- An ultra light weight 28.5lb electric road bike with endurance comfort geometry and iso speed vibration dampening seat post interface. The first ebike to feature Trek's OCLV carbon fiber. Available in five colors and seven frame sizes.
- This particular build uses top of the line SRAM components with a 1x12 drivetrain, flared drop bar, and 40c wide gravel tires. Alternative builds offer narrower road tires and a 2x12 Shimano drivetrain. SRAM Red electronic shifting and 160mm hydraulic disc brakes.
- Hidden fender mounts add utility, integrated top top tube display panel works well and is easy to read, optional smartphone app provides motor tuning settings, optional range extending 160wh bottle shaped battery pack provides 40% more range and off-bike charging.
- Excellent control pad button placement on left and right hood. Includes 4 amp fast charger despite having a lower capacity 360wh battery. Main battery not removable for charging and storage. Seat post is a proprietary shape so upgrade options are limited.
This review was provided for free, but Trek Coquitlam supplied a temporary demo bike for me to test. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Trek products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Trek electric bike forums.
- Trek is one of the “Big Three” North American bicycle manufacturers (including Specialized and Giant). The company launched in 1975, specializing in hand-brazed steel frames, and then expanded to 90 different countries. In my opinion, they are one of the very best ebike makers with high quality designs, above average support, and a wide range of frame configurations, sizes, and accessories.
- This was the first time I had ever tried the TQ drive system, and I was very impressed with the power. It’s compact, fairly quiet, and feels natural, but doesn’t sacrifice torque or high RPM support! I spun as fast as I could during my test rides, and the motor kept up very well.
- The Domane+ line of electric bike includes carbon fiber and aluminum builds. This review is focused on the SLR carbon fiber models. You can get a 2×12 Shimano Dura-Ace 24 mechanical drivetrain or the 1×12 SRAM eTap electronic divetrain featured on this ebike. The 2×12 is setup for road use with a narrower bar and tires while the 1×12 has a flared bar and knobby gravel tires. It’s amazing that each build comes in five colors and seven frame sizes!
- A fun bit of trivia for you here, the Domane+ name is an anagram of the other Trek road bike models including Madone (racing road) and Emonda (light weight climbing)! It’s their comfort endurance geometry.
- This is the lightest full sized electric bike I have ever tested and reviewed. Weighing just 28.5lbs, it’s easy to lift and carry up stairs, mount on bike racks, and pedal without assist. Still, the motor is powerful and offers noticeable support, even in the lowest of three assist levels. Trek claims it can reach 60mi per charge on this lower level, which is excellent considering the lower capacity 360wh battery pack.
- For those who wish to ride farther, Trek is offering a bottle sized range extender battery pack that actually fits into the seat post bottle cage and plugs into the charge port just below. You could conceivably carry multiple 160wh range extenders. Each one weighs just 2.09lbs.
- The Domane+ geometry is tuned for comfort and endurance riding, ideal for the Paris–Roubaix race. I found the gravel tires, short nose saddle, padded grip tape, and IsoSpeed decoupler seat post interface to provide vibration dampening qualities that felt great during my test rides.
- Clean aesthetic with near complete internal cable routing that starts at the stem, enters the steer tube, and exits near each component. Note that all non-frame hardware is black to create a professional matching look.
- I was very impressed by the TQ motor. It has a very small width of just 135mm, allowing the q-factor of the bike to be 163mm. It weighs just 4.07lbs, while most mid-drives are at least 6lbs. Based on my ride tests, I believe that it provides well over 120 RPM pedal support, so you can downshift and spin fast approaching a hill without losing motor power. The motor also cuts power extremely fast once you reduce pedal pressure and slow or stop your cadence. TQ stands for technology and quality, in case you were wondering! The Trek Fuel EXE full suspension mountain bike uses this same motor, in case you’re looking for a light mountain bike.
- This is a small thing, but I appreciate how the TQ motorized bottom bracket introduces a bit of backpedal friction, so the cranks won’t spin out of control if you slip off. It doesn’t produce a loud clicking noise when pedaling backwards, as shown in the video review above.
- For all of the Domane+ eTap models, which offer electronic shifting from SRAM, the derailleur is powered by the rechargeable ebike battery! You don’t need to worry about removing and charging a little battery pack on the derailleur like so many other models. Those batteries add weight to the derailleur, can run out before the bike, can get mud and water damage etc. It’s so convenient that everything electronic runs off the same main bike battery for this model!
- Shifting is extremely fast and quiet. I’ve heard some other electronic derailleurs that produce a louder electronic chirping noise when changing gears. The single click paddles work well, and it will shift multiple gears if you hold the paddle in longer.
- Very impressive deep dish carbon fiber wheels on this model. The rims and bladed spokes are aerodynamic. Each wheel uses just 24 spokes vs. 32 or 36 on most electric bikes I cover. This thing is very high performance.
