Trek has a huge range that covers virtually all areas of cycling. The US brand divides its performance road bikes into four families: Madone, Emonda, Domane and the new Checkpoint gravel bikes.
The Madone has an emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency, the Emonda is all about light weight, the Domane has a focus on comfort and ride quality and Checkpoint (disappointingly not Daemon to keep with the anagram theme) is for dirt roads and mixed-surface riding. There are many models at different price points within each of those categories.
Trek also offers its cheaper 1 Series of aluminium road bikes, its female-specific Lexa and Silque bikes, and many cyclocross models.
Here are the highlights.
Trek's latest collection comes with carbon or aluminium frames packing the IsoSpeed decoupler from the Domane, and with space for up to 45mm tyres, umpteen water bottle mounts plus mudguard and rack eyelets, 12mm thru-axles and flat mount disc brakes. It's available only with Shimano 2x11 groupsets and costs from £1,450 to £3,500.
Trek first showed its cards with the Domane Gravel, a slightly modified version of the company’s endurance bike but with wider tyres. It's fair to say we were all a bit surprised by the effort, but it now looks like it was a stopgap for real gravel bike enthusiasts before the arrival of the company’s first dedicated foray into this growing category, the all-new Checkpoint. Compared to the Domane Gravel, Trek says the new Checkpoint offers much improved off-road capability and general versatility, with bigger tyre clearance, adjustable dropouts and geometry and lots of accessory mounts the key differences. Why they didn't just launch the Checkpoint in the first place is anyone's guess.
Trek offers the Checkpoint in either an aluminium or a carbon fibre frame. The carbon bikes have the Isospeed decoupler that Trek introduced on the Domane in 2012, while the aluminium bikes are rigid. Isospeed is a mechanism that allows the top of the seat tube to move a little, independently of the rest of the frame, to provide a small amount of bum-cosseting shock absorption.
The top of the range is the Checkpoint SL6, which boasts a Shimano Ultegra groupset and hydraulic brakes for an RRP of £3,400; that's it at the top of this section.
The £2,700 Checkpoint SL5, above, has Shimano's 105 groupset and is also available in a women's version.
If you can live without carbon fibre and Isospeed, £1,700 gets you the Shimano 105-equipped Checkpoint ALR 5, above. It's also available in women's geometry
The least expensive bike in the range is the Checkpoint ALR 4 at £1,450.00 with Shimano Tiagra. That's the women's geometry version above.
The Madone (pronounced mad-own) is a long-standing model in the Trek range, although it has changed massively over the years. These days all of the Madones are high-end. You can’t get a complete bike for less than £3,500, so they're out of reach of most of us.
The Madone had a major redesign for 2016 that saw the inclusion of an IsoSpeed decoupler – technology borrowed from the Domane (see below) – for the first time.
“Trek engineers designed a decoupler that allows the seat tube to rotate independently from the top-tube-to-seatstay junction, increasing vertical compliance to twice that or our nearest competitor, without compromising pedalling efficiency,” says Trek.
The Madone is designed to be aerodynamically efficient with tubes shaped to minimise drag and many integrated features such as dedicated direct-mount brakes, the front one melding almost seamlessly into the fork legs and crown.
The Madone is available in two different grades of carbon – 700 OCLV being lighter and stronger than 600 OCLV – and in two different fits. The H1 fit is low and aggressive while the H2 fit is slightly more relaxed but still highly performance orientated.
The most affordable (it’s all relative) model is the £3,500 H2 Madone 9.0 (above). This one is built up with a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Bontrager Aeolus Comp tubeless ready wheels and, unlike the rest of the range, it has a standard handlebar and stem rather than a one-piece cockpit.
Bontrager is Trek’s in-house brand but don’t make the mistake of thinking that’s simply a way of cutting overheads. Bontrager is a legitimate brand in its own right and develops some excellent products, including the aerodynamically profiled integrated handlebar/stem that features here.
The 9.5 (£6,500-£6,950) is available in both standard and women's versions (the women’s version has the same geometry as the standard version but with a slightly tweaked spec) and, like many of the higher end bikes in the range, it can be customised using Trek’s Project One programme. You can choose the grade of carbon-fibre, the colour, the groupset, the components and the accessories you like.
The £9,500 Madone 9.9 is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 components and Bontrager’s excellent Aeolus 5 D3 TLR wheels.
