The Trek Emonda lineup of bikes has been one of Trek’s lightest road bikes and is defined by their race-ready geometry and performance. With the Emonda SLR bikes, Trek has taken that winning formula and added additional aerodynamic tweaks to make the bikes even faster. In this review, we’ll be looking at the latest Emonda SLR 7 which retail for $8,999.99 and sits in the middle of the SLR range. The SLR 7 combines the 800 Series OCLV carbon fiber frame with fast shifting Shimano Ultegra R8100 Di2 12 speed drivetrain. Aerodynamic tube shaping optimizes the bikes performance while the Bontrager Aeolus RSL integrated bars eliminate any exposed cabling. What makes the Emonda SLR bikes feel special is the H1.5 race fit geometry that provides stability and responsiveness.

In terms of the Emonda SLR lineup, there are quite a few bikes to choose from. The top-of-the-line version is currently the $13.2k SLR 9 AXS which includes all the Bontrager RSL goodies and SRAM Red AXS drivetrain. A step down from that is the $12.7k SLR 9 which features Dura-Ace Di2. Then there are the SLR 7 pairs which includes the $9k SLR 7 we have here and a $9.7k AXS version featuring SRAM Force AXS. The SLR 7 uses a few Bontrager Pro components instead of the RSL versions.  Additionally, there are the $8.4k SLR 6 AXS using SRAM Rival AXS and the $7.7k SLR 6 with Shimano 105 Di2. Trek also offers the SLR Disc frameset for $4.2k which gives you the opportunity to build up your own bike. It’s also important to note Trek offers various Emonda SL and even an aluminum Emonda ALR that are much more budget friendly.

The Trek Emonda SLR 7 combines an aerodynamically tuned carbon frame with stable and responsive handling.

Retail Price$8,999.99
RatingDesign: A | Aerodynamic design and sleek shape
Components: A | Full Ultegra with Bontrager finishing kit
Handling: A+ | Responsive yet stable handling
Value: A | Competitive pricing and components
Measured Weight (in lb) 16.6 (56cm)
Likes+ Responsive handling without being twitchy,
+ Aerodynamic and sleek carbon fiber frame
+ High quality Aeolus wheels and ergonomic integrated handlebar
Dislikes– Seat mast design limits compatibility with traditional seat posts
– Uses traditional dual triangle design instead of a dropped seat stay
Where to Buy (US)Trek


We were lucky enough to receive the Trek Emonda SL7 as a part of the Trek Red Barn Refresh program which is Trek’s certified preowned bike program. That meant we received the bike in used condition but with a full warranty and professional inspection. Unlike other bike boxes, the Red Barn Refresh offers a more user-friendly design that allows the entire front portion of the box to flip open. That makes it easy to access all the bike components and even provides a working surface to stand on. The bike itself came nearly fully assembled with only the handlebars, front wheel and saddle removed. Setting up the bike was a simple process of sliding the integrated bars onto the fork and putting the thru-axle through the front wheel. The proprietary seat mast design allows you to simply slide the seat onto the frame and then torque everything down to factory specs. Trek does include a 5 Nm torque bit, but you’ll want a torque wrench like the Topeak Torq Pro Stick to achieve the proper torque amounts.

Trek Emonda SLR 7 Aero Road Bike Review - Carbon Fiber Frame
The SLR bike has a traditional double triangle design with aerodynamically shaped carbon fiber construction.


Visually, the Trek Emonda SLR bikes have a classic double triangle frame design with curved top tube that’s constructed from Trek’s 800 OCLV carbon fiber. While the SLR bikes may lack the distinctive wedge cutout of the Trek Madone bike, it’s clear that Trek has optimized the aerodynamics. Starting from the front you’ll find the integrated Bontrager Aeolus RSL aero bars with internally routed cabling. In fact, the only cabling that is exposed is where it tucks into the front of the headset and where it enters the brake calipers. Even the stem spacers are cut to match the headtube profile with a fun “go go go” text printed on the backside that’s only visible at higher steering angles. The headtube and top tube have a sharp curved profile that flow into each other with aerodynamically shaping tubing to optimize the bike’s performance.

Trek Emonda SLR 7 Aero Road Bike Review - Easter Egg
The integrated bars have a sleek design that cleanly integrates into the headtube with a fun “go go go” easter egg printed on the backside.

Trek currently offers the Emonda SLR 7 in seven different color variations from traditional black finishes to bright metallic and gorgeous color shifting options. Many of the colors are shared across the SLR lineup which means there are plenty of options to choose from. There is also the Project One program which lets you customize the bike colors and logo designs for an additional charge. The bike in this review is the Deep Smoke version which has a matte black finish and a color shifting Trek logo on the downtube for a pop of color. While it’s not our favorite color scheme it’s a sharp looking bike that’s nearly blacked out for a sinister appearance. A small Trek Shield head badge sits on the headtube along with simple Emonda branding on the top tube.


