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trek emonda slr 9 etap

The New Trek Émonda Is Faster Than Ever

Already one of the fiercest climbing bikes available, the new Émonda is even faster thanks to a dose of aero.

The Takeaway: The Émonda SLR is a benchmark pro race bike—and it’s surprisingly rider friendly.

  • It has 183 grams less drag than the previous generation, but the frame is only 33 grams heavier
  • There are 10 models starting at $2,699
  • SL models ($2,699 to $5,999) have the aerodynamic shaping and features but in a frame that’s about 400 grams heavier than the SLR
  • SLR models ($6,699 and up) use a new carbon fiber composite that’s 30 percent stronger than Trek’s previous top-of-the-line carbon.

For Émonda SLR bicycles, Trek will provide an individual handlebar and stem until an updated handlebar/stem combo is available.

Additionally, all customers who bring in their handlebars for replacement will also receive a $100 in-store credit that can be used toward any Trek or Bontrager merchandise through December 31, 2022.

Remember professional road racing ? It’s that thing where super skinny people go unbelievably fast up and down hills and fly over flat roads for hours at a time. It’s been a while since the pros have beat up on each other for our entertainment, but there might, hopefully, be some races on the horizon. When the races do resume, Trek’s pro riders will be aboard its new third-generation Émonda climbing bike. The new Émonda isn’t lighter, but it is faster thanks to a dose of aerodynamic tuning.

.css-1hhr1pq{text-align:center;font-size:1.1875rem;line-height:1.6;font-family:Charter,Charter-roboto,Charter-local,Georgia,Times,Serif;}.css-1hhr1pq em{font-style:italic;font-family:Charter,Charter-styleitalic-roboto,Charter-styleitalic-local,Georgia,Times,Serif;}.css-1hhr1pq strong{font-family:Charter,Charter-weightbold-roboto,Charter-weightbold-local,Georgia,Times,Serif;font-weight:bold;} —Five Cool Details—

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Now With Aero

The new Émonda gets a major drag reduction with a tiny weight gain.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Simple Seat Mast

The seat mast has lots of adjustment range, and an easy-to-use saddle clamp.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Light and Slippery

The new Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels are light, sleek, and stable.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Wide and Threaded

The T47 bottom bracket has a wide stance, and user-friendly threads.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

A built-in chain watcher prevents unwanted derailments.

Making the new Émonda frame more aerodynamic wasn’t exactly a tough hurdle as the previous Émonda had virtually zero aerodynamic optimization. But adding meaningful aerodynamic benefit while achieving the frame stiffness expected of a pro-caliber race bike, maintaining the well-regarded handling properties of the previous Émonda, and adding rider-friendly features like a threaded bottom bracket—all with adding only 33 grams (SLR frame, claimed)—is quite a feat.

Below you’ll find my review of the Émonda SLR—I’ve been on it since early March—followed by a dive into the technology and features of the new bike, and a brief model breakdown.

Ride Impressions: Émonda SLR 9 eTap

trek emonda slr 9 etap

The Émonda SLR is a tool made to fulfill the needs of some of the world’s best road racers. This bike will never be as comfortable or versatile as a gravel bike. Going fast on pavement and climbing performance are its only goals. These are obvious facts, but that’s the lens through which it must be viewed. And through this lens, it is one of the very best.

The new Émonda was born out of a request from Trek’s pro racers and pitched as the company’s “fastest climbing bike ever.” So little surprise they set me up with the lightest model (the SLR 9 with SRAM Red eTap ), which also has a build kit almost identical to the team’s bikes. It’s also, excepting customized Project One builds, the most expensive model at a buck under 12 grand.

That massive pile of clams gets you an aerodynamic frame with disc brakes, power meter, and wireless electronic shifting that weighs less than 15 pounds (54cm). And that’s with a hefty T47 threaded bottom bracket unit, lustrous paint , clincher wheelset, a chain-watcher, standard butyl tubes, 37mm deep rims, 160mm disc rotors front and rear, and SRAM’s largest Red cassette (10-33). That’s “Holy shit!” impressive.

By cutting drag a ton without adding much weight, it’s hard to argue with Trek’s claim that the new Émonda is faster than the outgoing generation. But if you have any doubts, they’ll be erased when you ride it. This is an explosive bike: it feels as light as a feather and as solid as a steel girder at the same time.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Trek’s Émonda has always been a raw and rowdy bike that feels a little wild and a bit dangerous in precisely the ways you want a race bike to feel: That’s not lost with the added aerodynamics. If anything, the new Émonda is even crisper and punchier than before, which is saying something.

preview for Tested

A small downside to all this fury is the Émonda’s smoothness. Light and stiff race bikes aren’t a smooth-riding lot to begin with, but even measured against a stiffer riding genre, the new Émonda is on the firmer end of the scale. Still, it escapes harsh or punishing labels—I did a six-hour ride on the Émonda on the stock 25 tires and didn’t feel worn down by its ride. Swapping to 28s helped a lot (no surprise) and were on the Émonda for the bulk of my testing. I’d suggest reserving the lighter and more aerodynamic stock 25s for racing or PR attempts—assuming good roads—and use 28s as daily drivers.

The Émonda’s handling is excellent. Well, let me caveat that: Road racing geometry is pretty uniform, so whether I’m on a current race bike from Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Cervélo, Canyon, Colnago, Wilier, Pinarello, BMC, Giant (etc., etc.), I find the broad strokes of their handling feel and performance quite similar. There wasn’t anything about the Émonda’s handling or cornering performance that set any new benchmarks for me, but there wasn’t anything to dislike either.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

It was quick and accurate, diving into corners with a light touch. It offered great feedback, so I always knew where I was relative to its and my limits, and I could count on it to be consistent and predictable. It was maybe a touch less settled in bumpy corners than the Specialized Tarmac, but the Émonda never broke traction or skipped. Overall, for such a light bike, the Émonda is remarkably solid and drama free. I’d have no qualms barreling down a technical alpine descent on the Émonda.

I received this test bike in early March, giving me plenty of time to ride it back to back with its primary competition—a Specialized S-Works Tarmac , what I consider the benchmark for aero-ized lightweight bikes. The Tarmac is smoother over the bumps and has a silkier feel overall, but the new Émonda feels more efficient, like it can go faster more easily.

I’ve also ridden a good slice of the Émonda’s competition, including the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX , Colnago V3Rs, Cannondale SuperSix Evo , Cervélo R5, Wilier Zero SLR , Pinarello Dogma F12 . These are all superb bikes, but I feel the Émonda is the class leader. It feels sharper and more explosive than all of them. It feels faster, and that’s what matters most in a race bike. But I also like that the Émonda is pretty straightforward and rider-friendly.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

For example, I swapped the stock one-piece bar/stem for a standard stem and round bar. One, I could run a standard bar and stem on this bike, which you can’t say about every modern race bike. And two, I didn’t have to pull any cables, wires, or hoses to make the swap: Again, something you can’t say about all race bikes. For the record, the shape of the one-piece Aeolus bar/stem is great, and the tops are the most comfortable to grab of all the aero-topped bars I've used. The only reason I swapped is my preferred length and width combination (110x40) wasn't available yet.

The BB is threaded, which makes it easier to service and replace than a press-fit (however, I was getting some noise out of the BB area, which I never resolved). The wheels employ standard offset, and it uses regular thru-axles. It’s compatible with pod-style power meters and mechanical shifting. Its signature seat mast is pretty much the only non-standard thing about this frame, and even then, it’s pretty user-friendly. There’s no cutting necessary, height adjustment is ample, the saddle clamp is easy to use, and it’s travel-case friendly.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

I expect so much from a modern high-end pro-level road racing bike that it’s hard to exceed those expectations. It’s rare when a bike does: The Émonda SLR is one of those rare bikes.

Team Request

The new Émonda is partially a result of a request from the Trek-Segafredo race team. “They are one of our primary customers,” said Jordan Roessingh, Trek’s director of road product. “And they started to realize that it’s not just weight, it’s not just stiffness and responsiveness, there’s this other thing—aerodynamics and speed—that’s also really important to be competitive and be faster on the bike. They had been one of the loudest voices saying, ‘We need the lightest-weight, stiffest bike possible.’ And now they started coming back saying ‘We need those things, but we also need the bike to be faster in order for us to be really competitive.’ ”

It is (comparatively) easy to make a light frame, it is easy to make a stiff frame, it is easy to make an aerodynamic frame. Making a frame that’s two of those three things is more challenging: Making a bike more aerodynamic usually makes it heavier, making a bike lighter typically makes it less stiff, etc. Making a frame that is light AND stiff AND aerodynamic enough to satisfy the demands of a top-level professional race team is extremely difficult.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

But not impossible. Many brands already make a light, stiff, and aero bike. The Specialized Tarmac is one, as are the Canyon Ultimate, the Cannondale SuperSix Evo, the Cervélo R5, the Wilier Zero SLR, the Pinarello F12, the Scott Addict, and the new Giant TCR . All of them seek to balance the three qualities—light, stiff, and aero—in the pursuit of the ideal race bike, and they all manage the balance differently. The common thread between these bikes: They’re all used by teams that compete against Trek-Segafredo.

Still Light, Now With Aero

The previous generation Émonda SLR Disc , launched in 2017, was an extremely light frame at 665 grams (claimed). But when a frame is already that light, it is much harder to make it even lighter. At least lighter enough to make a meaningful difference.

emonda drag chart

So, Trek took a different approach to making its climbing bike faster—instead of lighter, it made it more aerodynamic. The new Émonda frame is a touch heavier—yet still extremely light at 698 grams—but the bike has 183 grams less drag than the previous generation.

The important thing to note here is that, though the frame is more aerodynamic, the 183 gram drag reduction is not from the frame only. New wheels and a new aero bar (more info on both below) play a role. The specific setups Trek used to get that 183 gram number are: 2018 Émonda with 28mm-deep Bontrager XXX 2 wheels, and Bontrager XXX Bar/Stem Combo compared to the 2021 Émonda with 37mm deep Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 Wheels and Bontrager Aeolus RSL Bar/Stem Combo.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Another drag saving upgrade: the housing, hoses and wires for the controls are almost fully inside the frame. They dive into the frame at the head tube passing through the upper headset bearing. The front brake hose runs into the fork steerer and down the left leg before popping out just above the brake caliper. The fork steerer’s flattened sides provide room for the rear brake hose and derailleur control lines to travel down and into the frame. Though it has flattened sides, the fork steerer is still compatible with standard 1 1/8” stems.

The overall drag reduction results in a bike that is 18 seconds per hour faster when climbing an 8.1 percent grade (the average grade of Alpe d’Huez ), and 60 seconds per hour faster on flat roads than the previous Émonda. Trek also claims the new Émonda is 13 seconds per hour faster than a Specialized Tarmac when climbing an 8.1 percent grade (all assuming the rider maintains a constant 350 watts).

Eight Point One Percent

With three qualities—aero, stiffness, weight—that work in opposition to each other, how do you decide how much to optimize one quality when you know it will negatively affect the other two? How aero is aero enough? At what point is improved aerodynamics offset by the weight added to get there?

The team behind the Émonda used a legendary climb to help them decide: Alpe d’Huez. “It represents an extreme example of what most people see on a regular basis when they’re doing a big climbing ride,” said Roessingh, “It’s around an 8 percent grade, and it’s about an hour-long climb for the pros—amateurs might go a little slower. It gives us a good understanding of what the benefit of a drag savings is relative to a weight savings.”

trek emonda slr 9 etap

By optimizing the weight and aerodynamic balance around this climb, Roessingh claims the Émonda is faster on Alpe d’Huez and also faster on everything shallower than the famous climb, “which is the vast majority of the environments that most riders are going to ride in, including the team,” said Roessingh. “So if we can say it’s faster up Alpe d’Huez, it’s going to be significantly faster everywhere because the flatter it is, the more aerodynamics benefit you.”

Computer-Aided Optimization

Achieving the weight to the aerodynamic balance of the new Émonda required careful design of each tube shape. Aiding the Émonda’s team was supercomputing horsepower. The abridged and simplified version of the process goes like this: into the computer was fed a rough draft of the shape based on Trek’s aerodynamic experience and other information like UCI regulations. The program then varies the tube’s parameters within a predefined range and spit back several iterations of the shape, each with a different weight to aerodynamic balance. The Émonda’s team evaluated the alternatives and picked the one most suited to its location in the frame and best able to help the frame achieve its overarching goal.

Roessingh says that Trek cannot afford to buy the computing hardware necessary to run the CFD and FEA optimizations (in a timely manner) that helped shape the new Émonda’s tubes. The processing happens in the cloud where Trek rents time on Google, Microsoft, or Amazon’s supercomputers. It’s more affordable than buying a supercomputer. Even so, it is not cheap, “Cloud computing is becoming a relatively significant budget line item for us because we’re doing so many of these optimizations in CFD and FEA and all that processing happens in the cloud.”

tube shape comparison of the generation two and three emonda

The new Émonda’s fork legs, head tube, down tube, seat tube, and seat stays all use a variation of a truncated airfoil. The top tube and chainstays, which have virtually no effect on drag, are optimized almost entirely for stiffness to weight.

In Trek’s line, the new Émonda’s aerodynamic performance is equal to the third generation Domane ; the Madone is still significantly more aero. But while the more aerodynamic Madone is faster in flatter terrain, once the climb hits about 5.5 percent, the lighter Émonda becomes the faster bike. And for many of the Trek-Segafredo team riders—and many amateurs—that means the Émonda is fastest when it matters most: the hardest part of a race or ride, which is almost always on a steep climb.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

OCLV 800 Carbon

Getting the new Émonda SLR to be as light as it is while adding aerodynamic shaping would not be possible without employing a new carbon-fiber composite, said Roessingh. The new OCLV 800 composite is 30 percent stronger than Trek’s previous top-of-the-line composite (OCLV 700). Because it is stronger, they can use less: By using OCLV 800, Trek’s team was able to make the Émonda SLR frame 60 grams lighter than if they used OCLV 700.

trek emonda sl 5

The Émonda SLR is very cool, but it’s also very expensive (bike prices start at $6,699). For the 99 percenters, there’s the Émonda SL (models start at $2,699).

The SL uses OCLV 500 composite, and the frame is quite a bit heavier than the SLR’s. The SL’s frame comes in at 1,142 grams, with a 380-gram fork (SLR fork weight: 365 grams).

But material (and weight) are the only difference between the SL and SLR.

Aeolus Bar Stem

While a ton of work made the Émonda’s frame tubes faster, a big chunk of the new bike’s drag savings comes from the one-piece Aeolus bar stem. It alone is responsible for 70 grams of the Émonda’s 183-gram drag reduction. This means that if a traditional stem and round bar are installed on the new Émonda, its drag advantage over the previous-generation bike drops to 113 grams. And it means that you can make any bike with a round bar and traditional stem significantly more aerodynamic by merely installing the Aeolus. Retail price is $650.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

The integrated Aeolus is made of carbon-fiber composite, of course, with a claimed weight of 297 grams (42x120). It’s offered in 14 length and width combinations, from 44x120 to 38x80. Hoses, housing, and wires run externally for easier service and repairs, but in a groove that keeps them out of the wind. A bolt-on plate keeps the control lines tucked and organized where they turn off the bar tops to run in line with the stem.

The Aeolus employs a mount that works with Bontrager’s line of Blendr accessories for mounting computers and lights.

Aeolus 37 Wheels

Another new Bontrager product rolling out with the Émonda is the Aeolus 37 wheelset. It comes in two models: the Aeolus RSL 37 (1,325 grams/pair, $2,400) and the Aeolus Pro 37 (1,505 grams/pair, $1,300).

trek emonda slr 9 etap

The RSL 37 is claimed to be lighter than Zipp’s 32mm-deep 202, yet more aerodynamic and more stable than Zipp’s 45mm-deep 303. Both wheels are disc brake only (only Center Lock interface), tubeless compatible, use DT-Swiss internals, have no rider weight limit, and come with a lifetime warranty.

