Trek Emonda ALR Disc 2020 Review
  • Total rating
4.5

Verdict

The Trek Emonda ALR has taken the alloy bike game to new heights. Priced under $2000, the ALR comes equipped with high-end Shimano components, internal cabling, and disc brakes.

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You’ll be hard-pressed to find another bike in this category that offers the features, comfort, and style the Emonda ALR delivers.

Pros

  • Modern styling and a range of colors gives the ALR a high-end look with a low price.
  • Invisible Weld Technology tricks your eyes into thinking the bike is carbon.
  • Ride feel and performance are comparable to premium-priced bikes.
  • Shimano disc brakes offer confidence to corner and brake like a pro.
  • Internal cabling helps give the bike a sleek modern look.

Cons

  • Slightly heavier compared to its carbon frame, big brother.
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Introduction

In recent years alloy bike frames have fallen out of favor as riders and manufacturers increasingly opt for carbon. But there’s a new bike in town that may revolutionize how the cycling industry views alloy frames.


The Emonda ALR is the latest from Trek, and although this bike is at the lower price point, it looks and rides like a top-of-the-range model.

For most riders, bikes like the iconic Trek SL models are out of price range. However, the Trek ALR helps bridge the gap between premium-end bikes and offers world-class ride quality with the looks of a carbon super bike.

The Emonda ALR is made from lightweight aluminum and even comes equipped with a full Shimano groupset and disc brakes. Priced at just under $2000, this bike is perfect for riders who want the looks and performance of higher-end bikes at an affordable price.

Build Quality

Trek’s Invisible Weld Technology is exceptional. The high-grade alloy uses a hydroformed process to shape every tube into exact sizes, which gives the impression the ALR is made from expensive carbon rather than alloy.

Although the bike’s frame is alloy, the front fork is made from carbon and is the same fork used on the more expensive Emonda SL Disc. The carbon fork does an excellent job of soaking up the road’s vibrations. I’ve been riding the Emonda for two years, and the comfort is second to none, especially on longer rides.

Design

When it comes to design and paintwork, in my opinion, no manufacturer does it better than Trek. A whole array of colors are available on the ALR models ranging from Purple Abyss, with my bike finished in Slate to Black Fade. Cabling also runs internally down through the top tube and helps to give the ALR that sleek, high-end look.

Components

Shimano is known for making the best groupsets in the industry. Even their lower-end products shift and feel like the more expensive versions, with the ALR outfitted with Shimano Tiagra. I’ve not experienced a single problem in two years, and if maintenance is kept up, shifting remains crisp and smooth.

I reside in a mountainous area with winding roads and harsh conditions, so quality braking is essential. Amazingly for the price, the Emonda ALR comes with the latest braking technology with Flat Mounted Hydraulic Disc Brakes from Shimano. I’ve found braking on the ALR to be exceptional from the get-go, and it gives me the confidence to descend confidently with speed.

Tech

If you’re a rider who loves the latest in tech, then the Emonda ALR won’t let you down. Trek has made tracking valuable ride data easier than ever with the left chainstay devised to fit the DuoTrap Speed and Cadence Sensor. I haven’t used this feature because I prefer to use Wahoo Sensors, but still, it’s a nice touch, particularly for riders new to cycling.

The stem faceplate is also Blendr-compatible which means you can attach any Bontrager accessory such as a computer, lights, and even action cams for filming your epic rides.

Specifications

Frame: Ultralight 300 Series Alpha Aluminum, Invisible Weld Technology

Fork: Carbon disc & tapered steerer, flat mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axle

Headset: Integrated, cartridge bearing, sealed, 1-1/8˝ top, 1.5˝ bottom

Weight: 56cm – 9.19 kg / 20.25 lbs

Rims: Bontrager Affinity Tubeless Ready Disc

Tires: Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x 25c

Cassette: Shimano Tiagra, 11-28, 10 speed

Shifters: Shimano RS405, 10 speed

Brakes: Shimano RS405 flat mount hydraulic disc

Things I Love

  • Modern styling and a range of colors gives the ALR a high-end look with a low price.
  • Invisible Weld Technology tricks your eyes into thinking the bike is carbon.
  • Ride feel and performance are comparable to premium-priced bikes.
  • Shimano disc brakes offer confidence to corner and brake like a pro.
  • Internal cabling helps give the bike a sleek modern look.

Things To Consider

  • Slightly heavier compared to its carbon frame, big brother.

Saddle: Bontrager Montrose Comp, chromoly rails

Summary

Although the Trek Emonda ALR is at the lower price point, it manages to look, feel and ride like a high-end carbon bike. Trek has gone above and beyond with this frameset.

The Invisible Weld technology has made alloy frames cool again, and climbers will find the Emonda ALR a capable bike. Cyclists who enjoy long rides aren’t left out either and benefit from the comfort of the front carbon fork.

So if you’re new to cycling or are limited by budget, I highly recommend testing the Emonda ALR before spending your hard-earned cash on a premium model.

Happy Cycling!

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