Trek issues voluntary nationwide recall of select Bontrager lights

In a coordinated effort with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Trek is issuing a voluntary recall of select Bontrager Flare RT lights sold individually as well as Bontrager Ion 700 RT front lights sold as part of the Bontrager Transmtr Set with Remote.


This recall was prompted by the discovery that the lights can turn off without warning when paired with a remote transmitter. To date, no injuries involving the affected lights have been reported. Upon discovery, the company immediately contacted the CPSC to begin the process of the recall action it is announcing today. The recall affects 700 lights located in the US, Canada, UK, and Japan.

Owners of Flare RT lights should check their light for the date code located on the back of the light. If the date code is between Af0400001 and Af0400407, it is affected by this recall. The date code of the affected Ion 700 RT is 1606 and is located on the bottom of the light under the charging port cover.

Trek is taking proactive measures to bring attention to this issue by reaching out through its global network of authorized retailers. As part of this voluntary recall, Trek will provide a free replacement light through its authorized retailers. To incentivize owners of the affected lights to return them, Trek will be issuing a $20 coupon good towards any Trek or Bontrager product for every light returned.

Authorized Trek retailers have been notified of the issue, and replacement lights are currently shipping to shops in the US, Canada, UK, and Japan. Owners of the affected models can expect fast service and replacement parts.


Review: Trek 920 Disc

From Issue #37

Bicycle touring has changed a lot over the past few years, and while riders once rejoiced for a smooth ribbon of asphalt, a rough and rocky road is now de rigueur. Right on the Trek website you see signs of this preference as the new 920 Disc is classified under the banner of “touring and adventure,” and it’s clearly been designed to peg the needle at the latter end of that dial.


I have to say, the matte green paint and knobby tires look pretty badass, like something you’d expect to see with CALL OF DUTY EDITION stenciled on the side. Besides its looks the main draw of the 920 is of course the wheels and tires, which are straight out of the Bontrager mountain bike catalog: duster elite tubeless ready 29-inch wheels with thru-axles front and rear and XR1 29×2.0 tires. There is ample clearance for a 29×2.2 or a set of fenders with the stock tires.

When not exploring the back roads of the Wild West, the 920 Disc would make an excellent commuter. The build powering those big wheels is a Sram 10-speed drivetrain with 42/28 chainrings and an 11-36 cassette, also borrowed from a mountain bike. Old-school bike tourists will appreciate the bar-end shifters, though I wish the modern SRAM versions could be switched to friction mode. The double chainrings are more than adequate for most riding, but don’t offer a huge range. This might be the first bike I’ve ridden where I was wishing for a little bit lower gear and a higher gear; usually it’s just one or the other.


Built from Trek’s 100 Series Alpha Aluminum, the frame’s tubing is aggressively shaped with a massive downtube and a distinctly kinked top tube. That kink makes room for a second bottle cage on the top of the down tube on frames size 56 and up, for a total of four on the main triangle. There are also bottle cage mounts on each fork leg that do double duty as the front rack mount. In fact, the 920 Disc includes both front and rear Bontrager aluminum racks. While the rear rack is a fairly conventional design, the front rack sits up a bit higher than a set of traditional low-riders, though with the panniers mounted on the second bar from the top the bike handles just fine with plenty of toe clearance.


Bringing it all to a halt is a pair of TRP’s Hylex hydraulic disc brakes, which stand out for their stopping power but are also distinctive for their ergonomics. The main body of the lever houses the master cylinder, and to make room they are quite long. So much so that if you swapped these onto another bike, you’d have to shorten the stem by 10 mm or so to compensate to achieve the same reach to the hoods. The compact bend of the handlebar keeps things pretty comfortable though. I also swapped out the stock stem for a shorter one to dial in a perfect fit.

I loaded the 920 up with panniers and hit the pavement for a 100-mile overnight road ride, and then ditched the racks for some forest road exploring. It’s perhaps a bit too heavy for all-out gravel racing, but I found it’s an excellent companion for all-day back road explorations and dirt road rambling. Despite the aluminum frame, the big tires are more than enough to soak up the road vibrations, and the Bontrager saddle and I got along just fine.


