Trek Emonda vs. Domane: Which Road Bike Is Right for You?

Choosing a road bike can sometimes be confusing, especially bikes from the same manufacturer. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably wondering: Trek Emonda vs. Domane: which road bike is right for you?

You’ll know the detailed answer to that question once you go through this article. Remember that both bikes are high-end bikes that cost well over $1,000. If you want cheaper high-quality bikes, check out our list here

Trek Emonda

The Emonda is Trek’s fastest bike to date, featuring the ultra-lightweight 800 series OCLV carbon frame. The peak model of this bike weighs only 15 pounds (around 6 kilograms). 

The reduced weight isn’t the only measure taken to guarantee speed. The bike has a minimalist, aerodynamic design and an H2 fit to keep the rider from slowing down the bike in an upright position.

We’ll discuss everything in detail, but for now, here are the pros and cons of the Trek Emonda:


  • Superfast ultra-lightweight bike with all the aerodynamic considerations in mind
  • 800 series OCLV carbon frame, which ensures both strength and minimum weight
  • The frame is designed to generate the maximum power from pedaling


  • Gets you fatigued easily 
  • Lacks the IsoSpeed smooth ride technology found in other Treks like Domane and Madone

Trek Domane

The Trek Domane is designed to target the more casual user who still wants a fast road bike but without compromising endurance.

The high-end model comes with the lightweight 700 series OCLV carbon frame, which is slightly heavier than its 800 series counterpart. The bike weighs a bit over 17 pounds (around 8 kilograms).

Trek focused more on comfortability with this one, providing an H1 fit to keep the rider more upright and reduce physical stress, especially on the lower back. 

Here are the pros and cons of the Domane:


  • A great mix between comfort and speed
  • 700 series OCLV carbon frame, which, despite being heavier than the 800, is still lightweight
  • The frame is designed to keep the rider from getting tired over long rides and comes with IsoSpeed smooth ride technology


  • Slower and heavier than the Trek Emonda
  • Requires more effort to climb and maintain speed

Trek Emonda vs. Domane: Similarities

Here’s what both bikes can equally provide you with:

1. Drive Train

Whichever bike you choose among the two, you’ll get a 12-speed Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain. 

This will ensure the smoothest possible transmission while minimizing these annoying chain drop occasions. 

2. Option Variety

Depending on your budget, both bikes allow you to choose between entry and pro frames. There are four frames that you can choose from:

  • AL models or aluminum: This is the most budget-friendly option. The bike would be heavy and sturdy but offer less speed and stability.
  • ALR models: They’re made from advanced aluminum frames. These frames are still sturdy as their aluminum counterparts but offer less weight for more speed. 
  • SL models: They’re made from carbon fiber parts. Carbon fiber is extremely lightweight and will provide you with an even higher top speed. 
  • SLR models. These are the epitome of carbon fiber technology. You should expect to pay at least $10,000 for both bikes if you intend to get the SLR model. 

Trek Emonda vs. Domane: Differences

Here’s how the Trek Emonda fares against its Domane cousin:

1. Design

Trek Emonda

The Emonda is built for speed. Any speed-oriented bicycle often has a minimalistic design to reduce the overall weight as much as possible. As such, the design prioritizes speed over comfort, making it streamlined and minimalistic. 

Trek Domane

The Domane, despite being a fast road bike, isn’t solely focused on speed but rather on longer and smoother rides. Because of that, the design is more streamlined, relaxed, and upright, offering the rider better endurance and ride longevity. 

2. Weight

Trek Emonda

Because of including a lot of lightweight carbon fiber in the body, the Emonda is Trek’s lightest road bike.

Let’s take the SLR9 as our comparison model. Emonda SLR9 weighs just under 15 pounds. 

Trek Domane

With less carbon fiber in the bike’s body, the Trek Domane is slightly heavier than its Emonda counterpart.

Looking at the same SLR9 model, the Domane SLR9 weighs just above 17 pounds, which is a little above two pounds over the Emonda SLR9.

The difference might not be massive, but it shows during races. Keep in mind that both bikes support a maximum rider weight of 275 pounds. 

3. Frame Geometry

Trek Emonda

The Trek Emonda is designed to be faster and more race-oriented, which reflects on its aggressive road racing geometry. 

The geometry forces the driver to lean forward and reduce the amount of air hitting their body. This increases the aerodynamics of the bicycle to fulfill its speed purpose. 

The Highline Emonda also features the 800 series OCLV carbon frame.

Trek Domane

Trek Domane isn’t a slow road bike by any means. However, its geometry is more upright to help the rider stay on it longer.

