Is Trek Domane SL 5 Worth Buying? [2023 Trek Domane SL 5 Review]

Share with friends
We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.


  • Price: $3,299.99
  • Frame: OCLV carbon fiber frame
  • Gear: 2×11
  • Tires: 700c×32c

What we love about it: A versatile OCLV carbon fiber road bike designed for long distances that remains stamina for all-day adventures.

What we don’t like about it: Some people think its tires look slick and might not be good for climbing.

Rating (4.7/5)

2022 Trek Domane SL 5
2023 Trek Domane SL 5 – Satin Trek Black

Every component of the Trek Domane SL 5 is fully reinforced for a smooth ride and responsive speed. The overall streamlined geometric design of the Domane SL 5 really surprised us at first.

In terms of color, there are not only the restrained and low-key Satin Trek Black, the gradient Deep Dark Blue Fade, and the gentle Quicksilver. Color alone gives us more options. Not only that, the Trek Domane SL 5 2×11 has a wide range of speed options, which allows you to experience the joy of shifting. In addition, Trek Domane SL 5 uses OCLV carbon fiber material, which reduces the overall weight a lot and indirectly improves the speed.

We have a full review of the Domane SL 5 through our two months of riding. Below is our take on the Trek Domane SL 5 for endurance and natural riding, key features, components and specs, and other editions of the range. If you want to know more, you can check out our review.

Related Reading: Schwinn Phocus 1600 Review – Best Schwinn Entry Level Road Bikes

Endurance-Road Ride

2021 Trek Domane SL 5 - Trek White/Quicksilver
2021 Trek Domane SL 5

The Trek Domane SL 5 is on the road. In our review of the Trek Domane SL 5, our first stop was an unknown road. From the pavement of this road, we can see that very few people pass by. If it wasn’t for the evaluation, we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to come here. There are not too many stones on the road and most of them are loose particles.

Honestly, if I hadn’t been wearing non-slip shoes, I’d probably have been embarrassed. When I started pedaling the Trek Domane SL 5, due to the smoother road and the tighter head angle, I couldn’t get my bearings for a while. But stability is maintained by the force of the pedals to push the wheels forward.

Of course, we couldn’t have just rode such a short distance, we did long endurance rides. We rode non-stop for over 2 hours and about 80+ miles. After such a long endurance ride, I really didn’t feel tired, but had time to feel the operation of the various components of the Trek Domane SL 5.

Also, because of the Domane SL 5’s two water bottle mounting holes, this gave us plenty of water for the second half of our long endurance rides.

During the second half of the drive, we switched directions and drove onto a smooth stretch of road. Unexpectedly, we were riding faster, which has a lot to do with its slender tires and drivetrain.

Not only that, the Domane SL 5’s Drop Bars can position your body by placing your hands there. I did that too and it really made my ride more comfortable.

Natural Riding

2021 Trek Domane SL 5

While road bikes are good at riding flat roads, I have higher expectations for the Trek Domane SL 5.

Therefore, we came to this natural road section of the town. It is hard to imagine that there is such a road here. The road that is not fully built is full of potholes and there are many irregular stones.

Even though the road conditions made me frown, I did a ride review. Sure enough, the Trek Domane SL 5 did not disappoint me, the Domane Sl 5 jumped easily over bumpy terrain, and the jumping process made me feel no discomfort. What surprised me, even more, was that I didn’t have time to react when I encountered a tight turn. When I pressed the brake, the Trek Domane SL 5’s braking gave me a smooth braking feeling, and only felt a very low inertia force.

Not only that, but the SL 5’s tires didn’t flinch when faced with irregular stones, leaving them far behind the car when going fast. That’s because the Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite TLR road tire uses a proprietary TR-Speed ​​compound and improves Hard-Case Lite for puncture protection.

The Domane SL 5 turned out to pass our ride review and it will be my road bike.

If most of the roads in your area are like this, I suggest you check out our review and experience what the Trek Domane SL 5 has to offer.

Main Feature


Trek Domane SL 5


Trek Domane SL 5 has three paint colors, and each color has its own character and sense of technology, which can take into account the preferences of more people. In addition to this, we also paid attention to the placement of the high-performance cables of the Domane SL 5. After years of racing experience, Trek has optimized the cable routing system to virtually eliminate friction for crisp shifting in any condition.


Trek Domane SL 5 - Blendr compatible

In addition, the Domane SL 5 also provides two water bottle mounting holes, which allows us to be well prepared for the water when we are doing enduro races. Not only that, the Trek Domane 5 has a frame-integrated storage compartment. This gives me a versatile place to store tools and gear, the only thing that doesn’t feel so convenient is having to use Trek’s Bontrager BITS inner frame storage bag.


