Trek Lync 3  (4)

The Trek Lync has a battery – but it’s not what you think. Instead of helping to power you along to the chagrin of many, the battery is there simply to help you find your way. Batteries on high end bikes are nothing new, be it for an electronic drive train, automated suspension system, or other uses, they are still fairly rare on entry level bikes and hybrids.

In the case of the Trek Lync series, the battery is there to provide both front and rear illumination with complete integration. Right off the showroom floor, the Lync is ready for the streets including those that require bicycle lights by law. As long as the battery pack is charged, you can zip along to your destination turning on the powerful lights with the flick of a switch. Even better, once you arrive and lock up your bike you no longer have to worry about removing lights to prevent them from being stolen.

See why we’re ok with batteries on the Lync 3, next…

Trek Lync 3  (5)

Trek Lync 3  (8)

Trek is certainly not the first company to integrate lights into a frame, but it does mean consumers have wide access to a well designed city bike with its own lighting system at their local shop. In most of the surveys we’ve seen, one of the biggest reasons for people not riding their bikes is the amount of time it takes to get ready, or the hassle of all the different gear. The Lync takes at least one of those steps out of the equation making it extremely simple to just jump on and ride.

Trek Lync 3  (2) Trek Lync 3  (3)

These aren’t just to-be-seen lights either, with the front pumping out 500 lumens on high power, the headlight is more than enough to safely ride in complete darkness. The rear lights are equally bright and are positioned low on the seat stays so that whatever bag or rack you are using won’t block the LEDs.

Trek Lync 3  (17)

Both lights are controlled through a sleek button cluster located on the bottom of the top tube. The two buttons are large enough to easily reach while riding if you need to change modes, but out of the way of the elements. A click of either button will power up both lights, while subsequent clicks of the front will cycle through low and high power for the headlights, and clicks on the rear will switch between steady and flashing for the rear. Holding either button down will shut off both lights.

The first ride left us feeling that the light was shining too high – which was only a problem until we figured out how to adjust it. The allen screw in the center of the headlight isn’t to hold it onto frame, instead it is a built in adjuster. Threading it in will point the headlight down, while threading it out has the reverse effect. This isn’t really something easily done on the fly, but once set up it should be good to go.

If there was one thing we could change for the light modes, it would be the addition of a front flasher or the ability to just run the rear. I always try to run a flashing rear during the day, but don’t really have the need for the front to be on which surely drains the battery. If you could run the front on flash, or not at all it would allow for the use of the rear in daylight with what should be improved battery life.

Trek Lync 3  (15) Trek Lync 3  (14)

Trek Lync 3  (16)

The battery itself is mounted to the downtube just in front of the bottom bracket. The small lithium ion battery pack is easily removed from the frame for charging though the micro-USB port on the underside of the body. The battery is honestly a solid design as it allows you to lock your bike up, then slip the battery in your pocket so you can charge it up while you work if you’re commuting. Overall you’re looking at around 5 hours of run time per charge, depending on headlight usage.

Trek Lync 3  (6)

When you mount a light to a bike’s head tube, there is a slight issue that pops up – cables. Put a powerful light behind a shift or brake cable at close range and you end up with some pretty major dead spots in your field of view. To prevent that from happening, the Lync has a headset mounted cable management clip that keeps the cables out of the way.

Trek Lync 3  (18)

The Lync 3 also features internally routed shift cables, though the brake hoses remain external which is more important for the Lync 5 which gets hydraulic brakes instead of the Tektro mechanicals here. Of course the city bike is equipped with a kickstand plate as well.

Trek Lync 3  (1)

Trek Lync 3  (12)

Knowing that the Lync will likely be locked up, the frame is provided with bumpers for both the top and down tube to prevent bike racks or locks from damaging the frame.

Trek Lync 3  (7)

Trek Lync 3  (9)

Additionally the Lync includes both the Duotrap capability and Blendr stem mounts for additional lights and computers. The Blendr mount can also be completely removed if you prefer a more streamlined look without the additional mount.

Lync 3 drivetrain
To keep things simple, the Lync 3 sticks with a 1×9 speed drivetrain with 44 x 11-34  gearing. In most city riding situations this should be adequate, but if you live somewhere with some serious hills, the 27 speed Lync 5 might be a better option.

