Lightest Trek road/gravel ebike makes e-assist as natural as tailwind
Trek's been on an ebike tear of late, debuting a new generation of DS+ electric city bikes and the Fuel EXe eMTB in the past three months. Now it's fast-climbing high-alpine pavement with the all-new Domane+ SLR. The carbon fiber road and gravel platform minimizes the drawbacks of electric assist, such as noise and bulk, without a single compromise on power or range. In fact, not only is the new SLR Trek's lightest ever electric road bike, it boasts a higher top speed than other Domane+ electrics and up to 60 miles (96 km) of pedal-assisted range.
Trek has shifted from the removable Fazua drive it uses for other Domane+ models to the TQ HPR50 electric mid-drive that also powers the Fuel EXe. That drive is concealed neatly behind the chainring and designed to be smaller and lighter than other e-bike motor drives, weighing in at a mere 4 lb (1.8 kg). The 360-Wh battery is hidden away in the down tube, and while that tube is certainly beefier than the one on the non-powered Domane bike, it's slightly sleeker and less conspicuous than those on Fazua-driven Domane+ e-bike models.
The TQ drive is also said to be 1.5 times quieter than other electric motors while promising smoother performance and a more natural ride. Long story short, it's meant to provide the added power the rider wants but without all the weight, bulk, noise or counterintuitive feel they don't.
By pairing that lightweight drive with its highest grade 800 Series OCLV carbon fiber frame, Trek holds full bike weight down as low as 25.7 lb (11.66 kg) for a midsize 56. That's not quite as feathery as the 18.7-lb (8.5-kg) HPS Domestique, but it's right in line with lightweights like the 26-lb (11.8-kg) LeMond Prolog and 26.2-lb (11.9-kg) Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL.
Another factor that makes the Domane+ SLR Trek's most intriguing electric road bike is its power. The TQ system has three separate modes that offer assist speeds up to 28 mph (45 km/h), an increase over the 20-mph (32-km/h) top speeds on other Domane+ models. When dialing input down to eco level, the bike offers 60 miles (96 km) of assisted range and up to 90 miles (145 km) with the optional water bottle-style range extender battery. Riders can change modes using the push-button selectors neatly integrated on the hoods.
The Domane+ SLR also includes a digital display flush-mounted to the front of the top tube for easy viewing. The charge port is located below a cover on the lower down tube.
The Domane+ SLR lineup includes both road and gravel models. The road variety comes equipped with a Shimano 2x drivetrain and 32-mm road tires but can also accommodate 40-mm gravel tires should the rider want to switch it up. The gravel variant comes with a SRAM eTap AXS 1x drivetrain and 40-mm gravel tires.
Both road and gravel models come in three build tiers, with base prices ranging between US$8,499 and $12,999. Buyers looking for the lowest weight (and top-tier components like a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wireless electronic drivetrain) will, of course, have to pony up the full $13K and go for the lighter road version, but the weight penalties aren't too steep – the entry-level $8,499 Domane+ SLR 6 road ebike weighs in at an estimated 27.6 lb (12.4 kg) for a size 56. The gravel version has an even less dramatic differential, weighing 27.3 lb (12.4 kg) at the top end and 27.8 lb (12.6 kg) at entry level, both size 56.
See some of the first Trek Domane+ SLR action in the short video below.