August 13, 2009

FROM THE HEARTLAND: Trek Shows-Off The New Stuff
Every August Trek throws a big open house at their factory in Waterloo, Wisconsin for their dealers to come and get a first hand look at what one of the biggest bike makers in the world has up their sleeves for the new season. Beautiful weather, a ninth Tour de France victory and a plethora of new and exciting bicycles were on full display. Here's the first part of our report of what caught our eye... 

I don't know if I agree that "It must be the bike" as the banner says, but at the end of the day, the bike does have something to do with winning the Tour de France...especially when it's been nine out of the last eleven races! And so it was that the dealers were first greeted with a celebration of their all new 2009 TdF winning OCLV Madone 6 Series that is proudly handmade at Trek's Wisconsin factory. 

One of the more interesting bikes on display was the Belleville which represents Trek's effort to design and build a bicycle that takes to heart the idea of being as "eco-friendly"as possible. The women's model was absolutely beautiful. From sourcing to finishing, every aspect of the bike's impact on the environment was taken into consideration. Kudos to Trek for taking the "green" nature of cycling to a new level.

Like everyone else, Trek is also trying to own a slice of the new fashion oriented urban scene. They started a few years ago with the novel Soho, but the category has now grown to now include the four model District line. The 2nd District was probably the coolest of them all. Yeah, it's a singlespeed with a flip-flop hub and carbon fork, but it's the styling that really stands out.

Just in case you think bike designers are just a bunch of Apple using, soft bellied, art geeks, well then you should meet Jesse Lalonde. A former singlespeed world champ, Jesse is as real-deal as they get, and he was in charge of designing all the District bikes. He is also brave enough to do some fast laps in Trek's own Vortex of Terror

When Joni Mitchell sings "We need to get back to the garden" in the song "Woodstock", she must've been referring to Wisconsin. The state is abundant not only in good beer, cheese curds and cycling, but it's also a vertiable garden of vegetables, flowers & all of nature's goodness. If Chicago wins the 2012 Olympic bid, the road race will be on the hilly outskirts west of Madison - make it a date!

Of all the custom Project One paint jobs, one of the most expensive is the Lance inspired LiveStrong scheme because the going price includes a $500 donation to the LiveStrong foundation. Choose between SRAM, Shimano or Campagnolo drivetrains.

Speaking of Trek's Project One custom build program, this particular P1 bike was built up to weigh 12.8 pounds. There are ten P1 artists at Trek, but only three are qualified to thrown down the flames - no two bikes are alike and each bike is signed by the artist...well, they can be if you check the box (and you should) on the order form (some customers were complaining about the micro-sized signature on the chainstay). Besides the paint, everything from the color of bar tape, cable housing and saddle tips can be of your own choosing. 

Oh yeah, speaking of the District line of bikes, this is the model that elicited the most ooohhs & aahhhs with the dealers. Based on a OCLV Madone 5 series frame, the minimalist belt drive singlespeed bike is black on black and is as basic as you can get. Available in five sizes.

For the last decade many a player has jumped into the electric bike market and I've laughed heartily as they've come and gone. Big, ugly, heavy, plain dumb - so long. Maybe not anymore. Trek's stab at the market is called Ride + and the four models that make up the line are based on a rear wheel located brushless hub motor with four speed settings. Surprisngly, the power-assist ride is actually pretty cool and the Trekkies already seem to have big plans with the proprietary technology. The whole system adds about 12 pounds.  

Trek's Women's Specific Design program gets bigger every year. For 2010 they've finally allowed the ladies the chance to ride the top of the line bike with a new WSD 6 Series Madone now being made available. The fancy WSD Project One paint will be extra, much extra.  

Despite their new Speed Concept bike proving to be the among fastest TT bikes at the Tour, there was no sign of it at Trek World. They were instead showing off their equally well proven Equinox, which is available in an SSL model that has every possible part on it drilled out for lightness. Two OCLV carbon bikes and the entry-level aluminum Equinox 7 are sold with the carbon bikes also part of the "Select" series that lets the consumer order a special color and accessories for no extra charge.  

This beautiful concept bike gives an indication of what might lie in the future for Trek's electric bike line.The battery is located in the seat tube.

The re-designed lobby features three special Trek's including this custom bike dedicated to company founder Dick Burke who passed away last year.

 R.I.P Dick Burke.

Here's more on the 2010 Trek

RBA Test: Profile Design Altair 52 Semi Carbon
A full carbon clincher alternative...
RBA Test: Rolf Prima Ares 6
An American builder's take on a carbon clincher...
First Ride: Mavic CXR 80 Aero Wheels
The French wheel maker has a new take on cheating the wind...
Inside The Pros' Bikes: Joe Dombrowski's Trek Madone
Here's a the bike that shocked the Pro Tour riders on Mt Baldy...
First Look: 2013 Shimano Dura-Ace
We spotted the new parts at the Amgen Tour of California, but not on a Pros' bike...
Sea Otter Tech: Lazer Magneto Sunglasses
First ride with Lazer's Magneto system-the ultimate in sunglass and helmet integration...
First Ride: 2013 BMC GranFondo GF01
BMC unveils their newest bike for cobbles and comfort...

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