Trek Lync 3  (10)

Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes aren’t the sexiest around, but they get the job done and offer reliable braking even when wet.

Trek Lync 3  (11)

On pavement the aluminum Lync 3 with a steel fork provides an exceptionally smooth ride which is probably partly due to the Bontrager H2 Hard Case Lite tires. At 32mm wide they are plenty big to handle most potholes and dirt paths, while the Hard Case Lite puncture protection should get you there without feeling deflated. The tires also offer an insanely bright reflective strip that will get you noticed by cars even if the lights don’t.

Both Lync models also feature full coverage fenders to keep you dry in any weather. Unfortunately ours were damaged in transit after what looks like UPS using the box as a tackling dummy to prepare for football season. The Lync 5 also gets upgraded to include a rear rack as well for running panniers. We’re not quite up to date on our city bike weights, but at 28 lbs with the included pedals, the Lync 3 doesn’t seem too bad.

Available in 5 sizes from 15 – 25″, the Lync 3 retails for $989.99. If you’re looking for an easy riding city bike that doubles as a commuter with its own light source, the Lync is certainly worth a look.

trekbikes.com

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

37 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
wako29
wako29
7 years ago

While the part of me that isn’t the racer and bike snob thinks this bike is actually really cool, I think what I’m most excited about this bike is that the lights are built into the bike so they can’t be stolen. I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve had a bunch of lights get stolen off my bike – even when just running into the store for a minute (live in Chicago). Obviously quite frustrating

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

I’d love to see more of these integrated lights with a dyno hub instead of battery.

cbfb
cbfb
7 years ago

agree with Mike, nice idea but how did they not make the leap to adding a dyno? would be a nice revival of old technology, I remember when most commuters had one!!

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook
7 years ago

Yay for lights, boo for batteries. A dynohub (as Mike stated) or mini-dynamos (like the Magnic Lights) would have been a better solution.

That said, it’s progress.

Sean
Sean
7 years ago

That battery should have been a dynamo and then I’d be interested.

Timquila
Timquila
7 years ago

Bravo! Fresh thinking.

Clancy
Clancy
7 years ago

Would a dynamo provide enough juice to power 500 lumens? What happens at stops? I’m not aware if the technology on dynos has advanced from the ones I’m use to. Overall though, it looks like Trek nailed it. With bike lanes quickly becoming more and more in cities throughout the states, people need an intelligently designed and reasonably priced commuter, and this looks like a viable option.

Fred
Fred
7 years ago

Clancy, check out the Supernova lights.

They would make the bike much more expensive, but throwing 700 lumens out of a generator is pretty rad.

BK
BK
7 years ago

Yep. Dynamo lighting has come a long way in terms of technology, but still seems to be extremely under-utilized in the US for some reason. I’ve been running a dynamo setup on my commuter bike for a couple years now and not having to worry about remembering to bring lights with me in the morning, whether or not they’re charged, or remembering to take them with me if I lock up my bike is a wonderful thing.
My setup doesn’t put out quite 500 lumens, but I’ve found it to be plenty bright for commuting, especially in the city. As for what happens at stops; most decent dynamo lights have a built in “stand light” function. Essentially a capacitor that stores energy to keep the light on(though at a lower output) for a few minutes after the wheel stops turning.

Robo
Robo
7 years ago

I have no problem whatsoever with a battery. Nice work, Trek.

Velociraptor
Velociraptor
7 years ago

> Right off the showroom floor, the Lync is ready for the streets

Well except for fenders and a lock.

Proprietary lithium ion batteries? No thanks.

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook
7 years ago

@Velociraptor: “Both Lync models also feature full coverage fenders to keep you dry in any weather. Unfortunately ours were damaged in transit after what looks like UPS using the box as a tackling dummy to prepare for football season.”