While the basic layout of the 920 Disc is fairly traditional, the details are anything but. Shift cables run internally and the frame is equipped with a port for the Trek DuoTrap S speed and cadence sensor system. The hydraulic brakes might scare off some traditionalists, but they are much appreciated when you’re careening down a mountain with 70 pounds of gear. Purists will also scoff at the notion of an aluminum frame and fork on a touring bike, but if you really think you need a frame that can somehow be pieced back together on the side of the road by a good samaritan with a blowtorch in Uzbekistan, so be it. But I doubt you do.

The other refrain I’ve seen echoing through the message boards is that Trek copied the Salsa Fargo, as if that were the first bike with 29-inch tires and drop bars. While the Salsa is at heart a mountain bike and can run a suspension fork, the 920 Disc isn’t meant for singletrack. Think of it more as a Subaru Outback than a Jeep Wrangler.


The stock tires are most at home on double-track or gravel, but they roll well enough that I left them on for road rides as well. Because they are tubeless ready the bead sits incredibly tight on the rim and fixing a flat requires very high air pressure, some strong thumbs and a bit of cursing to get the tires to seat properly. I recommend setting them up tubeless from the beginning to shed weight and eliminate pinch flats.

While the 920 is meant for more rough and tumble adventures rather than smooth pavement, I would still choose it over the classic Trek 520 model for traditional road touring. My mountain bike experience has made me a big fan of hydraulic disc brakes and thru-axles—modern features that have earned my trust. Whether you go slicks or knobbies, with racks or without, the 920 Disc is a versatile bike that is ready for your next adventure.



  • Price: $2,090
  • Weight: 24.8 pounds (without racks), 27.5 pounds (with racks)
  • Sizes: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 (tested) and 61 cm
  • More:



Field Tested: Trek Émonda SLR8

The Madone has been the staple of Trek’s elite road bike lineup since the Armstrong era, and while you’ll still find it in Trek retailers, a new model has surpassed it as the lightest production bike Trek has ever built. The new Émonda line shows what Trek’s decades of experience building with its OCLV carbon fiber can create.


Weighing in at just 14 pounds as tested, the bike is in a category that simply needs to be experienced to be believed. As bikes get lighter, each additional pound of weight shaved off represents an even larger percentage of its mass. and while knocking five pounds off my mid-section might help me get to the top of the climb just as quickly, a bike this light has an instant tailwind.


While the Madone is still the out-and-out aerodynamic race bike, the Émonda was designed to appeal to a broader range of riders. While not everyone is pushing a bike hard enough to enjoy the aero benefits of the Madone, everyone can immediately notice a lighter bike. To ensure everyone can enjoy one, the Émonda is available in a remarkable 16 sizes with two different fit profiles from 47 cm to 64 cm, not including the Trek WSD women’s specific sizes.


The simple white-on-black paint with gold accents of the Émonda SLR8 recalls the John Player Special livery of the 1970s Lotus F1 cars. While most modern bikes have crazy aero shapes and bizarre curves, the Émonda has a handsome, traditional look to it. And just like Lotus race cars have done for decades, the Émonda gets its advantage from “adding lightness.” A bare Émonda frame weighs a ridiculous 690 grams. That’s less than a full water bottle.


I was expecting a super rigid ride to go with the stiffness and weight, but when out on the Émonda I was often checking to see if I had a low tire. The ride is taut yet refined—it sends enough of a buzz through the frame to remind you that you are on one heck of a fast bike, but it remains remarkably poised over impacts like potholes. Last year I rode and reviewed Trek’s spring classics-inspired Domane model, with its unique isoSpeed decoupler system, and while the Émonda isn’t quite as supple on rough roads, it is darn close.


Climbing is what the Émonda was born to do. Every meager watt I can generate goes straight to the road through the bike’s massive down tube and BB90 bottom bracket. The full-size 53/39 crankset is clearly meant for racing, but the 11-speed 11-28 cassette gave me plenty of range to tackle the local hills.