Surprisingly Rider Friendly

Though the new Émonda is clean and integrated looking and uses high-performance standards, it is also remarkably rider-friendly. Cables, hoses, and housing run externally on the one-piece Aeolus bar/stem for easier repair and service (with one exception: wiring for a Shimano Di2 or Campagnolo EPS bar-end junction box runs partially inside the bar). If you prefer a more traditional cockpit, it can be run with a standard bar and stem with 1⅛-inch steerer clamp.

The bottom bracket uses the threaded T47 standard , which is compatible with almost all common crank-axle standards.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Front and rear thru-axles are standard 12x100 and 12x142mm, and the wheels employ a standard dish. The standard flat mounts for the brake calipers are compatible with 140, 160, or 180mm rotors.

Tire clearance is officially 28mm, but that’s with a ton of extra space. I fit 32mm tires in the Émonda with ease.

And though all models do use a seat mast, it’s a no-cut variety with lots of adjustment range.

H1.5 Geometry

Trek did offer its top-of-the-line race bikes in the aggressive H1 geometry for riders seeking an ultra-long and low geometry, or H2 which was an endurance fit. The new Émonda is offered only in H1.5, which splits the difference between H1 and H2. The result is pretty typical dimensions for a modern race bike—a 54cm Émonda H1’s geometry is remarkably similar to a 54cm Specialized Tarmac.

There are eight sizes starting at 47cm and topping out at 62cm.

emonda sl 7 etap

There are 10 models of the new Émonda. SL models start at $2,699 and are priced up to $5,999. SLR models start at $6,699 and go up to $11,999.

Only SLR models come with the Aeolus integrated bar/stem stock; and only the Émonda SL 7 ($5,499) and up come with the Aeolus 37 wheelset.

The new Émonda is a disc brake-only platform.

Project One

The new Émonda is in Trek’s Project One paint and parts personalization program. If that’s not luxe enough for you, Trek’s Project One Ultimate program allows you to work with a designer to come up with a one-of-a-kind finish, and Trek will source any parts you want for your new bike.

emonda project one gold flake

Trek Émonda SLR 9 eTap

Émonda SLR 9 eTap

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling , Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race. 

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Trek Introduces the All New Émonda, Claims World’s Lightest Production Road Bike

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Trek Emonda lightest production bike (1)

The title of the lightest production road bike in the world is not one to be taken lightly. So when Trek announced that they were introducing a new bike that would take the crown we were intrigued. Trek has certainly offered some light bikes over the years, but the lightest production bike in the world? That, we were excited to see.

Introducing the all new Trek Émonda, a new line of ultra light weight road bikes out of Wisconsin. While the name carries the same letters as Madone and Domane, Émonda is an all new frame that will sit along side of the current bikes. The name itself is derived from the French verb émonder – to prune or cut away. A fitting name for a bicycle where every bit of unnecessary weight has been trimmed away.

The end result is a new frame with enhanced integration, size specific performance, and the lightest production complete weight – provided you can afford it…

Trek Emonda lightest bike launch (1)

Last year when we took a tour of Trek’s Waterloo head quarters there were a number of Trek Factory Racing frames hanging in the rear of the Advanced Composites Room . From a distance the frames looked similar to Madones, but with a number of small changes. Given the fact that Trek has been working on the Émonda for three years now, the secrecy surrounding the frames on the wall now makes sense.

Trek has always touted the benefits of their OCLV (Optimum Compaction Low Void) carbon fiber, but light weight has always been a back story to ride quality and strength. In order to get the weight down as low as possible while still being repeatable, Trek started what they are calling their “most stringent and sophisticated frame tube optimization project” in their history. Using size specific carbon layups and a new ultralight Ride Tuned Seat mast on the top tier bike, Trek whittled the frame weight down to an incredible 690g. Not quite the 667g Cervelo RCA, but pretty close. Trek is still quick to point out that while the Émonda frame is extremely light weight, they claim it is the best riding road bike Trek has offered.

Emonda_SLR10

Built with Ultralight 700 series OCLV carbon for the SLR level frames, Émonda continues with a number of specifications like the E2 tapered head tube (1.5″-1.125″) with asymmetric steerer, BB90 bottom bracket with bearings pressed directly into the carbon, internal cable routing, and integrated 3S chain keeper, and the new DuoTrap S. As the second generation of their Speed Trap integrated computer sensors, DuoTrap S is now compatible with both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity and uses a new mounting system for improved looks.

Emonda_SLR10_Brakes

SLR Émondas will also be equipped with the new Bontrager Speed Stop brakes which are a dual post design similar to the Dura Ace integrated stoppers. Compared to Ultegra brakes, Bontrager claims a 50g per caliper weight savings. Speed Stop brakes also offer an adjustable leverage ratio, two position quick release, and a wide set design to work with the widest rims and bigger tires.

trek-emonda-lightest-production-road-bike

As a complete bike the flagship Émonda SLR 10 comes in at an incredible 10.25 lb (4.6kg) and will retail for an equally staggering $15,749.99. In order to get the weight down to that level Trek is equipping the bike with Tune Skyline tubular wheels, and a Tune Komm-Vorr Plus saddle in addition to the SRAM Red drivetrain and Bontrager parts.

Emonda_SLR10_Bar_Stem

Coming standard on the new SLR 10 is the new Bontrager XXX bar/stem combo which provides a 75g savings over the same XXX bar and stem combination used separately. The bar/stem combo features a 129mm drop, 93mm reach, and is compatible with Trek’s new accessory integration system, Blendr. Eventually to be found across their entire line, Blendr allows accessories like lights, computers, and even cell phones to be attached to the stem with out zip ties or additional mounts.

emonda slr 9

Émondas will be offered in a number of builds with three different frame levels. The S series Émondas use Ultralight 300 Series OCLV (1220g painted 56cm frame), a BB86.5 bottom bracket, a standard seat post, and are DuoTrap instead of DuoTrap S compatible. Jumping up to the SL level will gain you 500 series OCLV carbon (1050g painted 56cm frame), BB90 bottom bracket, DuoTrap S compatibility, internally routed cables, and the Ride Tuned seatmast. At the high end, SLR frames carry all of the bells and whistles using 700 series OCLV carbon for the 690g painted 56cm frame. Both the SL and SLR models will be sold as framesets for $1429.99 and $4199.99 respectively. The forks differ between the three models as well with a 518g painted fork for the S, 358g painted fork for the SL, and 280g painted fork for the SLR each with around 235mm of steerer tube.

emonda sl 5 wsd

Complete bikes will be offered in both men’s and Women’s WSD models as well as H1 and H2 geometries depending on the model. If nearly 16k is a little too steep, Émondas start out at just $1649.99 for the S 4. The full line starts at the S 4 and then proceeds with the S 5, S 5 WSD, S 6, SL Frameset, SL 5, SL 5 WSD, SL 6, SL 6 WSD, SL 8, SL 8 Red, SL 8 WSD, SLR Frameset, SLR 6 (H1, H2), SLR 8 (H1, H2), SLR 9 (H1, H2, WSD), and the top dog SLR 10 (H1).

Geometry emonda trek

Bike Weights (KG: LBS):

trekbikes.com

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Zach Overholt is the Editor in Chief of Bikerumor . He has been writing about what’s new in the bicycle world for 12+ years. Prior to that, Zach spent many years in the back of a bicycle shop building and repairing nearly every type of bike, while figuring out how to (occasionally) ride them.

Based in Ohio, Zach is now slowly introducing a new generation to cycling and still trying to figure out how to fit the most rides into a busy schedule as a new dad.

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Pro Bike Swap

Additional details/specs here as well: http://www.probikeswap.com/2015-trek-emonda-slr/

vectorbug

This should be really great for getting more people into cycling.

Frederico

Me gusto muscho L’Emonda!

wako29

690g is pretty impressive when you consider that it has a seat mast cap. That RCa (and just about every other bike) runs a standard seatpost

J Train

@Vectorbug Dude, the S 5 retails for just over two thousand. For that you get a full carbon frame, FULL 105 11-speed, and tubeless ready wheels. If someone wants to get into cycling without feeling like they’re already behind the “curve,” this range is a pretty good option.

CXisfun

Justifying the jump from the SL frame at $1430 to the SLR frame at $4200 seems like a tough one

Jakozilla

Looks like … every other bike in the showroom. (But because it’s Trek the glue and carbon yarn were put into the muffin tin to bake by skilled craftsmen.) Yawn.

Bro

Did everyone forget about cannondale EVO black inc frame at 655g? Those have been out for years….

FastWayne

A Ducati with a real motor same price point. My net worth logic and my tech logic says, “Don’t compute.” $15,749.99 WTH ; p

DZ

Thats all well and good for making the lightest production bike. Lets see how they hold up to a years worth of heavy riding without frame failures. No thanks! I have a 6 yr old Litespeed Archon Ti, that is worry and CREAK free!

Edison

690g which frame sise? Does that weight include FD hanger? RD hanger & bolts? Water bottle bolts x 4pcs? Seat collar and bolts? Cable stops?

What about fork 300mm steerer?

Just trying to compare to other ultra light weight which in the market already.

jw

FastWayne- exactly what i was thinking. “mass production” bicycle, albeit the flagship model, is now over $15,000. I’ll take a Panigale.

Derek

Someone posted this on weightweenies: http://i.imgur.com/t3wsP4c.png

Frame weight is without hardware.

Gunnstein

Where do you attach the 2 kg lead weights you need in order to be allowed to race this thing?

Al Boneta

Pretty neat

MikeC

Funny how your mind can play tricks on you: here I was, thinking $16k for a bike?!? Woah! And then I looked up the price for the Emonda SLR 9, right around $8k, and for some fool reason thought, “OK, now that’s more reasonable…. Wait, no it isn’t!” Painful watching other companies do lightweight bikes and Trek seeming to not be playing that game.

pmurf

say what you will about the $16K wunderbike, but the lower end models are very well priced, especially if all the frames have the ride quality TREK is promising. Correct me if I’m wrong, but with the current Madone 3.1 retailing for $1,979, that would make the Emonda S4 the cheapest carbon road bike TREK’s ever released, right? (I realize there’s a groupset difference)

TonyC

Trek weighed a 56cm painted frame. Also, when you by a Trek frame, all the unique parts (seat cap, bb, hs…) are included.

Rico

Tune and THM deserve more of the credit for any of these superlight bikes. The H1 geo version of the frame looks pretty good aside from that weird seatpost deal they keep using. I wish companies would get rid of ISP and the Trek version is even worse aesthetically.

Ben

How about a rider weight limit? Me thinks the doctors and lawyers who pony up this kind of coin on bikes might be a bit large for the 10.

SLOBOB

OK guys, here’s the deal: Only the top end bike is the “lightest” production bike, and even that has a generous rider weight limit of 200lbs (due to the wheels) the rest of the line (with the top models sharing the same frame) have the standard 275lbs limit! If you’re a Clydesdale, ride gravel grinders, tour the world with all your belongings, commute daily, or just don’t like it, then guess what? Don’t buy it. By the way, I find it odd that people trash Trek for making an expensive super-bike, but not Pinarello, BMC, etc… if there wasn’t someone buying these things, they wouldn’t build them. I can’t afford a Porsche, a Tesla, or even a Corvette but others can and I still appreciate the engineering.

Daium

Ok,I think we are pretty much ready to see the 2015 McLaren Tarmac priced at $15,759.99 now.

mellon

I can’t wait to warranty one of these!

josh

@Bro, The goal was lightest total bike. Which trek Crushed. 10.25 for the Trek, compared to 11 for the Cannondale. It doesn’t matter if you have a super light frame and have to put extra shims and cups to attach the components to the bike.

Burt

Trek has cornered the market on bikes for orthopedic surgeons and professional athletes

mi ke

can i get it without the red accents

Duder

Whoever is naming these bikes is really reaching. Just rolls of the tongue. Like fuemonda

joseph

I will take this beast instead if Trek. http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3331

Bill

Hmmmm…. Those brakes look a bit familiar. Can anyone say EE Cycleworks?

Mike

Buy trek care with it and you a crash it and it doesn’t matter. No questions asked on any thing you damage or wear out. Pretty sweet.

Crohnsy

Madone Domane Emonda

I like the anagram theme…

gibbon

Should have called it Ona’med

John

How long until Trek’s other road bikes are updated for DuoTrap S?

John smith

I was pretty sure CANNONDALE’s evo NANO was lighter, stiffer and stronger than this bike…

Ghostt

Fun fact: here in the UK Trek are offering a lifetime frame and fork guarantee on all models, plus a very good crash replacement scheme.

At least with Trek there is some backup, unlike other brands who don’t want to know (cough..Cervelo..cough) Skurce: i’m a Trek dealer (so might be somewhat biased!)

Chader

@ John smith, please show us the data comparing the two frames to validate your claims… didn’t think so.

@ Ghostt, lifetime warranties here in the US too. You can also purchase the Trek Care Plus, which cover ALL parts for replacement for ANY reason, for three years from purchase.

@chader http://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/cannondale-supersix-evo-nano-now-even-lighter-3920.html

Now before you say this is based on a website, note bike rumour is also a website. How does a reader get actual data??? Can you show me by sending me the trek data?

Nick

I hope they’re paying Craig a licensing fee for his EE brake. http://www.eecycleworks.com/index.html

Seraph

@John – the Cannondale Evo Nano weighed over 11 lbs. So no, it wasn’t lighter.

F Almeida

Ja, they look like (less refined) EE-brakes. Hope Trek/Shimano honoured Craig’s intelectual property, his patent was still pending as far as I know…

Kovas

Trek’s next carbon bike will be a touring rig, called the NOMADE… I’m waiting for that one.

Kyle

http://cdn2.coresites.mpora.com/rcuk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/LapierreXelius800SideProfile.jpg

rustlemania

bunch of aliases in this thread complaining about how much it cost, smh.

Ilikeicedtea

Patent pending typically means no patent has been filed, but we would if we could…

@John smith, weight is one variable & the Dale may well be lighter. Trek may well be wrong in their claims. I never made a claim one way or the other.

You made claims about stiffness & strength being better for the Dale. Neither of those is substantiated in the article you linked. It is merely a press release with some weight info and nothing about stiffness, strength or even ride quality.

I doubt that you know anything about those values for the Dale and nobody outside of Trek has stiffness and strength for the Emonda right now. VeloNews and others will probably get the data for both bikes, then we can have a meaningful comparison. Until then, anything else is useless speculation.

They are both probably great bikes and anyone is free to chose whatever they like. Stop acting like you know this stuff enough to make a claim that one is superior to another.

@Ilikeicedtea, Patent Pending means they have filed the paperwork with the USPTO, but the patent has not been issued or denied.

They often take several years from the point of filing before they get approved or denied. At the point of filing, their idea is protected based on that date assuming the patent is approved.

jimmythefly

LOL at you guys comparing these brakes to EE brakes. Try WTB lever link, and the idea is probably older than that even.

Yeah. Pat. Pending means paperwork is filed, but it takes a while to go through the system.

So even if you know your design will not be judged patentable, it’s still worth filing the paperwork because you’ll have several years to sell and market you doodad with a nice little “pat. pending” text in the ad copy. And by the time your patent is rejected it won’t matter.

Jeff

Did anyone notice that the translation of Emonda is prune. Yet another lack of creativity on Trek’s part…

Here, in the real world, “patent pending” is used all of the time when it shouldn’t be used “legally”.

In fantasy land, yeah, one needs to have filed a patent application.

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2021 Trek Emonda review: the semi-aero, ‘faster everywhere’ climbing bike

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First introduced in 2014 , the Emonda has always been Trek’s premier climbing bike, with a keen focus on low weight and high stiffness. However, we now have a much better understanding of the role aerodynamics play when it comes to going fast — even when climbing — and, as expected, the brand-new Emonda SLR and Emonda SL bikes have undergone an aero makeover. The Emonda is still light, and it’s still stiff, but now there’s an extra dose of free speed included, too.

