Thoughts on Emonda SL h2?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Geodroid
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:59 pm

by Geodroid

Planning to build up and emonda sl frame. I'm pretty new to all this, currently have a domane AL (not alr) entry level bike and definitely want something nicer but not super expensive. What do you guys think of the emonda sl h2? All this time I thought it was the best bang for buck bike, but I saw some posts saying its an "aero brick" and apprently not a good choice?

What would you guys recommend for me in this cateogry of bikes?

I thought the emonda would be the best bike to buy.

thanks

Is the Emonda SLR more aero than the SL? Do you guys rate the SLR? I'm not ready to spend that kind of money, so you reckon' I should get the SL for now and then maybe look at an SLR 5-10 years down the road?

by Weenie


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Calnago
Posts: 8541
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

Ok, aero brick analogy aside, I think the Emonda SL is a fine bike. So much so I bought one when they came out in 2014. I actually got it for use as a dedicated rain bike, but stripped it down from the 105 stuff it had on it and rebuilt it with Campy SR for a final weight just under 6.8kg. I eventually did put full fenders on it and it is now serving a valued dedicated life as my rain bike, on those days when it looks like it might be necessary and if I'm feeling like venturing out. Here's the build thread if you haven't seen it...viewtopic.php?f=10&t=131213
I think it's a really nice bike. It's super easy to work on, although the newest ones have direct mount rim brakes (if you don't get disc) versus standard mount brakes. Aerowise, it's not going to be any different than the SLR from the frame perspective, however if you get an H1 (in the SLR), that will potentially place you in a much more aggressive position, which of course is much more aero. Aero is vastly more dependent on rider position than any frame features. And it's a very comfortable frame so at least you won't feel like you're riding a "brick".

A friend just picked up a new SLR8 on a great sale as TREK tries to get rid of their rim brake bikes. So, if that's something you're interested in, you could certainly get a good deal on one. The SLR's are extremely light, and if you're a heavy guy that may be something else to consider as that kind of "light" can come with some compromise. Test ride them if you can. Do a "wiggle" test while on the bike, you don't even have to ride it very far. Compare.

The geomtery is very sound. It's going to be a"quicker' handling bike than your Domane by virtue of it's shorter wheelbase and diffrerent steering geometry, fork rake etc., but it's not twitchy at all by road bike standards. I would describe it's steering as "precise". You will notice a difference from your Domane for sure, but it sounds like that might be what you're looking for at this point.

The SLR's have also dropped the junction point of the "seatcluster" (where top tube meets seat tube and seat stays) a little bit beginning with the the 2018 model year I believe (maybe even 2017). It's a choice which I don't like aesthetically as it makes some sizes look even more like a crouching German Shepherd, a look I think works better on mountain bikes and kids bikes.

The tire clearance is good too... and was a major factor in my choosing the Emonda at the time. Even with rim brakes and full coverage fenders passing underneath them, I could still fit 25mm tubulars with decent clearance between tire and fender at all points, including under the brake bridge and fork crown. In fact, it had more clearance than the Domane at the time.

I have no problem recommending the Emonda to anyone, it's a great bike and has quite a few price points depending on the spec you choose. If you want to be more aero, just drop your head a bit and that will do more in that regard than any frame differences will. At the expense of comfort of course. But if you want to be as aero as possible, comfort isn't really part of that equation. Happy shopping.
Last edited by Calnago on Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

Geodroid
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:59 pm

by Geodroid

Calnago wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:54 pm
Ok, aero brick analogy aside, I think the Emonda SL is a fine bike. So much so I bought one when they came out in 2014. I actually got it for use as a dedicated rain bike, but stripped it down from the 105 stuff it had on it and rebuilt it with Campy SR for a final weight just under 6.8kg. I eventually did put full fenders on it and it is now serving a valued dedicated life as my rain bike, on those days when it looks like it might be necessary and if I'm feeling like venturing out. Here's the build thread if you haven't seen it...viewtopic.php?f=10&t=131213.

I think it's a really nice bike. It's super easy to work on, although the newest ones have direct mount rim brakes (if you don't get disc) versus standard mount brakes. Aerowise, it's not going to be any different than the SLR from the frame perspective, however if you get an H1 (in the SLR), that will potentially place you in a much more aggressive position, which of course is much more aero. Aero is vastly more dependent on rider position than any frame features. And it's a very comfortable frame so at least you won't feel like you're riding a "brick".

A friend just picked up a new SLR8 on a great sale as TREK tries to get rid of their rim brake bikes. So, if that's something you're interested in, you could certainly get a good deal on one. The SLR's are extremely light, and if you're a heavy guy that may be something else to consider as that kind of "light" can come with some compromise. Test ride them if you can. Do a "wiggle" test while on the bike, you don't even have to ride it very far. Compare.

The geomtery is very sound. It's going to be a"quicker' handling bike than your Domane by virtue of it's shorter wheelbase and diffrerent steering geomtry, fork rake etc., but it's not twitchy at all by road bike standards. I would describe it's steering as "precise". You will notice a difference from your Domane for sure, but it sounds like that might be what you're looking for at this point.

