Smooth, Efficient, and Just for Women
By Christine McKnight
Buying a new bicycle these days can be emotional. You want to get it right because you and your bike will be sweating together, absorbing the road bumps together and spending long days in the saddle as a team for years to come.
After several rides over the last two weeks on my new Trek Project One Silque SLR 7, I know I got it right. This is a women’s-specific road bike that is perfect for me. It is sized just for women like me, is lighter (16 pounds), and features some cool, new, road-dampening technology that makes for an efficient and responsive ride.
My Silque rides have included loops in and around Saratoga National Battlefield, climbing outings into the Greenfield and northern Saratoga County area, quick and sassy sprints through my flat Wilton neighborhoods, and my favorite rolling course, an out-and-back to Moreau Lake State Park. The outings lasted from 2 and ¾ hours to an hour.
Here is what I love about this bike:
The Ride: It is smooth and forgiving. As an older rider, that is something I appreciate. The key to this is Trek’s Iso-speed technology, which allows the seat to flex and pivot independently from the rest of the frame. For those of us who like to ride long, this is a game changer. The 2017 Silque SLR 7 model, which I have, features the same Iso-speed decoupler in the front of the bike as well. Additionally, you can adjust the feel of the ride with a sliding lever on the seat post. Slide it up to the stiffest setting, and you get a livelier feel. Slide it down, and you get a smoother experience. It is your choice! In the end, what this means is you can ride longer and stronger, and love every mile in the saddle.
The Fit: It makes all the difference! The Silque is the sister bicycle to Trek’s top-selling Domane. The big difference is that the Silque is designed and sized just for women. For instance, since women generally place less stress on a frame than men, the Silque’s carbon layup and frame shaping are unique for women, setting the stage for a nice balance between power and smoothness. With women’s-specific geometry, I am getting a frame that is right for me, including narrower handlebars and brake levers designed for smaller hands. The end result: a fast and stable bike I can ride with a new degree of confidence because it fits me perfectly.
Project One: As a Project One purchase, this is a bike I was able to build exactly the way I wanted. For a flat $500 upcharge, I had the choice of five colors and the ability to customize components to suit my body type and the way I ride. I went with an elegant two-tone blue paint scheme, and even color-matched the handle bar tape and cable housings. (For another $500 you get a choice of dozens of premium paint schemes for the frame, and for $500 beyond that, you can go crazy with custom paint schemes that feature flames and even leopard prints.)
For my bike, I specified Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifting, a compact crank with 50/34 chainring and 11 x 32 cassette, a setup which will make climbing a bit easier for me. I asked for narrower handlebars to accommodate my narrower shoulders.
I know I have a great cycling partner in my Trek Silque SLR 7, with years of rewarding miles ahead.