Trek bike and it was very sub-par; a Trek Rig. If you see a typical review of 2.5/5,….that’s being kind. So my experience with Trek although limited, wasn’t great.
  • Unfortunately the shops that sell these bikes locally are in my opinion, arrogant and the thought of dealing with them almost put me off the purchase in the first place.
  • One thing I never considered when buying this was re-tensioning the belt drive over time. I’m not at all happy at taking the bike in for a “service” everytime it’s required, so I need to source ‘tensioner’ which thankfully are available on Ebay.
  • The seat-post offered very poor adjust-ability. I was shocked. I have to live with the angles it affords or buy a replacement.
  • The handlebar was a joke. It had an ‘arty’ bend in it and was extremely short in length for the bike. Further it utilised a really old school measurement of 25.4mm, which meant I had to put on another stem for it to work with a 31.8mm handlebar. To the horror of many, this was a Giant stem…so I guess this makes it a Giant Trek? or a Trek Giant.
  • Brakes are not good, triggers are hard to adjust for my fingers.
  • I think the asking price was a little on the high side given the quality of some of the aforementioned componentry. I suspect I’m paying for the Gates novelty more than anything.

More negatives than positives? Yes, but I do like the bike a lot. Once I purchase a tensioner and can satisfactorily address the belt-tuning, I will be very happy. Some more robust tyres and it’s better again.

Would I recommend one (assuming they can still be sourced)? …I’m not sure at the moment. I will post again down the track after I have given it a fairer test period.

UPDATE:

Project: ” Clockwork Orange”

IMG_8897_1 IMG_8898_1 IMG_8899_1 IMG_8900_1 IMG_8901_1 IMG_8902_1 IMG_8903_1 IMG_8904_1 IMG_8905_1 IMG_8906_1 IMG_8907_1 IMG_8908_1

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