Borrowing the lines from its top end alloy road bike, the Trek Emonda 650 puts smaller wheels on a top-notch frame and Shimano drivetrain, making it a race-ready ride for the youth.

We spotted this at the Taipei Cycle show thinking we’d uncovered a hidden gem, but turns out (like so many companies) Trek just hadn’t really told anyone about it. Meaning, it’s available now, just in time for spring training…

The 300 Alpha Aluminum top and down tubes are shaped, just like the adult models, and it gets a tapered full carbon fork, too. Cockpit is Bontrager alloy parts with a youth-specific saddle and gel cork handlebar tape.

The drivetrain is Shimano Sora 9-speed with a 46/36 double up front and 13-25 cassette in the rear. It’s tied together with a KMC chain, pressfit bottom bracket, alloy dual pivot brakes (non-branded, but pulled by Sora levers) and alloy wheels with Kenda 650x23c tires.

Retail is $1,099, only in this team edition racing red.


  1. Nice. What we need now is more 650c tires.
    My wife has an old trek 5000 w/ 650c. She doesn’t buy into the “700c has been perfected for small frames”. It hasn’t. There is a reason bikes have smaller wheels as they get smaller.

    • Conti makes the GP4000s in 650c, and Schwalbe also gives a nice selection. If I could only have one road tyre until the end of time, the GP4000s would probably be it…

    • I agree. I worked in a shop as the big brands were killing 650c off. My boss cited all the “reasons” that 700c was better, but when fitting a 5′ tall person on a 700c bike it was obvious the trade offs.

    • The problem with 650C is tire options – there aren’t a lot of them. Also you’re pretty much stuck with the traditional 23 mm width. Maybe there are straggler 25 mm options but I haven’t seen many of them at all in local bike shops here in my country.

  2. 650c works better for a lot of people, not just children. This is too much money for a bike with 9 speed sora on it though. And that Jr. gearing is fine if it’s for a kid, but the 5 foot tall and below crowd racing as grown ups probably shouldn’t get excited.

    • It’s a kid’s racing bike. Gearing was likely chosen to avoid running afoul of junior racing gear restrictions. Adults this small will be used to modifying products to accommodate their needs.

      • 46-13 on a 650c wheel is more than a full meter shorter than the the max Junior distance, needs a 52 chainring. I can’t recall what the Belgian under 15 distance is but I think this bike is well short of that too.

        • Since I can’t edit, this gearing is set for Canada and Belgium (maybe some others) where the really youngins have to run even more restricted gearing. However in the US you’re allowed 26 feet, so take 26 feet, also 9speed junior cassettes (14-25) are near impossible to find, Tiagra is not that much more expensive but would allow a lot more options for the rider.

  3. Panaracer has the Pasela in a 650cx25mm, and there’s even a 650cx42mm Clement MSO in the JBI catalog. I love 650c’s not just for small builds, but track and crit bikes (acceleration critical designs), climbing-specific bikes, and TT/tri types. The biggest limitation I’ve found is how the shifting starts to suffer once the chainstays get below a certain length.

    • Careful, I’d be suspicious that the “650×25″ is a 650″c” and the “650×42″ is a 650″b”. “b” and “c” are actually two different diameters and are not compatible with each other.

    • And that’s the best part, you don’t have to run a super short CS, but you aren’t limited by the wheel itself if you wanted to or can (i.e. ss)

  4. The new Terry Tellus tire (made by panaracer I think?) Is 650×28 and has been great so far, but I’ve never had trouble getting quality 650c tires ever, I don’t think it’s much of a concern if you want a bike that fits and handles well. I’m still a huge fan of 24×1 fronts, which has far fewer options but it’s really fine. It’s so worth it.

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