The SLR's have also dropped the junction point of the "seatcluster" (where top tube meets seat tube and seat stays) a little bit beginning with the the 2018 model year I believe (maybe even 2017). It's a choice which I don't like aesthetically as it makes some sizes look even more like a crouching German Shepherd, a look I think works better on mountain bikes and kids bikes.

The tire clearance is good too... and was a major factor in my choosing the Emonda at the time. Even with rim brakes and full coverage fenders passing underneath them, I could still fit 25mm tubulars with decent clearance between tire and fender at all points, including under the brake bridge and fork crown. In fact, it had more clearance than the Domane at the time.

I have no problem recommending the Emonda to anyone, it's a great bike and has quite a few price points depending on the spec you choose. If you want to be more aero, just drop your head a bit and that will do more in that regard than any frame differences will. At the expense of comfort of course. But if you want to be as aero as possible, comfort isn't really part of that equation. Happy shopping.
Thank you very much, very informative! Are direct mount brakes harder to work on? I definitely want to put 28mm on the bike, after riding 28mm tires they feel so smoothe and comfy I don't want any other size lol.

What year emonda slr 8 did your friend buy? Is it disc brake?

I agree with you, I also don't like how curved the top tube on the emonda SLR is. The SLR frame is just 1 pound (0.994285 pounds/451 grams) heavier than the SL and is twice the price! I need to lose about 20kgs (currently 5'8 79kg, want to get to 59 kg to be cycling leaaaan (130 lbs) so I feel the SL is better for me and I can easily make the bike light enough with better components in the future!

User avatar
Calnago
Posts: 8541
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

His Emonda SLR8 is new, purchased in the last couple months or so, but I'm not sure which year it's from. I don't think it's the newest iteration with the lowered seatcluster point. And yes, his bike has the Bontrager Direct Mount rim brakes (not disc). And yes, they are harder and more finicky to work on than standard mounts. Although it sounds like your issue is mostly that you want to be able to fit 28mm tires. Well, that's not a problem with this frame or it's DM brakes, and frankly, even Shimanos's DuraAce regular or standard mount brakes have the same clearance between them (spec'd at 28mm).
But yes, the DM brakes are for sure more fiddly to work on than standard mount brakes, especially at the high end of the spectrum. And the Speedstops on the Trek are quite industrial looking with all sorts of pivot points, springs, adjusting bolts exposed to the elements and become dirt collectors in short order, which of course, degrades ultimate perfomance. I was fiddling with his brakes and some other things a few weeks ago. I really don't like how the cable ends have to be kind of tucked underneath and potentially cut very short if you want a clean finish, which makes it difficult in the future if you just want to undo them for a bit for whatever reason or simply readjust them. But in the absence of standard mount rim brakes, it is what it is. I wouldn't consider it a deal breaker by any means. Not a fan of that prototypical industrial look either, but mostly don't like that everything is just so exposed to the elements.

oh, by the way, I'm sure it's just a typo, but you mixed up your weight differences betweeen the SLR and the SL mixed up in your last paragraph above. The SL is the heavier and cheaper of the two. I think you said the SLR was heavier above.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

dim
Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

I have the Emonda SL6 (2016 version) .... I've changed a few things (I have Dura Ace Di2, and the aero integrated xxx handlebar), HED Belgium Plus rims with Chris King R45 hubs (ceramic upgrade), stages powermeter etc etc ... I'm using Conti GP5000 tubeless tyres (25mm wide)

it's a fast bike both on the flats and the hills ................. fits me like a glove and I will keep this one for a long time (I will get a 2nd wheelset .... lightweight carbon)
Trek Emonda SL6
Miyata One Thousand

Geodroid
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:59 pm

by Geodroid

Oops, yeah I meant that the SL is heavier lol. Those speedstop brakes are pretty expensive! I talked to trek rep and they said the emonda sl6 comes with bontrager speedstop elite (which you can only order from a trek dealer) and they are 280$ for a pair, the ones they have on the website are spoeed stop pro and those are 400$ for a pair!! (I think the difference is that the pro has titanium bolts and stuff and is a bit lighter, but even the stock speedstops are lighter than dura ace direct mount brakes!

I also asked trek if I could replace the stock brakes with shimano direct mount brakes and they said I can, so if they get messed up I will probably just replace them with ultegra direct mount brakes.

Geodroid
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:59 pm

by Geodroid

dim wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:48 pm
I have the Emonda SL6 (2016 version) .... I've changed a few things (I have Dura Ace Di2, and the aero integrated xxx handlebar), HED Belgium Plus rims with Chris King R45 hubs (ceramic upgrade), stages powermeter etc etc ... I'm using Conti GP5000 tubeless tyres (25mm wide)

it's a fast bike both on the flats and the hills ................. fits me like a glove and I will keep this one for a long time (I will get a 2nd wheelset .... lightweight carbon)
very cool 👍 yeah my mind's set, I'm going with the emonda lol

jfranci3
Posts: 706
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

The aero differences between an aero and non-aero bike are not so huge once you put two bottles on the frame and put aero handle bars on the bike. The Emonda is 25w(?) at 45kph off the best bike in Tour's test, but that aero bike probably loses 10w with bottles and the Emonda would gain 5w with aero handlebars. If you put a seat bag on the aero bike, you'd likely lose another 5w advantage.

The SLR is no more aero unless you get the H1 build, which will have a slightly shorter head tube.

by Weenie


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