Trek has announced that the new Domane Disc will form part of its road range for 2015. For the time being, the range will consist of just two models: the Domane Disc 4.0 and its bigger brother, the 6.9.
The 4.0 is expected to retail for £1,600 with a Shimano Sora drivetrain and TRP’s HY/RD mechanical-to-hydraulic calipers.
The £6,000 6.9 goes all-out, featuring Trek’s 600 series OCLV carbon frame paired to Shimano’s flagship Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain with R785 hydraulic discs. With such a gulf between models, we expect to see the range in future using SRAM’s yet-to-be-released hydraulic road disc system, as well as Shimano’s new R685 mechanical/hydraulic system.
Earlier this year, Trek launched the Boone and promoted it with then cyclo-cross world champion Sven Nys.
The Boone is adorned with Shimano’s R785 disc brakes, but the Domane Disc series uses Thru Axle technology — 15mm at the front and a 142mm x 12mm rear. The firm has clearly used its experience in producing mountain bikes, where this standard is becoming more common.
The benefits offered by the system are increased stiffness, lower weight and less brake squeal. By including convertible dropouts that allow the use of more traditional quick-release skewers, Trek has avoided limiting wheel choice.
“Discs have obvious benefits but will they catch on?”
The benefits of disc brakes are fairly obvious: increased performance in all weather conditions and a marked increase to wheel rim life. But do discs have a future on the road? Since the UCI legalised the use of discs in cyclo-cross, more of the big players have been backing the technology, with new dedicated braking systems from both Shimano and SRAM.
Trek Factory racing’s Andy Schleck is an advocate for disc brakes on the road, citing their increased performance and safety especially on long mountain descents where extreme weather conditions have a huge impact on braking performance. Then again, given his apparent inability to master conventional brakes on descents, is he really the right spokesman?