What goes up must come down, and the Émonda responds to corners with a razor sharp response, but settles in once it spots the apex and sets an arc. It can’t quite match the glued-to- the-road feeling of the Domane, but it can change direction remarkably quickly. Controlling the descent is a pair of Shimano’s dura-ace direct-mount calipers, which require a specially designed frame and fork to mount. They’re likely the finest rim brakes to ever see the road before disc brakes inevitably take over. The rest of the Dura-Ace running gear works as flawlessly as a Swiss clock, though i do think the throw of the cable release levers is a bit long.


The SLR8 model comes equipped with Bontrager’s RXl tubeless-ready wheels, with a generous helping of carbon fiber in the XXX OCLV handlebar and Paradigm RXL saddle, which certainly looks intimidatingly slim but is in fact remarkably comfortable.


As the keystone model in Trek’s road bike lineup for the foreseeable future, the Émonda is likely to reset riders’ standards of just how good a modern bike can be.

Vital stats

  • Price: $7,880
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Sizes: 16 sizes, plus women’s specific models; size 62 H1 tested

Trek releases new Émonda ALR line


Trek announced today the release of an all-new line of ultra-lightweight aluminum road bikes that carries forward the prestige of the Émonda name. The all-new Émonda ALR is built with unmatched attention to balance and handling, offering elegance on a new level and far surpassing the lightness, performance, and ride quality of many of its carbon competitors. The same standards of excellence that brought prominence to the Émonda family were applied in the development of Émonda ALR, the next chapter of the Trek’s lightest and best-performing production road bike line.

With Émonda ALR, Trek delivers the same ultra-lightweight performance and superior handling of Émonda with an advanced aluminum frame that projects the ride characteristics and even the aesthetics of a carbon bike.


“As with the original Émonda, we pruned away every unnecessary element of Émonda ALR to create not just Trek’s lightest aluminum road bike ever, but also the best-performing,” Trek’s Eric Bjorling said. “For Émonda ALR, Trek engineers developed the all-new premium 300 Series Alpha Aluminum, which is hydroformed into size-specific tubes for the perfect balance of weight and stiffness.


“Every detail of the Émonda line, from frame design to each component choice on every model, serves the same audacious goal: to create the lightest line of production road bikes ever offered. One of those details is something never before seen on an aluminum road bike: the elegant and revolutionary Invisible Weld Technology, a process that cuts weight by requiring less material while simultaneously increasing the strength of the joint. The results are smooth and flawless seams, stronger bonds between the frame’s tubes, premium aesthetics, and a 56 cm frame that weighs only 1,050 grams.”

Read our Trek Émonda preview here, and check out the upcoming complete review in Issue #35, available later this month!

Émonda ALR is available in the popular H2 fit and geometry. Every model is spec’d top to bottom with complete gruppos and equipped with DuoTrap S, allowing riders to take full advantage of this leading-edge technology on an aluminum bike with a pure racing pedigree. Bringing the same level of class-leading weight and ride feel to an aluminum platform, Émonda ALR pushes the boundaries of possibility and sets a new benchmark of excellence in the craftsmanship, ride quality, weight, and performance of an aluminum bike.

What is ALR?

Building upon the legacy and success of the Émonda lineup, we bring the same level of class-leading weight, ride quality, and attention to detail down to aluminum pricepoints. Don’t be fooled though – these are phenomenally light and great riding bikes. This level of performance will make you seriously rethink what is capable with aluminum.

Does ALR come with complete gruppos?

As with every other Émonda model, every ALR comes with COMPLETE gruppos. This means that if you order the Émonda ALR 5, with Shimano 105, it is going to come with a 105 chain, cassette, crank, brakes, derailleurs, and shifters.


What is ‘Invisible Weld Technology’?

A revolutionary welding technology used on the frame allows for less material used in the welding process, while simultaneously increasing strength and the connection. The results are smooth and flawless seams, stronger bonds between the frame’s tubes, premium aesthetics, and decreased frame weight.

How much do the framesets weigh?

Émonda ALR comes in at a 1,050 grams for a 56 cm unpainted frame, with the painted fork weighing 358 grams with a 240 mm long steerer tube.

What do the ALR models weigh?

Émonda ALR 5 weighs 18.77 pounds (8.51 kilograms) and ALR 6 weighs 17.25 pounds (7.82 kilograms)

How are the models set up?

