The Domane delivers something approaching the perfect balance of comfort and efficiency. In large part, that’s due to the IsoSpeed decoupler, which lets the seat tube flex independently of the top tube. But you also get Trek’s second-tier 600 series OCLV carbon and beefy BB90 bottom bracket (think: stiff and light).
That said, the Domane responds best to seated accelerations. When you stand, the frame’s slack, 160-millimeter head tube (size 54cm) feels tall and clumsy. We were often compelled to sit back down after standing to attack steep grades. Better to grind it out from the saddle than fight the handlebars all the way to the top.
We also weren’t so fond of the front end’s behavior under hard cornering. This is probably a combination of that tall front end, the 71.3-degree head angle, 5.9-centimeter trail, and the fact that the Domane’s head tube was quite flexy — in fact, it was the worst of the road bikes we tested, a strange contrast to its very stout BB.
The clunky Bontrager Paradigm wheels were the only letdown in an otherwise excellent build, but wheels are so critical to a bike’s personality. They only served to exaggerate the Domane’s sleepy handling. As such, it’s a steady-handed all-rounder that is comfortable and relaxed.
Component highlights: Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain with 50/34 crankset and 11-28 cassette; Shimano Dura-Ace brakes; Bontrager Paradigm Elite tubeless-ready wheels