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Trek Lync 5? The new Alfine with Belt Drive looks appealing

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Trek Lync 5? The new Alfine with Belt Drive looks appealing

Old 01-03-16, 05:19 PM
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djkenny
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Trek Lync 5? The new Alfine with Belt Drive looks appealing

Does anyone have a Lync 5? I have been considering the latest version, not the Deore equipped 27 speed (although those look great). At first I was looking at the Allant 7.4FX with disc brakes. I want a great bike for commuting to work with a hilly descent in wet weather.

But the package sure looks appealing. Includes a belt drive. Always been curious about them. Low maintenance. The 8 spd Alfine is a nice hub set up. Also a 500 lumen rechargeable in-frame light and rear seat stay lights. Fenders, rear rack with U Lock holder.. I just need a kick sand and water bottle cage.. done.

Lync 5 | Lync | Urban utility | City | Bikes
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Old 01-03-16, 05:59 PM
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Except for the brakes ... FAIL ... JMO
One short wheel base fits all, with toe overlap ??? pffft
Lack of Color pffft UGLY much
Batteries in/on? frame... LOL .... Sooo 1953 cruiser
Tires not Schwalbe .... pffft
Not Sturmey Archer .... pffft
No dyno hub .... pfffft
Broom handlebar ... pffft
Useless arty rack .... pffft
Typical TREK stupidness

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 01-03-16 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 01-03-16, 08:37 PM
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Looks to be the reincarnation of the Trek Soho.
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Old 01-03-16, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by myzamboni View Post
Looks to be the reincarnation of the Trek Soho.
The Trek SOHO was the bike I was looking for when I got my Novara Gotham. There is a lot to like in that bike. However, I don't like that the rear rack does not have a flat top . . . where would one put a pizza?
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Old 01-04-16, 11:23 AM
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I don't know what gambler is complaining about, I think the bike looks hot! Except what is the deal with that rack? I really like the idea of integrated rack/fender, but is that rack stabilized against the frame anywhere at the top? Can it hold loaded panniers?

Shimano hydraulics should be excellent. Integrated light seems really cool, USB vs dyno, whatever. Hopefully the headlight is bright enough for what you need. "Internal cable routing" but the brake cables are still out there, so nothing really gained.

EDIT: looking at the zoom, I can see how the top of the rack attaches to the seatstays. Maybe it would be a bit much to ask it to hold a full touring load, but for commuting should be fine. Looks very understated and elegant, I think.

A few other tweaks: spray-paint those fender struts black so they don't look so obvious. Swap those bear traps for some nice, supportive pinned platform pedals. Integrated rear lights way down near the hub? I think it would be preferable to have the blinky up on the fender, hopefully those two bolts at the strut are spaced for a bracket. DIY a longer mudguard for the front fender, keep those shoes dry.

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Old 01-04-16, 11:34 AM
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why the weird add-on belt-tensioner?

it's a brand new bike; ideally it would be built the correct way right from the start with sliding vertical drops.
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Old 01-04-16, 01:55 PM
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I guess it seems expensive to me. Other than that, no particular objections.
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Old 01-11-16, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Except for the brakes ... FAIL ... JMO
One short wheel base fits all, with toe overlap ??? pffft
Lack of Color pffft UGLY much
Batteries in/on? frame... LOL .... Sooo 1953 cruiser
Tires not Schwalbe .... pffft
Not Sturmey Archer .... pffft
No dyno hub .... pfffft
Broom handlebar ... pffft
Useless arty rack .... pffft
Typical TREK stupidness
I have to admit, I have riding on Bontrager Hard Case tires on my commuter bikes for over 5 years now. They are fantastic. Easier to mount than Schwalbe. I loved a few I had in the most, but pretty sold not he flat protection and ease of installing the Bontrager ones.

I might add a Jones bar. Seems like a good candidate for one.

I have an Alfine Dyno on my old school Bridgestone MB3. I love it. But I think the battery and bright 500 lumen light is pretty appealing as well.

Not so sure why I would want Sturmey Archer over Alfine? Alfie is tough as well and has a wider gear range.

The rack, I kinda agree.

I actually want this bike for the hydraulic disc. I have steep hills around and lots of rain.
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Old 01-11-16, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
why the weird add-on belt-tensioner?

it's a brand new bike; ideally it would be built the correct way right from the start with sliding vertical drops.
I suspect that the tensioner is the easiest way to adjust the belt. My belt drive bike has an eccentric bottom bracket, I think I would rather have had a tensioner; but that is because it would then be possible to add a mid drive electric motor. I doubt that would be a concern for most users.
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Old 01-11-16, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
The Trek SOHO was the bike I was looking for when I got my Novara Gotham. There is a lot to like in that bike. However, I don't like that the rear rack does not have a flat top . . . where would one put a pizza?
Uh, you eat the pizza??!!??

