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Trek Domane SL5 vs SL6

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Trek Domane SL5 vs SL6

Old 06-14-19, 02:41 PM
  #26  
fayzane
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Omg!

Holy %$#! Got the bike today and cannot believe how fast it is! Even with the stock wheels and tires it likes to go about 20mph with easy effort in the small chainring. I thought the LBS was joking when they said the difference was going to be night and day. I've been so incredibly pleased with my Trek FX 7.4 hybrid I had no idea road bikes were really this much faster. I think I'm going to have to get used to this for a while before I even think about putting racier wheels and tires on it, almost frightening what these things can do with even mid-level components and wheels after coming from a commuter bike. Thanks for the input you guys, I'm definitely going to be hitting some PR's on Strava with this new ride lol! I chose Shimano XT touring pedals because of arthritic feet and they seem very comfy.

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Old 06-14-19, 11:44 PM
  #27  
guachi
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I got an SL5 last month. It really does go faster. Simple stuff like geometry and tires make a huge difference.

Heck, just getting into the drops from the hoods for a change of hand position and I'll pick up speed.

My two complaints are the seat is uncomfortable and I'm having trouble getting used to it and the bike shop did a terrible job installing the front derailleur and it took a month before it shifted reliably into the largest chain ring.

On the positive side the shop gave a free bike fit, which helped as the seat needed to be adjusted.
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Old 06-15-19, 10:40 AM
  #28  
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Oh man, Guachi, sorry to hear about the issues. I laid down 30miles with mine last night and was fortunate the stock saddle seems to suit my behind very comfortably. I overdid it though, back and neck muscles are tired - but it was just too much fun to stop lol! What saddle did you choose to swap the stock one out for? And what color is your bike, did you get the black one?
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Old 06-15-19, 10:53 AM
  #29  
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I have a 2019 SL5 disc and it only comes in one color, black with red accents. And I have a full kit of red/black/white to go with it. You go faster if the colors match.

I haven't changed my saddle out yet as I may eventually get used to it but my sit bones may tell me otherwise. I'll check to see what the other local bike shops have for me to test out.
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Old 06-15-19, 01:34 PM
  #30  
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I love the black! But I hope you find a nice saddle, I got lucky the stock one fits my sit bones. Now to find a gray and red kit...
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Old 06-15-19, 09:08 PM
  #31  
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I love my Domane 6.9 disc, but wish it had a little color.

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Old 06-15-19, 10:35 PM
  #32  
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I don't know, Noodle...it looks pretty sexy to me. Unfortunately the 6.9 was outside my price range. Wanna trade? 😂
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Old 06-16-19, 01:38 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by fayzane View Post

I am interested in the Trek Domane disc due to it's less aggressive geometry over an Emonda since I'm an 'entry level' road cyclist

Pretty sure pros have won tours on the trek domane so I'd hardly call it "entry level". Slam that stem and it's a pretty aggressive road bike. Put the best rider on a properly configured steel racing bike and they'd win without all the fancy carbon jazz. Of course weight of the frame and components matter to professionals where every second counts. Might matter to strava riders too I guess, but 1k wheel set isn't worth the cost to anyone that isn't a pro imho. It's really more about bling, bragging, and show and tell if you are not a pro. You can get a good non branded carbon set for about $300 actually. It's made in China just like every other $1000 and up carbon set.
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Old 06-16-19, 05:27 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by fayzane View Post
I don't know, Noodle...it looks pretty sexy to me. Unfortunately the 6.9 was outside my price range. Wanna trade? 😂
It's too big for you.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:31 AM
  #35  
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I traded in a Domane towards an Emonda and never looked back. You should test ride the Emonda before pulling the trigger on the Domane. Emonda is a bike that makes me happy every time I ride it.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:42 AM
  #36  
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I'm the entry level, not the bike lol! The Domane is a little more comfortable for me over the Emonda especially with how our roads are in Eastern WA and I'm a bit more upright with all the spacers. but it's good to know I can get more aggressive with it with time and experience.
I think the Emonda is a bit better at climbing is that correct?
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Old 06-17-19, 07:22 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
I traded in a Domane towards an Emonda and never looked back. You should test ride the Emonda before pulling the trigger on the Domane. Emonda is a bike that makes me happy every time I ride it.


I test rode an Emonda, within a mile I had brought it back to the shop, wasn’t for me.

Love my Domane!
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Old 06-17-19, 07:54 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
I traded in a Domane towards an Emonda and never looked back. You should test ride the Emonda before pulling the trigger on the Domane. Emonda is a bike that makes me happy every time I ride it.
This would be good advice, if the OP hadn't already purchased her bike.

