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Trek Emonda SL opinions.

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Trek Emonda SL opinions.

Old 03-04-16, 11:32 AM
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Trek Emonda SL opinions.

I'm currently shopping for a carbon road bike and I'm looking for opinions on the Trek Emonda SL frame compared to something like the Domane 5 series or something similar. I'm thinking about picking up a new carbon bike this year and have been shopping around, but haven't had the chance to ride the SL or any Emonda. I have ridden the Domane in a couple of different configurations. Sadly, the budget does not give me enough for the SLR (or 6 series Domane), so I will be mid range with this purchase. Trek has a sale going on now, so I might try and pick one up soon.

I currently ride a steel bike which is really nice and quick, but a bit on the heavy side. I ride country roads with rolling hills mostly and will be trying to hit up some mountains this year during vacations. I've thought about the Domane to replace the steel bike because the ride is quite similar, both being really smooth, but I also think I could do with a second road bike, one that is stiffer and quicker steering. Something more geared to faster group riding or two hour hammer fests and not so much endurance oriented.

Anyway, how is the Emonda SL series? Does it ride well? I know it's all in the engine, but does the bike seem fast/quick? Thanks
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Old 03-04-16, 11:38 AM
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It's pretty similar to a Cervelo R3 or R5, right? I haven't been on the Trek but I've loved having that type of bike.

Are you really going to bring it with you on mountain vacations or rent a bike when you get there? Traveling with a bike can be a pain...
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Old 03-04-16, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
It's pretty similar to a Cervelo R3 or R5, right? I haven't been on the Trek but I've loved having that type of bike.

Are you really going to bring it with you on mountain vacations or rent a bike when you get there? Traveling with a bike can be a pain...
Yeah, the Emonda is now their lightweight road bike, the Domane being the endurance frame and the Madone being aero.

Any traveling will be by car...we do a lot of car camping and I can throw the bike on the rack. I can't get into long sustained climbing around where I live so I would need to travel to do that...and I want to try and do that this year.
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Old 03-04-16, 12:06 PM
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Domane has that clever Elastomer piece where top tube and seat stays Meet to take some of the road buzz out of the ride.
Trek Boone is the one in the CF CX race bike line with that feature Too..


Nobody here spends that kind of Money, so I never rode one even in the Trek dealership.
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Old 03-04-16, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RJM
I'm currently shopping for a carbon road bike and I'm looking for opinions on the Trek Emonda SL frame compared to something like the Domane 5 series or something similar. I'm thinking about picking up a new carbon bike this year and have been shopping around, but haven't had the chance to ride the SL or any Emonda. I have ridden the Domane in a couple of different configurations. Sadly, the budget does not give me enough for the SLR (or 6 series Domane), so I will be mid range with this purchase. Trek has a sale going on now, so I might try and pick one up soon.

I currently ride a steel bike which is really nice and quick, but a bit on the heavy side. I ride country roads with rolling hills mostly and will be trying to hit up some mountains this year during vacations. I've thought about the Domane to replace the steel bike because the ride is quite similar, both being really smooth, but I also think I could do with a second road bike, one that is stiffer and quicker steering. Something more geared to faster group riding or two hour hammer fests and not so much endurance oriented.

Anyway, how is the Emonda SL series? Does it ride well? I know it's all in the engine, but does the bike seem fast/quick? Thanks
Well I own an Emonda SL, so here is my review. I think the Emonda is a very-well thought out bike. Every single component screams experience in bike design. The overall weight of the SL frameset (seatmast, fork, headset, BB etc) is very impressive for the price. I believe that the SL delivers outstanding value in the term of weight. It's very hard to find a lighter frameset at this price. My emonda sl (size 50) weights 16 lbs with mechanical ultegra, pedals, cages, power meter, computer mount and mid-weight alloy clinchers and alloy stem / handlebars. I can very easily go below 15 lbs with pedals without crazy weight weenie components if I wanted. The finishing of the frame is superb, looks amazing.

The bike rides very-very smoothly and it's super comfortable. Also it's very stiff and kind of "flows" when you climb out of the saddle.

*On the other hand* it's only available in H2 geo and I struggled to go low enough. If you plan to go real fast, you might need a -17 stem (trek requires a 5mm spacer above the conical spacer and the stock one is 15mm so you are looking at 20mm at the top of an already long headtube). This H2 bike is more like a lightweight endurance bike than a racing one, but it won't stop you ride fast if you can go low enough.

My biggest problem with it is that the ride feels a little bit dead to me. It might be because of the outstanding compliance of the frameset, or maybe it's just in my head. When I ride it I usually forget about it completely, while riding my caad10 always feels more fun and quick. Also Trek doesn't have the "cool" factor like other brands, but it doesn't matter if you only need a very good, very light bike that functions amazingly.
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Old 03-04-16, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Domane has that clever Elastomer piece where top tube and seat stays Meet to take some of the road buzz out of the ride.
Trek Boone is the one in the CF CX race bike line with that feature Too..


