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A Closer Look at the Trek Domane

We talk about our bikes all the time. You hear us say how excellence comes standard on all of our trips, with our first class Trek Bikes included in the price. We brag about the Trek Domane 5.9 with Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting. But for those of us who aren’t racers, who don’t spend free time reading gear reviews, and can’t understand the technical jargon, we find ourselves wondering what it all means.

So I’m here to break it down for you – to put into layman’s terms what makes the Trek Domane the best bike for you. It’s a top of the line road bike, but it is perfect for riders of all abilities. If you’re used to riding a hybrid, the switch to a Domane is nothing to lose sleep over. If you’re an experienced rider, the Domane will be something to write home about.

First, the Trek Domane is equipped with Di2 electronic shifting. While this may sound intimidating, Di2 stands for ‘Digital Integrated Intelligence’. The shifters will look the same as those on your road bike at home, but they will function better. 13domane-300Instead of having to move the lever to switch gears, the Di2 system allows you to change gears with simply the ‘click-of-a-mouse-button’. This makes it easier for people with small hands. It makes shifting effortless. It allows you to focus on enjoying the ride rather than worrying about gear malfunctions.

Secondly, the Trek Domane is an endurance fit road bike. You’ll hear shop guys and techies talk about the relaxed geometry and higher head tube. But to break it down, endurance fit simply means the Domane is a smoother ride. Rather than being stretched out and bent over, the Domane allows you to sit more upright if you wish. It is the perfect solution for long rides or multiple days in the saddle.

Lastly, the smooth ride provided by the Domane will keep you coming back for more. The Domane is equipped with an IsoSpeed decoupler. Never heard of a decoupler? Neither had I. It’s a fancy term that means the seat tube is isolated from the rest of the frame. What you really need to know is that it absorbs a lot of the road vibrations. Combined with padded handlebars, every road is instantly transformed into brand new blacktop.

Ultimately, if you’ve always wanted to try a road bike but are nervous about making the switch, this is the bike for you! Its tires are just as wide as the tires on our hybrid bike, so you don’t have to worry about stability. And I think we’ve established that its smoothness is unparalleled. Without sounding too cliché, riding the Trek Domane is as easy as riding a bike!

As for the racers who are reading this, the Domane is Roubaix-tested and race-ready. Fabian Cancellara rides the Domane and has been on the podium in his last 12 monuments. It has even been in yellow at that famous race in France during the month of July. I assure you this bike will make you feel like a champion.

And just in case you fall in love with riding this bike on one of our trips (after all, you wouldn’t be the first one), you will receive $300 off a 5 or 6 series Trek Domane or Madone, or Project One purchased at your local Trek retailer.

Industry Insider: Ben Coates

Meet Ben Coates. Ben is the Trek Road Product Manager – which according to his loving wife means that, “anything with curly handlebars is under his jurisdiction.” We met with Ben to learn a little more about his life, work, and travels.

Tell us your story in 140 characters or less:

Husband, father, cyclist. Living the life making great bikes, traveling the world, and having fun with my beautiful family.

photo-2-200x300What’s the most rewarding part about your job?

Getting people excited about riding bikes. There is nothing like seeing someone get a new bike, especially when you are a part of the development of that bike. You can see the excitement in their eyes – a feeling that most people know – and it is amazing to see someone else go through it.

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled and why?

I love Belgium. Kind of a funny place to love, right? Not if you are bike, beer or frites fan. I happen to be all three. I love the people there because they have tough exterior but warm hearts. They are passionate about family, friends, cycling and beer. The riding is incredible, from the scenic open roads of Flanders to the brutal climbs of Wallonia. You could spend a lifetime riding there and never get bored.

If you were a trip designer at Trek Travel, where would you design a trip?

I would plan a trip somewhere I have never been but have always wanted to go. I could see planning a trip to a number of places like Patagonia, South Africa, and Mongolia. The list would go on and on. If I had to choose a place to start, I would go with Japan. I have always wanted to see the rice patties and climb from the coast to the highest peaks. There is something mystical about Japan. That is where I would start.

Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in and why?

Sundance Resort in Utah. It has an authentic quality and is aligned with nature in a rustic, modern way. I also got married there in 2008.

If you could only bring one unnecessary item on a trip, what would it be?

An iPad. I can see my family, read a book, scroll through a magazine, catch up on news, and watch a movie. Definitely the best travel item I own.

