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  1. #1
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    Domane SLR vs SL

    Hey All,

    I'm hoping to get some feedback from people who have experience with this. I am considering the 2018 Domane SLR 8 against the SL 8. The main difference between these being the SLR frame vs the SL. I have not been able to test ride either, and may never get that chance since I will need the 62 size.

    It seems to me that the older version SL style rear iso speed is proven and should do pretty well. The local trek store says that they are both great (of course) but that the SLR has better power transfer when climbing because the bottom bracket is stiffer. Just looking at the new design, with the way the top tube and seat tube are fixed, makes this claim seem reasonable. And then there is this internet-reviewer who had this to say when comparing the older SL design to the SLR:

    One of the best improvements over the previous-generation Domane is how nice it feels while climbing out of the saddle. The previous model got all wonky when rocking side-to-side on steep ascents, but the SLR does none of that.
    https://www.feedthehabit.com/road-bi...r-disc-review/

    Is there anyone out there who has had experience with the prior design, or who has compared the SLR to the SL, who can share with me your experience? What do you think? Is the old one "wonky" when climbing out of the saddle?

    Btw, I'm 6-4 and 185 lbs.


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    Last edited by Drone 5200; 09-06-2017 at 03:03 PM.

  2. #2
    sgc
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    I have a 2013 model Domane 5.9 which is one of the first of the Iso-Speed models and a current Project One SLR. In terms of out of the saddle climbing, there is not much difference, the older model is just as good. Where the new model scores significantly is in better overall balance between front and rear particularly when the road surface gets a bit rougher. The addition of the decoupler on the front of the SLR, in my opinion makes a massive difference, particularly if you are on a long ride, by significantly reducing the amount of fatigue due to vibration through the front. This was one of the key reasons i upgraded to the SLR as the roads where I live are not very smooth. However, I still use the older frame on a regular commute basis as it is still very good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgc View Post
    I have a 2013 model Domane 5.9 which is one of the first of the Iso-Speed models and a current Project One SLR. In terms of out of the saddle climbing, there is not much difference, the older model is just as good. Where the new model scores significantly is in better overall balance between front and rear particularly when the road surface gets a bit rougher. The addition of the decoupler on the front of the SLR, in my opinion makes a massive difference, particularly if you are on a long ride, by significantly reducing the amount of fatigue due to vibration through the front. This was one of the key reasons i upgraded to the SLR as the roads where I live are not very smooth. However, I still use the older frame on a regular commute basis as it is still very good.
    This sums it up well. older gen 6 series to current SLR. SLR does let you adjust the rear isospeed so that gives you some additional flexibility in terms of ride tune.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon D View Post
    This sums it up well. older gen 6 series to current SLR. SLR does let you adjust the rear isospeed so that gives you some additional flexibility in terms of ride tune.
    Thanks guys!

    If I am understanding what trek has done on the new model SL frameset, trek is using the last generation isospeed in the rear and the newest generation isospeed in the front. The newer design rear isospeed on the SLR is adjustable from being a little more compliant than the old generation (14% more trek says) all the way back to rock hard.

    It seems to me that the SL is the best value, since it had the front decoupler and the last generation rear isospeed was pretty decent already. The 2018 SL 8 costs 5500 and the SLR 8 costs 7500, with the main difference being the frame.

    If there are others out there who have compared the two I'd love to hear your opinions.


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  5. #5
    JSR
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    I don't think you're quite there yet.

    The first iteration of the rear IsoSpeed can be identified because it's location is slightly forward of the seat tube. This can be seen on all 2016 models and also on the 2017 S series. These models use a traditional seat post.

    In 2017 SL and SLR models the IsoSpeed is centered on the seat tube. These models use a new kind of attachment for the saddle. The traditional seat tube is replaced by a sort of cap which slips on the outside of the seat tube. Trek uses the term "mast" to describe this. On the SL the seat tube is isolated from the frame similarly to the S except for the detail of for/aft location.

    The 2017 SLR actually has a completely rigid front triangle with the seat mast connecting via the IsoSpeed coupler. The mast has a long tail extending down behind the seat tube, which has the adjustment thingy. In this arrangement the seat mast is floating almost completely free of the frame with the tail acting like a leaf spring. The location of the adjustment determines the pivot point and therefor the stiffness of the spring.

