When heading out for a test ride, we usually pick a route with a good variety of terrain that’s suitable for the type of machine being ridden. For a bike that was designed to conquer the Paris-Roubaix cobbles, and was ridden to victory in March’s infamous Strade Bianche by Fabian Cancellara, we devised the least road bike friendly route we could think of, taking in the roughest roads in the area.
Available from £1,000 in an all-aluminium version, and in carbon from £1,500 right up to the custom Project One 6 series, the Domane incorporates Trek’s innovative IsoSpeed decoupler, a pivot point at the seat tube and top tube junction that allows the seat tube to flex independently from the rest of the frame. Any concerns that this might dilute the frame’s ultimate performance were quickly dispelled by truly electric acceleration.
Trek claims a nine percent increase in stiffness over the Madone, and 100 percent more vertical compliance. Maximising power transfer are the massive head and down tubes, huge BB90 bottom bracket and beefy asymmetric chainstays, the width of which roughly doubles on the non-driveside, accommodating the built-in wireless DuoTrap cadence and speed sensors.
The hardworking IsoSpeed fork has slim, curved blades with 20 percent greater offset than the Madone, and a kink above the dropout to further increase comfort. The improved stiffness, more relaxed head angle and tapered steerer tube add up to an incredibly stable bike.
The seat tube can flex independently thanks to the IsoSpeed decoupler
We tore through potholed country lanes in astonishing comfort. The feeling of being isolated from shocks with no adverse effect on pedalling action or steering deflection was uncanny, and the Domane was as fast uphill or on the flat as any superbike we’ve ridden. Even the handlebar has integrated IsoZone pads for further vibration reduction.
On repeated runs across a long stretch of violently rough cobblestones, although there was obviously vibration it was easy to choose a line, change direction mid-corner and brake without any drama; even riding one-handed wasn’t impossible because the Domane tracked straight regardless.
The combination of 27mm wide Bontrager carbon rims and 25mm tyres is ultra accelerative, grippy, stable, extremely strong and also comfortable. The bike’s plush feel gives the speed and handling of a true superbike, with the glide of a cyclocross machine over rough stuff.
With neat cable routing, a clever seatmast with 100mm of adjustment, integrated chain keeper and hidden mudguard mounts, Trek seem to have thought of everything, and with such imperious terrain crushing performance, the Domane could be your road bike for all reasons.
Trek Domane 6.9 Review From Velonews Magazine (May 2013 issue)
"As far as comfor, the Trek Domane 6.9 is excellent. Over rough roads, the influence of teh IsoSpeed decoupler is immediately noticable. Remember the first time you rode a bike with tubulars? The improved ride quality is equally profound....The elegance of the Domane's tracking over rough roads is fantastic. The decoupler helps the bike hug the road on rough descents or high-speed, rutted turns. It allows teh rear wheel to maintain better contact with the road, providing increased traction, as well as improved ower efficiency....The price is abotu $1000 less than the Roubaix SL4, and a few of our testers actually liked it more than the Specialized."
Road Bike Action Magazine:
"...when we hit our first section of cobbles every single journalist on the ride had the same reaction—this thing really works! I could hit the cobbles at full speed without being thrown to and fro, allowing me to keep the pressure on the pedals without the hits affecting my pedal stroke."
"As we ramped up the pace to roll into the first climb and smashed into the cobbles the rear ISO Speed de-coupler did an astounding job. It soaked up the carnage at the contact patch with amazing aplomb."
For more information about the Trek Domane, click here for our Introducing the Trek Domane Article.