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Trek Domane

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Trek Domane

Old 07-06-14, 07:42 PM
  #1  
fstshrk
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Trek Domane

I had a chance to test ride a Domane 4.5 this weekend. I own a Roubaix SL2 and a Jamis Aurora. I was not expecting an improvement over the Roubaix, but I was wrong. It's really like a magic carpet ride. Smooth, fast and extremely efficient.
Trek has really hit one out of the ball park with this bike. And unlike Specialized, the Domane actually comes with decent wheels with modern technology including much wider rims. I wish they had used a full Ultegra group as opposed to 105 brakes and R565 crankset, but at least it is all Shimano.

Excellent bike overall.
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Old 07-06-14, 09:06 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it. If you're looking for full Ultegra on a 4-series Domane, then you should check out the Domane 4.7. You can also customize a 4-series via Trek's Project One, and put just about whatever you want on it.
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Old 07-06-14, 09:08 PM
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I prefer the responsiveness of the Roubaix (had an SL2 and now an SL4). The Domane does have a phenomenally smooth ride but feels kind sluggish when hammering hard out of the saddle. I would personally choose the Madone over the Domane but the road conditions in SoCal aren't too bad.
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Old 07-06-14, 10:26 PM
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I've got a Domane 2.0 (entry level in the Domane line, aluminum w/ Tiagra) and love it. Only other bike I had considered when I bought it was a Specialized (Allez I think but don't remember.) I'm contemplating jumping up to a 4.3, which is the entry level for Project One. Its come standard with 105 but you could get Ultegra as an option, though I don't know how that would compare price wise with a higher model that already comes standard with Ultegra. I say go for it if you like it, but I'm biased...
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Old 07-07-14, 01:19 AM
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It was probably the Bontrager TLR wheels that made the difference.
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Old 07-07-14, 06:01 AM
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I have a Domane 4.3 and upgraded to Campy Chorus and Fulcrum 7 wheels...if I go N+1 it will be an Italian steed and I will switch over my group and wheels...however, as the Domane is a great bike it is unlikely that is unlikely, unless of course I get a phenomenal deal on an Italian frame...
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Old 07-07-14, 06:26 AM
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I have the 4.5 project one with all 105 components and bontrager race TLR wheels and I love it.
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Old 07-07-14, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
I prefer the responsiveness of the Roubaix (had an SL2 and now an SL4). The Domane does have a phenomenally smooth ride but feels kind sluggish when hammering hard out of the saddle. I would personally choose the Madone over the Domane but the road conditions in SoCal aren't too bad.
I noticed the sluggishness you're referring to when riding my dealer's 4.3 demo bike. I wasn't happy with that -- then he had me test ride his 5.2 -- world of difference. The 5.2 obviously has an upgraded frame but also upgraded wheels; out-of-the-saddle efforts are met with stability and responsiveness.

I test rode a 5.2 Madone and the 5.2 Domane back-to-back. I couldn't tell a difference between the two when climbing/sprinting . . . but once seated, the Domane's smoothness really came through.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:43 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
I noticed the sluggishness you're referring to when riding my dealer's 4.3 demo bike. I wasn't happy with that -- then he had me test ride his 5.2 -- world of difference. The 5.2 obviously has an upgraded frame but also upgraded wheels; out-of-the-saddle efforts are met with stability and responsiveness.

I test rode a 5.2 Madone and the 5.2 Domane back-to-back. I couldn't tell a difference between the two when climbing/sprinting . . . but once seated, the Domane's smoothness really came through.

I also noticed the difference in the ride quality between the 4.3 and 5.2. My wallet wishes I'd never ridden the 5.2 but I love it. higher grade carbon, better wheels, stem, seatpost, full ultegra 11-speed.

