Trek Emonda SLR Disc Review

Jason Mitchell

In 2014, Trek introduced the 690-gram Emonda SLR to the world as the lightest production road frame at the time. Then, for 2018, Trek upped the ante by dropping weight even further while adding a full suite of disc brake options. The Emonda SLR Disc frameset tips the scales at a mere 665 grams and it turns out that it’s not only a lightweight climber, but a great all-day bike with responsive handling and instant acceleration.

2019 Trek Emonda SLR Disc H2 Features:

  • 700 Series OCLV Carbon layup
  • H2 fit puts the majority of riders in the perfect position
  • Stated 28mm tire clearance (tested to 30mm actual widths)
  • Flat mount disc brakes
  • Internally-routed cables in frame, external at fork
  • Full, lifetime warranty
  • Weight: 15.5 – 16 lbs. (depended on spec)
  • Frame weight: 665 grams (stated, vapor coat)
  • MSRP: $3299 (SLR frame) or $5799 – $11,999 SLR complete bikes

Trek Emonda SLR Disc Review

Sometimes, our test builds are off-the-shelf affairs, but not this time. I started with the 2019 Emonda SLR Disc H2 frameset as the foundation with SRAM’s 11-speed Red eTap HRD , but swapped out just about everything else during the 10-month testing period. Emonda SLR Disc was outfitted with four different wheelsets ( Zipp 454 NSW Disc , Zipp 303 Firecrest Disc , Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 and Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3), a few saddles ( Fabric Scoop Shallow , Ergon SR Comp Men and Bontrager Aeolus Elite ) and a couple of different bars ( ENVE Compact Road Bar and Schmolke Evo TLR ). So, yeah, you could say it was put through the test mule process.

Should you choose to get a 700 Series OCLV SLR model, going with SRAM Red eTap AXS will set you back a mint, but the sweet spot would be the 600-series  2020 Emonda SL eTap build at $5299 . You get 12-speed Force eTap AXS, a great set of carbon clinchers and a few hundred extra grams (plus a wad of cash in your pocket).

Another alternative would be to go with a standard or Project One frameset, if you want something truly unique or want the more aggressive H1 fit. Complete bikes are always going to be your best value, but it’s ultimately your choice depending on your preferred setup.

Trek Emonda SLR Disc - Climbing to Granite Flats

Oh yes, the Emonda climbs

Grand Tour bikes, like the Emonda, are always a blast to ride. Their snappiness out of the saddle puts them in rarified company as the vert ticks off and the mountains get steeper. While disc brakes do still have a weight penalty over rim brakes, the 665 gram Trek Emonda SLR Disc frame pretty much obliterates that argument. You’ll never know the wiser as you accelerate up any climb around.

My first ride was a classic mountain ascent from my home to Tibble Fork Reservoir. It’s not a demanding climb, but it’s a steady one that, at the right cadence, allows you to push yourself to the limit. Though I was working out some minor fit issues, I still remember how impressive the bike felt. It climbed with ease, and, it rode smoother than expected when outfitted with 28-30mm fast-rolling tires. With true 25mm tires, like the new Bontrager R3’s, the ride is firm, but not harsh. Trek’s max stated tire width is 28mm with an actual frame clearance of just over 38mm. In my experience, 30mm actual tires cleared sufficiently for me.

The Emonda never let me down on any climb. I was actually able to take a few longstanding PR’s, like the following “Narrows to Redwood” segment that had stood for 15 additional attempts since 2014. Was this entirely the Emonda SLR’s doing? Well, likely not, but it certainly had a part in it and never held me back on any other climbs, long or short.

Narrows to Redwood Strava KOM

You can sit and pound out the vert or stand and push yourself to the limit. Either method is rewarded with zippy power and cable routing is such that it doesn’t interfere with your pedal strokes. Power transfer is as good as it gets.

All climbs turn downhill at some point, so how does the Emonda handle Utah’s mountainous descents? It is certainly calm and collected with the extra stopping power of discs. I prefer 44cm bars for fit, comfort and control. That extra width provides additional leverage while cornering — something I always appreciate. With the ENVE Compact Road Bars, I felt as if the handling was a little sluggish, but a switch to the Schmolke Evo TLR’s turned the Emonda into a very different machine. The ride became noticeably more responsive and the bike’s handling came into its own. Even at the highest speeds, I felt calm and collected. When needed, the slightest movements translated into precise cornering without feeling one bit twitchy. This bike rails on descents.

Trek Emonda SLR Disc H2 Review

That said, I’ll admit that it still doesn’t quite have the Italian, swan-like handling of the Pinarello Dogma F10 , but it’s not too far off. As an all-day ride, the Emonda SLR Disc is a hard one to beat and great builds will set you back half as much as a Pinarello. Indeed, climbing and descending are where the Emonda shines. When it comes to flat or rolling terrain, it holds its own — particularly if you can catch a wheel or slap some deep-section wheels on it ( case in point here ).  But. a Madone would be a much better choice for crushing your friends in the flats, or even something like the BMC Roadmachine 01 . The Emonda’s killer instinct shines in the mountains.

Trek Emonda SLR Disc Review

Make it your Emonda

As mentioned, I’ve changed the Emonda’s wheels, bars, tires and saddles quite a bit throughout the test and every change has been noticeable, but natural. So, what can I take away from that? I’d say that this bike is adaptable and capable to suit your performance or fit needs. Take some time to make it your own and you’ll continue to be impressed by how it responds.

In a world of total integration, it may seem surprising that the front brake cable is externally-routed. But, there’s genius in that decision as both Trek’s race teams and home mechanics alike will rejoice in the easy access. I did wish for some cleaner frame plugs for use with SRAM’s wireless eTap drivetrains, but out of sight, out of mind, I guess. The integrated seatpost mast with topcap is all part of the bike’s performance story, but adjusting the saddle angle is a tedious affair. Getting it just right requires an exercise in patience. Additionally, the large diameter of the top cap made the velcro straps of the EVOC Saddle Bag touch my inner thigh.

  • This Grand Tour racer has a journeyman H2 fit
  • Beautiful aesthetics with clean lines
  • Obliterates the disc brake weight penalty
  • Externally-routed front brake cable (easy maintenance)
  • A fun bike to rail
  • Maintains stability on fast descents
  • An excellent climber with excellent power transfer
  • Saddle angle is difficult to adjust
  • Seat mast diameter causes some saddle bags to touch my inner thigh
  • Toss those aluminum bottle cage bolts (they strip just looking at them)
  • Would love eTap-specific port covers
  • Watch that toe overlap

The Bottom Line: 2019 Trek Emonda SLR Disc

The race to the bottom isn’t always a good thing. But, with the latest Emonda SLR Disc, the 665 gram frame is everything I expected. It’s light, responsive and still comfortable, thanks to the added tire clearance afforded by disc brakes. I also love that Trek employs their H2 fit that will allow most riders to achieve a great fit without gobs of spacers.

Buy Now: Visit TrekBikes.com or Your Local Dealer

Pure, lightweight climbing bikes are still a bit of a rarity these days. Getting one that features the confidence of disc brakes is even more rare. The Trek Emonda SLR Disc is wicked-light and features instant power transfer on short, punchy climbs and long, drawn-out affairs. It's a confident descender that handles with grace. Just a couple of niggles, but this is a great all-day bike for those who listen for the call of the mountains to come and ride.

  • Ride Quality 8
  • Climbing 10
  • Descending 9
  • Pedaling Efficiency 10

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  • X (Twitter)

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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I would like to comment that maybe the tyre clearance is declared from Trek that it is for 28mm tyres but this is not true in the real world. I had an issue with the front tyre 28mm that by the time it got larger (continental) when the tyre is new it has 4mm gap from the fork when the tyre has some km on it the gap from the fork is 1mm… so maybe trek didn’t make the calculations right.


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This is on the latest model Emonda Disc? I didn’t have any clearance issues with 28c tires on the Emonda with either the Zipp 454 NSW or Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 wheels. The Pro 3’s are 19.5mm inner width.

