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Since I was so impressed with my Trek Emonda SL which I chose specifically to be a dedicated rain bike, I eventually had the idea of possibly upgrading it to the Koppenberg. I have lusted after this very unique and extremely rare frame from Trek since Cancellara basically insisted on riding it in the Grand Tours over the Madone. I've followed its development from Day 1. It was going to replace my Emonda SL as a dedicated rain bike, but once I had the frame in my possession, it was clear that this couldn't be relegated to just full fendered wet riding. So, instead of replacing my Emonda SL, the Emonda remains as the dedicated rain bike... fenders, flaps and all. It's an awesome bike. And so much for N as a static number. At this point in my life, no more +1's I'm afraid. But I should never say never. Anyway, if you're interested, here's the build thread for my Emonda SL...
So, on with the Koppenberg. It was available to the public for only two years... 2015 and 2016, as a frameset only. In 2015 it came in black with pinstripes, not very appealing paintwise to my eyes but I loved the frame design. Then in 2016, it took on the factory paint scheme of Trek Factory Racing in Viper Red, complete with all sponsors logos. It was made for their team pros only, with only enough extras to satisfy the UCI's rule of having it "available" to the public. And only in limited sizes (56 was the smallest size they produced). Mid season 2016 Segafredo came on as a co-title sponsor, but at the point when these frames were produced it was all still Trek Factory Racing. Produced for the public in very limited numbers, it got stuffed deep in the bowels of the Domane section of the website and was not advertised in any way shape or form. If you called Trek, there was a good chance you could get someone who confused the Koppenberg (if they knew of it at all) with the rest of the Domanes. When in fact, I'd say the Koppenberg has more in common with the Emonda than the Domane, but there's enough of both bikes in this one to really make it interesting. I'll get into that in more detail later in this thread I'm sure. But they had to put it somewhere on their website, so in the Domane section of their website it sat. For now I just want to introduce the thread, then go into details as it progresses.
To kick it off I'll include a build list, some fit specs, and a few teaser photos. Many more to follow, of whatever you want to see. It won't be a "how to build a road bike" like my C60 build thread was, but more just talking about this frame, Cancellaras involvement, etc., because without Cancellara, I doubt it would have ever come to be available. It's not aero, it's not light, and those are two things that are really being marketed these days. Oh, and disc brakes. All of which are secondary in my mind to ride quality, durability, and a timeless simplicity of design and function. I would even go out on a limb right now and say the Koppenberg is the best road race bike that Trek has ever produced, past or present. Ha.... Ok, now that I've got that out of the way...
Photo not mine, obviously, can't remember where I snagged it from... but appropriate credits where due...
My actual frame, ready for build...
The Build List:
The Fit Specifications:
First up, exactly as described in the build thread above...
Leaned against a wall, Campy Bora Ultra 50's Bright label with Veloflex Arrenbergs... also during testing of Shimano 9100 brakes with Campy levers... a fail...
Another wall, another day... this time with Campy Bora Ultra 50's Dark Label (new AC3 brake track), shod with Veloflex Vlanderens...
Another day, gas station stop... with Bora Ultra Two's (delogo'd) and Veloflex Roubaix 24mm (pre newer version which are 25mm)....
And some wet weather crap...
Ahhh... a man who knows.... Yes, this bike has a non-replaceable steel derailleur hanger. It is strong and beefy and doesn't move over the worst of cobbles. Shifting is impeccable. I remember when Di2 first came out and there were complaints on the cobbles about all the ghost shifting... too easy to shift without realizing it, or the derailleurs would just get confused over all the jarring. Cancellara stuck with mechanical shifting till the very end (excluding tt rigs), despite heavy sighs from Shimano no doubt. But certain stars get what they want, regardless of what manufacturers want them to ride, up to a point of course. And Cancellara would state he likes to "feel the wires". I get it. It's funny that all the electric shifting systems are still trying to emulate the tactile "feel" of mechanical systems, and by and large they are doing a pretty good job, at least better than earlier versions. But there's still something about being able to "manage" the shift yourself... anyway, I digress... here's the hanger... strong and steel...
Steel, non-replaceable derailleur hanger... it ain't wigglin...
The other thing about the rear dropouts is that they were spaced to exactly 130mm and they were perfectly square to each other and the hanger was straight. The rear wheel just drops in perfectly and easily, perfectly centered. Oftentimes, I find myslef having to remove excess paint etc., and the fit is usually not this precise. Basically, it is clear that these frames got some special attention before leaving the factory...
The problem with that would be that a lot of frames are so fragile these days that the frame would break if you tried to align a steel hanger. The chainstays on this thing are really massive as well. On some frames there are cautions to actually remove the hangers to align them. I’ve seen those cautions from both Cannondale and Trek for certain models. Which makes it a complete trial and error process of removing the hanger, bending, reattaching and rechecking alignment, then repeat until it’s good. I don’t know anyone who actually aligns a hanger like this but it does allow the manufacturers to claim you voided the warranty when you break the frame by trying to align the hanger while on the bike.Geoff wrote:Someone should make steel replacement derailleur hangers for popular framesets...
In fact, the upper edge of the chainstays come up so high that the chain, when on the 11 tooth sprocket, barely clears the top of it. It clears, and it's fine, but compared to smaller chainstays, it's not even close... I always use Lizard Skins "Carbon Leather" chainstay protectors, mostly because it's thick, durable, and completely deadens any sound of chain slap on the stays. In this case I just put it right over top of the applied clear chainstay protector...
A Trek rep told me that there are actually extra layups around the Bottom Bracket area to further increase it's strength. This ain't your Grandma's Trek.
Well, it's a Campy build and I happen to love Campy wheels, so it was really the only way to go. Before I built it up, I thought, ok... can I be ok with huge Shimano logos on the frame juxtaposed against huge Campagnolo logos on the wheels. Hence I delogo'd a set of the older Boras I had. But after putting on the Bright Label Bora 50's I thought... "Damn, this bike looks awesome with Campy stuff on it". And the red/white of the bright label Boras plus the red/white of the SRM Powermeter ties in perfectly with the frame. SRM did a run of about 100 of these decals when I asked, and I had to wait for them. First one went on my C59 when I upgraded it to the 2015+ Campy group. If you go on SRM's website you won't see it offered, but if you ask, they've got some to put on if you want. Right now I am loving the Viper Red color of the frame, but down the road I could see myself stripping the whole thing and painting it a really nice white, sans the Shimano logos.
Even the SRM powermeter with a special run of the Campy graphics ties in perfectly with this frame... Cancellara would be jealous....
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