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Trek Emonda SLR v. SL

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Trek Emonda SLR v. SL

Old 04-05-18, 06:01 AM
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Theotis
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Trek Emonda SLR v. SL

Looking for help in deciding between a Trek Emonda SLR 6 or a SL7....the 7 does have di2 and better wheels...but I was wonder about the difference between the SLR and 700 Series OCLV Carbon v. the SL and 500 Series OCLV Carbon. Is there really a major difference? And if so, it is in the "feel" of the bike and/or the durability? I tested both, but couldn't tell a difference.
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Old 04-05-18, 08:17 AM
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I think you answered your own question. Few things are more telling than a test ride.

The biggest difference is probably the price of the resulting frame.
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Old 04-05-18, 09:06 AM
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The argument of: "You can always upgrade the drivetrain later" is something to consider.

I put about 2500 miles on my SLR 9 and 3000-ish on an SL 7 over my demo/trial periods (work at a shop) and they're both great rides. Longest ride on both was a century (ironically the same course over two years, it's an annual ride in my area) and I certainly didn't notice any difference. I was comfortable on both bikes and both bikes have held up well from a durability perspective.

The only comment I'd offer, if you're a bigger guy, the seat post tube that meets the carbo seat on the SLR is noticeably thinner. We've seen a couple crack due to either over torquing or being damaged due to what we assume stress related fractures. We've yet to see an SL with that issue. However as I was north of 220 with my gear on (I commuted on my SLR 9 for a few months), the frame was fine. So it's very possible that our experiences are simply anecdotal or user error.

My personally, I'd do the SL7 with Di2.
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Old 04-05-18, 11:37 AM
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I put about 2500 miles on my SLR 9 and 3000-ish on an SL 7 over my demo/trial periods (work at a shop) and they're both great rides. Longest ride on both was a century (ironically the same course over two years, it's an annual ride in my area) and I certainly didn't notice any difference. I was comfortable on both bikes and both bikes have held up well from a durability perspective.

The only comment I'd offer, if you're a bigger guy, the seat post tube that meets the carbo seat on the SLR is noticeably thinner. We've seen a couple crack due to either over torquing or being damaged due to what we assume stress related fractures. We've yet to see an SL with that issue. However as I was north of 220 with my gear on (I commuted on my SLR 9 for a few months), the frame was fine. So it's very possible that our experiences are simply anecdotal or user error.

My personally, I'd do the SL7 with Di2.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, that helps a lot!

I've now found an Emonda SL8 with disc at $500 more than the SL7, but it has dura ace over ultegra...hmmm./
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Old 04-05-18, 01:33 PM
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For what it's worth, if I was doing a lot of serious climbing (and had the budget), I'd go for SLR simply because it's significantly lighter. I'd probably opt for the disc brakes too. In my case, I like to climb quite a bit but I was on a budget so I went with the SL6 with rim brakes. I later upgraded the Ultegra to SRAM eTap and that made it significantly lighter. So I'm pretty happy. The SL model with disc brakes was just too heavy for my likes. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-05-18, 07:06 PM
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The short answer is... YES, there is a noticeable difference. The question is is it big enough to justify the cost to you.

I have a Emonda SLR and put 18,000 miles on it since February 2015. February 2017 I was out in Scottsdale, with my son and we rented 2 Emonda SL6 and did the bike segment of the half Ironman. There was 4000' of climbing and I did notice the differance when climbing and getting out of the saddle.

Now to be fair, my SLR has Sram eTab and Zipp 303 wheels, while the SL6 had Ultegra mechanical and Bontrager Race wheels.

But the SL6 was 1/3rd the cost of my bike.
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Old 04-06-18, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Theotis View Post
I tested both, but couldn't tell a difference.
If you personally can't tell the difference, then there is no difference as far as you're concerned. Get the one that is configured the way you want or looks cooler to you or has the better colorway or meets your budgetary needs better.
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Old 04-06-18, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
If you personally can't tell the difference, then there is no difference as far as you're concerned. Get the one that is configured the way you want or looks cooler to you or has the better colorway or meets your budgetary needs better.
True, but I was asking about the feel of the bike, as well as durability, which would not be obvious right way. I don't purchase bikes very often, I really want to get one that lasts.
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Old 04-06-18, 03:35 PM
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Good point. Usually the "higher" end bikes have fancier carbon, which means they can make the bike lighter and more expensive. It is a near certainty that making it more durable is not one of the design criteria.

It's a choice we all have to make!
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Old 04-06-18, 03:39 PM
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interesting, Trek does not say the SLR is Hi-mod or stiffer, Just better and lighter. Did some research and found no further information on this. I got an SLR emonda but won't be riding it until this winter turns to summer as our spring up here seems to be taking a leave of absence.
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Old 04-06-18, 07:05 PM
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I would say the lighter frame is almost certainly less robust. Especially with regard to accidental type damage/impacts.
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Old 04-07-18, 05:17 PM
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I have an SLR & love it. However, if you couldn't tell the difference I wouldn't spend the extra $'s. I'd also suspect the SLR is less durable. Normally lighter weight does not equal more durable.

