BUYER'S GUIDE: Superlight road bikes – Bike Magazine Australia

You can often feel the stiffness of a bike through the handlebars as much as the bottom bracket, and the Émonda feels sturdy as you whip the handlebars from side to side. A tapered headtube provides further reinforcement for a full carbon fork. This sturdiness in the top spine of the bike creates a fantastic feeling of connectedness with the lower half. 

Out-of-the-saddle pedal strokes, precisely like those when you’re riding uphill, are met with a reassuring sense of acceleration. The combination of a sturdy BB90 bottom bracket and Bontrager’s Aeolus Pro 3 wheels produces an effective combination to maximise power transfer. 

I suspect heavier riders may feel a little more flex through the wheels than my relatively lightweight 67kg frame, but from a standing start, or even midway up a climb, acceleration will be met with an immediate response.

If it feels good do it

It’s not often you spend much time thinking about the comfort of a bike whilst you’re slogging your way up a hill. There’s usually plenty of discomfort to drown out those thoughts. However, Trek have taken some important steps to ensure the comfort of the Émonda’s ride.

The Émonda stood up to chatter produced by the typically varied surfaces of Sydney roads. The OCLV carbon soaks up a lot of road buzz and while carbon fibre wheels can ride harsher than their aluminium equivalent, this is tempered by Trek fitting 25mm tyres to the bike’s Bontrager hoops. Off the shelf, the Émonda range comes fitted with tubes, however the Aeolus Pro 3s are tubeless ready, so you can do gravity a little bit more mischief by despatching the excess rubber.

And for anyone still rolling around on 23mm tyres, make the switch to 25mm. Not only have tests indicated that they produce lower rolling resistance, they will make riding your bike an even greater pleasure.

One of the little details that was really impressive was Bontrager’s grippy handlebar tape. As a critical contact point, the tape has a rubbery feel without feeling sticky. It helps to stamp out any vibration through the stiff Bontrager XXX OCLV carbon handlebars.