Trek Emonda ALR | A Custom 7kg Carbon Killer? | Matthew’s Longterm Review

Take an in-depth look at Matthew’s beautiful custom Trek Emonda ALR longtermer which weighs just 7kg with pedals and cages. Having ridden it for over a year, Senior Writer Matthew is well placed to give a final verdict on his 2019 longterm bike. In this video, you’ll hear about the spec in detail, what worked, what didn’t, and how an aluminium bike compares to a carbon one.

What do you think of Matthew’s build? Did he get it right? Let us know in the comments!

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42 thoughts on “Trek Emonda ALR | A Custom 7kg Carbon Killer? | Matthew’s Longterm Review

  1. I have an early 2000s Bianchi SL Lite Alloy bike and a new Canyon Ultimate CF SLX. The Bianchi rides similarly to the Canyon (a more experienced rider will notice more of a difference). The Canyon feels lighter due to its almost 4lb. weight advantage, and I'm measureable quicker on the Canyon, but both bikes handle the same. With some strategic upgrades on the Bianchi, I know it could lose a couple pounds and start to eat into the Canyons speed advantage.

    In short, I love good aluminum bikes and good carbon bikes. I haven't been on a steel framed bike since the late 1980s so I can't compare. I'll have to find one to try out.

  2. Great content. Love the way you mix and match components, use whatever works best for you. Matching components just looks like something you’d get off the peg. This looks like the sort of thing someone who has been around bikes for many years would put together, not a neophyte with deep pockets.

  3. Matthew's crush for alloy bikes is the reason I chose Merida Scultura (TBM color set) 54cm aluminium bike and upgraded with Fulcrum Racing Quattro wheelset. Completely agree that this is the way to ride a nice bike in tight budget conditions without losing the accessibility to best technologies available in the market.

  4. I am so glad this came up in my feed! Love the review!! My mainstay bike is a Trek Domane SL5 with full Ultra and 11-32 on the back. I'm 6' 200lbs and not so great a climber but can keep up. I decided to go and look for an equivalent or better Emonda and my shop had an ALR5 Purple Flip in 56cm with full Ultegra. Apparently it was a Trek show bike and the shop got it at a good price. When I saw the Purple Flip in my size and sprec'd to the way I wanted it, I purchased it with without hesitation. I added the Aelous Pro 3 carbon wheels with Conti GP 5000's, an aluminum aero bar with Fizik tape, Bontrager carbon cages and a Selle Italia SLR SuperFlow saddle. All I can say is WOW! Is this a fun and responsive bike. Where I wanted to go 11-34 on the Domane, I'm pleased with 11-30 on the Emonda and rarely use the 30 unless the climb is at 10-12% or steeper. It's a looker and I haven't seen another one in person. Quite happy now riding aluminum!

  5. give the specialized power arc saddle a try, similar shape but a more rounded profile on the sides lets you move a bit more freely

  6. Awesome! I don’t feel bad about putting a Bontrager wheel set on my specialized tarmac. Never have. I just got what was best for my needs. Aluminum wheels instead of carbon. No hills here, just plain flat as a pan. Solid wheels but heavier. I’m 51, and don’t race, but I ride in the middle of nowhere. Reliable.

  7. Nice bike the Emonda, if you consider the frameset is the lightest on the market. Iam really happy with my CAAD12, it was a better fit for me personally.

  8. My 2016 Cannondale Black Inc is 6.8kg.

    HM Fork

    Syncros RR1.0 Integrated Bar

    Fizik performance bar tape

    Cannondale SAVE seatpost

    Arione R1 carbon saddle

    Shimano Dura Ace 9100 shifters, brakes, F/R derailleurs, cassette, brake/shifter cables, pedals

    Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels

    Vittoria Corsa G+ Tires 25c

    Vittoria latex tubes 25c

    KMC X11SL-TI Chain

    Cannondale HollowGram SiSL2, BB30a, w/ OPI SpideRing SL

    Kogel BB30 bottom bracket

    CeramicSpeed oversized pulley wheel system

    Elite Crono CX Kit Water Bottles

    Aluminum bikes rim brake bikes from 2015-2018 are amazing for anyone who remembers their predecessors from just ten years ago. I’ve had group rides in which folks have climbed off my bike and were flat out amazed at the ride-and those folks are riding $7K USD carbon steeds. Buy a modern aluminum frame for $800-add all the upscale components you want-and you will have a ‘super bike’. The CAAD12 in particular is that good.

