How to choose the best road bike | Trek Bikes
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Road bikes are designed to be ridden primarily on pavement for recreation, fitness, and speed. These are the bikes you see everywhere from the Tour de France to the group road ride at your local bike shop. Road bike technology has developed at a rapid pace, and new bikes are lighter, stronger, more comfortable, and faster than ever before.

All Trek road bikes will perform effectively in a wide variety of riding situations, from racing to long distance touring. But each style is designed to emphasize certain rider priorities and be used for a particular type of ride. Determining which style of bike fits your goals is the first step in identifying the one that you’ll most enjoy riding.

Which Trek road bike is best for me?

Domane

Domane is designed to provide the smoothest, most stable ride, and offers the most versatility among our road lines. These attributes make it an ideal choice for endurance riders going out for long century rides, sportive, or fondo events.

Domane is the best choice for riders looking to ride on a variety of surfaces. Its combination of endurance geometry and IsoSpeed technology provide predictable handling, more stability, and an overall smoother ride. This results in more comfort and control over rough, cracked pavement. Additional clearance for wider tires and disc brake options also make Domane an optimal choice for riding on gravel roads.

The Domane family is available in 4 distinct carbon and aluminum platforms with either disc or rim brakes in addition to Women’s models for those riders looking for women’s-specific components.

See all Domane bikes

Checkpoint

Checkpoint is the gravel bike that gives you the versatility and capability you need to tackle everything from epic backwoods adventures to fun-filled commutes and gravel racing pursuits. It’s packed with gravel-specific features and off-road capability, and was designed to be set up in a wide variety of configurations depending on what the ride calls for. Checkpoint has all-weather disc brakes and massive tire clearance that allows to run the tires that fit the ride of the day. Checkpoint comes equipped with ultra-versatile 700x35c gravel tires, but we’re not ones to limit ourselves, so the bike comfortably accepts tire widths from 28-45c. Checkpoint is also designed to carry and haul everything you need for an epic adventure on and off the road. Mutilple mounts for water, bags and racks give you the choice to go light and fast or all-in for multi day adventure rides.

With multiple carbon and aluminum models, as well as women’s-specific options, there’s a Checkpoint model perfect for everyone. Checkpoint SL models feature lightweight OCLV Carbon construction and Rear IsoSpeed for additional comport. Checkpoint ALR models feature performance and value oriented 300 Series Alpha Aluminum frame with a carbon fork.

See all Checkpoint bikes

Émonda

Émonda is the lightest weight family of road bikes. It’s designed for all-around road racing, with spritely response to pedaling input and quick handling. Because of its light weight and surefooted cornering, Émonda is the bike of choice for riders who love to climb and descend. Whether on long tempo mountain summits or sprinting over short, punchy hills, Émonda riders smile when the road points up.

Émonda’s ride feels more aggressive than Domane due to its H2 geometry. It’s perfect for riders who prize a nimble bike that can change directions with a flick of the handlebars. Émonda is a race bike that’s also great for group rides and cyclists that “just want a great riding lightweight road bike.” Émonda is available in both carbon and aluminum versions and also comes in Women’s models with the choice of disc or caliper brakes that are both extremely lightweight.

Émonda

Madone

Madone is the ultimate race bike, designed to be the fastest road bike on the planet. Riders who hunt Strava segments, rouleurs who leave the peloton to strike out on their own, and those who simply desire the pinnacle of bicycle technology will love Madone.

If Domane is the smooth advantage and Émonda is the lightweight advantage, Madone is the aero advantage. KVF tube shapes and seamless integration place Madone on the top rung of the aero road bike ladder. Trek’s unwavering commitment to ride quality truly sets it apart from the pack. Madone incorporates IsoSpeed to maintain a smooth ride, not something other aero road bikes are known for.

As the ultimate race bike, Madone is available in mainline and Women’s models.

See all Madone bikes

Disc or rim brakes

Road bikes are equipped with either caliper-style rim brakes or disc brakes. Rim brakes have been the traditional choice for road bikes and still provide the lightest weight option. They provide ample stopping power and a clean aesthetic.

Disc brakes offer more versatility to fit wider tires to handle variable terrain and road conditions. Disc brakes also provide improved modulation, meaning that they are more sensitive to varying degrees of input and require less effort to engage. Disc brake performance also remains consistent across all weather conditions, making them the best choice for rainy climates and riding off pavement.

Learn more about Disc Brakes

See the world

Touring bikes aren’t designed to win races or set records, unless your kind of record is seeing more of the world from the saddle. These bikes are designed to take you long distances in comfort. Looking for adventure? A touring bike is right for you.

Haul the essentials

Big adventures can require extra gear. Touring bikes have features that make it simple to mount racks, panniers, and other bags so that you can carry everything you need to explore.

Ready for adventure

Touring bikes are built to stand up to the rigors of travel. From city streets to mountain vistas or desert roads, these bikes are built to last.

Ready to race

Cross bikes are designed for cyclocross racing, a growing and beginner-friendly discipline that involves racing skinny-tire bikes on circuit courses that are primarily off-road, on grass and sometimes on trails.

Tough and capable

Features like treaded tires and disc brakes make CX bikes most at home on dirt, grass, gravel, and mud. In the off-season, it’s easy to swap the treaded tires for slicks for a more efficient ride on pavement.

World Cup Champs

Trek cyclocross bikes have been piloted to World Cup victories thanks to their dialed geometries, light weights, and other race-ready features.

Ultimate aero performance

Tri bikes take the aerodynamic benefits of integration and special tube shaping to an entirely new level. In a sport without drafting, these advanced aerodynamics give you the ability to cut through the wind for an ultra-efficient ride.

Put down power

Triathlon bikes are designed to transfer all of your power onto the road. They are exceptionally stiff, making them ideal for long, relatively flat stretches of road.

Race-specific features

A triathlon bike is the best choice if your primary interest in cycling is to train for triathlons and race in them. For riding that’s not as tailored to a specific purpose, a more traditional road bike is likely a better choice.

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