Trek launches Émonda ALR aluminum road bike

New steed bears distinct resemblance to original composite version

Road Bike
The ALR 6 comes with Shimano Ultegra and is $2250.

The ALR 6 comes with Shimano Ultegra and is $2250 (click to enlarge).

First came the carbon fiber version of the Trek Émonda, an ultra lightweight road bike launched on the eve of last year’s Tour de France. Now Trek is trickling down that same gram-cutting ethos to the new Émonda ALR, a new line-up of alloy steeds the Wisconsin-based bike maker rolled out this week.

From a distance you’ll be hard pressed to tell the two bikes apart. Frame geometry lines are starkly similar, and ride quality is claimed to be on par. If true, that’s certainly a good thing considering how much we enjoyed our test time on the original.

The ALR 5 is spec'd with Shimano 105 and will run $1760.

The ALR 5 is spec’d with Shimano 105 and will run $1760 (click to enlarge).

The highlight of the frames is what Trek calls Invisible Weld Technology, a process that it says cuts weight by requiring less material while simultaneously increasing the strength of joints. This results in very clean looking seams, stronger bonds between tubes, and a claimed unpainted frame weight for a size 56cm of 1050 grams.

For now the bike will only be available in two builds, the ALR 6 with full Ultegra for $2,250, and the ALR 5 with Shimano 105 for $1,760. Claimed weight of the ALR 5 is 18.77 pounds, while the ALR 6 weighs in at 17.25 pounds. Both ALR 5 and ALR 6 come with the carbon Émonda SL fork, which fully painted adds 358 grams with a 240mm long steerer tube. Rider weight limit is 275 pounds. Sizes run 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62 and 64cm.

Using an advanced aluminum frame that’s claimed to have the ride characteristics and aesthetics of a carbon bike, Trek says the Émonda ALR delivers the same performance and handling of the original Émonda. This was achieved through the use a new 300 series alpha aluminum that’s hydroformed into size-specific tubes.

All ALR bikes come Trek’s H2 fit and geometry, which features a slightly higher head tube that’s designed to put less strain on your back and neck without necessitating high-rise stems or tall spacer stacks. All models are also spec’d with complete groupsets and equipped with Trek’s DuoTrap S speed and cadence sensors, which is built into the chainstay.

Claimed unpainted frame weight for a size 56cm of 1050 grams.

Claimed unpainted frame weight for a size 56cm of 1050 grams (click to enlarge).

The new bikes also have tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ headtubes and Pressfit BB86 bottom brackets. Cable routing is external and there’s a braze-on front derailleur mount.

All Émonda models are organized by frame level and drivetrain build, which now includes S, SL, SLR (all carbon fiber models), and the new alloy ALRs. The number that follows the frame designation represents the drivetrain spec, so 4 is Shimano Tiagra, 5 is Shimano 105, 6 is Shimano Ultegra 6800, 8 is Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical, 9 is Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2, and 10 is SRAM Red , which is the lightest offering in the line. Figure we’ll see additional ALR models later this year or early next.

More info at www.trekbikes.com.

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 RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com 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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Comments:

  • conscience of a conservative says:

    Weighs the same as a CAAD10. Specialized Allez also has smart weld. What this bike does is simply offer customers who want to buy a Trek badged bike an option.

  • joe mann says:

    i have the caad10 rival… seems to me that trek build to the emonda alr to compete with the caad10 …. do not see anything that i already dont have … but would love to see it on the road …. good luck trek fans !!!

  • Rob says:

    I have a CAAD10 with SRAM Red and carbon clinchers. Weighs in at 15.8 lbs. Great performance and plenty light for me. I will say, the Matte black Trek frameset looks better than the CAAD10. Performance wise, I don’t know but compare the welds on these bikes and you’ll see. Trek got it right.

  • Tim says:

    I got the ALR frame to replace a broken 2012 Madone 6 series. The ALR rides great. I have ridden and raced it. It handles great, and the ride is fine. a touch less vertical compliance when handling bumps; but not bad at all. For races such as crits or 2 hour road races, the ride is fine. By accepting a few ounces of weight I got a great bike, at less than a third of the price of my 6 series frameset; and it is likely to be much more durable than the four carbon frames I have had break.

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