The new Trek Émonda SLR 6 is a bike for dreamers; those whose nights are filled with Grand Tour racing, a bike worthy of winners. The reasonable price will only fuel the dream, allowing you to continue ascending above the clouds with the likes of Alberto Contador and Bauke Mollema.
Rim or Disc?
The preferred race bike for professional World Tour team, Trek Segafredo, the Trek Émonda combines a classic style and lightweight ride with the stiffness and rigidity to endure some of the toughest profiles and terrains. A versatile machine that excels uphill as well as down, the Émonda truly embodies what it means to be Grand Tour racer. The devilishly handsome looks don’t hurt either.
The spec for the classic Trek Émonda has been updated for 2018, with a choice of rim brakes or disc brakes. The brake debate has raged for a while, both in the pro peloton and the deepest darkest depths of internet bike forums, so let’ try and clear things up.
Nothing can beat the longevity that a disc brake provides. Even the best rim brakes are notorious for wearing away expensive, carbon wheels, and can quickly burn more than a hole in your pocket. If you’re planning on pairing the new Trek Émonda SLR 6 with Trek’s recently released Aeolus XXX carbon road wheels, then you should seriously consider a disc setup.
Discs also give riders the added confidence when negotiating tricky descents. The Trek Émonda SLR 6 Disc comes fitted with Shimano Ultegra flat mount hydraulic discs, heralded as some of the best on the market for responsiveness and stopping power.
Very few of the criticisms of discs are to do their performance and stopping power, rather it’s the maintenance and ease of wheel transition that offer up slight hindrances. Specific tools are required to swap the pads, and the small opening between pad and disc can make it difficult to execute a swift wheel change. Of course, not all of us are professionals and can likely concede a few seconds while swapping our wheels; add to that the improving durability of brake pads and the disadvantages of discs become insignificant.
Rim brakes provide a much lighter, and often cheaper, option to their disc brake counterparts. The Trek Émonda SLR 6 rim brake option comes fitted with Bontrager Speed Stop Pros, the feather-weight calipers with graduated braking power that can be tuned to the optimum responsiveness.
Where rims begin to fall short to discs is in the power and modulation departments. A hydraulic disc brake, like the Shimano Ultegras mounted on the disc brake option, provides a lot more stopping power than rim brakes, especially in poor weather when rim brakes can often struggle to grip the wheel. Modulation is also key, allowing you to better feel the limits of bike-to-road traction without locking up the wheels. However, if a swift change and light weight are your priorities, then you might like to stick with good old-fashioned rim brakes.
Besides braking, both machines come equipped with similarly awesome kit. The 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame provides an effective balance between low weight and stiffness, while the Shimano Ultegra 11-speed drivetrain allows for seamless shifting, all the while keeping the weight incredibly low. Bontrager Paradigm tubeless-ready wheels continue the trend of stiffness and light weight, their stacked lacing making for a stiffer wheel and more responsive ride.
The Trek Émonda SLR 6 2018 is a handsome bike that doesn’t cut any corners – combining lightweight, stiff and comfortable components to create a perfect harmony. Whether you opt for rim or disc brakes, one thing is for certain: you’ll be wanting to dance on the pedals of this bike the moment it touches the asphalt.