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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone! I haven't been around for a while. I used to post in these forums a fair bit years ago.

Short Question: I'm seeking opinions and advice about whether to get an Emonda SLR or Domane SLR to replace the trusty bike that I've been using for the past 14 years. I was 35 when I purchased that bike; I'm pushing 50 now. This next one will be my ride for the next decade or more.

What do you think?

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Longer Background (skip if you'd like):

Even though my posting traffic may have slowed, my riding hasn't! I do around 1-2k per year, largely recreational with a good amount of hill climbing here on the Wasatch front. A typical ride will be 25-50 miles. Rarely do I exceed 70 miles in one ride, but I have done a century here and there.

Last summer I decided that maybe it's time for a new ride, and I've spent while considering options. I've been on a USPS Trek 5200 that I purchased new in 2003, which has seen some upgrades over the years, but remains a really great ride. As you can see from the pic, its been upgraded to DA 7800, and I have some nice-ish carbon wheels too (not shown), but I must say the stopping power is not the best which is why I find myself putting the aluminum rim back on from time to time. lol. I want my new bike to have disc brakes. (I'm not really seeking opinions on this, I've seen the debates, but if you must, go ahead and try to talk me out of it, lol.)

Over the past 14 years, my gearing has moved from 53/39, to 50/39, and then to the current 50/34, which works pretty well for me with an 11-28, although I am looking forward to trying the new-ish DA 11/30 or even the Ultegra 11-34 (gasp!).

Honestly my bike has been great. No real complaints at all. I like the quick steering. But the drop is a bit much. As you can see the stem has slowly moved up to where it is now, with maximum spacer count and flipped, as I've aged and become less flexible.

I would like to stay with Trek. Call me sentimental. Their carbon has come a long long way since the days of US Postal OCLV! Originally I was thinking I would get the new Emonda SLR with H2 geometry once it was available in the disc version. The geometry of the Emonda is nearly identical to my OCLV 5200, except that the H2 gives that more upright position. How much more comfortable would the new Emonda be compared to the 5200, which is rather harsh?

The Domane is attractive, obviously, because of the iso speed decouplers. At first I thought I'd never do that because--> Gimmick! But it has withstood the test of time and I have warmed up to it. So how does it handle the hills? Is climbing okay? I like that with the Domane I could have wider tires, which will certainly be put to use as I age over a decade.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a 62 size locally that I can test ride, so your opinions mean a lot.

What would you do if you were me?
 

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Get the Emonda disc if you don't want to worry about possible issues with the moving parts of the Iso Speed Decouplers. Alternatively, you don't need the lightest/stiffest bike possible and that's what the Emonda is about so I'd pass on it.

Get the Domane disc if you don't mind the gimmick of the Iso Speed Decouplers and possible service issues down the road. Disc brakes will allow you run wider tires by default and run carbon wheels without loss of braking performance. You can easily choose the H-series fit to please your aging body. If you're going to stick with aluminum wheels, stick to rim brakes and save some weight and some money.

My buddy has a Domane early edition with only the rear decoupler. He likes the bike and has no complaints about it's climbing. He also has no complaints about it being too stiff or too soft. He has the rim brake version and runs aluminum rims.
 

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Domane SLR 6 disc here. 44 and call me 1500-2k a year mileage. No racing just riding. Not sure if the ride is the same on a frame that would fit you. Mine is a 56. The ride is excellent. The only flex I get is from the IsoSpeed handlebars when really grabbing them on an ascent. Very comfortable bike. I've found 28's to be great for me. Plenty of room for 32 as well.
 

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Get the Domane, no doubt to me - there's no real advantage to the Edmonda over the Domane other than a little weight. The Domane climbs great. I have over 20,000 miles on the Domane and no issues wiht the coupler, although the current model is different - I'm sure that's not going to be an issue. I'm 60 BTW and started riding about 5 years ago now average about 9000 miles / year.
 

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Domane=Lexus, Emonda=BMW, broadly speaking. Your choice depends on what you're looking for exactly. I put thousands of miles/year on my Emonda, including century rides and have never found it uncomfortable.

Sent you an email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone! One thing that I fund myself thinking about is: how does the Emonda compare to my current ride? It should have the same handling characteristics bc the geo is nearly identical. What I am currious about is the ride quality. I'm going to try to find a test ride somewhere.


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I like that with the Domane I could have wider tires, which will certainly be put to use as I age over a decade.
I'd definitely error on the side of more tire room. That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your aging either. It's just gives you a lot more versatility with no downside.

You may not care now but you never know when you might end up going to Vermont (where the pavement sucks and the best rides are gravel) or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone! One thing that I fund myself thinking about is: how does the Emonda compare to my current ride? It should have the same handling characteristics bc the geo is nearly identical. What I am currious about is the ride quality. I'm going to try to find a test ride somewhere.