All Émonda models are organized by their frame level and drivetrain build. The frame levels are S, SL, SLR, and the new ALR. The number that follows the frame designation represents the drivetrain spec.

4 – Shimano Tiagra

5 – Shimano 105 5800

6 – Shimano Ultegra 6800

8 – Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical

9 – Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2

10 – SRAM Red

For example, on the Émonda ALR 6, the ALR designates the premium ALR frame and fork, while the 6 designates the complete Ultegra gruppo.

What forks come on the bikes?

Both ALR 5 and ALR 6 come with the Émonda SL fork. This 358 gram fork (painted, 240 mm steerer tube) features our tapered E2 technology and uses full carbon construction – including a carbon steerer tube. This creates a great riding front end with laser-precise steering, all in an ultra-lightweight package.

Does ALR work with DuoTrap S?

One advantage of this second generation speed and cadence sensor is that it can be integrated into aluminum frames, so we wanted to take full advantage of this technology on a bike with this much performance capability. Furthermore, the DuoTrap S offers Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity and offers optimal aesthetics, weight, and aerodynamics. Plus, it means zero zip ties to rub your frame, no sensors moving around and losing contact with the magnet, and nothing to fall off mid-ride.

What fit and geometry does ALR come in?

All ALR bikes come with Émonda’s popular H2 fit and geometry.


Does ALR have a rider weight limit?

Just like every other Trek road frame, the rider weight limit is 275lbs.

What is ALR’s warranty?

Just as with every one of our road bikes, Trek backs its lightest aluminum road bike with the best warranty in the world – lifetime.



Trek updates Farley fat bike to be bigger, faster

As the fat bike market matures it is inevitably diversifying into specific product categories. Just as mountain bikes now have categories for downhill, cross country or trail riding, fat bike riders are realizing one size does not fit all.

The Farley model has been hugely popular for Trek, but it was being pulled in two different directions: super fat tires for floatation on soft surfaces and more performance when paired with a suspension fork and lighter components. For 2016 the Farley model gets a full redesign based on all the new ways people are using fat bikes.


The new Farley is available in both aluminum and carbon fiber versions with sliding dropouts and rigid or suspension forks. The biggest news (not a pun) is the introduction of yet another wheelsize: 27.5×4. Trek says all the reasons that 27.5 wheels have an advantage over 26-inch for regular mountain bikes applies to fat bikes as well: larger contact patch, better angle of attack and shorter sidewalls for less bounce. Combined with the redesigned Stache model with 29×3 wheels and tires, Trek now has one of the widest “fat” product lineups in the business.

The new bikes are actually designed to fit multiple wheel sizes, as some models are equipped with the fattest of the fat tires and others are spec’d for better performance on trails or groomed snow. The new bike has moved to a 197 mm rear thru-axle while maintaining the same Q-factor as the previous model that could only fit a 26×4 tire.


One of the keys to its versatility is the new Stranglehold sliding dropout design, also found on the Stache, with a full 15 mm of adjustment. By incorporating the axle and the caliper mount it makes wheel swaps a breeze while allowing the user to adjust the chainstay length for different uses and wheel sizes. It can be found on both the new carbon fiber frame (a claimed 1,325 grams) and the new Alpha aluminum frame (a claimed 1,935 grams). Trek says that its lightest model, the Farley 9.8 with a rigid carbon fork, weighs just 23 pounds.

A carbon frame isn’t worth much if your wheels are super heavy, so Bontrager has stepped up with the new carbon Wampa wheels that measure 27.5 with an 83 mm width and weigh just 2,500 grams for the set. Their hookless, tubeless-ready bead should make setting them up with the corresponding Hodag tires a breeze.


Now, while riding a fat bike can make you feel like a kid, actual kids love riding them too. The new Farley 24 has 24-inch wheels with 3.5 tires on an aluminum frame for some pint-sized shredding. Trek says it should fit riders from 50 to 63 inches tall.



Farley 5: 26×4.7 tires, aluminum frame and fork, 2×10 Shimano drivetrain, $1,820.


Farley 7: 26×4.7 tires, aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, SRAM GX 1×11 drivetrain, $2,420.