As we all know, Trek’s OCLV carbon fiber material is a high-tech material that is not only lightweight but also strong.

So when I noticed that the Domane SL 5 uses OCLV carbon fiber for the frame, I was delighted. This makes the Trek Domane SL 5 a lot lighter overall (only 20.29 lbs) and makes my ride more comfortable.

In fact, the Trek Domane SL 5 does a great job, it would be even better if it could fit a luggage rack.


Road bike geometries are all about the same, and the Trek Domane SL 5’s streamlined geometry has a near-perfect design.

Thanks to the Trek Domane 5’s steep seat tube angle, this allowed me to pedal easier while riding for faster and longer rides. And it also puts the rider’s center of gravity forward, which makes it harder to lift the front wheel, which is good for climbing. Not only that, but the steeper head tube angle (71.6°) makes the bike’s steering response quicker.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the Chainstay length (42cm). The short Chainstay length, some feel this makes the Trek Domane more prone to falls when climbing. But I think the shorter Chainstay length of the Trek Domane SL 5 would be more agile in terms of handling.

In addition, the frame stack height of the Trek Domane SL 5 affects the rider to choose the appropriate size, the maximum is 65.6cm, and the minimum is 51cm. The wide selection of sizes allows not only tall riders to choose the Trek Domane 5 for them, but also petite female riders, allowing everyone to choose the best size bike for them.

However, the effective top tube length of the Trek Domane SL 5 is relatively short, which may make it difficult for riders with longer arms to stretch their arms, and may encounter some obstacles on long rides. So I suggest that you must carefully determine the size of the bike that suits you when choosing.

Components and Specifications

Shimano 105 R7000 2×11 Drivetrain

Shimano 105 R7000 2×11 Drivetrain

One of the things that surprised me about the Trek Domane SL 5 during our speed review was the Trek Domane SL 5’s Shimano 105 2×11 drivetrain. First of all, it has more speed options, which allows the rider to choose the appropriate speed in the face of different situations, and only needs a simple finger derailleur to achieve gear shifting.

Not only that, the SHIMANO 105 R7000 series will enable more riders to fall in love with road cycling, it can accompany beginners in training and competition.

In addition, we have to mention the Domane SL 5’s front IsoSpeed, which allows our riders to reduce the fatigue effects of long rides in endurance riding, reduce physical exertion, and keep the rider fresh for longer. I think SHIMANO 105 R7000 is not only the power system of the bicycle, but also a good friend who accompanies me to experience cycling.

Shimano SM-RT70 Brakes

himano SM-RT70 Brakes

I just happened to have rain while reviewing the Trek Domane SL 5. To get a solid review, I rode the Trek Domane SL 5 on slick city roads in the rain. The sidewalks are crowded and I’m still smiling despite the rain on my Trek Domane SL 5. When I was in a situation that required a quick stop, I pressed the brakes and the Trek Domane SL 5 came to a stop like a good soldier, really reliable. Trek Domane SL 5’s perfect braking experience thanks to its Flat Mount disc brakes.

Obviously, Flat Mount disc brakes brake more elegantly than traditional disc brakes, and are also lighter and smaller. Provides excellent performance and stopping power even in harsh environments.

In fact, through this braking experience, I trust SL 5 even more. If you want a road bike and your neighborhood requires a road bike with excellent braking, try the Trek Domane SL 5.


Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite Tire

Some people say that “tires are like human feet”. A bicycle is driven by nothing but wheels. The Domane SL 5 uses Bontrager TLR 700x32c road-specific tires. The TLR is a lightweight road tire featuring a proprietary TR-Speed ​​compound, in addition to improved Hard-Case Lite puncture protection.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Bontrager TLR’s puncture protection and lightweight tread provide traction and confidence in any corner.

However, some people believe that the 32c size tires will suffer from a loss of climbing ability. However, I have to say my climbing feeling. Compared with professional mountain bikes, Domane SL 5 really cannot beat professional mountain bikes in terms of climbing ability. However, thanks to the Bontrager TLR tubeless tires, it’s light, and when you’re on a climb, it’s lighter for indirect acceleration. Not to mention the Bontrager TLR’s grip and traction are equally good.

In addition, the Trek Domane SL 5 is designed with extra tire clearance, which not only allows the installation of fenders, but also allows the Domane SL 5 to explore places where there is no road.

Other versions of Trek Domane SL

2020 Trek Domane SL 5

The Trek Domane SL series has always been one of Trek’s most popular products. If you’re interested in the Trek Domane SL 5, I think the SL 7 might catch your attention as well. The Domane SL 5 has an OCLV carbon fiber body and dedicated TLR tires. Whether it is the transmission system or the brakes, it is the best at this price.

