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Fast Bike Friday – Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

This week we’re looking at a stunning Trek Project One road bike – the Emonda SLR 9 eTap featuring the team colours of the Trek Segafredo professional cycling team. This lust-worthy ultralight road bike includes SRAM’s flagship electronic wireless groupset, featherweight Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 carbon wheels and some great finishing kit including Bontrager Aelous RSL carbon integrated aero handle bar and stem.

The Emonda SLR 9 eTap in Project One Trek Segafredo colours…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

Launched in the middle of 2020 while the world was coping with the Coronavirus pandemic the all-new Trek Emonda wasn’t revealed in the usual way that Trek typically showcase their flagship road bike. Rather than its debut being assigned to the Tour De France as previous incarnations have, the  Emonda was revealed to the public first, with Trek’s professional riders having to wait until later in the year to prove exactly what this cutting edge road bike could do within road racing at the highest level. Happily when the Tour De France did eventually take place we saw Trek Segafredo professional Richie Porte take a very well deserved 3rd place podium spot in Paris onboard the next-generation Trek Emonda.

Trek Segafredo rider Vincenzo Nibali training onboard his Emonda SLR 9…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR eTap

This newest iteration of the Emonda saw some significant changes with Trek taking the previous super-popular model and bringing in enhanced aerodynamic frame profiling throughout. The Emonda mixes all of the ultralight properties from the former model and have combined it with a fair share of the aerodynamic benefits seen on their most recent Madone model. The new Emonda features its very own all-new grade of carbon tubing – Trek’s OCLV 800. As explained by Trek during the launch of the Emonda, when carbon tubing is reshaped to produce more aerodynamic profiles the intrinsic strength of each carbon tube can be compromised; to increase strength Trek would have had to increase the overall weight which of course is not a satisfactory design solution. To overcome this issue the Trek designers and engineers created OCLV 800 to give the perfect balance between aerodynamics and light weight; in short they produced a super-aero, responsive AND lightweight road bike that excels on the climbs as well as on the flat. Being ultra-light AND aero Trek claim this is the fastest climbing road bike that they have ever made. That’s a pretty bold claim from the American manufacturers, however, they have a lot of solid science and test results behind them to back up the claim and can show evidence of the bike being more aerodynamic even at the slower speeds encountered when climbing long hills.

Trek developed 800 Series OCLV for the new Emonda…

Trek OCLV 800

The Emonda SLR 9 sits at the top of Trek’s Emonda sub-range of road bikes and features exactly the same frame that’s used by the Trek Segafredo professional cycling team. This model features H1.5 geometry, developed with the Trek Segafredo pro cycling team, which puts the rider in the optimal aero racing position while still remaining comfortable on long all-day epic rides. It’s worth pointing out that this is the only change Trek have made, moving from H2 to H1.5. This simply means that the headtube is not quite as tall as on the previous version of the Emonda for a more racey feel. There are no other changes to the geometry of the Emonda frame and rightly so as  it was already sublime in terms of excellent handling; in fact I’ve talked at length about the Emonda’s geometry when we looked at the ALR version last year.

The Emonda SLR 9 features Trek’s H1.5 geometry…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

The colours on the Project One custom painted Emonda are absolutely stunning with an iridescent finish on the deep blue portion of the frame which changes tone as it catches the light. As you’d expect from what is essentially a Trek Segafredo team replica bike this custom paint option screams TREK with their logo extending down the full length of the downtube.

This Emonda’s Project One paintjob is something to behold…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

The Trek professional cycling team’s co-sponsor Segafredo is represented on the frames top tube…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

As we’ve all quickly come to expect from a modern carbon aero-road-bike the Trek Emonda features a very neat, aerodynamic front end with all cables (in this case the only the hydraulic brake hoses, as there are NO gear cables on this bike) neatly routed from the SRAM brake/gear levers, through the aero-profiled integrated bar/stem combo and down into the steering tube of the frame with no exposed cable to create unwanted drag.

