Trek has released an updated version of its Émonda ALR aluminium road bike that features a new frame with Kammtail aero tubing, a revised geometry, and fully integrated cables. Oh, and there’s a threaded bottom bracket too.
“The third-generation Émonda ALR was built with incredibly light and strong Alpha Aluminium, a race-specific geometry and a completely redesigned frame that helps riders fly up climbs, across flats and through the finish line,” says Trek.
As previously, the Émonda ALR features an “ultra-light and durable” 300 Series Alpha Aluminium frame that’s made with what Trek calls Invisible Weld technology. Okay, ‘invisible’ might be pushing it but the welds are certainly inconspicuous at first glance. The ones at the bottom of the seatstays are noticeable if you go looking, as are the ones around the bottom bracket, but the head tube and seat tube junctions look almost like carbon, which is plainly the impression that Trek is shooting for.
“The Émonda ALR has evolved to include the same race-winning features as its more expensive carbon counterparts, including Kammtail aero tube shaping and integrated cables and housing that provide an aero boost over the previous model,” says Trek.
It’s the down tube that has the Kammtail shaping, broad with a squared-off back end.
One other big difference from the previous model is that there’s no port for cable routing at the top of the down tube. Instead, the gear cables and brake hoses (both new models are equipped with hydraulic disc brakes) run close to the stem before entering the frame via holes in the headset bearing cover at the top of the head tube.
The front derailleur cable, rear derailleur cable and rear brake hose all emerge just in front of the bottom bracket, the latter two ducking inside again at the bottom of the BB shell and heading for their respective components.
Trek has moved the ALR bikes from its H2 fit to H1.5. Back in ye olden dayes, Trek gave you the option of an aggressive H1 fit or a more relaxed H2 fit on its performance-focused road bikes. Now it has split the difference with H1.5 which is what you’ll find on both Madones and carbon Émondas too. Trek calls this “an optimised race-specific geometry [that] puts riders in the right position for power while minimising aero losses”.
Trek has been gradually sidelining press-fit bottom brackets and the new Émonda ALR is the latest to switch to a threaded T47 design. Some frames and press-fit BBs work together perfectly well but the move back towards threaded components will please anyone who has ever suffered squeaks and creaks.
The wheels are tubeless-compatible, but the Émonda ALR is sold with with standard inner tubes and non-tubeless-compatible tyres and rim strips. The maximum tyre size the frame and fork will take is 28mm. You don’t get mudguard mounts here.
Trek claims a weight of 1,257g for the frame (size not specified) and 406g for the fork.
Two models are available:
Trek Émonda ALR 6, £3,150
Groupset Shimano 105 Di2 R7150 12-speed
Wheels Bontrager Paradigm Comp
Claimed weight 8.80kg
Trek Émonda ALR 5, £2,325
Groupset Shimano 105 R7000 11-speed
Wheels Bontrager Paradigm SL
Claimed weight 8.80kg
Trek Émonda ALR frameset, £1,300
Find out more at www.trekbikes.com.
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 road.cc 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.