Trek launched the Domane range in 2012 and at the request of Spartacus himself, Cancellara wanted a race bike that would be super fast but also offer a degree of comfort when propelling himself across the cobbles of Belgium and northern France during the Classics season. Pronounced Do-MAH-nee, which is Latin for "Kings Crown" as well as being an anagram of Madone, the Domane has cemented it's place at the top table of cycling by being piloted to victories by Fabian Cancellara ever since it's launch.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Domane is in need of an update. Yes it's still an amazing bike but it needs to stay ahead of the competition and to do that it needs a refresh. Rumours and speculation have been rife over the last few weeks, with pictures of Cancellara's bike appearing following his win at Stande Bianche, we've been waiting with baited breath to see what Trek had up their sleeves...
So, here it is in all it's glory, the Domane SLR. Let's just all drink it in for a moment...
So, lets look at the new SLR in a bit more detail with the new features and key developments...
Adjustable Rear IsoSpeed Decoupler
You'll recognise the Isospeed Decoupler from the Domane's previous incarnation, this time Trek have made it adjustable so that you can adjust the compliance to allow a wider range of movement. Simply put, the new Domane can soak up even more of the rough stuff without fatiguing your legs from the vibrations. The idea being that you can fine tune the ride even more to suit not only your riding style but also the terrain that you find yourself riding on. This fine tuning is done by moving the slider in the seat tube, the lowest position can offer 14% more compliance than previous models while the top setting will make it as stiff as an Emonda. Adjusting the slider is done by simply loosening a single bolt on the frame, so no need for any mechanical knowledge!
The Domane features a pair of seat tubes, connected via the IsoSpeed decoupler with a lower bolted joint. The slider adjusts the space between the two halves of the twin seat tube, allowing the seat mast to deflect rearwards.
Let me use Treks words to give you the technical bits-
“The slider contacts both the lower seat mast tube and main frame tube to limit the fore deflection of the lower seat mast per the user’s preference, if the slider is towards the bottom (near the bottom bracket), a user will experience greater compliance because of the greater vacant space that allows the lower seat mast to deflect more. If the slider is near the top (towards the IsoSpeed decoupler), a user will experience less compliance because the slider is inhibiting deflection in the vacant space below it. In the test lab, vertical stiffness testing at the saddle shows that for a 56cm frame, the compliance ranges from approximately 99N/mm to 144N/mm throughout the slider’s adjustment range.”
If the evolution of the rear IsoSpeed isn't impressive enough for you, get a load of what Trek have done to the front end of the bike. By allowing the steerer tube to rotate independently from the head tube, the IsoSpeed gives an additional 10% of front end compliance from what you would get from a traditional road bike. Like it's brother, the rear IsoSpeed, it will also reduce the hard hits delivered by rough terrain without sacrificing efficiency or control. Stem length is a factor in the amount of deflection you will receive.
The front IsoSpeed works on a pivoting collar that allows the steerer tube to move back and forth. The collar is then bolted to the top of the the steerer tube with elliptical nuts, which make it free to rotate a small amount.
To further enhance the front end compliance of the bike, Trek have developed and introduced the new Bontrager IsoCore bars. These bars contribute to the front end compliance by dampening the vibrations from the roads. Based on the IsoZone handlebar, the new bar has Thermoplastic Elastomer in the carbon layup, this can help to dissipate vibrations by 20% on both the hoods and on the drops.
Direct Mount Brakes, Disc Brakes and Fork
Available in both disc break and rim brake versions, the rim brake version moves to direct mount brake calipers. Trek also introduce a new fork for the Domane SLR, which will increase compliance by a further 7%. It also increases tire clearance which will allow the SLR to be fitted with up to a 28mm tyre on the rim brake and 32mm on the disc brake version.
For the disc brake version Trek are using a flat mount, seemingly the standard in the bike world today, as well as a 12mm thru-axle.
Also a feature seen on the Madone, this is essentially a port for concealing the Di2 junction box. The port is located underneath the bottle cage mount on the downtube and neatly removes the junction box from the front of the the bike (assuming you have the Di2 version).
Once again Fabian Cancellara has been heavily involved with the development of the SLR, including riding a model rigged up with sensors over the Paris-Roubaix cobbles. On top of that, Trek also built a cobbled section at their factory in Wisconsin to save time having to ship prototypes over to Europe.
The Trek Domane SLR is now available at York Cycleworks, drop in for a chat about yours!