Bontrager Aelous RSL carbon integrated aero handle bar and stem and internal cables mean a super-aero front end…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

That super-aero, fully integrated headtube, top tube, stem and steerer hides a motivational message…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

As well as the aerodynamic Bontrager Aelous RSL carbon integrated aero handle bar Trek have spec’d their super-lightweight Bontrager XXX Full carbon 138mm wide saddle. This truly race-spec, minimal saddle may not be to everyone’s taste but it reflects just how performance-focused the Emonda SLR 9 is.

This saddle is one for the weight weenies…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

As this model’s full name suggests Trek have spec’d their flagship bike with SRAM’s flagship eTap electronic, wireless groupset SRAM Red eTap AXS. This groupset is so slick, with wireless technology meaning that there are no cables or wires routed through the frame making for a simple, clean and efficient setup. The shifters contain a simple button-battery to power the shifting signal to both the front and rear derailleurs; at the drivetrain both front and rear mechs include simple rechargeable batteries that are quick and easy to remove and install. Every gear change is positive and precise and operation couldn’t be more simple or intuitive, simply press the right lever to shift down the block and the left lever to move up the block. Press both right and left levers together and the front mech will shift, either from the big ring to the small ring or the small ring to the big ring depending on were your chain is currently sitting. If you want to change how your bike shifts you can customise the settings via the SRAM App to enable you to shift up the block with the right lever and down the block with the left lever.

Positive, precise wireless gear shifting with SRAM Ret eTap AXS…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

This is the very same groupset which features on the pro team’s bikes and consists of a 12-Speed drivetrain with SRAM AXS gearing which has effectively shrunk down a conventional drivetrain to slightly smaller ratios to give a wider spread of gears without any significant jump between each ratio. This means that the chainset features a 48 tooth outer ring and a 35 tooth inner ring combined with a 12-speed cassette with a 10-33 tooth spread. The SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset sports a unique chain design with a flat-profiled upper to each chain link, this helps to strengthen the chain which has become slightly slimmer to accommodate the 12 speed drivetrain. The chain design combined with a fluid clutch within the rear mech also means that chain retention is guaranteed.

The simplicity of the wireless rear mech with integrated rechargeable battery is a game-changer…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

The SRAM Red eTap AXS front derailleur is simple to operate and guarantees perfect shifting…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

Braking is taken care of with SRAM Red eTap AXS hydraulic disc brakes. These are powerful but easy to modulate brakes which keep you in control even in the heat of a frenetic road race regardless of the terrain and road conditions you’re racing in. With flat mounts on the Trek Emonda frame and fork the brake calipers look neat and uncluttered; thru-axles keep everything secure and in place further adding to the stiffness and positive handling of the bike .

Flat-mount SRAM Red eTap AXS hydraulic disc brake calipers are neat and uncluttered…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

Another brilliant addition to this top-of-the-range groupset is the SRAM Red AXS power meter integrated into the chainset. This power meter measures right and left leg power balance and power readings are accurate within +/-1.5%

AXS power meter fitted as standard…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

The Trek Emonda SLR 9 eTap features a pair of superlight Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels which have been developed alongside the bike with a focus on excelling on the climbs while still enhancing the aerodynamics of the overall setup. The Carbon rims are tubeless ready with a depth of 37mm and the wheels are shod with a pair of grippy but fast rolling 25mm wide Bontrager R4 320 handmade clincher tyres.

Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 carbon wheels excel on the climbs…

Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap

This Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap is a great choice for the cyclist who is looking for a contemporary, cutting edge road bike that’s capable of doing it all. This brilliant all-rounder benefits from the years of development and refinement that have preceded it. The Emonda’s geometry is truly confidence inspiring; this bike feels agile without being skittish and is equally at home riding long epic rides in the hills as it is in a sprint finish at your local road race. A stunning paint job, a cutting edge wireless groupset and lightweight finishing kit combined with all of the ‘free speed’ gained from all of the aerodynamic development that has been put into this all-new Emonda means you get a stand-out road bike which is the absolute pinnacle of road bike design and manufacturing.

 

See the Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap AXS here.

 

Blog written by Johnny Dodgin

Bike Photos by James Vincent