When we reviewed the Trek Madone 9 Series we concluded: “Stunningly good bike that offers a fabulous mix of speed and comfort, although, as usual, the top-end tech comes at a price”.
Buy if: You want a top-level race bike and you have a lot of money to spend.
Emonda (rim brake)
Trek’s Emonda (pronounced eh-mon-dah) lightweight road bike range has had a huge update for 2018, the carbon-fibre models having been redesigned to be lighter than ever. Disc brakes have been added to the Emonda lineup for the first time (see below).
The Emonda range covers four different carbon-fibre frames – the SL, the SL Disc, the SLR and the SLR Disc – and an aluminium model (see below) which hasn’t been updated. Each of those frames comes in various different builds.
The SL is available in an H2 fit only, putting you into a slightly more upright riding position than Trek’s H1 fit. The frame is made from Trek’s 500 Series OCLV carbon and has a claimed frame weight of 1,091g while the fork is 313g.
The SL models range in price from £1,500 (SL 4, Shimano Tiagra, above) up to £4,000 (SL 7, Shimano Ultegra Di2).
There’s also a new women’s model, the Emonda SL 5 Women’s (£1,800, above). Like the standard SL 5, it has a heavier fork than the rest of the Emonda SLs at 436g.
The 2018 Trek Emonda SLR frame is 50g lighter than the previous version at just 640g. How has Trek saved the grams? It’s simply down to a new carbon layup.
The Emonda SLR features new direct-mount Speed Stop Pro brakes from Bontrager, Trek’s sub-brand. These brakes have hollow arms, titanium hardware and a claimed weight of just 95g. They offer enough clearance for tyres up to 28mm wide.
The Emonda SLR is available in three models—SLR 9 (Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, £8,500), SLR 8 (Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical, £5,200), and SLR 6 (Shimano Ultegra, £4,000). It’s also available as a frameset (£2,590) in both H1 (aggressive) and H2 (a little less aggressive but still performance orientated) geometries.
The Emonda SLR is also available through Trek’s Project One program which allows you to select your own paintjob and components.
Buy if: You’re after a fast road bike with a focus on light weight.
Coming in at just 665g, the Emonda SLR Disc frame is the lightest disc brake frame that we know of. The Emonda SLR Disc fork is 350g.
Complete bikes come stock with wider 28mm tyres although Trek says that you can fit wider tyres for gravel and even adventure riding.
The Emonda SLR Disc is available in SLR 8 Disc (Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical, £5,200, above) and SLR 6 Disc (Shimano Ultegra, £4,000) models as well as a frameset (£2,590).
Like the rim brake frameset, the disc brake version comes as an SL version too. The Emonda SL Disc frame is 1,149g and the fork is 350g.
The SL 7 Disc (Shimano Ultegra Di2, above) is £4,400 while the SL 6 Disc (Shimano Ultegra) is £2,650. The Emonda SL Disc frameset is priced £1,380.
Buy if: You’re interested in a quick, lightweight road bike with the all-weather reliability of disc brakes
The Emonda ALR frame remains unchanged for 2018, which is fine with us because we think it’s among the very best aluminium options out there at the moment.
There are three Emonda ALR bikes in the range, all based on the same 300 Series Alpha Aluminium frame with virtually invisible welds and a tapered head tube that helps to provide accurate steering.
The Emonda ALR 4 (above) is the cheapest model at £1,000. This gets you a Shimano Tiagra groupset with virtually everything else coming from Bontrager.
If you can afford more, the £1,350 Emonda ALR 5 (above) is tempting with its full carbon fork and Shimano 105 groupset. That looks a great buy.
The £2,000 Emonda ALR 6 (above) steps up to a full Shimano Ultegra groupset and Bontrager Aeolus Comp tubeless ready wheels.
Buy if: You want one of the best lightweight aluminium road bikes out there.
Trek broke new ground when it introduced its IsoSpeed decoupler on the Domane (pronounced dough-mar-nay) back in 2012. Essentially, it’s a design that allows the seat tube to pivot relative to the top tube and seatstays,so the saddle can move downwards (and a little backwards), providing more give and adding comfort to the ride.
Then Trek introduced a front IsoSpeed system (above) to some of its models in 2016 to increase comfort and control, and added adjustment to the rear IsoSpeed decoupler (below).