Farley 9.6: 27.5×4 tires, carbon fiber frame and fork, SRAM GX 1×11 drivetrain, $3,150.


Farley 9: 27.5×4 tires, aluminum frame, RockShox Bluto fork, SRAM X1 1×11 drivetrain, $3,360.


Farley 9.8: 27.5×4 tires, carbon fiber frame and fork, carbon rims, SRAM X01 drivetrail with RaceFace Next carbon crankset, $5,040.


Farley 24: 24×3.5 tires, aluminum frame and fork, single chainring drivetrain, $1,210.


First impressions: Trek 920 rugged touring bike

Bicycle Times Trek 920

The Trek 920 blurs the line between “gravel” bikes and loaded touring bikes.

The whole concept of bicycle touring has been turned on its ear in the past few years. For a generation the idea was loading up a stalwart Trek 520 and following the pavement wherever it took you. Today many folks don’t even start their tour until they find where the pavement ends. Rides like the Tour Divide or the Oregon Outback have made back roads the new main street for bike touring, and Trek has designed the new 920 model for exploring on dirt, gravel and beyond. (Trek also debuted a new 720 light touring model.)

Bicycle Times Trek 920

The parts spec uses a traditional touring layout but swaps in some high-tech mountain bike components.

The all-new aluminum frame and fork are more reminiscent of a mountain bike than a traditional, steel touring rig. The massive tubes keep things from twisting when loaded or traversing rough terrain. The distinctive kink in the top tube adds room for a second bottle cage on the down tube, meaning there is room for four bottle cages on the main triangle, as well as one on each fork leg.

Bicycle Times Trek 920

Thru-axles front and rear add stiffness and security.

The 920 can be stripped down for events like the Dirty Kanza 200 or run with its included front and rear aluminum racks, giving you all the carrying capacity you could want. And while it may look a bit like a traditional touring bike with this set up, the details make it anything but. The Bontrager Duster wheels and knobby 29×2.0 Bontrager XR1 tires are straight from the brand’s mountain bike line, as are the inclusion of thru-axles front and rear.

Bicycle Times Trek 920

Braking is handled by the excellent TRP Hylex hydraulic system.

The drivetrain is a curious mix as well, with traditional-looking bar end shifters paired with a SRAM S1000 42/28 mountain bike crankset and 11-36 cassette. Keeping your loaded rig under control is made much easier with the TRP Hylex hydraulic disc brakes. After using these for a few weeks it’s impossible to imagine going back to cantilevers.

Bicycle Times Trek 920

The frame can also fit fenders for double duty as a commuter, something that should normally be essential here in Oregon.

I’ve been riding the Trek 920 on back roads all over Oregon in the past few weeks (aided by an alarming lack of snowpack) and thus far it has been an excellent adventure partner. Watch for an in-depth review soon.


Vital stats

Price: $2,090

Weight: 28.13 pounds, w/racks

Sizes: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 (tested), 61cm


First Impressions: Trek 720 Disc light adventure touring


For decades Trek has offered its model 520 steel touring model, specced with bar-end shifters, a rear rack, braze-ons for fenders and low-rider front rack, and clearance for chubby tires to tackle any terrain. For 2015, two new models are joining it in Trek stores: the rugged 920 adventure bike and the lightweight 720, both made with aluminum frames and decidedly different than each other and their grandpappy, the 520.

bicycle-times-trek-720-Disc-review-12 bicycle-times-trek-720-Disc-review-11

The 720 Disc is indeed aimed at more of the mixed-use crowd—riders who spend most of their time behind bars on asphalt—but who enjoy a taste of speed with the ability to tackle a little gravel. The handlebar height is similar to my daily rider, which I use on fast lunch rides in the hills for fitness, and the frame’s geometry is more on the aggressive side, which suits me fine.

