Just In: Trek Domane 2.0

The most affordable Domane comes with clever tech, an aluminium frame and a Shimano Tiagra groupset for £1,000

by Mat Brett   March 24, 2014  

The 2.0 is the most affordable version of Trek’s Domane design, built with an aluminium frame and a largely Shimano Tiagra groupset.

The Domane’s big USP is its IsoSpeed Decoupler. If you’re new around these parts or you’ve just not been paying attention, the IsoSpeed Decoupler is a frame feature that’s used across the Domane range, the idea being to smooth the ride.

On most bikes, the seat tube is attached firmly to the bottom bracket shell and to the top tube and seatstays. With the IsoSpeed Decoupler, Trek still attach the seat tube to the bottom bracket but they allow it to float at the top.

The design is intended to remove the movement of the seat tube from the rest of the frame so that it can absorb more forces from the road. Make sense? In short, the saddle moves more to soak up road shock. As well as adding more comfort, the idea is that the rear wheel stays in better contact with rough roads.

We reviewed last year’s £1,200 Domane 2.3 here on road.cc. We concluded that this aluminium model dampened high-frequency vibration pretty effectively, although not nearly as much as the higher-level carbon models.

The design has been modified for 2014. You have to be careful when you flex aluminium because it can break. Previously, Trek welded two completely different aluminium tubes together to form the seat tube so that they could control the damping. You could see the weld an inch or two below the IsSpeed Decoupler.

Now, however, Trek have decided that they don’t need that weld. It is a single hydroformed tube that looks neater and, Trek say, is just as effective. It also shaves around 80g of weight from the previous version.

Trek call the Domane’s fork an IsoSpeed design too, although it doesn’t have a lot in common with the Decoupler. They reckon that the offset dropout at the end of the leg increases fore/aft compliance, absorbing road shock better than a conventional design rather than transmitting it straight up to your wrists.

The Domane 2.0 is built to what Trek call an Endurance geometry which means that, like pretty much everyone else’s endurance geometries, it comes with a top tube that’s a touch shorter than that of a standard race bike, and a head tube that’s a touch longer.

We won’t go into too much detail here other than to say that the stack on our 56cm model is 59.1cm and the reach is 37.7cm. For comparison, Trek’s H2 fit on their Madone 2.0 has a stack of 57.7cm a reach of 38.7cm – so the Domane is a little shorter and higher for a more upright, more relaxed ride position. It’s still a racy setup, but not quite as aggressive as some, and your back might thank you for that.

Another couple of frame characteristics worth mentioning are that the Domane has hidden eyelets for full mudguards and rack mounts too. Oh, and it’s Speedtrap compatible, which means that a computer sensor can sit within the fork leg to measure your speed and distance, rather than poking out and adding to the drag. It also keeps things looking neat and tidy.

Trek offer two aluminium Domane’s: the Shimano 105-equipped 2.3 (£1,200) and this £1,000 2.0. As we said up top, the 2.0’s components are largely from Shimano’s 10-speed Tiagra range, the most notable component being the triple chainset with 50, 39 and 30-tooth chainrings matched up to a 12-30-tooth cassette. That combo gives you a super-low gear that should see you up pretty much any gradient you fancy without too much trouble. You’re not going to be incredibly fast in such a small gear, but at least you won’t have to get off and walk.

Most of the other components, including the brakes and wheels, are from Trek’s in-house Bontrager brand.

Right, that’s yer lot for now. We’re going to hit the road to find out how the Domane 2.0 rides. We’ll be back with a review on road.cc soon. In the meantime, find more details at www.trekbikes.com.

17 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I think 200 more for the 105 version would be money well spent

posted by jarredscycling [451 posts]
24th March 2014 - 19:21

45 Likes

jarredscycling wrote:
I think 200 more for the 105 version would be money well spent

True but it wouldn't hit the magic Cycle To Work price point then. Nice bikes, had my 2.0 for about 16 months now and the rear end ride really is something rather special - rest of it is pretty good, but i'd say the IsoSpeed is the real difference.

