Trek Domane SLR 10 RSL: Race Shop Limited – The American manufacturer doesn’t really do understatements, not even when it comes to the name of their bikes. The Trek-Segafredo-Team workhorse is an impressive machine on so many levels, but how much comfort can the pro-peloton steed really offer?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best road bike for any weather and any season – 10 Endurance Bikes in Review

Trek Domane SLR 10 RSL | 7.05 kg | € 11,999

The Trek Domane has written history in the books of the Ronde van Vlaanderen on many occasions. And that’s where it gets tricky for a bike manufacturer, it’s not just about filling big shoes, but also about justifying the huge € 11,999 price-tag. It’s a good start that Trek decided to gift the Domane SLR 10 RSL with some of the most advanced technologies. Both the head tube and the seatpost feature the updated Isospeed-Technology, which minimises vibrations on the cobbles.

To complete the picture only the finest components straight out of the Bontrager portfolio come to action, like the 28 mm Bontrager R4 Classic Tubular tires and Bontrager Aeolus 5 wheels. Completing the dream build, Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 groupset is the perfect ingredient for incredible shifting precision while steaming through nasty cobbles at speed. And if that wasn’t good enough, the bike rolls out of the showroom weighing just 7.05 kg making it the lightest bike in our group test.

“What is really impressive, is that all the futuristic tech features are not immediately recognisable – despite the loud racing red, the Domane is discreet, understated and comes across in a very classic way.” Benjamin Topf

The first acceleration puts a permanent grin on our faces. The overall low weight, in particular, the light wheelset in combination with the stiff bottom bracket, translate every pedal stroke into straight, direct and powerful acceleration. Once at speed, the Bontrager tubular tires offer impressive grip with heaps of comfort on the harsh, bumpy and often slippery cobbles. For all-year-round use, we recommend you change to the clincher version, unless you have a team car with a set of spare wheels following you on every ride. Braking performance, however, brought our euphoria to a screeching halt, less so the wheels. Cork brake pads need a while to bed in properly and even when they are worn in are no match for the performance of a disc brake.

Tuning-Tips: Swapping the cork brake pads with normal rubber ones, Clincher tire wheels recommended for all-year-round use when without your support car.

The Isospeed-System, on the other hand, convinced us on every level, cleverly combining engineered flex and damping properties. The system offers sufficient flex to deal with nasty cobbled surfaces without making for a fidgety or wobbly ride. The amount of flex of the rear triangle can be customised via a slider on the seat tube.

Helmet POC Octal Raceday | Cap Rapha Club Cap | Glasses Oakley Jawbraker | Jersey Rapha Classic Jersey II | Gilet Rapha Classic Gilet Collector’s Edition | Bibshort Rapha Pro Team Bibshorts II | Socks Rapha Pro Team Socks | Shoes Giro Factor Techlace

The Isospeed-System doesn’t affect the precise steering feel of the Domane at all, translating accurately every riding input. The front end allows for just enough flex for the bike to find its own way through the cobbles.

The Trek Domane SLR 10 RSL in detail

Drivetrain Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Wheelset Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 Tubular RSL
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace
Weight Bontrager R4 Classic Tubular
Gewicht 7.05 kg
Price € 11,999

The flexibility of the Isospeed-System at the back can be adjusted to your own preference.
Dura Ace Di2 and chain-catcher guarantee quick and safe shifting.
Before a race, the cork pads have to be bedded in properly.
The Isospeed-System sits in the head tube and allows the steering tube to flex.
Trek Domane SLR 10
Geometry Trek Domane SLR

Conclusion

The Trek Domane SLR 10 RSL is a modern, full-blooded endurance/race-bike that maintains an elegant and classic look! The bike shines on the up-hills and flat roads – a triumph of comfort. The rather disappointing braking performance of the cork pads on downhills costs the bike valuable points, tarnishing the otherwise sublime tech-level and integration of the bike. Considering its price tag we’d have also expected the Di2 Junction Box to be integrated. Still, for all the KOM-hunters and Pavé-freaks out there, who just need to raise their arm to get a new tubular wheel from their own support car, there is no better choice than the Domane SLR 10 RSL.

Strengths

+ Fully integrated technology
+ Isospeed technology for efficient dampening and good comfort
+ Climbs and accelerates like a rocket
+ Pro-Look 🚀🚀

Weaknesses

– Messy cable routing, (the Di2 cable inserts too far back in the head tube)
– The rear brake hose rubs against the seat tube
– Pro-Budget and Pro-Support are recommended.


For more info head to: trekbikes.com

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: Endurance Bikes – What’s the best road bike for any weather and any season?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best road bike for any weather and any season – 10 Endurance Bikes in Review

All bikes in test: 3T Exploro Team | BMC Roadmachine 01 | Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc 8.0Focus Paralane Factory | Ridley X-Trail | ROSE Backroad-4400 | Specialized Roubaix Expert Di2 | OPEN U.P.P.E.R. | WHITE Wessex


This article belongs to the GRAN FONDO Issue #005. For the full interactive experience we recommend reading it in our magazine app for iPhone & iPad – it’s awesome – and free!

Words: Benjamin Topf, Manuel Buck, Robin Schmitt Photos: Julian Mittelstädt