The Trek Emonda is the lightest race bike in Trek’s lineup with a focus on uphill efficiency and crushing the climbs. 

At The Bicycle Chain we proudly displayed the original Emonda SLR 10 back in 2014 when it was released, the lightest production road bike in the world at the time, just over 10lb.

The latest carbon Emonda still comes in at under 700 grams for a frame only now with the added aerodynamic benefit of aero tube shaping and hidden cables. Add some aero wheels into the mix and you have a truly versatile lightweight and aerodynamic racing bike.

Creating the lightest bike in the world means committing to no frills or excess. This results in a stunning timeless look, futuristic but with its roots firmly planted in a classic road bike style.

This uncomplicated approach to making a great race bike ensures the Emonda is one of the best value lightweight carbon road bikes around.

The Emonda is for you if you want a lively, balanced ride feel in a super lightweight package. You are not a rider who avoids the hills, in fact, you're actively seeking out the steepest, toughest climbs. Alternatively, the other side of the same coin, you’re looking to make hills as easy as possible, because they’re your nemesis at the moment.

 Available in two carbon fibre options and a more budget friendly aluminium [alloy] option



Dubbed the ultimate featherweight by Trek, The Emonda SLR is the lightest and fastest Emonda you can buy, the very best. Trek’s premium 800 series OCLV carbon, noted for its significant strength to weight ratio, brings this frame in at under 700 grams and is fundamental to producing the balanced ride quality of the Emonda without sacrificing weight. All SLR models come with the one-piece Bontrager Aeolus RSL bar/stem combo maximising the available aero advantage of the new aero tube shapes. 

Three specifications of Emonda SLR are available, SLR 6, SLR 7 AND SLR 9. The number denotes the componentry fitted to the SLR frame, 9 being the highest, pro-level bike. Electronic groupsets and Bontrager carbon aero wheels come as standard on all SLR models.

The Emonda SLR can be customised through the Trek Project One Custom Bikes Program for those looking for a truly unique bike tailored to their exact taste, bike fit and specification.

Trek Emonda Lightweight Road Bike
Riding The Trek Emonda Lightweight Road Bike
Trek Emonda
Enjoying the climbs with the Trek Emonda


To the naked eye the Emonda SL and SLR look very similar, the SL will definitely make less of a dent in your wallet though.

In fact, Emonda SL models are a great bike for those looking to upgrade their alloy road bike or buy their first carbon race bike, as they represent some of the best value carbon bike options out there. Using the 500 series OCLV carbon frame, offering less aero aluminium wheels instead of carbon only, cable operated groupsets and a more standard two-piece bar and stem brings the incredible Emonda performance to more affordable levels with a specification to suit a variety of budgets.

Three specification options are available, Emonda SL 5, SL6 and SL 7. The higher the number the better the components, lighter carbon wheels and the introduction of fast shifting Shimano electronic groupsets.



The Trek Emonda ALR is the lightest aluminium road bike Trek make. Ideal for those looking for a race feel in a budget-friendly package.

Mirroring many of the attributes of its carbon siblings, aero tube shapes and integrated cables aim to give you free speed, no frills design keeps weight to a minimum and Trek’s H1.5 geometry, the same geometry the pros use keeps you out of the wind. 

Available in two specifications, Emonda ALR 5 and 6.



The Emonda SLR is ideal if you are looking for one of the very best climbing road bikes on the market, whatever the cost. The added aero advantage of the one-piece bar/stem combo makes this a formidable tool for the fastest riders, the highest specification is after all, a replica of the Trek pro team bike and whilst the higher grade carbon comes at a premium, if you’re really looking to own the lightest road bike possible, you can’t settle for less than the Emonda SLR.

The Emonda SL is a great carbon bike for a wider audience. With a model to suit most riders looking for a carbon bike, the Emonda SL represents excellent value for money. Punchy specifications aboard a lively, all-round performer, still ultra-lightweight, the SL is a great do-it-all bike for those that need one bike in the shed to preserve their marriage and their pennies.

The Emonda ALR can be a great option as a winter training bike for the seasoned rider, you don’t want to use your pride and joy and alloy is a safer bet in the winter. I spent my youth on premium alloy bikes all winter, great workhorses that’ll take a beating.The riding position is ideal if you’re used to a racing position, many alloy bikes are focused on comfort given they cater for new riders, not the case with the Emonda ALR. Also a great bike if carbon is to pricey for you, but you want a well specced bike built to be rapid, perfect for the money.