  9. Great review. I’ve gone from an older, but more expensive Slr to a relatively cheap alr build. I don’t regret it. Although I prefer the more subtle black!

  10. Men, thanks for your video about alimunion bikes, because I feel weird because I like them and everyone just talks about

      cab bike. Here in my country carbon is very expensive. Greetings and upload more of these videos.

  11. I have a couple of Franken-bikes at home. I totally like to mix it up. Its your bike, and you ride it. Makes no difference to me!

  12. I’d like to add to the below that my first bike is a Dogma F10. There is little, or no perceptible difference between that and the Allez Sprint build, both from a feel and performance point of view

  13. In My opinion, the Émonda ALR is among the best aluminium bikes out there right now. The overall design, the smooth, oblique welds (though could be smoother around the bottom bracket area and even in the chainstay-to-seatstay junction), the marvellous colour, etc.
    I'd been considering the disc version (same colour, same everything but discs instead of rim brakes), but ended up choosing the Pinnacle Arkose 2020, due to, primarily, the mudguard and rack mounts and, secondarily, its considerably more affordable price (a bike that Evans kept failing to deliver, and I went for a Norco Search XR Steel instead).
    If only the Émonda ALR Disc had rack and mudguard mounts front and back and could take 30-35mm tyres!
    Another interesting alternative is the Koga Colmaro: I'd prefer a bit more sloping top tube, but the major welds of the last generation aluminium Kogas are so smooth you'll be hard-pressed to tell one from carbon. Unfortunately, the bottom bracket and chain stay welds are still as ugly as on any aluminium bike – most likely, a cost-cutting measure on Koga's part. And the colours don't come close to the Émonda purple gradient.
    A delightful bike, My friend!

  14. Dang and I thought my aluminum 7.4 kg Trek Madone 2.3 was light. Certainly more durable than carbon, been hit by cars twice and it still rides!

  15. Great video and totally with you. I have a specialized allez sprint with dura ace, sram red crankset and s-works saddle/stem/bars. Weighs in at 7.25kg. Next job is lighter wheels (1660g set currently). Could shave off more but then costs become rather high for marginal gains

  16. Not a ad, but here is why the Emonda simply dosent matter anymore,searchweb201602_9,searchweb201603_55 The Emonda is actually a 400 dollar bike on your doorstep and level lower than this on Aliexpress. You guys are literally stuck in the past if you dont know that 7005 Aluminum racing bikes are DIRT CHEAP. That's all a Emonda is.

  17. Love it. All of it. Bike, presentation and video… Regarding the batteries. In my experience with the very same eTap version Wahoo reminds me it's about to charge and I know I still have 150-200km – no need to panic before ride.

  18. If the Emonda alr adopted the same bottom bracket construction as the Allez sprint, which I’m riding currently and extremely happy with. The emonda alr would be perfect in my eyes.

  19. Been waiting on this vid since you said it'd be your long termer! Was very close to nabbing one myself but ended up with a 2nd hand caad12, which has been fine thus far. those old shots where the tyres were still looking plump and clean looked fookin' fabulous. Also gotta check out those ritchey bars, they looked proper nice too.

    Considering the way i use my bike, i'm quite happy with a bling-ish alloy frame over a carbon one that i can't really justify paying so much for.

  20. Very nice build! Have one of these in a 56 and it's replaced my alloy CX commuter and carbon roadie. My favourite thing about it, besides the paint job, is that it quite comfortably clears 32mm tyres (using Bontrager's direct mount rim brakes). Only critique of this build is that the gumwall tyres look a bit busy on rims with an alloy brake track, would love to see you post an update with black tyres on the C24s or with the gumwalls on carbon rims. Another, highly controversial, suggestion is white bartape and saddle which really helps the purple paintwork pop, though isn't for everyone! Keep up the great work

  21. This is exactly the same build as I did with the last 2 bikes I had, Power saddle, sram red groupset, dura ace c24 wheels & dura ace brakes, love this build! (only mine were carbon frames)

  22. I bought the ALR frame this spring, rode it through the summer, and was impressed. This is going to be my main bike frame for a while. Awesome review!

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