On Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to come and see Trek latest product showcase. Trek as a company is moving away from the concept of a model year in the traditional sense, so this was a chance to see the range including some new models and updates that I’d not personally seen before.
Trek’s been busy so far this year. The company has launched the Boone cross bike at the beginning of the year, the Silque womens road bike, the Emonda and launched Domane Disc bikes, so there was plenty of shiny new bikes to see. Trek have also trimmed their retail prices and boosted the spec of a lot of bikes, so as these come to market, Trek should be more competitive than ever – especially when you consider the lifetime warranty they offer.
Starting at the entry level, the One series carries over largely unchanged as it was launched last year and it’s a great entry level platform (as I’ve reviewed the 1.5 here: http://girodilento.com/2014-trek-1-5-review/). The 1.1 has a fantastic new colour called Liquid Red, which looks fantastic in person and makes the bike look much more expensive than the £600 asking price. The 1.5 has actually had it’s price reduced to £800, so it’s an even better buy than it was and also has a new gloss white with black and lime accents colour scheme, if you prefer that to the black one.
The Madone 2 series is the next step up and the pricing has been sharpened so that as well as the 105 specced version at £1,000 there is an extremely good looking new Ultegra spec version at £1200 including upgraded wheels. The Madone 2.1 will now be running 11 speed 105 and can be had in a Trek Factory Racing colourway, if you’re so inclined.
The matt black finish looks great and could easily be mistaken for a carbon bike at a glance. I think for me this was one of the stand out bikes of Trek World. It’s a terrific looking bike at a compelling price point.
This is where it gets interesting. The Madone 3,4,5 & 6 series are in the process of all being replaced by the Emonda range with only the aero 7 series Madone remaining for those who want an aero race bike.
The new Emonda comes in three variations of relative lightness. The Emonda S frame weighs in at around 1200 grammes and is available as a complete bike from £1200 – quite possibly the most affordable OCLV bike ever ( it uses 300 Series OCLV carbon in case you’re wondering). The £1200 model comes with a Tiagra drivetrain or you can get it with a full 11 speed 105 groupset (including cranks & brakes) for £1500, The Emonda S range tops out at £1, 800 for 11 speed Ultegra (also a full groupset) and is available only in Trek’s H2 geometry as is the next model up the range – the Emonda SL.
The Emonda takes another step up for the SL range where the frame weight drops to about 900 grammes. Complete bikes start at £1900 but the most popular bike at Trek World seemed to be the Emonda SL 6 which at £2300 in a bright red that Trek call Viper red with full Ultegra at £2300 looked to be a great buy.
For those who fancy a step up on gruppos, the Emonda SL can be had with Dura Ace (Emonda SL 8 DA) for £3100 or with SRAM Red for the same price. In Red spec, it’s a 6.8kg bike stock – not with particularly light wheels or finishing kit, so could be lightened further. The Emonda SL is also available as a frameset for £1350, which feels like excellent value, particularly when you include Trek’s lifetime warranty.
The Emonda SLR is where things get special …. And of course more expensive. The SLR frame weighs in at 690gms – very light indeed, again with a lifetime warranty and a rider weight limit of 125kgs!
Of course you’ve probably already heard about the range topping sub 5kg bike available for £11,000 which apparently already has a waiting list of buyers! It has a weight limit of 90kgs thanks to the Tune components used in the build, having a weight limit of 90kgs. One was on display hanging from some scales and of course almost everyone was taking it off the scales and picking it up (me included). Sub 5kgs feels amazingly light for a complete bike and it is cool! Out of my price range personally, but it’s not the model I’d buy if I did have the money.
Available in H1 or H2 fit, the Emonda SLR is available as a frameset for £3,000 and a complete Ultegra bike starts at £4,300. The Emonda SLR 8 with Dura Ace finished in matt black, white and gold was particularly lovely and only around 6kgs for a complete bike.
With a retail price of £5800 you’re paying around £1 per gramme. I don’t know if that’s good value or not – but it was a bike I could fall in love with.
The Emonda is designed to not only be light but also for stiffness and a compliant ride quality. Over 300 simluations and prototypes were created in the development of the bike and Trek were very bullish about how good the bike is (obviously). Interestingly, it’s a step away from aero given the Kammtail design of most of the Madone range it replaces. I was told that for most people you have to ride at a good speed for aero dynamics to work whereas most people will benefit from a lighter bike. The Madone 7 series is still there for those who want a race proven aero bike.
