The new 2021 Emonda SL and SLR road bikes from Trek are the lightest and fastest yet:
The Emonda always has been a top flight climber’s bike, but for 2021 Trek have completely redesigned the SL and SLR framesets with aero profiles, introduced new carbon wheelsets, and on the SLR utilized their new 800 series OCLV carbon to change the game completely.
Both the SL and SLR frames now have KVF (Kammtail Virtual Foil) aero profiles on the main tubes and fork which Trek claim can save 60s/hr on the flat and 18s/hr on an 8% gradient.
SL bikes get a 500 series carbon frame, and the all new 800 series OCLV used on the SLR is 30% stronger than any previous OVLV carbon laminates Trek have used, so even with the deeper aero tubing they have kept the frameset weight under 700g.
SLR models also benefit from the Bontrager Aeolus integrated carbon bar and stem, for even lighter weight with greater strength and aero capability.
Every model in the range comes with disc brakes for control in all conditions and max tyre size is a useful 30mm to keep your options open.
Most models come with aero profile carbon wheels, with the top models getting an Aeolus PSL 37 wheelset weighing only 1325g.
First ride impressions:
Trek-Segafredo rider Lizzie Deignan deemed her team SLR ‘the best bike I have ever ridden’ so she’s happy. At the more affordable end of the scale, we have tested an Emonda SL 6 Pro (£3350) and can say it’s a great bike. Even without the full bells and whistles of the SLR models, it delivers a comfortable yet nimble ride which does indeed climb well and cut it on the flat. The new H1.5 geometry holds a good middle ground between the aggressive H1 and relaxed H2 of old and delivers neutral but responsive handling that inspires confidence. You could argue it has the character and purpose of a Madone from 7 or 8 years ago, before they started moving to flat speed specialism, but that would be doing it an injustice as the new Emonda is so much more advanced. Trek still position this as a climber’s bike, but really it’s a do everything all rounder without compromise.
Trek describe the new Emonda as ‘Crazy light and Crazy Fast’ and we probably wouldn’t argue against that.
Where can I browse the range?
Prices range from £2,200 – £9,700
The carbon-fibre Emondas are disc brake only platforms. You can still buy an Emonda ALR frameset that takes rim brakes, but complete bikes are disc brake only. Emonda SLR Back in June 2020, Trek announced new versions of both the Emonda SLR and the Emonda SL, adding features designed to improve aerodynamics for the first time, including tube profiles shaped to reduce drag.