Trek’s new Emonda ALR Disc is lighter than its SL carbon counterpart

Alloy racer gets two all-new framesets

Trek’s lightweight alloy Emonda has received an update with an all-new frameset available in both rim and disc brake flavours.

The original carbon Emonda made headlines thanks to its exceptionally low weight, and the aluminium ALR variant that followed proved to be an outstanding bike in its own right, one that earned 4.5/5 stars when we reviewed it in 2016 and 2017.

The entry-level ALR 4 with Tiagra is sure to be popular
The entry-level ALR 4 with Tiagra is sure to be popular

Now Trek has refreshed the ALR, offering a rim brake model with direct mount rim brakes and a disc option too. 

The ALR's direct mount calipers will make rim brake fans happy
The ALR's direct mount calipers will make rim brake fans happy

While the design is new, the headline features remain much the same. The ALR is built from Trek’s 300-series Alpha aluminium which is hydroformed into “carbon like” shapes and joined together using ‘Invisible Weld Technology’, which is exactly what it sounds like.

The new versions stick with Trek’s racy-but-not-crazy-aggressive H2 geometry and boast “reduced weight and reduced stiffness in key areas that produce a harsh ride quality”. When was the last time you heard the phrase “reduced stiffness” in the context of a new bike, eh?

Worth the weight?

This 'Purple Flip' paintjob looks fantastic and is available on both rim and disc versions. This is the ALR 5 Disc WSD with 105
This 'Purple Flip' paintjob looks fantastic and is available on both rim and disc versions. This is the ALR 5 Disc WSD with 105

Weight has always been central to the Emonda and the ALR is pretty feathery, especially for a metal bike. Claimed frame weight for the rim brake model is 1,112g, while the disc version comes in at 1,131g for a size 56 without paint. The matching forks weigh 313g and 350g respectively, and are shared with the rest of the Emonda range. 

For context, the carbon Emonda SL’s numbers are 1,091g and 1,149g for the rim and disc versions, meaning that the disc ALR is actually lighter than its carbon counterpart, although it's possible that the SL's seatmast design is skewing the numbers slightly.

Both the SL and the ALR are approaching double the weight of the range-topping — and fearsomely expensive — SLR, but that’s more a reflection of how incredibly light the halo bike is, rather than how heavy they are.

The top-of-the-range carbon Emonda SLR is seriously impressive, but it'll cost you
The top-of-the-range carbon Emonda SLR is seriously impressive, but it'll cost you

Is there a women's version?

Yes, but the geometry doesn’t change. ‘WSD’ versions of the Emonda ALR will get women’s-specific finishing kit (saddles, bars and stems) but the framesets are shared.

Trek Emonda ALR pricing and availability

Precise availability is TBC, but pricing on the new Emonda ALR is as follows, with the caveat that Euro pricing is provisional and there may be some variations between countries:

  UKUS  Australia EU
 Emonda ALR 5 Disc£1,750$1,889.99$2,399 €1,899 
 Emonda ALR 5 Disc Women's  £1,750$1,889.99n/a€1,899
Emonda ALR 5 £1,350 $1,579.99$1,999€1,499 
 Emonda ALR 4 Disc£1,400 $1,679.99n/a€1,599 
 Emonda ALR 4£1,100$1,359.99$1,499€1,199
 Emonda ALR Disc frameset£800$959.99n/a€899 
 Emonda ALR frameset£800$959.99n/a€899 
Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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