The Emonda is the first time that Trek have seriously chased light and I’m very curious about how they ride. It’s certainly a bike to give those who were considering a Cannondale SuperSix Evo something to think long and hard about and it should be a very different bike to ride than something famously stiff like a Venge or a Foil (less aero though obviously). Whilst talking about the bike, I was told that the Trek engineers and development team tried to re-create their favourite ride quality from the 2011 Madone and they experimented with a multitude of layups to get the Emonda just as they wanted it.
The Domane sees the launch of a range of disc models and seemingly some tweaking of price points across the range. A couple of the stand out models to me were the Domane 5.2 with full Ultegra and a fantastic orange paint scheme at £2500. For those with a touch more budget the Dura Ace equipped Domane 5.9 at £3300 also looks like a terrific bike for the money in a very pleasing Matt Black. The Domane’s have also had their pricing trimmed a bit and as much as I like the idea of Dura Ace for the non disc versions, it’s the 5.2 I’m most excited about. It should be a terrific all-rounder for UK road conditions.
The Domane Disc – a bike that makes an awful lot of sense for UK riding – a performance race bike for rough roads, could be incredibly compelling with discs. The Domane 4.3 disc features TRP’s terrific Hy/Rd cable operated, hydraulic calipers that I’ve ridden and been very impressed with before, it also features the new 11 speed 105 and obviously 400 series OCLV carbon. This bike retails at £1,900 and with it’s mudguard compatibility could be a brilliant winter bike. Although, if you’ve got that kind of budget – it might be tempting to find another £400 and stretch to the Domane 4.5 disc which features mechanical Ultegra 11 speed and Shimano’s brand new hydraulic disc brakes (R685) – they should give the 4 series Domane a bump in performance.
Another interesting disc (and non-disc) Domane is the 6.2 with a higher end 6 series OLCV frameset, Ultegra mechanical mechs and shifters combined with Shimanos exciting new hydraulic disc brakes (or the also excellent Ultegra caliper brakes). The disc version should be a terrific high performance rough road bike and it retails for £4,000. The non-disc version is £400 less at £3,600.
Of course if you have the funds and want the best, the stunning Domane 6.9 disc at £6,000 features Dura Ace Di2 and Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes in a very light overall package. It’s also pretty stunning in matt black.
Trek Women’s Road range:
The Trek Women’s road range is stronger than ever with a number of exciting new bikes now coming to market. There’s now a strong range of choice for women who want performance road bikes from £600 to £8,500 depending on your budget and the type of performance you’re looking for.
The Lexa fulfils the role of both the 1 series and Madone 2 series in the range. The standout bike to me was the Lexa SLX at £1,200 featuring the Isospeed technology from the Domane in 200 series aluminium frame, carbon fork all in a stunning colour scheme called Seeglass Liquid red.
If Mrs girodilento ever decided to get into road riding, this bike would go straight to the top of my list. A fantastic looking bike.
The Emonda is also available in Trek’s women’s specific design (WSD) geometry and could be perfect for women looking for a lighter or climbing focused race bike. The entry level Emonda range offers the Emonda S 5 WSD with 105 11 speed for £1500. Stepping up to the Emonda SL range there is the lovely appleseed blue SL 5 WSD with full 105 for £1,900 or the crystal white SL 6 WSD with full Ultegra for £2300.
Emonda SL 105 Women’s specific geometry (WSD) – look great and the paint finish as usual with Trek was very high indeed
The top of the range Emonda SLR 9 WSD features Dura Ace Di2 and Bontragers Aeolus D3 carbon clinchers and weighs in at just over 6kgs. It also costs £7,800 if you’re keen.
More exciting news in the womens range is the new Silque range that’s hitting the shops around now. A completely new bike designed from the ground up to be perfect for the different centre of gravity that a woman has compared to a man – check this funny video to explain this difference in lay terms:
Trek’s Women’s Specific Design is about centre of gravity differences as it’s a myth that women have different proportions to men. Trek then went to Carmichael Training Systems who have a huge amount of data from riders they’ve coached to see if the different centre of gravity women have also means there is a different way women produce power as they ride. The short answer is yes they do and that a women requires a stiffer rear of the bike but a less stiff front of the bike – again as a result of a different centre of gravity and hence weight distribution on a bike, combined with differences in physical strength between the sexes. Ride quality is also tuned for each size frame for consistency across the range. Trek worked hard to deliver this balance and they reckon they’ve nailed it. One day I hope to have a female rider on girodilento to test products like this but for now, as a bloke, I’ll have to take their word for it. Sadly my photos of the Silque weren’t terribly successful, so sorry for the odd range of shots and angles…
There’s no questions the Silque is a terrific looking bike and I have to confess that I liked the pink one best. Seriously. Although the blue Silque SLX is also a great looking bike. The pink one is the Silque SL and retails for £2200 with the current top of the range SLX retailing for £3,000. The Silque is a high performance bike for women, designed to be fast enough to race but versatile for all kinds of riding for women who like to go fast. As I’ve come to expect from Trek the paint finishes are also great on the Silque range at all of the price points.
