Trek Domane: Behind-the-scenes tech story

Uploaded by trekbikesusa on 30.03.2012

When you see the Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix,
and those classic races with cobbles and holes and gravel stuff,
they are different because there's something not like normal road where you can cruising.
There's just something more about those races.
We've been working with Fabian Cancellara specifically on trying to develop technologies that help him go faster.
He just says, guys, I want to go smoother over the cobbles.
You know, I want to be able to ride longer, faster, harder, and I don't want to give anything up.
The great thing about those things that Fabian wants is is every cyclist associates with those.
Every cyclist wants to ride smoother, be more comfortable, have better stability,
and get the best power transfer possible out of their bike.
The Domane is a full-on race bike.
It's the endurance complement to the Grand Tour winning Madone.
The Trek Domane is really three main technologies.
Those technologies are IsoSpeed, Power Transfer Construction, and endurance geometry.
What we wanted to focus on was how the body vibrates on a bicycle, and we saw that, you know,
an eyeball vibrates at 30 to 60 hertz, and your hands vibrate at 20 hertz.
So when you're out on a ride, you can kind of feel those bumps and that vibration.
IsoSpeed is a way to take the energy that goes into a frame, or into a bicycle at the axle,
and dissipate it without actually getting it straight into your body.
We do that by allowing the seat tube to flex and also isolate the flex from the frame so you're not affecting
any of the handling characteristics.
We went through multiple iterations, and we finally landed on IsoSpeed.
On a decoupler of the seat tube from the rest of the bike in order to gain some more compliance.
The amazing thing was when we took it into the lab and we had some of the first prototypes and we started
actually doing the measuring, where we put a load on the saddle and we measured deflection,
similar to what a rider would do if they hit a large bump.
We found that we had basically doubled that compliance,
which meant that then you could hit a bump the same size and feel half as bad,
or you could hit a bump twice the size and feel no worse.
Engineers can get caught up in analysis and graphs and stuff like that,
where it's actually important for us to get out there and test with people to kind of see that
what we think in our heads actually translates to what they feel on the bike.
They bring out the riders, and there's Fabian.
And I'm a cyclist myself, and to be able to meet Fabian and then talk to him was really kind of a treat.
So you're a little nervous as you hand this bike off, and he gets on it, and he swings the leg over,
and he starts riding up and down the cobbles.
And he's kind of a hard person to tell.
You look at his face, and he doesn't say anything.
And then finally he stops, and he swings a leg off the bike, and he gets this big smile on his face, and he says,
you know what, that's the bike I want to ride in Paris Roubaix.
We knew we had a great technology in the IsoSpeed, but we also knew that that's not the whole story.
We also wanted to see what happens in the front end of the bike, and that was a much different problem to solve.
We started looking at forks.
And again, we didn't want to lose some of the great, crisp handling from the Madone,
so we kept the E2 oversized headset.
And we said, okay, what can we do to the fork to make it better?
And we actually came up with the IsoSpeed fork, which has a greater curvature and a little bit more rake.
So you still have the great handling, but we've been able to put in a larger curvature,
and that curvature gives you greater compliance.
The second thing that makes the Trek Domane special is the Power Transfer Construction.
We were able to leverage a lot of the ideas and concepts.
We have the BB90, we have E2 system.
That's a culmination of a lot of technologies that make sure that every pedal
stroke that you put into the bike goes directly to the road.
The last thing that really makes the Trek Domane special is the all new endurance geometry.
Again, we didn't want to lose the great handling of a Madone,
but we really wanted to make the bike even better.
So when you're doing those six-, seven-hour-long, epic rides, the bike wants to steer for you a little bit better.
One of the things we did is we added a little bit of length to the chain stays.
What this does is it makes the wheel base a little bit longer, a little more stable.
We accomplished some of the larger things that we wanted to accomplish,
but we knew that developing a really great bike, we had to focus on the details,
and that's where the 3S chain keeper was born.
You know, we knew if we could keep the chain on in all conditions and really enhance that shifting,
we could keep the rider from having a chain drop in that key moment that might cost them the win.
When Trek engineers approached Bontrager with the Domane frame, we thought,
how could we contribute to this project.
So we focused on the contact points and how we could develop a better riding handlebar.
The IsoZone bar utilizes integrated pads in both the tops and the drops that help to maximize comfort,
minimize that road vibration, without growing the overall diameter of the bar.
The end result is a better ride quality and eliminating the use for gel inserts or having to double wrap the bar.
If we can produce a product that is so good that when Fabian says,
I knew where I wanted to be and now I'm there,
that experience for him is going to be ten times better for the consumer.