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Trek’s “Race-Ready” Emonda SL 6 Pro

What is Émonda?….

The Émonda is Trek’s lightweight, responsive, all-rounder carbon road bike designed to conquer tough climbs and excel during long days in the saddle. This family of road bikes is ever-growing, with the highly regarded carbon Émonda bike coming in a variety of guises, including two choices of frame – the SL and SLR which consist of slightly different grades of carbon, the SL is constructed from 500 Series OCLV carbon and the SLR is constructed from even lighter 700 Series OCLV carbon. There is now a comprehensive mix of caliper brake or disc brake options within the Émonda range as well as numerous different groupset and component specifications to choose from.

What ya got?….

The diverse Trek Émonda carbon road bike range starts with the Émonda SL 5 which includes a Shimano 105 groupset for £1800.00 and tops out with the uber-bling SLR 9 Disc featuring a SRAM Red E-Tap AXS wireless groupset for a whopping £9500.00 The Edge Cycleworks have very kindly given me an Émonda SL 6 Pro to ride for this season; retailing at £2900.00 the SL 6 Pro has been cleverly specced to be truly ‘race-ready’ straight out of the box, here’s why….

Pimp my ride….

The Trek Émonda SL 6 Pro benefits from a lightweight 500 series OCLV carbon frameset combined with Shimano’s dependable, precise-shifting Ultegra R8000 groupset AND includes (and here’s the money-shot) a lightweight, super-stiff, responsive set of Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 carbon wheels as part of their standard spec. A good set of wheels on a lightweight road bike cannot be underestimated, after the frame it is commonly accepted that your wheels make the biggest improvement on the way the bike accelerates, holds its speed and how it handles on technical terrain.

With a lot of bike brands speccing high-end bikes with mid-range wheels in an effort to keep their prices lower it’s not uncommon to see road racers quickly upgrading stock wheels to something a bit more special, spending a third of the price or more of their original bike on new wheels in a quest to improve the characteristics of their race machine. With the Trek Émonda SL 6 Pro there’s no need to do that, they’ve hit a competitive price point with a brilliantly specced bike and it feels amazing straight off the bat!…

How does it handle?….

I have been riding the Trek Émonda SL 6 Pro for about 8 weeks now and am getting so much pure enjoyment from riding it. The timing was perfect, moving from my slightly heavier Trek Émonda ALR (the alloy version of the Émonda featuring the same responsive geometry and a great option for those on a tighter budget!) combined with a much-needed improvement in the weather and riding conditions as well as a drop in my own weight thanks to a sustained effort to get lean for spring meant I felt like I was flying the moment I got on the Émonda SL 6 Pro!

It climbs faster than what I’ve previously been used to, with more power transfer through the frame; out of the saddle, up steep climbs I’m able to ride more aggressively, using the spread of gears more efficiently to change my cadence as the gradient varies. The SL 6 Pro is responsive and quick to accelerate but I’ve also noticed that on the flat it is much easier to cruise at a set speed, I’m not wrestling or re-stoking the bike to hold my speed, this is no-doubt partly down to the excellent Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 carbon wheels. When descending, the Émonda SL 6 Pro gives the same confidence-inspiring sensations as my own Émonda ALR, solid, planted and agile without feeling nervous or skittish, it’s brilliant on the corners; whether they’re tight, long and flowing or slightly off-camber the SL6 Pro holds its line regardless.

What about stopping? Well Trek have specced their own Bontrager Speed Stop direct mount caliper brakes with carbon-specific brake pads and they are brilliant! When putting the bike together they were easy to set up, with precise adjustment enabling me to balance the distance between pad and rim while ensuring lever pull was just right. On the bike, the brakes feel almost like a disc brake in the way you can modulate the stopping power as you brake. The caliper has been engineered so that the force seems to gradually increase as you pull the lever closer to the bar meaning that the brakes are not grabby and will not lock on unintentionally, again this just adds to your descending confidence.

Would you recommend it?….

Hell yeah! If you’re looking for a lightweight all-round road bike that you can train on comfortably during long, hilly epic days in the saddle or race at your local weekly crit this is the bike for you. As I’ve already pointed out, it’s rare to be able to pull a bike out of the box and be ready to race on the road without a mental list of future upgrades or an acceptance of some compromises in componentry or wheels. There’s no such quandaries with the Trek Émonda SL 6 Pro, this stealthy beauty is making my riding so much more enjoyable and is encouraging me to push myself even more in training. Now, where did I put my race licence?….

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New Endura Kit

The new range of Endura kit is now in stock!

