It may be expensive for a commuter bike, but experts say the Trek Soho Deluxe is just fun to ride. The Soho Deluxe is also notable for its eight-speed belt drive, which is easier to maintain and quieter than chain-driven bikes. The sleek, understated design gets high marks from critics, and the Trek Soho Deluxe includes popular commuting accessories such as a chain guard, fenders, rear rack and a travel mug (there's no kickstand, though, which irks some reviewers). Testers say the Trek Soho Deluxe commuter bike rides well and can tackle hilly routes, thanks to its eight-speed drive train. It's also good in inclement weather, thanks to an internal hub setup and fenders, both of which help keep your clothes clean and dry. One downside: The Trek Soho Deluxe only has a disc brake in the front; the rear brake is a roller. We also found a few reports that the belt drive can be annoyingly squeaky. If you don't need a belt drive or can't afford to spend more than $1,000, the Trek Belleville (MSRP: $690) is a top pick among budget comfort bikes.
The best review of the Trek Soho Deluxe comes from Roy M. Wallack at the Los Angeles Times. Wallack, an author and cyclist, tests four belt-drive bikes and clearly lists pros and cons for each. The analysis is nicely detailed and well balanced, although he tests the 2010 model. We also found quality reviews of the 2010 Trek Soho at Bicycle Times magazine, About.com and the British newspaper the Daily Mirror. The Trek Soho also attracts a substantial number of user reviews at Buzzillions.com.
1. Los Angeles Times
In this review of four belt-drive comfort bikes for the Los Angeles Times, Roy M. Wallack says the 2010 Trek Soho is stylish, fast and comfortable to ride over both hills and descents. However, he says he thinks the bike should include disc brakes at this price range.
Review: Goodbye Chains, Hello Belt-Drive Bicycles, Roy M. Wallack, March 8, 2010
2. Bicycle Times
Bicycle Times writes a brief review of the 2010 Trek Soho, a bike the editors have been testing for more than a month. The best part is the easy-to-maintain and quiet drivetrain, and the bike holds up well to tough winter commutes, they say.
Review: New Test Bike: Trek Soho, "Justin", March 4, 2010
3. The Daily Mirror (U.K.)
The Daily Mirror, a U.K. newspaper, gives the 2010 Trek Soho a perfect rating. Editors say the bike is surprisingly fast, with handling that's comfortable and confidence-inspiring.
Review: The Cleanest Bike in the World: Trek Soho Review, Editors of the Daily Mirror, Feb. 22, 2010
David Fiedler, About.com's guide to cycling, gives the 2010 Trek Soho a 4.5-star rating (out of 5). Calling the Trek Soho a "commuter's dream," Fiedler says the upright positioning is comfortable for long commutes and the frame is relatively lightweight. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Trek Soho Review, David Fiedler
5. Mother Nature Network
Chris Baskind at Mother Nature Network recommends the 2010 Trek Soho for commuters. In addition to praise for the belt drive, Baskind also appreciates the rubber-lined top bar, which helps prevent bumps and scratches when the bike is parked.
Review: 12 Cool Urban Bicycles Ready to Replace Your Car, Chris Baskind, March 20, 2010
The 2010 Trek Soho earns a 4.3-star rating (out of 5) from nearly 30 reviewers at Buzzillions.com. Users say the bike is easy to maintain, and the smooth shifting is another plus. A few owners complain that the belt drive is squeaky.
Review: Trek Soho S, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of July 2011
7. Westwood Biker
In this blog post, the anonymous author describes his 100-mile test of the 2010 Trek Soho. Like most reviewers, this cyclist loves the belt drive, which is much quieter than a typical chain. However, the author says the brakes lack power and the grips are too thin.
Review: Trek Soho: The 100-Mile Review, Editors of Westwood Biker, Feb. 5, 2010