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Yeah. I think this is good advice. My current bike cannot fit larger than 25mm and even then that is pushing it to squeeze 25s in there. I had to tweak the dish of the rear ever so slightly when I put the 25s on to get them in there. Lol.

What is a considered "enough" as far as width is concerned? I realize that depends on what you are doing and some people are going to want clearance for 2 inch rubber. What I mean is, what is the consensus for what is "wide enough" or a decent width for a person who rides regular roads and no gravel? Per trek specs, the new emonda disc can handle 28. Is that sufficient? (I wonder if in real life a wider tiere could be squeezed in there too. The Domane disc is spec'ed at 32 but people report being able to go wider.)


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What is a considered "enough" as far as width is concerned? I realize that depends on what you are doing and some people are going to want clearance for 2 inch rubber. What I mean is, what is the consensus for what is "wide enough" or a decent width for a person who rides regular roads and no gravel?
Good question. It still "depends' on body weight. But I can say as someone who's 145 pounds that 28 is plenty for me on anything I'd describe as regular roads and no gravel.

But like I was saying, there's really no down side to having the ability to use bigger (unless you want ultra sharp handling then the longer chain stays might be considered a down side) so why not keep open the possibility even if you never use it.

I few years ago I would have said I only ride on regular roads too. But now I can't get enough of riding gravel roads and trails.
 

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I posted similar info in the other current Domane thread, but I just spent a week on a 2017 Domane SL 6 and it was fine. But I usually ride a Scott Addict that I think is comparable to the Emonda and the Domane was no more comfortable in terms of shock absorption. The geometry was a little upright for me but I guess that's sort of the point of it. This is coming from a rider that weighs ~180 pounds.

I did four rides on the Domane:
67 miles / 2000 ft
46.5 miles / 3300 ft
34 miles / 3100 ft
23 miles / 2000 ft

The one I rode was rim brake, not disc, though. It had Bontrager direct mount "Speed Stop" brakes that I thought worked great.

All that said, I'm happy to be getting back on the Addict soon and if I had to choose between an Emonda and Domane I'd probably go with the former even never having ridden one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
....there's really no down side to having the ability to use bigger....

....now I can't get enough of riding gravel roads and trails....
I agree with that first part. All other things being equal, the ability to go bigger has little to no downside. Thats a +1 for the Domane.

I am curious about your other point. I guess I don't get it. I don't doubt you though. I have a hardtail 29er with 2.4 tires and it is perfect for me for the trails where I ride on the Wasatch front. I use the 28x46 low all of the time for steep long technical climbs where I use every bit of the traction available from the relatively wide tires. And when going down the dropper let's me get supper low and way back on the bike so I don't risk doing an endo. I couldn't imagine riding a gravel bike on trails like these. Around here I think having both a dedicated road bike and a dedicated mtn bike is the right combo. It's like having a Porsche and a Jeep. You want both if you can because neither one is all that good in the other's domain.




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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
... I just spent a week on a 2017 Domane SL 6 and it was fine. But I usually ride a Scott Addict that I think is comparable to the Emonda and the Domane was no more comfortable in terms of shock absorption....
Thank you, jetdog9. This is exactly the feedback I seek. Someone who has ridden both (or similar) back to back. This one of the main variables I'm trying to solve for on this decision.

If anyone else out there has experiences like this, or opinons, let me know what you think....




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Dude I know this is completely out of what you said you want and for that I apologize in advance.
Have you considered a nice titanium bike?
Something like this


Or this?


Again my apologies for stirring you this way but it appears to me you like bikes that last and give you a smile every time you ride them. Something that will last you a long time. I really don't know why people don't go Ti?
Oh well again my
Apologies.


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I am curious about your other point. I guess I don't get it. I don't doubt you though. I have a hardtail 29er with 2.4 tires and it is perfect for me for the trails where I ride on the Wasatch front. I use the 28x46 low all of the time for steep long technical climbs where I use every bit of the traction available from the relatively wide tires. And when going down the dropper let's me get supper low and way back on the bike so I don't risk doing an endo. I couldn't imagine riding a gravel bike on trails like these. Around here I think having both a dedicated road bike and a dedicated mtn bike is the right combo. It's like having a Porsche and a Jeep. You want both if you can because neither one is all that good in the other's domain.
I live to ride gravel roads and trails. There's really nothing I have to add to that and I really don't know what your question is......but if you're trying to suggest I should get a mountain bike to ride gravel roads and trails my only comment is I don't want a mountain bike to ride gravel roads and trails because it would be overkill for most of them and I never do any ride that doesn't involve at least some regular roads getting to and from gravel ones.
 

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Test ride both bikes. Buy the one that you like the fit and feel the best.

Personally, I would lean toward the Domane. As Jay said, room for wider tires is something you may want in the future. And if you decide at some point that the position it too upright, you can always flip the stem. But concentrate on what I said in the first line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dude I know this is completely out of what you said you want and for that I apologize in advance.
Have you considered a nice titanium bike?
Something like this


Or this?


