Trek Domane 2.0 review£1,000.00

Radical frame design for smooth speed

BikeRadar score4.5/5

While it takes some brands several years to trickle down their latest technologies to lower priced bikes, Trek have introduced their radical IsoSpeed decoupler design right through their new Domane range. The result is an outstandingly smooth and enjoyable high-miler. 

    Instead of a fixed connection between top tube, seatstays and seat tube, Trek’s ‘IsoSpeed decoupler’ pivots let the seat tube bow back and forth in response to road or rider loads. A slimmed down pivot section at the top of the tube also means you get a more flexible skinny seatpost, while the Affinity saddle is generously padded too. Add broad rimmed Bontrager wheels and Trek really are declaring war on belligerent backroads and bad backs alike.

    Being naturally cynical we headed for the nearest heavily potholed country lane we could find. But any hopes of exploding hype were dashed immediately, as the Domane genuinely soaks up a startling amount of surface abuse without knocking you off your stride. 

    The slim fork blades and rolled back dropouts do a similar – if not as dramatic – job up front. Add a tall ride position and chunky taped compact bars and the Trek breezes over the roughest sections that would blow other bikes all over the place. The fixed plane movement keeps tracking reliably predictable too, syncing with Trek’s confident, relaxed handling plus traction-enhancing ‘suspension’ to make the Domane an outstandingly assured descender.  

    It’s great to see trek’s effective decoupler on a bike at this price:
    It’s great to see trek’s effective decoupler on a bike at this price:

    It’s great to see Trek’s effective decoupler on a bike at this price

    What’s really remarkable is how good it feels under power. Despite fat, thick walled tyres, low wheel weight keeps rotating responsiveness reasonable and even with the decoupler our large size frame still wasn’t that heavy. But the Tiagra means extra weight too, so it’s not the most avid climber or speedster. 

    Once you’re rolling, however, the limousine-like smoothness sustains speed very well and there’s no shortage of stiffness through cranks and chainstays to keep the speed topped up with a burst of torque either. 

    Finally, while you can get it to ‘row’ backwards and forwards if you really try, the triple chainset means you’ll never struggle to spin rather than stomp. Neat little touches such as the screw-in guard and rack mounts make it a practical choice too.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Guy Kesteven

    Freelance Writer, UK
    Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
    • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
    • Waist: 76cm / 30in
    • Chest: 91cm / 36in
    • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
    • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
    • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
    • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
    • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
    • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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