What is one thing you never fly without?

My Passport. I left it at home once and had to take a last minute flight to Australia. It was a disaster; I never leave home without it now.

photo-1-219x300Tell us about your best day on a bicycle.

I have had so many, but all of my rides can be traced back to one.  A good friend of mine convinced me to get a mountain bike as my college bike, instead of the normal cruiser.  My parents were not so happy that I spent double what they expected, but that bike took me on my first ride.  It was a ride up Apex Trail in Golden, CO.  I remember that it took me almost 2 hours to climb to the top – a climb that takes less than 30 minutes today. I crashed twice and almost threw up once.  The way down was equally as eventful.  I crashed over the side of the trail and slid down into a creek.  After three hours, huge frustrations, and a lot of blood, I was officially a cyclist.

What’s your favorite type of beverage?

If it was only one drink I would pick San Pellegrino.  If it was only one alcoholic drink it would be Bourbon on the rocks – Angel’s Envy or Beer Barrel Bourbon to be exact.

What and where was the best meal you’ve ever enjoyed?

My Mom’s homemade green chile at my parents’ house. If I was going to choose a restaurant, it would be Café Diva in Steamboat Springs, CO. There is something about a small mountain town with a great restaurant that is hard to beat. 

What is your personal motto or mantra?

I got this from my wonderful wife. She probably doesn’t know this but I think about it every day.  Here are the five things that will make me successful and happy in life:
1. Up Early
2. Win
3. Help Others
4. Exercise
5. Disengage

Outside of your family, who inspires you the most?

Historically, I am pretty fascinated by Abraham Lincoln because of the strength of his character.  Integrity is something that I think about all the time and I think that he is the most prominent person in history that truly had integrity. Without his integrity and sense of purpose, the entire world would be a different place today. A living person that inspires me outside of my family is a little harder. I could go the easy route here and say my boss or the president or something like that, which are true but not really insightful or particularly interesting. So, with that in mind, I am going to go with Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. After all these years, he has stayed true to his heart. Making great products that help people enjoy the outdoors and doing so in the most sustainable and economical way possible, while not losing site of the fact that the products have to be awesome if they are going to make a difference. His philosophy on people, the work place, and the world are close to home.


Dear Marriage Advisor by guest blogger, Bob Joy

Dear Marriage Advisor:  I have a “friend” who just confessed to his wife that he has been lusting in his heart for a new bike. She should have known it was coming. My friend had been talking about getting another bike ever since Harry showed up for our morning ride with a brand new cherry red Madone with all the fixin’s. Since then, my friend has been spending increasing amounts of time surfing Trek’s Project One site, marveling at the nearly limitless combinations of frames, paint schemes, and components. Whenever he had to go out of the room, my friend strategically left the computer on in full view of his wife. Still, my friend knew that it would be a hard sell. He already had three Trek bikes of different vintages, the most recent of which was just six years old and still looked brand new.

My friend confessed his desire to his wife as they were getting dressed for a party. Her immediate response was, “Why do you need another bike? You can only ride one at a time!” Now, mind you, she said this in all seriousness as she searched through her five-tiered jewelry chest for the perfect pair of earrings to match her outfit. My friend couldn’t help from pointing out that several of her options contained carbon in a different form, were nearly as expensive as a bike, and that she, too, could only wear one pair at a time. Wrong move.
Here’s where my friend could use your help. What should he say to convince his wife of 30 years (whom he loves very much if she is reading this) that he should get a new bike? Please choose from the options below, or respond with your own:

A) My friend should buy the Trek Madone and deal with the ramifications at a later date. (Not recommended)
B) My friend should buy his wife a new pair of earrings and try again. (A costly gambit)
C) My friend should offer to take his wife on Trek Travel’s California Wine Country trip or Vermont bike trip so she will get a chance to ride the latest Madone and understand. (Preferred option)

Other ideas will be gratefully accepted. My “friend” really needs your help!

Renee Krysko asks, Is it all about the bike?

In the past nine years we’ve advised thousands of guests and prospective guests about the finer points of selecting the right cycling trip AND the right bike tour company for them! Our main objective is to infect people with a passion for biking. So whether you ride with us, or another company we want you to have a fantastic ride. With this objective in mind, we are dedicating part of our blog, Out for a Spin, to educate you on the finer aspects of selecting the right experience and company for you! Watch for our first edition; Is it all about the bike?

