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Trek: Road disc brakes are a Good Thing. Sometimes.

US brand explains when it believes disc brakes are a good idea, and when they're not

Trek has produced a short video explaining the brand’s views on disc brake road bikes, reiterating that it’s the Domane that it sees as the most suitable home for discs.

Trek divides its higher level road bikes into three families: Madone, Emonda and Domane.

Madone has an emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency, the Emonda is all about light weight, and the Domane has a focus on comfort and ride quality. 

Check out our guide to Trek’s 2017 road bike range here. 

In the video – which has actually been around for a couple of weeks but we’ve been really sloooooow to share it – Trek’s Road Product Manager Anders Ahlberg says, “Disc brakes have more power and better modulation. They work better in all conditions – wet, dry, dirt, pavement; they’re just better brakes.

“Disc brakes really free us up in terms of frame design. When we don’t have a rim brake calliper sitting right on the tyre, we don’t have the frame needing to be really close to the wheel, so we have a lot more tyre clearance which means you can run bigger tyres for more comfort or traction.”

The brand sees the Domane (S 5 Disc pictured below) as the natural home for road disc brakes.

Trek Domane_S_5_Disc 2017.jpg

When we’ve spoken to Trek before, the brand has been lukewarm at most about disc brakes on bikes used for road racing, and that remains the case. 

“There definitely are some disadvantages to disc brakes – weight being one of them and aerodynamics being the second one," says  Anders Ahlberg.

For these reasons there are no disc brake versions of either the Emonda – the lightweight road bike in Trek’s range – or the Madone – the aerodynamic one. It doesn’t sound like you should hold out much hope for disc brake versions of either arriving any time soon.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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