November 1, 2017

Brandon Anderson's avatar

By Brandon Anderson

Trek has long been known for innovative and ground breaking design, ushering in many market trends over the years and cementing their place as industry leaders. One of their most innovative and consistently evolving products is the Domane line of endurance road bikes. Originally designed with input from world and Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara as a bike for dominating the classics, the Domane has created a unique place for itself at the top of the endurance heap, undoubtedly assisted by the current climate of road cyclists gearing up for long gravel rides and extended periods in the saddle over varying road terrain.


Trek 500 Series OCLV Carbon Frame and Fork
71.3 degree head angle (54cm size)
BB90 bottom bracket
Front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers
Front Hub: Bontrager alloy sealed bearing, 12mm thru axle
Rear Hub: Bontrager alloy centerlock, 142mm x 12mm thru axle
Shimano 105 11 speed drivetrain w/ 11-32 cassette
Bontrager TLR Disc 700c w/ Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite 700x32c tires (tubeless ready)
Sizes (cm): 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62
Weight: 20.22 lbs (54cm size)


For our test we chose the 2018 Trek Domane SL 5 Disc. The SL 5 builds off of Trek’s 500 series OCLV carbon frame and fork and has been outfitted with components from in-house brand Bontrager along with Shimano’s workhorse 105 groupset, thus enabling Trek to keep production cost low and pass subsequent savings on to the consumer with the SL 5 coming in at a relatively low MSRP of just $2,499.99. All of this allows Trek to provide an extremely capable bike that comes in at a more affordable price than most of its competitors’ similarly equipped endurance offerings.


We wanted to do Spartacus proud and we knew that any proper test of the Domane must include dirt and cobbles, so our test began at Harriman Lake Park, which features a 1.5 mile loop over loose gravel, smooth groomed dirt, rolling hills and chunky rock. The Domane handled all of these conditions with ease and shows very little discrepancy in performance and handling even when transitioning between surface types from smooth to rough (We even snagged the Strava KOM for fastest lap around Harriman if that is any indicator of performance). Another area that the Domane performs well in but may be slightly less publicized is climbing. Don’t be confused, It doesn’t get up and accelerate like its sibling the Emonda but it definitely holds its own in providing a stiff platform for laying down power when things go uphill, almost making punchier short climbs something to look forward to. The 32c Bontrager Hard-Case Lite TLR tires keep the contact between bike and road constant and inspire confidence when cornering and accelerating on loose surfaces.


All in all, we love the Domane! Trek has continuously improved on the design and ride characteristics of the Domane line over the years, resulting in dialed in performance on the road and uncompromised comfort in the saddle that is uncommon in most performance road machines but definitely a welcomed change. If you are looking for a versatile all-in-one road bike that can tackle a weekend fondo, crush your favorite gravel trail, and then be outfitted for your weekday commuting during the week, then the Domane is the obvious choice. Come take a peek at the new Domane today at Wheat Ridge Cyclery or shop online.

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