Monday, February 23, 2015

Trek Soho: Commute 1

Reflective sidewalls!  Bontrager H2 tires

Today was the inaugural commute on the 2011 Trek Soho.  No it is not used.  It was never sold until 3 days ago.  kinda of funny the dust that was on it when I went the the sale.  Why?  It is "high tech" and probably scared consumers away.  Yes, it will take two tools to remove the rear wheel.  But that did not scare me.  Enough on that issue.  Suffice to say that this bike is no longer languishing in the warehouse.

Saturday I brought it home and parked it it the kitchen.  I did not ride it.  Sunday I placed the rear rack on, panniers and lights and went for a 4 mile journey to the downtown brewery and later to Mullets for the last two pizzas, a fine establishment that no longer serves pizza.  Long sad story.  But these two rides were marred by the gale force Siberian wind that ravaged my city.  No joy.  Mere survival ride instead of a true test spin.

This morning was the big ride.  Unfortunately, it was 0F and fell to -3F by the time I got to work.  Keeping warm was the overriding thought. The bike functioned flawlessly.  Even on the climb.  I had thought about replacing the 19T rear cog with a 22T for better climb on steeper hills but will wait until better weather (warmer) before making that decision.  Dress in full winter regalia is not the right time to consider such actions.  Suffice to say, it climbed well.  I did not die.

Shifting was smooth and relatively quiet.  A click up front and slight sound from the back.  Really it was about as quiet as shifting gets.  Only a tight cluster cassette would be quieter.  Not front derailleur to worry about shifting or chain rub.  The Shimano Nexus uses a twist shifter next to the grips.  It is backwards from SRAM's Grip shift.  So it there were a few mistakes until I reprogrammed myself.  On some of the longer throws I could feel a noticeable big difference.  When shifting one a time the difference is not as pronounced.  I did not shift while stopped.

Gear range seemed adequate.  This is not a mountain goat nor a speed demon.  I rarely was in the top range due to the freezing weather.  On one downhill on my return trip I did work my way to the top and thought that I'd better not change the 19T.

Front Shimano Roller Brake

Front Roller Brake

Brakes.  Smooth.  Strong.  Not much of a pull was required.  I like how they were set up.  Quiet, too.  Since they are easy to remove I thought about purchasing a spare set.  I also wondered if disc brakes would be compatible since the hub is already offset for the "roller brakes" and the frame and fork appear that way as well.

Trek's Urban Aluminum bars

The cockpit.  The bars are Trek's Urban Aluminum and have several bends in them although sweeping back a bit for ergonomics and comfort they are a bit fussy for mounting lights.  Lights will need to be able to swivel on their mounts for proper direction.  The grips are ergonomic and have wide platform for resting the palms of your hands.  Nice!

It warmed up to 19F for my trip home.  The only thing that marred the return was the vegetarian lunch I ate 3 hours prior to leaving.  I was bonking and had no motivation to push it.  Tomorrow will be better and I truly need to haul arse to make it to my daughter's track meeting.  I will have a better lunch.

Compared to the FX 7.5.  If they were mounted with the same tires the FX would certainly be the faster bike.  The FX is lighter and more aggressive geometry.  But the components on the Soho will last longer, I hope, since they are not exposed to the elements.

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