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook
7 years ago

@BK: It’s under-utilized in the US because it’s relatively expensive (unless it’s built into the bike, which is virtually never the case to keep costs lower, making it easier to sell bikes to a public who is still skeptical about their value as transportation) and because there’s no real legal mandate for serious bicycle lighting in the US, unlike much of the rest of the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_lighting#Legal_requirements covers some of this in more detail, but the gist of it is that in much of western Europe you really can’t buy a commuter bike w/o dynamo lighting. In the US it’s nearly impossible to do so.

muf
muf
7 years ago

think about the amount of lights you can buy and get stolen for buying a cheap commuter instead of this 1K commuter.. 😉

also on commuters im pretty happy with the old bikes, dynamo, fenders, etc.. they have everything on them, cost next to nothing aaaand look “cool” “vintage”. actually roll freaking well too.

Id only have battery powered light on road bikes/mtbs where you dont want that friction for multiple reasons and you want higher power light for forest riding or what not.

gringo
gringo
7 years ago

Interesting that really so few have any clue about what a hub dynamo and powerful LED is capable of.
900 lumens with a 5 minute stand light is what I get out of my Supernova set up. and I never have to charge it….

Also, surprising that Trek used a battery and proprietary (read expensive) tech here instead of a proven dynamo system.

michael
7 years ago

@gringo: I’m curious as to what “Supernova” setup your referring to as the E3 Pro 2’s output is marketed as 205 lumens and the E3 triple (which shouldn’t be used to commute) @ 640 lumen. Regardless, despite the lack of dynamo I feel the integrated lighting solution offered on the Lync is a step in the right direction for what is marketed as a dedicated commuter.

Milessio
Milessio
7 years ago

Interesting no comments on the fact that the front light doesn’t turn with the handlebars – is it an issue or a benefit, or just easier to integrate?

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

No a dynamo can’t run a 500w light.

At least not your standard 3w (even less from a 1.5w) dynamo and without active cooling for the LED, which would obviously sap power.

A realistic but very good watt to lumen ratio is about 1w to 100 lumens. However, that’s still a fair amount of light, and much better than old bottle dynamos running cheap incandescent bulbs with 10-15 lumens per watt.

gringo
gringo
7 years ago

@Michael.
the the E3 triple 2 is 640 by new measuring standard used by Supernova. I am referring to the MY13 model which was measured / marketed at 900.
If i commute on logging roads and single track than I guess I can use the bright one….right? 🙂

Anyway, I should also state that the light integration on this bike is awesome…I just dont understand the need to complicate life with a rechargeable battery on an otherwise great bike concept.

cheers.
Gringo

Henry
Henry
7 years ago

Looks like Devinci.
Newton : http://www.devinci.com/bikes/scategory_137
Dyno hub
Integrated lights

Ck
Ck
7 years ago

I typically love to hate on Trek, but this bike is actually one that i’d consider purchasing if I was a heavy bike commuter. There are a lot of neat features, but they’re proper commuter features, not stupid gimmicks. Of course, with not-cheap commuters like this, you’re kinda limiting your market to people who can safely lock up a $1k bike.

Nick
Nick
7 years ago

Two issues with the dynamo everyone is talking about:

1. Expensive. Dynamos are expensive in the US as stated before…
2. As with other “commuter” bikes these days, with dynamos and internal hubs…how is the average person going to change a flat? I’d keep with standard practices here and offer an easily rechargeable battery instead of needing a ride to work…

*I do realize that the skewers require an allen key, but any self-respecting shop has a few extra “junk” ones to spare customers, I know we do

King County
King County
7 years ago

@Milessio, Good point! Having the light only in line with the frame is not ideal.

trash
trash
7 years ago

@Nick
1 $100 for an alfine vs ~$30 for a non-generator. Add battery cost & electricity cost. Any remaining cost difference is more than made up for in time savings and convenience.
2 hub dynamos have a plug that can be disconnected to change a flat. no issue there.

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook
7 years ago

I’m not sure specing a low-end dynohub (like a Shimano 3D30) would have added much, if any, to the cost vs the lithium-ion battery they’re using. In bulk I’m sure Trek could source those things very cheaply.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
7 years ago

The integrated lights are cool but I’d really like to see an internal geared option, a full chainguard and a rack and fenders.

DT
DT
7 years ago

Why Everything integrated and proprietary? Why No dynamo? Why Only 5h runtime but you can brag that the lights so powerful?
Typically stupid, greedy American thinking. We all know it. So sad. Proof is in the whole country’s history and current economy.
No surprise.
When will they ever learn?

