Wednesday, December 05, 2012

New Domane Assembled.

My new Project One Domane arrived yesterday.  Basically a stock 6.9 model, Trek's Project One program allowed me to make many changes to the bike as I saw fit.  Doing this allowed me to save a lot of money and time over making these changes to a stock bike after purchase.  This bike was ordered, built at Trek, shipped and received at the shop in one week!  Most orders will take longer than that, but to receive a bike built exactly to my specs that quickly is just awesome.  The bike so far is everything I thought it would be.  It rides wonderfully, and weighs in at 16.4 lbs as pictured.

I really liked the stock color of the 6.9 Domane.   I'm a fan of red on bikes.  This particular red is a great one.  The contrast between the black and white is really handsome.

Shimano's new Dura Ace 11 speed grouppo comprises the heart of this bike.  The group has been totally redesigned from the 7900 series.  Curtis and I got a chance to ride a prototype version of this set up at a dealer show this summer.  Both of us were impressed, especially in regards to shifter ergonomics, front shifting, and braking performance.

The shifters feel awesome to me.  They are flatter and more square than the hoods than Sram's levers, similar to Campagnolo Ergo 10 series, but slightly longer than those.  Volume wise the new hoods are considerably trimmer then Shimano's Ultegra hoods, and are a bit longer as well.  There's plenty of space underneither the  hood for me to wrap two full fingers comfortably around it.  The brake levers themselves are easily adjustable for reach.  Overall these offer a combination of a lot of features I really like.  I felt instantly at home on them.

The new Dura Ace crank has received a fair bit of flak for it's unconventional appearance.  I've called it one of the ugliest cranks I've ever seen.  My aesthetic reaction has been tempered considerably by how well the design works.  Paired with the totally redesigned front derailleur, shifting up front is simply the best I've ever experienced.  Whether up or down, under load or not, it simply works flawlessly.  I have to say the look of it has grown on me, especially the longer it's here in person.

Chain rub has largely been eliminated thanks to four front derailleur positions versus the normal three.  Set up on the front derailleur is a bit more complicated because of this.  Using the front derailleur operates differently than traditional.  The positions of the front derailleur are Low Trim, Low, High Trim and High.  In essence there is the normal double settings, but with an additional low trim half click below the small ring.  It's a little hard to explain, but it works wonderfully.  In use it's very intuitive, it took only a few shifts up and down to figure out.  This system virtually eliminates cross chaining derailleur rub.

The rear derailleur has also been changed a lot in regards to the cable pull angles and ratios.  Shifting up or down now feels very similar, regardless to where you are on the cassette.  Most other systems from any company feel slightly different from low on the cassette to high.  Shifting feels the same across the whole cassette range.

The brakes on this group are quite impressive.  Designed with a new true dual pivot design and utilizing a cam to achieve equal pad pull, these are very strong and offer great modulation.  They are noticeably different compared to the Force brakes on my previous Madone.  A designed wider brake stance keeps these working well with the new generation of wide road rims.  The two tone metal finish is carried through on these from the other components as well.  It all is quite good to look at!

The Domane offers Trek's Duotrap ANT+ sensor mount in the chainstay.  Bontrager's Node computer and sleek computer mount  compliment the clean cable routing on the bike.

I've really grown to like the new Bontrager Paradigm saddles.  Flat across the nose, a cut out down the middle, with flexible sloping wings and a slight curve at the rear, this saddle could have been made for me.

There are a lot of new things on this bike that will take some time to get used to and fully explore.  The wheels are set up tubeless using Bontrager's new TLR road tires and rimstrips.  I'll write up a separate post regarding those and other things going on later.  As of now I'm really looking forward to getting some chilly miles on before the snow on a great bike!

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