18/5/12: Trek Domane First Ride
This week, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Jez, our Trek technician, with one of only two Trek Domanes in the country.
The Domane is Trek’s latest carbon road bike, which features their all new ‘Isospeed Decoupler’, a pivot where the seat tube meets the top tube, to allow the seat tube to flex and take comfort to a new level. This sets the bike apart from anything else currently on the market.
It also has a very radical geometry – shorter top tube and higher head tube for a comfortable fit, a long wheelbase and slack head angle, for stable handling, but also with a corrected fork rake to keep steering responsive.
It wasn’t in the shop very long, but long enough for us to get out for a brief spin around the block, and then to pull the Allen keys out and get into the nuts and bolts of the ‘Isospeed Decoupler’.
I only had time for a short ride of the bike, but a quick sprint around Dorking’s one way system and a detour around Tower Hill, allowed me to climb, traverse rough road (Tower Hill is Dorking’s pot hole central), descend and finally a short sprint.
The Isospeed system was instantly apparent. Any vibration that is normally felt through the saddle is damped, allowing the rider to remain seated in more comfort than ever before. This will certainly lead to an ability to ride further, for longer.
The new geometry also meant the Domane handled beautifully, weaving elegantly through the potholes and again, the Isospeed technology allowing the rider to remain in control when turning on rough surfaces.
Once dismantled, the Decoupler is in fact, a very simple pivot point. The seat tube passes independently through the top tube/seat stay junction and is connected via an axle and two bearings. With an enormous amount of flex built into the seat tube, the end result is a saddle that cushions the rider’s impact, while the rest of the frame is incredibly stiff and responsive.
Dan has a Trek Domane on order for himself, so expect a full review once it has arrived and been put through its paces, and we’ll hopefully have Trek’s demo bike back at the shop once it’s completed it’s tour of dealers. This is a bike that promises to revolutionise how we ride road bikes, so we’ll make sure that we can offer a test ride as soon as possible.
To whet your appetite, check out Trek’s Domane webpage for more info on this fantastic new bike.