Trek Émonda: Initial Impressions

I'm fussy with my bikes. Given my bike fitting profession involves being fussy about other people's bikes, you'd assume as much. So when it came to choosing a new race bike for the 2017 season and beyond, it was not a decision taken lightly.

The Trek Emonda SLR really stood out for me for two reasons; aggressive geometry with Trek's H1 fit, and customisable paint. I think I drove my colleagues mad asking every day their thoughts on my latest creation on the Project One website. I do love the option of being able to spec crank length, bar width, stem length and seatpost setback from Trek. Perhaps fussiness also brings impatience, so when I arrived at our Gresham Street store giddy with excitement to open the box, it's pleasing that all the components in the sizes I know I want were there, ready to ride.

After spending a couple of weeks dialing in the fit (as I said, fussy), I've put just over 500km on the bike. Having raced and trained on an aluminium frame for the last year, the Emonda is a dream to ride. I'm a big fan of aluminium frames, but it says something about the material and modern carbon construction techniques that the Emonda SLR is highly responsive, yet a more comfortable ride than any bike I've owned before. I like a stiff frame, but there is definitely too stiff - it's not faster to have the bike juddering through corners or bouncing around on rough roads. Don't get me wrong, it's not a silky smooth ride like Trek's Domane, and it does feel a bit twitchy at times, but I believe Trek's seatmast goes a long way to keeping the bike planted through the corners, and enabling you stay on the power when the road gets rough.

The main draw of this bike for most people will be it's climbing ability. The low weight of the Emonda is certainly perceptible - the spec I've selected comes in at 6.4kg, with aluminium cockpit and Ultegra mechanical. Once the road points upwards, the Emonda starts to sing. The bike zips and dances, every input through the pedals feels positive. You soon realise this is what this bike was made for.

The maiden voyage for my Emonda in a race environment is early February, followed by a Mallorca training camp booked for March, so expect a more in depth review in a few months. Despite the exquisite paint scheme, this is unashamedly a race bike. It will be treated as a tool, a device to sprint fast and climb faster. Inevitably it'll take a few bumps and knocks in a final lap frenzy now an again, but this is what bikes like this are designed for. I am excited to push the Emonda to its limits.

- Dan

Bespoke Cycling Bike Fit Technician

You can see more of Dan's Emonda on our Build Gallery.