I’m sure you’re aware that Continental tires are notoriously wider than their stated widths. What are they measuring out to on your rims now?

Hi Jason, thanks for your review of the Emonda SLR disc. I’ve just bought an SLR 8 disc with Dura Ace mechanical and it’s for sure very lively on the hills. I find it a bit harsh on rough roads with 25mm tyres with tubes but I’m coming from a Cannondale Synapse which is very forgiving on similar roads. I’ll try running the Emonda with 28 tubeless tyres to see if it leaves it a bit more comfortable. I’ve a question on what you thought of the Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 wheels you tried out on this Emonda and if you found it much of an upgrade compared to the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 that came originally on the bike? I’m thinking of getting the XXX 4 wheels but I’m a bit torn between these and a set of Zipp 303 NSW (which are more expensive) and Roval CLX 50 (or even the cheaper Roval SL 50). I’m 70kg, I don’t race so most of my riding is a mix of 100km-150km spins on rolling flats and hills on not so good tarmac with some long days in the hills training for Alps/Pyrenees trip once per year. Was wondering if you have any advice on these wheel options ? Thanks

Kieran… thanks for your comment and questions. Yes, as you found out, the Emonda SLR is certainly a firm ride — especially compared to a smooth Synapse. I would definitely recommend some 28c tubeless tires or even bigger, if you can fit them.

And, the Aeolus Pro 3’s are really awesome wheels and are hard to beat. They roll smooth and can be run tubeless. But, if you are looking for an upgrade, the XXX 4’s are definitely nice. You’ll get a little more aero benefit while still remaining lightweight. The CL 50’s are also a great option for the money.

Truthfully, you’ll be splitting hairs with the commendable Pro 3’s. They really are great wheels. But, a deeper-section wheel would certainly improve aero performance. The 303 NSW’s are flat-out awesome, but really expensive. If you want the best wheel period, that’s your choice. But, you really have to ask yourself if the extra $1000-$1500 is worth it. They are sweet wheels though. Good luck in your choices and enjoy that Emonda! Once you get a little wider tires on there, you’ll discover that it can be comfortable and remain a rocket of a climber.

Jason this is a 2019 disc brake slr model. I measure 3,5mm gap from the top of the tire to the fork.

Hmmm… as you know, tires vary between manufacturers and even between production runs, but I didn’t have any issues running even 30mm width tires on my Emonda SLR Disc. That was a measured width, but the actual tires were Zipp RT28’s on Zipp 303’s.

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trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

  • Rider Notes

2019 · Trek Émonda SLR 6 Disc

2019 Trek Émonda SLR 6 Disc

A carbon frame race bike with high-end components and hydraulic disc brakes.

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Based on frame geometry and build specs.

A bike with lower gearing will be easier to ride up steep hills, while a higher top end means it will pedal faster down hills.

Émonda SLR 6 Disc

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Trek recently updated its lightweight racing chassis, the Émonda, with a variety of refinements for 2018, including the addition of a disc-brake version. We had a look at the Émonda SLR Disc when it was launched last year, so for this review, we follow that up with a closer look at the more affordable mid-range […]

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trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

2019 Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Review – Life in the Fast Lane

  • Bike Reviews
  • February 19, 2019
  • No Comments

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

There are two types of cyclists in this world; those that want to go fast, and those that don’t. The upgraded and evolved, 2019 Trek Madone satisfies the appetite of those riders who dream about speed. Put yourself in the saddle of this bike for a second… You’re going flat-out… You’re dropping down on the handlebars… You’re tucking in your arms… You’re fixing your eyes on the speeding tarmac…. You’re hearing the bike pierce the air… You’re feeling the smooth roll of the wheels, every time you pedal… You’ve got rhythm, you’ve got symmetry, and you’re manufacturing speed like it’s nothing!

Our ride on the 2019 Madone is probably best described by what you’ve just read. Nothing but pure elegance from Trek’s flagship aero-road bike. We’ve mentioned that its fast. We’ve mentioned that it’s a wind weapon. But is it comfortable? As far as aerodynamically focused road bikes go, yes it is. Trek have managed to combine all three essential aspects of road bikes, into one. Lets find out how.

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

#1: Aerodynamics

The Madone SLR 6 follows a perfectly designed shape of a plane wing if you look it straight in the eyes. Trek’s 700 Series OCLV carbon fibre material forms the frame’s lightweight and aero features. The wind flow around and over the bike is seamless, and this is because of the down-tube that takes form in what Trek call, a KVF aero shape. Along with wing-like, Bontrager dropper handlebars; clinched by an aero stem, that uses the brand’s Blendr technology to integrate your cycling computer, without buying extra mounts. Even though the Madone is centred around aerodynamics, the designers at Trek kept a clear mind in adding practical features to the bike itself.  

#2: Comfort

Comfort is key with any road bike, especially if you intend to spend more than 2 hours in the saddle. The Madone’s comfort levels are acceptable for a bike of its standard. It comes with an adjustable Top-Tube IsoSpeed decoupler, which lets the seat post flex under impacts from irregular roads. The bar and stem of the bike, are also adjustable and can allow you to fine tune how the bike handles. Bontrager’s Montrose Elite lightweight saddle also made a difference in comfort. It was less restricting to leg movement and was quite well cushioned.

#3: Quality

Components can make or break any bike. Trek, however, are well acquainted with desires of road bike riders. Therefore, when questioning what components were best for the Madone, they looked at what was the most functional. For starters, going with flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes made braking solid and reliable on the Madone SLR 6. Minimizing the strain on your hands. And that’s a point a we’ll always argue. Integrating with the disc brakes was Shimano’s Ultegra drivetrain that literally gets smoother every time you shift.

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

  • Frame-set: Frame700 Series OCLV Carbon
  • Wheels: Bontrager Aeolus Comp 5 Disc Tubeless Ready
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed.
  • Saddle: Bontrager Montrose Elite
  • Seatpost: Madone carbon seatpost, 25 mm offset w/integrated light mount
  • Handlebar: Madone-specific adjustable aero VR-CF, internal cable routing
  • Grips: Bontrager tape
  • Stem: Madone-specific internal cable routing
  • Brake-set: Shimano Ultegra flat-mount hydraulic disc
  • Total Bike Weight: 56cm – 8.38 kg

Trek’s road bike geometry is always on point, and provides riders with a little bit of everything, from responsive handling to rider proportional sizing. The Madone SLR 6 makes use of the brand’s H1.5 FIT frame measurements. Which have been tried and tested countless times, with the Trek Segafredo, and Drops cycling teams. You can play around and find out what geometry works for you. However, our test bike was 56cm frame size, with which we got a 73.3-degree seat post angle, and 73.5-degree head-tube angle.

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

Keep it Fast and Low!

The Madone SLR 6 is like a fighter jet on steroids! Its unique and full-out aerodynamic design can pierce the air efficiently. The bike creates an ideal setup that almost comes as a second nature, to duck-down into an aero-tuck. Which gets you out of the full brunt of wind resistance.

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

Having been tested and raced by pro teams around the world at grand tours and one day events, Trek’s Madone has a perfect design for climbing and descending. Its low and fast! The cassette on the Ultegra drivetrain can feel like its meant for really hard pedaling, with its smaller gear ratio. Nevertheless, it was lenient enough to get us up a fair amount hills, without burning out. One thing that we really like about aero road bikes, is the stiffened up frame. During a sprint you simply have to pick a line with the bike, and it holds it. No matter how hard you hit the pedals. The same can be said coming down descends. It didn’t wobble around, instead it was smooth and firm, even when banking on corners. The slightly thicker handlebars supplied good grip, and great control over this race horse.

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

A good review is never complete without a few criticisms over a bike or product. And so sadly, yes. There were a few things we didn’t like on the Madone SLR 6. Mainly, the tyres. We’re not sure if this was just a bad batch of rubber, but we had a lot of punctures! Most of the punctures’ cause was from a simple stone, and we couldn’t fathom why. It could’ve been that we were running the tyre pressure too high, and thus we lowered it. Alas, no-luck. The punctures still accrued. We eventually put it down to the fact that Bontrager’s R3 Hard-case Lite tyre set, are not that durable. In fact, that’s quite a hick-up, because it’s enough to dampen your mood on a ride. Perhaps a tyre swap on this bike model, to one with a harder compound, is in order.

