Review: Trek Domane+ | Fun, Functional and So Fast

The Domane+ is a drop-bar electric-assist road bike that tops out at a whopping 45kph!

It has the ability to swallow big distances, like 100km, but just how much faster is it on the climbs?

CAPE TOWN - 6 March 2020 Myles Kelsey on the Trek Domane+ e-road bike on Chapmans Peak for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The Domane+ puts out a punchy 63Nm of power, has a range capability over 100km with style to boot.

The real joy of eRoad bikes does not necessarily stem from their inherently stable handling characteristics or the pure exhilaration and speed they provide. True appreciation and enjoyment begins with an understanding of their purpose. I, do not think they are beasts to be entered into any sort of high-level competition where one annihilates riders on analog bikes. I think they are best used as tools for adventure seekers looking to get out of town to explore the country and to make cycling a more inclusive or social sport by bridging the divide of varying fitness levels from rider to rider. As it happens, they are exceptionally effective as high-speed commuters too.

CAPE TOWN - 6 March 2020 Myles Kelsey on the Trek Domane+ e-road bike on Chapmans Peak for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
We are not all professional riders with fixed training routines and Ferrari-like FTP’s. The assist from the Domane+ makes longer rides possible for everyone. How is that not a good thing?


THE BIKE

Based on the popular Domane endurance road bike from Trek, the Domane+ is equipped with a 350 watt Bosch motor delivering 63Nm and a 500Wh battery. The Domane+ features an IsoSpeed decoupler that allows the seat post to flex a little to smooth out rough terrain. It is also equipped with large tyres to further smooth out the ride quality.

CAPE TOWN - 6 March 2020 Myles Kelsey on the Trek Domane+ e-road bike on Chapmans Peak for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The Domane+ features a marginally taller front end, or stack height which is found on most endurance road bikes.

CAPE TOWN - 6 March 2020 Myles Kelsey on the Trek Domane+ e-road bike on Chapmans Peak for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The IsoSpeed decoupler allows the seat post to flex about 8mm to smooth out the rough roads.

Apart from a little extra wiring around the cockpit area which is pretty much on par for all eBikes, the Domane+ is very easy on the eye. Overall, the chassis design is clean and chic with smooth lines leaving little to complain about. The Bosch Performance Line Speed motor is tucked up into the BB area and protected with a bash guard. The bar-mounted Bosch Purion controller houses the on/off switch, displays current speed and is used to switch through the modes of eco, tour, sport, turbo or walk. The display also has a service interval indicator and battery range indicator. The large capacity, side entry battery locks into the frame – with a key – and is removable for charging. The Bosch system drives an 11-36 SRAM cassette from a smaller 20 tooth chainring.

Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The Domane+ runs on the punchy Bosch Performance Line Speed motor
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
It is an all carbon frame using Trek’s OCLV 500 Series
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The system runs off of the bar-mounted Bosch Purion display
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
Thru-axles and flat mount hydraulic disc brakes keep things sturdy
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
Trek have specced a SRAM Force 1 x 11 drivetrain

BUILD KIT

FRAME| Trek 500 Series OCLV Carbon, IsoSpeed Decoupler, Internal Battery, 12mm thru-axle, Flat-mount disc brakes
FORK| Domane+ Carbon, Disc, 12mm thru-axle
CONTROLLER| Bosch Purion Performance
MOTOR| Bosch Performance Speed, 350 watt, 63Nm, Restricted at 45kph
BATTERY| Bosch Powertube 500 Wh
LIGHTS| Front & Rear Bontrager Lync
BARS| Bontrager Elite IsoZone 
STEM| Bontrager Elite  
SEAT| Bontrager Arvada Comp
SEATPOST| Bontrager Seatmast Cap with 10mm offset
WHEELS| Bontrager Paradigm Tubeless
TYRES| Schwalbe G-One Speed Tubeless 35c
CASSETTE| 11spd, 11-36T
MECH| SRAM Force 1
SHIFTER| SRAM Force 1
CRANKS| Praxis, Carbon E-Bike
CHAIN| SRAM PC-1170
BRAKES| SRAM Force flat-mount hydraulic disc
WEIGHT| 17.2kg 
RRP| R99 999

Components wise, the Domane+ is a full Bontrager build with bars, stem, wheels, seat and lights from the in-house brand. A Praxis carbon crankset is mated with the SRAM Force 1 derailleur and shifter combo with flat-mount SRAM hydraulic disc brakes featured. Integrated front and rear lighting from Bontrager is of the ‘always-on’ type which is a bonus considering the speed the bike carries.

Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The cockpit is busy but those wires could easily be cleaned up by your local bike wrench
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
Front and rear Bontrager lights are always-on
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The Bontrager Arvada Comp saddle fits in with the endurance theme, offering good comfort
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The cockpit is all Bontrager


GEOMETRY & FIT

With a similar geometry layout to the last Domane, the Domane+ has a longer chainstay to accommodate the motor and burlier chassis. Crucially the stack and seat tube measurements are mostly unchanged so you won’t need to size up or size down.

 5254565860
SEAT TUBE47.55052.554.856.7
EFF. TOP TUBE52.954.155.456.757.9
HEAD TUBE12.614.116.118.120.5
BB HEIGHT27.427.427.427.427.4
CHAINSTAY45.545.545.545.545.5
WHEELBASE103103.8104.8105.7106.6
STACK55.857.259.16163.3
REACH55.857.259.16163.3


RIDE IMPRESSIONS

Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The increased stack height of the Domane+ shifts the shoulders and back into a more upright position which dramatically improves comfort.
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The motor pick-up is almost instantaneous with good progression to the support. Likewise, the de-coupling of the motor at 45kph is a relatively smooth event.
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
Just how much faster is it on the climbs? Well, I found with ‘like for like’ efforts I climbed around twice as fast as on my analog bike.
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
There’s more to the dynamic appeal of the Domane+ than just its straight-line speed, though, and that all starts with the steering. There’s a lovely slickness and immediacy to the handling. The larger volume tyres improve comfort on rougher roads and offer superb corner grip. The bike is unflinching in it’s determination to hold your line.
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
There is so much torque available; in higher support modes the forward thrust when jamming on the cranks is quite something to experience. The SRAM Force shifters score a 10 for ergonomics. Stopping power is excellent too and throughout the test period there was no rotor drag, brake fade or adjustment necessary.
Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The 40mm extra length in the wheelbase and extra weight of the system have a dramatic impact on the bike’s overall stability. The control and stability at speed is phenomenal. Newcomers to road riding are really going to love the handling of this bike.


THE TAKEOUT

The Domane+ does exactly what it was designed to. It allows riders who are less fit to venture out further, climb faster and hang in with their racing snake mates. It is a faster option for commuters and potentially gets them to work without a sweat fest. It is also just a ton of fun to ride.

Riding the Trek Domane+ bicycle on Chapman's Peak in Cape Town South Africa for Bike Network. Photo by Gary Perkin
The Domane+ is a complete and versatile eRoad whip with an ability to swallow big distances.

Related: Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Tyres

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin flipper.co.za |


No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *
Name *
Email *
Website