With a retail price of nearly $9k it’s not no surprise that the Emonda SLR 7 comes very well equipped. Unlike budget bikes such as the State Bicycle Core-Line that uses unbranded parts, the SLR 7 features the latest and greatest Shimano and Bontrager parts. Specifically the SLR 7 is equipped with the wireless Shimano Ultegra R8100 Di2 drivetrain which is an ultra fast 12 speed setup. The bike is set up with a compact 52/36 Ultegra crank and 11-30 cassette which provides enough gearing to tackle the steepest climbs. The hydraulic 160mm disc brakes provide smooth and powerful braking to bring the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 wheelset to a stop. These are a tubeless ready carbon fiber wheelset with a relatively light 1505g claimed weight and versatile 37mm depth.

Trek has mounted the Bontrager R3 700×25 tires onto the bike which provide nice grip and durability. The SLR bikes all have a claimed max tire size of 28mm but it seems like many have had success sizing up slightly wider than that without clearance issues. Not surprisingly, the SLR bikes also have quite a bit of other Bontrager branded parts such as the Bontrager Aeolus Elite saddle and Bontrager bar tape. Perhaps one of the most notable parts of the bike is the integrated bars which are the sleek one-piece Bontrager Aeolus RSL. Although the integrated bar eliminates any adjustment, it’s a beautiful design with a tapered aerodynamic center section and a nice 124 mm drop with internal cable routing. As with other SLR bikes, the SLR 7 has Trek’s seat mast design which means the seat post slides over the frame. It’s a clever design that is easy to adjust but it limits you to using Trek’s seat masts.

Trek Emonda SLR 7 Aero Road Bike Review - Drivetrain
The Shimano Ultegra Di2 offers a wide gear range for high speeds and climbing along with lightning fast shifting.


We were impressed with the Emonda SLR 7 from our very first ride. The Emonda SLR’s magic sauce is the H1.5 race geometry which gives the SLR bikes responsive handling while still being stable. That means the bike handles instantly to any steering input without feeling twitchy or nervous. It’s an impressive feat as it makes the Emonda SLR equally comfortable to ride on training rides or for high-effort sprints. The stock wheelset feels like and offers plenty of grip to make you feel comfortable even on rough pavement. We suspect that’s partially due to the relatively skinny 700×25 tire setup which feels light and allows the SLR 7 to quickly accelerate. 

Comparing the 56cm SLR 7 to our 56cm ALR Disc, it’s easy to see just how aggressive the bike geometry is. The handlebars of the SLR 7 with the stock multi-spacer setup are at the same height as our slammed ALR Disc with flipped stem. That was surprising for us considering the fact that the SLR 7 bars could be dropped another few inches by just cutting the stem and losing a few spacers. Even with similar seat to handlebar drops, the SLR 7 feels far more responsive then our ALR  Disc and older SL5 Specialized Tarmac.  Despite that, the SLR 7 is still quite compliant and smooth even over rough roads and is comfortable on multi-hour rides. Although it’s not as plush as the more endurance Domane lineup, the SLR achieves an impressive balance of speed and stability.

While we’re still skeptical of integrated bar setups, the Aeolus RSL one piece carbon bars on the SLR bikes fit the bike perfectly. Their smooth aerodynamic shaping and internal cable routing give the bike a clean look while still being ergonomic. The center section of the bars taper which makes them comfortable to hold when you’re cruising while still having a nice drop to them. The Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain is also a highlight of the SLR 7 bike as it offers lightning fast and smooth shifting. In fact, the gears shift happen nearly instantaneously and are completed before you can even lift your fingers off the levers. With the focus of the Emonda SLR bikes on climbing, Trek has done a great job gearing the bike with a compact crank that lets you spin up even the steepest climbs.


Overall, we found the Trek Emonda SLR to be a fast and responsive road bike. The combination of the 800 OCLV carbon frame, aerodynamic optimization and fast electronic shifting make the SLR perfect for chasing PR’s on climbs or riding centuries. We were particularly impressed with the H1.5 Race geometry which gives the bike a responsive feel without being twitchy. It’s clear that Trek has sweated the details as the SLR bikes all of a sleek frame design, integrated bar setup and hidden cabling. All the performance doesn’t come cheap though as the base SLR 6 still costs $7.7k and you are limited by Trek’s Seat Mast design. That said, if you’re looking for an aggressive and fast bike that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for speed then the Trek Emonda SLR bikes are tough to beat.

Disclaimer:  The product for this review was provided by Trek. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

Leave a Reply