Trek Domane SLR 9 eTap review

Trek’s new Domane does double IsoSpeed

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0
£7,600.00 RRP

Our review

With double IsoSpeed and a superb build, the Domane SLR gives enormous rider confidence
Buy if, You want a bike that offers as much to the non-racer as to the pros
Pros: Extraordinary comfort, control and performance
Cons: We’d prefer cleaner-looking, simpler brake calipers
Skip to view product specifications

The original 2012 Domane revolutionised endurance road bikes, but its innovative bump-eating rear end wasn’t matched by the IsoSpeed fork. Trek’s answer to this imbalance is IsoSpeed within the head tube.

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The new front decoupler has a rocker cup fixed to each side of the head tube by individual pivots, with the upper headset bearing on top. The steerer tube rotates as normal, but can flex fore and aft independently, with no lateral movement.

Trek has redesigned the rear IsoSpeed decoupler system and made it user-adjustable. Instead of a freely-flexing seat-tube, only attached above the bottom bracket by a pivot, this one’s moulded to the top tube. The upper two thirds of it is concave, with a separate seat mast completing its profile, this is pierced by the decoupler pivot below the top tube.

You can adjust the rear IsoSpeed decoupler to suit your comfort criteria
You can adjust the rear IsoSpeed decoupler to suit your comfort criteria
Philip Sowells / Immediate Media

The narrow slot between frame and mast contains a U-shaped plastic slider. Loosening the fixing bolt allows the slider to be moved, altering the mast’s compliance, with more flex at its lowest point, and less at its highest.

Think of it as a plastic ruler suspended over the edge of a table. Twanging a greater length of ruler means greater oscillation, but pull more on to the table, and the oscillations are limited. It needs no specialist maintenance, and there is no weight penalty — Trek’s 600 series carbon fibre, excellent construction and components bring my 56cm example in at an impressive 6.71kg.

When it comes to travelling quickly, the Domane SLR is as effective as any road bike available. Its wide BB90 bottom bracket allows for a huge down tube and solid chainstays, and the oversized IsoSpeed head tube area provides massive front end rigidity. The cumulative effects of the inbuilt compliance delay the onset of muscle fatigue, saving you from tiring vibrations and letting you enjoy riding for longer.

I tested a 56cm Trek Domane SLR 9 eTap, which weighed in at an impressive 6.71kg
I tested a 56cm Trek Domane SLR 9 eTap, which weighed in at an impressive 6.71kg
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Bontrager’s 28mm R3 tyres on Aeolus 3 carbon rims have a large air volume and generous contact patch. Incredible frame compliance plus big tyres maximise surface contact, increasing cornering grip, steering and braking accuracy, rider confidence and consequently speed.

The Trek uses Bontrager’s compact direct-mount Speed Stop brake calipers with Bontrager-badged Swiss Stop Black Prince pads. Tension adjustment is okay, but not that precise, and it’s possible for the free cable beyond the clamp to rub the tyre unless carefully positioned. But they work effectively, with decent feel and power.

With clean lines, intuitive shifting and minimal maintenance, SRAM eTap’s compact gearing matches the Domane’s go-anywhere abilities. With lengthy 42cm chainstays, a slack 71.9-degree head angle, and 100.8cm wheelbase, the Domane is very stable, and boasts generous tyre clearance, ideal for larger rubber, mucky roads, or for fitting mudguards to the hidden mounts.

Bontrager’s Isocore carbon bar incorporates gel pads for comfort and control, and the Affinity Pro carbon rail saddle proved popular.

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It’s hard to find a weakness in the Domane SLR’s makeup. Cutting-edge technology doesn’t come cheap, but there’s a lot going on in that frame. It accelerates well, and tames rough surfaces like no fast road bike ever has.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Domane SLR 9 eTap
Brand Trek

Available Sizes 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm 62cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1380
Wheelbase (cm) 100.8
Top Tube (cm) 55
Standover Height (cm) 80
Seat Tube (cm) 48
Chainstays (cm) 42
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27
Wheelset Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR
Weight (kg) 6.71
Trail 6.5
Stem Bontrager RXL alloy
Shifters SRAM Red eTap
Seatpost Bontrager Ride Tuned seatmast
Seat Angle 73.5
Saddle Bontrager Affinity Pro carbon
Rear Tyre Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite tubeless 700x28mm
Bottom Bracket BB90
Rear Derailleur SRAM Red eTap
Headset Type Integrated sealed cartridge
Head Angle 71.9
Handlebar Bontrager Isocore Pro VR-CF carbon
Front Wheel Weight 1070
Front Tyre Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite tubeless 700x28mm
Front Derailleur SRAM Red eTap
Frame Material 600 Series OCLV carbon, IsoSpeed
Fork Offset 5
Fork Domane full carbon
Cranks SRAM Red eTap, 50/34
Chain SRAM Red 22
Cassette SRAM Red 11-28
Brakes Bontrager Speed Stop direct-mount, Swiss Stop pads
Frame size tested 56cm