The range spans Men’s, Women’s, Road and MTB. From leisure riding to the more competitive focused nature of the Pro SL range, there should be something available to suit you.

Highlights include the stunning limited edition pinstripe collections, available in both a male and female variant. After all, who can say no to matching jersey, shorts and socks? Sensible cuts and material choice is a given for all garments.

If you’re after brand new kit for enjoying the summer weather or to show off at the trail centre, then check out the new range of Endura clothing in store today!

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Gravel biking at its best!

Introducing the Checkpoint from Trek
This exceptional bike has been a crowd favourite since it hit our store in April. It comes ready to roll with a wealth of adventure-ready features aimed at the rapidly-growing gravel scene, like adjustable Stranglehold dropouts, massive tyre clearance, and extra mounts that make it super versatile and easy to customise.

Fast and fun
The geometry is comfortable for the long haul and rough roads, but aggressive enough to provide the speed and ride-feel most gravel riders are looking for. Compared to Boone, Checkpoint features a nearly identical reach, slightly taller stack, and lower bottom bracket height. Chainstay length and wheelbase are the same. The lower bottom bracket provides the additional stability riders look for on long grinds, while maintaining a tight wheelbase, long reach, and relatively low stack height keeps Checkpoint fast and manoeuverable.

Capable, trustworthy tech
Carbon (SL) models feature the same Rear IsoSpeed decoupler found on Domane for additional comfort, along with Control Freak internal cable routing, which allows for easy conversion to 1x or electronic shifting and keeps everything protected from the inevitable mud-and-dirt. SL models also include a carbon seatmast cap, Carbon Armor to protect the frame against debris, and 12mm front and rear thru axles.

Easy customisation
Stranglehold dropouts allow the rider to adjust the bike’s geometry and gearing based on the requirements of the day’s ride. For example, the longest setting makes the bike more stable for longer rides and bikepacking. The dropouts also allow for quick & easy conversion to singlespeed.

The stock 35mm tyres hit the sweet-spot for a lot of riders, but running other widths quickly changes Checkpoint’s identity. The rider hitting crushed limestone trails to link pavement will love firm and fast-rolling 28mm slicks, while the dedicated dirt road explorer can go up to 45mm to tackle the ruttiest, rockiest routes.

Checkpoint is covered in mounts. Mounts on the seattube and downtube allow riders to fit three bottles in the main triangle, or position two bottles low while leaving room for a frame bag. There’s also room for one more bottle under the down tube. Lowrider fork mounts will take a rack & bags. Rear rack mounts give more room for cargo, and hidden fender mounts keep the ride clean in even the worst weather. SL models include a top tube mount to easily attach an easy-to-reach bag for ride essentials.

Ride Checkpoint
Trek’s new entry to the growing gravel bike market takes innovation from both their road and mountain bike models to create an exceptional bike. This makes it more than suitable for long rides along rough roads, or the fast, punchy and exciting rides often associated with the gravel market. Visit our store to learn more about this exciting new type of riding and the platform to pursue it on.

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The E-bike paradox

Cycling involves effort, we all know that; so does that in some way imply that electric bikes are cheating? This is something we have been hearing repeatedly in the shops. Is it really cheating though?

Thoughts of monstering up the climbs and smashing your favourite Strava segment with a Cipo style cigar hanging from the side of your mouth whilst flicking the bird to your Sunday riding pals jump to mind?

Not quite…

The key word really with E-bikes is pedal “assist”; you do still have to pedal but alas there is no Evel Knievel style afterburner. What we are finding is that E-bikes are opening up a whole new level of distance and terrain to cyclists that, for whatever reason, need a little assistance with turning the pedals but still very much feel they want to ride a bike.

Power is added to your pedal stroke and speed is limited in a way that allows the rider to choose their level of input.  E-Bikes are both practical and fun. For some riders this will mean they can ride an E-Bike further without being scared of that dreaded hill that has always felt like a climb too far. You can take your Electric MTB to that trail you’ve always wanted to conquer but never had the fitness for or just simply squeeze in an extra lap or two at your favourite trail centre with your mates. You could also ride your electric commuter bike to work safe in the knowledge that you won’t arrive at your desk drenched in your own sweat but smiling in the knowledge that it is still so much better commuting by bike than car.

So is it cheating? No, not in any way. Is it a new style of bike that can compliment a new rider struggling with distance and terrain or an older rider looking to keep riding on and on, into infinity and beyond? Yes, most certainly!

We carry a range of E-bikes in store and are authorised dealers for Trek, Giant, Cube, Whyte, Ebco and Scott. With bikes starting from £900 there are plenty of options. Feel free to pop in, get some advice and even test ride certain models.