Building on what is already the company’s most popular road bike platform, Trek has unveiled the new Domane SLR. Key feature of the new endurance-oriented bike are an adjustable IsoSpeed rear decoupler that allows fine tuning for terrain and a rider’s vertical compliance preference. Trek has also attempted to address the bumps and vibrations a rider feels in the front half of the bike with the introduction of front IsoSpeed and a new vibration damping IsoCore handlebar.
Originally unveiled in 2012, Domane is Trek’s bump taming platform of caliper and disc brake-equipped endurance bikes. The new Domane SLR has already been raced on the WorldTour, as Fabian Cancellara piloted it to victory at the 2016 Strade Bianche in Italy.
Read our review of the original Trek Domane road bike.
Adjustable Rear IsoSpeed
At the heart of the Domane platform is its IsoSpeed rear decoupler, which Trek claims makes the bike twice as compliant as a traditional road bike without sacrificing efficiency. Take a gander at the seat tube cluster and you’ll see an interesting melding of shapes where the top tube splits just in front of the seat tube, then wraps around and splits, becoming the seat stays. This allows the seat tube to float, pivoting on an internal axle where a pair of sealed cartridge bearings separate frame from axle. The whole mechanism acts as a sort of leaf spring, which when combined with the subtle flex of the 27.2mm seatpost, conspires to take the sting out of rough roads.
That was generation one, and the technology has since been used in Trek’s cyclocross and hardtail mountain bike line. The next step, says Trek, was researching the technology’s potential for improvement. That effort was centered around the idea that riders come in many sizes and shapes, and employ the Domane in varied conditions and terrain all while seeking a preferred ride feel.
The result is adjustable vertical compliance. Located just behind Domane SLR’s seat tube is a slider that allows the rider to control Domane SLR’s vertical compliance based upon their preference or the terrain they intend to conquer. In its lowest setting, vertical compliance increased overall by 14% when compared to the first generation Domane.
Attacking the second half of IsoSpeed’s identified potential, Trek’s development team looked to the Domane’s front half. While IsoSpeed’s rear decoupler had riders’ backs, some essential body parts were left wanting. The challenge presented was not dissimilar to the same the team faced in 2010 when the development of the first generation of Domane began: Reduce vibration without sacrificing efficiency or control. In kind, the solution to the front was not all that dissimilar to the rear.
Front IsoSpeed is a decoupler that allows the steerer tube to flex independently from the head tube, increasing the vertical compliance of the front of the bike by 10% compared to a traditional road bike, claims Trek.
Trek’s component arm Bontrager was also part of this project, focusing on the handlebar. That led to the development of the new IsoCore handlebar. Constructed with a continuous inner layer of a specialized thermoplastic elastomer encased in OCLV carbon, the IsoCore handlebar improves damping of high-frequency vibration with a reduction of vibration by 20% over standard carbon handlebars, claims Trek.
Disc Brakes, Big Tires and More
The new Domane SLR is available in caliper and disc brake models, both with increased tire clearance. Adding to the platform’s versatility, riders can now run 28c tires on Domane SLR and 32c tires on Domane SLR Disc while still meeting CPSC and ISO clearance standards. The caliper Domane SLR features direct mount brakes while the disc-equipped bikes utilizes 12mm thru axles. Both versions include hidden fender mounts.
Borrowing from its aero brethren, the Trek Madone, Domane SLR is equipped with Domane Control Center, housing an internal Di2 battery just under the downtube water bottle cage. Riders looking for a more custom option can begin building the bike of their dreams, as Domane SLR’s caliper brake models are available immediately via Trek’s custom bike program Project One. Both Endurance Geometry and Race Shop Limited Pro Endurance Geometry are available to customize through Project One.
Prices and Weights
The new Domane SLR lineup is as follows:
- Domane SLR 9 eTap: $11,000; claimed weight 14.14 pounds
- Domane SLR 7 Disc: $6500; claimed weight 18.05 pounds
- Domane SLR 7: $6000; claimed weight 16.08 pounds
- Domane SLR 6 Disc: $5500; claimed weight 18.05 pounds
- Domane SLR 6: $5000; claimed weight 16.07 pounds
- Domane SLR Frameset: $3000
- Domane SLR and Domane SLR Race Shop Limited available through Project One, prices vary.
For more info visit www.trekbikes.com