I couldn't really tell the difference between the Madone and the Domane on my test rides which were too short for me to appreciate the geometry differences. Both were rock solid.
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Old 07-07-14, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
I noticed the sluggishness you're referring to when riding my dealer's 4.3 demo bike. I wasn't happy with that -- then he had me test ride his 5.2 -- world of difference. The 5.2 obviously has an upgraded frame but also upgraded wheels; out-of-the-saddle efforts are met with stability and responsiveness.
Yeah, me to - the one thing I didn't like about the 5.2 was that it's so stiff, I felt like on long rides I might get fatigued from the overly stiff frame. But yeah, the 5 series is very stiff and responsive.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 07-07-14 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:03 PM
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Try a 6 series and you'll be amazed at how much nicer again. The seat mast big difference over standard seat post. You can really feel the ISO coupler working.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:41 PM
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I have a 4.3 with swapped out wheel set, adding my already-owned William's 30's. Love the ride and the bike climbs like a beast. I tested the 5 and 6 series just for fun, but had no bank account for those models. I'm not unhappy in the least!
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Old 07-07-14, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Up North View Post
Try a 6 series and you'll be amazed at how much nicer again. The seat mast big difference over standard seat post. You can really feel the ISO coupler working.
I believe both the 5 and 6 series have the seat mast. I've read a lot of people say the same thing about the 5 being stiffer than the 4, but the 6 not being a huge difference.
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Old 07-07-14, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
I noticed the sluggishness you're referring to when riding my dealer's 4.3 demo bike. I wasn't happy with that -- then he had me test ride his 5.2 -- world of difference.
The Domane I rode at a Trek demo event was a P1 6 series (pink no less!)
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Old 07-07-14, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I believe both the 5 and 6 series have the seat mast. I've read a lot of people say the same thing about the 5 being stiffer than the 4, but the 6 not being a huge difference.
They do. I own the 5.9 and put considerable mileage on a 6.2 before making my decision. I couldn't tell the difference. I had limited comparison time on a 6.9 (my 5.9 is also with DA 9000) and there was a slight (but noticeable difference in ride quality and). But with a difference of $1900 (at MSRP) for carbon bars and RXL wheels I didn't think it made any sense.

I haven't noticed a stiffer feel in my 5 series over my 4 series (The 5.9 replaced a 4.5) but I'm still south of 1000 miles on the 5.9 and I was well north of 5000 on the 4.5. Perhaps that'll change over time.
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Old 07-07-14, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by softreset View Post
They do. I own the 5.9 and put considerable mileage on a 6.2 before making my decision. I couldn't tell the difference. I had limited comparison time on a 6.9 (my 5.9 is also with DA 9000) and there was a slight (but noticeable difference in ride quality and). But with a difference of $1900 (at MSRP) for carbon bars and RXL wheels I didn't think it made any sense.
Yeah, that's what it's sounded like.

Originally Posted by softreset View Post
I haven't noticed a stiffer feel in my 5 series over my 4 series (The 5.9 replaced a 4.5) but I'm still south of 1000 miles on the 5.9 and I was well north of 5000 on the 4.5. Perhaps that'll change over time.
That's odd, for the difference was apparent within 5 seconds of jumping on the bike. The 4 series had a bit of a "dead" ride, but the 5 series was much more lively but stiffer. Huh.
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Old 07-07-14, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
That's odd, for the difference was apparent within 5 seconds of jumping on the bike. The 4 series had a bit of a "dead" ride, but the 5 series was much more lively but stiffer. Huh.
I've always associated 'stiffness' to be a unique perception established by the rider. What's a great ride to one individual but might 70 miles of a hell for another rider. For example, I put something like 60 miles a on Tarmac a few weeks ago and it was pretty brutal for my flexibility and comfort level (it was a loaner and a little too big for me). Compared to that, my 5 series feels like a noodle (for example).

Personally I think a lot of perception between the 5-series (especially the 5.9) versus say a 4.3 is in wheels and tires and in acceleration... if I'm going to do a comparison.
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Old 07-07-14, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by softreset View Post
I've always associated 'stiffness' to be a unique perception established by the rider. What's a great ride to one individual but might 70 miles of a hell for another rider.
Agreed, my Roubaix SL4 Expert is a very stiff frame. Only the CG-R seat post gives it an acceptable ride quality for me. The Domane is a much smoother ride but doesn't feel as responsive. I don't think there is a free lunch in road bikes. You just have to decide what characteristics are important to you. I know a guy who commutes 200+ miles a week all year round on a stiff aero road bike (Giant Propel.) His previous bike was a Super Six Evo. There's no way I could put up with that sort of ride quality day-to-day basis.
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Old 07-07-14, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
Agreed, my Roubaix SL4 Expert is a very stiff frame. Only the CG-R seat post gives it an acceptable ride quality for me. The Domane is a much smoother ride but doesn't feel as responsive.
So here's what I'm curious about - does the front end on Roubaix also rather stiff, or is that better? Every time I see talk of the CG-R seatpost, it makes me wonder how the front end rides on the hands.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
So here's what I'm curious about - does the front end on Roubaix also rather stiff, or is that better? Every time I see talk of the CG-R seatpost, it makes me wonder how the front end rides on the hands.
No, it's pretty stiff but I ride with a pretty light touch on the hands. I notice the rear end stiffness much more than the front. It's easy for me to almost completely unweight my hands when riding over big bumps. Even with the CG-R seat post on my Roubaix the Domane is still WAY ahead of the Roubaix in terms of ride quality.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:26 PM
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I have a 4 series Madone with the newest model of Bontrager Race Lite wheels paired with Bontrager AW3 tires. I have had the chance to ride a 4 series with both the "Bontrager Approved" wheels and another 4 series with Bontrager Race wheels. There is a huge difference between the approved and the RL's. The RL's just make the bike feel quicker and snappier, especially on climbs. In the 2012 Trek catalog there are several charts that compare the differences (weight, stiffness, etc) between the different carbon frames. 3 series to 4, there are huge improvements.......4 to 5 there is significantly less improvement, 5 to 6 even less, and very little going from the 6 to 7. The owner of my Trek LBS likes the 2 series and wishes they didn't offer the 3 series. He said the 3 is basically for the folks that just want to say they have carbon and to give Trek a low price point carbon frame. 4 and 5 series is really the best bang for the majority of folks.
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Old 07-07-14, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
I had a chance to test ride a Domane 4.5 this weekend. I own a Roubaix SL2 and a Jamis Aurora. I was not expecting an improvement over the Roubaix, but I was wrong. It's really like a magic carpet ride. Smooth, fast and extremely efficient.
Trek has really hit one out of the ball park with this bike. And unlike Specialized, the Domane actually comes with decent wheels with modern technology including much wider rims. I wish they had used a full Ultegra group as opposed to 105 brakes and R565 crankset, but at least it is all Shimano.
Yeah, the 565 crank and 105 brakes as a cost saver rubbed me the wrong way so I ended up swapping them out anyway for Ultegra on my 4.5. There was no 4.7 at the time and I really wanted an all-Ultegra bike.