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

The big question is, does the 2019 Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc do enough to break away from the pack, and get you to the finish first? In our opinion, it does! As far as technology goes, the brand’s IsoSpeed and smoothly moulded carbon fibre, along with integrated disc brakes, are able to enhance your performance greatly. While the bike did lack a bit of agility, and the tyres weren’t impressive, the Madone is still elite when it comes to speed. It’ll keep you living life in the fast lane!

Price: 98 999.00 – 2019 Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc

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Trek 2018 Émonda SL 6 Disc review

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Trek recently updated its lightweight racing chassis, the Émonda, with a variety of refinements for 2018, including the addition of a disc-brake version. We had a look at the Émonda SLR Disc when it was launched last year , so for this review, we follow that up with a closer look at the more affordable mid-range Émonda SL 6 Disc.

Story Highlights

Purpose: Mid-level road cycling.|| Highlight: The updated frameset is stiffer and more exciting to ride.|| Material: Carbon fibre.|| Brake type: Disc (rim version also available).|| Key details: Proprietary BB90 bottom bracket, internal cable routing, flat-mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axles.|| Price: AU$3,999/US$2,999/£2,650.|| Weight: 7.94kg/17.5lb (54cm without pedals or bottle cages).

It has been almost four years since Trek launched the Émonda , the company’s lightest road chassis that not only yielded, at 4.65kg, the lightest production bike in the world, but according to Trek, the lightest range of road bikes as well. After devoting two-and-a-half years to development, Trek was never going to talk down what it had managed to achieve with the Émonda, which included some bold adjectives for the performance of the new bike.

The introduction of road disc brakes seems to have provided the main incentive for revisiting the design of the Émonda, but it also gave Trek’s engineers a good opportunity to build upon the experience gained from creating the first-generation Émonda (which supposedly included 300 physical prototypes). Computer modelling and finite element analysis was used to explore hundreds of refinements to identify only those that could provide a tangible improvement for the weight, stiffness, and compliance of the new frame. After that, physical prototypes were used to validate those predictions.

According to Trek’s figures, the company has managed to achieve all of these goals, however the magnitude of said improvements are modest, at best. The first-generation Émonda SLR frame and fork (56cm, H1 fit) weighed 690g and 280g, respectively, according to Trek, compared to 640g and 313g for the second-generation frame and fork. Overall frame stiffness has been increased by 11% with a head tube that is 1.7% stiffer and a bottom bracket that is 7.6% stouter, while vertical compliance has been improved by 1.9%.

The disc-brake version of the Émonda SLR mirrors the rim-brake version in many regards, however it is 62g heavier (frame, 665g; fork, 350g) and overall frame stiffness is down a little, offering a 9% improvement over the first-generation chassis. Clearly, Trek is working within the realm of marginal gains, but our roving reporter, Dave Everett, was able to notice a difference when he attended the launch of the bike last year , and concluded that the new bike was a tangible improvement.


What about the Émonda SL?

While all attention was focussed on the new Émonda SLR Disc frameset at the launch last year, the more affordable SL version also received an overhaul, including the addition of a disc-brake version. Once again, Trek promised an increase in both frame stiffness and compliance coupled with a marginal weight saving: the first-generation SL frame weighed 1,050g with a 358g fork; the new SL frame weighs 1,091g with a 313g fork.

Unsurprisingly, the disc-brake version of the new Émonda SL is heavier than the rim-brake version with a claimed weight of 1,149g for the frame and 350g for the fork. Be that as it may, the Émonda SL in either guise is not going to woo weight-weenies, but it will have broader appeal since it is a lot cheaper than the SLR version.

A difference in carbon fibre accounts for much of the extra weight (and expense) of the Émonda SL frame — which is constructed from Trek’s 500 series fibre compared to the 700 series that serves the SLR — however there is also a difference in the moulds that are used, and hence, the final shape of the two frames.


Nevertheless, the SLR and SL frames share the same specifications that have been carried over from the first-generation Émonda, such as Trek’s proprietary BB90 bottom bracket , E2 tapered head tube, internal cable routing, and a semi-integrated seatpost. For the disc-brake version, there are flat mounts for the disc callipers and 12mm-diameter thru-axles for the wheels.

The geometry of the frame remains unchanged, too. Thus, the Émonda SL continues with Trek’s forgiving H2 fit that provides a taller head tube, however it is not as generous as the geometry for the Domane .


Frame sizes 50-54cm are partnered with a fork with 45mm of rake, while the larger sizes get a fork with 40mm of rake. Bottom bracket drop is 72-68mm, decreasing with frame size; chainstay length is 410-411mm, increasing with frame size.

It’s worth noting that the geometry of the Émonda SL is identical to the Émonda SLR and does not vary between the rim or disc-brake versions. In addition, it is almost identical to the current Madone , however the latter offers an extra 5mm of stack for each frame size.

The semi-integrated seatpost places a limitation on the maximum and minimum saddle height for any given frame size, which is detailed in Trek’s geometry charts for the Émonda SL. However, the maximum saddle height is based on a 175mm seat mast cap rather than the stock 135mm cap that ships with the bike, so buyers with long legs should pay attention to this when ordering and/or collecting the bike. Buyers that require less saddle setback can also opt for a cap with 5mm of offset rather than 20mm to help with their fit.


Trek has put together two builds for the new Émonda SL Disc frameset: the SL 7 and SL 6. However, the former (which features a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and a Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 carbon wheelset) is not available in all markets, such as Australia. By contrast, there are several builds for the rim-brake version of the Émonda SL on offer, providing buyers with a much wider range of options and pricepoints.

The Émonda SL 6 Disc features Shimano’s new Ultegra R8000 mechanical groupset (50/34T crankset, 11-28T cassette) with hydraulic disc brakes and 160mm rotors. The rest of the components come from Bontrager’s catalogue: Paradigm tubeless-ready alloy wheels with R2 Hard-Case Lite tyres (25C), Elite VR-C alloy bars, Pro alloy stem, and a Montrose Comp saddle with chromoly rails.

I’ve long been impressed by the quality of the presentation of Trek’s bikes, and the Émonda SL 6 Disc is another good example of this. The matte metallic gunmetal finish may strike some as conservative, but it’s not dull, and it sits well against the black components.


The 54cm sample sent for review weighed 7.94kg/17.5lb without pedals or bottle cages, which doesn’t do much to support the notion that the Émonda is a lightweight race bike. For those hoping for a lighter bike, they can opt for the SLR 6 Disc that promises a weight saving of 700-800g (depending on frame size), but it costs almost twice as much as the SL 6 Disc. Alternatively, the SL 6 with rim brakes provides almost the same kind of weight saving (600-700g) and actually costs less than the disc-brake version.

The asking price for the Émonda SL 6 Disc is AU$3,999/US$2,999/£2,650, which is fair given the quality of the build, but it won’t woo bargain hunters. For those looking for better value, the rim-brake version of the SL 6 sells for AU$3,499/US$2,699/£2,250. In both instances, Trek provides a lifetime warranty for the Émonda frame and a two-year warranty for the fork and all Bontrager components.

For more information on the Émonda SL 6 Disc and the rest of the Émonda range, visit Trek .


After the ride

The Émonda has always fitted very nicely into Trek’s road catalogue, confidently staking out the middle ground between the aerodynamically-refined Madone and the rut-gobbling Domane. And while Trek went to extraordinary lengths to highlight the weight savings that the first-generation bike had to offer, they were limited to the high-end SLR frameset, so that everyday buyers opting for the SL version were missing out on the best that Trek had to offer.

With that said, a back-to-back comparison of the first-generation Émonda SLR 6 with the SL 6 (both of which featured rim brakes) demonstrated that the distinctions between the two versions of the frame were surprisingly modest. In fact, I found it difficult to appreciate any of the performance gains that the lighter SLR frameset might have provided simply because there was very little feedback from the bike.

