Just In: Trek Factory Racing Domane Classics Edition

Trek Domane Team Issue Race Shop title

Bring on the cobbles. Just after introducing the new Trek Factory Racing team on Friday, a special delivery showed up at our door step. One that was painted in Trek Factory Racing colors, and happens to be the very same frame that Trek’s pro racers use for Spring Classics and other rides where comfort and the ability to power over rough terrain is key. Of course I’m referring to the 2014 Trek Factory Racing Classics edition of the Trek Domane – the bike that introduced the IsoSpeed decoupler. Substantially limiting the amount of chatter felt by the rider at the saddle, IsoSpeed works well enough that they recently added to their latest cyclocross bike which certainly didn’t hold Sven Nys back on his way to yet another Belgian National Cyclocross championship.

On the road side, the Domane Classics edition was ridden to victory by Cancellara at the 2013 Paris-Roubaix. While the Classics edition won’t give you the legs of Spartacus, it will give you cobble eating performance with what was formerly a pro only fit.

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Smooth is fast. You’ve heard the saying before, which the Domane Classics edition seems to exemplify. Compared to the standard Domane 6 series, the Classics edition loses 5.7 cm of head tube length (in size 54cm, tested), as well as going from a 71.3° to 72.6° head tube angle. Not only does this allow for a much lower, aggressive riding position, but thanks to 0.7 cm less of trail, the handling is quickened slightly as well. Other geometry tweaks include a slightly effective longer top tube (55 cm vs 54.2 cm), a slightly shorter wheelbase (100.4 cm vs 101 cm), and a lower standover thanks to the more horizontal top tube.

When it comes to sizing, Trek says since this is literally the frame the pros are riding, that means pro-only sizing as well. That means you won’t find a 44, 47, 50, or 52 cm frame in the line up, only the sizes the team uses – 54, 56, 58, 60, and 62 cm all made from 600 series OCLV carbon fiber right here in the US.

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As the secret sauce of the Domane, the IsoSpeed decoupler is the same that you find on the standard Domanes. Underneath that IsoSpeed cap, you’ll find essentially a suspension pivot that holds the seat tube to the top tube. Without the axle in place, the seat tube is not actually attached to the top tube which allows it to flex around the axle which is what provides actual vertical compliance. Check out the video Tyler made of the IsoSpeed decoupler in action – you can actually see it flex.

Built with fully internal cable routing, the rear brake cable pops out of the top tube just in front of the IsoSpeed decoupler.

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Like most of Trek’s high end road and now cross bikes, the Domane Classics edition uses their Ride Tuned seat mast cap which conceals the seat post battery for the Di2 system underneath. The neat part about how the battery is mounted is that since it is the frame, instead of the cap, you can remove the saddle and mast cap without having to disconnect the battery cable. Since the Dura Ace Di2 9070 group is charged through the junction box, there is no need to ever remove the battery and it stays sheltered from the elements.

The single bolt saddle clamp holds fast without a huge amount of torque unlike some early designs, and has clamp ears available for oval railed saddles and the cap itself is available in 5mm or 20mm setback options.

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Short stems (90mm) plus short head tubes with stem mounted Di2 junction boxes equals interference if you’re trying to get low. Any lower on the stem and you’d have to figure out a way to push the junction box forward or mount it somewhere else. Our test bike was fitted with an aluminum Bontrager RL Classic bend bar, and Race XXX lite carbon stem.

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At the crank, Trek’s BB90 bottom bracket is nearly flush with the down tube and allows for some massive chainstays while still keeping ample tire clearance. The Classics edition retains the Bontrager Duotrap compatibility which builds in ANT+ compatible speed and cadence sensors right into the chainstay.

While the Classics frame retains the lower mount for the rear fender, the hidden fender mounts at the dropout are gone. Since the fork is the same as the one used on the standard Domane 6 series, the hidden fender mounts are still there at the front.

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That fork is the full carbon IsoSpeed with an E2 asymmetric steerer tube.That steerer combined with the slightly rearward curving droputs allow the fork to flex for and aft, yet remain stiff laterally for precise cornering.

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The pros might ride the cobbles on tubulars, but consumers will likely roll on clinchers like the Aeolus 5 D3 clinchers equipped here. Just like the frame, the 50mm deep carbon clinchers are made in the USA from OCLV carbon. Designed with a wide, aero rim profile, the wheels have a 27mm external and 17.5mm internal width that rounds out the 25mm R4 tires well. Like many of the Bontrager wheels we’ve seen lately, the hubs use DT star ratchet internals with a stacked lacing design on the rear drive side, and 18/24 DT straight pull bladed spokes with Alpina locking nipples.

