A comfortable bike that doesn't sacrifice race driven handling, the Domane famously houses Trek's IsoSpeed decoupler, at front and rear
The Trek Domane is a longstanding model that arrived on the scene in 2012 – and from the very beginning its unique selling point has been its ‘IsoSpeed decoupler’.
One of the major quandaries of bicycle design is balancing stiffness with comfort. The former is required to create a nimble bike that accelerates when asked, but without the latter the rider will soon be suffering from the tooth clattering fatigue of the UK roads.
Trek Domane Reviews:
Trek Domane: IsoSpeed decoupler, disc brakes and wide tyres
The IsoSpeed decoupler, the defining factor of the Trek Domane, aims to reduce fatigue by decoupling the seat tube from the top tube – therefore allowing the seat tube to flex when bumps in the road require it, without having any effect on the rest of the frame.
Newer versions of the Trek Domane see the anti upped, with an additional Front IsoSpeed and adjustable rear. The newest edition of the Trek Domane arrived on the scene in 2016, first spotted below Fabian Cancellara at Strade Bianche, then the Tour of Flanders.
The front IsoSpeed is found at the top of the headset, and allows flex at the steerer tube, therefore allowing for compliance at the front of the bike. There’s no lateral movement, which means the technology has no effect on steering or handling of the bike.
Another addition was a slider at the rear which allows rider to fine tune the level of compliance offered by the rear decoupler.
Currently, the Front IsoSpeed Decoupler comes only on the SL and SLR models, whilst ALR and AL models have an ‘IsoSpeed Fork’ which aims to mimic the buzz dampening properties. The adjustable tech is available only on the top end Trek Domane SLR, but was well received and the pattern of trickle down technology dictates that we can expect to see it on the lower level Trek Domane SL in time.
Trek Domane geometry
The Trek Domane’s geometry is a little more relaxed than other models – but it’s still racey enough to feel fast. Fast enough for Fabian Cacellara to race through the Spring Classics, so no doubt fast enough for the rest of us mere mortals.
As a comparison, a Trek Madone SLR – the brand’s aggressive, aero road bike, has a stack and reach of 38.6cm and 54.1cm in a size 54. A Domane in the same size has a stack and reach of 37.4cm and 55.5cm.
The Domane is available with a women’s specific spec – but the stack and reach numbers remain the same. The women’s frames start at 47cm, and come with women’s saddles and narrower handlebars.
Trek Domane 2019 model families
The Trek Domane is available in a range of different guises. Each model family contains several build specs at a range of different prices. Here’s a look at the model builds available from Trek in the UK…
Trek Domane SLR
All builds under the SLR name feature the front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers, as well as the variable rear decoupler. They also use 600 Series OCLV Carbon, which is the best of the best in the range (more on OCLV carbon here). All models come with disc brakes.
Other key features include ‘Control Freak’ cable routing which keeps everything neat and stops gunk getting in to destroy the crispness of braking and shifting and a ‘RideTuned’ seatpost aims to add a little more comfort.
Prices start at £5050 for the SLR Disc 6 Women’s, with a Shimano Ultegra groupset. The top end choice is the Domane SLR 9 Disc eTap, at £9300 with a SRAM eTap groupset.
Trek Domane SL
The SL models are the slightly more affordable models. They still feature the front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers, and come with disc brakes. The key difference is the loss of the variation in the level of compliance that you get with the SLR, and the use of slightly lower end 500 Series OCLV Carbon.
The cable routing isn’t quite ‘Control Freak’ as per SLR models, but it is performance tuned to eliminate friction and you get the ride tuned seatpost, too.
The 2019 range starts at £2000 with Shimano 105 on the Domane SL 5 Disc, and tops out at £4800 for the Domane SL 7 Disc with Shimano Ultrgra Di2.
Trek Domane AL
Those looking for the comfort of the IsoSpeed on an aluminium chassis will be interested in the AL and ALR models.
The AL models use 100 Series Alpha Aluminium as the key frame material. You won’t get the front IsoSpeed, but will gain the benefits at the rear and an IsoSpeed fork is shaped to offer some compliance.
The geometry is identical to the top end models, and you get mudguard and rack mount compatibility too which will suit commuters well.
The AL models begin at £595 with Shimano Claris, reaching £1100 for the AL5 with Shimano 105 – all versions come with rim brakes.
The ALR family traditionally used 200 Series Alpha Aluminium, creating a dip in weight. However, there’s no sign of this family making a comeback in 2019 as yet.
Trek Domane+ electric bike
Brand new for 2019 is the Trek Domane+ electric bike.
The e-bike comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a Domane – that includes the rear IsoSpeed decoupler and a frame constructed from 500 Series OCLV carbon.
The power comes from a Bosch drive system that provides a 250w boost via a 500Wh battery, whilst the rider’s legs power a SRAM Force 1 drivetrain.
The claimed weight for a size 56cm is just 17.19 kg. The battery sits in the frame, and can be removed without tools whilst integrated lights take the hassle out of commutes. The Schwalbe G-One Allround tyres in 35c width to cater for mixed terrain – and the build bike costs £5000.