The Gear

Trek, along with its house brand Bontrager, developed a plastic snap-in front lowrider dry-bag system for the carbon touring fork to carry some necessities. This frees up the rider’s back for a hydration pack for longer, hotter rides, or allows a pack-rat to carry as much stuff as they need. The rear triangle can also fit a standard rack, and Bontrager has several to choose from.

bicycle-times-trek-720-Disc-review-9 bicycle-times-trek-720-Disc-review-6

The 11-32-tooth, 11-speed cassette offers low enough gearing to handle long, steep climbs, and the 50/34 front chainrings allow a nice cadence on the flats, which I enjoy because I’m partial to doubles. I also like Shimano’s reliable 105 group, and the 720 includes shift/brake levers, derailleurs, cassette and chain, plus the RS500 crankset. Shifting has been crisp and reliable, and I need to tighten up the stretched cables a little to make things perfect after several rides.

The Ride

The 700x28c Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case Lite tires roll smoothly with 100 psi, and as of this post I’ve not suffered any flats. I’ve ridden several hundred miles on Bontrager tires the past few years, and have grown to appreciate the connection I feel to the road, which gives me a bit more confidence when cornering.


I’ve also grown accustomed to looking down and seeing disc brakes on my drop-bar bikes, and the TRP HY/RD cable-actuated, hydraulic hybrid disc brakes have become my favorite since testing the Pivot Vault in 2014: squeeze the brake lever and speed is scrubbed with little effort.


Like the Ibis Hakkalügi Disc I repurposed last fall, the Bontrager wheels are wide, round and true, even after several rides, providing a nice no-hassle ride. Unlike the ‘Lugi, the 720 Disc has fitting for fenders.

bicycle-times-trek-720-Disc-review-4 bicycle-times-trek-720-Disc-review-5

At 21 pounds without pedals and dry bags mounted on my 58 cm test sample, the 720 Disc won’t win any weight weenie contests, but that’s not the point. This is a bike designed to be loaded down, and smart bikes like this only feel better with extra stuff bolted or strapped on. Trek knows this from its tenure with the popular 520.



The 720 Disc can handle fast rides with the Lycra crowd, or become a mule on longer overnight excursions. The graphite finish with lime and green highlights provide enough of a neutral palette, and with a few simple modifications (like Cher’s costume changes between songs), you’ll have a diva of your own to go wherever you like.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of the 720 after we’ve had a chance to spend more time riding it.


Vital Stats

  • Price: $1,979
  • Weight: 21.1 pounds w/o pedals
  • Sizes: 49, 52, 54, 56, 58 (tested), 61 cm

Field Tested: Trek Lync 5 commuter bike


So, you’re kinda still married to riding that old Trek carbon racer from 1998, the one with the garish red, white and blue graphics and a Shimano rear shifter that doesn’t work that well anymore? While it was fun watching you-know-who dominate the Tour de France for seven consecutive years, it’s time to step up and consider another Trek, one more suited to your needs.

Time to rise up off those racing bars and take better control of your bike! A higher handlebar position makes riding in traffic and on bike paths easier and safer, especially with a backpack or messenger bag bogging you down. The head tube is taller on commuting-specific bike like the Lync 5, and with a wide, flat handlebar, you can ride with more confidence.


The Lync 5 has several tasty features that may make your commute more memorable for different reasons.

bicycle-times-trek-lync-5-review-14 bicycle-times-trek-lync-5-review-5  bicycle-times-trek-lync-5-review-3

First, the integrated lighting system is smart: a couple buttons reside underneath the top tube to control the LED headlight and taillights, which are built in to the head tube and rear seat stays, respectively. They’re powered by a USB-rechargeable battery mounted on the down tube (which provides up to five hours on a single charge).


Second, slowing and stopping gets a bit easier thanks to hydraulic disc brakes, which take less effort to modulate and squeeze compared to cable-actuated brakes. And third, even though Trek decided to leave off a kickstand, there’s a handy kickstand plate welded onto the lower frame so you can park your bike anywhere without the fear of it tipping over and denting the metal fenders, which do an admirable job of keeping your back dry on mornings after rainfall. You’ll just need to spend another $10 or so on a kickstand at the Trek dealer.


Pudgy tires—in this case 700x32c—provide better cushion on busted concrete and asphalt than 700x23s, dramatically cutting down on pinch flats. Who wants a perfectly good ride cut short due to an easily avoidable flat? Trek is smart to include a reflective ring on the sidewall of the Bontrager H2 Hardcase Lite tires—which are also puncture resistant—providing more visibility from perpendicular traffic. Bonus points for Trek for including theft-resistant skewers that require a 5 mm Allen key to loosen.