Hey, why not. I will probably use the parts for some other project bike

I agree the wheels are actually decent. I put some carbon hoops on my 4.5 but I was surprised that the original wheels felt decent and spun up pretty well compared to other OEM wheels.
I guess the difference is these are real aftermarket wheels you can buy separately so they have to stand on their own merits.

Last edited by warpdrive; 07-07-14 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 07-07-14, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post
Yeah, the 565 crank and 105 brakes as a cost saver rubbed me the wrong way so I ended up swapping them out anyway for Ultegra on my 4.5. There was no 4.7 at the time and I really wanted an all-Ultegra bike.

Hey, why not. I will probably use the parts for some other project bike

I agree the wheels are actually decent. I put some carbon hoops on my 4.5 but I was surprised that the original wheels felt decent and spun up pretty well compared to other OEM wheels.
I guess the difference is these are real aftermarket wheels you can buy separately so they have to stand on their own merits.
@warpdrive, I did end up buying the 2013 4.5c after my test ride. It is Ultegra shifters, front and rear derailleur. 105 brakes+cassette and R565 compact crankset. Compared to what I had been riding to commute (Jamis Aurora), I think this bike moves. I was considering the new SL4 but the Domane ride works for me. I noticed no inefficiency in or out of the saddle. The stock wheels are great. I have a powertap training wheelset that is going to go on the bike for power measurement.

And sacrilege, I also added a rack since I am going to use it for commuting as well.

Kudos to Trek for building such a great bike. And kudos to Idaho Mountain Touring store in Boise for allowing to test the bikes and guiding me to the 2013 closeout model that was sitting in the back of the store. I am grateful to be able to afford such a nice bike.
The only thing I am planning to change right now is the stock bontrager saddle. I would much rather use a Fizik Aliante as my other two bikes.

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Old 07-07-14, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
And sacrilege, I also added a rack since I am going to use it for commuting as well.
I would love to buy the 4 series rather than the 5 as well, because on the 4 they have the brake boss where you could mount a rack, on the 5 they annoyingly moved it down to under the rear wheel.

I'm tired of not being able to carry basic stuff on longs rides - an extra shirt if I'm riding both before and after the sun goes down, light rain gear if I'm not sure about the weather, or shoes if I have a destination. I'm not touring myself, but I keep riding my commuter rather than my race bike because of a lack of an ability to temperature regulate for evening rides without a rack or something. (Don't mean to derail the thread into people suggesting all the alternatives - I've seen them, believe me, I just keep preferring a rack).
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Old 07-07-14, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
No, it's pretty stiff but I ride with a pretty light touch on the hands. I notice the rear end stiffness much more than the front. It's easy for me to almost completely unweight my hands when riding over big bumps. Even with the CG-R seat post on my Roubaix the Domane is still WAY ahead of the Roubaix in terms of ride quality.
Thanks for the opinion. I'm the opposite - bike has to be pretty terrible in the rear for me to notice bumps there (big butt? lol), but the hands notice right away in the front.
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