When the Trek Émonda arrived, I had spent the past eight exhausting weeks caring for a newborn. I had more time rocking a Baby Björn than I had riding my bike. But this lightweight climber, with its sophisticated paint, lightweight carbon frame, and low and racey stance, looked like just what I needed to offset weeks of baby-inflicted inertia.
The Émonda SL 5 and I took to the eastern Pennsylvania hills with a vengeance. The Émonda is the all-arounder in Trek’s road-bike stable, and the women’s version has a smaller handlebar, shorter crank (on some sizes), and women’s saddle but the same frame and geometry as the men’s version.
The SL 5 is the lowest-price carbon Émonda, and the low weight made me feel stronger than I deserved to. The handling was sharp around tight corners, and the bike felt smooth and balanced. The quick-shifting Shimano 105 compact crank (with 11-28t cassette) is a great, economical option for racing and everyday riding. Fast and smooth, and at a good value for its parts, this is a race-friendly bike that’s also a comfortable, everyday go-to choice.