Trek offer the Émonda SL 6 as standard in two variants; the SL
6, at £2900 with Bontrager Paradigm alloy rims and the SL 6 Pro at
£3350, which is the same bike but equipped with Bontrager's Aeolus
Elite 35 carbon wheels.
Both wheelsets are tubeless ready, but the Paradigm are a fairly
"entry level" wheelset, tough and durable but not especially
matching the light weight of the frame (at approx 1750g per pair).
So for the relatively small uplift in price it's no surprise that
the SL 6 Pro is proving to be vastly more popular, it's a really
cost effective way to get some decent carbon wheels from the
I was really impressed with the 35mm deep Aeolus Elite carbon
wheelset in my testing, it packs a lot of punch for the money, part
of the new generation of superb value wheels that have reduced the
cost of entry to carbon.
The Émonda SL though is a bike that makes a perfect platform for
upgrading over time, it's such a strong base to build on. I
couldn't resist trying it with some of my other wheelsets (some of
which are £2000+ and thus 2/3rds of the bike's price!). You can
tell a good bike when good wheels "lift" it further.
That's certainly the case here, and as seen in my photos I've
been putting in some miles on the ENVE SES 5.6 and my Rovals, both
of which take things up a notch further still. With a high-end
wheelset the SL 6 really flies, it can hold its own with bikes
costing much more.