Domaine 4.3 Compact

By: Mason Arnold

Last Update:

Domane 4.3 Compact 2016 [Review]

4.3 Compact
Road Bike

Domane 4.3 Compact 2016 (Review)

The thing that makes this bike stand out is its ability to climb. It moves very quickly up hills. The Domane 4.3 Compact shifts smoothly, stops quickly, and steers nimbly, giving the riding experience a great feeling. Domaines, the entry-level carbon fiber frames of Trek’s special frame long haul bikes, has quality components that would make you confidently stable throughout your long, epic rides.


Frame & equipment: IsoSpeed tech

The IsoSpeed system ensures no intrusive movement affects your pedalling action. The decoupler is a rotational pivot attaching a lug on the front of the seat tube to the top tube, allowing the tube to bow and flex along its length in isolation from the frame, with no more effect on seating position than a slim carbon seat post. So, you get more forward and backward movement on this carbon-framed version than other one’s Domains have manufactured. The longer active length makes shock absorption more than normal without any need for excessive movement within a confined space.

The oversized down tube and muscular chain-stays that are asymmetric help to cover a massive BB90 bottom bracket shell, which when combined with the fork’s lateral rigidity make it as fast as any fast road bike.

Shimano Drivetrain

The drivetrain is constructed around a durable Shimano 105 set-up with a compact chainset and a wide range 12-30 tooth Tiagra rear cassette from the next group-set down. The brakes, too, are conventional 105. Trek’s brand Bontrager supplies the compact cockpit with extra fat bar tape wrapping and comfortable saddle on top of a carbon shafted seat post.

The Bontrager rimmed wheels are weighty and, in consideration of experiences on other bikes, an upgrade of the reinforced Bontrager tires would make a huge impact on the performance. It also makes the 4.3 a full kilogram heavier than most of the other bikes in the test.

The Ride

There is more forward and backward movement on this carbon-framed version than on the other cheaper alloy Domains. It feels equally buoyant out of the saddle, too, and the forks are more communicative than their smoothness would extrinsically suggest.

Frame: 400 Series OCLV Carbon, IsoSpeed, E2 tapered head tube, BB90, DuoTrap compatible, Power Transfer Construction. 

Fork: Trek IsoSpeed carbon, E2 steerer

Sizes: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm

Wheels: Bontrager alloy hubs, Bontrager Tubeless Ready rims

Tires: Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x25c

Shifters: Shimano 105, 11 speed

Front derailleur: Shimano 105, braze-on

Rear derailleur: Shimano 105

Crank: Shimano RS500, 50/34 (compact)

Cassette: Shimano 105, 11-32, 11 speed

Saddle: Bontrager Paradigm R, hollow Chromoly rails

Seat-post: Bontrager carbon, 2-bolt head, 27.2mm, 8mm offset

Handlebar: Bontrager Race Lite IsoZone, VR-CF, 31.8mm

Stem: Bontrager Elite, w/Blendr computer & light mounts, 31.8mm, 7-degree,

Headset: FSA Integrated, 1.5″ bottom, sealed cartridge bearings, 1-1/8″ top,

Brake-set: Alloy dual-pivot

Colours: Black Pearl/Crystal White

  • Incredibly smooth rides over rough surfaces
  • Quick and easy to pedal
  • Handling is superb and crisp
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • The bike is heavy.
  • Lumpen tires: wheels may require an upgrade for maximum performance.


Can you ride this bike on rough roads?

This road bike provides great stability making it the ‘King of rough roads’.

What makes the Domane 4.3 a great road bike?

It combines great speed with amazing comfort making it an all-round great road bike.


The Domane 4.3 Compact is a complete carbon road machine that is built with race-winning Trek technology like IsoSpeed that brings out the power in it. It is incredibly simple and powerful given its performance concerning its weight and wheels. The frame offers a lot of comforts that could make a rider go on for much longer hours than planned. This versatile bike is recommended for entry-level bikers who want to road race, tour, or simply commute from one place to another.