Monday, July 14, 2014

Built & Ridden: Trek Emonda SL Frameset

I finished the Emonda build yesterday afternoon and took it out for a windy 20 mile shakedown ride. The bottom bracket is stiff. Surprisingly stiff in a good way. As for stability, I feel this frame is more stable than my previous one, which was an open mold Chinese Flyxii FR-303. It rode well, but was just a bit twitchy at higher speeds. It has some toe overlap, but I'm used to that with this frame size. For the record, I wear size 43 Sidi Wire shoes and it scuffed it during a track stand about 18mm in from the toe.  One thing I am not used to is having a huge top tube to seat stay junction.  I have fairly large legs, so my inner thigh will easily press against the junction, but not while pedaling.

I'm not sure what's going on in the top tube, but when I pull the rear brake I can hear the cable rub.  I decided to pull the line and put a sheath over the cable to prevent any possible damage to the frame.  The strangest thing about the build is the minimal clearance at the front brake. I'm using older carbon over aluminum TRP brakes and running Continental Grand Prix 4000 S 25c tires that are still pretty new. When I fitted the front wheel and spun it, the little nubs rubbed the bottom of the brake caliper. This could totally be because of the brakes, but I did not have the same clearance issue with the Flyxii or on a Colnago CLX.  Maybe I'll just have to save up for some EE Brakes.

As for weight, it's nearly identical to my previous build on the Flyxii. As shown here, it is set up the same. The frames both have tapered head tubes and forks, but differ in bottom brackets and seat mast/post setup. The differences are a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost and Woodman collar to the Emonda seatmast, different brand headset and spacers, standard to BB90 bottom bracket, and different brand cables and housing. The Flyxii was 15.96 pounds (7239 grams), and the Emonda is 16.01 pounds (7262 grams). Please take note that this weight is with the bike set up to ride, as shown, with bottle cages, Garmin Edge 200 & Bar Fly mount, under-seat tube and tool bundle, and mini pump, but no water bottle. I haven't weighed it without the full riding gear attached.

For size reference, I'm about 5'-8" (172 cm) tall.  The bike is set up with a 10 cm -10 degree stem with a saddle to bar drop around 5.5 cm (I might drop another 5 mm).  The saddle height is about 69 cm from the center of the bottom bracket spindle to the top of the saddle, along the seat tube.  The direct distance from the nose of the saddle to the top center of the handle bar is about 50 cm.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weighed: Trek Emonda SL Frameset

Today I rushed home at lunch to weigh and photograph the Emonda.  The weights of the seatmast and stem should be taken with a grain of salt, as the scale rounds to the nearest ten.  I didn't bother to weigh things like the headset bearings, compression plug, headset cap and bolt, carbon spacers, chain catcher, aluminum bottle bolts, etc.  I don't have a scale for the small stuff, and I don't really care.

Frameset, as it comes out of the box with all the bits attached.  1790 grams.
Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Frame alone, no bolts, chain guard, bearings, etc.  I did leave in the internal routing guides and the derailleur hanger is on.  1040 grams.
Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Fork alone without the headset bearing or compression plug.  360 grams.
Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Seatmast.  130 grams.
Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Stem, Bontrager RXL 90mm.  130 grams.
Trek Emonda SL Frameset

Adding everything up puts the weight at 1660 grams, so the little parts I took off together weigh around 130 grams.  I'm only doing this for those weight weenies out there.  You know who you are.

Little bolts that could be replaced, if one cares, for a little weight savings are the seatmast clamp bolt and the bolt that attaches the chain guard to the frame.  They're both steel.  I'd go with titanium for both or aluminum for the chain guard.  The stock bottle cage bolts are black aluminum.

Tonight I should have a little time to start building it up, starting with prepping the BB90 Campagnolo adapter with the special Loctite.  I do really miss a nice threaded bottom bracket.

Arrived: Trek Emonda SL Frameset

Trek Emonda SL Frameset

Yesterday my new Trek Emonda SL frameset arrived at Carmel Bicycle.  As soon as I got the call from shop owner Rob, I hopped in the car and headed over.  We pulled the frameset from the box, unwrapped it, and threw it in a stand to look over.  The first thing I noticed was the massive downtube, especially as it blended into the BB90 bottom bracket shell.  Massive.  We chatted a bit, showed it to other customers, and I then wrapped it back up and headed back to work.

When I got home I put it on my Feedback Sprint work stand to look over.  I have to say the finish of the frame is a 7.5 out of 10.  Just a bit disappointing.  There are two small partial finger prints on the R in TREK on the downtube, and of course under the clear coat.  Next, I noticed some excess carbon fiber in the bottom bracket shell.  I was able to flex it with light finger pressure, and it peeled out.  It won't affect the frame at all, but is a finishing touch that should not have been overlooked.  The paint was mostly good, but there are a few little "blips" and one small "wart" that are pretty easily found when within a foot of the frame.  The last little annoyance might only be noticed by me, but I might as well mention it.  On the back of each seat stay is a decal that reads, "DESIGNED IN WATERLOO WISCONSIN."  The drive side one is a bit off-center.  I know, nit picking, but I do computer graphics for a living, so I notice these things.  Anyhoo, none of the issues are enough for me to take it back to Rob and ask him to have Trek replace it.

As for weight, the frameset as shown weighs 1790 grams (3.95 pounds).  That includes frame, fork, seatmast, Bontrager RXL 90mm stem, FSA headset, expander plug, carbon spacers, bottle cage bolts, chain guard, and the internal cable routing guides.  I will weigh the individual pieces later.  The complete build will be with 11 speed Campagnolo Chorus and will ditch the Bontrager 90mm -7 degree stem in favor of my Thomson 100mm -10 degree stem.

On to the photos.  The complete set can be viewed on Flickr.

Trek Emonda SL FramesetTrek Emonda SL Frameset

Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Massive downtube / bottom bracket junction
Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Excess carbon in the BB shell that should have been cleaned out
Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Hard to see in the photo, but there are a couple smudges in the R

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Ordered: Trek Emonda SL Frameset

Today I handed Rob at Carmel Bicycle a small envelope with five crisp new Benjamins, freshly plucked from my bank account, as a deposit.  He is ordering for me the just-released Trek Emonda SL frameset, and I'm stoked.  Since I use Campagnolo, he also had to order the adapter kit for the BB90 bottom bracket shell.  If anyone cares, the part number is 407383 and they spec the use of Loctite 638 (retaining compound) and 7649 (surface primer) for the adapter installation.

I've never been a huge fan of Trek, nor have I been opposed to them.  I briefly considered a Madone frameset based on the near-perfect geometry for me, but didn't really like the $2k price tag.  The Emonda has the right combination of price, geometry, visual simplicity, and weight that caught my attention.  I was very close to purchasing a Ritchey Road Logic, and would have if this bike didn't exist.  The frameset is supposed to arrive in about a week, and I'm incredibly excited for my early birthday present to myself!

Trek Emonda SL Frameset
Soon, this will be mine.  Trek Emonda SL frameset.
Carmel Bicycle - Next to the Barnyard Shopping Village