Trek Emonda SL 5 Women's road bike first look

Entry-level carbon version of Trek's popular race machine

The Émonda is Trek's lightweight range, blending the best of the race-focussed Madone and the comfort-focussed Domane, and the SL 5 is the entry-level carbon model based around a unisex frame geometry with women's specific touch points.

This model will be part of our Bike of the Year 2018 test fleet, so watch this space for reviews and ride info in due course.

Trek Émonda SL 5 Women's specs

  • Weight: 8.43kg
  • Frame: Ultralight 500 Series OCLV Carbon
  • Fork: Émonda carbon, E2 steerer, direct mount brakes
  • Wheels: Bontrager Tubeless Ready Alloy
  • Tyres: Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x 25c
  • Crankset: Shimano 105, 50/34 (compact)
  • Bottom bracket: BB90
  • Shifters: Shimano 105, 11-speed
  • Front derailleur: Shimano 105, braze-on
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano 105
  • Cassette: Shimano 105, 11-28, 11-speed
  • Chain: Shimano 105
  • Brakes: Shimano 105
  • Handlebars: Bontrager Comp VR-S, 31.8 mm
  • Tape: Bontrager tape
  • Stem: Bontrager Elite, 31.8 mm, 7-degree, w/computer and light mounts
  • Saddle: Bontrager Ajna Comp, chromoly rails
  • Seatpost: Bontrager Ride Tuned alloy seatmast cap, 10mm offset

Sleek lines, and a decidedly non-feminine paint job. Stealthy black all the way
Sleek lines, and a decidedly non-feminine paint job. Stealthy black all the way

Trek Émonda SL 5 frame material

As the entry-level model, while you're still looking at a frame constructed from Trek's Ultralight 500 Series OCLV Carbon, the lower-priced SL models do weigh in heavier than the premium SLR versions. That said, the 54cm Émonda SL 5 Women's tested here came in at a very respectable 8.43kg. 

The women's specific SL 5 comes in five sizes: 47cm, 50cm, 52cm, 54cm and 56cm, which equates to a rider height range from about 152cm/4ft11.8in to 180cm/5ft10.9in. However, as the frame itself is unisex, taller riders have the option of choosing the unisex model which goes up to a 62cm frame size and a rider height of 196cm/6ft 5.2in and swapping out the saddle.

Incidentally, both the unisex and women's specific version of this bike are priced and specc'd identically, apart from the saddle and handlebars — more on the finishing kit below.

The Ride Tuned seatpost consists of an integrated post with a seatpost topper that's adjustable. This set-up is designed to provide comfort through increased compliance, with saddle height changed by shifting the topper up and down.

Spec and finishing kit

Bontrager handlebars have a shallow drop and short reach which results in a more upright position
Bontrager handlebars have a shallow drop and short reach which results in a more upright position

The Émonda SL 5 is completed nose to tail by the ever-reliable Shimano 105 groupset. While it may not be the lightest or fanciest, it is highly durable and the trickle-down effect means that 105 now has much of the slickness of the Ultegra of yesteryear.

As mentioned above, the key difference between the unisex/men's Émonda SL 5 and the women's version is the contact points. The women's specific version features the Ajna saddle with chomoloy rails, plus a Bontrager Comp VR-S handlebar which has a shorter reach and drop than the Race VR-C bars specc'd on the unisex/men's. These are compatible with clip-on aero bars for the time-triallists and triathletes out there.

The seat topper allows you to adjust the saddle height and adds compliance
The seat topper allows you to adjust the saddle height and adds compliance

The wheels are alloy Bontrager numbers with tubeless-ready rims, and come fitted with Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite tyres in 700x25c. Trek states that the bike will fit up to a 28c width tyre should you prefer something a little chunkier.

Trek Émonda SL 5 Women's price and availability

The Émonda SL 5 Women's retails for £1,800 / $1,999.99 / AU$2,499 and is available now internationally.

If you want to get your hands on it Trek sells directly in a number of territories, and it's also available from Evans Cycles and Rutland Cycles.

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

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