2021 Trek Emonda SL Pro 6 road bike review: for the climb lovers

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When first released, the Emonda was a climber’s dream that Trek claimed to be the world’s lightest production offering. Dealer events would have the ultra premium 4.6 kg (10.25 lb) SLR 10 hanging from large helium balloons, and the Americna company made a big deal of it providing a benchmark stiffness to weight ratio.

In many ways the Emonda back-filled the void left by the once round-tubed and low weight Madone that was then becoming more aero in its ways. And as the Madone further trended to becoming Trek’s full aero racer (with an obvious element of comfort, too), the Emonda kept to its round tubes and stiff hill attacking personality.

That changed for 2021 with Trek overhauling the Emonda in a similar way to how almost every other brand has overhauled their respective lightweight race machines. The Emonda, now disc-only, gained a little weight by moving to slippery truncated airfoil tubes and a wholly new approach to cable routing in an effort to make it sleeker all-around. Additionally it should run quieter with a new threaded bottom bracket format, too.

All of those techy details (and more) were covered in James Huang’s review of the top tier Emonda SLR. And while James went pretty in-depth with that review, it left a few unanswered questions in relation to the more affordable 2021 Emonda SL. And so it’s exactly this more affordable second-tier version, specifically the Shimano Ultegra-equipped Emonda SL 6 Pro, that we took to our Field Test in Victoria’s High Country.

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Thanks to Ringer Reef Winery (https://ringerreef.com.au/) for hosting us during our conversation.

Music by Epidemic Sound

Our second Field Test was done in partnership with Ride High Country, the tourism and advocacy group responsible for cycling within Victoria’s North East region. We thank them for their support in being able to produce this series.

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