Story Highlights

What it is: The latest iteration of Trek’s premier climbing-specific road bike. || Frame features: Mild aero tube shaping, OCLV 800 carbon fiber construction, internal cable routing, T47 threaded bottom bracket. || Weight: 698 g (claimed, unpainted 56 cm frame only); 365 g (claimed, unpainted fork only); 6.81 kg (15.01lb), complete 52 cm Emonda SLR 9 eTap model as tested, without pedals.|| Price (as tested): US$12,000 / AU$15,800 / £9,700 / €11,000 || Highs: Low frame weight, excellent chassis stiffness, superb handling, intelligently designed internal routing system, traditional shape, no more BB90. || Lows: Somewhat chattery ride quality, no rim-brake option, long-term headset hassles.

The three-legged stool of performance

It has long been the prevailing mainstream sentiment that aerodynamic efficiency is only important when you’re moving fast — and given the non-linear way aerodynamic drag holds a rider back with increasing speed, there’s some truth to that. However, even moderately fit riders are still often going fast enough on most climbs that aerodynamic efficiency can play a measurable role, and given the “free speed” that the existing Emonda left on the table, Trek saw fit to make use of that potential with the latest redesign.

As Giant recently did with its TCR range of light-and-stiff road racing bikes, and Scott before them with the latest Addict RC , the new 2021 Emonda now sports truncated-airfoil tube profiles on the down tube, head tube, seat tube, seatstays, and fork blades. The no-cut integrated seatmast remains round, as does the telescoping seatmast head.

trek emonda wiki

Upper-end Emonda SLR models also get a new Bontrager Aeolus RSL integrated carbon fiber stem and handlebar, the latter with notably flattened tops. Unlike the integrated setup on the full-aero Madone SLR , this is a true one-piece design with no angle adjustment so as to save weight.

Just like that Madone cockpit, though, the previous Emonda’s once-exposed cabling up front has been replaced with a fully hidden setup in the interest of more cleanly slicing through the air, with derailleur and brake lines now entering the frame at the head tube, immediately in front of the stem. Several new Emonda models will come with revamped Bontrager Aeolus aero carbon clincher wheels, too (and you can read about those in more detail here ).

trek emonda wiki

So, just how aero is this thing?

According to Trek, if you were to take two identical riders, each putting out 350 watts, and put one on an old Emonda and the other on the new one, the one on the new Emonda would have a minute lead after an hour — on flat ground, that is. But the Emonda is supposed to be a climbing bike, no? Well, if you took those same two riders and sent them up L’Alpe d’Huez (a 13.85 km-long climb with an average gradient of 8.1% and maximum gradient of 13%), the rider on the new Emonda would finish 15 seconds ahead. On the Stelvio? Twenty-one seconds. And on something as long as the Taiwan KOM Challenge, Trek says the rider on the new Emonda would have 80 seconds to kick their heels up before the other rider showed up.

“We expect the vast majority of riders are going to choose Emonda,” said Trek’s director of road and Project One, Jordan Roessingh. “Madone is still significantly faster, but you’ll see a lot of Emondas under riders.”

trek emonda wiki

Trek says the engineers behind the shape of the new Emonda obviously had to tread a very fine line between making the new bike more aerodynamic and sacrificing the traits that make the bike what it is, supposedly going through hundreds of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and CAD (computer-aided design) models of various individual tube and frame shapes before arriving on the final form.

In the end, the new Emonda SLR is still primarily a light-and-stiff machine in the classic sense, and claimed weight for an unpainted 56 cm frame is just 698 grams, with the matching fork adding 365 g (the Emonda SL is 1,142 g and 380 g). In either case, paint adds another 25-100 g, depending on design. Overall, the figures are hardly heavy, but still slightly heavier than the previous model nonetheless. Likewise, stiffness figures have fallen off a bit as well, although supposedly not enough to make any difference.

“The key stiffness numbers – Trek Full Frame, Tour BB, and Vertical Compliance — are all within 5% of the old frame,” Roessingh said.

trek emonda wiki

Potential buyers shouldn’t expect any improvement in ride quality, either, which is perhaps a touch surprising given how much Trek has emphasized rider comfort on other performance-minded platforms — including the Madone.

“The [ride quality] goal was to match the vertical compliance of the old bike,” said Trek road product manager Anders Ahlberg. “We were really close, within 7%, so most people shouldn’t notice a difference.”

One nice surprise is an apparent boost in frame durability. For the Emonda redesign, Trek developed a new carbon blend for the higher-end SLR models, dubbed OCLV 800. As expected, it’s lighter than the OCLV 700 mix that was used last year, with Roessingh saying the new frame shape would have been about 60 g heavier otherwise given the increase in surface area. However, OCLV 800 is also said to be 30% stronger than OCLV 700 and absorbs more energy, thus offsetting the brittleness that usually accompanies increases in fiber modulus.

Fewer geometry options, no more rim brakes

Trek has resisted temptations to follow other industry trends like dropping the seatstays (doing so apparently would have added 50 g of weight), and the Emonda retains its semi-classic double-diamond configuration with just a modest slope to the top tube. Although it’s a very different machine than the one it replaced, it still sports a traditional aesthetic, which plenty of potential buyers will appreciate.

More controversial will be Trek’s decision to only offer the new Emonda with disc brakes ; there is no rim-brake option, even for Trek-Segafredo team riders. According to Trek, its mainstream customers haven’t expressed any interest in “investing in old technologies”, and with an increasing number of pro teams and riders already making the switch, there was seemingly less motivation than ever to develop parallel models.

trek emonda wiki

That said, it’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of Emonda buyers will never see a race (and, thus, will never be subject to UCI minimum weight rules), so the loss of a true ultralight climbing bike from a major brand is kind of a bummer. It wasn’t long ago, after all, that Trek offered the ultra-premium rim-brake Emonda SLR 10, with a claimed weight of just 4.6 kg (10.25 lb). Weight-weenies looking to save every possible gram will, of course, be able to build for themselves a custom bike that’s lighter than the stock Emonda SLR 9 flagship model, but being locked into disc brakes will obviously limit potential on the scale.

Somewhat expectedly, Trek has also decided to merge the existing H2 and H1 frame geometries into a middle-of-the-road H1.5 variant across the entire Emonda family, just as it did with the Madone a couple of years ago. As the name suggests, H1.5 is not as long or low as the H1 variant (which was only offered with Project One custom builds and bare framesets), but it’s more aggressive than the H2 geometry that graced every complete stock Emonda previously.

“None of our pro riders needed anything lower than [H1.5],” said Roessingh. “If they can get aggressive enough, the vast majority of consumers should also be able to achieve their fit.”

trek emonda wiki

Trek has also done away with women-specific models for the Emonda range entirely, which is an especially intriguing move given how much time, energy, and money Trek has invested in its Women Specific Design project in years past.

Just as Specialized (and others) have changed tack in recent years on the same subject, Trek’s position now is that the Emonda’s H1.5 geometry is sufficiently accommodating so as to work for nearly everyone, regardless of sex or gender. To Trek’s credit, each Emonda is offered in a generous eight-size range — from 47 cm up to 62 cm — and there are a decent number of stock color options, too. Perhaps more to Trek’s point, the revised geometry supposedly hasn’t been an issue for the Trek-Segafredo women’s road team, either.

Smaller sizes nevertheless get some slightly adjusted spec, and Trek says it has programs in place with its dealer network that allow customers to swap various fit-related components (such as saddles) at little-to-no cost.

trek emonda wiki

Here’s to the mechanics

There are several other updates on the new Emonda, a few of which will warm the hearts of home and professional mechanics alike.

First and foremost, Trek is continuing to transition away from its problematic BB90 press-fit bottom bracket design, opting to equip the Emonda with the same slightly modified T47 threaded shell that already graces the Domane endurance road bike and Crockett cyclocross bike. This should not only reduce the incidence of creaking, but will also make regular maintenance much less of a headache. The move to T47 will also finally allow the use of oversized spindles in a high-end Trek road bike, whereas BB90 would only work with 24 mm-diameter setups like Shimano Hollowtech and SRAM GXP.

trek emonda wiki

According to Trek, the move to T47 did increase the frame weight by about 30 g relative to what it would have been with BB90 given the metal sleeve required. However, the convenience factor more than outweighed that nominal gain — pun intended — and when you consider that most cranksets with oversized spindles are actually lighter than their non-oversized counterparts, the total system often actually ends up lighter, anyway.

Trek’s interpretation of T47 is admittedly a millimetre narrower than the wide-format T47 system that was already on the books so as to provide better tool purchase, but it nevertheless doesn’t present any real compatibility headaches since existing T47 bottom brackets will still work just fine here.

It’s also worth mentioning that while the Emonda has moved to a fully concealed cable system, the way Trek has accomplished this is far easier to live with than most. Instead of routing the lines internally through the handlebar and stem, the Bontrager Aeolus RSL cockpit on the Emonda SLR tucks the brake hoses and derailleur housings (or wires) into channels molded on the underside of the bar and stem. Bar tape holds everything in place further out on the tops, while a single profiled clamp secures the whole lot underneath the stem. Combined with the conveniently split headset spacers, there’s no need at all to disconnect the brake or derailleur lines if you need to swap a stem length or bar width, therefore keeping a 15-minute job from turning into one that potentially takes a few hours.

Those lines do still run down through the middle of the upper headset bearing, however, and the front brake hose also takes a detour into the inside of the steerer tube just above the lower headset bearing. As a result, swapping either headset bearing will be anything but a quick job. The front brake hose also needs to be cut quite precisely for a proper fit as there isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room inside the front end for excess length.

“[There’s] not as much as we would like — maybe about 2 cm?” admitted Ahlberg. “That’s the one downside to the serviceability of an externally grooved system.”

trek emonda wiki

Models and availability

Trek will offer five models each of the Emonda SLR and Emonda SL (specifics vary based on region). The former will feature the top-end OCLV 800 carbon fiber blend and Bontrager Aeolus RSL integrated cockpit, while the latter will use the same frame shape — but a lesser OCLV 500 carbon fiber mix — and a more conventional handlebar and stem combo. According to Trek, the weight difference between Emonda SLR and Emonda SL models with comparable build kits is about half a kilogram or so (1 lb).

trek emonda wiki

Not pictured are the following models:

– Emonda SL 6 Pro, built with a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset and Bontrager Aeolus Elite 35 wheels; 8.06 kg / 17.78 lb; US$3,800 / AU$5,500 / £3,350 / €3,880-4,000

– Emonda SLR 6, built with a Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset and Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 wheels; 7.26 kg / 16.0 lb; US$6,700 / AU$9,300 / £5,450 / €6,200

– Emonda SLR 7 eTap, built with SRAM Force eTap AXS and Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 wheels; 7.35 kg / 16.2 lb; US$8,800 / AU$11,850 / £6,850 / €7,800

– Emonda SLR 9, built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels; 6.78 kg / 14.95 lb; US$12,000 / AU$15,800 / £9,700 / €11,000

Trek will also make the Emonda SLR (but not the Emonda SL) available for purchase through its Project One program, which will allow buyers to customize the build kit and paint to better suit their taste (and budget). Going along with the addition of the Emonda SLR model to the Project One ecosystem are several new Icon-level paint jobs, as well as new KOM variants with more minimal finishes to save precious grams. Both of these come at a more premium price than the more standard finish options, but they’re also quite stunning to behold.

trek emonda wiki

The Emonda SL and Emonda SLR will also be offered as bare framesets, with pricing and availability to be confirmed.

Forget about all the tech talk — what’s it like to ride?

Trek may only just be officially launching the new Emonda range today, but the company was actually able to provide me with an early sample of the top-end Emonda SLR 9 eTap model several weeks ago — which I’ve been riding since then. Actual weight for my 52 cm sample without pedals or accessories was a feathery 6.81 kg (15.01 lb), complete with a SRAM Red eTap AXS wireless electronic groupset, Bontrager’s new Aeolus RSL 37 lightweight carbon clincher wheels, the new Bontrager Aeolus RSL one-piece carbon fiber handlebar-and-stem, a carbon-railed Bontrager Aeolus Pro saddle, and 25 mm-wide Bontrager R4 320 tires.

trek emonda wiki

Just as you’d expect, the bike is a superb climbing companion. The low weight is certainly noticeable, as is the impressive chassis rigidity. It’s more of a hot-air balloon on the climbs rather than an anchor — especially on steeper pitches — and there’s a tangible sense of efficiency when you push on the pedals. Gaining altitude just feels easier relative to something heavier and/or less rigid than what Trek has produced here.

I know, I know. A light and stiff bike is good for climbing? Big surprise. And while the Emonda SLR 9 eTap is light, it’s not exceptionally so, so a more exotic setup would obviously feel even better in this respect.

What goes up must come down, of course, and what was far more impressive to me is how the Emonda SLR 9 eTap behaves at high speeds. Some lightweight bikes I’ve ridden — especially ones with lightweight wheels — can feel nervous or jittery when charging down descents, but that’s certainly not the case here. In fact, I found the bike to feel just as calm and composed at 80 km/h (50 mph) as it does at 18 km/h (11 mph). With a 58 mm trail figure, the front end is still appropriately quick and darty, and just as I’ve enjoyed on the Madone, the Emonda is a joy to snake down twisty canyon downhills. However, there’s also a reassuring sense of stability and solidity when all you want to do is hold your line.

trek emonda wiki

The ride quality is a little on the chattery side, but that’s to be expected, not only given the genre, but also the bike’s emphasis on structural efficiency. It’s not unusually rough, however I still found myself wishing for a bit more tire clearance here. The stock 25 mm tires work well on well-maintained asphalt, but riders regularly finding themselves on rough tarmac (or even dirt) would be advised to max out the Emonda’s tire clearance.

Speaking of which, Trek’s track record of being conservative in terms of what will fit and what won’t seems to be holding up here. Although Trek officially only approves the Emonda for 28 mm-wide treads, there’s still more than 42 mm of space in between the pinch point at the chainstays. As for what will actually squeeze in between there … well, that’ll depend on how much leeway you want to leave for yourself.

But is the bike really more aerodynamic than the old Emonda? Unfortunately, I can’t really say since I didn’t have an identical previous-generation model to compare against. However, if you take Trek’s claims at face value, what I like is that they’ve managed to infuse a fair bit of aerodynamic efficiency into the equation without taking away what people really like about the Emonda family — including the traditional appearance, which is much easier said than done.

As a result, the aero bit will be more of a nice bonus to most buyers with no significant downsides that I can see, and I mean that in quite the literal sense as this is a really good-looking machine with refreshingly traditional lines and proportions. I personally could do without the giant Trek logo on this particular paint job, but so be it. Thankfully, Trek’s Project One program gives you more than a few options for choosing something more subtle, and according to Trek’s figures, a shocking percentage of high-end customers go the custom route.

trek emonda wiki

Kudos to Trek, too, for investing some time and energy into making the new bike easier to live with over the long haul.

I didn’t experience any bottom bracket creaking issues on my test sample, but then again, it’s only been a few weeks, and the bike hasn’t seen any water, either. However, if it does occur — let me remind you that even threaded bottom brackets are prone to creaking — it’s a far more straightforward process to take the assembly apart for a quick cleaning, greasing, and reinstallation. There are also heaps more aftermarket options available here as compared to what you could do with the old BB90 setup. Good riddance, I say. Trek can’t introduce T47 on to the rest of the road range soon enough.

As someone who regularly takes things apart for a living, the channeled external routing setup on the integrated handlebar-and-stem combo is not only a huge sigh of relief, but a solution that’s so obvious in hindsight that it’s a wonder why more brands don’t do something similar (for the record, Canyon has long used this approach for its integrated cockpits). Yes, it’s visually perhaps not quite as clean as fully internal setups, and yes, you can feel the housing a bit when you wrap your fingers around the bar tops (which, on my sample, were only partially wrapped, although I’d personally opt to wrap the bars the usual way for a surer grip and improved comfort). However, both of those compromises are exceedingly minor relative to the massive headache that internally routed handlebars can often bring on.

trek emonda wiki

Conversely, though, the fact that the control lines are routed through the headset bearings will eventually be a pretty big pain in the rear end for riders that regularly head out in the wet. At minimum, replacing the lower bearing will require you to disconnect the front brake hose (in addition to removing the fork as usual). If you need to replace the upper bearing, you’ll also need to undo all of the cables completely. In either case, there’s a decent chance you’ll need to rebleed the brake(s) after you’ve got everything back together, too.