Again my apologies for stirring you this way but it appears to me you like bikes that last and give you a smile every time you ride them. Something that will last you a long time. I really don't know why people don't go Ti?
Oh well again my
Apologies.


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No problem. I'm glad to hear your suggestion. I gave some serious consideration to a moots but I concluded it's just not for me. Maybe one would say that my decision is uninformed because I've never even ridden a titanium bike and don't know what I'm missing. Well, that's true. I have no practical experience with it. Nevertheless, I'm going to stay in the mainstream with carbon. It's served me well for the past decade plus. And I consider a carbon frame to be something that I expect will last for 10, 20 or 30 years or more and should only need to be abandoned because one wants something else, not because of failure in the material.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I live to ride gravel roads and trails. There's really nothing I have to add to that and I really don't know what your question is......but if you're trying to suggest I should get a mountain bike to ride gravel roads and trails my only comment is I don't want a mountain bike to ride gravel roads and trails because it would be overkill for most of them and I never do any ride that doesn't involve at least some regular roads getting to and from gravel ones.
Sorry. I didn't want to be argumentative. I'm glad you are enjoying what you are doing. And your experience resonates with many which is great. The more two wheeled pedal powered machines out there the better! I'll stick with my pairing of road and mtn bikes.


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I am not concerned about the "mechanicals" of the isospeed decouplers. For the seat tube it is merely a short axle being run through a pair of sealed bearings. The bearings are available from any bearing supplier - the axle should not develop problems. The cover might break and fifteen years from now Trek won't have a replacement, but that's just a cover. I haven't looked at the front Isospeed yet, so I can't really comment on that.

One area where my Domane has really stood out - something I bet that you run into in the Wasatch - is dealing with cattle grates. Unlike every other bike I have learned to stay in the saddle when riding over them on my Domane. It is really much smoother than the old trick of standing on the pedals, using my knees as springs.
 

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No problem. I'm glad to hear your suggestion. I gave some serious consideration to a moots but I concluded it's just not for me. Maybe one would say that my decision is uninformed because I've never even ridden a titanium bike and don't know what I'm missing. Well, that's true. I have no practical experience with it. Nevertheless, I'm going to stay in the mainstream with carbon. It's served me well for the past decade plus. And I consider a carbon frame to be something that I expect will last for 10, 20 or 30 years or more and should only need to be abandoned because one wants something else, not because of failure in the material.


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Well the truth is the modern carbon bikes are made light. They use less material making them weak for long term use. I cracked 3 frames already and had enough. It also depends on the type of riding you do. I am 5-11 200lbs and sprint hard and ride 200+ miles a week.
I went Ti and I'm never getting anything that is not Ti. With the. New butting and welding techniques Ti frames are as stiff as carbon and far more comfortable. Against all my cycling buddies advice Me against Ti. I builded a litespeed T1 2015 model. This is the pic.


I am so happy with it that after 2 years that I might build another T1 in the disc brake version. It just came out and te price is steep.
Another things to consider. It is hand made by a handful of people. It has a real lifetime warranty. It doesn't corrode and it's very light.
My bike seats at 15.8lbs. Could be less close to 15 but as it is it is what I wanted.

Brother Ti is like that místic thing that you only hear in whispers and only a few dare to go for it. Like that Dr. that has the cure for cancer. no one knows about it until you are desperate enough to go see him. And then even after you are cured , no one still believes you.
Once you convert to it you will never go back to only carbon. It is that good. I haven't met anyone that is displeased with its performance. Problem is there is no marketing done. No Tour de France riders on it, but most importantly, it last a very very long time. That is not good for profits!!! You need something that breaks and can be replaced in a pinch.
If you have the cash do it. You won't regret it.
Good luck!
Btw I saw a Mosaic and damn they are pretty. They are a high end Ti frame. Expensive but pretty.
If I would go custom I would do Firefly.


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What would you do if you were me?
Me personally would look to something other than Trek (do they make good bikes? Needed to be asked). Been riding for over 35 years and never been into brand loyalty. A lot of people I've seen that have brand loyalty have kind of a tunnel vision thing going on. That is probably why I don't subscribe to it.

Me, I'd look at Cyfac, Time, Look, Sarto, Crumpton, Kirk Lee and several others. I'm hoping to get a Cyfac Nerv DS2 frame to replace my aluminum bike with next years tax return. And it's not like there's a shop around here with a bunch of Cyfacs built up so you can test ride one. Everything I've read has been very positive, so I am going to have to take a leap of faith.

I'm more of an aggressive rider so I'd be looking at the one that has the more traditional road bike geometry. But hey, it's your money; get what you want. If want a sports car, get the Emonda. If you want a GT, get the Domane
 
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