Trek launch superlight Émonda road bike

Frames are as light as 690g with complete bikes from 4.6kg; range also includes bikes down to £1,200

by Mat Brett   July 1, 2014  

Trek are launching a new road bike called the Émonda which they say is the lightest production road bike in the world. The top level Émonda SLR 10 (in a 56cm frame and Trek’s H1 fit) weighs a claimed 10.25lb (4.6kg).

Trek say that they have prioritised saving weight above every other parameter, claiming that the highest specced complete bike is almost 1kg lighter than Cannondale’s SuperSix Evo Black Inc. The lightest frame is 690g painted.

The Émonda has been developed over the past 30 months with input from Trek’s pro team as well as everyday riders.

“We have been working on this a long time and we’re really proud of it,” said Trek’s Road Product Manager Ben Coates at the Émonda’s launch in Harrogate prior to the start of the Tour de France this weekend.

Trek say that the Émonda boasts the most sophisticated tube optimisation of any bike ever, with both the tube shape and the laminate being designed to produce the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio possible.

The Émonda has what Trek refer to as a ‘size-specific ride-tuned performance’. In other words, they’ve engineered things so that each size performs the same. Mind you, Trek don’t think this is that big a deal, saying that they’ve been doing this since they first started producing carbon bikes back in 1992.

As well as the frame, Trek have had to work on various components to bring the weight down.

“The idea was; we have the resources to build a complete bike system. Let’s use that advantage to look at every aspect of the bicycle and how each component interacts with all the others,” said Ben Coates. “Once we covered the basic bike functions, we focused on every minute detail. Every decision was based on what was the overall lightest option for the system.”

They’ve produced a Bontrager XXX combined handlebar and stem for the Émonda SLR 10, taking out features like the faceplate, to reduce the weight by 70-100g over a separate bar and stem (depending on size). There's a moulded in thread for mounting a Garmin, iPhone or other device up front

Bontrager’s brake team developed the new Speed Stop brake with mounts that connect directly to the frame via two bolts to reduce component parts. These save up to 35g per caliper, and increase braking performance. An adjustable leverage ratio, a two position quick release, and an ultra-wide stance add to Speed Stop’s versatility and adjustability, according to Trek. This also increases tyre clearance.

They’ve also redesigned the seatcap with new hardware.

There’s a new DuoTrap speed/cadence sensor too that is both ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible, and a 3S chainkeeper to stop the chain dropping off your inner chainring and damaging the frame.

Trek don’t see this as a bike that’ll lack durability. They offer a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects and one year warranty on the paint and finish.

The top-level SLR 10 is made from Trek’s OCLV 700 carbon in Waterloo, Wisconsin. This is the ultra-light 690g version.

The Émonda SL – the next level down – is a 1,050g frame while the Émonda S frame is 1,200g.

“It’s lighter, it’s stiffer, it’s the best bike I’ve ever ridden,” said Trek Factory Racing’s Bob Jungels, a member of the test team who rode and provided feedback throughout the ride test phase of Émonda’s development. “Accelerating this bike feels amazing.”

So how does the Émonda fit with the other models in the Trek road bike range? Trek are billing it up as the bike to go for if you’re after lightness, the Domane as the one to go for if you want a smooth ride, and the Madone the aero option. Trek’s pro riders will have the choice of all of these three bikes.

Émonda prices range from £1,200 for the Shimano Tiagra-equipped Emonda S 4 up to £11,000 for the SLR 10. This model comes with a SRAM Red groupset and Tune hubs and rims.

Back in the real world, the Émonda SL 5 comes with a Shimano 105 groupset and Bontrager Race wheels at £1,900. 

There are women’s specific models in the range too, including the Émonda S 5 WSD at £1,500. That’s Shimano 105-equipped too.

The Émonda SLR comes in H1 (aggressive) and H2 (slightly more relaxed) fits while the Émonda SL and Émonda S are both available in H2 only.

The Émonda is not currently available in Trek's Project 1 custom programme due to the weight of orders in the system, but it will be.

Émonda, like Domane, is an anagram of Madone, Trek’s long-standing road bike range ('Moaned' is still available!). Trek also link the name to the French word ‘émonder’ meaning ‘to prune’ or ‘to trim’ – which is apt given the lightweight nature of the bike.