It doesn’t exactly help, either, that there’s no supplemental rubber seal between the fork crown and lower head tube, meaning the lower bearing is perilously exposed — a scenario that’s become very common since bike brands started molding crown races directly into the fork crown.

Such is the cost of progress, I suppose.

trek emonda wiki

That said, I’m a big fan of the somewhat unusual dimensions of this integrated setup even with the non-adjustable tilt. Most companies these days have committed to a compact bend, which is nice in the sense that it makes the drops more accessible for more riders, but somewhat silly in the sense that your posture actually changes very little when you move your hands back and forth between the various hand positions.

The drop dimension on the Bontrager Aeolus RSL is pretty average at 123 mm, but the reach is quite long at 93 mm (80 mm or so is far more typical), and Bontrager’s trademark Variable Radius bend lets you utilize every bit of that length instead of forcing your hands further rearward. As a result, there’s ample room to really stretch out your back when you need or want to, and there’s far more real-world position variation than what you usually find on most modern setups. How much do I like it? I’m actually considering using one of these on my personal Seven road bike.

Overall, Trek has done a solid job here of updating the Emonda, infusing meaningful improvements in several key areas, but without breaking the basic formula that has made the bike so popular. I could obviously do without the long-term headaches associated with the headset bearing situation, but aside from that, there’s not much to complain about here, and an awful lot to like.

Just don’t be shy with the grease down there, eh?

www.trekbikes.com

trek emonda wiki

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Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap Long-Term Review: Light for Climbing, Slippery for Speed

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Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap long term review

Trek has touted the Emonda as its climbing bike since introducing it in 2014. But the 2021 revision threw aerodynamics into the light-is-right alchemy, producing a road race bike that blurs category lines.

Editor’s note:  Trek issued a recall on this bike and is replacing the integrated stem and handlebar free of charge to the customer. Learn more in our full article .

The claimed aerodynamic gains over the prior model are huge. Trek states that the current Emonda is 60 seconds faster per hour at 350 watts of output on the flats. The claimed gain on an 8% grade is 18 seconds.

And the bike is still substantially lighter than Trek’s aero road race bike, the Madone. The current equivalent Madone has a claimed weight of over 1.3 pounds heavier than the Emonda SLR 9 eTap.

I used the Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap as a long-term review bike, putting it on the roads for 18 months. The bike rolled across super smooth, new tarmac and neglected country blacktop. I tested other parts on the bike and took it on several trips to ride terrain different from my home in the Hill Country of Central Texas. It has been in my testing rotation longer than any bike.

In short: The Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap is a pure race bike at the highest end. Although it may be called a climbing bike, the new aerodynamics vault it into a well-rounded road racing machine of the highest caliber. And it still satisfies the weight weenies.

How Aero Is the Emonda?

Aerodynamics on a bicycle frame is mainly dependent on tubing shapes. And often, going “full aero” means losing vertical compliance, which hinders comfort. Super aero tubing also often adds weight.

Trek had to walk fine lines to keep the weight and compliance advantages and maintain lateral and torsional stiffness. But engineers wanted substantial free speed offered by improved aerodynamics.

Modern bike designers use CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and CAD (computer-aided design) to help them in their quest for the ultimate alchemy of shapes to produce the intended results. And Trek claims they scrutinized every inch over hundreds of CFD and CAD models.

Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap long term review

The result is truncated-airfoil profiles other than the seat tube, which is still round. Trek also went integrated, with a one-piece bar and stem that hides the cables from the wind.

The claimed reduction in drag is 182 g, with the claimed frame weight for an unpainted 56 cm size being 698 g.

Somewhat surprisingly, Trek kept the non-dropped seat stays. This greatly pleased my antiquated tastes in bicycle aesthetics.

Other Significant Frame Changes

Trek didn’t stop at the truncated airfoil. The brand incorporated several other significant changes.

Trek Emonda Geometry Long term review

Trek used to offer aggressive (H1) and more upright (H2) geometries but split the difference on the new Emonda SLR with the middle-of-the-road H1.5. This singular geometry follows the lead of the full aero Madone.

Surprisingly, Trek omitted women’s-specific Emonda frames. But it does offer a full spread of sizes, from 47 cm to 62 cm.

T47 Bottom Bracket

Gone is the BB90 press-fit bottom bracket. A T47 threaded bottom bracket takes its place, pleasing home mechanics everywhere. The BB90 was reportedly problematic, although I never experienced issues with any Trek BB90 bottom brackets.

Not only does this follow the current trend to a homologated bottom bracket standard, but T47 also allows oversized crank spindles where BB90 did not.

800 Series OCLV Carbon

Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap long term review OCLV carbon

Trek’s longstanding OCLV (Optimum Compaction Low Void) carbon on the Emonda SLR frame moved from 700 series to 800 series, purportedly to allow aero profiles without a concomitant increase in weight.

The Waterloo, Wisconsin-based brand claims the new carbon contains fibers that are 30% stronger, with the same amount of stiffness as before, and with no gain in mass. This means less material is required to maintain the same positive characteristics, which translates to aero shapes without adding weight.

Trek also developed over 50 new carbon layups (how the carbon fibers are aligned) to create the new 800 Series OCLV. Real-world testing of the final layup choices was done by the professional Trek-Segagredo team. And the brand builds these frames in Waterloo.

Trek Emonda SLR 9 Ride Experience

trek emonda long term review side shot

Testing high-end road bicycles these days is an act of trying to split hairs that have already been split. All these bikes are sublime. Any differences in performance are minuscule, and much of it is subjective. But here’s my best attempt after 18 months of solid use.

Damn, It’s Light

There is no getting around how light the bike is (our 56 cm tester weighs a verified 14 pounds, 5 ounces with tubed tires). That attribute alone brought me joy when accelerating or climbing. The Emonda SLR 9 eTap floated like a butterfly. No need for more explanation. Remember when race bikes were 21 pounds?

The H1.5 geometry fits me exceptionally well. I have had custom-built titanium road race frames, and if I ever ordered one again, I would replicate the Emonda SLR geometry.

I am 6 feet tall, but my inseam is only 32 inches, making my torso long. My lower back is accustomed to road racing positioning, but my hips and hamstrings are not exceptionally flexible. I found the reach and stack spot on, and the stock-integrated 100mm stem, without spacers, was also perfect.

The 42cm-wide bars of the Bontrager RSL felt correct, but I had to move the SRAM Red brake hoods a touch higher up the bar’s primary curve to feel comfortable. Moving the hoods up the bar created slack in the brake hoses that was hard to manage. The stiff hoses run straight from the underside of the bars through the head tube.

A tiny range of brake hose lengths will provide a clean run. So this is a concern to anyone that wants to change the dimensions of the front cockpit. But lines are not threaded through the bar, simplifying at least that part of the process.

Stiffness vs. Compliance

Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap bottom bracket and driveline long term review

Climbing out of the saddle and sprinting revealed that the Trek Emonda SLR chassis is plenty stiff laterally and torsionally about the head tube. The bottom bracket felt equally rigid, and I never felt like the frame was squandering energy.

Riding a stiff, efficient bike typically means trading off some vertical compliance and comfort. And I felt the Emonda SLR chassis sat on the efficient side more than the comfortable side. But it wasn’t overly so, as it tends to be with super light bikes. Much of how the bike felt regarding compliance came down to wheels and tires.

Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels trek long term view

The Emonda SLR 9 eTap came with tubeless-ready Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels, which felt like a great all-around road wheel. But the Bontrager R4 320 tires (with tubes) were 25c. I felt wider tires on hookless rims with lower air pressures would drastically improve the comfort. Trek states that the frame can accept 28c tires.

It was ridden with various wheels and tires over 18 months as a long-term review bike. Using hookless wheels, 28c tires, and lower pressures improved comfort drastically.

Zipp 353 NSW wheels on trek side shot long term review

I felt like just swapping the tires to 28c on the RSL 37 stock wheels would be such a welcome change. But going to a wheel like a Zipp 404 Firecrest or Zipp 353 NSW with the ability to use lower pressures (for me, on those wheels, I ran under 72 psi) was an absolute game changer.

It gave me the best of both worlds. A light, super efficient bike that kept me comfortable over long hauls on rough chip seal blacktop.

As expected, the Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap was a snappy, quick-turning bike. On twisty tarmac, it felt like it wanted to turn about the head tube axis, with the rest of the bike to follow — more of a “turn and flick” instead of the other way around. It was one of the quicker-steering road bikes I’ve tested over the last few years.

Yes, the bike required attention on the straights and in groups, but I never thought it was twitchy or nervous. It reacted to small inputs without delay, but that’s what I expect in a WorldTour race bike. The bike wasn’t a lazy café cruiser, and it shouldn’t be.

On wider radius turns on smooth pavement at high speeds, the Emonda was pure joy. I felt the chassis was reading my mind, putting the tire contact patches precisely where I desired, and fed me the tactile information I needed to predict how it would respond to any slight irregularities in the road.

How Fast Is the Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap?

The bike came with a SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset with a power meter. And I’m familiar with the power output versus speed on my regular routes. I’m not a human strain gauge, but subjective feelings mated with the power output did convince me that for a “non-aero” bike on moderately aero wheels, the Emonda SLR 9 eTap was a rocket.

On calm days on smooth, flat pavement, the feeling of speed while churning a tall gear was palpable and brought a big grin to my face. Trek’s data points to an aero gain while climbing, but I felt the bike’s super light weight and stiffness contributed more to my feeling of speed on ascents.

With either the Bontrager RSL 37 wheels or the mentioned Zipp wheels, I didn’t feel any buffeting or other negatives of aero profiles except in extremely windy conditions. Only once did the buffeting cause an unstable feeling to the point where I tensed up.

I had exited the cover of trees on a speedy descent, and the sudden, super-gusty, 90-degree crosswind got me pretty good. I cannot say that about other “full aero” setups, which I’ve found somewhat puckering when large trucks pass me.

So, in the end, I felt like the aero gains of the new tube shapes delivered free speed without much downside.

Final Thoughts

Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap side shot long term review

One trend in cycling that I don’t necessarily like is the continued segmentation of products. The number of mountain bikes one could “need” is astounding. And coming from road racing in the ’80s, the “need” for a climbing bike and an “aero” bike seems superfluous. Now throw in gravel rigs, and you could have a garage full of bikes.

I can somewhat understand having multiple mountain bikes, as different terrains’ travel and handling requirements dictate wholly differing chassis. But road bikes? Most of us will never see the level of competition that demands different chassis and a slew of wheels. But plenty of serious recreational cyclists buy high-end road bikes, and it’s the category that splits choices into “aero” and “climbing.”

Although Trek labels the Emonda SLR 9 eTap as a “climbing” bike, with the aero gains, it makes a perfect all-around high-end road bike. It’s under the minimum legal weight for the WorldTour, satisfying the weight-obsessed.

It has enough aero shaping for legitimate free speed gains, yet it doesn’t ride like a brick (especially with wider tires and lower pressures). And it’s super efficient.

The MSRP of the Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap is an astonishing $13,000 . It sits at the top of the Emonda SLR lineup. But the pricing is in line with other bikes of the same caliber. And for that money, to me, the bike should perform well in all areas. Which it absolutely did.

Trek does offer Emonda SL bikes with the same aero gains at a much lower price, using 500 Series OCLV carbon.

trek domane

Trek Domane Gets Racier, Looks to Keep Reputation for Comfort

Trek cut up to 1.5 pounds of frame weight off the Domane, its all-around road bike that cyclists have long known for a comfy ride. Read more…

Seiji Ishii user profile headshot

Seiji Ishii is Editor at Large at the AllGear network and the Climbing and Cycling editor at GearJunkie.

He has been writing about cycling, climbing, outdoor endeavors, motorsports, and the gear and training for those pursuits for 20+ years.

Before AllGear, Ishii was a freelance contributor to print and web publications related to his interests and professional experiences. He continues to pursue climbing and cycling objectives seriously.

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All-new Émonda gets aero to become "Trek’s fastest climbing bike ever" – and it's disc brake-only

All-new Émonda gets aero to become "Trek’s fastest climbing bike ever" – and it's disc brake-only

First Published Jun 18, 2020

Trek has released a new Émonda road bike range that features aero tubing throughout, with the top-level SLR frame still weighing less than 700g. The US brand says that the flagship platform is 60 seconds per hour faster than its predecessor on flat roads, and 18 seconds per hour faster on an 8% gradient (more details on those claims below). The entire range is disc brake only.

Here’s the essential information in bullet points:

• Top-level Émonda SLR frame weighs 698g • Émonda SLR features a new material: OCLV 800 Series • Both Émonda SLR and the more accessible SL frame feature tube profiles shaped for aero efficiency • Cable routing is hidden  • New Bontrager Aeolus wheels and Aeolus RSL VR-C handlebar/stem are central to the range • Both the Émonda SLR and SL are disc-brake only designs; there are no rim brake models • Entire range switches to Trek's H1.5 geometry, as used on the Madone

Head over to our First Ride for our early impressions of the Trek Émonda SL 6 Pro and our video

Improved aerodynamics

The Émonda has always been the lightweight road bike in Trek's range, and so it remains, but aerodynamics have now been added into the mix for the first time. Giant has recently done something similar with its TCR Advanced road bike  and many other brands have added aero features to their lightweight bikes over the past couple of years. 

TK20_Wichita_Wind_Tunnel_2021_Emonda_AeolusRSL37_ 80.jpg

"The obvious goal was to get more aerodynamic but we didn't want to end up just designing another Madone or something really close to it, so we picked a famous climb, Alpe d'Huez [8.6 miles/ 13.85km at an average gradient of 8.1%, a frequent feature of the Tour de France], and made that our target," says Trek aerodynamicist John Davis.

Read our review of the Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc

"If it could be the fastest up Alpe D'Huez it would be the fastest up a large number of other climbs. We knew that we'd have to improve our aerodynamics to reach that goal but also not sacrifice too much weight [the previous generation Émonda SLR has a claimed frame weight of 660g].

"Before we did any engineering at all we decided to create a roadmap of the most efficient way to get up Alpe D'Huez, and the way to do that was to get our current bike and calculate its time up the climb. Now what happens if we add weight to the bike in order to reduce the drag? We did that tradeoff for every single point on this roadmap from +/-1kg of weight and +/-30% in aerodynamics."

2021 Trek EmondaSL7DisceTap_21_32564_A_Alt1.jpg

To cut a long story short, Trek says that it used its engineering expertise and specialist software to blend weight and aerodynamics, focusing on unsteady aerodynamics because the Émonda is designed for climbing where bike speeds are typically slower than during something like time trialling, for example. Progress was tracked on the roadmap every time Trek undertook any CFD (computational fluid dynamics), created a new prototype or ran a wind tunnel test.

The engineers spent most time working on the front end of the bike – the bar/stem, head tube and down tube – because that's where you can make most gains, testing both with and without a water bottle in place. The results?

2021 Trek EmondaSLR7Disc_21_32565_A_Alt2.jpg

"In the wind tunnel, the new Émonda is about 60 seconds per hour faster [than the previous version] at high speeds, and with our Alpe D'Huez target it's about 18 seconds per hour faster," says John Davis.

That said, it wouldn't take Trek's notional rider (weighing 70kg and putting out 350 watts) an hour to get up Alpe D'Huez, it would take 47mins on the 2018 Émonda SLR Disc (fitted with Bontrager Aeolus XXX 2 wheels and Bontrager XXX handlebar/stem combo), while the same rider on a 2021 Émonda SLR Disc (fitted with a Bontrager Aeolus RSL VR-C handlebar/stem and Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels , see below) would take 46.75mins (46mins, 45secs) – a saving of 15secs.

