Bjorling said the new belts are a low-maintenance solution to a chain, which has roughly 3,000 parts including all the links and connectors.
Aside from the whisper-quiet ride, the lighter and longer-lasting carbon-fiber composite belts won't rust, can't be cut, won't stretch or slip and won't leave grease marks around your ankles. A guard over the belt-drive and the construction of the system makes getting your pants stuck an unlikely scenario, Bjorling said.
One version of the chainless bike, called the District ($930), is a single-speed, complete with a silver body, orange accents and brown leather seat and handles. The other, called the Soho ($990), is an eight-speed bike that uses an internal hub to adjust the speed rather than gears.
Bicycles have come a long way from the "boneshakers back in the 19th century," said Orin Starn, a professor at Duke University who teaches a course on the anthropology of sports. Some companies have used direct drive or drive shaft bikes that provide some of the same benefits as Trek's chainless bikes, but those models have yet to replace the age-old chain.
It sounds like they're going to primarily be for commuters and cruisers, and not necessarily for mountain biking (not even for single-speed mountain bikes -- my guess is the torque we would apply is just too great), but I like where this is heading. Anything that could reduce maintenance and weight is worth pursuing, so long as the price is reasonable.
Full article here.