Trek's District 4 Equipped Is the All-Round Bike You Never Knew You Wanted or Needed

District 4 Equipped 8 photos
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
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It's difficult to create a bicycle that strikes the perfect balance between capability and price. Well, this time around, we'll be exploring Trek's District 4 Equipped, a nimble urban machine designed to be your go-to vehicle if you're looking to get or stay in shape or just looking to save some gas.
Folks, the District 4 Equipped we'll be exploring today is NOT an e-bike; bummer, I know. Nonetheless, it does come in with some rather notable features and capabilities that make it a notable bicycle for those looking to change up their lifestyle.

For starters, allow me to point out that this puppy is designed as an urban bike, so you shouldn't be flying around local woods on it, but it can handle some gravel riding and even hardpack trails, as long as you keep both those tires on the ground.

To give us the perfect balance between capability, strength, and weight, Trek uses nothing but its proprietary blend of Alpha Smooth aluminum to bring the frame to life and a rigid front fork. That frame is also designed around internal cable routing and is belt drivetrain compatible, and that's precisely what Trek is using for the drivetrain.

District 4 Equipped
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
For the District 4, good old Gates joins the games and is supplying a CDX with a 22T rear sprocket and 46T chain wheel. But, the real attractive point for this sort of drivetrain is the fact that you won't need to clean a darned thing. You also won't have to worry about servicing or it breaking on you for thousands of miles of use.

The downside is that these drivetrains often work on a single-speed system, so you'll need some solid quads to move around your city, but not on a District. At the rear of this bike, we can see a nice bulky hub. It's here that Shimano comes in with their Alfine S7000 gearbox with 8 speeds. It offers a gear range of 306%, and without this component, again, you'd need to have some very solid legs to climb hills around your town.

If you've never rocked a belted drivetrain before, what I can share with you is that starting off is going to be rather difficult, but once you're up to speed, cruising is rather easy to maintain. Or, at least, until a gust of wind smashes into you.

District 4 Equipped
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
With some of the essentials out of the way, it's time to dive a tad deeper into what this puppy can do and why it's worth its price tag of $1,750 (€1,650 at current exchange rates). First off, like most other bikes from this manufacturer, the District 4's frame has that whole lifetime warranty Trek is known for, but most importantly, it's decked out to break the confines of our urban jungle.

If you've had a chance to check out the images in the gallery, you'll have noticed that the District's frame is tattered with cargo mounts. Why is this a notable feature? Think about it: if your bike can't handle cargo racks and panniers, then all it's good for is exercise or bringing home gold medals, which is fine and all, but it just won't serve the purpose of an urban aid.

These mounts allow for more than just bringing home cookies and milk. Stage two of their abilities include being able to load them up with cargo like water, food, clothing, and some outdoor supplies and ride to the edge of town only to camp out underneath the stars. Of course, fenders are part of the mix, too.

The final piece of the District 4's puzzle is tire size. As I mentioned, this bike can handle a tad more than just the urban jungle, and to do this, tires are key. That said, Trek throws on a pair of 700x40c tires as standard, which may be a tad wider than your average road bike but slimmer than MTBs, so somewhere in the middle.

District 4 Equipped
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
But are they wide enough for gravel? Well, not the rubbers you get straight out of the box, but the frame and fork are designed to handle as large as 50c tires, so yes, enjoy fishtailing with a flat bar. Helping you control all these movements will be a pair of hydraulic MT200 brakes from Shimano clamping down on 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors.

As for the rest of the District 4 Equipped, good old Bontrager is spotted all over but neatly enough, there's a headlight that is powered by a front wheel-mounted dynamo. Is Trek experimenting with the idea of running electronics with mechanical power? Are they planning to apply this tech to their e-bikes? Will we be recharging our batteries while pedaling? There's an idea.

Once it's finished, we're looking at a bicycle with a total weight of 32.6 lbs (14.8 kg) for a medium-sized frame, which, in my experience, is easy enough to manage around stairs or curbs you might encounter in your city. Sure, I can talk about this bike's geometry for the next 30 minutes or so, but you're better off finding one in a local shop and taking it out for a spin.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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