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [426 posts]
25th March 2014 - 8:05

21 Likes

I know they probably put thought into the issue, but is it really that smart to use a bike design based on the flexibility and fatiguelessness of carbon on a material that isn't?

How long can you ride the frame until the aluminium fatigues and gives up?

posted by ffloid [6 posts]
25th March 2014 - 11:31

18 Likes

I wouldn't be too sure about the 'fatiguelessness' of carbon! My girlfriend has just written an entire PhD on the fatigue modelling of carbon composites. They do fatigue, its just no where near as well understood as fatigue mechanisms in metals. Obviously this is of great interest to the aerospace industry.

posted by jackh [105 posts]
25th March 2014 - 15:06

19 Likes

I've had my Domane 2.0 for a year and love it. The IsSpeed Decoupler works really well and makes for a very smooth ride. It handles uneven surfaces really well and is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden (& that includes my Specialized Roubaix Expert).

I use it for my daily commute and cycling in the lanes at the weekend when it's wet. It would be even better, though, if it had disc brakes...

posted by Kadenz [43 posts]
25th March 2014 - 21:04

17 Likes

I'd be interested in seeing some of her research.

posted by J90 [118 posts]
25th March 2014 - 22:40

17 Likes

Hi to all of you eager beavers with loads of money and a very very short impulse buying fuse.
Is this the early stages of the introduction to 'Throw away Bikes'?
Yes,believe me I am aware that this kind of money is not throw away but in the real and easily convinced world of get it on tick;it is only bla bla per month and coupled with the modern day world of not questioning the 'Experts' and believing just about everything that goes into print or is published on the internet and further accelerated by a thumbs-up/like or Trending figures,this is just another marker.
At 68yrs young,I will probably be dead and incinerated by the time some of these get cast aside because of failures of the alleged benefits that was part of the 'Rush out now and get one' mentality and get left in sheds all over the world.
Look at some of the older steel frames that are still around and remain as perfectly functioning cycles,some of which have change hands many times and lovingly lavished with a refurbishment programme.
I very much doubt that the same will be experience by some of the current hyped up bikes.

Your ears are your rear end defenders,don't clutter them and stay safe.
Clutter them and possibly stay in hospital,or worse still!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheCyclingRooster's picture

posted by TheCyclingRooster [15 posts]
25th March 2014 - 23:59

20 Likes

jackh wrote:
I wouldn't be too sure about the 'fatiguelessness' of carbon! My girlfriend has just written an entire PhD on the fatigue modelling of carbon composites. They do fatigue, its just no where near as well understood as fatigue mechanisms in metals. Obviously this is of great interest to the aerospace industry.

I'd be really interested in hearing more about this if possible? Then again, I daresay various companies would pay her rather a lot to keep it discreet - F1, aerospace etc. Sounds like she'll be onto a good living in return for all that effort - good luck to her.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3208 posts]
26th March 2014 - 10:17

12 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
Then again, I daresay various companies would pay her rather a lot to keep it discreet - F1, aerospace etc.

Why would you assume some sort of industrial conspiracy? This type of research is valuable in improving the quality of the product - not to uncover flaws being hidden by corrupt corporations. People have been researching the properties of steel for decades, it's not getting paid off and swept under the carpet by those building skyscrapers.

posted by Nick T [814 posts]
26th March 2014 - 10:24

13 Likes

TheCyclingRooster wrote:

Is this the early stages of the introduction to 'Throw away Bikes'?

