After years of riding and slowly preferring higher handlebars, Trek finally introduced what I felt was the bike I really wanted: a carbon fiber bike with an upright “endurance” riding position for comfort while still retaining some performance characteristics. I bought my 2013 Trek Domane 4.5 in May 2013. The Domane features a taller head tube, a lower bottom bracket, a longer wheelbase, a slight rake to the fork and Trek’s innovative IsoSpeed seat tube decoupler. The 4.5 comes with Shimano Ultegra 10-speed components with the exception of Shimano 105 brakes and R565 compact crank (not pictured).
I made some changes before my first ride! I swapped in a taller stem to raise my riding position (25°x90mm). The white handlebar tape, white stem/spacers and white-walled tires were the next to go in exchange for black. My choice of tire is Continental Grand Prix 4-Season in 700×28. I also exchanged the stock 11-28T cassette in favor of a SRAM 12-28T which gives me a 16T cog. Other changes include Trek Race Lite IsoZone VR-CF handlebars, a Bontrager Node 1.1 computer, a wired PlanetBike 9.0 computer, Bontrager RL composite water bottle cages, a Brooks B17 leather saddle, Ultegra brakes, Ultegra 6800 crank and Shimano XT SPD pedals. With the crank and brake upgrades, I completed the full Ultegra group and created a notional “Domane 4.7.” Click here to see my video review of the Brooks saddle. See “Bags & Gizmos” for detailed info about my accessories.
My Domane is not an ideal “rando bike.” I didn’t get a touring bike since I’m only a part time randonneur and slightly more performance-oriented in my other cycling endeavors. The Domane is relatively light, considering what I’ve done to it, and it’s quite comfortable on long rides. Most online tools translate the Latin word “domane” to “overcoming.” That seems appropriate since the Domane was designed to tame the cobbles of the Paris-Roubaix. I probably will never ride on cobbles. However, I have been on washboard roads and one really bumpy road. With 28mm tires, a Brooks saddle and the Domane’s Iso-systems, I’ve noticed that even the harshest of vibrations felt in my feet are greatly diminished at my hands and almost absent at my hips! About the only thing I don’t like about the bike is keeping the white paint clean! Regardless, the ride is too smooth to let a petty thing like color block a good purchase.
Click here to see a spec sheet.
I enjoyed reading about your Domane 4.5. I bought one a couple of weeks back and love it although I have not changed anything yet. A slight annoyance is the non Ultegra chainwheel. I think the Domane advertising description to be a bit misleading. “Ultegra drive train” should include the chainwheel! I love the bike all the same. The Brooks saddle is probably a good start with easy upgrades, I use one on my steel touring bike and it is brilliant. I presume the downside is that they are a good bit heavier than the original saddle the 4.5 came with? Martin [Scotland]
Martin – Thanks for your comments. Trek downgrades the crank on lower-end bikes to keep their prices down. I guess it means I can save a few bucks early in the purchase and make it up later. The factory crank will wind up on another bike at some point. 🙂 The Brooks saddle is a tad heavier than factory. Okay, it’s 10-oz heavier. But I can lose that by laying off the peanut M&Ms for a few days. 😉 If weight is important, you can get a titanium model and shave off four ounces. Not sure if it’s worth the price, though. Take Care and Thanks for Visiting!
I wonder if the Domane name isn’t just a rearrangement of the letters is Madone?
That could be the case. If it is, then someone at Trek still discovered that “Domane” is an actual Latin word and fabricated a bad definition of it. 😀