Trek Soho: the 100-mile review

I waited until I had ridden 100 miles before writing this review in order to give the bike a fair shake. ย I should start by saying that I got the bike 40% off, so I have nothing to complain about.
There is a lot to like about the bike. Looks great, fenders match, reflective tires, internal gears are great for shifting when stopped, brakes work the same in the rain, nifty mug (for carrying my leftovers for lunch), seat doesn’t absorb rain. Gets up to speed quickly.
Oh, and the belt drive…absolutely looooove the belt drive. Super quiet and a real conversation starter. Some guy in a 5-series even rolled down his window to say he is considering one and wanted to know what i thought!
Things I don’t love:
* brakes are really weak. tried to come to a quick stop on a downhill at 20mph and the power just wasn’t there, had to swerve.
* downshifting is rough for some reason. upshifting is fine. also, the belt makes a noise when I’m pedaling really fast – LBS could not fix.
* Thin grips. Had to spend $40 to upgrade these to stop my hands from going numb.
If I had to do it over again I would go for disc brakes and the Alfine hub. The Giant TranSend EX would have been a better pickup for the same money, as ugly as it is (white chainguard on a forest-green bike?). Alfine, disc brakes, and Ergon grips. Wouldn’t surprise me if the 2011 Soho has those features…

Next pickup is definitely a Xootr Swift

17 Comments so far

  1. simon on April 30th, 2010

    curious: how did you get this bike for 40% off? i live in cambridge. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. mtalinm on April 30th, 2010

    for whatever reason, Trek raised the MSRP on the 2010 model by 20%, even though there are no discernible differences between the two.

    International Bike in Newton was selling their 2009s, and I guess they had been having trouble selling them, so they cut the price of one by another 20%.

    Last I was there, they said they had sold the rest of them. There’s another “Soho” on the floor but with disc brakes and regular gears – and it’s the current retail $1050

  3. simon on May 5th, 2010

    man, i really missed out on a deal then. i’m considering buying the 2010 model …

  4. matt on May 5th, 2010

    I would call international bike and ask if they have any. They claim to be the world’s largest Trek retailer so you never know.

    If you get a Soho be sure to bounce the front wheel and make sure it doesn’t rattle. Most do. The one at DedhamBike doesn’t

  5. mtalinm on May 6th, 2010

    hey simon, I was at International Bike today and noticed they had a 2009 Soho on the floor for $900. That’s $150 off the retail price for the 2010 model, which has no known differences from the 2009.

    If you are interested that’s probably the best deal in town!

  6. simon on May 7th, 2010

    thanks, i’m gonna call int’l bike first thing in the morning! do you remember offhand which size it was? i need a 20″.

  7. matt on May 7th, 2010

    You’re in luck, it was a 20″! Right by the front desk

  8. mtalinm on May 7th, 2010

    btw, tell Rick that Matt sent you

  9. simon on May 7th, 2010

    just called and put a deposit on it … gonna go check it out tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you so much for the tip!

  10. matt on May 7th, 2010

    Most welcome. Tell them they should give me (matt marx) a discount on the Trek Pilot in exchange for the referral!

  11. mtalinm on May 10th, 2010

    hey I hear you got the bike Simon! let me know what you think

  12. simon on May 29th, 2010

    hey matt! yup, i did end up getting the bike that weekend. rick took good care of me — thanks for the hookup! i’ve been riding it to work (it’s a really short ride, < 3 miles) and it's been good. the brakes aren't as grippy as i'd like and sometimes i think the lowest gear is a little too high, but overall i love the bike. i do have a little rattle in the brake cables in the front and rear, but my coworkers who have sohos also have this so while it's annoying at least it's not a defect in my specific bike. i hope to be riding it for a long time!

  13. mtalinm on May 29th, 2010

    great to hear. agree with you that the brakes are not the best (I mentioned this in my original review), though over time I’ve adapted to them and have never had any problems.

    re: the rattle, you can fix it with a piece of tape like this: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?551154-Trek-Soho-Carbon-Drive-is-here!&p=10641130&viewfull=1#post10641130 OR take it back to International and tell them to do to it what they did to my bike (slightly more durable solution). they’ll remember ๐Ÿ™‚

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