FWIW, I've got about 14k on mine with no frame issues other than the paint (poorly painted likely due to Trek keeping the weight down by barely coating the fiber - they made this right though). I'm a relative lightweight at about 140 so durability wasn't a concern for me.
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Old 04-09-18, 09:09 AM
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[QUOTE=RShantz;20270924]I have an SLR & love it. However, if you couldn't tell the difference I wouldn't spend the extra $'s. I'd also suspect the SLR is less durable. Normally lighter weight does not equal more durable.

Is this correct? The lighter SLR (with Trek's 700 OCLV carbon) might not be a "strong" as the SL (with the 500 carbon)? I assumed that higher grade carbon would be more durable and long-lasting (under the same conditions) as the lower grade carbon.
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Old 04-09-18, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Theotis View Post
Is this correct? The lighter SLR (with Trek's 700 OCLV carbon) might not be a "strong" as the SL (with the 500 carbon)? I assumed that higher grade carbon would be more durable and long-lasting (under the same conditions) as the lower grade carbon.
The grade of the carbon is only one factor; even if it's in the same frame mold, the layup may be altered depending upon carbon being used.
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Old 04-09-18, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The grade of the carbon is only one factor; even if it's in the same frame mold, the layup may be altered depending upon carbon being used.
That makes sense.....and the result in this situation (SLR v. SL) is?
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Old 04-09-18, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Theotis View Post
That makes sense.....and the result in this situation (SLR v. SL) is?
I can't say for certain. All I was going on is the general thought that in many forms of racing, industrial uses, construction, etc that lighter items have benefits, but generally speaking durability is not one of them. I do not know the scientific properties of lightweight carbon so I can't express a truly informed opinion.

However, I do know extremely lightweight carbon wheels have weight limits. So in that instance the lighter weight seems to be less durable.
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Old 04-09-18, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RShantz View Post
However, I do know extremely lightweight carbon wheels have weight limits. So in that instance the lighter weight seems to be less durable.
The new Bontrager XXX have no limit.
Zipp 303 have a 250# limit

As to 500 vs 700, the 700 is lighter but that doesn't mean it's more durable. On my SLR, if you grab the top tube and with your thumb, press on the top a few inches from the headtube, you can see the tube flex because it's VERY thin. A bike frame is designed to flex, but only in certain directions. Twist the frame the wrong way and it will snap.


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Old 04-11-18, 11:51 AM
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Update on SL v. SLR strength

I am test-riding a SLR 7 on Friday, but spoke with the owner of a shop today. He said the SLR's 700 carbon is military grade---a tighter, stronger and lighter weave---and the government would not allow this carbon out of the US. As such, all Trek bikes with the 700 OCLV carbon are built in the US, as well as the Project One bikes. The 500 carbon and some of the 600 carbon bikes are built outside the US. Regardless, he said the 700 OCLV carbon bikes are stronger and more durable than the 500 carbon bikes. He personally has raced a Trek SLR 700 carbon bike all last year, went down several times and it has yet to show any damage to the integrity. (Of course, he is trying to sell me a bike.....)
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Old 04-11-18, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Theotis View Post
As such, all Trek bikes with the 700 OCLV carbon are built in the US, as well as the Project One bikes. The 500 carbon and some of the 600 carbon bikes are built outside the US.
Shop owners must get more information than the shop staff.

It's been almost 14-months since I worked for a Trek shop, prior to my departure I was there for 3 years. During those three years they were already making the 500 & 600 road frames overseas and then painting them in the US. Typically the break down was:

700 - Made, painted and assembled in the US
600 - Made overseas, assembled in the US (painted in the US if Project One, otherwise painted overseas)
500 - Made, painted and assembled overseas
400 - Made, painted and assembled overseas

So perhaps they've brought some stuff back to the US? Otherwise, I'm not convinced on the hook you're getting.
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Old 04-12-18, 01:40 PM
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So perhaps they've brought some stuff back to the US? Otherwise, I'm not convinced on the hook you're getting.[/QUOTE]

Not really a hook...he mentioned where it was manufactured in passing, but that really isn't an issue for me. My biggest concern is the relative strength of the carbon fiber over time. He basically said that it is 700 > 600 > 500, which may seem logical, but as you can see in this thread, there is an argument that lighter means not as durable....I was told that is not the case when it comes to Trek's 700 OCLV carbon bikes.
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Old 04-12-18, 02:13 PM
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Gotcha.

Well from a purely anecdotal perspective, I've seen 2 SLRs with cracked seat mast tubes and I've seen 0 SLs with cracked seat mast tubes. Mind you in the time I was at the shop we sold maybe a dozen SLRs and probably 3 to 4 times as many SLs.

My SLR held up great, others I know have thousands of miles on them with zero issues.
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Old 04-12-18, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by softreset View Post
others I know have thousands of miles on them with zero issues.
18,000 miles, zero problems.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
18,000 miles, zero problems.
Yeah, you've already mentioned that here -

Trek Emonda SLR v. SL

But mileage is only one measurement of durability.
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Old 04-12-18, 11:46 PM
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Military grade carbon fiber?

SMH
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Old 04-13-18, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by softreset View Post
Yeah, you've already mentioned that here -

Trek Emonda SLR v. SL

But mileage is only one measurement of durability.
That's what happens when you're a senior citizen, you forget things.
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