Domane 5.2 Review

domane

 

There’s a lot of buzz about this bike, and I will be the first to tell you I thought it was stupid. But after seeing it in this springs cobbled classics races dominating the field, I wanted one.


The bike has a new technological feature from TREK and it puts the Domane at the top of the list of world class bikes. IsoSpeed separates the seat tube from the rest of the bike, allowing the seat tube to flex when the bike is piloted through rough terrain. As it flexes, it also neutralizes the bouncing pilots forces from the rest of the frame, ensuring the all of that bikes handling properties are maintained.

Rounding out the IsoSpeed system is the fork, and rest of the bike. The fork has a nice rake to with the wheel tucked back underneath it. This is ingenious geometry for handling and vertical compliance. To compliment the smooth ride of IsoSpeed is TREKS Endurance Geometry and 25mm wide tires.

So, does it all work? It does, with authority. I have tested it for over 70 miles in different scenario rides. I have rode the bike on gravel roads, bumpy bike paths, smooth bike lanes and steep climbs.

45 miles of the test was a race down gravel roads, the platform was extremely stable through all the loose conditions. 6 miles of tree root poisoned path was eaten by IsoSpeed and the rest was on routes I knew pretty well.

The bike lives up to TREKS claims of faster, longer. The geometry puts you in a position to work harder, easier, allowing to to hold your speed longer. IsoSpeed eats the roads imperfections, allowing you to keep your balance, momentum and confidence better. Its brakes are paired with machined sidewall rims for powerful braking. Add in the cadence increasing compact double crank and you should be finishing your rides minutes ahead of your old bike.

Don’t let the words endurance and fork rake scare you away from thinking this is a touring bike, this is a full on race bike made comfortable. Its frame is stiff, its wheels are light and its components are ready for flight. The 25mm wide tires may be scoffed at by hardcore local experts, but I can assure you, their volume will support your weight better and keep your momentum smoother. Unless you weigh 140 pounds, don’t worry about 23mm tires.

I can say some negative things about the bike, the rear cassette is a complete rip off. The entire bike is spec’d with Shimano Ultegra except for the rear cassette which is 105. I do blame the cassette for a few missed shifts and this component is not up to the rest of the bikes capable performance. TREKS carbon frame work, quality of house brand componentry and choice of wheels make up for it. However, for the price, they could throw you a bone.

The only technical aspect I had trouble with came in the seat height department. First understand that the website raves about their no cut seat mast and perfect range of adjustability. I picked a 58 cm frame which list their seat height minimum at 73 cm. For reference, I’m 6 ft 2.75 inch with an inseam of  35.5 Inch. My seat height is close to 74 cm. But when I started to set the bike up I found the seat would not go down about an inch and three quarters as far as I needed it to which means that it’s actual minimum was a lot higher than the catalog specified.

The dilemma I had was the seat mast said do not cut. Well I said f it and cut the seat post, the mast and removed the rubber insert in the seat post to get the seat where I could ride it. So far so good, I’m sure I lost my warranty though, which is a shame. So a no cut seat mast with a seat that doesn’t go low enough for a tall guy to ride. What is one to do?

Overall though I truly believe this is the best road bike in the world and no matter what price point you went with you would be pleased.

10 out of 10.

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