Nobody here spends that kind of Money, so I never rode one even in the Trek dealership.
Yeah, the Domane is a smooth riding bike and I think that coupler thingy does actually work. For this next bike a stiffer ride might not be all that bad though.

The Emonda models I've been eyeballing are the SL5 (shimano 105) and the SL6 (Ultegra) which have recently been put on sale. I think the SL5 can be had for 2100 bucks now, which isn't terribly expensive for a carbon bike, IMHO.
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Old 03-04-16, 12:56 PM
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What will you do with the bike at campgrounds? The only downside to owning an expensive carbon bike for me was a bit of anxiety over stuff like that. I used to have a roof rack but the idea of somebody kicking a pebble up at 75 mph bothered me too much and the bike travels inside the car. Other than that, a nimble bike that climbs and corners well is a special kind of fun, and you should bring it to ride in the North Cascades.
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Old 03-04-16, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nemeseri
. My emonda sl (size 50) weights 16 lbs with mechanical ultegra, pedals, cages, power meter, computer mount and mid-weight alloy clinchers and alloy stem / handlebars.
My sl6 is size 64 weighs about 18lbs. heh
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Old 03-04-16, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Other than that, a nimble bike that climbs and corners well is a special kind of fun, and you should bring it to ride in the North Cascades.
That would be very fun. I might try and talk the wife into a trip out there. She was talking about a trip out to the Grand Canyon and around there, but I would much prefer the Cascades.

Originally Posted by nemeseri
Well I own an Emonda SL, so here is my review. I think the Emonda is a very-well thought out bike. Every single component screams experience in bike design. The overall weight of the SL frameset (seatmast, fork, headset, BB etc) is very impressive for the price. I believe that the SL delivers outstanding value in the term of weight. It's very hard to find a lighter frameset at this price. My emonda sl (size 50) weights 16 lbs with mechanical ultegra, pedals, cages, power meter, computer mount and mid-weight alloy clinchers and alloy stem / handlebars. I can very easily go below 15 lbs with pedals without crazy weight weenie components if I wanted. The finishing of the frame is superb, looks amazing.

The bike rides very-very smoothly and it's super comfortable. Also it's very stiff and kind of "flows" when you climb out of the saddle.

*On the other hand* it's only available in H2 geo and I struggled to go low enough. If you plan to go real fast, you might need a -17 stem (trek requires a 5mm spacer above the conical spacer and the stock one is 15mm so you are looking at 20mm at the top of an already long headtube). This H2 bike is more like a lightweight endurance bike than a racing one, but it won't stop you ride fast if you can go low enough.

My biggest problem with it is that the ride feels a little bit dead to me. It might be because of the outstanding compliance of the frameset, or maybe it's just in my head. When I ride it I usually forget about it completely, while riding my caad10 always feels more fun and quick. Also Trek doesn't have the "cool" factor like other brands, but it doesn't matter if you only need a very good, very light bike that functions amazingly.
Thanks for the review..it helps a bunch. I don't think getting low enough will be a problem for me; my current bike has the saddle about an inch higher than the bar tops, so not a huge drop. Actually, the lightweight endurance bike description might be the best fit for me.
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Old 03-04-16, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DonBjr
My sl6 is size 64 weighs about 18lbs. heh
Well mine is a custom build on the sl frameset, so it's not a surprise it's a bit lighter. You could probably drop a full pound by getting a decent wheelset and a few lighter components.
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Old 03-04-16, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by nemeseri
Well mine is a custom build on the sl frameset, so it's not a surprise it's a bit lighter. You could probably drop a full pound by getting a decent wheelset and a few lighter components.
It is stock stuff for the model, which means 6800 stuff, but 105 clipless pedals. I was figuring a lot of it is the frame size difference and I suppose wheels if you spent up a lot there.
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Old 03-04-16, 07:20 PM
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I got one of the first Emonda SLs available to the public -- you can read my review here. Note: the actual review starts in the third paragraph.

Now that I've had my bike for a year and a half, I stand by everything I initially wrote. The bike excels at smoothing out rough roads without being uncommunicative. For only the most extreme potholes that most folks would avoid and/or stand going over, the Emonda is every bit as smooth as the Domane. The Domane excels on really abusive (think cobbles) roads. I felt the Emonda was more responsive, both in steering and acceleration, than the Domane whilst being lighter as well. The Emonda climbs very, very well, and is just an all-around great ride. For what it's worth, I went tubeless with my Emonda and have really been impressed with the improved ride quality and flat protection tubeless offers.