Trek hasn’t published detailed aero comparisons with models from other brands, although it does claim that the new Émonda SLR is 13secs per hour faster than a Specialized Tarmac up an 8.1% gradient.

Trek says that in terms of aero efficiency, the new Émonda SLR sits about halfway between the previous generation Émonda SLR and its Madone SLR, and marginally ahead of the Domane. The new Émonda SLR is slightly heavier than the preceding model (by less than 40g) but significantly lighter than any Madone or Domane, both of which are equipped with Trek IsoSpeed  as a means of smoothing the ride. 

TK20_Wichita_Wind_Tunnel_2021_Emonda_AeolusRSL37_ 82.jpg

Of course, the majority of us don't spend our time climbing mountains as high as Alpe D'Huez on a regular basis, so what's the benefit in the real world?

"If you think about it, the slower you ride the more opportunity you have for aerodynamic improvements," says John Davis. "The other thing that helps with this bike in particular is that it is a climbing bike and so it is optimised for speeds that aren't 45km/h (28mph)."

As is generally the case, Trek did its designing using CFD and took its designs to the wind tunnel for validation (at Witchita State University and San Diego ).

TK20_Wichita_Wind_Tunnel_2021_Emonda_AeolusRSL37_ 165.jpg

Trek’s reference testing was done with a dynamic mannequin on the bike, although a riderless bike was used to reduce ‘noise’ in the development of various parts of the design.

Like most other road bikes, the Émonda has been optimised for use with 25mm-wide tyres because they’re still the most popular racing option, although you've got to wonder how long that will remain the case. The Émonda will take 28mm tyres but the aerodynamic efficiency will be slightly lower.

A new material: 800 Series OCLV carbon

Trek says that the use of a new kind of carbon-fibre within the layup is key to the performance of the Émonda SLR. 

2021 Trek Emonda SLR OCLV 800 - 1

"When we went through our aerodynamic investigation we discovered that as you add aerodynamics into the mix the frame shapes become somewhat less efficient and that means that in order to maintain strength and stiffness you need to add weight," says Jordan Roessingh, Trek's Director of Road Products.

"We set a [target] of under 700g for the frame and we needed a new material in order to hit that. OCLV 700 wasn't going to be able to do it. We were able to hit our stiffness target with OCLV 700 at below our weight target but the frame wasn't going to be able to pass our strength testing.

2021 Trek Emonda SLR action - 4.jpg

"If we were to pass all of our [strength] tests in the [new Émonda's] frame shape, we'd be looking at about 760g with OCLV 700, so we had to go out and see if there were new materials and processes available that we could leverage to attain our goal. 

"From a fibre-type perspective OCLV 800 is 30% stronger than the material that we've been using in OCLV 700. It is what enabled us to pass all of our testing, hit the weight goal and provide the stiffness we wanted. We use it in specific areas of the frame that benefit most from having that quality of improved strength, and we are able to save a significant amount of weight.

"With OCLV 800 the frame weighs 698g [unpainted], so we're looking at a little over 60g total saving [versus what would be possible in this frame shape with OCLV 700], which is massive. In an area where we're looking at incremental gains, 8% is a huge amount."

Trek isn't giving many more details about OCLV 800, saying only that it was a long time in development.

"Any time we have a new fibre type we need to run through a bunch of different tests to understand where on the frame would most benefit from it and how specifically to use it," says Jordan Roessingh.

"It was a two year cycle once we got access to this new fibre type, and about 250 frames. This is a very expensive, very high performance fibre and Trek is the first in the bike industry to be using it."

2021 Trek Emonda SLR action - 3.jpg

Trek says that in blind testing the Trek-Segafredo team gave its seal of approval to the final layup design.

"The [previous generation] Émonda is an awesome lightweight race bike... but there's a big gap between the aerodynamics of this bike and the Madone," says Matt Schriver, Tech Director Trek-Segafredo.

"The new Émonda closes that gap on aerodynamics, making it extremely fast but not at a weight penalty. That's what the team was pushing for: don't lose the ride characteristics – the awesome geometry, that snappy feeling – and make sure we can always be at 6.8kg [the UCI's minimum weight limit for racing], no matter the frame size. I would anticipate that in seven out of 10 race days, [the team riders] will be on the Émonda."

Rather than being available in a choice of either H1 (aggressive) or H2 (slightly more relaxed but still race-focused) geometries, as previously, the new Trek Émonda SLR and SL bikes follow the Madones in switching to an H1.5 fit. As the name suggests, H1.5 splits the difference between H1 and H2.

2021 Trek Emonda SLR action - 1.jpg

Let's take a 56cm model as an example. This one comes with a 52.5cm seat tube, a 55.9cm effective top tube, and a 15.1cm head tube. The head tube angle is 73.5° and the seat tube angle is 73.3°. The stack is 56.3cm and the reach is 39.1cm, giving a stack/reach of 1.44. Each of these figures is exactly the same as the Madone's.

"We feel like H1.5 strikes the perfect balance for a race bike," says Jordan Roessingh. "It is both an aggressive geometry – it's what our team is using – and still accessible to an everyday rider looking for a race bike, without the need for a huge spacer stack."

Trek says that the geometry works with any rider, regardless of gender. 

Aeolus RSL VR-C handlebar/stem

BontragerAeolusRSLRoadBarstem_32627_A_Primary

All of the Émonda SLR complete bikes are specced with Bontrager's new carbon Aeolus RSL VR-C integrated handlebar/stem (the Émonda SLs get separate handlebars and stems) which has been designed alongside the frame to be both aerodynamically efficient and lightweight.

2021 Trek EmondaSLR7Disc_21_32565_A_Alt7.jpg

Trek says that the new design is nearly 10% faster than its predecessor (okay, a handlebar can't exactly be 'faster', but the idea is that improved aero efficiency will allow you to ride at a higher speed for a given power output), saving a 65kg rider the equivalent of seven watts (based on wind tunnel testing calculations, averaging 28mph with a 7mph wind speed on a flat road). That's a significant proportion of the Émonda SLR's overall aero benefit.

2021 Trek EmondaSLR7Disc_21_32565_A_Alt5.jpg

The profile of the top section  is designed to reduce drag, although the back isn't as squared off as it would have been for the ultimate aero shape – a concession to comfort.

Weights vary from 272g to 295g, depending on the length of the stem section (from 80mm to 120mm) and the overall width (from 38cm to 44cm). That's extremely light for something with an aero profile.

BontragerAeolusRSLRoadBarstem_32627_A_Alt1

The Aeolus bar/stem features an integrated cable management system. The cables/hoses don't run internally but are positioned in a groove underneath the handlebar section while a carbon clamp sits underneath the stem. This means that you can swap the bar/stem without having to re-route the cables/hoses. Trek says that the design is optimised for electronic shifting, but that it works with mechanical setups too.

2021 Trek EmondaSLR7Disc_21_32565_A_Accessory1.jpg

The bar/stem is compatible with Bontrager's Blendr components so it's easy to fit lights and computers, for instance.

The Émonda SLR's headset spacers are a split design – you can separate the two interlocking parts to remove them, meaning that adjusting the handlebar height is relatively easily.

The new Émonda SLRs are compatible with traditional handlebars and stems if you wanted to swap for any reason, or if you'd like to build up a frameset from scratch.

Aeolus wheels

Most of the 2021 Émonda SLR and SLs feature wheels from Bontrager's updated Aeolus line-up. 

Bontrager Aeolus_RSL_37_2

Trek specs the top level Émonda SLR 9 and SLR 9 eTap models with the new Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 which it describes as "the ultimate race wheel". RSL stands for Race Shop Limited, by the way.

Bontrager Aeolus_RSL_37_4

"Made from Bontrager's best OCLV Carbon, these ultra-light 37mm wheels have an all-new rim shape that’s faster than deeper wheels and lighter than shallower wheels, all while maintaining stability," says Trek. "Compared to their predecessors, the new shape is 30% deeper, making them 11% faster than before."

Trek says that the Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheelset is 17% faster than the existing Bontrager Aeolus XXX 2 (28mm deep), and nearly matches the 47mm-deep Aeolus XXX 4 (Trek tests in the wind tunnel at -20° to +20° yaw and uses a weighted average to get its figures). The rims have an internal width of 21mm and an external width of 28mm.

Bontrager Aeolus_RSL_37_8

The Aeolus RSL 37 wheels feature DT Swiss 240 hub internals with Ratchet EXP , and DT Swiss Aerolite spokes. Trek says that the increased bracing angle of the hub allowed it to take some weight out of the rim while maintaining stiffness. The engineers were able to remove some more weight because these are a disc brake-only design and the hubs are a little lighter than previously too.

Trek claims a wheelset weight of 1,325 g per set – 55g less than previous models. For comparison, Zipp's official weight for its 32mm deep 202 NSW Carbon Tubeless Disc-brake wheelset is 1,506g.

Bontrager Aeolus_Pro_37_2

The other Trek Émonda SLRs, along with the Émonda SL 7 and SL 7 eTap, are fitted with Aeolus Pro 37 wheels.

Bontrager Aeolus_Pro_37_8

These feature the same rim shape as the RSL model (above) but they're made from a simpler laminate that's easier (and so cheaper) to manufacture. You still get a DT Swiss Star Ratchet hub but it's a level lower than the design used for the Aeolus RSL 37. Trek claims a wheelset weight of 1,505g.

Bontrager Elite_35_2

The Émonda SL 6 Pro is fitted with Bontrager Aeolus Elite 35 wheels.

Bontrager Elite_35_4

"These high-value, high-performance wheels are built with fast, proven D3 shapes and are designed to bring the light weight, looks and responsive ride of carbon to more riders," says Trek.

All of these wheels are tubeless ready with no rider weight limits.

The other Émonda SLs are fitted with wheelsets from Bontrager's existing range: Paradigm in the case of the SL 6, and Affinity for the SL 5.

Other frame features

Previous Émondas featured Trek's BB90 bottom bracket system with the bearings pressed into the BB shell, but all the new Émonda SLR and SL models use T47, which is a design that the brand began using on its Domanés last year. 

T47 bottom brackets, first introduced by Chris King and Argonaut Cycles a few years ago, thread (rather than push) into a wide shell. This allows Trek to use a broad down tube for stiffness. 

The brand says that you can expect to see T47 used more widely across its road range in future.

2021 Trek EmondaSL7DisceTap_21_32564_B_Alt4.jpg

Unlike many other brands, Trek hasn't gone with dropped seatstays (ones that join the seat tube low down) on the new Émonda.

"We've done a lot of investigation looking at dropped seatstays specifically, and while there are some benefits to using them it all came back to looking at what the Émonda is for, what we're trying to target from an aerodynamic perspective, and what's the most efficient way of getting there,"  says Jordan Roessingh.

"Structurally, the most efficient way for us to design a frame is for the stays to be traditionally positioned. There are some aerodynamic benefits of having dropped stays but we wouldn't have been able to achieve a sub-700g frame."

As mentioned above, the Émonda SL and SLR bikes have clearance for 700c x 28mm tyres. That allows 6mm of space around the tyre. There are no mudguard mounts.

2021 Trek EmondaSLR7Disc_21_32565_A_Alt8.jpg

All of the new Émondas are disc brake only. Trek says that when it has offered both disc brake and rim brake versions of the same bike in the past, riders have overwhelmingly opted for discs, so it is responding to demand rather than dictating to the bike buying public.

2021 Trek EmondaSL6Disc_21_32561_B_Portrait.jpg

The Émonda SL is identical to the SLR from a frame shape perspective; it uses the same tube profiles and the same geometry, the only difference being in the composite used. Whereas the SLR uses 800 Series OCLV Carbon, the SL features 500 Series.  This makes a significant difference to weight: the Émonda SLR’s frame is a claimed 698g and the fork is 365g while the Émonda SL's frame is 1,142g and the fork is 380g. To save you totting it up yourself, that means that the Émonda SL is 459g heavier (combined frame and fork weight).

2021 Trek EmondaSL7Disc_21_32563_A_Alt5.jpg

The Émonda SL also uses a separate handlebar and stem rather than the one-piece Aeolus RSL VR-C handlebar/stem mentioned above .

Read our First Ride Review: Trek Émonda SL6 Pro 2021

Models and pricing

All of the SRAM-equipped bikes are fitted with Quarq power meters.

2021 Trek EmondaSL7DisceTap_21_32564_B_Alt9.jpg

All of the wheels are from Trek's Bontrager brand.

Project One

If you have the money, the Emonda SLR is also available through Trek's Project One program that offers various customisation options.

2021 Trek Emonda SLR Project One - 1.jpg

There are three new Icon bikes (meaning that they come with 'premium paint schemes') including a Sweet Gold Leaf version – and it does feature real gold leaf.

2021 Trek Emonda SLR Project One - 4.jpg

There's also a new series called KOM that allows you to design your own bike and choose your own colours.

If you really want something special, Project One Ultimate  allows you to do pretty much anything – non-standard colours, custom graphics, any spec you want...

trek emonda wiki

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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Trek wrote: ...we're looking at a little over 60g total saving, which is massive.

Was this said with a straight face?

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It's good that they make allowances for people with artificial legs. In fact, they seem to have designed it around that. Very inclusive.

Yeah no dropped seat stays. That’ll be 2022. 

Lovely looking bike though. I’d have one if I could do it justice.

I'll take two of those Project One thingies, thanks. 

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Trek’s New Emonda – Their Lightest Bike Ever

trek emonda wiki

For the last few years Trek has offered a trio of road bikes designed for the specific wants and needs of specific minded cyclists. Looking for a road bike with aero attributes? The Madone is for you. Want some industry leading and race winning compliance (nee suspension)? Have a look at the Domane. For those cyclists who always keep one eye on the scale, the lightweight Emonda was the intended option.

The new (rim braked) Emonda has shed 50 grams for a startling low 640 gram weight (56 cm frame with clear coat) with the disc model weighing 25 grams more. All levels of the new Emonda are now made in Asia at a factory Trek says is as equally versed in maintaining the standards of their proprietary OCLV carbon production that’s found with the one road bike still made in Waterloo, the H1 Madone.

While the frame maintains many of Trek’s standard details; the Ride Tuned seat mast, E2 tapered headtube, H1 and H2 geometry, BB90 bottom bracket and their chainstay mounted DuoTrap computer, the frame tube shapes have all been redesigned, and new and improved laminate lay-up schedules were created to produce more efficient manufacturing.

Speaking to the more modern trends, both the rim and disc braked Emondas are friendly to 28mm tires with the disc bike thankfully losing the seatstay bridge to provide a big picture rear triangle. The disc bike uses flat mount brakes and 12mm thru-axles.

Still, any bike with disc brakes that hits the scales the neighborhood of 15 pounds is impressive. Over hill and dale, the Emonda exhibited great acceleration, and of course thanks to the Shimano disc brakes, excellent stopping power. What stood out most was how stiff the bike felt. Under hard power to keep up with the Voigt’s “easy” pace, the Emonda felt steady and straight, even during fast, descending corners.

For the coming season, Trek is making the Emonda available in three different frame platforms: the top level Emonda SLR with three models: 9, 8, and 6 plus two framesets; the mid-level Emonda SL with 7 models plus a frameset; and the entry-level aluminum AL with four models. As of the launch there were no prices made available for either the SLR or AL models, but we were told the SL version will hit the market in a sub $2000 price point. www.trekbikes.com

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Results have arrived, used bike buyers guide & model overview: trek émonda.

The Trek Emonda is a built to conquer climbs. It's lightweight, stiff, and now pretty aerodynamic too. Learn about the evolution of this all-rounder road racing bike.

trek emonda wiki

Written by: Micah Ling

Published on: Jul 2, 2021

Posted in: Guides

What Trek Émonda is Right for You?

The Trek Émonda has always been a climbing bike — if you love epic hauls up huge hills, this lightweight, stiff road bike was made for you. The Émonda was created with the steepest grades in mind. Over the years, Trek evolved its patented Optimum Compaction Low Void (OCLV) carbon fiber to combine low weight and high strength.

