Trek announced the Domane platform last March, just in time for the Spring Classics. Developed in conjunction with Spartacus himself, Fabian Cancellara was set to take on the famed cobbles of Paris Roubaix aboard the new Domane. Unfortunately, he suffered a collarbone break just a week before the race. Instead, Cancellara rode the Domane to a prologue win at the Tour de France. That's right, a bike aimed at 'endurance' road riders was the tool of choice for Cancellara at the Tour de France.
Video: The promise is more comfort and a smoother power stroke
It's not hard to understand why Cancellara continues to ride the Domane instead of the Madone. Unlike other companies that have focused on dampening vibrations and road chatter through the seat stays, Trek's unique use of a decoupler at the seat tube top tube junction that allows for a considerable amount of fore-aft flex in the seat tube. By isolating the seat tube, and not trying to introduce compliance in the rear triangle, the Domane can have super stiff tubes where it's needed for power transfer. The setup makes for a bike that theoretically loses no efficiency, but gains quite a bit of compliance through the new IsoSpeed decoupler. We'll have to check this out for ourselves.
Photo: Trek's Isospeed Decoupler
Our test bike, the Domane 5.2, just arrived. It weighs in at just 16.5 pounds without pedals or bottles. MSRP on the 5.2 is $3679; this is the sweet spot for value and features. The frame uses 500 series OCLV and lacks the StepJoint technology found in the 6 series, but at a thousand dollars less, we suspect this is where the bulk of Domane riders will be. Internal cable routing, BB90 bottom bracket, integrated chain keeper, and seat mast are all the same throughout the Domane lineup. The 5.2 is spec'd out with Shimano's Ultegra 6700 mechanical shifters, derailleurs, and 50/34 compact crank. The cassette is a Shimano 105 11-28. It's not unusual for a manufacturer to spec a level down on the cassette to get the final MSRP down just a tad.
Bontrager provides the cockpit, with an alloy bar and stem, as well as a tubeless ready Race Lite set of wheels wrapped in; Bontrager R3 700x25 tires. These unfortunately are not the tubeless R3 TLR variety, we suspect not everyone is ready for tubeless. But on an endurance bike like this, a tubeless setup makes a ton of sense given the ability to ride lower PSI and have add to the supple ride. A solid spec overall still, the Domane also includes "vanishing" fender mounts, the frame is equipped to run any standard fenders with eyelets that can be removed off the frame when not needed.
The 5.2 comes in 7 sizes ranging from 50cm to 62cm. We're set to put this bike through it's paces and come back with a thorough full review in just a few weeks. So check back soon.