TREK ÉMONDA SLR 9
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 . 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 . 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  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.