Trek Soho S – Ride Experience

“Whoa! What bike is that?”

That’s a typical reaction when folks see a Trek Soho S for the first time. The bicycle’s logo and graphics are nearly missed upon first glance as they blend into the matte black frame. The net result of this design creates a feeling that the bicycle may be employing some form of top-secret, stealth technology – and the bike IS stealthy. As a single-speed bicycle, there is none of the clicking and clacking associated with gear changes. If you want to go fast, pedal harder. If you need to go up a big hill, get out of the saddle. If you’re going down a big hill, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Warning! The simplicity of this ride experience can be addictive.

Without the additional hardware associated with a multi-speed bicycle, the Soho S is just over 20lbs in weight. It feels lightweight and nimble.  Trek’s choice of a 44/17 gear suits the bicycle quite well.  You get impressive acceleration from a full-stop by hopping out of the saddle or you can start off normally and with minimal effort reach a comfortable cruising speed. The gear spins out only on big descents and is a low enough gear to make surviving big hills a real possibility.

If you can’t tell already, I really like this bike. Here are a few insights I’ve gathered after 9 months of ownership.

Highlights

  • You’ll enjoy the bike’s comfortable, upright riding position.
  • The choice of gear is nearly perfect (no, really, it is!)
  • The dual-pivot, calliper brakes are very effective and are low-maintenance.
  • The stock saddle is quite good (still using the original saddle on my bike).
  • The Bontrager Race Lite hardcase tires (700×28) are nearly bulletproof.
  • Lowlights

  • If you hit a solid bump or pothole in the road, the chain has a tendency to bump up and rattle against the chainguard.
  • The default pedals – the same pedals used for the Trek Valencia – are holding up well but probably won’t last under heavy use.
  • There’s not much to dislike about the Soho S but as I continue to ride the bicycle, I will keep you posted on any new discoveries. In the meantime, enjoy this growing gallery of photos that do a decent job of communicating the bicycle’s versatility…

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