The carbon  Émonda is  available in the superlight SLR build or SL, which is more affordable. The difference is the quality of the carbon, and thus overall weight. The Émonda also comes in an aluminum version (ALR). Finally, you can choose between two geometry options, H1 — an aggressive race fit — and H2, which is a more upright relaxed fit.

The Émonda is known for its neat and tidy look. Models with Trek’s Blendr Integration components allow riders to mount a cycling computer and bike lights directly to the handlebars. On the SLR version, shifter and brake cables are entirely housed inside the frame. SHOP TREK ROAD BIKES

History of the Trek Émonda

Émonder, in French, means “to prune,” which is fitting. Introduced in 2014, the Émonda was Trek’s pure climbing bike. Trek trimmed off as much as possible to create an incredibly lightweight racing machine. Newer versions have been designed to better handle mixed terrain, with clearance for wider tires and aero features. When it launched, this road bike was only available with rim brakes. But soon after, disc brakes were added for better control on descents.

As the bike evolved, we saw fewer exposed cables, more integration, and better aerodynamics. Despite the fact that this is a climbing bike, Trek spent a lot of time optimizing the shape of the head tube, down tube and bar/stem. Émonda timeline: 2015-2017:  From the beginning, Trek's focus was on creating a light, stiff road bike that excelled in the mountains. Its engineers spent years developing the  Émonda to be the lightest production race frame on the market. In 2016, Trek introduced internal cables and Di2 shifting on the  Émonda . It also unveiled the affordable aluminum ALR model using Ultralight 300 Series Alpha Aluminum.

2018-2020:  The second generation  Émonda  was introduced for the 2018 model year. Trek announced a new disc brake version alongside a revamped rim-brake model.   Claimed weight for the new disc-specific frame was 25g lighter than the previous-generation rim-brake  Émonda . The new rim-brake version was even lighter still, dropping another 25g. Tire clearance increased to 28mm. 

2021+: Instead of making the Émonda even lighter, Trek focused on making the third generation faster on any terrain. Trek integrated several aerodynamic features to help this bike perform as an all-rounder. It also added a T47 bottom bracket, which is threaded instead of press fit, generally a more reliable standard. The new  Émonda  is disc brake only. 

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Different builds

Trek émonda slr 8 road bike - 2016.

Trek Emonda SLR8

Trek Émonda SLR 9 road bike - 2018

In keeping with tradition, Trek released the SLR 9 just days before the Tour de France. And as always, it was a little lighter than before. This time, the 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame came with Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 tubeless ready carbon wheels, and a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic drivetrain.

Trek Émonda SLR Race Shop Limited road bike - 2018

For this model, Trek used its Ultralight 700 Series OCLV Carbon, ride-tuned performance tube optimization, E2 tapered head tube, direct mount brakes, and internal cable routing. This model comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifting, Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR carbon clinchers, a Bontrager cockpit and Montrose PRO saddle.

Trek Émonda SLR Disc Project One road bike - 2019

Project One allowed riders to customize several details. You picked your paint and parts, making each one of these bikes unique. There were options for Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Ultegra Di2, SRAM Red eTap AXS, Force eTap AXS, and Rival eTap AXS. And about 20 different color schemes.

Trek Émonda ALR 4 H2 road bike - 2021

The ALR is Trek’s budget-friendly high-performance model — its lightest aluminum road bike that handles and climbs very much like its carbon counterparts. With the H2 geometry, it’s perfect for a more upright, less aggressive fit. It comes with tubeless compatible wheels, and a lifetime warranty.

The newest Émonda SLR frame weighs less than 700g, and with all-new aero tube shaping adds even more speed. But with ALR and SL models, H1 and H2 geometry, and a huge variety of specifications to choose from, there’s an Émonda out there for absolutely anyone who loves to climb up hills and then fly back down.

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Please note that this is an automated translation and it will not be perfect. All articles have been written in English and if anything appears to not make sense, please double check in English.

The Trek Emonda ALR5 shown in profile, with all-black paint and parts.

Review: Trek Emonda ALR 5, the bike that disc brakes almost broke 

Are the days of the aluminum race bike over? Not quite yet.

Caley Fretz

I dream of aluminum race bikes. Sturdy, fast, cheap. They’re what most amateur bike racers should be on, if you ask me, but the options are vanishingly few. 

There’s the Specialized Allez Sprint, the current king of the castle, but it’s a $1,700 frameset and is often out of stock. The Cannondale CAAD13 is lovely too, but has been taken about two steps too far away from its racing roots for my liking. Now there’s a third big-brand aluminum option: the Trek Emonda ALR 5. 

I hoped for a bike I could feel confident in recommending to any young or aspiring racer. Something nimble and light, with the right gearing, a ride comparable to carbon, a few nods to modern-day aerodynamic understanding, and clever spec. Not a first road bike, perhaps, but something worth graduating to. Trek came so very close.

This is a bike that will roll off showroom floors for just over $2,000 and looks every bit like a bike three or five times that. The integrated front end, the shapely tubes – from across the street it looks like carbon. 

The Emonda ALR is a cool aluminum race bike. Looks good and rides well. It needs a few tweaks if you really want to get the most out of it, but it’s 90% of the way there straight out of the box. It only misses in a few spots, and that might not even be its own fault. 

The short of it: A good argument for not buying a cheap carbon road bike instead Good stuff: Superb ride quality, excellent handling, great looks Bad stuff: Weight  Total weight: 9.12 kg/20.1 lbs Price: USD $2,300 / AUD $3,000 / £2,150

As aluminum frames go, this one is both good-looking and well-thought-out. It uses Trek’s 300-series Alpha Aluminum and what Trek calls “Invisible Weld Technology,” which smooths out the welds themselves and provides a decidedly carbon-like look. More than one person thought I was on a carbon bike. 

The tubes are hydroformed, a technology that has now been in the bike industry for well over a decade but is crucial to creating the types of tube shapes Trek uses on the Emonda. There are nods to aerodynamics, including a truncated seat tube, big and shapely down tube, deeper head tube, and dropped seatstays. The intention isn’t to compete with the best aero bikes on the market, but a bit of aero efficiency never hurts. 

The downtube of the Emonda ALR, showing its glossy black paint and hydroformed shape, which can pass for carbon at a glance.

The frame is light, around 1,260 grams, plus a 400-gram carbon fork. That makes it roughly the same weight (within 50 grams) as the carbon fiber Emonda SL, which sits on the lower end of Trek’s carbon spectrum. And a complete Emonda ALR 5 bike costs as much as the Emonda SL frameset. Behold, the power of aluminum.

Down at the bottom bracket, Trek has gone with the threaded T47 standard, which we have no real problems with. James Huang is a big fan. Dave Rome is sort of ambivalent. I just know it didn’t creak over the last 6 months.

I wish the Emonda ALR had more official tire clearance. This may partly be a limitation of aluminum, but in the end, it’s a decision. The aluminum Domane fits a 40 mm tire. The Emonda ALR will officially only take a 28 mm tire. Now, if you know Trek, you know they have an exceptionally conservative legal department, and you can generally go 4+ mm wider than claimed. But the rear end, in particular, is tighter than I’d prefer on the Emonda ALR. I wouldn’t be comfortable with anything over a 30 (measured). The fork has plenty of room for a 30 or slightly larger. Just know that you’re running afoul of Trek’s official recommendation if you do this, potentially harming things like warranty, which is a shame.

A closeup of rear tire clearance at the chainstay, showing a roughly 4.5 mm gap between the tire and inside wall of the stay.

Any modern disc road bike should clear a 30 with no concerns whatsoever. Only 28 is just not enough. Not when pros are winning Milan-San Remo on tires that measure closer to 32. A race bike can and should have clearance for 32s these days. 

Aaargh, integration

I appreciate the thought and care Trek put into bar/stem/brake line integration on this bike. If integrated front ends are truly what consumers are looking for – and the fact that every single road brand is integrating more and more suggests that purchase data shows people want it – then why should we limit such things to the realm of the carbon fiber bourgeoise?

The plebs down here plowing fields in Aluminum Land deserve a clean cockpit too. The Emonda ALR looks great, it looks expensive, and part of that is the fact that Trek bothered to put the front end together with as much thought as they do for bikes five times the price. 

The Emonda ALR runs its brake and shift lines through an entryway at the front of the headset and then down through the frame. All the lines and housing exit right before the bottom bracket and then re-enter behind it. The headset routing is very similar in concept and execution to the design found on the Allez Sprint, though everything stays internal near the bottom bracket on the Specialized.

The integrated front end of the Emonda ALR, showing the brake and derailleur housings exit the bar tape and slide under the stem to enter the bike at the front of the headset.

There are six full pages in the manual dedicated to the headset, brake line routing, proprietary spacer stacking, and all the rest. The fact that James trusted me, the Hammer, to sort this out and put things together properly is a testament to both his trust and his foolishness. Or perhaps this was his plan all along, to put the design to the ultimate test. 

Mercifully the Emonda came mostly built. Unmercifully, it also came with a kinked brake hose right out of the box, which required replacing. And, of course, I would have to do some basic fit adjustments. The kinked line ended up being quite annoying but the fit changes were no big deal. 

A graphic from the Emonda ALR owners manual showing exploded diagrams for the headset cable routing and instructions for installing the stem.

The brake lines run down in front of the steerer tube, in between the slightly bulbous head tube and the steerer itself. There are proprietary split spacers to be used instead of round ones. Pulling it all apart and getting it back together is finicky but not impossible, and dropping the bars two cm took less than five minutes. The spacers are annoying relative to some good old-fashioned round ones, but they also allowed me to play with stack without having to run new brake lines.

As internal brake and shift lines go, this is about as good and easy as it gets.

In the end, I ditched all of the spacers and ran the stem “slammed” because the H1.5 geometry (more on this later), in addition to the height necessitated by the cable-entry cap, meant that slammed wasn’t actually that aggressive.

You can use standard round spacers above the stem as you move the stem clamp down the steerer, should you so choose. The sleeker look obviously requires cutting the steer at the new stem height, but for the purposes of setting fit – and because this isn’t my bike – it was nice to be able to throw the ol’ roundies I had floating around my toolbox on the section of steerer above the stem. 

Now, the kinked line. This isn’t really Trek’s fault, except that I’m pretty sure a line that had more than a few short centimeters exposed between the frame and stem probably wouldn’t have had this problem during shipping. Keep that in mind if you travel with this bike: anything with this level of integration needs added care in packing because with such short exposed sections of brake line, the margin for error is smaller. 

Replacing the line was quite straightforward. Lines run down the front of the head tube, inside the upper headset bearing, and then, in this case, down to the front brake via a port in the steerer itself. It all guided through pretty easily. Re-attach, bleed, and I was off to the races. The rear brake would take slightly more effort, as it needs to be fished through a hole near the bottom of the down tube and then on through another set of holes to the caliper, but it’s no worse than any other integrated bike out there right now.

The internal cable routing at the bottom bracket, which shows both derailleur cables and the rear brake housing exit at a port just above the bottom bracket shell, then closely follow the shell before re-entering the frame.

Geometry chart

The Emonda ALR uses the same H1.5 geometry as the latest Madone SLR and carbon Emonda options. It sits, as the name implies, about halfway in between the race-focused H1 geometry and endurance H2 geometry. 

It also sits right in between two of its competitors in this space, the Specialized Allez Sprint and the Cannondale CAAD13. The Allez is more aggressive, the CAAD a bit less so. 

Here’s the full chart: 

Emonda ALR geometry chart, showing sizes from 47-62 cm.

I’ll talk about the ride and handling in a moment, but a couple of things to note. The trail is a very standard 56-62 mm for most sizes. The smallest riders, as usual, get absolutely hammered with a 68 mm trail that I’m sure makes the bike feel absolutely nothing like the one I rode (a 56 cm). Sorry, anybody riding a 47 cm.

Wheelbase is about one cm longer than the Allez Sprint, trail is a bit higher, reach is shorter, stack is higher. All these things point to a less race-oriented machine. And that is the case, though not to the point that the Emonda isn’t totally race-worthy. It absolutely is.

Models and pricing

Normally, we drop all the other build options for a given frameset in this section, but because this is an aluminum bike and so few people apparently want aluminum bikes anymore, there are no other build options.

At least, that’s true in the US. The UK market has the ALR 6, which upgrades the 105 mechanical to 105 Di2 for a marginal increase in cost to £2,400. And in the US you can buy framesets on their own for USD $1,200. These have some great paint jobs and would be a fun project.

In fact, if you’re comfortable building bikes from scratch, that’s probably how I would do it. These are really cool frames, extremely well thought out, light, and quite beautiful. But the stock build kits are uninspiring, because Trek had to hit a price point. I would love to take one of these and slowly build it with higher-end second-hand parts over the course of a winter. Total cost would be similar, but you’d end up with a much cooler end product.

An example of the great paint jobs available on the Emonda ALR framesets. This one is white, with abstract geometric decals on the seat tube in green, pink, yellow and even a red-white check flag, a design that's repeated on the downtube logo.

As a brief experiment, I put myself into character. The character: me, 20 years old, racing crits every weekend, living on like $700 a month plus race winnings, with $3,000 left over from my student loans. Decison-making: Generally terrible. Acknowledgment that the future exists: Never. FTP: High as it’ll ever be. I popped around the usual buy/sell sites and checked out some deals on groups to see what I could build. This is what I came up with in less than 30 minutes (all prices USD):

Frame : Emonda ALR in one of the cool colors – $1,200 Drivetrain and brakes : Shimano 105 7000 – $700 Wheels : Something carbon that makes a good whoosh noise – $650 on eBay or similar if you’re willing to buy something that isn’t tubeless compatible (go latex tubes for racing instead) Handlebar : Ritchey WCS Neoclassic drop – $99 (eBay) Stem : Ritchey WCS 4-axis – $25 (eBay) Seatpost : Ritchey WCS – $74 (eBay) Saddle : Bontrager Aeolus Comp: $90 Tires : Vittoria Corsa Control 30mm – $35 (not the tubeless version)

Total: $2873 plus $100 or so for cables/housing/other odds and ends. This bike is easily 2.5 pounds lighter than the stock ALR5, makes a better noise, looks cooler, and leaves me about $100 of student loan funds to spend on a week’s worth of post-ride burritos.

Build kit breakdown

My collegiate-racer fever dreams aside, the ALR 5 has a solid, reliable build. It’s a good platform to upgrade off of, if that’s your jam, and it’s perfectly serviceable right out of the box.

I have zero complaints about the Shimano 105 7000 mechanical drivetrain. It shifts, it’s quiet, it’s relatively cheap. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. 

I do dislike the rotors, which are the RT70 from Shimano. They are ugly and look cheap. Give me some of that finned goodness. This is 90% aesthetic but aesthetics matter.

The stock RT70 brake rotor, which has a larger rotor and smaller carrier body, and lacks the cooling fins of pricier versions.

The stock gear ratios should be enough for most, but could perhaps go a bit lower if you live somewhere hilly. A 50/34 front chainring setup is matched with an 11-30 cassette. Ten years ago, that would have been ludicrously low, but the bike industry has since realized we’re not all riding around at pro watts all the time, and these days I’d prefer a 32 or even 34 low gear on the back unless I’m racing.

If I am racing, I probably want a 52/36 with that same 11-30 cassette. But that’s a low priority and can be upgraded later.

The rest of the build is uninspiring but adequate. Trek’s component brand Bontrager provides the seatpost, saddle, stem, and handlebars. All are alloy, all are a bit heavy. The Comp VR-C bars have quite a nice bend to them, on the shallow end of the spectrum but not silly-shallow. The transition from hoods to tops is nice and smooth and the drop curvature is superb. I found them very comfortable.

There are no surprises, integration headaches, or odd standards, just a 27.2 seatpost, 1 1/8″ steerer, and round bars. All of it can be easily upgraded or swapped out.

The Bontrager Verse Comp saddle is too heavily padded for my liking. I did a couple of rides on it and it wasn’t terrible; it just wasn’t great. It’s also quite long, and I’m used to short saddles these days. Bontrager’s excellent Aeolus would have been a better match for the bike and its ambitions.