The second-generation Émonda has reversed this to some degree, presumably due to the increase in the stiffness of the frame, and as a result, I found that the bike was more exciting to ride. An increase in feedback from the road adds life to the bike and gives it a race-oriented feel.


The bike was at its best on smooth bitumen. Rising out of the saddle, the stiffness about the bottom bracket was obvious, and I could enjoy some sense of responsiveness whenever I pressed on the pedals to accelerate. However, the overall weight of the bike held it back, so it won’t impress buyers looking for a svelte climbing rig.

It’s better to think of the SL 6 Disc as a bike for undulating courses. On this kind of terrain, the extra weight of the bike was less noticeable and I could enjoy the stiffness of the bike when attacking each short rise. Moreover, I was often struck by how sturdy and robust the bike felt, and sudden changes in speed really had no effect on its demeanour.

The second-generation Émonda SL 6 Disc may provide more feedback from the road, but that doesn’t mean that Trek has done away with the highly refined ride quality that defined the original Émonda. It’s still there, and at times, I was impressed with how well it worked to insulate me from unnecessary chatter. This was most obvious on groomed unpaved tracks where the Émonda SL 6 Disc provided a smooth, almost gentle ride, without robbing me of a sense of how the tyres were behaving on the dusty surface.


While the Émonda SL 6 Disc did an admirable job of soaking up vibration and chatter, it wasn’t nearly as adept at contending with shock, especially at the front end of the bike. Any kind of sharp hit from a bump, crack or hole was quite harsh, which was something that Dave Everett noticed at the launch of the Émonda SLR Disc last year. By contrast, the rear end of the bike was noticeably more compliant, so my backside never suffered the same kind of shock as my hands.

I was able to fit tyres up to 30mm wide on the Émonda SL 6 Disc without any risk of frame or fork rub. The larger tyres were able to reduce the shock of sudden impacts, however the front end of the bike was still too rigid for long stretches of unpaved terrain. Compared to a bike like Cannondale’s new Synapse or Canyon’s Endurace , the Emonda SL Disc Disc isn’t nearly as versatile, but then, riders interested in extra versatility are probably going to be looking at Trek’s Domane or the new do-it-all Checkpoint instead.

Thus, it’s best to consider the Émonda SL Disc as a pure road-going machine where tyre size and pressure can be used to satisfy the owner’s preferences for ride quality. I found myself vacillating between the stock 25c clinchers at 70psi and more supple 28c tyres at 60psi, but by the end of the review period, the narrower tyres seemed a slightly better match for the bike.


The stable and predictable handling that characterised the first-generation Émonda was still very much in evidence, which isn’t surprising given that no changes were made to the geometry of the second-generation frame. As such, the Émonda remains an inviting and well-mannered bike to ride. The steering tends towards slow, so the bike requires a little more effort when negotiating tight turns and technical descents, but I can’t see many riders struggling with this aspect of the Émonda’s handling.

Shimano’s new Ultegra R8000 groupset continues to shine, regardless of whether it is partnered with rim or disc brakes. The latter adds significantly to the weight of the bike, but that has more to do with the associated hardware (e.g. rotors and wheels) than the brakes. This is a handicap that continues to afflict road disc bikes in general, but for those looking for more braking confidence, it’s a necessary compromise.

Bontrager’s one-bolt saddle clamp promises to be easy to use, however the wedges that sink into the cap provide too much bite, so it is difficult make minor changes to the angle of the saddle. At the front end of the bike, Bontrager’s Elite VR-C handlebars offer more reach (85mm) than other compact shapes, which, when coupled with the generous length of the hoods of Shimano’s hydraulic brake levers, adds significantly to the overall reach of the cockpit. Swapping to a stem that was 10mm shorter was enough to address this issue for me.


Summary and final thoughts

It has been over 25 years since Trek introduced its first carbon fibre road bike frame and the amount of evolution that has taken place in that time is quite remarkable. One frame has slowly grown into three specialised offerings and the number of builds has blossomed to give shoppers an impressive range of bikes to choose from.

The Émonda may appear to be quite removed from Trek’s original OCLV road frame, but it still possesses the same kind of aura as a lightweight and exotic racing bike. This is certainly true for the Émonda SLR and some of the aspirational builds on offer, but the SL version is well within reach of many mid-level shoppers. It’s not going to dazzle buyers with a low weight like the SLR, but it is a confident road-going bike that promises to provide a tangible upgrade from an entry-level bike.

For those contemplating such an upgrade, the choice of brakes may create some consternation, however much of the controversy surrounding disc brakes has died down. Quite simply, discs have become a legitimate option for road bikes and are now future-proof to some degree, so buyers can decide the matter on the basis of appeal. In this regard, the Émonda may be a little late to the party, but the second-generation frameset gives shoppers both options to consider.

trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

What do each of the individual ratings criteria mean? And how did we arrive at the final score? Click here to find out. You can also read more about our review process .

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trek emonda slr 9 etap

The New Trek Émonda Is Faster Than Ever

Already one of the fiercest climbing bikes available, the new Émonda is even faster thanks to a dose of aero.

Headshot of Matt Phillips

The Takeaway: The Émonda SLR is a benchmark pro race bike—and it’s surprisingly rider friendly.

  • It has 183 grams less drag than the previous generation, but the frame is only 33 grams heavier
  • There are 10 models starting at $2,699
  • SL models ($2,699 to $5,999) have the aerodynamic shaping and features but in a frame that’s about 400 grams heavier than the SLR
  • SLR models ($6,699 and up) use a new carbon fiber composite that’s 30 percent stronger than Trek’s previous top-of-the-line carbon.

For Émonda SLR bicycles, Trek will provide an individual handlebar and stem until an updated handlebar/stem combo is available.

Additionally, all customers who bring in their handlebars for replacement will also receive a $100 in-store credit that can be used toward any Trek or Bontrager merchandise through December 31, 2022.

Remember professional road racing ? It’s that thing where super skinny people go unbelievably fast up and down hills and fly over flat roads for hours at a time. It’s been a while since the pros have beat up on each other for our entertainment, but there might, hopefully, be some races on the horizon. When the races do resume, Trek’s pro riders will be aboard its new third-generation Émonda climbing bike. The new Émonda isn’t lighter, but it is faster thanks to a dose of aerodynamic tuning.

.css-f79ry9{text-align:center;font-family:Charter,Charter-robotoFallback,Charter-localFallback,Georgia,Times,Serif;font-size:1.1875rem;line-height:1.6;}.css-f79ry9 strong{font-family:Charter,Charter-weightbold-robotoFallback,Charter-weightbold-localFallback,Georgia,Times,Serif;font-weight:bold;}.css-f79ry9 em{font-style:italic;font-family:Charter,Charter-styleitalic-robotoFallback,Charter-styleitalic-localFallback,Georgia,Times,Serif;} —Five Cool Details—

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Now With Aero

The new Émonda gets a major drag reduction with a tiny weight gain.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Simple Seat Mast

The seat mast has lots of adjustment range, and an easy-to-use saddle clamp.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Light and Slippery

The new Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels are light, sleek, and stable.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Wide and Threaded

The T47 bottom bracket has a wide stance, and user-friendly threads.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

A built-in chain watcher prevents unwanted derailments.

Making the new Émonda frame more aerodynamic wasn’t exactly a tough hurdle as the previous Émonda had virtually zero aerodynamic optimization. But adding meaningful aerodynamic benefit while achieving the frame stiffness expected of a pro-caliber race bike, maintaining the well-regarded handling properties of the previous Émonda, and adding rider-friendly features like a threaded bottom bracket—all with adding only 33 grams (SLR frame, claimed)—is quite a feat.

Below you’ll find my review of the Émonda SLR—I’ve been on it since early March—followed by a dive into the technology and features of the new bike, and a brief model breakdown.

