Pete’s Trek P1 Domane
P1 a new era in bicycles?
The Trek Domane. A bike born out of wanton consumer demand or professional rider input? In reality likely a fair amount of both.
The Madone, the flagship race bike which has hurtled many a seasoned rider to wins within the pro realms as well as to Saturday city limit sprints, has long since been Trek’s go to machine. This left Specialized to clean up with the rather polarizing bike, the Roubaix - a comfort machine, that to many, despite the ‘long distance’ moniker, simply just looked a bag of spanners on wheels. Legend has it that Trek Factory Team rider Fabian Cancellara, a long time fan of the SL3 from Specialized, approached Trek with the idea of mimicking the handling and style of the SL3 albeit in a classics guise. The main talking points being the fork rake, comfort and the wheelbase.
Rewind 18 months and you may recall the fanfare launch of the Domane being sideswiped by Fabian falling from his machine, rendering him incapable of competing in the bulk of the Spring Classics. No bother however, as Trek simply swept aside everyone with the Madone at Milan-San Remo.
So, the Domane. Fish nor fowl? Dream machine or bag of spanners?
Well, as the proud owner of possibly one of the most wondrous bikes I have ever owned, I have to say this thing is simply sublime. Stunning is another word. Genius is another. Forgetting the often mused benefits of the frame with the ISO speed decoupler for comfort, it is simply fast, stiff, responsive and lively, but has an added dimension that is almost too hard to put into words.
The bike simply feels classy - like a two wheeled Rolls Royce. It has a verve, engendering a state of mind that makes me want to ride it.
The Project One finish is something else. The tube shapes are proboscis, sculpted, full and bold. The massive BB90 yields to nothing. Stand up and put the power down and it moves, firing forward like a top end race bike should. As a non climber I think this will make climbing easier, though I stress, I bought the Domane for the rubbish rolling British roads amongst other things.
It has been mooted that the Domane lacks a little snap compared to the Madone. Me? I have no idea as I have never ridden a Madone, but my Domane rides akin to my Tarmac, albeit far more forgiving and actually just fun to ride, which is what it is all about. The fact that it is a real head turner and simply gorgeous is of course a massive boon. If a bike begs to be ridden, the chances are it will be.
Comfort is a strange word when it comes to bikes. More often than not, people mistake comfort for bimble, but this is no bimble machine. Throwing it around the sodden hills of North Devon it handles beautifully but has the attack and guile that race bikes need, rather than the dullness of overly tall head-tubes and marginally longer wheelbases that paradoxically, give consumer riders the confidence to let the bike go on fast descents.
Side on I feel that my Domane is an optical illusion as it looks taller in the front than it is and shorter in the top tube than it is. At 42 years old and 25 years of being a bike rider, the head-tube length of 180mm is perfect for me. The conical spacer is slammed and I am riding a behemoth Bontrager XXX lite 110mm stem, though I am fettling my fit and I feel that a 120mm stem may be the better option, time will tell.
As someone who loves long solo miles this design will play into my hands beautifully, no doubt reducing the amount of fatigue in the neck and shoulders. The ISO Zone carbon bars are equally as clever with cut away bars allowing comfort inserts to sit on the bar without bar tape looking excessive or fat. As a seasoned bike rider, like many who read Le Sportif, I know exactly how I want my bike to feel and, more so, look.
To summarise the Trek Domane really is uber bike. The overall finish is exquisite with some lovely finishing touches added, including a built in duo-tap sensor for cadence and speed, as well as ceramic bearings. The Project One build complemented by Dura Ace 9070 Di2 and Mavic wheels is quite simply the best bike I have ever owned and will more than likely be the last bike I ever buy. ‘Til the next one.
Finally, the bike was lovingly built by the cool team at Mud-Dock and as ever, the build was first rate. Trek bikes have suitably impressed me with this machine and quite rightly deserve their place in the hierarchy of the new world order when it comes to bikes, builds and customer support.