Last edited by noodle soup; 06-22-19 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 06-17-19, 12:39 PM
  #39  
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The Emonda was my initial pick, but being 44 and unused to road bike geometry plus our rough local roads is why I went Domane. Then I had to decide whether to stick with SL5 or move to SL6. It was a better fit for my particular situation coming off a hybrid and felt more comfortable on it. I also liked the wider tire clearance so I can dabble in some light gravel. Emonda is a very, very nice bike though. I bet your Emonda is like greased lightening lol! But I needed to go with what felt better so I'll be able to ride more. Who knows, maybe someday. This is plenty fast for me right now.
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Old 06-17-19, 03:36 PM
  #40  
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Basically any bike that moves will help me get fitter. It also needs to work with my Wahoo Kickr. Even my wife's $600 Trek Verve 2 works with the Kickr and I can even ride her bike on it as long as I raise the seat.

However, I want to work my way up to riding longer rides (centuries, charity rides, fondos, etc.) and comfort and efficiency matter. The ability to mount 32 mm tires on the SL5 disc and the fact it *comes* with 32 mm tires was a big reason I went Domane. Also, the isozone is no joke. It's quite nice. Combine that with being a road bike and I was sold.

I'm only a year older than you at 45. I'm flexible and have a good engine (FTP about 265W). I'm in the Navy and we can ride the exercise bike for our semiannual fitness test. The problem is the seats aren't comparable, the test is only 12 minutes, and I rarely ride more than 30-40 minutes, though at a high intensity. So I wanted something as forgiving as possible.
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Old 06-17-19, 04:10 PM
  #41  
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There's something to be said for comfort features, that's for sure! My engine isn't as strong yet, only pushing 100-120 watts over an hour (I'm a girl who hasn't done endurance sports in 5 years due to bad feet). But it is comfortable enough I will be able to improve that with time. The Eastern WA roads can be quite a bummer. The isozone and wider tires will make centuries in my area more comfortable when I get there.
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Old 06-21-19, 04:13 AM
  #42  
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I now have about 7K miles on my 2017 Domane SL6 and still all smiles. I did replace the stock seat right away and the R2 tires pretty quickly. That was the first new bike I had bought in 20 years, had been riding a Trek 520 touring bike - what a difference for one day road riding!

Have since added some bikepacking type bags, going to try a 5 day credit card style touring ride over the winter.
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Old 06-21-19, 10:51 AM
  #43  
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There are always technical difference between bikes on paper, but in everyday cycling those differences are often difficult to perceive. My wife has the SL6 disc and I have the SL5 disc. I have ridden her bike and cannot tell the difference between the two bikes in terms of performance and comfort. Except for the most discerning and perceptive rider, I'd say the bikes are pretty much the same, except for the $1000 price difference.
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Old 06-21-19, 12:19 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post


I now have about 7K miles on my 2017 Domane SL6 and still all smiles. I did replace the stock seat right away and the R2 tires pretty quickly. That was the first new bike I had bought in 20 years, had been riding a Trek 520 touring bike - what a difference for one day road riding!

Have since added some bikepacking type bags, going to try a 5 day credit card style touring ride over the winter.
That's a nice ride. But that bar tape, I guess I'll never understand why people choose white bar tape. The bike looks so dirty because of that tape.
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Old 06-21-19, 12:32 PM
  #45  
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That's the picture the first year, before I figured out how to keep the white bar tape clean. Now I spray Scotchguard on, clean with these Magic Erasers my wife gave me - stays white the entire season. The bike came with that tape - I like the look, doesn't bother me for it to look dirty between cleanings because the rest of the bike looks dirty between cleanings, too...
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Old 06-21-19, 12:57 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by fayzane View Post

I am interested in the Trek Domane disc due to it's less aggressive geometry over an Emonda since I'm an 'entry level' road cyclist and the compensatory IsoSpeed decoupler features on the bike that will hopefully make the ride more comfortable.

The research I've done indicates at my riding level I may not necessarily notice much difference between the Shimano Ultegra in the SL6 over the Shimano 105 that comes with the SL5. My hybrid has Acera shifters and a Deore derailler that I'm happy with commuting on. The SL6 has nicer Paradigm wheels and Bontrager R2 tires. The SL5 has Affinity wheels and Bontrager R1 tires.

What I'd like to know is whether it's really worth the $1000 jump (will I notice much difference) from the SL5 to SL6 model?
Blindfolded one could not tell the difference between the shifting or performance of a 105 and an Ultegra. I would definitely get the 105. As to tires, there isn't that much difference between the R1 and R2 IMO except about 10 dollars.

I'd buy the 105 and spend the thousand or whatever dollars saved and upgrade the wheels and tires. I prefer the AW3 Bontrager 120 TPI hard-case lite. The AW2 60 TPI hard-case lite are acceptable too. I've put at least 10,000 miles riding on those two types of tires,

Last edited by BengalCat; 06-21-19 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 06-22-19, 06:55 PM
  #47  
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JP your bike looks sweet! The smile on your face says a lot

Thanks for the wheel tip BengalCat, that's my next move, likely over winter.
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