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The climb­ing-friendly light­weight op­tion in Trek’s road range

The third in Trek’s trio of ana­gram­mat­i­cal road bikes (where’s the ‘Moaned’?), along with the com­fort-ori­en­tated Do­mane and the now heav­ily aero-in­flu­enced Madone, the Amer­i­can out­fit’s Émonda ma­jors on trim­ming the ex­cess fat to make it ideal for big climbs.

Trek claims that a painted 56cm frame weighs a scant 690g, which isn’t the light­est pro­duc­tion frame – it’s 10g heav­ier than Merida’s Scul­tura – but in its most ex­otic build it was claimed to be the world’s light­est pro­duc­tion bike when launched. Ours isn’t quite at the 4.65kg level, but it is well un­der the UCI’S min­i­mum 6.9kg weight limit, even with clinch­ers, which are heav­ier than the tubu­lar wheels used by pro rid­ers.

The frame is made from the lat­est, most ad­vanced ver­sion of Trek’s OCLV car­bon fi­bre. Trek has been de­vel­op­ing its ‘Op­ti­mized Com­paction Low Void’ ma­te­rial for over two decades, mak­ing ever lighter frames, while still claim­ing in­creas­ing lev­els of ver­ti­cal com­pli­ance and stiff­ness-to-weight ra­tio, nei­ther of which is a big sur­prise, of course. Other de rigueur fea­tures in­clude a ta­pered head-tube, full in­ter­nal ca­ble rout­ing and the Trek-de­vel­oped BB90 cu­p­less bot­tom bracket sys­tem. This has the ad­van­tage of re­duc­ing frame weight while still al­low­ing a wide range of chain­sets to be used. Other hid­den weight-sav­ing mea­sures ex­tend to holes be­ing drilled in the head­set top­cap cover.

The wheels, like most of the kit, are from Trek’s in-house brand, in the form of Bon­trager’s Ae­o­lus 3 D3 TLR [1]. These are tube­less ready and have all the fea­tures of modern car­bon road wheels: wide rims, 27mm outer width, 19.5mm in­ner, and car­bon brak­ing sur­faces. They have in­ter­nals from DT Swiss, and Bon­trager is con­fi­dent enough to of­fer them with no weight re­stric­tions. Cly­des­dales take note. Slightly un­usual for 2016, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the rim width, is that they’re paired with 23mm tyres when 25s are now pretty much the norm.

The groupset is Shi­mano’s elec­tronic Dura-ace Di2, with one ma­jor de­vi­a­tion, Bon­trager’s di­rect-mount Speed Stop brakes [2]. In spite of their some­what in­dus­trial-look­ing multi-pivot de­sign these weigh just 122g each, which is 28g less than their Dura-ace equiv­a­lents.

This Émonda also comes with an in­te­grated chain catcher and Bon­trager’s Duo­trap ANT+ speed and ca­dence sen­sor [3] built into the non-drive­side chain­stay, which uses Blue­tooth and ANT+ to trans­mit in­for­ma­tion to your phone or head unit.

And it’s good to see that Trek also makes an iden­ti­cally specced fe­male­spe­cific Émonda SLR 9, with only the ge­om­e­try and the sad­dle al­tered.

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