FREE OF CHAINS: Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycle is introducing two chainless models this holiday season, using technology most often found in things like motorcycles and snowmobiles. The nation's largest domestic bike manufacturer is part of a movement to bury the finger-pinching, rust-prone sprocket and chain.
BIKE ON: More urban pedal-pushers are trading their cars for a more low-tech way to get around because of gas prices as well as health and environmental concerns. Bicycles were a $5.4 billion industry in the U.S. in 2007, including the retail value of bikes, related parts and accessories, according to research funded by the National Sporting Goods Association.
THE BENEFITS: The new belt-driven bikes - currently in single-speed and eight-speed models - are touted as a low-maintenance alternative to a chain, which has roughly 3,000 parts including all the links and connectors. Aside from the quieter ride, the lighter and longer-lasting carbon-fiber composite belts won't rust, stretch, slip or leave grease marks.