I questioned the rear rack too but I put nothing on top of mine for commuting so I guess I'd be fine with this bike for commuting as well.

The OP states Alfine belt drive but Trek calls it their own TAB. I wonder if it is a modified Alfine and if so, does it require Trek support or could any Alfine support be sufficient.

Other than it seems a bit expensive, it is certainly a nice looking bike and a great commuter.

Although the Giant Toughroad SL1 is built for different purposes, it might be a contender for this bike (Alfine excepted).
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Old 01-11-16, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Uh, you eat the pizza??!!??

I questioned the rear rack too but I put nothing on top of mine for commuting so I guess I'd be fine with this bike for commuting as well.

The OP states Alfine belt drive but Trek calls it their own TAB. I wonder if it is a modified Alfine and if so, does it require Trek support or could any Alfine support be sufficient.

Other than it seems a bit expensive, it is certainly a nice looking bike and a great commuter.
The most common belt drive is made by Gates. TAB looks like Trek's own thing which I wish wasn't the case. Would rather have some sort of standard. However, the Alfine doesn't really care which one. It's just a sprocket change.
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Old 02-22-16, 02:15 PM
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Alright, I took the plunge and bought one.

I am soooooooo glad I did!

I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. Srsly.

What I figured I would get was a low maintenance bike that would be simple in the sense I would not need to grab my lights, take them off every where I went, no need for chain oil, great all weather, keeps the pants out of the belt. Simple rack that keeps my U Lock from bumping around.
But the compromise would be a slug and heavy weight. I t was those things mentioned, but not a tank.

Nope.

It is super efficient. Like it will GO when when stomp it. It is soo smooth. But also so quick. the ride is quite good for an aluminum bike. The lights are very handy. The frame communicates well, but does not feel rough.

I am so happy with this bike. Took it across town on a 15 mile ride yesterday and never felt like it took much effort. My Breezer Uptown 8 always felt kind of generic and never got up well. This bike is everything I wished in one bike.

The way the side logo "TREK" illuminates in auto lighting is awesome too. Nice safety measure. I wish all bikes had this.

Oh, the brakes are fantastic. I always wanted to try disc, so nice.

Cons:

You can't really add a front basket due to the light being right in the head tube. The lights are a little low in back but I don't see this as that big a deal, honestly.


I felt best on a the 20", I am 5'8 and "could" ride a 17.5", but I liked the way I "sat" on the 20". It is likely not as maneuverable in tight sections as a result, but I still love it. My crotch sits a bit on the top tube, but it is fine. The seat is stiff, but that has not bothered me so far. I kind of like it.

This is the most fun utilitarian bike I have ridden.

Last edited by djkenny; 02-22-16 at 02:30 PM. Reason: I misspelled illuminate, or, auto correct did.
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Old 02-22-16, 02:51 PM
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That's great you like it so much! i am surprised how much I like my Soho SS. The only thing I hate about my Soho was the saddle, but that's so easily changeable it's hardly worth mentioning.

I don't think I would be a fan of the integrated lights, myself. I haven't seen a bike in person that has done a good job, though if all you need is lights to be seen by, and not to see with, your needs might be very different from my own. Depending on where the beam is angled, you might could get a front rack that attaches at the fork crown instead of up at the handlebars.
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Old 02-22-16, 02:52 PM
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Pictures, or it didn't happen
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Old 02-22-16, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by djkenny View Post
The way the side logo "TREK" illuminates in auto lighting is awesome too. Nice safety measure. I wish all bikes had this.
??
Are the TREK letters carved out of the downtube and filled in with translucent plastic or something?

Oh, I think by 'auto' lighting, you are not referring to the automatic integrated lights, but just that the TREK paint is reflective for automobile headlights.
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Old 02-22-16, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
??
Are the TREK letters carved out of the downtube and filled in with translucent plastic or something?
Seems like sturdy tape to me. Normal bike decals.

Oh, I think by 'auto' lighting, you are not referring to the automatic integrated lights, but just that the TREK paint is reflective for automobile headlights.
Yes, it reflects.

To add; the lights are great. The beam is very good.

I am srsly SMITTEN. I was happy to buy the 520, but I am so stoked to own this Lync 5.. exceeded my expectations.
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Old 02-22-16, 11:29 PM
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You're right, reflective paint details is a feature that should be much more common
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Old 02-23-16, 03:49 PM
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I think the clearances with the belt drive help get the power transfer across better. The confidence inspired nature of disc brakes.. that is a huge plus, too.
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Old 02-23-16, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
why the weird add-on belt-tensioner?
It may be just to avoid Gates patents. This is Trek's system, and there could be something they had to do differently that led them to have the tensioner. In general belt drives do need tension adjustment, usually with horizontal dropouts or eccentric bottom bracket. Gates does it with tuning screws on horizontal dropouts. The Trek system looks more complicated, but it might be more forgiving of belt stretch.