The Lync 5 is made with an aluminum frame and fork, which is a good thing for a few reasons. First, aluminum is easy to manipulate into shapes conducive to managing ride quality (stiff is good for bike handling and steering, and oval is good for providing tire clearances).

bicycle-times-trek-lync-5-review-17 bicycle-times-trek-lync-5-review-7

With the Lync 5, integrated rubber ‘bumpers’ are added to the top tube and down tube to protect the frame from damage when locking to a post or when transporting on a train. Second, aluminum doesn’t wilt in bad weather, and can take winter road salt and moisture better than steel.


Finally, it allows a product designer to add better components to the Lync 5 like its ergonomic grips and a stem system which handles smartphone attachments, plus a bell.

Ride quality

A bike designed for transportation and a bit of cargo hauling needs to feel steady and be free of fuss, i.e. janky shifting under load. The Shimano below-bar thumb shifters are responsive and dutiful, always leading the chain where I want it to go. The gear range works in all terrain, with a 9-speed 11-34 tooth cassette and 48/36/26 triple crankset up front handling drivetrain duties (more on that below).


The Lync 5 tracks straight and clean, allowing for the occasional hand turn signaling in traffic. My time on the test sample was split between short jaunts to the downtown library and coffee shop, to multi-modal journeys to San Francisco from my office in Mountain View via CalTrain. The bike is heavy duty like a utility bike should be, but not too heavy to lift up steps. And there are two places in the front triangle to mount water bottles, either for drinking or stashing tools or supplies.


Room for improvement

There’s no such thing as the perfect vehicle, and the Trek Lync 5 is far from perfect. The rear rack is designed for hauling a U-lock and lightweight panniers, but if you want to use a top-mounted bag or carry extra gear, consider the Bontrager BackRack Deluxe for $49.


I also hated the stock saddle—my rear end couldn’t handle the shape or thickness no matter what I was wearing. And the tiny third front chainring is not only unnecessary, it’s bolted to a cheap crankset that makes you feel like you’re straddling a horse.


Most bike companies choose a triple front crankset, so Trek isn’t the only guilty party. The $899 Lync 3 has a single front chainring connected to a 9-speed rear cassette, but lacks hydraulic discs.


Also, while most riders will appreciate the integrated LED lighting system, a downtube lithium ion battery that needs removing to recharge is a bit of a hassle compared to a front dynamo hub that generates its own electricity. What Trek is doing is a step in the right direction, so give them time to improve.

Other than these issues—hey, it’s my job!—the Lync 5 can certainly be considered to replace your worn-out Trek OCLV from Bill Clinton’s last year in office.

Key stats

  • Price: $1,199
  • Weight: 30.1 pounds
  • Sizes: 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5 (tested), 25

Keep reading

We recently reviewed some similar bikes in Issue #33 that also make for great commuters. See them here and order a copy of the issue to read the reviews.



Watch Jens Voigt hour record attempt live today


Courtesy of Trek Bikes

In cooperation with Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and broadcast partner Eurosport, Trek Bicycle will stream Jens Voigt’s Hour Record attempt for free for US fans from 11:30 – 13:30 CDT on September 18, 2014.The attempt is scheduled to begin at 12:00 CDT.

Trek, UCI, and Eurosport have teamed up to ensure that Jens Voigt’s sizeable US fan base will not be left out of viewing what is surely to be the iconic cyclist’s last, and perhaps most important, ride of his storied career. The attempt will take place Thursday, September 18, at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland, and will be broadcast by Eurosport to over 140 million homes in 70 countries. US-based visitors to will be able to view the stream below, or by visiting

Fans who want to follow the attempt via Twitter are encouraged to follow @TrekFactory for live updates and use the hashtag #HourRecord to join the conversation and cheer Jens on, and the unofficial hashtag #ShutUpHour.

