It’s new bike day. To be honest, I wish it hadn’t come to this but Trek would warranty my 2014 Trek Domane due to bottom bracket issues.
So, let’s make the best of it. The new bike arrived. The setup is pretty much the same as the bike I gave up.
Domane SL 7 is a high-performance endurance road bike with an electronic Ultegra Di2 drivetrain for precision shifting in any conditions. A lightweight OCLV Carbon frame with Front and Rear IsoSpeed, carbon wheels, and hydraulic disc brakes keep it smooth and fast on long rides. Plus, it has an easy-access storage compartment for stowing ride essentials.
500 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
I loved my bike. I thought my 2006 Trek Pilot was feeling its age back in 2013, although it was only seven years old. I would buy it again but Trek had retired the model and made the Domane its endurance bike.
I had crashed and broke my collarbone on July 3, 2013. I was on pain killers when just a few days later I was at The Bike Lane in Reston, Va., ordering a Trek Domane. Although they had paint samples at the front of the store, I never saw those. We sat in a dark office looking at a computer screen. I ordered a red and white bike to match my Pilot.
When it arrived it looked nothing like I thought I ordered. I was sick. It was an expensive bike and I just felt like I could not accept it. I declined the purchase but promised to buy another when the time was right.
In the middle of the year, 2014, I sat down and we built a Project One Trek Domane 6. I wasn’t happy with the color schemes offered so I paid more for a custom paint job. It would be gloss/metallic black with gloss/metallic “tour yellow.” It may have been the only one they ever made.
The color scheme was me. Period. The Black and Tour Yellow represented three things in my life:
The Tour de France
The Steelers and Penguins
Above all, this would be my cancer bike. Black and Yellow representing Livestrong. When I rode, my mind was never far away from someone battling. I put stickers on it to remember Alex Shepherd, 13, and Jacob Grecco, 8, both of whom lost their battles to brain cancer.
I love the Tour (de France). I’ve seen numerous stages and this bike could be a TdF bike. Or a Pittsburgh bike. But it was definitely me.
The bike rode well. It was very comfortable. But it had its problems.
Just one year old, on October 27, 2015, I shifted gears and the rear derailleur broke off. That wouldn’t be too bad but it got caught in the wheel. It went one revolution and then smashed into the frame. The frame was cracked and the repair would cost me $1800.
I was disappointed. Furious, actually. I was “JRA” (just riding along) when the derailleur came loose. Trek offered a new frame at 50% off, or about $2000.
After only three years the rear wheel began to fail. I had three spokes break (metal fatigue) in the rear wheel. The Bike Lane rebuilt the wheel and built me a new one that kept failing.
In 2016 we tried repeatedly to set the bike up with tubeless. But it would never set. At Ride the Rockies the air pressure would be as low as 20 psi n the morning. Basically I rode flat until getting to rest stop one where I could get a tire pump.
But in 2018, just four years’ of riding, the bike started to creak, especially when under duress. It was at The Bike Lane in Springfield four or five times before taking it to Reston. We got it to quiet down for a few weeks but it was back for all of 2019.
In September 2019, it was sent back to the “Trek Hospital” in Wisconsin where they resurfaced the bottom bracket (BB90). I got the bike back in October and it ran quiet and smooth. I thought I was out of the woods. But a couple of months later, and maybe sooner, it was creaking again.
Earlier last month Tom asked me how the bike was running. I told him honestly and he said “I was afraid of that.”
Tom began the process of having the bike frame warrantied. Trek said they would replace the frame and paint it to match. But the problem with this bike lies in the bottom bracket – the BB90. And a new frame would still have the BB90.
The rim brakes on the two frames are different and I would have to purchase two new brakes at $275 ea. With a Trek discount of 25% for the brakes, it would cost me $413. The labor for the teardown and rebuild would be $400+. So for the same bike I currently own, but with a new frame, I would pay around $900.
Trek also offered me a credit towards a new bike. After considering my options, I decided to get a new bike. It would be a Domane but not the top-of-the-line Domane Project One. That would mean a custom paint job would be off the table.
The black and yellow Domane was me. But it’s time for a new chapter. I want to say it was a good bike that lasted 5 1/2 years but actually, I had problems with it all along. I told Bill Hellwig at The Bike Lane in July that I was riding the Pilot because the Domane was the worst purchase I ever made. And I meant it. So it was time to retire it.
I’ve done a number of cancer events with it including the Livestrong Challenges. I’ve ridden in eight countries. The bike popped (got your attention), especially with yellow bar tape. But it was time for retirement. And I’m looking forward to a new chapter.
We did a lot together. One might expect that riding more than 30,000 miles we would have plenty of memories. We traveled to Europe a couple of times including a solo trip across the Swiss Alps and with Rooster Racing in Luxembourg. In all the Domane had miles in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. And, of course, the U.S. where we had trips to California, Texas, Colorado, and Florida. And even to the top of the highest paved road in North America – Mount Evans, Colorado.