Trek Bikes chose Friday to roll out its new high performance road bike, the Domane, stealing the thunder from the relaunch of my blog.
This looks like a fine bike for anyone who races on rough roads, like the cobblestones in northern France. I don’t happen to know anyone like that, but those folks must be out there.
It’s supposed to be less shaky on rough roads because of “ISO speed” technology that allows the seat tube to pivot independently from the frame. My old Cannondale with the giant aluminum tubes used to beat me up it was so stiff; I fixed that by getting a bike with a steel frame and riding slightly wider tires.
When I first heard about the Domane, I immediately went to the Trek Bikes website to learn two things — the cost and the number of eyelets.
The cost: It starts at $4,600 and is more depending on the components; the team bike starts at $11,000.
None. This means there’s nowhere to easily connect a rack front or rear. Also, you can’t permanently attach fenders.
Update: Actually, the Domane has hidden fender mounts embedded in the frame with removeable eyelets. That’s quite unusual and amazing for a racing bike. There’s also enough frame clearance to run relatively beefy 25 mm tires under the fenders. See the Nick Legan’s review at VeloNews for photos of those eyelets.
So even though the eyelets wouldn’t support racks, the Domane passes the eyelets test and receives the gratitude of cyclists in the Pacific Northwest who can only be sure of dry cycling conditions about two months a year.
Of course, the eyelet test is completely ridiculous in this case. Cyclists won’t be buying this bike to run errands to the store or for long distance touring. Trek has the venerable 520 for touring.
This bike is designed for racing, and for cyclists on club rides who like to pass other cyclists. I wouldn’t be surprised to see people riding Domanes in fast centuries and double-centuries later this year. Given its forgiving geometry, some might find it a comfortable ride for a multiple-day fully-supported bike tour.