The one disappointment was the lack of ‘cross bikes on display. No Crockett’s or Boone’s, which was a shame. However the CrossRip range produced another highlight in the form of the CrossRip LTD, which has a burnished aluminium finish, terrific orange detailing (including hubs), 105 drivetrain and TRP Hy/Rd disc brakes with a retail price of £1200.
The CrossRip is an in between road and cyclocross geometry so a do it all kind of a bike – commute, tow path, a bit of muddy stuff, riding with your kids. Trek tell me it’s designed for longer distance commuters and it looks like it be very good for this. Add mudguards and rack and you could do a lot with this bike. I think it looks good at £1200.
Trek’s getting more serious about kids bikes again and hat a new range of Mystic girls bikes and an interesting Kids road race bike called the KRX S, which isn’t cheap at £600 but looked to be well better equipped than a lot of kids bikes I’ve seen to date.
Trek KRX S Kids Race bike
The Trek FX range of hybrids was on prominent display and it’s one of the UK’s best selling ranges. Again it’s great to see discs making their way onto these bikes too. I got to walk through a section of bikes for the Polish market that included “proper” Dutch style city bikes with Shimano Nexus hub gears, dynamo lights, fully enclosed chains and sit up and beg riding positions – but sadly there is apparently no demand for these bikes in the UK. I offered to buy one myself as I’d love a bike like this but apparently one sale is not enough to create a market. Our (and my) loss. I genuinely think it’s this kind of bike that’s fundamental to mass cycling happening in the UK. Comfortable, easy to ride, upright, low mainenance bikes that have everything you need and can carry your shopping or kids with you in comfort. It’s what the Dutch and the Danes use instead of cars to get around towns. Surely they could be special order items? Please! Mark Treasure’s written a great blog about bikes like this and the lack of them in British bike shops: http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/where-are-britains-practical-bikes/
I might need a run around for the shops/train station riding around town on so something like a Trek FX 7.2 might have to do the job in the absence of a proper city bike option (see above!) – obviously with mudguards and a rack added to it!
Trek did have bikes from their recent acquisition of Electra on display which are a California-ised dutch bike and I’ll do a separate post on those. Some of them are very funky and maybe one of those could become my city bike ….. maybe
Bontrager’s new XXX Road shoe was one of the new product highlights. A pro level road shoe being used by a few more pros than just in the Trek Factory Racing Team including Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh. Available in White or Red, it’s a striking looking shoe and a pair is yours for £260. I’ve been very pleased with the comparatively inexpensive Bontrager RL Road Visibility I’ve been riding recently but the XXX Road really did feel world’s above these.
There was also the very cool looking Bontrager Classique shoes with a black lace up finish and a great looking 12k carbon weave sole that might pique your interest….
With the rise in the number of disc bikes on the market, we’re all going to need more wheel choices and Bontrager are launching 3 new road disc wheelsets. The Affinity Pro TLR Road Disc wheelset at £850 a pair and weighing 1520gms a pair.
The Affinity Elite TLR Road Disc wheelset at £550 a pair, weighing 1655gms a pair and the Affinity Comp TLR Road Disc wheelset at £350 a pair and weighing 1750gms a pair. All are tubeless compatible and if you like, Bontrager have a range of tubeless tyres and kits for these wheels.
Bontrager’s very sexy looking XXX Integrated bar and stem caught my eye too. Extremely light at 236gms including a 110 stem length and featuring Bontragers new Blendr accessory mounting system. It’s not cheap at £400 but it looks great.
Blendr is a new means of mounting accessories like lights, computers, phones etc with the mount built into the stem. It’s available as an aftermarket product and some Trek bikes will come with this system as standard. Mounting accessories like Garmin’s etc, is messy and typically doesn’t look good, so this should appeal to the more particular of us.
So that’s my big wrap-up from Trek World, hope it’s been interesting and if you have questions, please leave a comment and I’ll answer as best I can.
Thanks for reading
July 21st, Addendum: I was asked for some extra photos of the new colours for the 1 series following posting this so, below are the extra pictures I have (not great but I hope they help):