Which model Trek for someone like myself? (Madone, Domane or Emonda?)

Like to ride distance fast. Ride centuries each weekend during spring and summer in kentucky. 5 foot 7 inches tall, 145 lbs 3.75 wkg riding a 2010 madone currently. Thinking Madone would be fastest overall and comfortable on such rides. But curious what the TR folks think? What do you ride?


The Domane or Checkpoint would be slam dunks, as they’d give you some flexibility with soft roads (Madone can handle 32mm tires though). The frame is one of the least important factors as far as overall performance and aero-ness. Adding tire capacity doesn’t really hurt aero ( because the bike is just slighter wider at the top of the fork) and being able to ride an awesome gravel path makes life better.
If you want some aero, get a lesser model, clean up the cabling (as delivered), have a aero handlebars, and fancy wheels fitted. There’s about a 5-6% difference in aero with a non-pedaling half dummy (Tour Int magazine tests - https://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=154692) between a worst case Emonda and best case Madone. The wheels and bars handle half of that. With a rider moving his legs around, flat kit, and bottles on the bike, there won’t be much aero difference. The Madone will still be slightly faster at top top speed, but it really wouldn’t make a difference even on your favorite regular Strava segment.

Buy the one with the best paint job though.

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What price point? Specific model recommendations may well differ along the pricing options.

The Madone has the top tube isospeed and reportedly a smoother ride vs the climbing Emonda. Currently on the 1st gen Domane. At 200+ lbs and riding a lot of crappy roads, my sights are on the Domane to run 32s as daily drivers and 38s for some gravel adventures. Really like the Madone, but it only takes up to 28s - at least that is true of the 2019 rim-brake frame.

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If you wanna go fast over rolling terrain, Madone is the way to go of those three. The new fit and isospeed likely make it more comfortable than your current ride, and the Madone will be faster than the others in most conditions.

I just bought a 2020 Venge Pro narrowly over a Madone SLR7.


How did you come to that decision?

Paint jobs will dictate starting point. Probably going to be an 8k build before it’s over. Sl6 has nice paint job. Want the SLR integrated handlebars.

Couple of reasons:

  • Venge is 1.3lbs lighter
  • I liked the holographic teal colorway on the Venge better than the Madone colorways.

That was really it. I think the Aeolus wheels are probably a little bit nicer than the Rovals, but otherwise most of the rest was a push IMO. I was worried about the Venge being uncomfortable or less compliant but it sticks to the road and is way more comfortable to ride than my old SuperSix. Can’t speak to the Madone at that level but what I read about the Isospeed is very positive.

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None of them…they look nice but they have got a bit pricey and have got a bit heavy IMHO. I have a Ridley Helium from Belgium as I like something a bit left field (and I can pretend I am Thomas de Gendt!) - 7kg, Campagnolo Eurus wheels, Conti 5000 tyres - it is very fast. That said world wide I think the best all around road bike is the Canyon Ultimate - the rim brake Ultegra version is between £2-3k in mechanical or Di2 - 7kg again and some of my friends have them and say that it is great - discs take the price up a bit and the weight to 7.3kg…mind you build queue is a bit long at present :thinking: :grinning:

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I am in a somewhat similar boat. I have a 2017 Domane and am trying to decide if I am better off with the 2017 Domane + 2020 Treckpoint (or some similar gravel bike) or 2020 Domane + 35 inch wheels. I am thinking about just adding the Checkpoint — mainly because I assume the 2020 Domane can only handle light gravel, etc. As far as I can tell the main advantage of getting the 2020 Domane is my wife will not guffaw about me getting a second bike. I guess this is the basic N+1 or N=1 debate.


I’ve got the prior gen Emonda and a Checkpoint. This covers a lot of bases for me.

With the Emonda, I have a climbing set of wheels and more recently added a set of Enve Foundation 65 aero wheels. For riding the flats in Ohio the Foundation 65’s with Specialized S-Works RapidAir 2Bliss in 28s are a great option, give a significant aero boost, and still runs really smooth because of the 28s. When I head to the hills, I can swap on my climbing wheelset. I also just ordered the new RSL aerobar/stem combo that comes on higher end builds of the new Emonda to gain an additional aero benefit. I put a lot of miles on this bike, including many 80 - 100 mile weekend rides, and I don’t find comfort an issue at all.

The Checkpoint is a great bike too. I mainly ride mine on gravel and typically only ride pavement to link up sections of gravel road. It’s a bigger feeling bike and doesn’t feel as nimble as the Emonda. It is very comfortable though and the IsoSpeed decoupler works very well on the rougher gravel roads. I’m running Enve gravel bars which provide a lot of vibration dampening as well. If you put 28s or 32s on it, I’m sure it would be solid on long road rides, but for hilly/windy road routes, the lighter Emonda would be a bit more fun.

If I was starting from scratch today, I would be very interested in the new Emonda with the added aero benefits Trek made to the frame. It is slightly heavier than the prior gen but seems like a very go “all-rounder”.

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East or west Kentucky? If west I’d say Madone, east then Emonda, if the roads are very low quality and/or you might venture onto gravel then Domane. Perhaps also Domane if you just want a more comfortable position on the bike.

I have a 2020 Madone and it’s a bit more compliant than the 2017 Supersix HM she replaced. I had a 2013 Domane and enjoyed it a lot although the fitter I use these days couldn’t get the bars low enough so I sold it. The Isospeed has taken on a whole different shape since 2013 so I don’t think there’s any comparison for me to share worth taking into consideration. I live in the middle of a load of rolling hills, some of which do run a little steep but short. In my decision making the hills aren’t long enough to say the Emonda would make a big difference, if any, versus a Madone so I went the more aerodynamic direction. I didn’t consider the Domane at all as it wasn’t the type of bike position I was looking to get into again.

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I’ll add my n=1. I’ve got a 2018 Domane rim brake. Love the frame, just did a century yesterday on decent roads in Maine. The front/rear isospeed is nice, more compliant than my old Cervelo s5 (by a mile). I’d vote for that in disc as you can get the bigger tire clearance

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I’m having the same debate with myself at the moment.

At the moment i am leaning towards an SRAM Madone - As this will also probably take the place of my TT bike on lumpy Triathlons

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Like that SLR speed handlebar setup

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New Madone just announced! Crap for colors again. Smdh, New 800 Emonda carbon as we probably thought.

New Emonda got more aero and the new Madone lighter. The gap between the two narrower than ever!

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True, but there is still a notable variation between comparably priced, high end models:

Emonda is still the lightest, Domane is the heaviest and the Madone is in the middle (but closer to the Domane).

All have some aero features, with the Madone predictably taking it the furthest (wheels and frame shaping).

Comfort is king for the Domane (front and rear IsoSpeed), Madone has some (with rear IsoSpeed), and Emonda is last (relies on seat mast design for flex). Domane will rule on max tire size (38mm) with Modone (28mm) and Emonda (28mm).

Much depends on your tolerance for weight, and potential for goals on comfort and/or tire size.

Then geo might play a part as well, since the race bikes are H1.5 fit and the Domane is Endurance fit (H1.5 available in Project One). Can potentially get them all to fit the same, if you aren’t pushing limits on either end. But it may take changes to stem and bars to match your desired fit.


Domane max tire is 38
Madone is 28

And with Project One the Domane can be ordered with H1.5 geometry for no extra cost.

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How does the ride-harshness- of the Emonda compare to the Tarmac or Cannondale Supersix?. Does anyone have any experience. I’m interested in the base level carbone frame bikes not the high end. Thanks