Powerful built-in head and taillights for a more convenient and safe ride
For those looking for an excuse, a laundry list of potential struggles certainly exists when commuting by bike: weather, reckless drivers, flat tires, the looming fear that your accessories or bike itself will get stolen. Though Trek Bicycles' new urban commuter-focused model, Lync, aims to tackle many of the aforementioned issues—and make the ride to and from work (or anywhere) as enjoyable, low-maintenance and safe as possible, reminding riders why they love cycling in the first place.
We recently tested out the feature-filled Lync 5 model (an entry-level version is also available)—which hit bike stores at the end of last month—on the unforgiving streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Lync's most marketable feature is its weather-resistant integrated LED lighting system. The powerful headlight illuminates the road ahead, making it easy to avoid potholes, gravel and the other unfriendly debris, while two taillights embedded in the rear drop outs (where the back wheel connects to the bike) make your presence known. Though clip-on lights have come a long way in recent years, they still need to be removed after each ride. Built-in lights, on the other hand, eliminate the opportunity for thieves with zero added effort by the rider.
The wires are hidden inside the frame, for a seamless look. Underneath the top tube are two buttons: headlight can be set to low or high mode, while the two tail lights (three lumens each) can be set to on, off or flash. The 550 lumen front light—whose angle is adjustable with a common bike tool—creates a pool of light brighter than the average 200-300 lumens found in popular consumer bike lights, but isn't overkill (at above 700 lumens, you'd blind oncoming traffic).
In lieu of a self-recharging dynamo hub, a removable and rechargeable (via micro-USB) lithium ion battery pack is docked on the lower end of the down tube, near the bottom bracket. On its brightest mode, the battery will last for at least two hours. While some might argue that this isn't theft-proof, a Trek Lync-specific battery is probably not as attractive (or recognizable) to thieves as universal bike lights.
"Our mantra is 'We ride the ride our riders ride.' That usually starts with interviews with people riding a bike for a specific motivation: fitness, utility or commuting. While the concept of Lync was born from observation around 'the ride'—in this case, commuting," Darren Snyder, Product Manager for Trek city bikes, tells CH. "The problem we solved is an age-old one. Through our observation, it was very easy to understand where we could improve this [lighting] experience. The research phase of this project went quickly while the design, prototype and refinement were arguably the longest parts of the process. In its entirety, Lync is the culmination of more than two years of R&D and engineering. 'The ride' in the end is the decision-maker. We don’t settle until it is defined by 'the ride.'"
It's comforting to know that Trek designs and develops each and every bike at their US headquarters or Netherlands design facility—and manufactures more bikes in the US than any other company. In fact, the Wisconsin company manufactured roughly half of the total 56,000 bikes made in the US last year; though this is still only about 1% of their entire production.
As a bonus, the Lync is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ devices. Though it's somewhat heftier than the sleek single-speeds you'll likely see ripping by in the bike lane, it makes up for it in stability. Plus, the Lync is still light enough to carry up and down a flight of stairs without a sweat. Ultimately, the Lync made us look forward to hitting the road at night, and solidified our bike as a go-to source of transportation. Night rides—evidently—really let riders experience a city from an entirely new perspective.
The Lync comes in to two models: the Lync 3 ($990) or Lync 5 ($1320). The latter upgrades from mechanical disc brakes to hydraulic, from 1x9 to a 3x9 speed drivetrain and has a custom rack with a U-lock mount. And with multiple frame sizes available, the unisex models are designed to fit most any adult. Visit Trek's online store locator to find a nearby independent bike shop to find the nearest Lync.
Images by Nara Shin
The all-new Pony does the brand proud, inside and out
by Evan Orensten in Design on 18 September 2014
In late 2013, a first look at the 2015 Ford Mustang with its design team impressed us, and since then we’ve been anxiously waiting to get behind the wheel. Finally, yesterday was the day—and it was everything we had hoped it would be. The all-new Mustang does American muscle proud, as dealers worldwide will see in the coming weeks.
Design is always a give-and-take process, and when briefs like, “It’s time to make the next generation of a 50-year-old favorite” come along, they are both the easiest and most difficult to execute. Kudos to Ford’s design and engineering teams, as they’ve delivered on all counts. This Mustang—available in both fastback and convertible models—offers three engines (each supplying more than 300 hp) and multiple options successfully achieve the “most things to most people” mandate that typically results in a product that makes nobody proud and few customers happy. However, there’s something here for most drivers to desire and enjoy.
The new Mustang’s exterior won’t surprise anyone; it’s a nicely evolved silhouette much improved by a lower and wider stance. It still looks like a Mustang, though one that better features its historical lines within a much more modern presence. The interior has had a major update and a dramatic improvement in materials, style, fit and finish. Under the skin the car is mostly new as well, from improved engines to a first-ever independent rear suspension. So far, that’s three checks in its favor.
We drove both the new 310hp 2.3l four-cylinder turbo Ecoboost engine with Premium package as well as a manual GT, with its 435hp 5.0l Ti-VCT V8 and Performance package. (The standard V6 wasn’t available and won’t be the car's biggest seller, but it does allow customers to get into a Mustang for around $27,000). All three engines are available in either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission—a rarity in the sports car world these days. The Ecoboost, with its 30mpg rating is clearly positioned as the Mustang's mainstay. The V6 will appeal to carefree drivers, rental fleets and those on a budget, while the GT will likely draw those who crave performance.
Starting out the day in the manual GT, we found it handled its duties with aplomb, ably steering, accelerating, cornering and braking. The tight gearbox was a pleasure and made shifting through its six gears effortless. It sounds good too—rumbling with pride until it settles in on the highway where it drops its noise level to make the commute a little more pleasant. We threw it around the great roads outside of LA and it seemed to want even more. The Ecoboost was spirited, but not surprisingly equally so, though we overheard other drivers saying the Performance pack helped deliver. It was softer all around and, while adequate, it made us appreciate the GT and the Performance pack all the more.
CH's friend Jason Cammisa, a Senior Editor at Road & Track, wrote in his review of the 2015 Mustang that he always had to qualify his opinions of previous generations with, "It’s not bad '…for a Mustang.'" This new Mustang doesn’t need that qualifier anymore. It delivers, and it’s great fun to drive.
We’ve spec’d out two versions of the new Mustang—an Ecoboost and a GT—in both Guard (a greenish-black color that is new to Ford and the Mustang) though we’re equally fond of the Triple Yellow. Each costs around $37,000 and $44,000 respectively.
Images by Evan Orensten
A trans-pacific collaboration drawing on classic fabric development and simple design
by Hans Aschim in Style on 18 September 2014
If the pinnacle of a craftsperson's work is doing one thing incredibly well, the partnership between Japan's denim experts OMNIGOD and NYC menswear label Alex Mill is a true success. Composed of three shirt styles in four colorways and one shawl-collar sweater ($320), the capsule collection reveals itself as a clear choice for those who seek both utility and effortless style in their sartorial choices. OMNIGOD's penchant for detail-driven production and uncompromising quality of material means the fabric is soft and sure to improve with wear and tear. Mother of Pearl buttons add just enough elegance to the work shirt and spread-collar shirt ($220-$255). Selvage detailing on the placket, cuff placket and side gusset add a hit of color and a nod to the fabric's roots. All shirts are made on vintage looms in OMNIGOD's factory in the Kojima District of Okayama, the heart of Japan's textile industry. At once easy and timeless while stylish and sophisticated, the understated shirts make workwear worth keeping around.
Image courtesy of Alex Mill and OMNIGOD