I believe the many destined-for-obsolescence bottom bracket standards currently flooding the market are the true herald for disposable bicycles.

posted by Nick T [814 posts]
26th March 2014 - 10:28

22 Likes

TheCyclingRooster wrote:
Hi to all of you eager beavers with loads of money and a very very short impulse buying fuse.
Is this the early stages of the introduction to 'Throw away Bikes'?
Yes,believe me I am aware that this kind of money is not throw away but in the real and easily convinced world of get it on tick;it is only bla bla per month and coupled with the modern day world of not questioning the 'Experts' and believing just about everything that goes into print or is published on the internet and further accelerated by a thumbs-up/like or Trending figures,this is just another marker.
At 68yrs young,I will probably be dead and incinerated by the time some of these get cast aside because of failures of the alleged benefits that was part of the 'Rush out now and get one' mentality and get left in sheds all over the world.
Look at some of the older steel frames that are still around and remain as perfectly functioning cycles,some of which have change hands many times and lovingly lavished with a refurbishment programme.
I very much doubt that the same will be experience by some of the current hyped up bikes.

It's interesting that you chose to post these thoughts on a review of a fairly modest Trek (albeit £1k isn't insignificant). Seems to me like a lot of bike for the money and if it is half as good as my first road bike (also a Trek) there's many years and miles of use in it. There are plenty other bikes reviewed here that should be the focus of your ire. I'm thinking of 'gravel racers' in particular.

If the isocoupler thing is a way of engineering more comfort into a alu frame, then surely the comfort and lightness of this frame gives it greater longevity? Whilst steel is inherently more forgiving, its a heavier lump to haul over the hills. If this bike allows people to cycle for more years, then its a good thing.

As a rule my bikes last me 5-10 years of regular riding. Maybe you should avoid mobile phone websites if your issue is instant gratification?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [562 posts]
26th March 2014 - 10:31

11 Likes

Having built up several bikes with both, I prefer Tiagra over 105. Cable routing on 105 brifters is like Swiss watch repair. Tiagra is a snap to set up. I like the range of the triple, but might upgrade the RD (as little as £25) for the 5701 medium cage. Another nice thing (IMHO) about the Tiagra exposed shift cables is they look better on a "classic" build. And I swear they shift as well or better than 105s. Shame about the dorky gear indicators.

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [149 posts]
26th March 2014 - 11:51

11 Likes

That paint job is disgusting....what's going on? Last year's was nice! Sick

posted by BUZZBUZZBUZZ [6 posts]
26th March 2014 - 13:26

10 Likes

I don't know about a conspiracy! It is moderately well discussed in the academic literature, eg.:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2004.02.040

At the moment, particularly in aerospace, composite structures are massively over-engineered, because the fatigue property of composites are still being understood. My understanding is that there is still a lot of potential for lighter parts, just that (understandable) conservatism is holding things back.

posted by jackh [105 posts]
27th March 2014 - 10:05

9 Likes

Wings falling off planes would be pretty bad for business, one would imagine.

posted by Nick T [814 posts]
27th March 2014 - 10:36

8 Likes

Nick T wrote:
notfastenough wrote:
Then again, I daresay various companies would pay her rather a lot to keep it discreet - F1, aerospace etc.

Why would you assume some sort of industrial conspiracy? This type of research is valuable in improving the quality of the product - not to uncover flaws being hidden by corrupt corporations. People have been researching the properties of steel for decades, it's not getting paid off and swept under the carpet by those building skyscrapers.

Oh, no conspiracy to cover up failures, just plain old competition at the cutting edge. Years ago, I used to work with a guy whose son did some sort of student placement with an F1 team. While there, he came up with an innovation that could detect in real time whether the carbon being weaved was at the correct angle (that was how he described it - no doubt it was rather more nuanced/niche than that). Previously they could only inspect it after production, which was driving the cost up due to the number of failures. As a result, they took him on full-time, but the new development was kept close to their chests. The reduction in time/effort, and the ability to divert the money to other things represented a competitive advantage for them.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3208 posts]
27th March 2014 - 10:51

8 Likes

Gotcha.

posted by Nick T [814 posts]
27th March 2014 - 10:56

8 Likes