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  • Back to Blog  

    Trek unveil brand new Trek Madone

       Words by David Hicks

       on 06/07/2018 17:10:20

    trek madone 5

    With the Tour de France starting in just a matter of hours, it’s that time of the year when most of the big brands begin to unveil their latest high-performance kit before subjecting it to three weeks of hard riding on the roads of France – and that time of year where roadies the world over start pining for a shiny new bike. Hot on the heels of new releases from Specialized and Cannondale, Trek have bought a new toy to the aero road bike party – the new and updated Madone.

    When the last iteration of the Madone was unveiled a few years ago it marked a dramatic shift from a bike built around all-round race performance and light weight to an all-out aero performance bike with unprecedented comfort thanks to its Isospeed decoupler. The new bike still concentrates on wind-cheating performance, but with its brings a number of refinements for even more comfort, better stopping power and unprecedented integration. Could the new Madone be the ultimate race bike? We’ve picked out a few reasons why it just might be.

    trek madone 6

    As fast - or faster

    Already proven to be one of the fastest road bikes around in aerodynamics terms, the new Madone is, of course, even faster than the competition, reporting lower drag values than the outgoing Specialized Venge ViAS. What perhaps sets the Madone apart from other bikes in this category is the balance Trek are keen to achieve between aerodynamics and all-round performance – be that comfort, weight or handling. So when they set out to optimize the new Madone, the aim was to match the aerodynamic performance of the existing model, while lowering weight, integrating a new fit, adding new comfort technologies and adding disc brakes. Through a process of computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing, Trek have come up with a bike which is faster through a -12.5 to 12.5 degree yaw sweep, compared to the current Madone.

    Even comfier

    Comfort and aero bikes don’t usually go hand in hand, but when Trek took the IsoSpeed decoupler – borrowed from the Domane endurance model – and integrated it into the seat tube of the Madone, they made a bike that not only sliced through the air, but granted the comfort to let you do so all day long. For the new model the concept has been taken even further, with an adjustable top tube IsoSpeed unit using Trek’s Adjustable Compliance technology. Again borrowed from the Domane, the system integrates two frame elements into each other which are connected by the Isospeed decoupler at the seatpost junction and a bolted joint at the front. In between the two elements is a vacant space with an adjustment slider which can be moved along the entire path – this allows the upper and lower sections of the seatmast to deflect and absorb bumps in the road while remaining independent of the top tube. Moving the slider towards the front of the frame adds compliance as the lower seatmast can deflect more, while moving it further towards the back of the frame reduces compliance by inhibiting the range of deflection that the seatmast can move through. In the most compliant setting (towards the front of the frame), the new Madone SLR is up to a huge 17% more compliant than the previous model.

    trek madone 4

    While it usually sits vertically on the seat tube of the Domane, the slider on the Madone has been flipped to sit under the top tube for two reasons – firstly it’s more aerodynamic, and secondly, it helps compliance perform more uniformly across sizes. But the new comfort technology doesn’t end there. Trek have also introduced a damper to the Isospeed system to encourage a smooth and controlled rebound motion on the seatmast, which means you, the rider, remain better connected and more stable even when you hit big bumps in the road. The new damper reduces that rebound by 13% on the new Madone.

    More features, still light

    Conventional wisdom says that aero bikes are heavy. Narrow, airfoil style tubes usually mean that more material is needed to keep stiffness where it is required and as a result the weight of the frame shoots up. For Trek, the goal with the new bike was to maintain the aerodynamic performance and reduce or maintain the weight of the current rim brake bike while adding a ton of new features, while the all-new disc brake models were assigned a target weight of 7.5kg. Through finite element model analysis, various areas of the frame have been fine-tuned to shave weight without impacting aerodynamics before the proprietary 700 Series OCLV Carbon that makes up the frame of the Madone SLR was scrutinized to achieve those weight targets. That detailed analysis has resulted in a new rim brake model which weighs in at 7.1kg for a complete bike, and an all-new disc brake bike which weighs 7.5kg.

    trek madone 7

    Unprecedented integration

    Nothing to see here. The current generation Madone barely grants any peek of cable or component, but the new model takes things even further with every element of the bike designed for unprecedented integration and enhanced performance. The new Madone SLR features invisible cable routing, front end aero profile, aero cockpit, integrated brakes, hidden seat mast, Control Center, aero 3S chainkeeper, optimal aero water bottle placement, integrated mount for the Bontrager Flare RT tail light, Blender mount accessory integration, and Duotrap S ANT+ and Bluetooth® compatibility.

    Brakes for all

    Fear not, rim brake stalwarts, Trek have got your backs. While aero bikes are increasingly shifting towards disc brakes and nothing else, the new Madone comes in both rim and disc brake iterations.

    If you’re planning to stick with rim brakes for the foreseeable, Trek have brought a completely redesigned brake to the Madone, with improved functionality and ease of set up in mind. The biggest change here is to the front brake – gone are the tucked in brake and mechanical wings on the fork – the brake has instead been integrated into the rear of the fork for improved aerodynamics, along with a colour-matched brake cover. But, of course, there’s also a disc brake option for better stopping power and all-weather performance. Here, the challenge was to create a frame which performed as well in aerodynamic terms while allowing easy hose routing. To get round this and maintain performance, a routing tube is bonded into the frame to allow the hose to run down the steerer tube and down the length of the fork leg.

    trek madone 2

    Fitted for everyone

    The Madone SLR has a new H1.5 geometry, developed with the Trek-Segafredo and Trek-Drops pro cycling teams, to put the rider in the optimal aero race position. Sitting half way between the existing H1 and H2 fits, the new geometry improves and expands Trek’s fit range while still maintaining an integrated cockpit. The key figures that change are stack, reach and head tube length, while the other figures remain the same to maintain the Madone’s famous ride quality. Along with the updated bar and stem it’s now easier for me people to fit the Madone comfortably.

    New cockpit

    Part of the problem with sizing on the previous Madone was the lack of flexibility afforded by one-piece bar and stem – while it undoubtedly looked slick, it limited fit options and was expensive to swap. So for the new Madone, Trek have developed a more traditional, yet still proprietary, separate bar and stem system. Using a two-piece platform (albeit a very well integrated one) allows 40 different configurations compared to the 26 available with the old system, with options for -7 and -14 degree stems ranging from 90-130mm lengths, and bar widths from 38-44cm. Additional, the new bar has +/- 5 degrees of bar roll to allow further fine tuning.

    trek madone 3

    Trek Madone 2019 range

    The new Madone range is a broad one, with both rim and disc brake models, women’s specific models and both SLR and SL ranges. The SLR range sits at the very top of the tree with 700 Series OCLV Carbon, the adjustable top tube IsoSpeed decoupler, integrated rim or disc brakes, the new H1.5 geometry, and a frame weight of 1036g for the rim brake model and 1021g for the disc brake model. You can even make it unique to you with Trek’s Project One customization programme. If you’re looking for aero performance at a slightly more affordable price point, the SL range comes with Trek’s 500 Series OCLV carbon, rim brakes, tried and tested H2 geometry and a frame weight of 1260g.

    Trek Madone SL 6

    Trek Madone SL 6

    RRP: £3,599

    Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc

    Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc

    RRP: £5,399

    Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc WSD

    Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc WSD

    RRP: £5,399

    Trek Madone SLR 8

    Trek Madone SLR 8

    RRP: £6,749

    Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc

    Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc

    RRP: £10,549

    Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

    The new Trek Madone will be arriving in stock shortly, available in-store only.

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