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Domane (comfort) vs Emonda (light) if you road 80% mountains?

Red27Red27 Posts: 26
edited July 2017 in Road buying advice
First off this is to educate myself as I've been very happy with my Domane but I'm trying to understand when weight trumps comfort, as well as, how a high-end SLR Emonda (H2) would compare to a low-end (400 series) Domane as far as comfort and performance. Before I get into it I'll state that I'm not a weight weenie and understand that getting my legs in shape will make a much bigger difference than a lighter bike.

That said, a LBS has a 2015 Emonda SLR 6 that they are blowing out for under $3k (not that much more than what I'd have in my 400 series Domane if I put on Ultegra which I've been considering) and the fact that it supposedly weighs in at about 14.5 lbs vs about 20 lbs for my Domane, intrigued me enough to at least ask about it here.

If you've seen my other post I've been debating between upgrading my current Domane (with Ultegra) vs getting a new bike at some point. I love the isospeed, and the Domane in general but most of my riding is in the mountains of North Carolina where it's all up and down. If there is one area where I've been underwhelmed in my recent transition from MTB to road, it is when climbing as I just assumed there would be a much bigger difference between a heavy full suspension MTB and a road bike. The Blue Ridge Parkway and passes around my house have some steep sustained climbs and I realize my legs will get stronger the more I climb but am just curious how much difference 5 lbs makes.

Awhile back I rode a Domane and Emonda back to back and noticed a couple things. 1. The Domane was way more compliant over the same section of cobble to the point where I was totally sold on the isospeed decoupler. 2. The Emonda H2 was a really solid bike and not nearly as aggressive geo as I had assumed it would be. 3. I've yet to ride my Domane on any "sustained cobble" like I compared the two bikes on at the yes, the Domane's isospeed is really good but I've found myself mostly on fairly smooth roads so far.

Comparably priced, I think I'd go with a SLR Domane for but I am wondering if when the road turns more vertical, at what point would some of you value weight more than pure comfort? Thanks!


  • burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
    I'm driving out that way from Raleigh this weekend to do Mt. Mitchell.

    Hi to a fellow NC resident!

    Either way, if you live out that way then I would consider weight over comfort IF you have hit a body weight which you are ok with.

    I'm at the point I'll gain more power, but don't want to stop drinking beer for that last few lbs of weight loss.

    For what it's worth, road bikes have much more aggressive gearing than a mtb. MTB's on single chainring run like a 34 and 11-50t cassette. 50 freaking teeth on some of them. A road bike likely has 34 and 11-28t.

    I doubt a climbing bike in an H2 fit is going to be THAT much less comfortable than a Domane. At that time I'd totally compare what you're wiling to pay for: level of components, weight, etc...

    If I were you living out there, I'd definitely buy a mid-cage length rear deraileur no matter what and then run an 11-32. Those extra 4 teeth late in the day could be a life saver.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Are you quite sure about those weights ? I think you're talking about the same groupset on both - so you're not going to get a 5.5 lb difference due to the frame ? Sure it'll be lighter - but it won't be 14lb.
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 880
    I have an Emonda SLR (H1) and a Domane ALR Disc (H2). I've also rode a fair few carbon Domane's (SL Pro level)
    My Emonda is approx. 6.5kgs and that's with average wheels. My Domane is approx. 9kgs.
    Comfort wise, I don't really notice any difference really so I'm probably not the best person to say. In terms of road feed back etc, yeah there is a small improvement with a carbon Domane with the front and rear Isospeed, but its a bit minor to me. If I was riding cobbles all day every day then yeah it would be the Domane I'd use, or maybe if I was more into cruising around, then the Domane would be the bike for me.
    My Emonda I would refer to as a quick bike. Does it climb mountains well? About as well as I can climb a mountain on a 6kg bike. I've rode up mountains on a Domane (Alu and carbon), it didn't feel massively different in terms of "flying up on the Emonda or slugging up on the Domane", at the end of the day you still put the same effort in so it will still be hard. The time to the top wasn't significantly different either.
    The Emonda SLR is light and stiff and it is going to be slightly better at getting up hill than the Domane, I also find with the Domane I feel like I am putting in more effort when just riding on the flats or the normal rolling terrain.
    In terms of differences up hill between a full sus and an Emonda....Night and day, I ride MTB and I can tell you there is no comparison. The below is a decent strava section, so while we can't say the wind was exactly the same, I don't think it would equate to such a big difference (ignore the strava watts)

    Emonda SLR 11 mins 28 seconds:- ... 6170713453

    MTB 19mins 17 seconds.(Rigid 27.5+):- ... 5863240918

    My summary would be that the Emonda climbs well because it is light and the SLR frame is stiff. Comfort wise to me no discernible difference. Would I buy an SLR Emonda or an Domane? Emonda. I have never felt uncomfortable on the Emonda or felt I would benefit from having the Isospeed.
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 880
    Also, what is the spec on the Emonda SLR? Mine is the 2015 SLR 6 which I have upgraded to Dura Ace.

    Don't know if Photobucket works, but here's a link to my library, you might see the Emonda in there if it works. ... t=3&page=1
  • Red27Red27 Posts: 26
    Thanks everyone! Yes, in this case I'm very much comparing an apple to an orange. Basically, I have a low-end Domane 4.0 disc and I've been considering upgrading the to Ultegra and possibly even swapping out the cable TRP brakes for hydro disc (not because I need more braking but because it's only slightly more expensive than the Ultegra groupo sans brakes). The only thing that even has me remotely considering this Emonda is that when I add up what I've considered (still not sure and even less sure now that I'm waffling on even keeping this bike) spending to upgrade this Domane, I'm not far from this smoking deal on a 2015 Emonda SLR 6 (H2) which is a whole other level of frame and components. If the Emonda was $1000 more I wouldn't even consider it because I like the idea of having disc brakes in the mountains, in a place where it rains all the time and can come up out of nowhere on a long ride. The difference between a Domane SLR 6 disc and an Emonda SLR 6 isn't a big weight difference so I'd go with the Domane for sure but it would be a couple grand more. Having thought about it more today, and confirming with a Trek dealer that a 28c tire won't fit on the Emonda to give me the comfortable ride I'm looking for, has me thinking I won't go that route and will likely not invest any into this Domane but will keep my eyes open for a good deal on a higher-end disc Domane. I really want an SLR!
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 880
    Personally I wouldn't upgrade the Domane 4. I also wouldn't be put off by a non SLR frame. I'd be very happy with the Domane SL Pro range, and even nice wheels. Not sure if the SL6 Pro is in your price range, but its a very good bike.
    I have a friend with the Domane SLR, he has never adjusted his ISO Speed since getting the bike. We don't ride cobbles, so once its set there's little need to change it. The SL I believe comes at a pre-set compliance which is absolutely fine.
    Also I can fit 28s on my Emonda SLR, wife currently has Bontrager AW28s on her Emonda SL as well. Have a look in my photo bucket link above, pale blue Emonda, I have pictures showing the clearances, both front and rear.
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