First rides on all-new Trek Domane SLR eTap hint towards a faster all-road machine

We knew the news was coming after seeing Trek-Segafredo’s Elisa Longo Borghini destroy the 2022 Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Trek Domane 2023 Paris Roubaix pro bike check

Credit: Trek Bikes

The all-new Trek Domane was in race footage and spy shots from around the cycling world. We knew the frame had updates but didn’t know how much faster and more aerodynamic the new Domane would be. We were lucky enough to get a Domane SLR eTap to check out before the launch and long term. What do we think so far? Let’s say this new Domane is fast on all terrain and is not another gravel bike.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike finrt side

Credit: Jordan Villella

Trek Domane SLR eTap — What’s new?

The design team at Trek did a lot of work updating the Domane to make it lighter, more aerodynamic, and more race efficient. The most dramatic change is a frame that is lighter, nearly 700g lighter for the SLR line, the front IsoSpeed is gone, and the rear IsoSpeed gets a makeover.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike d shaped post

Our Domane SLR eTap weighs a respectable 16.2 lbs (vs. 17.2 lbs for the previous model with similar specs) with sealant and a bottle cage. Trek also updated the tire clearance to a voluminous 38mm. If you want to get the full scoop, check out our news piece on the all-new Trek Domane line.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike bolt

Domane SLR eTap — Setup and dial in

The best bike packaging I’ve seen comes with Trek Project One bikes. The box, stabilizing materials, and padding are all reusable. What waits inside is usually something very cool, and it was no different this time.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike far bike

I usually ride a med/54cm in Trek bikes, and this time was no different, though, from the stack and reach, it appears I’m on the bubble. I measured and fit the new Domane SLR eTap to my specs and noticed I was at the edge of the seat post extension, but not over.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike ios speed

The new D-shaped seat post is available in two lengths (280 mm*tested and 320 mm) with two offsets per length (5 mm and 20 mm). Seems like I may need the longer post, but my other measurements were right on the money.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike crankset

Domane SLR eTap — First rides

My first rides on the Domane were on the road and on some very light gravel. Trek says the new Domane is a road bike first, and we can agree. Our bike arrived with 32mm Bontrager tires on Bontrager RSL 31 carbon wheels, the lightest road wheel Trek offers.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike tires

On the road, the bike first reminded me of a super fast cyclocross bike, but the longer my ride ticked on, the more it felt like a road bike — a fast one. The H2 geometry is slightly less aggressive than most road bikes but paired with the aggressive bar/set setup of the Domane SLR eTap build, I felt efficient on the road.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike saddle

Paired with the new D-Shaped seaport and zero adjustability, the new IsoSpeed is just enough for road suspension. The new IsoSpeed is barely noticeable, which is a good thing. I liked how responsive the Domane felt on the climbs and small bursts of speed. This punchiness could be the updated frame or the welterweight carbon wheels; either way, the bike wants to go. Pair that responsiveness with the compliance of the new IsoSpeed, and you can attack for hours (fitness depending).

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike drive train

Domane SLR —on the gravel and beyond

The Domane SLR eTap is not a gravel bike but can still roll fast over it. I took the Domane on my local gravel and some select chunky bits to see how it would fare. The most notable transition from road to gravel was the sense of ease. Usually, when you roll from tarmac to stones, the bike can feel skittish and nervous (rider or bike). The Domane feels stable, and instead of holding your breath, you breathe out.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike bottom bracket

The longer wheelbase on the H2 fit (on the SL and SLR) allows for stable confidence in sketchy gravel predicaments. I attempted to “right the ship” more than a few times after a screaming descent; steadily, the Domane pulled us out.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike ring size

The component spec leaves the rider wanting nothing, the SRAM Red eTap performs flawlessly, and the chainrings are the perfect size for road or pave’.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike new stem

Bontrager has a new RCS Pro stem that accompanies the Domane SLR eTap, a fully integrated design that pairs well with the Bontrager carbon bars. RCS Pro is available in both -7, and +7 degree rise for those looking and fits many other Trek bikes.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike stem

The stock 90mm stem with the 54 is slightly short for my fit but shouldn’t be hard to switch out, judging by the design of the stem. **For those wondering, the Madone SLR stem will not work on the new spacer configuration on the Domane SLR.

Trek Domane 2023 Full bike

Lasting impressions — Trek Domane

My initial impressions of the Domane SLR e Tap have been very positive. The ride quality has been supreme, and the snappy feel of the frame comes as a pleasant surprise. Look for a full review as we can more time and fall weather on the Domane SLR.

For more information and the full line details of the all-new Trek Domane, check out Trekbikes.com

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Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
17 days ago

Does this bike required the use of a proprietary Trek stem?

Dinger
Dinger
15 days ago
Reply to  Eggs Benedict

No. It looks like the tester is even missing it’s shroud that gathers the cables as they enter the head tube. The stock stem should make for cleaner routing but any stem should work.