    When the SLR is adjusted to the stiffest position the sensation would be similar to but still different from the SL.

    i reserve the right to be wrong about any of this. It's confusing.

  6. #6
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    I just purchased a 2017 SLR8 ( on sale ) a few weeks ago. I test rode serval bikes before my purchase.
    I initially went in to my dealer planning on purchasing a SL6 Disc or SL6. The SL6 Disc was sold out by then so after much "online" research had determined the SL6 was the bike for me. Nice frame, components and I loved the black/white color.
    I tested the SLR6 after riding both a 56 and 58cm SL6 not expecting much of a difference as the 3k price on the SL6 was VERY attractive. The SLR6 felt SO much more responsive and seemed to jump when I hit the gas. Crap... now that I felt that, I had to have one.
    While pondering what to do, I saw the 2017 SLR8 marked down and ordered that one. I have been extremely happy with it. Very responsive but smooth ride. If I ride with a "hammer" buddy, I ride it in the stiffer mode. "Party" setting for a longer ride.
    In hind site, the SLR6 vs SL6 frame should not have felt that different. I believe the difference in my test ride was due to the lighter wheelset on the SRL6.
    Not sure what is left in stock, but as of a few weeks ago, the difference between the SL and SLR8 was $1,500. For that difference you get a lighter/adjustable frame, Dura Ace, carbon handlebars, lighter wheels/seat etc. Another factor for me was the color. I liked the blue on the SL8 but like the black/silver better on the SLR8.
    The above all helped me go with the additional $$ for the SLR8 as I hold on to my bikes for quite awhile.
    You with enjoy whichever Domane you end up with as I think they are fantastic bikes.
    Good luck and enjoy.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the input everyone. I think I understand it better now. I didn't realize the the SL is a new design. I though it was just trickle down from the prior design but looking at some pics I can see that it's a new design. Seems to me that the SLR is the superior design, given how that front triangle is all one piece, but I'm sure there's noting wrong with the SL design, especially for a hack like me. Now I have a decision to make.


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  8. #8
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    I made the decision about 1.5 months ago on SL6 v SLR6. Went SLR6 as it is a nice upgrade from SL. The adjustable isospeed and wheels were worth it to me. The Domane is a pretty big bike also. I ride a 58 normally but that was to big on this bike. Had to go a 56 so you may want to consider this. So far I really like the SLR. Am still tweaking the fit though. As far as the getting wonky thing goes I found that it was a getting used to it thing more than a wonky thing. It handles nice. I also ride a cervelo S5 which is like riding on rails so this took a bit of getting used to. It is just a bit different, not bad just different.

  9. #9
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    Get the SLR. It is better and you should always go with the newer version as Trek has improved and made it better.

    I work a Trek shop and have ridden them all.

    Here is my new Grinder. Just had here maiden voyage and she is a joy to ride. 2018 Trek Domane SLR 9.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Domane SLR vs SL-20170920_102920.jpg-small.jpg  

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMMhills View Post
    Get the SLR. It is better and you should always go with the newer version as Trek has improved and made it better.

    I work a Trek shop and have ridden them all.

    Here is my new Grinder. Just had here maiden voyage and she is a joy to ride. 2018 Trek Domane SLR 9.
    That's a beautiful bike! Are those wheels the Aeolus 5 D3?


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drone 5200 View Post
    That's a beautiful bike! Are those wheels the Aeolus 5 D3?


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    Yes Tubular version.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMMhills View Post
    Yes Tubular version.
    What kind of tire widths are you able to get away with on the new Domane SLR?


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  13. #13
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    I am running 33mm file treads that measure close to 35. They are fine but I wouldn't go much wider.

    Here are some clearance shots. The closest is the rear tire and Front derailleur battery.






  14. #14
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    difference in geometry?

    I was told there is the SLR rim brake frame has a more race oriented geometry than the disc frame and the SL frame. Does anyone have any comments on the difference?
    I am thinking of getting rim brakes and cable shifters.

    Cheers!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadleg View Post
    I was told there is the SLR rim brake frame has a more race oriented geometry than the disc frame and the SL frame. Does anyone have any comments on the difference?
    I am thinking of getting rim brakes and cable shifters.

    Cheers!
    Nope, the sl, slr, disc and or rim brakes all have the same geometry. If you order it through project one you can switch from H2 to H1 geometry.

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