TREK ÉMONDA TEAM SLR9 DISC PROJECT 1 £10,160 › One of the light­est disc frame­sets ever made is set to make its Tour de­but

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

With the orig­i­nal Émonda, Trek set out to up­set the ap­ple cart by mak­ing a full pro­duc­tion bike that could beat the most ex­clu­sive niche brands at their own lightweight game – the re­sult­ing frame weigh­ing 690g. The orig­i­nal was a fine lightweight bike, but its ride was harder than the plush Do­mane and Trek’s IsoSpeed­e­quipped aero Madone.

This new gen­er­a­tion bike sees im­proved com­pli­ance in the frame and it’s lighter still at just 665g for this disc brake ver­sion. When you add in a new disc fork at 350g, the SLR9 Disc is one svelte chas­sis.

Ev­ery size and ev­ery con­fig­u­ra­tion of the SLR will be avail­able in both H1 and H2 fit for both disc and rim brake frames. If you favour a longer, lower po­si­tion go for the H1, while if you’re look­ing for a more en­durance­focued ride you can opt for the H2 model, which is what we went for in this Project 1 build.

It is con­structed from Trek’s 700 se­ries pre­mium-grade OCLV car­bon – but this isn’t the same 700 se­ries as be­fore. Trek has al­tered the grade of the car­bon and fi­bres, changed the lam­i­na­tion and re­fined pro­duc­tion meth­ods.

To get this Project 1 bike as close to that which Trek-Se­gafredo will be us­ing we chose the lat­est Bon­trager Ae­o­lus XXX2 wheels, but in a more prac­ti­cal tube­less-com­pat­i­ble clincher rather than tubu­lar, and these fly­weights re­ally add some­thing to the Trek’s ex­cel­lent ride qual­ity.

At just 1380g a pair (630g front and 750g rear) these are se­ri­ously light, and it’s a light­ness you can feel on the climbs. They are also a very wel­come 21mm wide in­ter­nally, which al­lows you to ex­ploit the lower rolling re­sis­tance and ex­tra com­fort and cush­ion­ing af­forded by the 28mm Bon­trager tyres, although we would have liked the bike to come set up tube­less.

The instant pick-up from the Émonda is ad­dic­tive, and we quickly found our­selves get­ting out of the sad­dle and at­tack­ing any slope or gra­di­ent, such is the won­der­fully re­spon­sive ride the SLR pro­vides. Thank­fully it’s no slouch when the road heads down ei­ther, with the un­mov­ing qual­ity of the front end al­low­ing for proper point-and-shoot de­scend­ing where you can rely on the brakes and the large di­am­e­ter 160mm noise-free ro­tors.

To be hon­est there is very lit­tle to fault on the SLR – the ride qual­ity is bril­liant, it’s as light as you’d ever need and it’s as ag­ile as a gym­nast. It never failed to put a smile on our face or make us want to be a bet­ter rider – it’s very much a bike you want to live up to and not the sort we’d feel com­fort­able tak­ing out for a lazy Sun­day cruise.

The only is­sue we do have is the price. At £10,160 it’s breath­tak­ingly ex­pen­sive, even tak­ing into ac­count the fact that this fol­lows three years of car­bon fi­bre de­vel­op­ment from Trek’s tech­ni­cal team and the ex­cel­lent Project 1 cus­tomer ser­vice, which of­fers you ad­vice, fit­ting and cus­tom op­tions. It is still £910 more than the sim­i­larly sub­lime S-Works Tar­mac, and that has a power me­ter thrown in.

The SLR9 is very much like the 2018 BMC Team Ma­chine SLR01 Disc we tested back in is­sue 334 (De­cem­ber 2017). It is with­out a doubt a five-star per­form­ing bike, but it’s tough to give full marks to a bike that’s just so very ex­pen­sive.

Ev­ery size and ev­ery con­fig­u­ra­tion of the SLR will be avail­able in both H1 and H2 fit

Below We opted for Bon­trager Ae­o­lus XXX2 wheels Bot­tom The 160mm ro­tors front and back re­mained noise free through­out test­ing

Ride qual­ity is bril­liant, it’s light and as ag­ile as a gym­nast

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