Shaun
Shaun
7 years ago

Lumens is an utterly useless way of measuring lights. 500 lumens sounds bright but since we don’t know the area that is spread over, it’s useless. 500 lumens spread over say 20 square metres is only 25 lux or 25 lumens per square metre. We also don’t know the shape of the beam. How much is wasted in a conical beam blinding car drivers or have they shaped the beam to be more useful to commuters than to mtbers?

For comparison my 60 lux dynamo driven Phillips light outputs 110 lumen in the main beam. The beam shape is wide and square. Trek really should have put a relatively cheap Shimano dynohub on this.

PsiSquared
PsiSquared
7 years ago

+1 to what Shaun said about lumens vs. lux when it comes to cycling lights. A light with fewer lumens can easily produce more lux than a light with a lot of lumens and crappy reflector (and possibly lens) design. Cheap lights with high lumen counts generally have that crappy reflector/lens design.

Also you have to take any generalized watts to lumens conversion factors with a grain of salt. Watts are a measure of total power in the light output while lumens are weighted according to the eye’s response to different colors. That means that any accurate conversion factor is going to be LED or light bulb dependent.

Flip
Flip
7 years ago

Agree about the lumen vs. lux comments. Frankly, some of the newer high-lumen lights are little more than super-charged flashlights for your handlebars, that function primarily to annoy drivers and others users of the MUP.

There are smarter ways to do it that sadly we don’t get (broadly) in America.

Flip
Flip
7 years ago

As for this bike, it’s a step in the right direction. DT seems like a real barrel of laughs.

Dirty-d
Dirty-d
7 years ago

Put a belt drive and an Alfine hub on this and it will sell like hot cakes!

lonefrontranger
lonefrontranger
7 years ago

to everyone wondering why rechargeable batteries vs. dynamo, it’s simple: This is a bike to be marketed in the US, not Europe. For many reasons, rechargeable batteries are a much more widely utilized, cheap, and well understood technology than hub dynamos.

Hub dynamos also have a very long held and poor reputation in the States for being noisy, power sucking, difficult to change flats and so on. I am aware the modern dynamo hubs are not this way, but they are expensive and the minute you say “hub dynamo” to a US customer they’re like “nope, not interested”.

I’m okay with the rechargeable battery solution as it’s neatly integrated and 5 hours runtime between charges is more than any US commuter will ever need. What I kind of wish is that they’d incorporated the light into the stem faceplate so that the light follows the bars, and is not inline with the frame, but I’m sure they had their reasons.

I feel like this is a good forward thinking option for an urban commuter that makes sense to the US consumer, and I hope more manufacturers pick up on this. Making it cheaper wouldn’t solve anything – there’s a point at which you start to trade good value for tacky components that won’t last a year, and these days I’m afraid that starts around $1K for bicycles. Have you even seen the prices of cheapest entry level car lately, or even the prices for used cars that you’d be lucky to drive for a month without a major multi-thousand dollar breakdown? Inflation is a thing. I mean I totally get it, I’ve been poor to the brink of homeless myself, and when I was I rode a crappy dumpster salvage bike. This is a nice bike with well thought out features, especially for its intended use.

Joshua
Joshua
7 years ago

Treks reason for integrating the light into the frame instead of the bars or stem as I understand it is simple, security. Placing the light in the bar or stem makes it much easier to steal as bars and stems are easy to steal they just are not usually very valuable so are not stolen as often the light is not just mounted to the headtube it actually mounts from inside the headtube making it impossible to steal without removing the fork.

Marcel
Marcel
6 years ago

How does the Lync 3 do on hills?

Pepe
Pepe
6 years ago

Are you serious ? In my opinion are Trek bikes overpriced and the technology outdated if you compare bikes with in the same price range with European bikes. Yeah, the Lync 3 to 5 look how regular bikes look in Europe BUT Battery ?? No thx!
I don’t understand why Trek is in the united states so popular, you simply won’t find almost any bikes in the U.S. for around $500 with reasonable equipment AND fenders AND real lights! A shame! There are so many great alternatives in this world, thank good!

Ramon Palma
Ramon Palma
1 year ago

Dessverre. Tror du tar veldig feil. Jeg er meget fornøyd, har hatt dinamo før, kan ikke sammenlignes.