Cancellara's Domane is an so-far unreleased version by Trek that features a split seat tube and a new-look top tube. Cancellara was first spotted riding the bike at Strade Bianche, where he beat Zdenek Stybar [Etixx-QuickStep] to take victory. He also rode it at E3 Harelbeke on Friday, finishing fourth after a furious chase following a broken derailleur.
Cancellara’s frame features a cobbles-style design on the top tube with his Tour of Flanders record also inscribed upon it. The frame is predominantly grey with yellow and black accents, again a nod to the Tour of Flanders.
Designed to soak up the cobbles (or general bumps) the Domane’s main trick is the Isospeed pivot, which isolates the seat tube from the top tube. This allows the seat tube and connecting seat mast to act as long uninterrupted lever and greatly reduces vibrations and impacts when seated. It’s a technology that has since been rolled out into Trek’s Boone cyclocross range, the Procaliber hardtails and, most recently, the ultra-aero Madone 9 Series.
It appears this new generation Domane continues with the Isospeed technology, but ups the comfort ante. The seat tube reveals a major change, moving from the previous round tube to what appears to be a split-tube design. This is reminiscent of the Canyon VCLS 2.0 seat post, where far greater vertical flex is given by creating a leaf spring of sorts.
It’s tough to tell from the photos but it's possible a vibration-dampening elastomer is sandwiched between this split-tube design. Additionally, the seat stays appear to have a greater curve from the previous generation, something likely done to reduce the transfer of forces from the rear wheel before reaching the top tube.
The large head tube appears to be hiding something special too. There is a visible split in the upper portion, which leads us to believe it’s some of elastomer-based vibration dampener. While it's difficult to say how it works, it’s likely that such a design could just rely on tight tolerances and be simply held in place by the fork steerer.
Trek declined to comment on this bike, as companies often do when riders are riding advanced prototypes or are actively teasing upcoming models.
"Trek is always in development of new products with our race team," Michael Mayer, Trek's global road product marketing manager told our sister title Bikeradar. "Trek will provide information on new products when they are available for all riders around the world to enjoy."
The rest of Fabian Cancellara’s bike seems rather familiar from years past, including his preference for Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical shifting over Di2.
Flick through the gallery above to take a closer look at the bike.