The rider’s ride
Trek Émonda SLR 8 Disc, £6,000, trekbikes.com
This is a bike that looks great and performs even better. It’s marketed as Trek’s lightest ever production road line, with every detail from the frame design to the component choice carefully selected to give you a light and breezy uphill ride – welcome news on the 2,770m Cold de l’iseran. Even gear shifts are energy-efficient thanks to the flawless Shimano Dura-ace Di2 groupset, which whirs pleasingly with every touch of the button.
The hydraulic disc brakes injected a welcome dose of reliability and peace of mind into my Alpine adventure. Even on the steepest of descents they were reassuringly firm and responsive, while still allowing for the subtle changes of pace needed at the approach of swirling hairpins. This is a fast, light and responsive ride, perfect for tackling the very highest mountains in Europe.