Belt drives have an inherent trade-off between the torque you can exert with slipping, vs. friction. Low belt tension can allow the belt to skip teeth under heavy pedal force. High belt tension reduces skipping, but also causes higher bearing friction and lower efficiency. This might be more an issue with internally geared hubs, which already have more friction inherently than conventional gears.

I would be curious how well your bike clears snow or dirt from the drivetrain. And how heavy the bike is. A competing bike is the Novarra Gotham, which weighs a lot (34 lbs).
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Old 02-23-16, 04:48 PM
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Does anyone have a Lync 5?
You are in Portland , call Up the Bike Gallery and see how many they have sold.

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Old 02-23-16, 04:59 PM
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How do you service a flat tire with the belt drive? With chain I'm all set but with a belt drive I'd be nervous it would take too long.
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Old 02-23-16, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
How do you service a flat tire with the belt drive? With chain I'm all set but with a belt drive I'd be nervous it would take too long.
Nothing seems special. The mechanic showed me the removal of the wheel, easy peasy.
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Old 02-24-16, 10:31 AM
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I looked at a zoom of the lync but couldn't tell, is the split in the chainstay or the seatstay or tucked into the dropout?
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Old 04-02-16, 10:47 AM
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A little bit of a thread revival, but I thought it would be helpful. I bought the newest Lync 5 back when it first came out. I was the first one to order it in the southeast as far as my retailer could tell. Here I am, 6 months later and still STOKED about this bike. For starters, I bought this as my daily commuter since I'm moving to a big city and getting rid of my car. I ride it at least 5 times a week about 10-15 miles a day depending on where I'm going. I am normally insanely detail-oriented when it comes to maintenance for all of my bikes. Aside from adding air to the tires and wiping off the frame every once in awhile, I have done NOTHING. The bike still performs like the day I got it, and I have no regrets with my purchase at all. I took the fenders off about a month ago because I hardly ever ride in the rain, and I managed to ding them up quite a bit riding around town, so I pulled them off to preserve them a little longer. I didn't notice any weight change or performance change after I pulled them off. I usually just throw a backpack on and ride up to the grocery store for a small load, so I didn't have any storage on the bike anyways. I charge the battery about once every 10 days, depending on how much I use it. I don't often ride at night, maybe 30-45 minutes some days on my way back from the store or something, but I've never had it die on me and I feel like it's a reasonable charging interval.

The ride is pretty smooth, my only complaint is that for this price, I feel like they could've thrown on a carbon fork in the front, not a major dealbreaker but it would have been nice.

Overall, of the ten or so Trek's I have owned, BY FAR, this is my favorite. It's the perfect commuter, no maintenance, highly visible, awesome components, lightweight enough to lug around wherever you need to go, and overall just incredible. The belt drive is silent and shifting is smooth. I was a little concerned about it only being an 8-speed, but I never use either the high end or low end so it's been more than adequate enough for me.
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Old 06-21-16, 10:17 PM
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I just bought a 2016 Lync 5, lightly used. I like it quite a lot. Belt drive is quiet and smooth. The ride is good, thanks to 32c tires. The 500 lumen headlight is very nice, and the beam is wide enough that the head tube mounting (not turning with handlebars) isn't an issue for me. The rack is for light-duty commuting, not for heavy touring. I like the Alfine 8sp, which shifts fine. Not surprisingly, the hydraulic discs are great, with fine modulation and one-finger stopping power. I've tried the Trek District, which has cable discs that I found uninspiring and would not favor over a good set of V-brakes. Hydraulics add a lot of pain for repairs, but in everyday use they're great.

A few nit-picks. First, gearing is a bit high for my preference. (I'm a former serious road rider and prefer to spin.) I find myself standing up in 1st gear a lot, especially riding uphill with a pannier. It feels about the same as my road bike (42x23), except I carry more on the Lync. Also the jump between 1st and 2nd is a bit big, and I end up using the high gears only on downhills, and rarely touch 8 except on a long steep downhill. I would prefer to lower all the gears slightly. Second, the rear LEDs are mounted low by the dropouts, and are partially obscured by panniers. They might have mounted a light on the fender instead. And speaking of the fenders, the mud-flaps are not mounted very securely, and I ended up replacing them. Also, the cable guides are a bit flimsy, and after I knocked one of the plastic clips off, I lost several others very quickly when I turned the wheel and it dragged the cable with it. They should have used stronger clips for the guides.

Overall, this is a good-looking bike and a great performer. It is not a cheap bike, but it is competitive with others like the Novarra Gotham and Breezer Beltway 8. If you want a really clean belt-drive, check out the Schindelhauer Friedrich, which is stunning to look at but also much much more expensive. Given the options available in the U.S., this is probably the best stock bike that hits nearly every checkbox for a belt-drive commuter.
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