This article first appeared on BikeRadar. Since it was posted, Trek-Segafredo formally announced they would be racing the new Emonda during the Tour de France. Alberto Contador was riding the new frame during the Criterium du Dauphine.
At 690g, Trek's last generation Emonda was one of the lightest production framesets in the world. For the 2018 model Trek has pushed the boundaries even further making a 640g (H1, vapor coat paint, 56cm) frame for the standard brake model.
Even with this superlight chassis the Emonda is still backed with Trek's lifetime warranty. The firm has added a disc brake model for the first time and increased tyre clearances on both configurations, too. The disc brake frame tips the scales at an impressive 665g (H1, vapor coat paint, 56cm) - that's lighter than the previous generation caliper bike.
So as a direct comparison between old and new:
- Emonda SLR (previous) 56cm H1 fit: 690g
- Emonda SLR (new) 56cm H1 fit: 640g
- Emonda SLR Disc 56cm H1 fit: 665g
It's not just a matter of weight reduction, however, as Trek also claims the new Emonda is stiffer at the headtube, bottom bracket, and in the frame overall, whilst at the same time introducing a little more vertical compliance. The standard fork tips the scales at 313g, and the disc 350g.
The development of the new Trek Emonda started more than three years ago, with initial studies and testing resulting in thousands of viable designs using HEEDS software (an engineering tool that allows for multi-parameters of data to informs the construction and shape of a frame). From that, more computing power in the form of FEA (finite element analysis) and plenty of further R&D into the materials and manufacturing process enabled Trek to produce the lightest frame it has ever made. Finally, the engineering and industrial design team built a series of prototypes, which were real world tested by the Trek Segafredo team.
Every size and every configuration of the Emonda SLR will be available in both H1 and H2 fit for both disc and rim brake frames. So those who favour a longer and lower ride position have the H1, and riders looking for a more endurance focused shape can opt for the H2 fit models.
All of the SLRs are built with Trek's OCLV 700 carbon. Product Manager Ben Coates is quick to point out that the 2018, 700 series carbon is different today than it was two years ago - the carbon grade and fibres have changed, the laminate has evolved, and even the production methods have been revamped.
Trek has continued with pretty much all of its proprietary features like the E2 tapered headtube, their BB90 bottom bracket, the ride-tuned seat mast, and the duotrap sensor built into the chainstay.
It has added in a carbon front mech mount, all of the threads (bottle bosses, etc.) are moulded into the frame - so no drillings - and on the disc bike the aluminium dropouts are co-moulded into the frame and fork, which Trek claims is the most efficient way to integrate thru' axles.
The caliper braked Emonda is designed around direct mount brakes, with the advantage of increased tyre clearance over standard fittings. Bontrager designed a whole new direct mount version of its angular Speed Stop brakes built with hollow arms and titanium hardware. These tips the scales at just 95g.
It's cheaper too
The flagship SLR model is now the SLR9, and compared to the last generations SLR10 that retailed for $15,749/£11,000 it's a veritable bargain at £8,000.
The SLR range starts with the Ultegra equipped SLR6 at $4,999.99/£4,000. For those of us who can't reach the pricing of the new SLR, then Trek has also launched an SL version built to the same design using the same molds and laden with the same tech details but using 500 series OCLV carbon.
The SL's stats are: 1091g for the standard frame, 1149g for the disc, and the SL fork 313g, and the disc model 350g. Lower priced models get the 5 series fork (436g). Entry into the SL range starts at $2,000/£1,800.
2018 Trek Emonda pricing and availability
- Emonda SLR 9 Dura Ace Di2; Late June; $11,000/£8,000
- Emonda SLR 8 disc Dura Ace; Early July; $7,000/£5,600
- Emonda SLR 8 Dura Ace; Mid July; $6,500/£5,200
- Emonda SLR 6 Disc Ultegra; Late Oct; $5,500/£4,400
- Emonda SLR 6 Ultegra; Early Sept; $50,00/£4,000
- Emonda SLR FS H1; TBC
- Emonda SLR FS H2; TBC
- Emonda SL 7 Disc Ultegra Di2; Mid Oct; $5,000/£3,500
- Emonda SL 7 Ultegra Di2; Mid Sept; $4,500/£3,100
- Emonda SL6 disc Ultegra; Mid Oct; $2,999/£2,650
- Emonda SL6 Ultegra; Mid Aug; $2,500/£2,250
- Emonda SL5 105; Early July; $2,000/£1,800
- Emonda SL5 WSD 105; Early July; $2,000/£1,800
- Emonda ALR 6 Ultegra; Mid July; $2,300/£1,800
- Emonda ALR 5 105; Mid July; $TBC/£1,350
- Emonda SLR 4 Tiagra; Mid July; $TBC/1,000
- Emonda ALR FS; $900/£775