Trek Emonda 2019 Range Review

Words by Harry Archer

on 29/01/2019 16:24:00


Four years after its first appearance, The Trek Emonda range has established itself as the go-to ride for racers. The lightest production bike on the market, The Emonda is meticulously designed to be as lightweight as possible without sacrificing stiffness. Last year we saw the introduction of disc brake, wider tyre clearance and a variety of other clever technological additions - this year the range includes more women's bikes ensuring another year of dominance for the Emonda within the racing bike category.

Price: From £1099.99

Discipline: Road

Usage: Racing, Climbing

  • + Size-Specific ride - tuned performance 
  • + Wide Tyre Clearance
  • + Lightest Production Bike on the market

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The 2018 Emonda promises to be Lighter,Stiffer and more compliant than any previous conceptions. Once again, The Emonda is available in three different frame options:

Frame and Forks


The entry-level Emondas can be found here. Using strong and durable Aluminium frames, The ALR's geometry is unchanged for the new year. This is no surprise as last years model was one of the most popular aluminium frame road bikes available. Having been put through its paces during Trek's rigorous 'Size specific ride-tuned performance' program, altering the geometries of each frame size slightly to make sure the bike rides as expected, you can be sure that the ALR Emonda will perform well for rider's of all shapes and sizes. Fitted with 'Emonda Carbon' Forks to save weight, The ALR range could be the perfect bike for you if you're looking for a well performing, entry level road bike with good pedigree and an enticing price point.


This years Emonda SL frames are, Visually and geometrically, identical to the SLR (with the H2 option). The biggest difference between the two is the weight. The SL frames are constructed using 500 series grade carbon, delivering a final weight of 1,091g. The SL4 and SL5 utilise the same 'Emonda Carbon' fork as the ALR series whilst the SL6 gets an upgrade to a 'Full Carbon' fork - The same fork that can be found on the SLR range. The heavier fork adds another 100g onto the overall weight, but even with this addition you still wouldn't call the Emonda heavy. There is also the introduction of a women's' specific SL5 frame.


The premium model of the Emonda range, The SLR has become even lighter for 2019! New carbon layups and a revised geometry has shaved 50g off the 700 series Carbon frame, and the removal of the Iso-speed Pivot Tech (found on the Domane and Madone) has resulted in the best in-class stiffness of any production bike available, with overall stiffness decreasing from 4.0 to 3.55. With the removal of the SLR10 from the range, The SLR9 is the top-of the range model for 2019. A massive £3000 cheaper than the previous SLR10 and with similar spec, Trek has clearly worked hard to lower the cost of their premium models without sacrificing anything on performance.


The SLR is available in two different frame styles:

  • H1- For professional and aggressive riders. The H1 frame features a lower stack height and increased reach. This allows for a lower, more aerodynamic riding position.
  • H2- The standard geometry frame suitable for more relaxed riders seeking more comfort and efficiency from their ride. With a smaller reach and higher stack height the H2 frame is the go to option for most 'normal' riders.


      Stand-out Features

      Ride-Tuned Performance: All Trek Emonda bikes come with a ride tuned seat post that works to smooth out rougher sections of road. This means you can stay comfortable whilst speeding along and you don't have to worry about slowing down to avoid the bumps and pot-holes that are synonymous with riding in the UK. Furthermore, The SLR frame is available to be fully customised to your own specifications - both paintwork and parts - with Trek's Project One service. Looking for a one of a kind dream bike? The Emonda SLR could be the one for you.


      Disc Brakes: The disc brake options have made the Emonda range for 2019 highly versatile. The unrivalled stopping power of the disc brakes may be a tempting choice for rapid descenders and wet-weather riders. The SLR range come with Bontrager's Speed Stop Disc brakes, these brakes are fully-tuneable, direct-mount brakes that weigh a mere 95 grams. With hollow arms and Ti hardware, this Trek-Bontrager collaboration means extra tyre clearance ensuring the Emonda range is suitable for the growing trend of wider tyres for use on gravel or for adventure riding. All models above the ALR 6 come with tubeless ready tyres as standard and for those seeking to utilise the extra clearance to explore some off-road routes, an upgrade to tubeless tyres could be a very clever move.

      Control Freak Cable Management: Control Freak is the lightest, most versatile cable management system allowing any combination of shift and brake housing to be routed through the frame. Making the Emonda even more elegant and easily customised.




      The entry level ALR 4 is kitted out with Bontrager's own components throughout and utilises a Shimano Tiagra 2x10 speed Groupset. The ALR 5 upgrades to a 2x11 Shimano 105 system and looks to be the pick of the bunch in this range due to its relatively low price point considering the amount of tech you're getting. The ALR 6 also upgrades to a 2x11 Shimano Ultegra groupset, ensuring excellent climbing ability and gear ratios for an aluminium framed road bike.

      With Tiagra 2x10 on the SL 4, Shimano 105 2x11 on the SL 5 and Ultegra 2x11 on the SL 6/6 pro, The SL range does not differ greatly in groupset from the ALR range. However, with the lower overall frame weight and revised geometry, the SL will feel much more efficient when shifting under load. Furthermore, the SL 6(rim-brake option) is fitted with a Bontrager Speed Stop Calliper that weighs a mere 95g - One of the lightest rim brake callipers available to buy!

      The SLR 6 comes with the same 22 Speed Ultegra groupset as the SL 6 again relying on a lower weight to improve performance. The SLR 8 has a mechanical Dura-Ace 22 speed system that works extremely well on the climbs. Finally, The SLR 9 uses a top-of the range Dura Ace 22 Speed Di2 groupset that shifts with ridiculous efficiency and ease. Designed to improve gear changing under load and protect your rear derailleur from damage - The Di2 system is definitely worth the extra expenditure for the huge gains in performance you receive in return. Brand new for 2019, Trek have released the SLR 9 with e-Tap for better shifting and improved rider-feel.