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Test rode a Trek Emonda SL8 today...

dstev55dstev55 Posts: 742
edited February 2017 in Road buying advice
Well I say test rode...

Booked a test ride at Evans in Nottingham on a Trek Emonda SL8 today. I had previously test ridden a Cannondale Synapse a couple of months back. Anyway I rode in to Nottingham on my usual bike as it was just as easy to do this and they would also take my pedals off my bike to use on the test bike. As they were doing this I asked them to take a bottle cage off and the guy asked how long I was planning on going for. I stated probably an hour and the guy said I can only go for 10-15 mins. I stated my last test ride was an hour and no-one had a problem with it. They didn't seem bothered by this fact and gave me the spiel about not putting miles on the bike. I can understand this but in all honesty I wouldn't have ridden in to Nottingham city centre for a 10-15 minute ride if I had known. I usually go in to this store on my way home from work and apart from one guy this was a different set of staff and the service was generally cold and unfriendly compared to what I usually get in the evening.

Anyway, on to the bike. The fit felt great, although I had to have the seat post up nearly as far as it could go, but the reach was certainly more than my current bike but not too much. It was perfect to be honest, it meant I didn't feel cramped when in the drops and I could also rest my forearms on the hoods much more comfortably. The frame felt stiff however I was amazed at how well it ironed out the bumps. Much more comfortable than my current bike yet stiffness when putting the power down was on another level. However, something still felt a little muted when putting the hammer down. I don't think it was the frame and I'm putting it down to the wheels. I will say this though, although the bike felt much faster than my current bike, it didn't have the same initial responsiveness when accelerating as the Synapse did when I test rode it. I took it into the Park in Nottingham which has a few small climbs and it felt good up the climbs, better out of the saddle than in it I think.

Spec wise, the Dura ace was great, although it felt no better than the Ultegra I tested on the Synapse. I was a bit disappointed with the feel(or rather lack of it) of the upshift on the rear mech, but apparently that's normal for Dura Ace. The brakes however were outstanding. Like already mentioned I think the wheels were really poor, although my limited experience means I find it difficult to know whether it's the wheels or the frame that was muting performance but I'm sure it was the wheels. The handlebars felt nice and the saddle felt Ok but it can hardly be tested in 15 minutes.

Now got a day to decide(and they only begrudgingly gave me that!) whether I want the bike or not although the average service I received today is swaying me against it. I also would prefer to pay monthly for it and Evans only do 12 months interest free which is poor compared to most others.

Any thoughts?


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