The SL 7 is nearly half the price of the Domane SL 5 at $6,629.99, but it weighs less. At the same time, Domane SL 7 has this 2×12 speed range, which is wider than Domane SL 5. But I’m a little surprised that the Trek Domane SL 7 doesn’t have a dropper design at this price point. But other than that I have no idea about it because the price of the Trek Domane SL 7 puts me off.

What do we like about it?

  • Long endurance rides and still keep a smile.
  • The 32c tires still have excellent grip and traction on the climbs.
  • Shimano SM-RT70 brakes maintain excellent stopping power even on slippery surfaces.
  • There is clearance for installing fenders, allowing you to experience off-highway terrain more freely.

What do we not like about it?

  • In terms of climbing speed, it can’t compare with professional mountain bikes.
  • Some people think that without the dropper design, the shock absorption will be weakened (I think the carbon fiber material has a good shock absorption effect).

2021 Trek Domane SL 5 Specs


Frame500 Series OCLV Carbon, front & rear IsoSpeed, internal storage, tapered head tube, internal cable routing, 3S chain keeper, DuoTrap S compatible, fender mounts, flat mount disc, 142x12mm thru axle
*ForkSize: 44, 47
Domane SLR carbon, tapered carbon steerer, internal brake routing, fender mounts, flat mount disc, carbon dropouts, 12x100mm thru axle
Size: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62
Domane SL carbon, tapered carbon steerer, internal brake routing, fender mounts, flat mount disc, 12x100mm thru axle
Frame fitEndurance


Hub frontBontrager alloy, sealed bearing, centerlock disc, 100x12mm thru axle
Skewer frontBontrager Switch thru axle, removable lever
Hub rearBontrager alloy, sealed bearing, centerlock disc, Shimano 11-speed freehub, 142x12mm thru axle
Skewer rearBontrager Switch thru axle, removable lever
RimBontrager Affinity Disc, Tubeless Ready, 24-hole, 21mm width, presta valve
Spokes14g stainless steel
TireBontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, wire bead, 60 tpi, 700x32c
Max tire size38c


*ShifterSize: 44, 47, 50, 52
Shimano 105 R7025, short-reach lever, 11 speed
Size: 54, 56, 58, 60, 62
Shimano 105 R7020, 11 speed
Front derailleurShimano 105 R7000, braze-on
Rear derailleurShimano 105 R7000, long cage, 34T max cog
*CrankSize: 44, 47
Shimano 105 R7000, 50/34 (compact), 165mm length
Size: 47, 50, 52
Shimano 105 R7000, 50/34 (compact), 170mm length
Size: 54, 56
Shimano 105 R7000, 50/34 (compact), 172.5mm length
Size: 58, 60, 62
Shimano 105 R7000, 50/34 (compact), 175mm length
Bottom bracketPraxis, T47 threaded, internal bearing
CassetteShimano 105 HG700-11, 11-34, 11 speed
ChainShimano 105 HG601, 11 speed


SaddleBontrager Arvada Comp, steel rails, 138mm width
*SeatpostSize: 44, 47, 50, 52, 54, 56
Bontrager carbon internal seatmast cap, integrated light mount, 20mm offset, short length
Size: 58, 60, 62
Bontrager carbon internal seatmast cap, integrated light mount, 20mm offset, tall length
*HandlebarSize: 44, 47
Bontrager Comp VR-S, alloy, 31.8mm, 81mm reach, 118mm drop, 36cm width
Size: 50
Bontrager Comp VR-S, alloy, 31.8mm, 81mm reach, 118mm drop, 38cm width
Size: 52
Bontrager Comp VR-S, alloy, 31.8mm, 81mm reach, 118mm drop, 40cm width
Size: 54, 56
Bontrager Comp VR-C, alloy, 31.8mm, 100mm reach, 124mm drop, 42cm width
Size: 58, 60, 62
Bontrager Comp VR-C, alloy, 31.8mm, 100mm reach, 124mm drop, 44cm width
Handlebar tapeBontrager Supertack Perf tape
*StemSize: 44
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 60mm length
Size: 47
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 70mm length
Size: 50
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 80mm length
Size: 52, 54
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 90mm length
Size: 56, 58
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 100mm length
Size: 60, 62
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 110mm length
BrakeShimano 105 hydraulic disc, flat mount
Brake rotorShimano SM-RT70, centerlock, 160mm


BagBontrager BITS Internal Frame Storage Bag


Weight56 – 9.89 kg / 21.80 lbs
Weight limitThis bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 275 pounds (125 kg).

