Yellowbike imported the racing Optima Baron, and the sporty Optima Lynx, Dolphin and Orca models.
The Baron is a no holds barred low-racer recumbent.
The sporty Lynx, a sporty 20×26 bike with rear suspension was the company’s bestseller in the US.
The Dolphin is a 20×20 bike with rear suspension.
The Orca is a 20 x 26 bike with rear suspension.
Not as fast at the Optima Baron the Lynx is a more versatile and easier to ride bike which led to its popularity. Though the Lynx is sporty it is also versatile. You could commute, go touring, or just use it for exercise.
Among fast recumbents the Lynx is among the easiest to ride. The handling is easy to get used to. It is about as easy to get used to as a RANS Rocket or V-Rex.
The tilt handlebars have limited adjustability. The angle and length of the stem is fixed but the handlebar can be moved to adapt to the riders most comfortable hand position. This puts the Lynx’ controls right in the center of the bell curve so that almost any size rider can fit comfortably.
Riders from 5’8” to 6’3″ tried our bike and none of them had any complaints about ergonomics.
The relatively low seat makes it easy for shorter riders to reach the ground at a stop sign.
Optima’s fiberglass seat is comfortable if you like the Euro recline riding position, like I do. Like many recumbents the seat pad is a 2” thick piece of filter foam. This works well, absorbing some bumps and allowing the rider’s back to breathe some on hot days.
Brakes: V type Rim brakes
X-Seam range ~40-45
Seat height of ~21”
Starting price was $1900 in 2008.
Like most European bikes the Optima Lynx has all of those unique qualities that set it apart from American designs. The Lynx has rear suspension. The worse your roads, the more important this will be to you for a fully comfortable ride. The Lynx’ simple swingarm design does a good job of absorbing road bumps. It does drain off a little of the rider’s energy, especially on hill climbs. This is especially noticeable if you don’t spin the pedals smoothly. The Lynx’ Ballistic rear shock is adjustable which can help.
The Lynx climbs hills OK, but I don’t think it will keep up with a RANS V-Rex on steep hills. Part of that is probably the Optima’s suspension. Suspension bikes rarely climb as well as rigid bikes.
At 33 pounds, the Lynx is pretty light for a bike with rear suspension.
In Holland bicycles are used as transportation so Dutch bikes are durably built.
The Lynx has the sleek looks of a European recumbent but is not as heavy as some.
It is still an exotic machine, you are not likely to see another on a group ride. Don’t be fooled, it is an easy to ride, practical bike. The price is higher than an American bike of the same period but the Optimas have a reputation of being well built machines that should last you a long time.