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What type of bike is an Emonda?

The Trek Emonda is a lightweight road bike optimised for climbing and speed, a mountain goat. It combines the lightest frame Trek make with added aerodynamic design to offer an agile and fast ride.


Is the Trek Emonda a climbing bike?

Yes, Trek Emonda is specifically designed as a climbing bike. It's renowned for its lightweight frame and responsive handling, it is a great bike in general but it was always made to excel uphill.


What is the difference between the new and old Trek Emonda?

The new Emonda models feature advanced aerodynamic tube shaping, an ultra-lightweight design with the 800 Series OCLV Carbon for the SLR models, and enhanced overall speed performance. Compared to older versions, the new Emonda provides improved aerodynamics and reduced weight, what’s not to like?


Which is better Trek Emonda, Madone or Domane?

Every bike has its own individual strengths and the right choice for you is a bike that has the capabilities to match your unique requirements, we cannot say one is necessarily superior than the other.

Emonda excels in climbing and lightweight performance, making it ideal for those who prioritise agility and speed on ascents. 

Domane, on the other hand, is designed for comfort and endurance, offering a smoother ride over long distances and rough terrains.

Madone is optimised for aerodynamics and speed, making it ideal for racing on flatter courses.


Is the Trek Emonda a fast bike?

A resounding yes, Trek Emonda is considered a fast bike, test ride one to see for yourself.


Is the Trek Emonda a race bike?

The Trek Madone and Trek Domane are both great bikes in their own right but each with their own unique strengths. The Trek Madone sacrifices rider comfort and compliance when compared to the Domane in order to gain improved aerodynamics. The Madone excels at sustained high speeds on rolling courses while the Domane provides supreme rider comfort for all day rides in addition to the versatility to tackle rougher surfaces with ease.


Which is better, Trek Madone or Domane?

Yes, Trek Emonda is designed as a race bike, with features that cater to competitive road cycling, especially in climbing and acceleration. Pro cyclists regularly choose the Emonda for race stages where climbing will make the difference between winning and losing.


Is the Trek Emonda an aero bike?

While Emonda is primarily a lightweight climbing bike, it does have aerodynamic tube shapes making it the most aero Emonda to date.


What does the name Emonda mean?

"Emonda" does not have a publicly disclosed meaning by Trek. It's a brand name created for their lightweight road bike series. Madone is a famous climb and the names Emonda and Domane are anagrams of Madone.


What is the top of the range Trek Emonda?

The top of the range Trek bike in terms of lightweight and climbing performance is the Emonda SLR series, featuring the 800 Series OCLV Carbon frame. Essentially a race replica as ridden by the pros.


Is the Trek Emonda comfortable?

The Trek Emonda is designed with performance in mind, but it also offers a level of comfort suitable for long rides, a balanced riding position and compliance features mean the right rider can spend hours in the saddle very comfortably.


What is the max tire size for the Trek Emonda?

The maximum tire size for Emonda is 28mm which can be fitted if you’re looking to maximise comfort and versatility. 25mm tyres come as standard for an optimal balance of speed and traction.


What is the difference between Trek Emonda SLR and SL?

The differences between Emonda models are hard to spot at first. The SLR and SL frames are made in an identical way, SLR models use 800 Series OCLV Carbon, making them lighter and more performance-oriented than SL models, which are built with 500 Series OCLV Carbon. A much lighter One-piece aero handlebar and stem are fitted to the SLR whereas the Sl has a more traditional separate bar and stem. Carbon wheels and electronic gears as standard on the SLR.


What is the difference between Trek Emonda SL6 and SL7?

The main difference lies in the groupset and components. SL7 models typically come with higher-end components and may offer more advanced features compared to SL6 models.


What is the fastest Trek bike?

The fastest Trek bike, particularly in aerodynamic performance, is the Madone series, designed for speed and efficiency on flat courses.


What is the best Trek road bike for an older rider?

Over the years we have seen many older riders choose the Domane series. 

Getting older often comes with reduced flexibility and strength which can make more aggressive bikes far from an ideal choice.

Known for its endurance-focused design, comfortable ride, and stable handling the Domane is a great choice for the older rider. However, the ultimate choice should be based on individual fitness levels, riding preferences and performance goals.



Author: Alex Kenchington

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