Peloton X Trek: The Complete Package
Words by Ben Foster; Images by Jordan Clark Haggard
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The all-new Trek Émonda is a bike that was designed as a package to be light, and fast. Increasingly in cycling, fast means aero—so Trek went back to the drawing board with one goal: giving their factory-sponsored race teams the fastest climbing bike they could make.
Creating aerodynamic tube shapes takes more material, so in search of more speed without gaining weight, Trek turned to a new lightweight 800 series OCLV Carbon. This new material incorporated into a sophisticated layup creates a light (sub 700g!) frame that is strong and responsive—stiff enough that every pedal stroke’s energy is transferred to forward momentum and flexible enough that it has a smooth ride that grips the road when the road gets twisty.
In the never-ending hunt for less drag, smoother shapes are better. To smooth everything to the wind on the outside, you need to move as much as possible to the inside. Enter the Aeolus RSL VR-C bar/stem combo. Completely internal cable routing plus aerodynamic shaping saves the rider 7 watts over a regular bar and stem. And Bontrager’s Blendr system really simplifies attachments, letting you mount lights and a computer in a clean, integrated way.
The Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheelset is similarly designed to slice through the air and minimize momentum loss as you smash away on the flats or up a climb. The mid-range depth is the perfect balance to give you aerodynamic benefit over a more shallow wheel while still remaining lighter than a deep rim. These wheels are 11 percent faster than the previous model, while weighing 55 grams less.
All of this adds up to a complete bike that, when ridden, gives the impression it wants to be pushed hard—and when you are pushing it the sensation is that none of your hard work is being lost. The wheels spin up incredibly quickly; the rear triangle and bottom bracket junction feel stiff while delivering smooth and direct power transfer; and the bars have a comfortable shape allowing for all-day riding in multiple hand positions.
I will need all of these advantages on my tour of the Santa Monica Mountains. Lately, every other week I’m doing an eight-hour ride with as many feet of climbing crammed in as possible. The faster I go uphill, the more feet I can rack up—and on this bike getting in an extra climb is a joy.