2018 Trek Emonda Disc SLR 8 ultralight disc brake road bike

Just in time for Le Tour, the all-new Trek Emonda pushes the boundaries of lightweight ever further with an updated rim brake version. And for rides with inclement weather, speedy descents and rougher roads, there’s a new Emonda Disc version that opens up tire clearance and still comes in very light.

In development for some time, Trek developed a new 700-series OCLV carbon fiber to shave grams and increase stiffness on what’s already claiming to be the world’s lightest production road bike. Then they took more extreme measures to refine the layup, testing and re-testing via FEA in the lab before putting multiple prototypes under their pro riders, including Alberto Contador. The result is a bike they’ll put up against any other race bike out there, offering a pro caliber ride and performance while being light as sin…

The Emonda Disc SLR 8 is the top disc brake build and gets full Dura-Ace mechanical with Bontrager carbon everything for $6,999.

The disc brake Emonda gets 28mm tire clearance – not quite gravel widths, though they say the bike is more than ready for a little dirt and cobble. It uses flat mount brake mounts and 12mm thru axles front and rear. Other details are shared with the rim brake models: Ride tuned seatmast, BB90, carbon rock strike guard, carbon dropouts, and H2 fit geometry. (Trek offers H1 and H2 fits, which are different geometry options to suit more or less aggressive riding positions). There’s also a women’s specific model.

The SLR frames upgrade a bit with carbon front derailleur mount, H1 and H2 fits, and Project One customization options.

Like the original, there are various levels of carbon and construction used. The SLR tier gets the lightest layups, and this chart shows how much lighter the 2018 models are than prior gen. What’s most surprising is that even the disc brake frame is lighter than the prior Emonda SLR. Trek offers their Vaporcoat paint, which adds little more than a boundary layer of UV protection, to keep finished (aka ridable) weights as low as possible. The SLR forks have a claimed weight of 313g (rim) and 350g (disc).

The Emonda Disc SL 6 runs $2,999 and comes with Ultegra mechanical and Bontrager Paradigm Disc tubeless ready wheels.

The SL bikes use 500-series OCLV and have claimed frame weights of 1091g (rim) and 1149g (disc), with fork weights matching the SLR models. There’s also an SL5 fork for the lowest tier complete bikes that comes in at 436g.

All photos c. Trek Bikes.

The Emonda rim brake use direct-mount calipers. Complete bikes start at just $1,899 for the SL5 with Shimano 105, which is more than $400 less than last year’s entry level, making their lightweight bikes more affordable than ever, too. At the top of the range is the SLR 9 for $10,999 with Dura-Ace Di2 (shown above).

Shared features include a new DuoTrap S speed and cadence sensor that shares the same integrated (and virtually hidden) part inside the chainstay, but gets both Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ compatibility. And the front end of the bikes uses their Blendr computer mount (for Bontrager and Garmin units) integration. Combine that with internal cable, hose and wire routing and you’ve got one very clean looking bike. And all of them come with a lifetime warranty.

Above is the video rundown from Trek, and below is a brief moving picture about Contador’s bike:

For full build specs, pricing and options on all models, hit their website.



  1. I want to like this bike, but the look of it is just off to me with that long head tube and super sloping top tube. It doesn’t look proportionate. It reminds me of the older sl3 tarmacs. Also, the top of the line bike is $12k or about $2k more than the s works tarmac. Who can justify $2k more when buying this bike.

    • They’re showing the H2 fit in these photos. The H1 has a 30mm lower headtube in a 56 (I think), and a more level top tube.

          • The issue is that most can’t fit properly on an H1 geometry bike, including some elite riders. So you get an H2, which looks funky, while the new tarmac looks nice. Ultimately I’ll choose the ride, but if they are close, looks are a factor.

    • It says in the article that the top priced bike is $11k. At those nosebleed prices I’d take the Trek for $1k more all day long. You can go full D/A (another perk over Specialized, who uses house brand cranks that aren’t as good) with nice carbon wheels for $7k.

      The SL6 disc is a crazy good deal. I remember when the Madone 5.2 was $3,299 – almost 10 years ago. This bike is better in every way.

      • Those aren’t really house brand cranks(and I’m not a Specialized guy), just labeled as such. And while I love Treks, you also get crappy BB shell life. They just hope you sell or buy another Trek before yours creaks. I’d go Trek every time if they got rid of their BB interface.

        • Never had any problems with Trek’s BB interface & BB creaks are hit & miss. There has never been a time when mechanics didn’t chase a creak from time to time. Praxis cranks aren’t proprietary to Specializedmbut the carbon cranks they use are. The point is, they’re not Shimano, which is the gold standard (and justifiably more expensive).

      • S-Works cranks really are a Specialized product, they Licence part of the design from Lightning, but the crank is made by SBI and had a ton of differences versus the Lightning. Also, (I am not a Specialized fan, not in the slightest) the Sworks crank is better than the DA in almost every metric I can think of. It’s lighter, cheaper, stiffer, with the Praxis rings it shifts just as well, it’s cheaper with a powermeter. The only thing I could argue is that the DA looks better, but that’s subjective.

        As Veganpotter says, Trek BB life is garbage, they make over sized OD bearings so that when the carbon wears down, there isn’t play, also they have a factory service for drilling out the old BB race and bonding in a new one. To be fair, they do cover it on warranty for the original owner.

        I honestly believe that BB90 is the worst of both worlds. You still have a pressfit, but you can’t use the lighter, stiffer 30mm cranks. Remember to add 80g to your build just because of the BB!

  2. If you’re shopping at the top of the model lines, you’re probably not frightened away the additional cost of the lightest production bike if a climbing bike is your top priority.

    • Yeah, I’m a bike function over fashion adherent, but these do look odd. I’d be curious to see these without that elongated wedge/stripe on the top tube. That seems to kind of draw attention to the area that, aesthetically speaking, you least want given attention. At least if you don’t like the look of a tall/sloping front end.

  3. Looks great and fast! It might be time for a new road bike. As usual, I’ll choose the “best less one” level.

    I’ll have all winter to agonize over disk brakes, or not!

  4. not the prettiest bike, but man is that thing light! 640g is pretty damn crazy… i wonder how much lighter it can get.

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