The Domane range is divided up like this:
• Domane SLR: Front and adjustable rear IsoSpeed, 600 Series OCLV carbon.
• Domane SL: Front and non-adjustable rear IsoSpeed, 500 Series OCLV carbon.
• Domane ALR: Non-adjustable rear IsoSpeed, 200 Series Alpha Aluminium.
• Domane AL: No decoupler, 100 Series Alpha Aluminium.
Both rim brake and disc brake models are available at all of these levels. The Domane S has now slipped from the range.
The most affordable Domane is the £625 AL2 (above), available in both standard and women's versions. It's an aluminium bike in an endurance fit that's designed for comfort, but there's no decoupler. The AL2 is built up with a Shimano Claris groupset.
The Domane ALR bikes do get a rear IsoSpeed decoupler. The cheapest of them is the £1,000 ALR 3 (above) which features a Shimano Sora groupset and Tektro T731 brakes, while £1,400 gets you the ALR 4 Disc with Shimano’s RS505 hydraulic disc brakes.
The Bontrager wheels come with 32mm-wide tyres but you can get 36mm on here even if you have mudguards fitted. That’s an easy way to add more comfort.
The SL 5 (£1,900) is the most affordable Domane with front IsoSpeed. This model features a Shimano 105 groupset.
The £2,500 Domane SL 5 Disc Carbon is a similar bike but with Shimano RS505 hydraulic disc brakes.
Trek has also added a Domane SL5 Gravel (£2,600, above) which has Shimano RS805 hydraulic disc brakes and Schwalbe G-One Allround 700x35 tubeless tyres instead of Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite tyres in a 32mm width.
The top-level Domanes– with front IsoSpeed and adjustable rear IsoSpeed – kick off with the £3,900 SLR 6.
We reviewed this bike a few months ago and said, “The Domane just got even better. It's smoother and more comfortable than the original, and fast and fun as well.”
We went on to say, “There are few endurance bikes as comfortable as the new Trek Domane SLR. A host of changes ensures the new bike is incredibly smooth, filtering out the most severe vibrations on all sorts of rough roads, gravel tracks and cobblestones.”
If you want Trek's top level Domane, the SLR 9 Disc (above) comes equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 tubeless ready wheels, but it’ll cost you £9,500. Ouch!
This is one of several Domane SLR models that you can customise via Trek's Project One system.
Buy if: You’re after an endurance road bike with plenty of comfort and control.
The Crossrip is a disc-brake equipped range that’s designed to handle everything from commuting to gravel riding. The 200 Series Alpha Aluminium frame is rack and mudguard compatible for added versatility.
The cheapest model is the £850 Crossrip 1 (above) that’s fitted with 9-speed Shimano Sora shifters and derailleurs and TRP’s Spyre C 2.0 mechanical (cable operated) disc brakes.
The top-level Crossrip 3 (£1,600) gets Shimano’s well-respected 10-speed 105 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes for superb control.
Buy if: You’re after a durable urban bike with all-weather stopping power.
Trek offers two cyclocross platforms: Crockett and Boone.
The Crockett frame is disc-specific and it’s made from 200 Series Alpha Aluminium. The more affordable of the two models is the Crockett 5 Disc (£1,500, above) with a largely SRAM Rival groupset and Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes.
The Crockett 7 Disc (above) has a SRAM Force 1 groupset, including hydraulic disc brakes, but it’s considerably more expensive at £2,800.
The Boone is made from 600 Series OCLV carbon fibre.
The £2,800 Boone 5 Disc (above) comes with a SRAM Rival groupset including hydraulic disc brakes.
Buy if: You want a cyclocross race bike with cross-specific geometry and gearing.