“To be able to give the US fans, some of the most passionate fans in the world, the opportunity to watch the attempt is really something special,” said Voigt. “I’m doing this for a lot of reasons but one of the biggest reasons is to give the fans one last thing to cheer for and I’ll be carrying all of that goodwill with me on the ride.”

Originally established in 1876, the Hour Record is one of the most revered achievements in cycling. Through the years, it has been held by such greats as Coppi, Anquetil, and Merckx, whose 1972 mark stood for 12 years. The current record of 49.700 kilometers was established in 2005 by Czech rider Ondřej Sosenka. Voigt, whose signature solo attacks have thrilled cycling fans since his professional career began in 1997, will look to better this distance and add his name to the list of legendary record holders before calling it a career once and for all.

Before the Curtain Drops

Jens Voigt began his career as a skinny German kid from the east side of the wall. He ends it as a cycling icon known simply by his first name, a fierce competitor famous for mercilessly punishing those who would test themselves at the same start line. As Jens puts it, “I get paid to make other people suffer.”


Trek unveils new Émonda line, the ‘lightest production bike ever’


Trek sure has its bases covered. The classic Madone has morphed into a cutting edge aerodynamic frame, the innovative Domane has one of the smoothest rides around, and now the Émonda line takes light weight to new heights. Starting with a Shimano Tiagra equipped S4 model with a carbon frame for $1,650, the line tops out with the astonishing 10.25 pound SLR10 that checks in at an equally eye-popping $15,750 price tag.

Get all the details here.


Trek introduces women’s endurance road bike lineup with IsoSpeed


Today Trek announced the introduction of Silque, an all-new women’s-specific endurance road bike that takes many of the technologies introduced in the proven Domane frame and applies them to a women’s-specific fit. The bikes are equipped with the same IsoSpeed decoupler that has proven itself in World Tour racing and under my behind when I reviewed the Domane 4.5.

Read more about the Silque series here.


Trek introduces disk brakes to Domane line


Trek introduced its carbon Domane 6.9 Disc road model with thru axles and its Closed Convert dropouts, with rear dropout spacing now 142x12mm. The fork’s dropout is 15mm. According to Trek, both are able to convert to traditional quick releases. This model is built around the a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group with R785 hydraulic brakes, a 50/34-tooth crankset and a 11-28, 11-speed cassette to tackle the rough stuff.

Read the full story


Review: Trek Domane 4.5


While many brands have introduced “endurance” road bikes over the last few years, few have taken the idea to quite the extreme as Trek. The Domane was developed with considerable input from Swiss pro cyclist Fabian Cancellara, who is known for his steam-engine riding style, using his massive power output to crush cobblestones in the fabled Spring Classics. He is said to enjoy the bike so much that he rides it year-round, even in the Tour de France, choosing it over Trek’s racier Madone model.

The frame features the intriguing IsoSpeed decoupler, an ingenious system that separates the seat tube from the top tube and seatstays, and allows the seat tube to flex and pivot at the mounting point. If you stand next to the bike and put your weight on the saddle, you can see the seat tube flex slightly, but while riding it is imperceptible until you hit a bump.

Read our review to see how it works.


Review: Trek CrossRip


Trek’s CrossRip is part of the Urban Utility line. Two models are offered, the basic Crossrip and the upgraded Elite. Both are spec’d with a drop bar for versatility and comfort, and differ only in the parts package.

The frame is made from Trek’s 100 series Alpha aluminum, with a Bontrager Satellite carbon fork. The tubes are shaped to create a stiff front end and bottom bracket that doesn’t flex when standing and pedaling, but also to keep frame weight to a minimum.

Click here to read our full review of the versatile CrossRip…


Former Trek executive running for governor of Wisconsin


Democrat Mary Burke, daughter of Trek Bicycles founder Richard Burke and a former company executive, will challenge Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in the 2014 election.

Burke graduated from Harvard Business School and worked as a consultant before joining the company her father founded. In 2005 she became Wisconsin’s Secretary of Commerce and in 2012 was elected to the Madison school board.

Trek and and bicycles feature prominently in Burke’s campaign announcement video, highlighting the 1,000 people the company employs in Wisconsin.

Walker is a controversial figure in the state, being the only governor in history to survive a recall election.

Follow her campaign at

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