- The brake levers have plastic paddles just below with single click to shift gears down and up. There are small circular buttons mounted inside the hoods that allow you to change assist levels down or up using your left and right thumbs respectively. It’s very intuitive and natural, and it doesn’t block any of the hand positions (hoods, drops, flats)… If you hold the left button, it will go to assist level zero for acoustic cycling. If you hold the right button it will change the display readout to show Battery Charge Level Percentage, Trip Time, Odometer, Human Watts and Motor Watts, Current Speed, Average Speed, Pedal RPM, and even Range Estimate.
- It’s cool that the frame has hidden fender mounts, on the inside of the fork and rear stays, although I believe you need to be running narrower tires to use them. The 40c wide gravel tires that come on this build are max width.
- The Trek marketing videos and descriptions explain that the TQ motor is 1.5 to 2 times quieter and less distracting than their other ebikes. I still noticed some electronic whine, but it is quieter than the higher powered Bosch motors that most of their other ebikes utilize.
- Trek designs their paints and decals with some reflectivity to add safety. They offer a bunch of aftermarket Bontrager rechargeable lights to add to handlebars, seat posts, helmets, and clothing. I think it’s great that they made a white color scheme option, since it’s highly visible in low light conditions.
- The chainring is made from light weight aluminum alloy and has a narrow wide tooth pattern to lock onto the chain, reducing drops. I noticed the carbon fiber crank arms have plastic protection at the ends, in case of ground strikes, and plastic stickers on the sides to reduce scuffs. The chain stay also has a clear plastic sticker to prevent chips and protect the paint.
- The display panel was easy to read in bright and dark conditions, it only has one button and is intuitive to interact with. I found it to be simple and reassuring. I love that it shows 10 bars on the battery charge level infographic, and that there’s a percentage readout and range estimate! Very good battery level feedback.
- These electric road bikes are very expensive, especially this particular build at nearly $13k. The most affordable build is $8,499 for the Domane+ SLR 6. I feel that in addition to the amazing frame, components, and drive system, you are also getting value from the vast network of dealers and excellent warranty here. You can spend a lot less on one of the aluminum alloy road models, but they don’t use the TQ mid-motor drive system, which is more efficient and more powerful depending on the gear you choose to pedal with.
- Since the primary battery is semi-permanently mounted inside the downtube (removable for service or replacement only), it’s less convenient to charge. Perhaps you’re commuting to work with this platform but there’s no plug near the bike rack. At home, you might have to leave the bike in a hot or cold garage which will impact the battery lifespan and daily range. I believe that Lithium-ion batteries do best in cool, dry environments and 20% to 80% fill.
- While I love that Trek chose a standard 31.8mm circular handlebar, which is easy to swap for alternative bars, the seat post is more unique and proprietary. It’s not a circular design, the back is flat. This helps to keep it straight, and might support some bend or vibration dampening in combination with the IsoSpeed seat tube mount… but you cannot swap the post out for a true suspension seat post like the Kinekt products as easily.
- The bike doesn’t ship with pedals or a kickstand, it doesn’t even offer kickstand provisions at the center or rear. This not uncommon for high performance road bikes, but it means that the bike could tip over more easily. This is especially true if you’ve got the charging cable plugged in and someone trips over it or pulls it. In general, the charge port is low on the frame and the charging cable could get snagged on one of the crank arms. I understand that they located it here for use with the Range Extender battery, which needs to plug in easily and stay out of the way while pedaling.
- Compared to most of the other city and mountain electric bicycles that Trek offers, this motor and battery pack are weaker and lower capacity. They fit the light performance build of the Domane+ but I would call this a more active ebike that depends on rider input. That said, I would call the performance above average. I prefer this TQ to the Fazua and Specialized light weight systems that I have tried. And I love that it’s a Class 3 speed pedelec in the US markets!
- There’s no USB charging port on the display panel or battery pack for maintaining portable electronics, and the 2″ top tube display panel offers limited readouts. Consider using the optional Trek Central smartphone app (for iOS and Android) for motor tuning, mapping, and more ride feedback… but you’ll have to depend on the phone battery alone.
- This is a small point, but you have to look farther down to see the integrated display panel on the top tube than if they were using a bar-mounted display. I love how clean and open the handlebar is, making a phone mount very easy. I’m not sure if you can turn the top tube display off if the light bothers you during night rides?
- I love that they chose hydraulic disc brakes for this model, even though the rotors are fairly small at 160mm diameter vs. 180mm+ that’s probably fine for a light weight road bike. The brakes appear to have an aluminum alloy core for heat dissipation, which is important for a higher speed Class 3 model like this.
- I wonder if Trek will partner with Redshift Sports Shock Stop or design a stem suspension element for their high speed road models at some point? I saw this from Specialized with the Future Shock and love how it performed. I mention this more for the non eTap models with the smoother lower volume road tires. Comfort was good on the bike, but I get more fatigue riding faster and farther on electric vs. acoustic.
- I believe this bike is only available in high step frame style. This may be due to the increased strength it offers, allowing for the light weight carbon fiber build. Still, it requires a tall standover height, which may exclude some riders.