Will I be buying one?
Over the weekend I got an extended test ride on a Domane SL disc 105, and then I rode the same course an Emonda SL rim brake Ultegra test ride. After that I rode my current bike around the same course. Will you be buying either after your test rides? Was the Domane actually more comfortable? Or in another question, is it worth the weight penalty?
The Emonda is light but what was most impressive was the power transfer. Very stiff and sprightly. I found the bontrager rim brakes on the Emonda to be unimpressive. I liked the power and modulation of the 105 discs the best, followed by the modulation and feel on my current set up (DA 7800 brakes with cork pads on carbon rims), with the bontrager’s on the Emonda the worst of the bunch.
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I'm still considering what to do. I'm on an old USPS Trek with DA 7800 and carbon clinchers. I've gotten my money's worth from this old bike, and then some, and I still really like it, so I am taking my time to decide. I like the idea of staying with Trek, but haven't decided whether to go with the Emonda SLR or the Domane SLR. Either way I think I'll do a Project One with mechanical Dura Ace 9100.
I really like the light weight and the "traditional" style of the Emonda. And I was very impressed with the stiffness and power transfer. It was pretty remarkable, really. Much better than my current ride. Being honest with myself, however, the Domane with its relaxed geometry and smooth ISO Speed is probably a better choice for me for a bike that I plan to keep for many years. I'm not a racer; I enjoy long rides and I do get beat up a little by my current bike. And I'm not getting any younger. But there's something strangely off-putting to me about those ISO Speed decouplers. Was the Domane actually more comfortable?
Yes. It was noticeably more comfortable. Very smooth. Very little road buzz compared to the Emonda. The Emonda has nice vertical compliance at the seatpost, but it transmitted the details of every road imperfection through the bars. I wonder how much of that could be mitigated by using 28mm tires? My current bike was smoother than the Emonda! Is it worth the weight penalty?
That's the question. I'm not sure. The shop weighed a 2018 Domane SL 8 (not the one I rode) and it came in at 18.28 lbs (size 58cm, no pedals). That's a $5,000 bike with Dura Ace build at 18+ lbs! We also weighed my 2003 USPS Trek and it came in at 17.17 lbs (62 cm, without pedals). Unfortunately we didn't weigh the 2018 Emonda SL 6 that I test rode, but it was noticeably less then than my bike.