First Look: New Trek Émonda, world’s lightest production road bike?

Road Bike Tour de France

Emonda_SLR_10_H1The new Trek Emonda SLR 10 has a claimed weight of 10.25 pounds.

After weeks of speculation, Trek has officially released the Émonda, which it claims is the world’s lightest line or production road bikes. That line includes the 10.25-pound Émonda SLR 10, claimed to be the lightest production road bike. It comes with an equally stunning $15,750 price tag.

Originating from the French verb émonder meaning “to prune or trim away”, the Émonda project was three years in the making. Trek says it started with the most stringent frame tube optimization program it’s ever used. The Émonda project focused solely on assuring that every strand of carbon served a purpose.

“We have the resources to build a complete bike system. Let’s use that advantage to look at every aspect of the bicycle and how each component interacts with all the others,” said Trek road product manager Ben Coates. “Once we covered the basic bike functions, we focused on every minute detail. Every decision was based on what was the overall lightest option for the system.”

Trek Emonda Trek Emonda SLR10 CockpitThe extended development and testing process (left) resulted in new parts such as the Bontrager XXX bar/stem combination.

That minimalist approach is seen most clearly in the Émonda SLR 10, which is built at Trek headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. But simply being the lightest was not enough, and Trek claims the Émonda’s ride quality surpasses previous bikes its built. To make this happen, Trek says it threw every piece of technology at the process: Finite Element Analysis, strain gauge instrumentation, and a custom-designed cornering computer model.

But there’s only so much you can do in a lab, so for over a year, Trek Factory Racing athletes and other pro riders performed iteration after iteration of ride testing to determine the right carbon layup and ride characteristics for each Émonda frame size.

When parts could not be found to meet development goals, Trek built its own. That resulted in the new Bontrager XXX bar/stem combination found on the Émonda SLR 10. This Trek/ Bontrager design saves a claimed 75 grams over a comparable bar and stem combination.

Bontrager’s brake team also got in the act, developing the new Speed Stop brake with mounts that connect directly to the frame via two bolts to reduce component parts. This, says Trek, saves up to 35 grams per caliper. An adjustable leverage ratio, a two position quick release, and a wide stance add to Speed Stop’s versatility. This Trek/Bontrager collaboration also increases tire clearance so that running larger tire sizes is possible. On the record Coates would say he can only recommend 25s. But the eyeball test says it would be no problem to slide in a pair of 28s and maybe even 30s.

Trek Emonda SLR 9 WSDThe new line includes numerous women’s specific offerings, including the SLR 9 WSD with Shimano Dura Ace Di2.

Coates was also quick to point out that the entire Émonda line is backed be a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, something that Trek hopes will reassure rider’s leery of the “world’s lightest” claims.

Claimed frame weight of the Émonda SLR 10 is 690 grams. The rest of the bike breaks down like this:

  • Émonda SLR fork (280g), frame hardware (30.5g)
  • Bontrager XXX Integrated bar/stem (216g)
  • Bontrager SLR Ride Tuned Carbon seatmast cap and ears (119g)
  • Cane Creek AER upper headset assembly (18g)
  • FSA Super Light headset lower bearing (17.8g)
  • Bontrager Speed Stop brakes (232g)
  • Stock SRAM RED 22 drivetrain (1455g)
  • Bontrager ceramic BB bearings (62g)
  • Tune headset spacer (1.2g), Tune Komm-Vor Plus saddle (83g)
  • Tune wheelset (MIG45 front hub, MAG150 rear hub, Skyline carbon tubular rims, Sapim CX Ray Spokes (886g)
  • Tune Skyline U20 skewers (27g)
  • Tune Gum Gum expander plug and headset top cap (15g)
  • Vittoria Crono CS tubulars (360g)
  • Bontrager lightweight grip tape with bar end plugs (34g)
  • Jagwire Road Elite Link cables and housing (125g)
Continue to Page 2 for more on the new Trek Émonda and full photo gallery »
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the / staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.

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  • Ray Lafleur says:

    It sure is light, but where do you hang the 4.75 pounds of weight to make it legal to race? That’s a lot of quarters in the seat tube…

  • Seneb says:

    @Ray – Start by stuffing the hollow crank spindle. For the rest of us who no longer race, it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.

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