Stiffer, lighter, more aero... we're sick of hearing it, and no doubt the manufacturers are sick of saying it. It's that new bike launch time of year, and a lot of the same claims get trotted out again and again.
Fortunately for us that's not the case with Trek's new Domane. Their Endurance best-seller has seen some significant changes, and there's a lot to unpick - it's effectively a new bike.
Let's delve in and see what the 2020 Domane SL and SLR have to offer:
Both the SL and SLR have front and rear IsoSpeed damping, always a welcome feature on an endurance bike. The new SLR's top-tube IsoSpeed is adjustable (like the latest Madone) and additionally features damping for additional control.
Wider tyres generally mean more comfort, better control and faster riding on rougher surfaces. The latest Domane can take up to a 38mm wide tyre.
Internal cable routing is pretty much taken for granted on performance carbon frames these days, and Trek have long championed integration with their DuoTrap speed sensor hidden in the chainstays. This year the Domane takes things further, with clever storage hidden within the downtube itself.
The best of both worlds? We think so. The larger size bearings of the BB30 with the creak-free reliability and ease of installation of a threaded BB.
Trek say that further refinements to tube shapes, and integrated cables, allow the new Domane to be 1 minute faster over an hour of riding.
The whole range is now on disc brakes, with thru-axles providing extra stiffness for maximum braking control. The SLR uses Trek's lightest OCLV 700 carbon fibre - this is the bike you'll see the pro teams riding on the likes of Paris-Roubaix - making it around 200g lighter than the SL, which uses their mid-range OCLV 500.
The geometry of the Domane is unchanged from previous generations. We already have it in our fit database, so if you're after one of the new models - perfectly fitted - get in touch now
Read on for a closer look at the details...
above: adjustable IsoSpeed on the Domane SLR
IsoSpeed brings extra comfort
Trek's IsoSpeed damping has always proved effective, with a series of refinements over the years further improving its performance. This year sees the introduction of damping on the SLR model's adjustable top tube IsoSpeed, which just like on a suspension fork provides controlled rebound. This should be especially useful on the more compliant settings, reducing 'bounce back' on undulating surfaces. As a result they've also been able to make the SLR more comfortable overall, with a 14% increase in compliance at the stiffest setting, up to 27% more compliance at the softest, without compromising on power transfer efficiency or ride quality.
The SL models retain the standard top tube IsoSpeed, without the fancy bells and whistles. That's no great hardship, we're huge fans of this proven tech.
Both the SL and SLR include front, as well as rear IsoSpeed damping.
Wider tyres and greater clearance
Most of the "off the peg" new Domanes will come fitted with 32mm wide tyres (on rims with a 25mm internal width). That sounds like a safe bet for general road riding, even on rougher surfaces. If you're doing a custom build, or want to swap in some wheels for rougher stuff, the frames are designed to accomodate up to a 38mm tyre. That gives plenty of options for pretty much anything you're likely to encounter on an endurance road bike.
With mudguards fitted (and there are integrated mudguard mounts neatly hidden away on the frame) you can fit up to 35mm wide tyres.
Note that there are no rack mounts on the Domane - this is a performance road bike, for carrying duties Trek recommend you look at their Checkpoint range (and we recommend you talk to us about the many options available!).
below: plenty of clearance for wider tyres
This may look a little familiar! Trek aren't the first to realise that the inside of a large, hollow carbon downtube is an ideal place to stow those essential 'daily carry' bits and pieces. We've seen this on road bikes before, and especially on mountain bikes, and we're glad to see it appearing more widely.
Trek are calling their system BITS (Bontrager Integrated Storage System) and it allows you to stow a multitool, CO2 inflator, or anything that'll fit in the specially designed compartment hidden underneath the bottle cage.
It's a really neat way to ensure that you have the basics with you at all times without the hassle of seatpacks or bulging jersey pockets. Trek include a tailored pouch case with every Domane to prevent the contents rattling around, and they also offer a specially designed multitool as an optional extra which clips to the underside of the lid.
An added benefit is that it keeps the weight lower on the bike than a seatpack would, for that little extra handling advantage.
No women's range - and no men's range either...
As bike fit specialists we've known for years that the proportions of the individual rider are what counts, and that difference isn't dictated by gender. We've long been fitting cyclists onto the bike that's right for them, regardless of what the label might say, whether that's because they want a particular colour option or simply need a particular size.
Thankfully more and more manufacturers are catching up, and Trek have been at the forefront of the big-brand names in addressing this. They've made the new Domane available in a full range of size and colour options, which we then tailor to the individual rider, choosing the correct size and shape contact points to ensure the perfect fit.
Off the peg or custom build
The new Domane range covers a wide range of prices and specifications, from the entry-level SL 4 at £2100 up to the £9650 SLR 9 with eTap AXS.
If you prefer to custom build, the Domane is also available as a frameset, and we can supply this alone or build it into your dream bike. The Domane SL comes in at £1900 for the frameset, whilst the SLR is priced at £3000.
The SLR frameset will also be available via Trek's Project One custom programme in their more aggressive H1.5 geometry, for those looking for serious race-day speed. At Bespoke we're Project One specialists, and can help you find your ideal build, perfectly fitted.
We've already got the new Domane SLR in our online Bike Builder - allowing you to visually configure your dream build however you want and will be adding more soon!
And finally, an honourable mention for a feature that won't be grabbing the headlines, but which we're grateful for nonetheless... A threaded bottom bracket, but not just any threaded BB. Trek have opted for the T47 standard, which gives the 'best of both worlds'. Using the larger bearing size of a BB30 allows for the use of any modern or traditional axle standard and brings the stiffness benefits of a wider BB shell. This is combined with the creak-free pleasures of a threaded, rather than PressFit, installation.
The T47 BB was introduced by Chris King as an open standard a few years ago, and has seen steady adoption by independent frame makers. Now we're starting to see the big guys, with their longer development times, bringing it to a wider audience. This can only be a good thing, and I'm sure we'll see more new models built for T47 over the coming months.
We're expecting the first shipments of the new Domane in the next few weeks, and given their popularity it's sure to be in great demand. If you're interested in one of the new models then get in touch. If you've recently had a bike fit with Bespoke we can use your fit details on file, and if you haven't don't worry, we can do a fit right now - we have all the necessary frame geometry details in our system to ensure that your new bike will be perfectly fitted even if you order in advance.
Trek's latest model in the Madone range comes complete with easily swappable, integrated Tri/TT bar extensions.Read more
Trek's Project One programme offers a stunning range of custom paint, along with the option to choose from a broad range of components - making your new Trek truly unique.Read more
SRAM's new Force eTap AXS 12 speed wireless electronic groupset is now available on the latest Trek Madone and Émonda models, as well as via Project One and our own online...Read more