Ride Impressions: Émonda SLR 9 eTap

trek emonda slr 9 etap

The Émonda SLR is a tool made to fulfill the needs of some of the world’s best road racers. This bike will never be as comfortable or versatile as a gravel bike. Going fast on pavement and climbing performance are its only goals. These are obvious facts, but that’s the lens through which it must be viewed. And through this lens, it is one of the very best.

The new Émonda was born out of a request from Trek’s pro racers and pitched as the company’s “fastest climbing bike ever.” So little surprise they set me up with the lightest model (the SLR 9 with SRAM Red eTap ), which also has a build kit almost identical to the team’s bikes. It’s also, excepting customized Project One builds, the most expensive model at a buck under 12 grand.

That massive pile of clams gets you an aerodynamic frame with disc brakes, power meter, and wireless electronic shifting that weighs less than 15 pounds (54cm). And that’s with a hefty T47 threaded bottom bracket unit, lustrous paint , clincher wheelset, a chain-watcher, standard butyl tubes, 37mm deep rims, 160mm disc rotors front and rear, and SRAM’s largest Red cassette (10-33). That’s “Holy shit!” impressive.

By cutting drag a ton without adding much weight, it’s hard to argue with Trek’s claim that the new Émonda is faster than the outgoing generation. But if you have any doubts, they’ll be erased when you ride it. This is an explosive bike: it feels as light as a feather and as solid as a steel girder at the same time.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Trek’s Émonda has always been a raw and rowdy bike that feels a little wild and a bit dangerous in precisely the ways you want a race bike to feel: That’s not lost with the added aerodynamics. If anything, the new Émonda is even crisper and punchier than before, which is saying something.

preview for Tested

A small downside to all this fury is the Émonda’s smoothness. Light and stiff race bikes aren’t a smooth-riding lot to begin with, but even measured against a stiffer riding genre, the new Émonda is on the firmer end of the scale. Still, it escapes harsh or punishing labels—I did a six-hour ride on the Émonda on the stock 25 tires and didn’t feel worn down by its ride. Swapping to 28s helped a lot (no surprise) and were on the Émonda for the bulk of my testing. I’d suggest reserving the lighter and more aerodynamic stock 25s for racing or PR attempts—assuming good roads—and use 28s as daily drivers.

The Émonda’s handling is excellent. Well, let me caveat that: Road racing geometry is pretty uniform, so whether I’m on a current race bike from Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Cervélo, Canyon, Colnago, Wilier, Pinarello, BMC, Giant (etc., etc.), I find the broad strokes of their handling feel and performance quite similar. There wasn’t anything about the Émonda’s handling or cornering performance that set any new benchmarks for me, but there wasn’t anything to dislike either.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

It was quick and accurate, diving into corners with a light touch. It offered great feedback, so I always knew where I was relative to its and my limits, and I could count on it to be consistent and predictable. It was maybe a touch less settled in bumpy corners than the Specialized Tarmac, but the Émonda never broke traction or skipped. Overall, for such a light bike, the Émonda is remarkably solid and drama free. I’d have no qualms barreling down a technical alpine descent on the Émonda.

I received this test bike in early March, giving me plenty of time to ride it back to back with its primary competition—a Specialized S-Works Tarmac , what I consider the benchmark for aero-ized lightweight bikes. The Tarmac is smoother over the bumps and has a silkier feel overall, but the new Émonda feels more efficient, like it can go faster more easily.

I’ve also ridden a good slice of the Émonda’s competition, including the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX , Colnago V3Rs, Cannondale SuperSix Evo , Cervélo R5, Wilier Zero SLR , Pinarello Dogma F12 . These are all superb bikes, but I feel the Émonda is the class leader. It feels sharper and more explosive than all of them. It feels faster, and that’s what matters most in a race bike. But I also like that the Émonda is pretty straightforward and rider-friendly.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

For example, I swapped the stock one-piece bar/stem for a standard stem and round bar. One, I could run a standard bar and stem on this bike, which you can’t say about every modern race bike. And two, I didn’t have to pull any cables, wires, or hoses to make the swap: Again, something you can’t say about all race bikes. For the record, the shape of the one-piece Aeolus bar/stem is great, and the tops are the most comfortable to grab of all the aero-topped bars I've used. The only reason I swapped is my preferred length and width combination (110x40) wasn't available yet.

The BB is threaded, which makes it easier to service and replace than a press-fit (however, I was getting some noise out of the BB area, which I never resolved). The wheels employ standard offset, and it uses regular thru-axles. It’s compatible with pod-style power meters and mechanical shifting. Its signature seat mast is pretty much the only non-standard thing about this frame, and even then, it’s pretty user-friendly. There’s no cutting necessary, height adjustment is ample, the saddle clamp is easy to use, and it’s travel-case friendly.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

I expect so much from a modern high-end pro-level road racing bike that it’s hard to exceed those expectations. It’s rare when a bike does: The Émonda SLR is one of those rare bikes.

Team Request

The new Émonda is partially a result of a request from the Trek-Segafredo race team. “They are one of our primary customers,” said Jordan Roessingh, Trek’s director of road product. “And they started to realize that it’s not just weight, it’s not just stiffness and responsiveness, there’s this other thing—aerodynamics and speed—that’s also really important to be competitive and be faster on the bike. They had been one of the loudest voices saying, ‘We need the lightest-weight, stiffest bike possible.’ And now they started coming back saying ‘We need those things, but we also need the bike to be faster in order for us to be really competitive.’ ”

It is (comparatively) easy to make a light frame, it is easy to make a stiff frame, it is easy to make an aerodynamic frame. Making a frame that’s two of those three things is more challenging: Making a bike more aerodynamic usually makes it heavier, making a bike lighter typically makes it less stiff, etc. Making a frame that is light AND stiff AND aerodynamic enough to satisfy the demands of a top-level professional race team is extremely difficult.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

But not impossible. Many brands already make a light, stiff, and aero bike. The Specialized Tarmac is one, as are the Canyon Ultimate, the Cannondale SuperSix Evo, the Cervélo R5, the Wilier Zero SLR, the Pinarello F12, the Scott Addict, and the new Giant TCR . All of them seek to balance the three qualities—light, stiff, and aero—in the pursuit of the ideal race bike, and they all manage the balance differently. The common thread between these bikes: They’re all used by teams that compete against Trek-Segafredo.

Still Light, Now With Aero

The previous generation Émonda SLR Disc , launched in 2017, was an extremely light frame at 665 grams (claimed). But when a frame is already that light, it is much harder to make it even lighter. At least lighter enough to make a meaningful difference.

emonda drag chart

So, Trek took a different approach to making its climbing bike faster—instead of lighter, it made it more aerodynamic. The new Émonda frame is a touch heavier—yet still extremely light at 698 grams—but the bike has 183 grams less drag than the previous generation.

The important thing to note here is that, though the frame is more aerodynamic, the 183 gram drag reduction is not from the frame only. New wheels and a new aero bar (more info on both below) play a role. The specific setups Trek used to get that 183 gram number are: 2018 Émonda with 28mm-deep Bontrager XXX 2 wheels, and Bontrager XXX Bar/Stem Combo compared to the 2021 Émonda with 37mm deep Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 Wheels and Bontrager Aeolus RSL Bar/Stem Combo.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Another drag saving upgrade: the housing, hoses and wires for the controls are almost fully inside the frame. They dive into the frame at the head tube passing through the upper headset bearing. The front brake hose runs into the fork steerer and down the left leg before popping out just above the brake caliper. The fork steerer’s flattened sides provide room for the rear brake hose and derailleur control lines to travel down and into the frame. Though it has flattened sides, the fork steerer is still compatible with standard 1 1/8” stems.

The overall drag reduction results in a bike that is 18 seconds per hour faster when climbing an 8.1 percent grade (the average grade of Alpe d’Huez ), and 60 seconds per hour faster on flat roads than the previous Émonda. Trek also claims the new Émonda is 13 seconds per hour faster than a Specialized Tarmac when climbing an 8.1 percent grade (all assuming the rider maintains a constant 350 watts).

Eight Point One Percent

With three qualities—aero, stiffness, weight—that work in opposition to each other, how do you decide how much to optimize one quality when you know it will negatively affect the other two? How aero is aero enough? At what point is improved aerodynamics offset by the weight added to get there?

