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Disc brakes and Thru-Axles Plus Even More Tire Clearance (bikeradar.com)
Trek have announced the release of two new Domane endurance bikes, both with the same fantastic bump-eating ride of the original series but now with disc brakes and thru-axles at both ends. The changes will of course add a little bit of weight but also superb all-weather capabilities plus additional tire clearance, too.
The top-end Domane Disc 6.9 uses Trek's upper-end 600-series OCLV carbon fiber blend, an integrated no-cut seatmast, and a premium parts blend that includes a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 electronic transmission, Shimano R785 STI Dual Control levers and hydraulic disc brake calipers, a carbon fiber Bontrager bar and saddle, and Bontrager's brand-new Affinity TLR Disc alloy clincher wheelset.
The far less expensive Domane Disc 4.0 subs in Trek's 400-series carbon fiber formula and a standard telescoping seatpost (which adds weight and firms up the ride quality). Of course, the parts spec is more budget friendly as well with a Shimano Sora 9-speed transmission and STI Dual Control levers, TRP HY/RD mechanical-to-hydraulic disc brake calipers, alloy Bontrager cockpit components, and a more basic Bontrager wheelset.
We don't expect many (if any) buyers will do so but if so inclined, both the 142x12mm rear and 100x15mm thru-axle dropouts on both bikes are convertible for use with standard quick-release disc wheels. The fork tips can also be swapped from left to right so that users can decide for themselves on what side of the bike they'd prefer the lever to reside.
With the switch to disc brakes – and the resultant omission of the brake bridge on the seat stays – the frames will now have room for even bigger tires than on the standard Domane, too. Both bikes will come stock with 25mm-wide rubber but by our measurements, tires as big as 30mm might fit depending on the make and model.
Otherwise, both bikes carry over features from the standard Domane carbon chassis, including the superb IsoSpeed 'decoupler' at the seat cluster and matching IsoSpeed extra-curved carbon fork, convertible internal cable routing, a tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in front end, the 90mm-wide BB90 bottom bracket shell with directly pressed-in bearings, an integrated chain catcher, keenly hidden fender mounts, and a pocket in the non-driveside chain stay for Bontrager's DuoTrap wireless speed and cadence sensor.
While Trek has only announced these two Domane Disc models, it's a fair bet that more are on the way, in particular an alloy version at an even lower price point. Generally speaking, endurance-type riders often aren't quite as concerned about weight as more racing-oriented Madone buyers anyway, plus they're more likely to appreciate the more consistent all-weather stopping capabilities of disc brakes so it'd be a natural progression.
That said – and especially given the UCI's stated intentions on disc brakes in the pro ranks – we expect that a disc-equipped Madone isn't far behind, even if it's made available to the public before being widely adopted by seasoned professionals.
Also on the anticipated docket is a move to front and rear thru-axles on Trek's disc-equipped Crockett and Boone cyclocross bikes, too.