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The drivetrain, like the rest of the bike, is top shelf. Shimano’s Dura Ace 9070 Di2 electronic drivetrain offers precise shifts in just about any condition – perfect for a bike like this. Gearing is offered in a standard 53/39 crank and 11-25 11 speed cassette. If you’re wanting the pro frame without the pro gearing, don’t forget that since this is offered through Trek’s Project One, all of the components are customizable to fit your needs. Priced at $11,519.99 (with a Bontrager Race X Lite IsoZone carbon bar), the Classics edition is certainly not cheap. However, if you’re wanting the frame’s geometry and not the high end build, it is possible to get the price below $5,000 with downgraded componentry on Project One.

One other critical frame detail that sets the Classics edition apart from the standard Domane? The rear derailleur hanger is not replaceable. Instead, it is an extra thick, built in hanger designed to keep the shifts as crisp as possible in the worst conditions. The frame retains the S2 chain catcher of the original Domane to keep your chain on the ring when you’re powering through rough patches.

Just a hair over 15 pounds, 15.08 lbs to be exact, there are lighter bikes on the market. But keep in mind that this is a race bike and still has to adhere to the UCI minimum weight requirement. So with a pair of tubulars instead of the D3 clinchers here, and a carbon bar instead of the Bontrager RL Classics aluminum bar, the bike is probably right at the minimum without having to add any ballast.

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First Impressions:

Smooth. But that should come as no surprise as the Domane’s proven design has won over a lot of fans recently and the IsoSpeed technology hasn’t changed with the Classics Edition. For anyone that hasn’t ridden a Domane yet, it really does work as advertised. Maybe more so.

What has changed though is the geometry – while the comfort is the same, the Classics edition is built to go fast. Built with a steeper head tube angle and much shorter head tube, the Classics offers a faster ride with the ability to get low. Feeling like a cushy Madone, the Domane Classics does not like to go slow. Push back into the saddle, pull on the hoods, and give it all the power you have and it seems to reward you. With Spring just around the corner, I’ll be doing some classics riding of my own to find out just how unlike Cancellara I really am.

 

 

Comments

brattercakes - 01/14/14 - 9:10am

Pretty slick.

Argh - 01/14/14 - 9:49am

flexing = energy absorption :)

NASH - 01/14/14 - 9:50am

What function does the Sears Tower have on top of the stem?

Grumpy Wrench - 01/14/14 - 10:01am

I (grudgingly) have to give Trek credit for the Domane line- It’s the first bike in years that they’ve come out with that I actually want for myself…

Ian - 01/14/14 - 10:01am

It’s called, “it’s not my bike, so I’m not cutting the steerer” spacer policy.

wheelz - 01/14/14 - 10:10am

@Argh, if it is designed right, the flex will let the frame absorb energy from rocks and crap on the road rather than the body while pedaling effort is all translated into the rear wheel. Think about how suspension is used in F1 or other motorsports.

@NASH, this is a demo bike. Would be pretty stupid to send out the demos with the stem slammed.

Nice looking bike. Perhaps someday I’ll get over my aversion to that brand.

velorider - 01/14/14 - 10:21am

Can you fit 28c tires on this frame without fenders?

SomeFawkingguy - 01/14/14 - 10:25am

Let me get this right, the 6 series domane frame is built overseas but the team series is made in the US ?

Bas - 01/14/14 - 10:31am

does this frame have extra carbon layup in the chainstays and downtube for extra stiffness?

seriously aggressive position, if you think they lowered the head tube with 5cms!

Trekkie - 01/14/14 - 10:44am

@SomeFawkingGuy, all 6 and 7 series frames are built in the US.

Stampers - 01/14/14 - 10:55am

@Argh the flex is in the seattube which is isolated from the rest of the frame…unlike its closest relative in the Spesh Roubaix which has is dampening in the fork and seatstays. When you get out of the saddle the bike is extremely responsive to power at the pedals. test ride it and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.

Does the serious road racer riding on smoother surfaces need a Domane over a Madone or similar bike?…probably not. For mortals moving up in age, longer distance riding, or for really bumpy road conditions or cyclocross (see Boone) this bike is amazing.

don - 01/14/14 - 11:11am

Is that a typo, over 2″ of headtube reduction? That is huge.

don

velorider - 01/14/14 - 11:15am

Not a typo

noname - 01/14/14 - 11:56am

it’s about time one of these “classics” bikes actually was sold to the public without lazy man geometry.

MikeC - 01/14/14 - 11:56am

@SomeFawkingguy: Yes. What issue?

Robo - 01/14/14 - 12:02pm

If you’re going to do a PR photoshoot, you’d think they could swing the cost of 1 fork to cut it and just replace it later….