The team behind the Émonda used a legendary climb to help them decide: Alpe d’Huez. “It represents an extreme example of what most people see on a regular basis when they’re doing a big climbing ride,” said Roessingh, “It’s around an 8 percent grade, and it’s about an hour-long climb for the pros—amateurs might go a little slower. It gives us a good understanding of what the benefit of a drag savings is relative to a weight savings.”

trek emonda slr 9 etap

By optimizing the weight and aerodynamic balance around this climb, Roessingh claims the Émonda is faster on Alpe d’Huez and also faster on everything shallower than the famous climb, “which is the vast majority of the environments that most riders are going to ride in, including the team,” said Roessingh. “So if we can say it’s faster up Alpe d’Huez, it’s going to be significantly faster everywhere because the flatter it is, the more aerodynamics benefit you.”

Computer-Aided Optimization

Achieving the weight to the aerodynamic balance of the new Émonda required careful design of each tube shape. Aiding the Émonda’s team was supercomputing horsepower. The abridged and simplified version of the process goes like this: into the computer was fed a rough draft of the shape based on Trek’s aerodynamic experience and other information like UCI regulations. The program then varies the tube’s parameters within a predefined range and spit back several iterations of the shape, each with a different weight to aerodynamic balance. The Émonda’s team evaluated the alternatives and picked the one most suited to its location in the frame and best able to help the frame achieve its overarching goal.

Roessingh says that Trek cannot afford to buy the computing hardware necessary to run the CFD and FEA optimizations (in a timely manner) that helped shape the new Émonda’s tubes. The processing happens in the cloud where Trek rents time on Google, Microsoft, or Amazon’s supercomputers. It’s more affordable than buying a supercomputer. Even so, it is not cheap, “Cloud computing is becoming a relatively significant budget line item for us because we’re doing so many of these optimizations in CFD and FEA and all that processing happens in the cloud.”

tube shape comparison of the generation two and three emonda

The new Émonda’s fork legs, head tube, down tube, seat tube, and seat stays all use a variation of a truncated airfoil. The top tube and chainstays, which have virtually no effect on drag, are optimized almost entirely for stiffness to weight.

In Trek’s line, the new Émonda’s aerodynamic performance is equal to the third generation Domane ; the Madone is still significantly more aero. But while the more aerodynamic Madone is faster in flatter terrain, once the climb hits about 5.5 percent, the lighter Émonda becomes the faster bike. And for many of the Trek-Segafredo team riders—and many amateurs—that means the Émonda is fastest when it matters most: the hardest part of a race or ride, which is almost always on a steep climb.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

OCLV 800 Carbon

Getting the new Émonda SLR to be as light as it is while adding aerodynamic shaping would not be possible without employing a new carbon-fiber composite, said Roessingh. The new OCLV 800 composite is 30 percent stronger than Trek’s previous top-of-the-line composite (OCLV 700). Because it is stronger, they can use less: By using OCLV 800, Trek’s team was able to make the Émonda SLR frame 60 grams lighter than if they used OCLV 700.

trek emonda sl 5

The Émonda SLR is very cool, but it’s also very expensive (bike prices start at $6,699). For the 99 percenters, there’s the Émonda SL (models start at $2,699).

The SL uses OCLV 500 composite, and the frame is quite a bit heavier than the SLR’s. The SL’s frame comes in at 1,142 grams, with a 380-gram fork (SLR fork weight: 365 grams).

But material (and weight) are the only difference between the SL and SLR.

Aeolus Bar Stem

While a ton of work made the Émonda’s frame tubes faster, a big chunk of the new bike’s drag savings comes from the one-piece Aeolus bar stem. It alone is responsible for 70 grams of the Émonda’s 183-gram drag reduction. This means that if a traditional stem and round bar are installed on the new Émonda, its drag advantage over the previous-generation bike drops to 113 grams. And it means that you can make any bike with a round bar and traditional stem significantly more aerodynamic by merely installing the Aeolus. Retail price is $650.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

The integrated Aeolus is made of carbon-fiber composite, of course, with a claimed weight of 297 grams (42x120). It’s offered in 14 length and width combinations, from 44x120 to 38x80. Hoses, housing, and wires run externally for easier service and repairs, but in a groove that keeps them out of the wind. A bolt-on plate keeps the control lines tucked and organized where they turn off the bar tops to run in line with the stem.

The Aeolus employs a mount that works with Bontrager’s line of Blendr accessories for mounting computers and lights.

Aeolus 37 Wheels

Another new Bontrager product rolling out with the Émonda is the Aeolus 37 wheelset. It comes in two models: the Aeolus RSL 37 (1,325 grams/pair, $2,400) and the Aeolus Pro 37 (1,505 grams/pair, $1,300).

trek emonda slr 9 etap

The RSL 37 is claimed to be lighter than Zipp’s 32mm-deep 202, yet more aerodynamic and more stable than Zipp’s 45mm-deep 303. Both wheels are disc brake only (only Center Lock interface), tubeless compatible, use DT-Swiss internals, have no rider weight limit, and come with a lifetime warranty.

Surprisingly Rider Friendly

Though the new Émonda is clean and integrated looking and uses high-performance standards, it is also remarkably rider-friendly. Cables, hoses, and housing run externally on the one-piece Aeolus bar/stem for easier repair and service (with one exception: wiring for a Shimano Di2 or Campagnolo EPS bar-end junction box runs partially inside the bar). If you prefer a more traditional cockpit, it can be run with a standard bar and stem with 1⅛-inch steerer clamp.

The bottom bracket uses the threaded T47 standard , which is compatible with almost all common crank-axle standards.

trek emonda slr 9 etap

Front and rear thru-axles are standard 12x100 and 12x142mm, and the wheels employ a standard dish. The standard flat mounts for the brake calipers are compatible with 140, 160, or 180mm rotors.

Tire clearance is officially 28mm, but that’s with a ton of extra space. I fit 32mm tires in the Émonda with ease.

And though all models do use a seat mast, it’s a no-cut variety with lots of adjustment range.

H1.5 Geometry

Trek did offer its top-of-the-line race bikes in the aggressive H1 geometry for riders seeking an ultra-long and low geometry, or H2 which was an endurance fit. The new Émonda is offered only in H1.5, which splits the difference between H1 and H2. The result is pretty typical dimensions for a modern race bike—a 54cm Émonda H1’s geometry is remarkably similar to a 54cm Specialized Tarmac.

There are eight sizes starting at 47cm and topping out at 62cm.

emonda sl 7 etap

There are 10 models of the new Émonda. SL models start at $2,699 and are priced up to $5,999. SLR models start at $6,699 and go up to $11,999.

Only SLR models come with the Aeolus integrated bar/stem stock; and only the Émonda SL 7 ($5,499) and up come with the Aeolus 37 wheelset.

The new Émonda is a disc brake-only platform.

Project One

The new Émonda is in Trek’s Project One paint and parts personalization program. If that’s not luxe enough for you, Trek’s Project One Ultimate program allows you to work with a designer to come up with a one-of-a-kind finish, and Trek will source any parts you want for your new bike.

emonda project one gold flake

Trek Émonda SLR 9 eTap

Émonda SLR 9 eTap

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling , Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race. 

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Iron Mike Musing

Gender neutral cycling and cycle racing blog based in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Product Review: Trek Emonda SLR

Trek Emonda SLR 9

I’ve never done a bike review before so don’t expect anything witty, prolific or particularly insightful. If you’re still reading great! Lets take a look.

I’ve ridden a half dozen bikes, for at least a couple of hundred kilometres each and I wanted to weigh in on the Trek Emonda SLR .

The Trek lineup comes in a couple of different frame options and I picked the Trek Emonda SLR 9 with the H1 fit using rim brakes and ProjectOne customisation.

I got this through our friends at Treknology3 . If you looking at a Trek (and I think you should) mention my name or the blog and secure a discount off the full purchase price of a new bike.