Is it all about the bike?

No, it is not! But the wrong bike could ruin your vacation. When we ask our guests why they choose Trek Travel, the number one response is the bike! It doesn’t really matter which type of rider they are, avid or beginner, when they get on a bike that is lightweight, shifts well, fits them properly and has the ride they want, it just feels right; everything becomes effortless and the cycling vacation begins.

So how do you pick the right bike for your bike tour? The first tip is, decide what type of ride you want and make your selection from there. Are you looking for a comfortable commute or a more athletic ride? Here is the scoop on bikes for cycling holidays.

Generally bike tour companies offer one or two styles of bikes, either a hybrid or a road bike.

Trek Hybrid Bikes

A hybrid has an upright position and is great for people who are new to cycling or are interested in leisurely riding. It’s heavier than a road bike, but it has a lower gear ratio, meaning that it is easier to pedal up the hill (phew!). The thicker tires also give you a softer ride, so that even beginners feel confident. Trek Travel has a new fleet of hybrid bikes in North America, Trek’s 7.7 FX. It is one of the lightest hybrids on the market, but so comfortable it’s like riding a Cadillac.

Trek Road Bikes

A road bike is appropriate for people who have experience with cycling or mountain biking, or for those who lead an active lifestyle. The weight of a road bike is dependent upon the materials used to make it. Currently carbon fiber is the most lightweight yet durable material on the market and is the material of choice for most race bikes. The weight difference between a hybrid and a road bike is significant. The geometry of the frame maximizes the performance of the bike and the narrow tires decrease road resistance allowing you to roll faster with less energy output. In short, it’s fast! Our guests LOVE the new 5.2 Madone road bike. It’s super light, responsive and climbs like a mountain goat! I clocked myself going up Ventoux last year and improved my time by 4 minutes. Trust me, it was all due to the bike!

In our day of mass choices, the question is, do two bike styles fit all? Actually some companies believe ONE bike can fit all. Some will take the same bike frame and simply change out the handlebars between flat bars (similar to those on a hybrid) and road bars to accommodate the different styles of riding. While this option can work, the downside is that it does not give you the true fit, comfort or sense of security of a hybrid, nor does it give you the performance position of a race bike.

Here at Trek Travel, we find that 85% of our guests are happy with either a hybrid or road bike, however the 15% feel differently need something else. Some need a little extra boost to get up the mountains, others need a power surge to keep up with their more avid partner, and a few are recovering from an injury but still want to ride. These individuals are well suited to Trek’s Ride+ electric assist bike. You still get a workout but with a little help. For avid riders or those seeking to experience the frame used by the pros, they prefer a snappy ultra-lightweight race bike. Trek Travel offers the same bike used by Team Radio Shack and LEOPARD TREK—Trek’s 6.5 Carbon Fiber Madone. They can even trick out the bike with Bontrager’s XXX Carbon Clincher Wheel sets.

At the end of the day, you want to pick the bike that will allow you to see the world in the style that is right for you. A bike tour is not all about the bike, but given that it is a cycling vacation, you are better off enjoying the smoothest ride possible. In an upcoming blog, “The Proper Fit” we’ll review the importance of a proper bike fit. Good luck picking your bike and see you out on the road.

The Trek Madone…

This is a great video showcasing how a Trek Madone 6 series is built in Waterloo, WI. This is the same bike that we are able to supply on our trips as an upgrade option. If someone wants to ride a bike that has seen the likes of Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, the Schlecks, and Fabian Cancellara ridden to countless victories, they can do so on a Trek Travel bike trip.

I’ve ridden this bike up and down numerous mountain passes in places like the French Alps and Solvang, CA. I’m always happy that I don’t have to worry about the bike weighing me down, just my own lack of fitness;) Plus anytime some of us guides head out for a little cycling banter, it’s always nice to have the stiffness to stay on guys wheels like Matty, Lyeki, or Big Wave. (Ok, maybe not Big Waves!)


If a date is marked as Private, it is reserved for a private group.

Looking to travel with a small group or looking for a custom date?
Call our trip consultants at 866-464-8735

What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.


Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.


These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.


On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of Explorer and Luxury hotels. Rest assured, no matter which hotel level you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

Classic - Reserve:

Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discover:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.


Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself