Unbiased Trek Domane Review (Updated 2020)

An electric road bike Trek Domane
Our Rating
 85/100

  The Trek Domane is an electric road bike that boasts superb versatility supported by great specifications. It provides you with comfort during any kind of endurance riding. Whether you’re going for a leisurely cruise or a group ride with your friends, the Domane offers an authentic road bike experience with some speed.

PROS

Frame, Motor, Controller

CONS

Price

Nothing beats an outdoor experience like whizzing down the tarmac on your sleek road bike as you feel the wind blow through your hair. It is so refreshing and liberating! If you’re an avid road biker looking to make a switch from a traditional to an electric bike, the Trek Domane offers you a top-notch bike experience.

The bike is light and efficient, with the feel of a traditional bike. However, a flip of the switch will let you know that you’re dealing with a powerful machine that will leave your competition in the dust. This review tells you all that you need to know about the features and performance of the Trek Domane.


Key Specs

Frame

500 Series OCLV Carbon with Fazua Evation integrated drive system

Engine

250W Bosch Performance Cruise motor

Battery

Large-capacity 500Wh battery

Charging time 

Less than 3 Hours

Brake Type

Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc, flat mount

Rims

DT Swiss G1800, tubeless compatible

Tires

Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite, Tubeless Ready

Frame

Trek used a 500 series OCLV carbon frame on the Domane, which makes for a sturdy and durable design. This is reinforced by a tapered carbon fork and maintains a lightweight feel, just what you need for a fast and enduring road bike experience. The frame encases the powerful Bosch Performance motor, and this makes the bike look like a regular road bike.

The Domane features an endurance geometry that mixes a drop bar design, high head tube, and longer wheelbase to give you a better riding posture and greater stability needed for the long trips on the road. The frame dips towards the seat of the bike, which reduces the standover height for shorter users, and multiple mounts are incorporated to enable you to carry water bottles, accessories, and even install fenders if need be.

Domane bicycle in the black background

The Trek Domane looks, feels, and rides like a standard road bike. Thanks to Trek’s Front IsoSpeed technology, you won’t feel the strain on bumpy roads. This technology increases the smoothness of the ride, allowing you to ride longer and faster.  The added weight from the encased motor and battery provides excellent balance for precise and comfortable handling. 

Compared to its analog version, I must point out that the Trek Domane electric road bike feels significantly heavier, but the motor-assist makes up for the extra load when you want to slice through strong headwinds and scale any steep inclines. 

This bike weighs a mere 32.3 pounds with the drive pack included and can comfortably hold a maximum weight of 275 pounds. It’s also available in seven different frame sizes that can accommodate rider heights between 5’2” and 6’8”.

Engine

The Trek Domane is powered by a robust Bosch Performance Cruise motor with 250W output. With an impressive torque of 63Nm, you’ll have an easy time overcoming tiring headwinds and steep gradients. There are four assist modes to choose from, including Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo.

The motor will allow you to achieve a maximum speed of 28mph, which should be sufficient for any speed freak. On Eco mode, you’ll enjoy a range between 50 and 60 miles. The Domane uses a Fazua controller to manage the ride. The controller displays the battery level, as well as the mode you’re riding in for your convenience.

You can adjust the modes easily using the +/- switches that are mounted on the face of the controller. I should commend the manufacturer for a great job in managing the power band on the Bosch system. There is no jolting when the power kicks in, which comes in handy when you want to pull away from other riders on short and steep climbs. 

On the downside, the Domane requires extra effort from you on those long and steep climbs. The speed tends to gradually fade away as the gradient lengthens and this can drag you down.

Electric bicycle battery

Battery

A high-capacity 500Wh battery backs the powerful motor on the Domane. The battery is integrated into the frame design, sitting within the down tube. The battery offers excellent range and can last you up to 60 miles on a slightly elevated terrain when riding at 16.8mph. 

The battery will require just under 3 hours to recharge once it is completely drained. This is a relatively fast charging time by industry standards, so it shouldn’t be long before you’re enjoying the road biking experience once again. 

You can charge the battery without removing it via a port on the bottom bracket shell that sits in front of the motor.

Alternatively, you can charge it when removed from the bike’s frame if you have a spare battery to continue with your ride. There is a 4-amp charger that has been included in the package.

Brakes

The Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes on the Trek Domane provide you with tremendous braking power that will halt the bike in its track. These will prove crucial when riding in wet conditions on a slippery road surface. 

The braking power should also offer you with confidence to take on steep declines with relative ease!

Silver disc brake

Rims

The alloy Paradigm Swiss G-1800 wheels greatly complement the high standards of the Bontrager tires used by the Domane.

Bicycle silver chain on a black bike

The wheels are tubeless compatible and feel stable on the road, which adds to the overall stability and comfort of the ride. This is quite crucial when it comes to endurance riding. 

I like that the frame of the Domane allows for wide tire clearance of up to 38mm. You will  also appreciate the mudguard mounts, which will come in handy whenever there is increased precipitation. It also helps when you want to explore terrains that would otherwise be inaccessible by a regular road bike.

Tires

The Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite tires on the Domane feel stable on the road and are wide enough to offer the traction you need on those fast rides. 

Thankfully, the bike frame allows max tire clearance of 38mm, so you could opt for a wider and grippier set of tires when you want to ditch the tarmac for off-road trails.

What Do We Like?

The thing I like most about the Trek Domane is its overall versatility! The bike will be great for short commutes, quick rides around the neighborhood, as well as multi-day bike tours. This is mainly due to the inclusion of useful features such as down tube storage, built-in mounts, and wide tire clearance for different types of terrains. 

There is ample storage space on the Trek Domane that allows you to use it on long and multiple day trips. The plastic mounts will conveniently carry water bottles and other bike accessories while the fender mounts increase the practicality of the bike. 

This bike not only looks and feels like an analog road bike; it actually allows you to turn it into one. You can replace the battery and motor with the storage cover and turn the bike into a regular Domane for a more standard bike ride. Essentially, it’s like having two bikes in one!

The Fazua lightweight drive system on the Domane adds a nice punch of power whenever you need it. Overall, the ride is smooth and effortless even without the motor assist and there is no drag or resistance experienced. Also, the controller is compatible with a phone app for a more customizable ride. 

The IsoSpeed technology on the Front tube does a great job of absorbing shock on bumpy and rocky trails. This makes for a smoother and more comfortable ride while saving you the fatigue that comes with riding on uneven surfaces. 

Pros

  • Great geometry
  • Smooth ride
  • Good storage capacity
  • Lightweight but sturdy
  • Versatile functionality

What Don’t We Like?

The Trek Domane cannot maintain sufficient motor assist on long climbs. The power gradually fades as you ascend and you eventually find yourself laboring to complete the climb.

The most underwhelming aspect of the Domane has to be its price! With the cheapest model selling for not less than $6,000, the bike might prove a little too costly for many bike enthusiasts.

Cons

  • Expensive


Advice to Buyers

The Trek Domane electric road bike is a practical choice for any avid road biker who wants to experience the e-bike experience. It is quite versatile and boasts an array of useful features that will come in handy on a trail.

However, you need to have a substantial budget to afford it. So, if you don’t mind paying top-dollar for an exciting road bike experience, the Trek Domane will be a fantastic investment.

Domane bicycle in the black background

Trek Domane Series

There are various bike models in the Domane series that include models like the Domane+, LT, LT9, LT7, as well as the HP. Some differences to note about these models are the Schwalbe G-One tires on the Domane+ and HP, whereas the other units run on Bontrager tires. Another thing is that the Domane+ uses SRAM force disc brakes while the other models are fitted with Shimano disc brakes. 


Conclusion

Overall, the Trek Domane offers you exceptional  levels of comfort on long rides. It may not be the most agile bike out there, but it is a versatile machine that you’ll have a blast riding. It makes for a comfortable and smooth ride, thanks to an array of high-quality specs. 

The only downside is the price! The Domane costs a lot more than equally impressive options like the Cannondale Synapse NEO SE. If you don’t mind spending the extra cash, there is no harm in giving this great bike a try!