Anyway, sweet bike. Between this and the Boone, Trek seems to be on the right track to making bikes that are actually kind of exciting….

satisFACTORYrider - 01/14/14 - 12:32pm

it’s a cool offering for riders who can bend down and touch their toes. now, if i could just reach back and grab my wallet

plebs - 01/14/14 - 12:35pm

I hate those ghastly junction boxes and external batteries. Surely having as much as possible inside the seatpost is the most satisfactory routing?

Ben - 01/14/14 - 1:18pm

Glad to see this bike finally being shipped. I have been waiting on mine (and still am) since the day of release! Game Changer.

CXisFun - 01/14/14 - 1:35pm

@plebs: which external battery are you talking about?

slobob - 01/14/14 - 3:03pm

SomeFawkingguy, Trekkie,
All 6 and 7 “Madones” are built in the US. ALL Domane’s are overseas, EXCEPT the Team bikes. These custom molds are handled in the US through the racing dept.
velorider- All domanes can use 28c tires.
And yes that’s 2″+ cut from the head tube!

Colin - 01/14/14 - 3:28pm

@velorider

It depends on the tire, some yes, some no. I can BARELY get my challenge strada 25′s in there but an armadillo 28 still has room to spare.

@argh

The domane is probably one of the laterally stiffest bikes ive ever ridden. if i were to build up a climbing bike, i would and did pick a Domane. the couple hundred extra grams added by the isospeed are not felt, but allow you to run silly light wheels and still be <15 pounds, if you are into that sort of thing. These things go like a stabbed rat.

Graves - 01/14/14 - 3:54pm

@Colin – Challenge Parigi-Roubaix 700x27s measure nearly 31cm wide on a narrow Open Pro rim, so I can only imagine that the Strada is way over the actual 25 mark.

Personally, I’ve installed a lot of Continental Grand Prix 4000 700x25s on Domanes, and with Bontrager’s wide rims, they easily measure out to 28c. They clear handily, but I think it helps that the tire’s height is greatly reduced by the rim’s width. I’ll be curious to see how the new Grand Prix 4000 700x28s, or any other of the high quality 700x28s coming onto the market, fit this bike.

Jason Spiker - 01/14/14 - 5:59pm

Damn, that’s pretty long and low for a comfort bike. I guess that is not the point though, it’s a comfortable race bike. That actually sounds like a really good recipe. Just be sure to do your core and flexibility work and this should be a pretty bad ass for long distance at fast speeds..

Jay Reid - 01/14/14 - 6:09pm

Sweet ride. Cancellara had a lot to do with this bike. It is the same as last years bike, you know that it’s good when he’s involved. I’m buying a Trek. They continue to innovate with this and the new Boone, the big S has some catching up to do.

scott - 01/14/14 - 7:46pm

Kind of silly they made this bike. What they need is a 1500-2000 dollar bike with the same geometry as this one so poor want to be racers will buy a trek to race on. H2 on every bike under $4k is a joke I hate riding one even with the stem slammed. The domane is worse feels like I’m on a hybrid.

I mean really how many $11000 race geometry Paris roubaix bikes can you sell?

How about making some stuff people want to ride instead of marketing fluff and hey look what we can do bikes.

Everyone can hate this post all they want and I know there is a place for H2/H3 and domane bikes, and they are great bikes for the right riders. I just can’t understand why they road lineup has become lawyer/dentist bikes except for some high end craziness.

Psi Squared - 01/14/14 - 9:35pm

So, what does “lawyer/dentist” have to do with flexibility? Is that just the knee jerk response of knee jerk cycling snobs?

Graves - 01/14/14 - 10:42pm

@Psi – You know the answer to your question and are being unnecessarily pedantic.

Psi Squared - 01/15/14 - 4:26am

Yes, Graves, pedantic it is. I know the answer is that the response cited was a typical response for the typical knee jerk cycling snob. Oddly, it’s not the dentists and lawyers that are the cycling snobs. Curious, eh?

velorider - 01/15/14 - 9:35am

There are smart blondes, and there are fast dentists — but please don’t act like you don’t know what the saying means.

if you’re a fast dentist, just get past the phrasing: most intelligent blondes manage this just fine.

Nick - 01/15/14 - 11:39am

If you haven’t ridden one of these bikes, you should. If you’ve ridden a Spec Roubaix, it’s worlds apart, read: way better.

scott– you obviously didn’t read the article, this one has tweaked geo, not the same as the AL version that you’re probably referring to. You’ve obviously never ridden one, either.

TJ - 01/15/14 - 1:23pm

Scott – I get what you’re saying, but as a bike fitter of 300+ fits, i can honestly tell you that you are by far the minority. We use a Guru DFU fit machine and maybe 1 or 2 of those customers were too long and low that a Domane wouldn’t work. I encourage you to get a DFU fitting, see how low you can comfortably ride without losing power. You may just have an unusually long torso and/or reach. In that case, go with a Madone, Tarmac, Evo, etc.

