Sunday, August 5, 2012

2013 Preview: Trek Domane

Domane 6 Series (image courtesy of Trek Bicycles
I'm going to kick off my look at 2013 with probably the most interesting bike Trek has made in many a year- the Domane. (say "doe-man-ay") This bike has a new concept for rider comfort that early magazine testers and online pundits have been raving about. To boil it down to a simple phrase, they are saying "It works."

So, what is it? Trek has made a name for itself in the new century by making some of the meanest, nastiest race bicycles you can buy. Trek continues to find ways to improve upon the breed, and the latest Madone series bikes are razor sharp race bikes that make no apologies to anyone for being race focused and can hold their own against anyone's products out there.

The Domane is a racing bike too, but it does make concessions to rider comfort and it does back away from the cutting edge handling of racing bicycles for the road. Not much, but enough that casual road riders, longer distance road riders, and RAGBRAI riders looking for a nice, fast machine should really take a good hard look at Domanes before looking at Madones.

The big deal here is the "ISOspeed" de-coupled seat tube. Trek engineers essentially made it possible to have the seat tube flex along its entire length from the bottom bracket to saddle without being directly connected to the top tube. (See image above) This smooths out road irregularities up to 50% from what you might normally feel on a bicycle like a Madone. Smoother ride quality means a fresher, more comfortable rider at the end of a long ride.

Trek also developed a new ISOspeed fork, with a greater curvature than a Madone fork, this fork has an increased compliance which means less vibrations going into a rider's body. Bontrager also contributed here with a new handle bar with integrated gel inserts, negating the need for double wrapping or gel pads being added for hand comfort.

Finally, a new, "endurance" geometry was implemented for the Domane which gives this new model greater stability which translates to a bicycle that is easier to pilot over a longer period of time.

Of course, Trek offers the Domane in the highest level of carbon fiber technology, keeping weight down to Madone levels, but also keeping the highest levels of power transfer there as well. But for riders that aren't so well heeled as to buy a high zoot Domane 6 Series, the good news is that Trek will also be offering lower levels in carbon fiber frames and even aluminum Domanes so that all price points will have access to better riding, more comfortable, and easier handling road bikes.

That's it on the Domane. Next up I will introduce two new road/"fat road" bikes that are aimed at a similar crowd as the Domane. Stay tuned..........

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