I never felt handicapped riding up Mont Ventoux on the Emonda
SLR, and I was definitely more comfortable and confident on the
descents. It was light enough that I couldn't blame the bike for my
slow progress on the steep slopes of this iconic climb, it was not
at all draggy and reluctant.
And when we turned around at the top and headed back down, boy
does the handling of the Emonda SLR shine through. It's a real gem
through the corners. It's so planted through high-speed corners and
the stiffness of the frame and fork ensures it tracks really
cleanly. If you enjoy descending, you'll find a great companion in
It has a nice balance of agility and sure-footed confidence.
It's snappy and responsive when riding fast, relaxed and
comfortable when cruising. The race bike DNA shines through in the
way the bike easily changes direction and the steering responds
swiftly to your inputs. You can place and position the bike with
utter precision through the corners.
It's a stiff bike, the front-end is on the firm side, a reminder
of its race bike DNA, but there was never too much feedback. It's a
reminder that this is a race bike if you want comfort that Domane
might be the better bike for you.
But that's not to say it's a harsh ride because it absolutely is
not. The Ride Tuned seatmast allows the saddle to deflect when the
rear tyre encounters a bump in the road, and the clearance for wide
tyres, with 28mm tyres fitted to this bike, ensures there's plenty
of cushioning to smooth out the rougher roads.
The disc brakes provide increased confidence when braking into
corners, with plenty of power but ample modulation to ensure there
was never any risk of inadvertently locking a wheel. And I could do
all my braking with single fingers, leaving my arms and hands less
I had one eyebrow-raising moment on stage two while riding in
the lead group which had been climbing for a while, we finally got
some reward with a fast and fun descent. It was full of tightening
hairpin bends, and all around me was the smell of melting carbon
rims accompanied by a panicky screeching sound. The disc brakes on
the Emonda SLR were quiet and caused no fuss, and afforded an
increase in control in such a frenetic situation.