Comparison Chart

CANNONDALE SYNAPSE 105$1,999.992×11TRP Spyre-C Cable Drive Reel700 x 30cCLICK VIEW
Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105$2,299.992×11Shimano 105 BR-7000 caliper brakes700c x 25cCLICK VIEW
Cervelo Caledonia 105$32002×11Shimano 105 7020 Hydraulic Disc700×30cCLICK VIEW
Cannondale Synapse 105$20002×11TRP Spyre-C Cable Drive Reel700 x 30cCLICK VIEW

CANNONDALE SYNAPSE 105  vs  Trek Domane SL 5


 The CANNONDALE SYNAPSE 105 is a SmartForm C2 alloy road bike. In terms of overall body weight, it is relatively heavier, and the 22 shifts give it a wider range of speed options.

In fact, I think CANNONDALE SYNAPSE 105 (2021) can do better. The CANNONDALE SYNAPSE 105 (2021)’s TRP Spyre-C cable drive disc is not bad at braking, but I think it takes a lot of effort when I start the brakes. And I feel it vibrates noticeably on rough and bumpy trails, and I hope it goes a step further.

This has to look at the Domane SL 5. Not only is its braking more responsive, but I don’t think it makes me use a lot of force. And in the same speed range, because the Domane SL 5 is made of OCLV carbon fiber, which not only reduces its weight, but also makes our acceleration easier. So I personally prefer the light and brake sensitive Trek Domane SL 5.

Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105 vs Trek Domane SL 5

2022 Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105

I also rode a 2022 Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105 before I started riding my Trek Domane SL 5. Its steep seat tube angle and head tube angle prevented me from maintaining an upright comfortable ride while riding, but the forward riding position provided a sporty, aerodynamic position that allowed me to go faster.

Also, it uses an N LITENED Black Label carbon fiber frame, which makes it relatively light in weight, which is nice. But I have to talk about an experience of mine. On a city road ride after the rain because I was going very fast, but unfortunately I ran into a situation that required an emergency stop. The 2022 Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105’s Shimano 105 BR-7000 caliper brakes didn’t hold up firmly, allowing me to coast forward for quite a while and almost hit it. This led me to put the 2022 Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105 in my garage.

After this, when we reviewed the Trek Domane SL 5, I liked the Domane SL 5’s consistent braking performance in all conditions. Not only that, but the paint on the Domane SL 5 is something I admire a lot, even more than when I ditched it on gravel roads and it didn’t let me down.

If you love riding in all kinds of weather as much as I do, check out our review.

Cervelo Caledonia 105 vs Trek Domane SL 5

2022 Cervelo Caledonia 105 

The easiest way to look at a bike’s rating is to look at the price. But sometimes the bike you want to buy may not differ much in price. The price difference between the Trek Domane SL 5 and the 2022 Cervélo Caledonia 105 is similar.

Even so, I hope that through our analysis, you can have a more suitable choice for you. Both bikes are also made of carbon fiber, but as we all know, Trek’s OCLV carbon fiber is their own research and development, and they have been tested in many ways. OCLV’s carbon fiber is lighter and stronger than ordinary carbon fiber, and I agree with Trek Domane SL 5 more on this point.

It is worth mentioning that the 2022 Cervélo Caledonia 105 uses Shimano 105 7020 hydraulic discs. Most of the bikes I ride have hydraulic disc brakes, so I’m more familiar with it. That’s not to say, I don’t think the Domane SL 5’s brakes are bad. In fact, I have experienced the Domane SL 5’s braking, I really like the Domane SL 5, if I have to say, I think you should choose according to your own habits.

Cannondale Synapse 105 vs Trek Domane SL 5

2021 Cannondale Synapse 105

Some consider the 2021 Cannondale Synapse 105 a relatively heavy bike, and that’s because its frame uses SmartForm C2 alloy. However, I think this with its 30c tires will make the tires stick tightly to the ground when going downhill.

But I do prefer the Domane SL 5. Not only because of its lightweight frame and neat speed regulation, but also because of its Shimano SM-RT70 brakes, which can maintain stable braking even in rough terrain. So even if it’s more expensive, I’m still willing to pay for it.

Learn more:

Top 8 Best Road Bikes Under $3000 [2023]

Top 10 Best Road Bikes Under $1000 [2023] – Great Value For Money

All in all, I think the Trek Domane SL 5 is an affordable and capable bike, if you are interested in the Trek Domane SL 5, give it a try.

    Seeking a reliable source for high-quality bikes? As a factory at the source with complete solutions, we supply well-known brands and can be your perfect partner! Fill out the form and let's start our collaboration! 🏭🚲🤝

    Leave a Comment

    Scroll to Top
    Scroll to Top