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  5. Buyer’s Guide 2017: Trek Émonda SLR 8 Race Shop Limited

Buyer’s Guide 2017: Trek Émonda SLR 8 Race Shop Limited

#7 in All Around

  • SCORE 88.9/100
  • SIZE 56
  • WEIGHT 14.04
  • MSRP $7,500.00
SCORE 88.9/100
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LAB 17.2/20
BUILD 14.3/15
COMFORT 13.1/15
VALUE 11.7/15
HANDLING 14.3/15
PEDALING RESPONSE 14.4/15
AESTHETICS 3.9/5

Trek’s Émonda is made to be light—very light. In fact, the company proudly proclaims the Émonda to be the lightest line of production bikes ever offered. Regardless of the validity of that claim, the SLR offers a finely balanced ride and precise handling, and pedaling response to match.

The 700 Series OCLV carbon frame (weighing a claimed 690 grams) is Trek’s lightest, strongest layup. It is designed around the company’s H1 geometry, the lowest and raciest they offer. The short head tube (170 millimeters) is matched with a 73.5-degree head tube angle and 73.3-degree seat tube angle, for a 983-millimeter wheelbase and 410-millimeter chain stays. It makes for a frame with precise handling and impeccable pedaling response.

The new Dura-Ace 9100 drivetrain only improves upon what was already a stellar groupset, offering refined, crisp shift quality and ergonomics. The Bontrager XXX handlebar and Pro stem, and Bontrager Montrose Elite saddle keep the touchpoints light and comfortable. Though it wasn’t the harshest ride over rough surfaces, it shouldn’t be described as the plushest ride.

That being said, the proprietary direct-mount brakes offer the ability to run wider tires, which can improve comfort. For such a capable bike, intended for racing, climbing, and going fast, it’s nice to have the option to occasionally veer off-piste for more adventurous rides. The bike comes stock with Bontrager R4 Hard-Case Lite 25-millimeter tires.

With its clean lines and vibrant red paint scheme, the SLR is attractive, albeit in a slightly underwhelming way. One thing that separates Trek from other manufacturers is its persistence in utilizing the seat mast. The 20-millimeter setback mast can be positioned between 67 and 76.5 centimeters (saddle rail height).