This Week I Arv Been Mostly Riding… Trek Domane
This week I have been out riding on a Trek Domane 6 Series. As you’ll know only too well, the weather has been less than clement recently, so having the chance to push a few circles on a bike of this quality has brightened my mood considerably.
The bike was originally developed with the assistance of Fabian Cancellara and his big legs to tackle the toughest, one-day bike races – including those good old cobbled classics such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The idea being to offer a bike that delivered all the power and performance of the most efficient race bike but with a ride so smooth and stable that the rider would end the longest races over the roughest terrain fresh enough to push on and win. The buzz words for the design were high performance, efficient, stable and smooth. As a handy bi-product all these features really tick the boxes for many riders in the UK – normal human beings that have to deal with long rides over our broken roads.
The highlight of the frame is the ISO-Speed Decoupler. Basically what this means is that the whole seat tube is able to move independently from the joint with the top tube. This allows the seatpost and tube to flex under load, offering unrivalled amounts of vertical compliance (and we all know how important vertical compliance is). The end result is that your body doesn’t get beaten up by the roughest of roads meaning that you’ll be able to ride for longer without seizing up.
All that vertical compliance would be wasted if the bike didn’t perform under extreme pressure though. So you’ll notice that the headtube, downtube and seatstays are massively oversized. Making the seat tube independent has allowed Trek to make the lower half of the bike super-stiff and strong without compromising ride quality.
That’s the theory. In practice does it work? Yes. Really well in fact. I had an opportunity to ride the Domane six series last year and I was impressed with how responsive the bike was, but that was on perfectly smooth roads in Germany. So it has been good to get out on to the crappy tarmac diazepam buy surfaces around here that have taken one hell of a beating over winter to see how the Domane performs in our natural habitat. The first thing you’ll notice is just how much flex you can get out of the seat tube if you really jump up and down on it. Once you’ve stopped playing around like a child on a trampoline and crack on with riding normally the effect is less obvious but is definitely there. To begin with I did feel that I was bouncing back and forth ever so slightly as the post dampened down the imperfections of the roads. That felt a little odd to start with, almost like the rear tyre was underinflated, but I got used to that feeling after a few minutes.
The effect of the ISO Speed Decoupler is subtle. It’s meant to be subtle though, this isn’t a suspension bike after all. It does its job admirably though and all the theory works in practice. Your body doesn’t take the same level of constant beating so you’re that little bit fresher and more inclined to give it beans rather than creeping home at the end of a long ride. That’s when that monstrous downtube kicks in – this bike really moves when you ask it to.
What’s more throughout the whole range, even on the highest level, the frame and forks come with removable mudguard eyelets. This is a real plus point for anyone riding in our changeable climate. Imagine that, a full on swanky bike that you don’t have to put away over the winter.
So, what’s not to like? It’s fast enough to be a race bike, yet comfy enough and stable enough to eat up countless miles, has a geometry suitable for regular folks and has the versatility of a winter bike when needed.
Mr Cancellara will be rolling out on a Domane in this weekend’s Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix the following weekend. I’d highly recommend grabbing some Belgian waffles and a selection of fine wheat beers and watching. These are usually the best races of the whole season.Written on March 16th, 2016 by bikeshak