Trek Emonda SLR – The Frame

First of all the frame is light, very light. Switching from the endurance style Canyon SLX 8.0 bike to this pure race machine meant dropping over a kilogram of final weight. With the H1 fit it also meant moving to a more aggressive geometry, which was a welcome change.

Final Weight (without pedals) circa 6.45 kg.

The H1 frameset is made using Trek’s lightest 700 Series OCLV carbon. 

With the drop in weight I half expected the bike to be a bit noodly and awkward to ride but after 1,000 odd kilometres of riding I have only positive things to say.  More on that later.

The finish on the ProjectOne is hand painted in Waterloo, Wisconsin and you have the option of having the artist autograph the frame, making the frame even more bespoke.

  • Ultralight 700 Series OCLV Carbon
  • Ride-tuned performance tube optimization
  • Tapered head tube
  • BB90 Bottom Bracket
  • Internal cable routing
  • Direct mount rim brakes
  • DuoTrap S compatible
  • Ride Tuned seatmast

The build quality is excellent as one expects from a top of the line product.

Trek Emonda SLR - Project One Name

Trek Emonda SLR – The Build

For this build I went for the following:

  • Shimano 9100 Groupset
  • VerveCycling InfoCrank
  • Bontrager Speed Stop Pro Brakes
  • ENVE SES 4.5 on DT Swiss 240 hubs
  • ENVE SES Aero Road Handlebar and Stem
  • PRO Stealth Saddle

Some asked why I didn’t go electric shifting, the truth is I like the mechanical feel. Having the direct feedback of the chain moving to the next gear is something I got used to, and quite like.

It can be frustrating when you’re going full gas and you don’t get the next gear immediately but to me there in lays the fun in cycling. 

Trek Emonda SLR - Front View

Trek Emonda SLR – The Ride

After 1,000 kilometres the bike feels as amazing as it did on day one. Granted the first few weeks of a new bike are always a honeymoon period however I don’t feel like this honeymoon will end any time soon.

The H1 fit is the more aggressive ‘race’ geometry in the Trek lineup, with the change in stack and reach from the Canyon I was previously riding I opted for a 10mm spacer on the steerer.

Trek Emonda SLR - Side View

Previously owning a SwiftCarbon Ultravox TI which had very direct ride characteristic and similar geometry to the Trek Emonda SLR. I was a little concerned this frame would have the same characteristic however the tapered head tube helps by giving the Trek Emonda SLR a balanced feeling.

The bike has good responsiveness, direct steering and is compliant over a variety of surfaces. Granted Singapore roads are particularly well surfaced so I’ll have to weigh in again after riding in Malaysia or Australia.

[edit] The comfort level is updated below.

Being a lightweight bike, well suited to climbing, taking it for a loop of Faber was a on the cards. As a testiment to the stability and handling of the Trek Emonda SLR I set a PR on the descent without the thought of going fast on the downhill.

To say I was happy with how the Trek Emonda SLR handled both up and down Faber is pretty accurate.

The lack of climbing parcour in Singapore means this section will stay open for review after visiting some mountains!

[edit] We rode from George Town to Kuala Lumpur. The route took us over Cameron Highlands and Frasers Hill. After completing this journey I can comfortably say this bike handles the hills like no bike I’ve ridden before.

Climbing on the Trek Emonda SLR is a delight. I felt great in the saddle, out of the saddle, power climbing and easy spinning. Everything happening in the mountains felt natural and comfortable which is to be expected for a bike of this quality.

The descents were carefree and free flowing. The bike did not miss a beat. I felt nothing but comfort, agility and confidence when rolling through the twisting descents.

Everyone loves having a dig for the town sign sprints. I feel I was lacking fluidity throughout the year and this flowed through to the sprints. The first few rides on the Trek that fluidity came back, I can attribute some of that to new bike day, however the feelings have persisted.

The OCLV 700 carbon layup provides a solid platform for sprinting and you can feel the power being transferred into the drive train.

The bike is an all rounder and not specifically built to slice through the air like the slippery  Madone SLR and for that fact alone I cannot say this is a pure 5 star sprinter (although it performs like a 5 star sprinter).

Choosing the incorrect frame size can lead to any bike being uncomfortable. It’s important to know what to expect from a frame size and geometry when purchasing it, especially as race geometry can become unforgiving and uncomfortable for longer rides, if you lack flexibility.

The fit and geometry for the Trek Emonda SLR is perfect for me. The bike feels natural, direct and comfortable. I feel engaged and fast.

There is no feeling of fighting the pedals, cramped riding or overreaching for the bars. This is a testament to the careful thought and design the team at Trek have done.

[edit] On Saturday I joined the Singapore Audax group for a  ride through Kulai, Malaysia , via a slightly different route ( strava ). The roads range from brand new to absolutely terrible. After the 6 hour journey I feel comfortable saying the bike handles the range of surfaces well. However not quite as well as an enduro style bike.

The stiffness of the frame means the feeling of the road surface is transfered directly to your body. The trade off between stiffness and compliance is always a balancing act. Trek have done a good job of getting the balance right here.

Reviews of the Bontrager Speed Stop Pro Brakes suggest the performance is not quite that of Shimano Direct Mount brakes however I have not noticed any difference. 

The lever modulation is smooth and progressive. The ability to adjust the attack angle of the caliper is also nice. The lever feel can be adjusted for either a longer progressive travel, or shorter direct travel.

The also look badass.

Trek Emonda SLR - Speed Stop Brakes

Trek Emonda SLR – The Warp

If you are in the market for an all rounder you cannot go past the Trek Emonda SLR.

The lightweight construction coupled with comfortable, direct and compliant riding make the Trek Emonda SLR a top choice for any rider. If you are a climber, a crit racer, road racer, weekend warrior or simply a bike enthusiast this bike is sure to please.

The bike definitely turns heads at the coffee shop and for some that is the most important part of riding, the coffee.

As mentioned if you are in the market for a Trek go checkout the ProjectOne options at Treknology3 and remember to mention the blog for a discount.

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One thought on “ Product Review: Trek Emonda SLR ”

Enjoyed your review of this awesome trek emonda slr bike. I want to buy the frameset, rim version but could I ask you what size this frame is? I’m 166cm and based on the trek size guide I assume size 50 should be fine? My inseam is 29.9inches too. my saddle height is just under 68, like 67.8

Im just a bit concerned about the reach seems quite long compared to other bikes. But I’m thinking a zero offset seat post would help and a 90stem.

I just like to have some ideas on this myself before going in store as i find opinions in different stores vary. Some say I should be on the 47 purely for the reach. Another one said the 52, based on the height recommendation. Any thoughts yourself would be greatly appreciated. Maybe you could share your saddle height, stem length and body height??

Cheers David

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trek emonda slr 6 2019 review

Trek Emonda SLR 6 Road Bike 2019 Matte Dnister Black/Gloss Black

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Émonda SLR 6 has the lightest road bike frame Trek have ever made. It pairs the groundbreaking 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame with a high-performance Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and direct-mount rim brakes for feather-light performance on climbs and precision handling. This bike was born for the podium.

The Trek Emonda SLR 6 is for riders who place light-weight performance at the top of their priority list. And with a set of components that you can depend on, along with the outstanding ride quality, you have a bike that performs on big climbs, steep descents and fast sprints.

The best ride quality comes only from the best carbon. Emonda SLR 6 delivers the best handling characteristics on the lightest-ever 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame, with dependable, race-level parts like a full Shimano Ultegra 11-speed drivetrain, Ultegra direct-mount rim brakes, Bontrager XXX carbon handlebar and Bontrager Paradigm Comp Tubeless Ready wheels.

The Emonda SLR 6 frame weighs in at 640 grams. It's built up with a fully race-capable parts group, but what you're really getting for your money is the lightest frame Trek have ever made, and the security of a lifetime warranty.

