Émonda goes aero for more speed

The racers of Lidl-Trek are always pushing to be the best. So when they challenged us to make their favourite race bike faster, we enlisted our industry-leading engineering team and got to work.

We already knew that aerodynamic frame shapes increased speed on both flats and climbs. But we also knew that aero shapes are usually heavier and less pleasant to ride – two things we could never settle for. With that in mind, the team set out to optimise Émonda’s frame for speed without compromising its light weight and incredible ride quality. Spoiler alert: they accomplished all that, and in the process created our fastest climbing bike ever.

Our fastest Émonda, by the numbers

The all-new Émonda SLR is faster than its predecessor (and its competition) on almost any climb. And the steeper the grade, the bigger the benefit. Here’s how it stacks up to the previous Émonda SLR:

Seconds per hour faster on flats

Seconds per hour faster at 8% grade

Grams of drag saved

Outsmarting the wind

Extensive wind tunnel testing confirmed just how fast the new Émonda is compared to older models. That big gap between the 2018 model and the 2021 model? That’s a whole lot less drag you’ll have to battle. And the all-new bike is consistently faster whichever way the wind is blowing.

How we made it happen

We don’t shy away from a challenge – our goal was to create a bike that could scale Alpe d’Huez blazingly fast. If we could make Émonda the fastest bike up this legendary climb, it would be faster up anything. We just had to strike the perfect balance between weight and aerodynamics – not an easy task. It took over two years of research and development, state-of-the-art modelling software, and a brand-new carbon lay-up, but the all-new Émonda soars up the world’s most famous mountain.

Tube-by-tube optimisation

We used HEEDS optimisation software as a starting point to help determine a range of possible tube shapes. To find the lightest yet fastest ones, we took thousands of variables into account and analysed thousands of design iterations for each and every tube. In fact, every dot on this graph represents a different software-simulated frame.

HEEDS helped us define the limit of optimal aero and weight combinations, known as a Pareto front – the curve the data points create on the left side of the chart. Our engineers analysed the options, decided which combinations to prototype for further testing, and began the long process of fine-tuning the balance between ideal frame shape and superior ride feel.

Cutting-edge carbon

It takes more material to make aero shapes, but an incredible climbing bike can’t be heavy. To make our dream a reality we had to develop a new, lighter carbon lay-up.

We created and tested dozens of prototypes to figure out exactly how to build our new lay-up, but we finally found one that was as light, strong and fast as we wanted. All-new 800 Series OCLV Carbon was born.

This new lay-up allowed us to use less material, so the faster-than-ever Émonda SLR still weighs under 700 grams. And most importantly, it rides like an Émonda – light, balanced, responsive.

Learn about OCLV 800

Parts built for speed

You can’t have a fast bike without fast parts, so we also used HEEDS analysis to find the optimal aero shapes for our all-new Bontrager Aeolus wheels and bar stem. They’re purpose-built for Émonda SLR, and they come spec’d on every SLR model.

Team approved

Lidl-Trek’s prototype testing and feedback was critical in getting Émonda’s ride feel perfectly tuned. Now they’ll be racing on a bike that’s amazing to ride and engineered for more speed on any terrain. We know it’s the fastest climbing bike we’ve ever made, but we’re betting they prove it’s the fastest climbing bike in the world.

Émonda SLR

Lightest, fastest, first up every climb – this bike delivers incredible ride quality and aerodynamic advantage. It’s made of all-new 800 Series OCLV Carbon and weighs less than 700 grams.

Émonda SL

Balanced ride quality, superior handling and the added benefit of free speed thanks to new aero tube shaping. Wrought from our ultralight 500 Series OCLV Carbon.