All in all, I'm thrilled with my Emonda. I would have killed to get a SLR, but it was simply outside my budget. I think the Emonda SL is the best bang-for-the-buck bike out there. My size 58 was under 16 lbs ready-to-ride.
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Old 03-04-16, 08:53 PM
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May I have a link to this bike at Trek? Is it the alloy one or carbon?
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Old 03-04-16, 08:55 PM
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I demo'ed an SLR last fall, over some pretty hilly terrain. It looks and handles a lot like my 2012 Madone 5, but lighter. That 4 year-old Madone is no slouch. The SL should be very similar.
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Old 03-04-16, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat
I demo'ed an SLR last fall, over some pretty hilly terrain. It looks and handles a lot like my 2012 Madone 5, but lighter. That 4 year-old Madone is no slouch. The SL should be very similar.
The Madone and Emonda have almost identical geometry. I had a 2012 Madone 4 and now a SLR. The SLR is stiffer but not harsh. It accelerates quicker and the steering is more precise.

The Madone 4 uses 400 level Carbon, the Madone 5 and SL use 500 level and the SLR uses 700 level. For the dollar the SL is a better value than the SLR. But if you can afford it, the SLR is a great bike. You can notice the difference.
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Old 03-04-16, 10:17 PM
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I previously had a 400 series Madone which was the same geometry as the Emonda........you will absolutely love the Emomda SL! There is nothing you can't do. Races, centuries.......you name it, this bike is more than qualified. Even better yet, you should see if you can find a leftover 2015 model!
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Old 03-05-16, 06:12 AM
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Do it.

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Old 03-05-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge
May I have a link to this bike at Trek? Is it the alloy one or carbon?
Here is the SL5 link. It's a carbon frame with 105 components. Émonda SL 5 | Émonda | Performance race bikes | Road bikes | Bikes | Trek Bikes

Here is the SL6. Émonda SL 6 | Émonda | Performance race bikes | Road bikes | Bikes | Trek Bikes
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Old 03-05-16, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jwalther
Do it.

What size is your sl6? It looks similar to mine.
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Old 03-05-16, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by RNAV
I got one of the first Emonda SLs available to the public -- you can read my review here. Note: the actual review starts in the third paragraph.

Now that I've had my bike for a year and a half, I stand by everything I initially wrote. The bike excels at smoothing out rough roads without being uncommunicative. For only the most extreme potholes that most folks would avoid and/or stand going over, the Emonda is every bit as smooth as the Domane. The Domane excels on really abusive (think cobbles) roads. I felt the Emonda was more responsive, both in steering and acceleration, than the Domane whilst being lighter as well. The Emonda climbs very, very well, and is just an all-around great ride. For what it's worth, I went tubeless with my Emonda and have really been impressed with the improved ride quality and flat protection tubeless offers.

All in all, I'm thrilled with my Emonda. I would have killed to get a SLR, but it was simply outside my budget. I think the Emonda SL is the best bang-for-the-buck bike out there. My size 58 was under 16 lbs ready-to-ride.
Thanks for the link to your review; it really helps quite a bit.

I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on the Emonda because it really does look like the best ride and value now. I just can't decide between 105 or 6800 for an extra 400 bucks. I ride 6800 now and really dig it, but everybody says 105 is basically the same.
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Old 03-05-16, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RJM
Thanks for the link to your review; it really helps quite a bit.

I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on the Emonda because it really does look like the best ride and value now. I just can't decide between 105 or 6800 for an extra 400 bucks. I ride 6800 now and really dig it, but everybody says 105 is basically the same.
5800 is functionally the same, but it's heavier and not as nice as 6800. Also 6800 is more durable. It's a hard decision especially because $400 extra is not that much if you take it into account that later it would cost you at least $600 and labor to upgrade to it. If I were you I'd go with ultegra and forget the whole bike upgrade thing for a while. You might throw on better wheels later, but it will still function and perform almost as good as a $15,000 slr 10.
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Old 03-05-16, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jwalther

Off topic, but... I have a 2012 5.2 Madone and have just about settled on an upgrade to a Boyd's Altamont wheelset. How do you like yours?

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 03-05-16, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nemeseri
Also Trek doesn't have the "cool" factor like other brands, but it doesn't matter if you only need a very good, very light bike that functions amazingly.
Really enjoyed your review......this bummed me out though. Trek SL bikes are cool!
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Old 03-05-16, 10:39 PM
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Glad to see all the good reviews on the Emonda. I am pulling the trigger on a SLR8 this week. It will be my first venture over to the darkside of Trek.......
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Old 03-06-16, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by side_FX
Really enjoyed your review......this bummed me out though. Trek SL bikes are cool!
I beg to disagree. I mean it looks cool, but it has a huge trek logo on its downtube.

Let's see:
1., It's not Italian, therefore it doesn't have a soul (hahaha)
2., It's not a boutique brand
3., It's mass produced in asia
4., It has Armstrong in its history
5., It's not steel

Don't get me wrong. It's beautiful, very well designed, and it will give you anything you want in a road bike. But it won't fill the bill in coolness... at least in my mind..

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