Trek’s Silque SSL begs to tackle long adventure rides and mountainous centuries. With an especially tall head tube (193mm, size 56cm) and relaxed endurance geometry (72.2-degree head tube angle, 70mm BB drop), the Silque’s Cadillac comfort is hard to beat. But it’s also staggeringly light at 15.0 pounds, which coaxed us up some of the steepest QOMs around.
The Silque has the same BB90 bottom bracket shell and stiff 600-series carbon layup as Trek’s Madone aero race bike, providing a responsive feel with every pedal stroke. But the upright position makes sprinting feel awkward and inefficient, reminding us that this is, in fact, an endurance bike.
Despite this relaxed geometry, though, the Silque handles respectably on fast mountain descents. We couldn’t lean it over as much as we wanted but the bike stayed smooth and stable through corners, providing a reassuring ride on unknown terrain. It’s by no means as fast reacting or snappy as race-inspired rigs, but it will glide over dirt roads or get you to the top of challenging climbs nonetheless.
Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler helps with this impressively smooth ride. It reduces road vibrations by allowing the seat tube to move independently of the top tube-seat stay junction for a micro-suspension effect. We couldn’t feel the seat tube moving, but we could definitely feel the difference after a long day on the bike when our bodies weren’t screaming.
A slew of Bontrager components wrap the Silque with women’s-specific designs and comfort features. The company’s Ajna Pro women’s saddle and narrow 31.8mm Race Lite shallow-drop handlebar make finding a comfortable position and secure grip on the bike a snap. The handlebar also adds extra comfort with its IsoZone technology, which includes bits of padding on the tops and drops.
The Silque is an ideal choice for women who love riding long or who just want to be comfortable each time they hop on a bike. The Ultegra Di2 drivetrain is a nice fit for this moderately priced women’s bike. It’s not the cheapest option out there but you won’t find a better mix of comfort and style than this silky smooth ride.
Component Highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain; Shimano Ultegra 50/34 crankset and 11-28 cassette; Bontrager Race Lite tubeless-ready wheels