11 July 2020 06:33
There's a new entry into the Trek road bikes range. With the Domane AL Disc, product planners at Trek are delivering a host of contemporary cycling technologies, at a more attainable price point for novice road riders – or simply for those looking for the best budget road bike. This most affordable Domane retains its aluminium construction but the tubes are now joined with much smoother weld profiles to create an overall frame aesthetic which is close in appearance to that of a carbon road bike. Beyond the Domane AL Disc's more fluid styling, Trek's engineers and industrial designers have managed to add some of the desirable technology features present in the carbon-fibre Domane to their aluminium frame. The new Domane AL has internally routed cabling, which actuates disc brakes and the frame now rolls on 12mm thru-axles at both the front and rear wheels.
Its head tube is tapered, to allow greater surface contact area for the carbon fork's steerer tube and Trek has shaped the frame with generous clearance for wider road tyres. Although the new Domane AL Disc is assembled with 32mm rubber, those riders who wish to roll wider tyres will find adequate clearance for tyres up to 35mm in width. Trek has opted for a short and steep geometry profile with its new Domane AL Disc models, clearly targeting these bikes at riders who prefer comfort instead of an overly committed aero riding position. Additional frame details include Bontrager's Duotrap-S Bluetooth speed and cadence sensor, rear bike rack mounts and ability to carry three bottles – two in the main triangle and one mounted below the down tube. Data harvesting and safety awareness features include the Blendr stem, which allows for easy cycling computer and riding light integration.
Trek has launched a range of new Domane AL Disc aluminium endurance bikes with claims of all-road suitability thanks to 35mm tyre clearance. You might know that Trek divides the majority of its road bike range into three platforms: Madone – the aero one; Emonda – the lightweight one; Domane – the comfortable one. There's some crossover – the latest Emondas have aero features, for example, and Madones have IsoSpeed decouplers to improve comfort – but that's essentially how things are organised. Sticking with that structure, the new model year 2021 Domane AL Disc bikes are made to an endurance geometry from Trek's 200 Series Alpha Aluminium. As well as a generous amount of tyre clearance, they come with mounts for mudguards, front and rear racks, three bottle cages, and a top tube-mounted bento box.
This all gives you far more set-up options than most road bikes. The Domane AL is also equipped with a Blendr stem for attaching lights, a bike computer, and more. "Smooth welds and internal cable routing give Domane AL the sleek looks of far more expensive carbon bikes," says Trek. "It's equipped with front and rear thru-axles for cornering stiffness, a carbon IsoSpeed fork that reduces front-end vibration, and disc brakes... "The new Domane AL is quick and responsive on roads, but versatile enough for riders who venture away from the smooth pavement. Every model comes equipped with wide 32mm tyres and tubeless-ready wheels for stability in the rough, along with a host of frame mounts that make it easy to customise for any adventure." You have to pay more o a carbon-fibre model if you want an IsoSpeed decoupler to smooth the ride. It's clear that Trek wants to emphasise versatility and market the Domane AL as an all-round all-roader that's capable of tackling a variety of road surfaces; a do-it-all mile muncher. The 56cm model, for example, comes with a 52.5cm seat tube, a 55.4cm effective top tube, and a 17.5cm head tube. This all results in a ride position that's quite a lot more upright and relaxed than that of most road bikes. The Domane AL Disc bikes all come with threaded external bottom brackets. Trek has indicated a preference for threaded BBs across its range recently. There are four disc brake models in the range, all equipped with Bontrager Affinity TLR wheels: Shimano Claris 8-speed groupset Mechanical disc brakes Shimano Sora 9-speed groupset Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset Shimano 105 11-speed groupset A single rim brake model remains in the range, the Shimano Claris-equipped Domane Al 2 (£625). This isn't a new design, though; it still has external cable routing, for example, and there are no bento box mounts. Also, being a rim brake bike, there's far less tyre clearance. Trek says that the new Domane AL Disc models are available now, although a quick look around the internet suggests that they're not yet in stock with UK retailers. Shimano Claris Trek has launched a brand new Domane AL Disc, an aluminium version of its flagship endurance bike. Unlike the current Domane AL, the new model is disc-only, although Trek appears to be keeping one rim brake model of the old bike at the entry-level. The new Domane AL Disc's frame is made from Trek's 200 Series Alpha aluminium and it gets internal cable routing, with the rear brake and gear cables/hoses emerging at the bottom bracket. The geometry is pure endurance, with a 54cm bike having 374mm of reach and 575mm of stack. 2021 Domane AL: lots of mounts, lots of clearance The Domane AL Disc features thru-axles front and rear, and mounts for mudguards (fenders), front and rear racks, three bottle cages and a bento box on the top tube, plus Trek's own Blendr stem that accepts various accessories. The stock wheels are even tubeless-ready, although it looks like you'll need to supply your own tubeless tyres. The first generation alloy Domane, the Domane ALR, featured the same IsoSpeed seat tube decoupler technology as its carbon counterpart, but the latest bike (the third generation, by our reckoning) sticks with a conventional frame. Trek does refer to the new Domane AL's fork as 'IsoSpeed', but it doesn't make use of any unconventional squishy technology to add comfort, it's simply designed for compliance. In any case, the new bike has a lot going for it and it's priced competitively, with builds starting at $1,049.99 / £800 for a Shimano Claris-equipped model. Trek Domane AL 2021 specs and pricing The Domane AL will be available in the near future in four models as follows: Hydraulic disc brakes Cable disc brakes Trek Domane AL 2 Disc Trek Bikes