44 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

So silly money can get you a silly light bike. Who knew? Sounds like the 'real world' bikes are all standard-ish weight. 690g frames at 1000g prices. That would be progress (maintaining all other desirable parameters obviously).

posted by Hoester [63 posts]
1st July 2014 - 21:51

29 Likes

how much of a salary did stevie wonder demand to become the latest trek designer??

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
1st July 2014 - 22:02

28 Likes

ajmarshal1 wrote:
bikeandy61 wrote:
Ugly? I assume you don't like carbon fibre road bikes then, cos the reality is when they are nude they're all hard to tell apart IMHO. Quite like it myself but as said it hardly breaks any new ground weight wise. Don't think the top model is for a 92kg-er like me. Even if I had £11k to spend (on anything let alone a bike).

Not to me they're not. There is nothing about the proportions of this I find attractive. The tapered tubes = ugly. Super skinny seat stays = ugly. Sram crankset = ugly. Those meccano brakes = ugly. The 'industrial' headtube = ugly. The integrated stem / bars = ugly. The sharp 10 o'clock chainstay angle = ugly.

It's all in the eye of the beholder but there are a whole host of Carbon frames out there that are certainly easier on my eye. They don't have to look traditional either.


I personally think that there are few things prettier than a seat stay so thin you could knit with it. I don't like box-section chainstays though.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [930 posts]
1st July 2014 - 22:20

23 Likes

Jens Voigt tweeted a pic of the bike with a 300g slab of lead attached to the bottle cage.

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posted by Redvee [90 posts]
1st July 2014 - 23:07

28 Likes

Cool bike - I'm no weight weenie, but can't deny that it would be great to have a bike that light. I just don't understand the appeal of buying a mid level or low level version of the bike. If its all about weight, only the top of the line model makes sense.

If your going to buy a frame at 1050.. or 1200 grams I dont see the appeal.... when the top of the line is 690grams. Or is this just the way they get everyone to spend the most money possible.

For my money the brakes look like a copy of EE Brakres, basically a direct mount version...

everyday cycling

posted by cyclotripper [11 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 0:24

15 Likes

Not sure if I missed it in the details, but do the lower end models come with the same in house weight saving parts? ie bars, brakes etc, or is that only on the top model? It might make the lower end models a bit more unique from everything else out there if they also get these parts, although I'm not sure how likely that is.

Gotta love a bike made of metal

posted by RobD [159 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 7:23

15 Likes

Drooling

Impressive stuff, but need to shift a good few kilos off the beer gut myself before a bike like this has any benefit for me!

Wonder what it means for the Madone in the line-up as time goes on?

posted by parksey [285 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 7:37

15 Likes

As far as I gather, the light weight and big obvious blocks of lead are something of a deliberate challenge to the UCI, and are future proofing.

posted by Al__S [624 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 7:49

14 Likes

The Madone frame is 725g for a 56cm with U5 Vapor paint. Trek says it's more Aero than the Emonda and a bit stiffer. If the only advantage is that you save 30g from the frame over a Madone, I don't see the point of this bike. We need to wait for a test ride report. Does it handle better or feel more comfortable on the road? If it does, then what's the point of the Madone? I guess only time will tell.

posted by Jacob [38 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 10:19

11 Likes

Is the handling affected by having such a light bike? Presumably they can be a bit skittish in crosswinds? What about descending? Is the handling more suited to experienced riders such as the pros?

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

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 10:29

4 Likes

As others have said, that rear brake caliper is ... I've no idea what the word is. It seems massively over complicated, and I thought that the SRAM Red aero calipers were complicated. It seems bizarre that with this many moving parts it can still save weight.

posted by DrJDog [171 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 10:52

11 Likes

That's a U brake!

They have added a linkage to increase leverage but it's an old school U brake as once found under the chainstay bridge on 80's GT mountain bikes.

http://sheldonbrown.com/canti-u.html

posted by MKultra [281 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 11:00

12 Likes

Also - if they are doing hydraulic discs these days why could they not simply use a magura type caliper if they wanted a more powerful rim brake?

posted by MKultra [281 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 11:15

12 Likes

No it's not a U-brake, it seems to me like a dumbed-down copy of EE-brakes, which follow a different working principle (and are superb by the way).

posted by rookybiker [32 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 12:39

13 Likes

The design for those brakes must be either licensed or blatantly stolen from eeCycleWorks...

posted by Mayhem SWE [11 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 12:48

10 Likes

Another bike in matt black with minimal branding - Urgh!

