2013 Trek District
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Project: ” Clockwork Orange”