You want a well-rounded race bike.
50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 62cm
Matte Trek Black/Metallic Gunmetal
56cm - 7.30 kg / 16.1 lbs
Trek just introduced a totally new re-imagining of the Emonda, the brand's lightweight climbing/GC model platform, with a substantially aero-ised chassis. The model family is divided between a higher-tier SLR range and a lower-tier SL range, which this SL6 Pro falls under; the key distinction is in the carbon layup and the increased integration of the SLR range.
Frame : Ultralight 500 Series OCLV Carbon, tapered head tube, BB90
Fork : Émonda full carbon, carbon tapered steerer, carbon dropouts, direct mount rim brakes
Wheels : Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3
Tires : Bontrager R2 Hard-Case Lite, 700x25c
Shifters : Shimano Ultegra, 11 speed
Front derailleur : Shimano Ultegra, braze-on
Rear derailleur : Shimano Ultegra
Crank : Shimano Ultegra, 50/34 (compact)
Bottom bracket : BB90
Cassette : Shimano Ultegra, 11-28, 11 speed
Pedals : N/A
Saddle : Bontrager Montrose Comp, chromoly rails
Seatpost : Bontrager Ride Tuned carbon seatmast cap, 20mm offset
Handlebar : Bontrager Elite VR-C, 31.8mm
Stem : Bontrager Pro, 31.8mm, 7 degree, w/computer & light mounts
Headset : Integrated, cartridge bearing, sealed, 1-1/8˝ top, 1.5˝ bottom
Brakeset : Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc
Emonda SL6 Pro frame design and size:
The Émonda has always been Trek's lightweight road bike, leaving outright speed to the Madone, but with this current edition, Trek has incorporated more aerodynamic profiles into the Émonda's design.
Unlike other aero bikes, the Émonda's frame isn't designed to be fast in a straight line or at high speed; after all, it's a climbing bike. Instead, the engineers have concentrated on 'unsteady aerodynamics,' which correspond to the significantly lower speeds encountered when ascending.
The front end, including the head tube and down tube, has received the most attention. The top-tier SLR models employ the Bontrager XXX aero handlebar/stem combo, which boosts the benefits even more, but it isn't available on the SL variants.
The SLR versions also utilize a new OCLV 800 grade carbon fiber, whereas the SLs use the 500 series, which adds some weight, but a reported frame weight of 1,142g and 380g for the fork is far from shabby.
What are the different parts included in Trek Emonda SL6 Pro?
According to Trek, the SL 6 Pro comes equipped with all of the lightweight components needed, thus there is no need to upgrade. You could save a few grams here and there, but it's a full package.
This is the first carbon bike in the lineup to include carbon fiber wheels. The Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 wheels are deep and tubeless-ready.
Trek included a full Shimano Ultegra hydraulic/mechanical groupset on the SL 6 Pro, which fits the bike perfectly. You get close to Dura-Ace performance at a far lower cost.
Trek has specified a 50/34-tooth semi-compact chainset and an 11-28 cassette, which is an excellent gear ratio selection for a bike of this design. There are plenty of top-end gears for speed work, and the 30-tooth sprocket provides an extra bailout gear above the more common 28T seen on most race bikes.
Ultegra's gear changes are excellent. The levers have a light feel to them, but they also provide a very well-defined click, letting you know that the shift has occurred.
Trek has chosen to put 160mm rotors front and back, which provide more than adequate power for a bike of this size.
Shimano's hydraulic systems are incredibly powerful, but they're also very easy to adjust, thanks to a lot of sense through the levers, which allows you to stop quickly without concern of locking up the front tire, even in wet conditions.
How does it feel to ride an Emonda SL6 Pro?
The first thing to note in this new incarnation is that the lower SL version feels a little thick at over 8 kilograms - not what you'd expect from a bike whose primary purpose is all about lightweight and climbing. However, total mass does not necessarily correlate to an anchor of a ride experience, and the Émonda is no exception.
Trek has managed to offer a level of stiffness around the bottom bracket that allows the Émonda to deliver on its promise of rewarding effort. Granted, it requires less work to sustain speeds on flat and undulating terrain, similar to the Madone aero bike, it's a 'faster' bike than the previous version.
But this new design has repressed part of the prior model's lively and exhilarating ride style - it feels like using terms such as solid and trustworthy is more suitable, nearly like the Domane endurance bike.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Is the Emonda SL6 Pro Trek bike value for money?
The bike is based on a complete Shimano Ultegra R8020 groupset. It's nearly tough to criticize R8000, which provides nearly all of the performance of Dura-Ace at a far lower price.
The crankset is 50/34, and the cassette is 11-28. This is an excellent choice for a go-fast, climb-friendly all-around bike.
It's worth mentioning that the bike has a short cage mech, which legally limits the drivetrain to a 30t cassette. If you need lighter gearing, you'll have to go with a smaller set of chainrings.
Nonetheless, the gearing provides more than enough range to climb comfortably in the saddle on the majority of climbs.
The SL6 Pro is the 'lowest priced' bike in the new Emonda lineup with carbon wheels.
The new Trek Emonda isn't much lighter or stiffer than the previous model, but it is purportedly more aerodynamic - a clever trick since it still looks like a regular bike. The bike is an excellent climbing partner, as you might expect. The reduced weight, as well as the remarkable chassis rigidity, are immediately noticeable.
The SL6 Pro is part of a model family that includes a higher-tier SLR and a lower-tier SL range, with the key differences being the carbon layup and greater integration found in the SLR series. Trek's 500 Series OCLV carbon fiber is used to build the Emonda SL6 Pro's frame.
The Émonda SLR is an ultralight, aerodynamic carbon road bike designed to be the fastest climbing bike we've ever built. Thanks to aero tubes crafted from our lightest OCLV layup ever, you get the legendary riding quality of our lightest platform, plus greater speed.
Yes, if you ride an adventure-ready gravel bike, it could be the ideal bike for your next trip. These bikes often feature a stack/reach ratio of over 1.5, with chainstays ranging from 430 to 445 mm, which are suitable for a well-balanced gravel bike for touring.
Overall, the Émonda is a fantastic bike. The aero changes have transformed it into a really fast and efficient bike that still manages to deliver on the weight front, and this SL 6 Pro model is so perfectly specced that there's no need to update anything in terms of components except the tires when they wear out. It boasts a high-quality frameset that performs well both on the flat and on the climbs, and it is well-specced for the price.