The Bontrager Verse Comp saddle, showing generous, La-Z-Boi like padding.

The Bontrager Paradigm wheels are heavy (roughly 1,750 g claimed) but do feature a nicely modern 21 mm internal rim width, which spreads the 700×25 hotpatched tire out to just under 28mm. The tires are Bontrager R1 Hardcase-Lite with a wire bead. They are hot garbage that should be removed immediately.  Wire bead ? Are you kidding me? Bontrager makes some nice tires these days; the R1 Hardcase is decidedly not one of them.

I took them off, riding only once on those turds of tires before swapping them out to a set of Vittoria Corsa Controls. I went from disliking the bike to liking it with that one switch. Tires are important. Granted, Corsa Controls aren’t cheap.

Bontrager's hot-mess R1 Hardcase wire bead tires, which should be immediately up-cycled into a chairback.

Ride report

That brings us to the ride. All of the figures and facts above combine in sometimes unexpected ways, mixing and melding into a ride quality that is genuinely quite impressive (once you take the terrible tires off).

I tested this bike with three sets of tires/wheels. First, the stock Bontragers. Awful. Second, the Corsa Controls and butyl tubes on the stock Paradigm wheelset. Great! A better bet would have been a good tubeless tire, since the Paradigm rims are tubeless-ready, but I didn’t have any handy that were narrow enough.

Finally, I put on a set of Continental GP5000s with latex tubes in on a set of Roval Alpinist carbon wheels. The Corsas alone dropped over 200 grams off the stock tire weight, and the Roval setup dropped more than a pound (626 grams, to be precise) off the stock setup. The overall change in ride quality from both changes was dramatic.

As a result, I’m going to ignore the stock tires for this ride quality analysis. The R1s are so bad, and tires are so important, that it feels unfair to besmirch an otherwise-good bike with their wire bead stink. If you’re reading this review, you care enough to swap them out. My opinions here are based on the stock wheelset + Vittoria Corsa Control + butyl tube setup. 

This is a comfortable aluminum bike. Trek has lots of marketing copy on its website about how its hydroforming processes and the Invisible Weld Technology combine to allow its engineers to create a frame with significantly more compliance than the aluminum of old. I would say they aren’t lying. 

The hydroformed top tube of the Emonda ALR, showing a flattening taper as it reaches the seat cluster.

The rear end, in particular, cuts road buzz nicely. The 27.2 seatpost helps, and if you upgraded to a carbon post it would further improve flex and thus comfort. The big aluminum handlebars are stiff and the front end feels harsher than the rear. I’m sort of OK with this; a stiff front end feels like it wants to race, to me, and I like that.

The size 56 I tested has a 73.5º head angle and 58 mm of trail. Both figures are about spot on for a bike that wants to be race-worthy but not race-only. The handling is therefore as I expected: predictable, on the twitchy end of the spectrum these days but nothing extreme. Ten years ago, this would have been called endurance bike geometry. But now we know better. 

This is supposed to be a race bike, and nothing in the handling would prevent it from finding success there. It is not a pure crit machine in the way that the Allez Sprint is (that bike has a more aggressive trail figure of 55 mm, plus a lower BB and longer reach). The Emonda ALR is a road racer. It’s well-balanced and goes where you point it. 

The rich get richer, the poor get heavier

Behind this generally positive review is an unshakeable feeling that something is missing. I’m not sure the bike I dream of, and that I was hoping the Emonda ALR would be, really exists anymore. In riding the Emonda ALR and perusing the other options currently available in the same price range, the only conclusion I can draw is that it’s very, very difficult for a big bike brand to build a cheap race bike these days. 

The bike I want is a Cannondale CAAD10 from around 2015. The model with Shimano 105 went for about US$1,700 – roughly US$2,200 in today’s inflated money. In other words, nearly identical to the Emonda ALR 5. That bike weighed in the low-17 pound (7.7 kg) range. It had decent wheels and snappy handling and pretty much everybody who reviewed one or raced one called it some version of a superbike killer. It was so good. 

The Emonda ALR is better in some ways. It’s more comfortable, for one. It’s probably more aerodynamic, simply because of the integrated front end, though we don’t have any figures to prove this. It fits a much bigger tire (albeit not big enough). But it also weighs closer to 20 pounds, has pigs for wheels, and comes stock with the worst road tires I’ve ridden in years. The geometry is a bit softer, a bit more forgiving; the handling is good but I would personally prefer it to be snappier for racing. 

There is one obvious culprit for many (though not all) of these ills, of course. Disc brakes.

I’m about as far from a disc hater as you can find, and would prefer them on almost any bike I build and ride. But there is a reality to them: to build a light, nimble-feeling road race bike with disc brakes costs a lot of money. You can get to 6.8 kg, or well under, but it will cost significantly more than it did back when a rim-brake CAAD10 could get there for $1,700 plus a few smart upgrades. 

Again, the Allez Sprint – the spiritual heir to the old CAADs – is $1,700 for the frameset alone. 

Trek’s little tagline for this bike is “Never heavy. Always metal.” Which is true – if you look at the frameset. Sub-1,300 grams is superb. But the various parts needed to build a bike at this price point, with discs and thru axles and all the other complications of the modern road bike, mean that heavy is exactly what the stock version of the ALR 5 is.

None of this is directly Trek’s fault, unless you prescribe to the Big Disc conspiracy that holds that all big bike brands hoisted discs on us only to sell more bikes (which I do not). But there is no question that discs have made it harder to build a bike I would want to race for a price I could have afforded when I was racing. We have $8,000 bikes with 105 now; where does one turn if you’re racing collegiate crits, living on microwave pizzas, and want to go fast as hell? The Emonda ALR may be among the best of a dwindling bunch, but even it doesn’t quite get there. 

The Trek Emonda ALR5 in profile, with sleek black paint and blackout logos, all-grey Shimano 105 parts, and black Bontrager wheels and tires. In other words: black.

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Trek Emonda SLR 9 Project One - First look gallery

We take a closer look at trek's all-new lightweight emonda slr.

Trek Emonda SLR 9 2021

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Fresh out of the big red barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin, we’ve just unboxed Trek’s brand new Emonda . Slotting in as the brand's lightweight race bike, the Emonda was first launched in 2015, and since then has only received minor updates — the new bike has been redesigned from the ground up.

When it comes to race bikes, whether the consumer likes it or not they are still largely handcuffed to the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit, so brands don’t have a whole lot of incentive to keep making frames lighter. But, as Trek’s Industrial Design Manager Hans Ekholm told me some time ago, the UCI rules influence the direction of the race bikes, but his team don’t see them as a limitation, it simply means they need to get a bit more creative to keep improving the bikes they produce.  

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With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Trek focused on improving the aerodynamics of the new Emonda. Trek is not alone in this with Giant, Scott, Specialized and Focus (among others) also going this route, addressing the fact that aerodynamics come into play, even when you’re not travelling 40kph on flat ground. The new frame sees truncated aerofoils on the fork legs, downtube, seat tube and seat stays which the brand says saves 183g of drag over the previous model. Interestingly the no-cut integrated seat mast is round, and so is the cap, which Trek says helps to retain compliance. 

While 183g of drag is probably an abstract figure to anyone doesn’t have an aerodynamicist within arms reach, Trek has modelled how much time a rider would save up various famous climbs around the world riding at 350-watts on the 2018 Emonda vs the 2021 Emonda. The new bike saves 15-seconds on Alpe D'Huez, 11-seconds on the Angliru, 21-seconds up the Stelvio, 80-seconds up the Taiwan KOM Challenge and 4-seconds up Willunga Hill. 

While the aero shaped tubing will have played a significant role in the aero gains, the new Aeolus RSL bar-stem combo also shoulders some of the burden. The new integrated bar and stem hide the cables from the wind while routing them entirely on the outside of the bar, thanks to a deep groove on the bottom, and a removable plate. For anyone who had to try and route a cable through the previous version of this bar, it marks a colossal improvement, and far fewer hours trying to finagle cables and housing through what felt to be a black hole.

All that said, they still suffer from the shortcomings of all similar one-piece systems in that if you want a longer stem, or don’t like the shape of the bar, you have to replace the whole thing. Example ‘A#1,’ Bontrager has gone with an extremely compact bend for the drops which are a smidge too tight for my hands. 

Trek has also employed split headset spacers, so there is no need to disconnect and re-bleed anything should you want to raise or lower your bar a few mm. That said, they are a little bit fiddly to work with, but are still a better option than the alternative. 

However, when it comes time to replace a headset bearing you’re in for a big job. Both brake hoses run inside the top bearing, and the front brake line is routed through the lower bearing too. With all the bends the hoses take, it's a bit more challenging to coax air bubbles in the lines out of the system. 

The top-end SLR models are made from a new OCLV 800 carbon. According to Trek, this new carbon fibre was in development for two years. The result is claimed to be 30 per cent stronger than the OCLV 700 it usurped for the top spot, and saves about 60g of weight in an equivalent frame.

However, the 2021 Emonda actually gained about 30g in weight over the 2018 version, with an unpainted 56cm frame said to weigh 698g and the unpainted fork with a 220mm steerer comes in at 365g. You won’t hear us complaining about these additional grams, because they are the result of a threaded T47 bottom bracket — well actually a slightly narrower version (1mm) to allow for a better connection with your BB tool. Even still, this 54cm Emonda SLR 9 Project One tips our scales at a feathery 6.86kg. 

One of the things that immediately caught my eye when I unboxed the Emonda was the traditional seat stays that come all the way up to the seat cluster to form the conventional double diamond. According to Jordan Roessingh, Trek’s Director of Road Product, Trek did evaluate a design concept of the Emonda with dropped stays, but decided the potential aero benefit didn’t outweigh the costs to torsional stiffness, at their targets for frame weight. 

For the latest edition of the Emonda, Trek as added a few new colour schemes to its Project One program ICON, KOM and Ultimate. Our test sample is the latter, which allows you full creative license over Trek’s colour palates as well as tailoring every component. The yellow to pink fade is definitely Trek flexing its proverbial painting muscles, and the bike is anything but subtle.

Being that this bike, in particular, is the top flagship Emonda, it should come as no surprise that it is shod with SRAM’s Red eTap AXS drivetrain , complete with a Quarq power meter, 48/35t chainrings and a 10-30T 12-speed cassette. 

Bolted between the stays and fork are the new Aeolus RSL 37 carbon clinchers . These feature a new rim profile and layup that’s said to be lighter than the Aeolus XXX 2, and nearly as fast as the XXX 4, which are 10mm deeper. At 37mm deep, they tip our scales at 1360g sans rotors and cassette. The wheels are compatible with tubeless tyres , though the rim strips needed to make the swap were not included with our test sample. 

Sitting atop the no-cut seatmast is Bontrager's Aeolus Pro saddle . The perch is Bontrager's take on the wide snub nose seat, and initially, my derriere seems to get along with it quite well — for reference I have a Fizik Vento Argo R3 on my personal bike. 

With every bell and whistle currently available, it should come as no surprise that the Emonda SLR 9 is less affordable than a used car, coming in at an eye-watering US$11,999 / €10,999 / £9,700 / AU$15,799.

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Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing. 

Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine. 

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Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

Are you in the market for a new high-performance road bike? Look no further than the Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS.

This top-of-the-line bike offers unparalleled speed, agility, and comfort for the serious cyclist.

When it comes to road bikes, Trek is a name that is synonymous with quality and innovation.

The Émonda SLR 9 AXS is the latest addition to their lineup and is already creating quite a buzz in the cycling community.

Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

Whether you’re a professional racer or a dedicated recreational rider, the Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS has something to offer.

In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the features, performance, and overall value of this impressive road bike.

So, if you’re considering investing in a new bike, keep reading to find out if the Émonda SLR 9 AXS is the right choice for you.

Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

– Lightweight carbon frame: The Émonda SLR 9 AXS features a Ultralight 800 Series OCLV Carbon frame that is not only incredibly light but also stiff and responsive, ensuring efficient power transfer and a smooth ride.

– Advanced drivetrain: Equipped with the SRAM RED eTap AXS electronic shifting system, this bike provides precise and effortless gear changes, allowing you to maintain your momentum and tackle any terrain with ease.

– Aerodynamic design: The sleek and streamlined design of the Émonda SLR 9 AXS reduces drag, improving your speed and efficiency on the road.

– High-performance components: From the Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 carbon wheels to the SRAM Red eTap AXS hydraulic disc brakes, every component on this bike is carefully selected for its performance and reliability.

Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

– Comfortable ride: Despite its aggressive geometry, the Émonda SLR 9 AXS offers a surprisingly comfortable ride, thanks to features like the Ride Tuned performance tube optimization that absorbs road vibrations and enhances compliance.

– Precise handling: With its responsive handling and stable feel, this bike allows you to confidently navigate corners and descents, giving you the control you need to push your limits.

– Versatile performance: Whether you’re racing, climbing, or sprinting, the Émonda SLR 9 AXS excels in all areas, making it a versatile choice for cyclists of all skill levels.

– Eye-catching design: With its sleek and stylish appearance, this bike is sure to turn heads wherever you go, making a statement on the road.

Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

One of the standout features of the Émonda SLR 9 AXS is its lightweight construction.

The frame is made from Trek’s OCLV Carbon, which is known for its strength and durability while still being incredibly lightweight.

This allows for quick acceleration and effortless climbing, making it a dream for any cyclist looking to improve their speed and performance.

Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

The bike is also equipped with the latest technology in shifting and braking systems.

The SRAM RED eTap AXS electronic shifting system provides precise and smooth gear changes with just a touch of a button.

This allows for seamless transitions between gears, ensuring that you never miss a beat during your ride.

The SRAM Red eTap AXS hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, giving you confidence and control even on steep descents or in wet conditions.

Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

Performance

In terms of comfort, the Émonda SLR 9 AXS does not disappoint.

The bike features a H1.5 geometry, which offers a more aggressive riding position for maximum efficiency and power transfer.

However, it also incorporates Trek’s Ride Tuned performance tube optimization technology, which provides vertical compliance to absorb road vibrations and enhance comfort.

This combination of performance and comfort makes it suitable for both competitive racing and long endurance rides.

Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS Review

Wheels and Tires

The Émonda SLR 9 AXS is also equipped with top-of-the-line components that further enhance its performance.

It features Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 carbon wheels, which are not only lightweight but also provide excellent aerodynamics.

The bike also comes with a full SRAM RED eTap AXS drivetrain, ensuring smooth and reliable shifting throughout your ride.

Overall, the Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS is a fantastic road bike that offers a winning combination of speed, performance, and comfort.

Whether you’re a professional cyclist looking to improve your race times or a recreational rider seeking an exhilarating ride, this bike is sure to exceed your expectations.

So, if you’re in the market for a high-quality road bike, look no further than the Trek Émonda SLR 9 AXS.

Order yours online today and pick it up at your local Trek store, or have it shipped to your home!

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Specialized Tarmac SL7 vs Trek Emonda: Which Bike is Better?

Trying to decide whether the Trek Emonda or the Specialized SL7 Tarmac is better for you? Read for a detailed comparison of the geometry, design, and components of these two premium, lightweight carbon fiber bikes so you can find out which one suits your riding style and preference.

Similarities Between the Specialized Tarmac SL7 and the Trek Emonda

Tarmac SL7 vs Emonda

Let’s start with what these two racing bikes have in common—after all, they’re designed to fit the same all-around performance-oriented road bike market niche.

The Tarmac SL7 and the Trek Emonda are both manufactured in Taiwan for the American companies Trek and Specialized, so you can expect a similar build quality between the two. They are both manufactured in Giant’s factory, in fact.

Both the Tarmac SL7 and the Trek Emonda are outfitted with disc brakes and have no rim brake options. This is typical of modern road bikes. Since these bikes are at the higher end of the market in terms of price, disc brakes’ increased cost won’t add much to the already high price tag.

Both bike frames are available in two levels of carbon layup. The highest-grade carbon options for both the Tarmac SL7 (Fact 12r carbon) and the Trek Emonda (OCLV 800) are about the same weight—but the Emonda SLR is ever slightly lighter. The lower-grade Tarmac SL7 (Fact 10r carbon) is lighter than Emonda’s lower-grade carbon frame (OCLV 500).