The 2018 Trek range
|Checkpoint SL 6||£3,400.00|
|Checkpoint SL 5 Women's||£2,700.00|
|Checkpoint SL 5||£2,700.00|
|Checkpoint ALR 5 Women's||£1,700.00|
|Checkpoint ALR 5||£1,700.00|
|Checkpoint SL Frameset||£1,700.00|
|Checkpoint ALR 4 Women's||£1,450.00|
|Checkpoint ALR 4||£1,450.00|
|Checkpoint ALR Frameset||£800.00|
|Emonda ALR 4||£1,000.00|
|Emonda ALR 5||£1,350.00|
|Emonda ALR 6||£2,000.00|
|Emonda ALR Frameset||£775.00|
|Emonda SL 4||£1,500.00|
|Emonda SL 5||£1,800.00|
|Emonda SL 6||£2,250.00|
|Emonda SL 6 Pro||£2,850.00|
|Emonda SL 6 Disc||£2,650.00|
|Emonda SL 7||£4,000.00|
|Emonda SL 7 Disc||£4,400.00|
|Emonda SLR 6 H2||£4,000.00|
|Emonda SLR 6 H2 P1||£4,450.00|
|Emonda SLR 6 Disc||£4,400.00|
|Emonda SLR 6 Disc H2 P1||£4,850.00|
|Emonda SLR 8 H2||£5,200.00|
|Emonda SLR 8 H2 P1||£5,650.00|
|Emonda SLR 8 Disc||£6,000.00|
|Emonda SLR 8 Disc P1||£6,450.00|
|Emonda SLR 9 H2||£8,500.00|
|Emonda SLR 9 H2 P1||£8,950.00|
|Emonda SL Frameset||£1,350.00|
|Emonda SL Disc Frameset||£1,350.00|
|Emonda SLR H1 Frameset||£2,590.00|
|Emonda SLR H2 Frameset||£2,590.00|
|Emonda SLR Disc H2 Frameset||£2,590.00|
|Emonda SL 5 WSD||£1,800.00|
|Madone 9.0 C H2||£3,500.00|
|Madone 9.5 C H2||£6,500.00|
|Madone 9.5 C H2 P1||£6,950.00|
|Madone 9.9 C H2||£9,500.00|
|Madone 9.9 C H2 P1||£9,950.00|
|Madone 9 H2 Frameset||£3,000.00|
|Madone 9 RSL H1 Frameset||£4,300.00|
|Madone 9.5 C WSD||£6,500.00|
|Madone 9.5 C WSD P1||£6,950.00|
|Domane AL 2||£625.00|
|Domane AL 3||£750.00|
|Domane AL 2 WSD||£625.00|
|Domane AL 3 WSD||£750.00|
|Domane ALR 4 Disc WSD||£1,400.00|
|Domane ALR 3||£1,000.00|
|Domane ALR 4 Disc||£1,400.00|
|Domane ALR 5 Disc||£1,600.00|
|Domane ALR 5 Gravel||£1,650.00|
|Domane ALR Frameset||£825.00|
|Domane ALR Disc Frameset||£875.00|
|Domane SL 5||£1,900.00|
|Domane SL 5 Disc||£2,500.00|
|Domane SL 5 Gravel||£2,600.00|
|Domane SL 6||£2,600.00|
|Domane SL 6 Disc||£3,000.00|
|Domane SL 7||£4,300.00|
|Domane SL 8 Disc||£4,800.00|
|Domane SLR 6||£3,900.00|
|Domane SLR 6 P1||£4,350.00|
|Domane SLR 6 Disc||£4,300.00|
|Domane SLR 6 Disc P1||£4,750.00|
|Domane SLR 8 Disc||£5,200.00|
|Domane SLR 8 Disc P1||£5,650.00|
|Domane SLR 9 Disc||£9,500.00|
|Domane SLR 9 Disc P1||£9,950.00|
|Domane SL Frameset||£1,700.00|
|Domane SL Disc Frameset||£1,775.00|
|Domane SLR Frameset||£2,150.00|
|Domane SLR Disc Frameset||£2,150.00|
|Domane SL 5 WSD||£1,900.00|
|Domane SL 5 Disc WSD||£2,500.00|
|Domane SL 6 Disc WSD||£3,000.00|
|Domane SL 7 WSD||£4,300.00|
|Domane SLR 6 Disc WSD||£4,300.00|
|Domane SLR 6 Disc WSD P1||£4,750.00|
|Domane SL WSD Frameset||£1,700.00|
|Crockett 5 Disc||£1,500.00|
|Crockett 7 Disc||£2,800.00|
|Boone 5 Disc||£2,800.00|
|Boone 7 Disc||£3,900.00|
|Boone Disc Frameset||£1,950.00|
|Speed Concept P1||£4,350.00|
|Speed Concept Frameset||£2,500.00|
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.