Only thing that can happen next season's fashion is the return of LOADS of colour, which is a good thing as long as Mapei don't make a comeback!!! Laughing

EDIT: just looked at the top gallery, some of the colours are good

posted by ianmoss [1 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 13:05

8 Likes

Blimey, not pretty and my son weighed more when he was born. Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

posted by joolzkite [4 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 14:52

12 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
Not sure what is going on with those cable adjusters Thinking

That's because they are not cable adjusters, they are spacing the cable housing (which looks like Nokon, therefore machined metal segments) off of the frame to prevent the cable housing rubbing. The 'adjusters' or spacers are most likely a segment of the cable housing with a soft polymer moulding added.

posted by pwake [312 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 15:07

9 Likes

I was saying it reminded me of a U brake not that it was a U brake. I can't honestly believe the brakes are lighter than high-end conventional ones however I guess they offer superior stopping power. I suppose that they didn't go with discs because of the extra reinforcement that would be required on the frame which would almost certainly add to the weight.

Did anyone cop-on that the word is a bastardisation of "To Prune" in French. Tres Apt for the paired-down set up.

posted by unclebadger [20 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 19:54

9 Likes

unclebadger wrote:
Did anyone cop-on that the word is a bastardisation of "To Prune" in French. Tres Apt for the paired-down set up.

Not until read the last line in the article Wink

Trek also link the name to the French word ‘émonder’ meaning ‘to prune’ or ‘to trim’ – which is apt given the lightweight nature of the bike.

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posted by fukawitribe [503 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 8:18

8 Likes

@Gimo_:Not yet, but we don't set out to make the stiffest bike we're capable of making. It just isn't comfortable for the rider. This bike will be similar in stiffness to our existing Madone and Domane bikes.

We're much more interested in finding the right balance between stiffness and weight. There were hundreds of versions of this frame that we made and tested before settling on the end result.

We should have these available to demo soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekBikesUK
And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:35

7 Likes

@Banzicyclist2: That's certainly the case for the SLR10, yes, but that's why we make all of those other versions. Smile

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekBikesUK
And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:35

7 Likes

@Nick T: We're just taking a page out of the German handbook. Smile

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekBikesUK
And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:36

4 Likes

@Hoester: All of the bikes in the SLR version come with the 690g frame. The SLR 6 is available for £4300.

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And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:36

4 Likes

@RobD: It's only the SLR10 that has the lightest weight parts on it, for now. This could change once we introduce it into the Project One program, in which you'll be able to spec your own parts. This isn't happening yet, and it's possible that not all of the parts will be available. In general, we make this type of selection a feature of Project One, however.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekBikesUK
And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:37

5 Likes

@parksey: The Madone still exists in the 7 and 2 series, so we still have an aero bike option for those who prefer to feature aerodynamics over weight.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekBikesUK
And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:37

4 Likes

@notfastenough: You'll have to ask Mat Brett how it handles. He rode it over 70 miles of the Leeds-Harrogate Tour route yesterday, including Buttertubs and the Hargill Lane climb out of Grinton. It may or may not have been windy.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekBikesUK
And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:39

6 Likes

@TrekBikesUK - What kind of an Aero advantage will I get choosing the Madone over this bike? Feels like you need a proper Aero option in your range now that you have this bike.

posted by Jacob [38 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 13:53

8 Likes

Jacob wrote:
@TrekBikesUK - What kind of an Aero advantage will I get choosing the Madone over this bike? Feels like you need a proper Aero option in your range now that you have this bike.

Hi Jacob, thanks for your question. We applied the Kammtail tube shape found in our Speed Concept bikes to the Madone back in 2012. It's been our aero option since then, and will still exist in the range in the 7 and 2 series.

The Émonda is not meant to be an aero bike, but rather the lightest bike we've ever produced.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekBikesUK
And Twitter @trekbikesuk

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posted by TrekBikesUK [105 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 14:47

1 Like

fukawitribe wrote:
unclebadger wrote:
Did anyone cop-on that the word is a bastardisation of "To Prune" in French. Tres Apt for the paired-down set up.

Not until read the last line in the article Wink

Trek also link the name to the French word ‘émonder’ meaning ‘to prune’ or ‘to trim’ – which is apt given the lightweight nature of the bike.

Hah, Brilliant. That will teach me to be a smart ass. I looked the word up but didn't see that at the end of the article - what a numpty.

Cue predictable re-quotes saying "You said it mate" Smile

Now where did I put that French dictionary....

posted by unclebadger [20 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 18:33

3 Likes