Battle Of The Bikes: Domane VS Emonda

Trek’s range of road bikes has a well-earned reputation for being some of the best in the business, with each of their respective roadies earning extensive palmares ranging from the cobblestones of Roubaix to the high mountains of Le Tour de France. While most of us might not be World Tour pros, the benefits of each bike still apply to the average Joe – so whether you’re a Strava KOM hunter or a casual club rider, Trek has got you covered. 

Let’s take a closer look at the bikes in question.

Trek Emonda

This bike fits firmly into the lightweight race bike category, and since its initial launch, it has been at the cutting edge of what’s possible with lightweight bicycle technology. This latest iteration of the Emonda is no different, and it’s faster than ever. Having already been ridden into pink in the 2022 edition of the Giro d’Italia courtesy of Juan Pedro López, it’s evident that this bike is no slouch!

Trek Domane

To simply call the Domane an endurance bike doesn’t do it justice. Developed in conjunction with none other than Fabian Cancellara, the Domane was purpose-built to dominate the cobbles and still does so to this day. With a no-compromise approach, the Domane ensures that comfort doesn’t come at the expense of speed, making this bike one of the most versatile road bike options out there.


Trek Emonda 5/5

With the Emonda being Trek’s dedicated all-round race bike, speed may as well be its middle name. Since its release, the Emonda has been up there with the lightest production road bikes on the market, and this is still very much the case, but this time it has a trick up its sleeve! This latest iteration is the product of countless hours of testing both on the road and through computer modelling – the lightweight climbing bike has had an aero makeover. Whether it’s stomping up the climbs, descending like a demon or flying along on the flat, the Emonda will do it well and do it fast!

Trek Domane 4/5

The Domane may be an endurance bike, but that certainly doesn’t mean it has to be slow. While it was no slouch to begin with, the latest version of the Domane has also had an aero makeover. Introducing aerofoil tubing and hidden cables while still retaining the same IsoSpeed technology for unrivalled comfort, its race reputation speaks for itself, with this latest edition having been ridden to victory in the inaugural Paris–Roubaix Femmes by Lizzie Deignan in 2021 – if it’s fast enough for her, it’s fast enough for us!


Trek Emonda 5/5

When it comes to the Emonda, low weight goes without saying, and with its new makeover the Emonda bucks the trend that aero has to be heavy. Trek’s latest generation OCLV 800 Series carbon is their lightest yet, meaning that even with deeper section aero tubing, the SLR frame remains below 700g. Pair that with some lightweight wheels and a flash new groupset, and you’ve got yourself a serious featherweight, with the Emonda SLR 7 (equipped with the brand new 12-spd Ultegra Di2 wireless groupset) tipping the scales at just 7.37kg. It’s safe to say that the Emonda comes out on top here!

Trek Domane 4/5

Weight may not be the primary concern with the Domane, and with Trek’s IsoSpeed technology showcased both front and rear, it’s no surprise that it’s carrying a few extra grams compared to the Emonda. With that being said, it’s no lead weight! Utilising Trek’s OCLV 700 Series carbon, the SLR model equipped with 12-spd Ultegra Di2 sits at just shy of 8.40kg – not too shabby considering the armchair-esque ride comfort the Domane provides.


Trek Emonda 4/5

Trek are no strangers to creating cutting-edge carbon, so as well as being their lightest yet, Trek’s OCLV 800 Series carbon has been optimised during the layup process to not only maximise lateral stiffness but also enhance vertical compliance, making for a smooth and responsive ride regardless of the road surface. The days of harsh riding race bikes are over! Of course, geometry also plays an important role in rider comfort, and naturally, the Emonda edges towards the racier end of the scale by putting the rider in an efficient yet sustainable position – comfort hasn’t been compromised, but it’s certainly not a touring bike!

Trek Domane 5/5

Comfort is at the core of the Trek Domane – it’s its speciality! Engineered specifically for racing on the cobbled classics, the ability to soak up road vibrations is critical, which is something that we’re all too familiar with on our home roads. IsoSpeed is what truly sets the Domane apart. Utilised front and rear, the system decouples the tubes at these junctions to allow for increased vertical compliance, almost eliminating the effect of road buzz and bumps without having any effect on the stiffness or handling of the Domane. Coupled with their tried and tested endurance geometry, you’re onto a winner!

Tyre Clearance

Trek Emonda 4/5

Even the raciest bikes in the world are opting for wider tyres, as not only do they provide significantly improved comfort but they have also been proven to actually offer lower rolling resistance! The Emonda officially accommodates up to 28mm tyres (with room to spare!), and as far as racing is concerned, this is perfect – the ideal blend of comfort and speed. Not only that, but the Emonda’s aero features have been designed around the use of 25-28mm tyres, so there’s no reason to go skinny!

Trek Domane 5/5

As you might expect, the Domane has no shortage of tyre clearance at its disposal – 38mm to be precise! This dwarfs the clearance that most rost bikes offer, including the Emonda, and while tyres of this width may be marginally slower than something in the range of 23-28mm, here you have the freedom of choice. If you’ve got a race coming up, faster-rolling 28s will fit just fine. If you’re rolling out on a multi-day tour on unfamiliar roads, throw on some chunkier rubber and you’ll be comfy and confident on unruly surfaces – the Domane could even double up as a gravel bike if you’re that way inclined!

The Verdict

Ultimately your choice comes down to what suits your needs. If you’re chasing seconds in a race, trying to claim all of your local segments on Strava, or punishing your friends on the chaingang, the Emonda could be the way to go. For the everyday rider, whether it’s on a club run, sportive or ultra-endurance event, the Domane will serve you well (but will still be handy in the odd town sign sprint!).

To discover our range of bikes on offer, visit us in Ashford or Folkestone – we have plenty in stock and ready to go, and we’re always up for bike chat!

Browse the 2023 Trek Domane Range here

Browse the 2023 Trek Emonda Range here


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