The more upright position is less stressful on the lower back, helping the rider cruise without getting tired but reducing the overall aerodynamics of the bicycle. 

The Highline Domane is one generation behind its Emonda counterpart, utilizing the 700 series OCLV carbon frame.

4. Tire Clearance

Trek Emonda

Emonda’s tire clearance is slightly narrower than Domane’s. 

For consistency, we’ll still rely on the SLR9 model. Officially, the clearance is around 28 mm. However, some users were still able to fit 32 mm tires there with some modifications to the frame of the bike. 

So technically, you can fit those 32 mm tires, but unless you know what you’re doing, it’s not recommended.

Trek Domane

The Domane uses the 32 mm tires as their stock, but with the abundance of space available, you can fit up to 38 mm tires without any modifications to the frame. 

The larger tires allow the Domane to navigate more comfortably on rougher terrain. It’s not as versatile as a mountain bike, but it won’t solely restrict you to plain roads like the Emonda. 

However, this comes with the cost of speed reduction. The bigger tires on the Trek Domane also give it more stability on the road than the Emonda. 

5. Brakes

Trek Emonda

The stock Emonda comes with rim brakes, but you can pay a little extra to get the integrated disc brakes with Shimano R505 calipers. They offer better performance, especially in harsh weather conditions, where rim brakes can struggle to stop your bicycle. 

Trek Domane

Much like the Emonda, you have the freedom to pick between rim and disc brakes. The Domane features mechanical disc brakes and alloy calipers. 

It’s safe to say that both bikes are delivering well in terms of brakes. 

6. Suspension

Trek Emonda

The Emonda’s front suspension is an SRAM PG912 with 10-speed cassettes. The rear suspension is an SRAM XO1 with around 150 mm of travel. It’s not the smoothest suspension around, but it’s sturdy and reliable as long as you stick to the road. 

Trek Domane

The Domane features SRAM XO1 rear suspension, which is similar to the Emonda’s. However, the travel distance is slightly less at 140 mm. As for the front suspension, it comes with a Rock Show Monarch R fork with 150 mm of travel. 

Since the Domane is designed to be more versatile than the Emonda, it comes with Trek’s IsoSpeed technology, which does a better job of minimizing vibrations and ensuring a smoother ride. 

7. Handling

Trek Emonda

Most users who tried the Emonda say that it “feels right.” The design of the bike allows for quick, nimble movements with minimum loss of speed to avoid losing momentum. Handling on low speeds is also better than it is on the Domane. 

Because of how Trek designed the Emonda with an H2 fit, you should expect better handling even when climbing uphill. You’ll be able to maintain better speed and generate more power. 

However, the design places more stress on your arms, knees, and lower back, which could tire you quickly. 

Trek Domane

The Trek Domane is slightly less agile. The larger tires require a bit more effort while changing the direction of your bike. However, they provide better stability and an overall more comfortable ride. 

Trek used the H1 fit on the Domane instead of the H2. This more upright position may not be the best for climbing hills or maintaining speed, but it’ll place less stress on your arms and knees, making the ride easier. 

8. Riding Style

Trek Emonda

Everything we mentioned so far shows how the Emonda is suited for races and drags. 

As a start, the smaller tires provide better handling and reduce the overall weight of the bike. The bike itself has an abundance of carbon fiber parts, which reduce the overall weight.

Last but not least, the frame geometry and aerodynamics of the bike force the driver to lean forward while driving to ensure as little wind resistance as possible. 

Trek Domane

Trek Domane may not be as fast as the Emonda, but it’s not a slow bike by any means. It’s just designed to be more versatile on multiple terrains.

The geometry and design also allow for a more laid-back ride, which is suitable for those who prefer to be on their bikes for extended periods. 

9. Price

Trek Emonda

Trek Emonda is faster and more expensive than Domane. Depending on the model range you opt for, the price may be as low as $2,500 or as high as $12,200.

Trek Domane

The Domane is more affordable than the Emonda, but only slightly. You can get the cheapest model of Domane at around $1,500.

If you prefer to go the high range, you should expect to pay around $12,500, which isn’t that much of a difference from the Emonda. 

Trek Emonda vs. Domane: The Bottom Line

Those who ride to race and don’t prioritize endurance or comfort should choose the Trek Emonda. The bike is lighter than a small dumbbell and will maintain its speed with ease. However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to use it safely on anything but roads.

Trek Domane is more targeted at casual riders or those who ride longer distances. The frame is a little heavier, and the top speed is lower, but the ride is smoother and the tires are bigger, allowing for more versatility of use. 

For more bike reviews, check out our Vilano Shadow Road Bike Review and Schwinn Volare 1400 Review.

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