The two bikes’ maximum tire width is also nearly the same, with the Emonda’s official tire rating coming in at 28 mm and the Tarmac’s at 30 mm. Unofficially, both the Emonda’s and the SL7’s wheels can accommodate up to 32 mm tires with at least 2 mm of tire clearances on each side, so the maximum tire widths between the two bikes are virtually the same.

Tarmac SL7 vs Emonda: Frame Geometry

Tarmac SL7 vs Emonda Geometry

The geometries of the Tarmac SL7 and Emonda are true to a road racing bike design, being longer and lower to the ground on the front end, with a short wheelbase.

The Emonda has a more comfortable geometry than the Tarmac SL7, with a higher stack and lower reach. However, its RSL integrated barstem handlebar has a longer total reach at 100 mm, 25 mm more than the SL7’s Roval Rapide handlebar at 75 mm.

If you compare the two bikes in the same frame and handlebar/stem size, the Emonda’s frame and handlebar together come out a bit longer than the SL7’s—9 mm to be exact.

The Emonda offers one more frame size option than the SL7, offering eight sizes to the SL7’s seven frame size choices. However, the SL7 frame is available in smaller sizes than the Emonda frame, making it a better choice for shorter cyclists.

The distance between the two wheel centers or wheelbase is roughly the same between the two bikes, and so is the trail measurement. This means that the SL7 and the Emonda handle in roughly the same manner—they both feel agile and aggressive.

Bottom Bracket Comparison

While both bikes use press fit bottom brackets in the last generation, this generation’s Specialized Tarmac SL7 and the Trek Emonda both use threaded bottom brackets.

In theory, press-fit bottom brackets are lighter and stiffer than threaded ones. But in practice, threaded bottom brackets have gained favor among cyclists over press-fitted ones because press-fitted bottom brackets often become loose inside the frame’s housing, making a telltale creaking sound.

The two bikes use different standardized threaded bottom brackets: the Emonda has a T47 bottom bracket, while the SL7 has a BSA bottom bracket.

T47 bottom brackets have a larger diameter than BSA, so Emonda’s frame has a larger housing. The T47 threaded housing has its bearings inside the bike frame, while the BSA has external bearings. This means that the T47 bearings are held more stiffly in the carbon frame housing because of its internal bearings.

When buying a new crank or spindle set, make sure that its diameter and length are compatible with the T47 or BSA housing on your SL7 or Emonda bike. Both the T47 and BSA housing are compatible with mainstream spindle and crank measurements.

Tarmac SL7 vs Emonda Complete Bike Components

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the components each of these bikes will have if you buy a pre-built Emonda or Tarmac SL7. 

Bontrager RSL vs Roval Rapide Handlebar

The Emonda comes with a Bontranger Aeolus RSL integrated barstem, while a Roval Rapide two-piece handlebar set comes with the SL7. The Emonda’s one-piece, integrated barstem has a cleaner, sleeker look, and is lighter than the Roval Rapide handlebar set. On the other hand, a two-piece handlebar and stem set allows for more customization of your handlebar rotation angle setup.

Both the Emonda and the SL7 use proprietary Trek and Specialized seatposts respectively. The Specialized seatpost is D-shaped, while the Trek seat mast cap is round.

The D-shaped seatpost should, in theory, make the SL7 a more comfortable ride. In reality, SL7 is stiffer and harsher than the Emonda.

There’s no real difference between the two bikes here. You can outfit either one with a Shimano groupset or an SRAM groupset. The only main difference here is that you can’t buy the Tarmac SL7 S-Works bike equipped with lower-level groupsets like SRAM Force and Shimano Ultegra. You need to buy a frameset and customize the components by yourself for that.

The Tarmac SL7’s Roval Rapide is only available in one size (51 mm front depth, 60 mm rear depth) compared to the Emonda’s Bontrager Aeolus which is available in four sizes of rim depth (37 mm, 51 mm, 62 mm, and 75 mm).

That said, depending on the bike shop where you buy the Tarmac, they might allow you to swap the Roval Rapide with a much shallower Roval Alpinist (33 mm depth) if you prefer it.

The Specialized Tarmac SL7 comes fitted with Turbo or Turbo Cotton tires, while the Trek Emonda comes with the Bontranger R3 or R4 tire. The Turbo and Turbo Cotton tires have a lower rolling resistance than the Bontranger R3 and R4 respectively. The lower rolling resistance leads to less energy loss as the tire moves along, making you faster. However, the Bontranger R3 and R4 tires are more durable and long-lasting than Turbos which are known to be very fragile.

The Emonda and the SL7 are both racing bikes. True to this purpose, they’re equipped with short, snub-nose saddles that put the rider in an aerodynamic position angled forward towards the ground. The Emonda uses the Bontranger Aeolus saddle and the SL7 uses the Specialized Power saddle. Both saddles are very popular on the market.

Tarmac SL7 vs Emonda Paint Job

The paint job you choose to put on your bike is, of course, a personal choice that doesn’t affect performance. 

That said, if you’re dead set on a certain color for your bike or if you value your bike’s looks highly, the Trek Project One program has far more customization options than the Specialized bike brand has on offer. Color personalization from Trek Project One does come at a higher cost.

Emonda Project One Color

Personalizing your bike may not have anything to do with performance, but it can be one of the most fun aspects of riding—it feels great to show off a cool, tricked-out bike to your riding buddies.

Another notable difference is the side logo on the highest-grade Tarmac SL7 frame that reads “S-Works” vs the lower-grade Tarmac SL7 which has the normal “Specialized” text. This is a little dirty trick by Specialized to differentiate their highest-grade carbon even though they share the same shape.

Specialized vs S Works

The fact is that these bikes have very similar geometry, so their ride feel is quite similar too. If you select the same handlebar and stem dimensions on both bikes, they feel virtually the same to ride.

The Emonda and the Tarmac SL7 are meant to be lightweight, maneuverable, and fast with a reasonably high aerodynamic performance. They make tough climbs easier and offer stability and safety on fast descents.

Since they both use threaded frames to hold the bracket in place, they both lack stiffness in that area. Press-fitted frames like the Cannondale SuperSix EVO and the Giant TCR outcompete the Emonda and SL7 in this aspect. Between the SL7 and the Emonda, the SL7 feels stiffer during pedaling when the same crankset is installed.

Overall, neither the Emonda nor the SL7 shine in terms of the comfort on the front end. However, the SL7 has a beefier stem handlebar setup, making it better for sprinting than the Emonda. In another win for the SL7, the Emonda’s lighter barstem transfers more vibrations from uneven terrain, making it less comfortable on a rough road surface. 

The SL7’s D-shaped seatpost is theoretically stiffer during the side-to-side motion that cyclists do during pedaling out of the saddle. The D-shaped design is also meant to increase comfort on rough riding surfaces. In reality, while the SL7 does feel stiffer than the Emonda the Emonda’s back-end is more comfortable.

Which is the Better Bike?

Both the Trek Emonda and the Specialized Tarmac SL7 offer superior performance, responsive handling, and low weight. The bikes are so similar that the choice between them comes down to which one is a better fit for your body.

The frame geometry of the Emonda is better for riders who need a higher and shorter front end (though, you shouldn’t get the Bontrager RSL integrated handlebars), while the Tarmac SL7’s frame is lower down on the front end. The lower front on the SL7 means that many riders will need to add spacers below the stem so they can get a comparable stack height with the Emonda.

The performance difference between the two bikes skews slightly in favor of the SL7. If you’re absolutely set on the most aggressive, stiff, high-performance bike, the SL7 is better suited to your needs. If you’re comfortable with sacrificing a tad of performance for the sake of comfort, the Emonda may be the way to go for you.

The Project One Program from Trek gives the Emonda a clear advantage over the SL7 in customization options. Through Project One, Trek gives riders control of almost every aspect of their bike, offering a wide range of colors and letting them choose almost every component.

The Emonda SLR, a high-grade, lightweight, composite frame, is lighter than Specialized’s high-grade S-Works frame, giving Trek a slight edge in high-end frame choice. If you’re after a low-cost frame, however, Specialized has a lighter low-grade frame. The low-grade Emonda SL frame is heavier than the corresponding low-grade Tarmac SL7 frame.

The overall appearance of both bikes will appeal more or less to different riders’ tastes, and the differences between the two are slight enough that personal taste is a fine basis to make your choice. Both of these bikes are excellent for road cyclists and are great examples of modern bike design. Whichever choice you make, you won’t end up dissatisfied. 

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The ultimate featherweight The Émonda is the lightest road bike in our line-up and the first up every climb. We scrutinised every inch of this legendary race bike to offer ultimate ride quality and balanced handling without compromising weight. Complete with fast and light aerodynamic tube shaping, the Émonda helps riders go faster than ever on flats and climbs alike.

Our fastest Émonda, by the numbers The newest Émonda SLR is faster than its predecessor (and its competition) on almost any climb. And the steeper the grade, the bigger the benefit. Here’s how it stacks up to the previous Émonda SLR:

60 seconds per hour faster on flats

18 seconds per hour faster at 8% grade, 182 grams of drag saved.

Trek’s fastest climbing bike The newest generation Émonda SLR frame still weighs less than 700 g, but all-new aero tube shaping adds even more speed.

Our best carbon yet

It takes more material to make aero shapes, but we refused to compromise on weight – so we developed all-new 800 Series OCLV Carbon for Émonda SLR.

Speedy design details

The latest Émonda models have hidden cable routing, most come with aero wheels and the Émonda SLR comes with an aerodynamic Aeolus RSL bar/stem.

Incredible performance, unbeatable price The Émonda SL delivers the same legendary performance and aerodynamic tube shaping as Émonda SLR, but it’s built with 500 Series OCLV Carbon that’s still lightweight without weighing heavy on your wallet.

Explore the Émonda family

Enjoy balanced ride quality, superior handling and the added benefit of free speed thanks to new aero tube shaping wrought from our ultralight 500 Series OCLV Carbon.

Our lightest and fastest Émonda – this bike delivers incredible ride quality and aerodynamic advantage. Its frame is made of all-new 800 Series OCLV Carbon and weighs less than 700 grams.

Our lightest aluminium road bike handles like its pricier carbon cousins, with a strikingly light and aerodynamic aluminium frame that’s fast, fun and affordable.

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  1. Émonda, our lightest road bike

    Émonda is the lightest road bike in our lineup and the first up every climb. We scrutinized every inch of this legendary race bike to offer ultimate ride quality and balanced handling without compromising weight. Complete with fast and light aerodynamic tube shaping, Émonda helps riders go faster than ever on flats and climbs alike.

  2. Trek Bicycle Corporation

    Trek Bicycle Corporation is a bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor under brand names Trek, Electra Bicycle Company, Bontrager, and Diamant Bikes. The company has previously manufactured bikes under the Gary Fisher, LeMond Racing Cycles, Klein, and Villiger Bikes brand names.

  3. Trek Émonda Review

    The New Trek Émonda Is Faster Than Ever Already one of the fiercest climbing bikes available, the new Émonda is even faster thanks to a dose of aero. By Matt Phillips Updated: Aug 26, 2022 Save...

  4. Trek Introduces the All New Émonda, Claims World's ...

    Introducing the all new Trek Émonda, a new line of ultra light weight road bikes out of Wisconsin. While the name carries the same letters as Madone and Domane, Émonda is an all new frame that will sit along side of the current bikes. The name itself is derived from the French verb émonder - to prune or cut away.

  5. 2021 Trek Emonda review: the semi-aero, 'faster everywhere ...

    Updated May 31, 2023 James Huang High five Bookmark First introduced in 2014, the Emonda has always been Trek's premier climbing bike, with a keen focus on low weight and high stiffness....

  6. Check out Trek-Segafredo's Trek Emonda for 2023

    by Mat Brett. UPDATED Tue, Jan 31, 2023 21:55. 2. The Trek-Segafredo men's and women's teams will be dividing the vast majority of their time between the Trek Madone SLR aero road bike and this lightweight Trek Émonda SLR in 2023. Let's take a closer look at the Émonda….

  7. Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap Long-Term Review: Light for ...

    Trek Emonda SLR H1.5 geometry; (image/Trek) Trek used to offer aggressive (H1) and more upright (H2) geometries but split the difference on the new Emonda SLR with the middle-of-the-road H1.5.

  8. First Look: Trek Emonda

    Stopping is a good thing. The $12,080 Emonda SLR9 sits at the top of the "lower-line" production bike heap and runs a Shimano Dura-Ace component group with Bontrager carbon hoops. Like the SLR10, all three SLR9 models are made at the Trek factory in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Excellent!

  9. New Trek Emonda gets the aero treatment

    Trek has today announced the launch of its new flagship lightweight road bike, the Emonda. The latest iteration of which sees improvements in aerodynamics, new OCLV 800 carbon fibre, H1.5...

  10. Émonda SLR 7

    Émonda SLR 7 Disc is an ultralight, aerodynamic carbon road bike that's designed and built to be the fastest climbing bike we've ever made. You get the legendary ride quality of our lightest platform, plus more speed, thanks to aero tubes wrought from our lightest OCLV layup ever.

  11. All-new Émonda gets aero to become "Trek's fastest climbing bike ever

    Trek says that the Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheelset is 17% faster than the existing Bontrager Aeolus XXX 2 (28mm deep), and nearly matches the 47mm-deep Aeolus XXX 4 (Trek tests in the wind tunnel at -20° to +20° yaw and uses a weighted average to get its figures). The rims have an internal width of 21mm and an external width of 28mm.

  12. Trek unveils the Émonda a 10-pound road bike

    Road Trek unveils the Émonda a 10-pound road bike By Ben Delaney/Future Publishing published 1 July 2014 690g frame revealed ahead of the Tour de France Image 1 of 25 The Trek Emonda SLR 10...

  13. Trek's New Emonda

    With a claimed frame weight of 690 grams, Trek spoke highly of it being the lightest production bike ever made. At the time, a legitimate "lightweight" racing frame would weigh in the neighborhood of 750-900 grams. The new (rim braked) Emonda has shed 50 grams for a startling low 640 gram weight (56 cm frame with clear coat) with the disc ...

  14. New Trek bike spotted: Is this the 2024 Emonda?

    Of the two platforms, it makes sense that the Lidl-Trek team would have a new Emonda that is faster, ideally maintaining its ability to hit the 6.8kg UCI limit, alongside the existing Madone...

  15. Is this the new 2024 Trek Emonda?

    The current Emonda is going on four years old now, having been first released in 2020. That 2020 Emonda was Trek's take on the do-it-all "Aero-lite" bike, taking the lightweight Emonda platform of old and throwing some aero at it in the shape of fully integrated brake hosing and truncated tubes throughout.

  16. Used Bike Buyers Guide & Model Overview: Trek Émonda

    The Trek Émonda has always been a climbing bike — if you love epic hauls up huge hills, this lightweight, stiff road bike was made for you. The Émonda was created with the steepest grades in mind. Over the years, Trek evolved its patented Optimum Compaction Low Void (OCLV) carbon fiber to combine low weight and high strength.

  17. Review: Trek Emonda ALR 5, the bike that disc brakes almost broke

    Trek came so very close. This is a bike that will roll off showroom floors for just over $2,000 and looks every bit like a bike three or five times that. The integrated front end, the shapely tubes - from across the street it looks like carbon. The Emonda ALR is a cool aluminum race bike. Looks good and rides well.

  18. Trek Emonda SLR 9 Project One

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  20. Specialized Tarmac SL7 vs Trek Emonda: Which Bike is Better?

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  21. Émonda, our lightest road bike

    The Émonda is the lightest road bike in our line-up and the first up every climb. We scrutinised every inch of this legendary race bike to offer ultimate ride quality and balanced handling without compromising weight. Complete with fast and light aerodynamic tube shaping, the Émonda helps riders go faster than ever on flats and climbs alike.

  22. Trek Émonda Bikes Compared: Which One to Choose?

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