Trek Emonda SLR 6 2019 Features

  • Trek optimised their carbon lay-up process specifically for this frame to achieve the lightest weight and finest ride quality possible
  • You can immediately feel the benefits of our lightest Émonda frame on the biggest climbs
  • Yes, it's a super lightweight bike – but it's a super lightweight bike with exceptional ride quality, balance and stiffness, too
  • Like every Émonda, it's built to be the lightest and fastest in its class and backed by a lifetime warranty
  • Make it yours: it's fully customisable through Project One

2019 Trek Emonda SLR 6 Build Highlights

  • 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame
  • Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset
  • Bontrager Paradigm Comp tubeless ready wheels with R3 Hard-Case Lite tyres
  • Bontrager Speed Stop direct mount brakes
  • Full Bontrager finishing kit

Trek Men's Bike Sizing Guide

We have put together a general sizing guide for Trek road and mountain bikes. Please see the below for a general size and check out the Trek Bikes Sizing Guide for all bike model guides and how to measure yourself. 

Trek Men's Road Bike Sizing Guide

Trek men's mountain bike sizing guide, trek men's commute bike sizing guide, write a review for trek emonda slr 6 road bike 2019 matte dnister black/gloss black, also in the range.

  • £2150 £2150 Trek Emonda ALR 5 Road Bike 2024 Crimson/Dark Carmine Fade
  • £2150 £2150 Trek Emonda ALR 5 Road Bike 2024 Slate Prismatic/Black Prismatic Fade
  • £2850 £2850 Trek Emonda SL 5 Road Bike 2024 White Prismatic
  • £2850 £2850 Trek Emonda SL 5 Road Bike 2024 Navy Smoke/Dark Aquatic
  • £5200 £5200 Trek Emonda SL 7 Road Bike 2024 Matte Carbon Smoke
  • £4200 £4200 Trek Emonda SL 6 Road Bike 2024 Crimson
  • £4200 £4200 Trek Emonda SL 6 Road Bike 2024 Plasma Grey/Dark Prismatic
  • £3499 £4625 Emonda SL 6 Pro Di2 Road Bike 2023 Quick Silver/Radioactive Red
  • £3499 £4625 Trek Emonda SL 6 Pro Di2 Road Bike 2023 Dnister Black/Trek Black
  • £2399 £3250 Trek Emonda SL 5 Road Bike 2023 hex Blue/Deep Dark Blue
  • £2399 £3250 Trek Emonda SL 5 Road Bike 2023 Lithium Grey
  • £2999 £4150 Trek Emonda SL 6 Road Bike 2023 Quicksilver/Radioactive Red
  • £2999 £4150 Trek Emonda SL 6 Di2 Road Bike 2023 Dnister Black/Trek Black
  • £4999 £6200 Trek Emonda Sl 7 Road Bike 2023 Mulsanne Blue/Trek Black
  • £4999 £6200 Trek Emonda Sl 7 Road Bike 2023 Trek White/Quicksilver
  • £6700 £6700 Trek Emonda Slr 6 Etap Road Bike 2022 Amethyst
  • £6700 £6700 Trek Emonda Slr 6 Etap Road Bike 2022 Radioactive Coral To Yellow
  • £8000 £8000 Trek Emonda Slr 7 Etap Road Bike 2022 Amethyst
  • £8000 £8000 Trek Emonda Slr 7 Etap Road Bike 2022 Radioactive Coral To Yellow
  • £11600 £11600 Trek Emonda SLR 9 Etap Disc Road Bike 2022 Amethyst
  • £11600 £11600 Trek Emonda SLR 9 Etap Disc Road Bike 2022 Radioactive Coral To Yellow
  • £6700 £6700 Trek Emonda Slr 6 Etap Road Bike 2022 Onyx Carbon
  • £6700 £6700 Trek Emonda Slr 6 Etap Road Bike 2022 Navy Carbon Smoke/Viper Red
  • £6700 £6700 Trek Emonda Slr 6 Etap Road Bike 2022 Navy Carbon Smoke/Blue
  • £3499 £4900 Trek Emonda SL 6 eTap 47 Road Bike 2023 Dark Prismatic/Trek Black
  • £3900 £3900 Trek Emonda SLR Disc H2 Road Frame Set 2021 Rage Red/Trek Black
  • £11600 £11600 Trek Emonda SLR 9 Etap Disc P1 Road Bike 2021 Matte Onyx
  • £11600 £11600 Trek Emonda SLR 9 Etap Disc P1 Road Bike 2021 Navy Carbon/Viper Red
  • £11600 £11600 Trek Emonda SLR 9 Etap Disc P1 Road Bike 2021 Navy Blue
  • £8000 £8000 Trek Emonda SLR 7 Disc eTap P1 Road Bike 2021 Matte Onyx Carbon
  • £8000 £8000 Trek Emonda SLR 7 Disc eTap P1 Road Bike 2021 Carbon Smoke/Viper Red
  • £8000 £8000 Trek Emonda SLR 7 Disc eTap P1 Road Bike 2021 Navy Carbon Smoke/Blue
  • £2950 £2950 Trek Emonda SL Disc Road Frame Set 2023 Black/Red
  • £6100 £6100 Trek Emonda SL 7 Disc eTap Road Bike 2022 Carbon Smoke/Factory Orange
  • £2499 £3400 Trek Emonda SL 6 Disc Road Bike 2022 Lithium Grey/Chrome
  • £2799 £3400 Trek Emonda SL 6 Disc Road Bike 2022 Black/Red
  • £3900 £3900 Trek Emonda SL 6 Disc Pro Road Bike 2022 Lithium Grey/Chrome
  • £3499 £3900 Trek Emonda SL 6 Disc Pro Road Bike 2022 Blue Black/Radioactive Red
  • £2099 £2700 Trek Emonda SL 5 Disc Carbon Road Bike 2022 Quick Silver

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    Whether you’re trekking through the backwoods or stepping out in the backyard, you need protection against insects and bugs. If you want to step outside in any situation with the knowledge that you’ll be protected, this Coleman insect repel...

  3. The Best DSLR Cameras on the Market

    Those who are ready to step into professional photography or step up their photo game will likely have delved into the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera field. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera is an ideal choice for novice a...

  4. Trek Emonda SLR Disc Review

    Weight: 15.5 – 16 lbs. (depended on spec); Frame weight: 665 grams (stated, vapor coat); MSRP: $3299 (SLR frame) or $5799 – $11,999 SLR

  5. 2019 Trek Émonda SLR 6

    A carbon frame race bike with high-end components and rim brakes. ... Based on frame geometry and build specs. ... A bike with lower

  6. Trek Emonda SLR 6 review

    The SLR's frame weighs a claimed 690g in size 56, and given that our 52cm test bike came in at just 6.5kg with Bontrager alloy clinchers, an

  7. 2019 Trek Émonda SLR 6 Disc

    2019 · TrekÉmonda SLR 6 Disc ; $5,799 · 7.2 kg · Carbon · Rigid · Carbon.

  8. 2019 Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Review

    Total Bike Weight: 56cm – 8.38 kg. Trek's road bike geometry is always on point, and provides riders with a little bit of everything, from

  9. Trek Emonda Long Term Review

    Trek Emonda Long Term Review. This is the 2019 Trek Emonda SL6 Disc. I have had this road bike for about 2 years and this is my honest

  10. Émonda SLR 6

    The Emonda SLR6 takes the abilities that are developed in training and puts it rite to the road. I love it and would highly recommend the Emonda SLR6 to anyone

  11. Trek 2018 Émonda SL 6 Disc review

    While all attention was focussed on the new Émonda SLR Disc frameset at the launch last year, the more affordable SL version also received an

  12. Trek Émonda Review

    But I also like that the Émonda is pretty straightforward and rider-friendly. trek emonda slr 9 etap. The Émonda SLR is as sleek as it is light.

  13. Product Review: Trek Emonda SLR

    Final Weight (without pedals) circa 6.45 kg. The H1 frameset is made using Trek's lightest 700 Series OCLV carbon. With the drop in weight I

  14. Trek Emonda SLR 6 Road Bike 2019 Matte Dnister Black/Gloss Black

    The Trek Emonda SLR 6 is for riders who place light-weight performance at the top of their priority list. And with a set of components that you can depend on