Cyclescheme is the UK's most popular cycle to work benefit, creating more cyclists than any other provider.

Trek’s hybrids are its most popular bike type, which indicates that they’re doing something right with their design.

Trek is unusual among American bike brands in offering not just spartan sports hybrids but fully equipped city bikes that would look at home on the streets of Amsterdam or Berlin. It’s a welcome addition. 

The company was set up 1976 to offer a domestic alternative to the then dominant high-performance European bikes. Founders Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg had closed their Stella Bicycle Shop chain the year before. They hadn’t had a standout brand. So they decided to start their own. 

Trek image

In the first year, Trek produced 904 steel touring frames in a barn in Wisconsin, close to today’s headquarters. Since then Trek has become a huge bicycle business. It’s well known for its mainstream road and mountain bikes. Yet it has a history of innovation that rubbishes the bike-snob claim that big brands are somehow ‘boring’. In 1992, Trek’s 5500 road bike was the world’s lightest production carbon fibre frame (1.11kg). Women-Specific Design bikes were launched in 2000. Trek backed 29er wheels for mountain bikes long before they became standard. In recent years, the brand has got behind transport cycling and, as you’ll see below, produced some nice ones.

Trek L100 Midstep

Trek L100 Midstep

This is essentially a revised version of 2018’s Trek Ibiza Midstep, which you can still find online (discounted!). If you’d prefer a top tube, there’s the non-step-through L100 (or last year’s Trek Daytona). All four of these roadsters are great for short distance cycling. You can hop on and ride in whatever you’re wearing because the mudguards and full chaincase will keep your clothes clean, and you don’t need to hunt for lights or batteries as the built-in dynamo setup is always ready. There’s a rear rack, a kickstand, and even an integral lock. The L100 Midstep is a hefty bike because of these accessories, despite its aluminium frame. Add in tough tyres and a stately riding position and you won’t be breaking any speed records. You will, however, get to work reliably and comfortably. The 7-speed Nexus hub gear and rear roller brake should carry on working with minimal maintenance as they’re both enclosed.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£650

£650

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£487.50

 

£422.50

Trek L500

Trek L500

Instead of enclosing the oily chain, the L500 gets rid of it altogether. This aluminium bike uses a Gates belt drive, which is quiet and virtually maintenance free. There’s the same sort of practical equipment as the L100 – mudguards, rear rack, dynamo lighting, kickstand, lock – but the L500’s specification is better, as you’d expect from the price. The hub gear is a wider-range Nexus 8-speed, while the brakes are hydraulic discs front and rear. The stem doesn’t have an adjustable angle like the L100’s, so you can’t easily sit as upright, but like many of the L500’s components it’s lighter. At 14.8kg for the Medium, the L500 is more than two and half kilos lighter overall. Practical accessories notwithstanding – it’s still a roadster – this is a sportier bike. It’s also available as the L500 Stagger, with a dropped top tube. 

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£1,000

£1,000

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£750

 

£650

 


Save money and spread the cost


Trek FX2 Women’s Disc

Trek FX2 Women’s Disc

The women’s FX2 Disc comes in two versions: with a top tube (as shown) or as a ‘Stagger’ step-through. Both have a slightly more upright riding position than the men’s as, size for size, the reach is a little shorter and the head tube taller. The other differences are the women’s-specific saddle and the shorter-reach brake levers. While it doesn’t come with the accessories you’ll want for commuting, it is designed to take racks and mudguards – and at this price you can afford to add them. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are the high point of the specification; they translate little lever effort into lots of stopping power. The 3x8 derailleur gearing uses components from Shimano’s Altus, Acera, and Tourney groupsets, unpretentious kit that works fine and will be cheap to replace when it wears out. With 35mm lightly treaded tyres, the FX2 will tackle towpaths and smooth off-road tracks as well as tarmac. 

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£450

£450

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£337.50

 

£292.50

Trek FX3

Trek FX3

Disc brakes are everywhere these days but rim brakes have a couple of advantages: they’re lighter, so the bike is too (the FX3 is 11.4kg); and they’re cheaper. V-brakes are better than sidepull callipers for a commuter because they’re more powerful and don’t compromise tyre or mudguard clearance; there’s loads of room above the FX3’s 32mm treads. You can easily upgrade to tubeless tyres with sealant inside as the rims are compatible. The fork is carbon fibre, while the aluminium frame has mounts for a rear rack and a DuoTrap S sensor. The latter enables you to track routes, speed, and pedalling cadence on your smartphone – great for workouts. Gearing is 3x9-speed, largely Shimano Acera and Alivio, with a wide range; the 26/34 bottom gear should get you up any hill. Two women’s versions are available. 

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£575

£575

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£431.25

 

£373.75

Trek FX Sport 4 Women’s

Trek FX Sport 4 Women’s

The more you spend on a fitness hybrid, the sportier it will tend to be. That’s evident in the FX Sport 4’s name and weight, which is scarcely over 10kg despite disc brakes. The gearing reflects its more athletic aspirations too: 2x10 Shimano Tiagra, which you find on road bikes rather than trekking bikes. Bottom gear is higher – although at 34/34, it’s decent for a bike with a double chainset. While it has the same DuoTrap S sensor mount as the FX3, like that bike this isn’t only for working up a sweat on. There are hidden mudguard mounts on the carbon fork, and the aluminium frame will accept a rack as well. Shimano MT-201 hydraulic brakes are powerful, weatherproof, and should need minimal maintenance. This is the women’s-specifc model; a men’s FX Sport 4 is also available. 

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£950

£950

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£712.50

 

£617.50

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