Gilfy - 01/15/14 - 2:55pm

Cool! that photoshoot was done in Eden Park in Cincinnati!

gabbia - 01/15/14 - 10:23pm

Watched the video. Lots of flex there, but I can’t imagine that’s a good thing. The bike probably feels like a noodle when sprinting.
There are better ways to get the bump absorbing like carbon layup or even Ritcheys new seat system.

Scott - 01/16/14 - 4:31pm

So i just went out and measured my new Boone. It is almost identical to this frame. It is not the same geometry as the crockett as advertised. But I think that is ok. I must say after riding it on gravel and on the road it is a rocket. I have ridden the original Domane and it is a ton different. Way stiffer and a lot more nimble. You really dont notice the Isospeed Decoupler until you hit a larger bump where on the original Domane you noticed right away. I am looking forward to putting a ton more miles on my Boone.

joel - 01/16/14 - 6:14pm

It looks really nice-It seems to do what they say it should- I’ll wait a while and see what people actually riding them say. I’ve had two of said brand in the last ten years and I just got sick of things falling off or breaking-willing to give them another chance if they can show they deserve it, but I really like my synapse.

tubasti - 01/16/14 - 7:25pm

The 53 mm offset fork blades are from the smaller civilian Domanes with slacker head angles. The larger sizes use 48 mm offset blades. The combination of extra offset plus steeper head angle lets the steering feel lighter and more forgiving. I wish I had waited for this one.

Pete - 01/16/14 - 10:26pm

@gabbia The flex is almost entirely up and down, and only when you are seated. For the rest of the time the bike is very stiff and the flex cannot be felt when sprinting.

Brayden - 01/19/14 - 3:59pm

“all made from 600 series OCLV carbon fiber right here in the US.”

My understanding was all Domanes, including 6 series, were made overseas not in Wisconsin. Is this bike an exception?

Graves - 01/20/14 - 12:27pm

@Brayden – All production Domanes are made in Taiwan by Giant. However, the pro models (with the H1 headtube or other custom geometry tweaks) have always been made in Waterloo. Since this is the pro model, exactly as it would be made for Cancellara (or whomever), it is made in Wisconsin.

Michael - 01/20/14 - 5:12pm

@graves, all Domane’s are made in Taiwan, I work for Trek, I have this exact bike but in the older team colors and it says designed in waterloo and assembled in america sticker but not the made in america sticker like the Madone gets…..disappointing even my remedy 9.9 from 2012 was the last one made in the us, no bike but the madone and pro bikes get made in america :(

Graves - 01/20/14 - 6:42pm

@Michael – Please ask your bosses at Trek why they claim that this bike was made in America, then. Because they’re been advertising that fact all around this bike.

And just to be clear, it’s not really accurate to say that the Madone is Made in America, because only 6 and 7 series Madones are.

djconnel - 01/22/14 - 7:52pm

The point of selling this bike is to fulfill the requirements of UCI rules that bikes the pros ride need to be commercially available. That said, it’s an amazing looking bike, one I’d definitely love to try. As to racing on “smooth roads” — heh, not in Northern California!

Michael - 01/27/14 - 1:59pm

@Graves, it’s a big thing of the hype, keep in mind a good portion of recreational cyclists think that Trek is still made in America(taiwan really). Bike rumor didn’t get their facts right and sure not all madones are made in america but I never said that either, so stop arguing on stuff i never said,

P.S. the domane disc brake version will be available sometime around early may of this year (2014) and the fuel is to come out with a 650b variant in may as well, there’s going to be some really neat things to come this year(2014)!

Agn - 02/06/14 - 6:03pm

I cannot believe the childish comments about “dentist’s” etc. bikes. As if people’s abilities, right to ride or own a bike, or moral worth were dependent on the size/shape of bike they ride. It’s on a level with “my bike weighs 5gm less than yours: it and I are therefore smarter/stronger/better/more pro than you”. I can only hope that at some point the people who write these things realise how idiotic they sound. I guarantee that they *will* one day be older, and may find themselves needing to change the geometry and size of what they ride. BTW, that looks and sounds like a fine bike.

Matt - 03/05/14 - 7:54am

Hi, I’m a heavier rider (100kg, 6’4″). I was wondering whether the flex in the seat post/tube on these bikes may get excessive where rider’s weight is more than average. Or maybe this consideration is factored in to the design of the larger frame sizes. Anyone have any experience of this? Thanks

Thomas Smith - 04/21/14 - 1:48am

i agree with Matt, i am a medium sized guy at 225 lbs but most bike are designed for the 175 lb guys

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