The Trek Domane wins women’s road bike of the year 2018

Competition was close, but the comfortable-yet-fast Domane took the win

After months of testing, many miles in various saddles, and back-to-back riding of the best women’s road bikes available on the market today, the results of the 2018 women’s road bike of the year are finally in!

Eight bikes were tested and three made it to the final shortlist, the Trek Domane SL 6, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 Women's and Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 SL. Competition was extremely close among the finalists, and the BikeRadar test team would be happy riding any of the shortlisted bikes.

But there can be only one winner, and the Trek Domane SL6 Women’s bike stole the show by providing the perfect blend of comfort, performance and versatility.

The Trek Domane wins Women's Road Bike of the Year 2018

The Trek Domane SL 6 Disc Women’s road bike

This hydraulic-disc-brake-equipped bike may be built towards the comfort end of the road-riding spectrum, but it has racing in its DNA and that was evident during the testing.

It may be comfortable, but surprisingly it still feels quick and efficient on the climbs too
It may be comfortable, but surprisingly it still feels quick and efficient on the climbs too

Anna Cipullo was the principle reviewer for this bike, clocking up the miles in the south-west of England, as well as on the hills around San Remo in Italy, and she says of the bike in her review: “When Trek says the Domane offers blistering speed as well comfort and stability, you’d be forgiven for thinking this must be marketing bull, or that something would have to give somewhere, but you’d be wrong. Trek has accomplished the Holy Grail of endurance bikes with the Domane, demonstrating both compliance and power transfer in the frame, and phenomenal climbing to boot.”

To sum up, in Anna’s own words, “It’s not just a great endurance bike or women’s bike for that matter, it’s just a great bike, full stop.”

IsoSpeed decouplers contribute to the incredibly comfortable ride
IsoSpeed decouplers contribute to the incredibly comfortable ride

The other finalists

Completing the list of the top three finalists from this year’s Bike of the Year are the Specialized S-Works Tarmac Women’s and the Canyon Endurace WMN.

Each of these represents exceptional performance in the niche they were designed for.

If you want all-out speed, the S-Works Tarmac Women's is simply superb
If you want all-out speed, the S-Works Tarmac Women's is simply superb

If you want out-and-out racing performance and are happy to pay for it, the S-Works Tarmac Women’s race bike is hard to beat. The new, updated unisex-framed Tarmac replaces the Specialized Amira at the Expert and S-Works level.

This carbon-framed beauty is decked out with all the premium kit your heart could desire, for a price tag you’d expect for a top-of-the-line option.

In action, it’s incredibly efficient, light and agile, and hasn’t failed to take the breath away of any of the testers who rode it.

Veering more towards comfort? The Canyon Endurace WMN gives comfort and a feedback-rich ride that's not fatiguing
Veering more towards comfort? The Canyon Endurace WMN gives comfort and a feedback-rich ride that's not fatiguing

Towards the other end of the road-cycling spectrum, the comfort-focused Endurace WMN is a bike our testers were happy riding for hours and hours. While it might not have the plush feeling of the Domane, if you like a little feedback of the non-fatiguing kind when riding, the Endurace WMN delivers.

The frame was updated to a women’s specific geometry in 2017, and comes with the usual women’s specific finishing kit. An interesting feature of this model is the integrated carbon handlebar and stem, designed to reduce weight, add aerodynamic properties and provide additional comfort.

Bike of the Year 2018

BikeRadar in association with Cycling Plus magazine and MBUK magazine has spent months putting the best road bikes and mountain bikes on the market to the test.

Our testers have ridden thousands of cumulative miles on a range of terrain and in all-weather conditions to bring you the best advice to help you choose the right bike.

Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

Related Articles

Back to top