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Ride Quality: A Magic Carpet
By now, you have probably seen enough aero-drag graphs and charts to understand that aero shapes are faster than round shapes, especially at higher speeds. I did not take the Madone into a wind tunnel, but my friend Dan Cavallari at VeloNews did. You can get his data and conclusions versus the Specialized Venge ViAS here. I did take the bike out for a few hundred miles, often on fast group rides and solo jaunts, and the thing is tangibly faster than a round-tubed bike with box-section wheels. During the year I switch between a number of test bikes, and the back-to-back rides really highlight differences.
Two things stand out with the Madone. Its fast! And two, it is more comfortable than many standard road bikes, never mind aero bikes, thanks to the full-flexing seatmast and seat tube.
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
I have an older Scott Foil that I love racing crits on, and while I ride it on dirt roads, its not my first choice for mixed-surface riding. The Madone, on the other hand, Id take on any ride.
With Treks stout BB90 chassis, you still get plenty of firm pedaling efficiency when in and out of the saddle.
Trek Madone 99 C H2 Road Bike 2017
600 series OCLV is Trek’s patented carbon fibre process and has resulted from over 25 years of research and experience. Using the highest quality raw materials, Trek’s exacting manufacturing process and weight-saving performance-enhancing technology results in the optimum balance of weight and stiffness, critical to how a bike performs, in terms of efficiency, handling and ride feel. The frames vertical compliance increases rider comfort and weight is minimised by using the exact amount of material required in different areas of the frame – no more, no less.
The IsoSpeed decoupler offers a more forgiving ride with no compromise on pedalling efficiency. The seat tube is able to rotate independently of the top-tube-to-seatstay junction, or ‘decouple’, further increasing vertical compliance. This technical revolution has come about from research into the performance of a bike over rough roads and how this impacts its rider. Introducing this technology allows the bike to move with the road, dampens vibrations and reduces fatigue whilst still maintaining its efficiency and predictable handling.
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Front And Rear Fit Constraints Versus The Competition
Like most of the other Madone bikes, the 9.0 comes in Treks H2 fit. The lower H1 fit is only available in Project One, which adds $1,500 to the price.
As such, the Madone 9.0 has a slightly taller stack height than other aero bikes. Stack is the vertical difference between the top of the head tube and the center of the bottom bracket. Front-end height comparisons are often done with head-tube measurements, but this doesnt account for differences in various bikes bottom bracket heights.
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
For comparison in size 56cm bikes, Canyons Aeroad has a stack of 55cm, Specializeds Venge ViAS a 56.4cm and Cervélos S5 a 56.5cm to the Madones 58.2cm.
All the Madone sizes have a relatively tight saddle adjustment window. The 56cm bike has a saddle height range of 67-76cm.
For me, at 6ft with short legs, I had the saddle all the way up to 76cm and a 120cm stem all the way down, and would have appreciated another centimeter or two of handlebar drop. Fit, of course, is highly personal just be sure the bike always fits you, whatever it is!
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
Aero Brakes: Decent Power And Gasp A Delight To Work On
Trek isnt the first company to experiment with hiding the brake calipers from the wind, but I believe they have done the best job thus far. By extending the frames front section to house the front brake cable, Trek reduced drag substantially compared with bolting a standard caliper on the front of the fork.
The little cuckoo-clock panels flip open when you turn the bars, allowing the brake and housing room to move.
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
I hate rim calipers positioned underneath a frames bottom bracket. At best, they are a chore to work on, and quickly gather grime. At worst, they are a literal drag, causing brake-pad rub when out of the saddle. Trek keeps the Madones rear brake where it should be up on the seatstays.
The power is decent for a rim brake. A Dura-Ace caliper it aint, but modulation is predictable. The spectrum of aero brakes runs from horrible/dangerous to pretty good. These are pretty good. I tested the bike quite a bit with carbon wheels as well, where the power is adequate when used with SwissStop pads.
Perhaps most surprising to me was how easy it is to work on the brakes. Swapping and then adjusting the pads is easier than on most standard calipers. Seriously. In the absence of a barrel adjuster, Trek has a screw to adjust width on each side, and another to adjust toe angle.
Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
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Trek Madone Slr 9 Disc Ride Impressions
Trek has also managed to hit the high mark with the drivetrain. Shimanos latest Dura-Ace Di2 is brilliant, the gear shifts slick and accurate, and the brake feel is exactly what you want from a disc system powerful yet precise, allowing you to brake later and for less time on descents, so you can get back on the power sooner.
The net effect is you go faster on a bike thats already proven to be seriously rapid.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
The contact points impress. Trek has nailed integration with its new VR-CF bar/stem adjustability is built-in so you can adapt it to your ride position. The slight back-sweep to the tops and angled transition towards the hoods means plenty of clearance when youre down in the drops, and the flat tops are comfortable to hold, or rest your forearms on for a proper aero tuck.
The Madones geometry is, as youd expect, very much race bike stuff. This, combined with the adjustable IsoSpeed which allows you to customise the compliance to suit the terrain makes it a ridiculously smooth ride.
Adjustments are made via two-bolts, and it all takes about five minutes. Once you find your preferred setup we doubt youll ever change it, save for a trip to ride the Belgian cobbles.
Occasionally I did feel the back-end shift ever so slightly when pushing hard through a corner. It feels like a tyre squishing but, once Id got used to it, it never became an issue its just one of the bikes idiosyncracies.
First Look And Ride: 2016 Trek Madone 9
Trek shoots for the moon with its new aero road bike
It was a Friday afternoon in late May and I was sitting in the atrium of Treks Waterloo, Wisconsin headquarters. I was there to get my first look at Treks new 2016 Madone and, during a small break in the action, catching up on some email. A meeting-room door opened to my left, and I watched over 100 men and women stream out. Company meeting? I asked my handler, Royce Breckon, Treks service brand manager. Nope, he said, Engineering department meeting.
As I would later learn, Trek has about 80 engineers worldwide when support staff is counted, Treks engineering department employs about 200 individuals. While not all of them were involved in the creation of the new 2016 Madone 9-Series, this gives you an idea of the resources and horsepower that the company was able to put into its new aero road bikeand most ambitious model to date.
Meet the 2016 Trek MadoneThe new Madone has been raced in the wild for some time now, so this release is not exactly a surprise. But now we can share the design details and give you some ride impressions.
Trek has very high aspirations for the new Madone, calling its release, “the biggest launch in Treks history.” Its tagline is the ultimate race bike, and to try and reach that benchmark, Trek considered aerodynamics, handling and rider comfort.
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Bottom Line: Certainly The Most Comfortable And Among The Fastest Aero Bikes On The Market
The Trek Madone fuses two seemingly incompatible traits: it is a very fast and very comfortable bike. The 9.0 build is the most inexpensive but still not cheap model, and the only one with separate and therefore adjustable stem and handlebar.
If you want to look at third-party aero numbers, check out Dan Cavallaris VeloNews piece where he put the top-end Madone against the top-end Specialized Venge ViAS in the A2 Wind Tunnel and found the Venge to be faster. For context, A2 found both to be faster than Cervélos S5.
The fit, as discussed, is Treks H2 geometry, which is slightly higher at the front end than other aero bikes. As with Treks Emonda, a lot of riders will get toe overlap on the Madone, because of its short and sharp front end. So investigate carefully before you buy but if everything fits, I doubt you will be able to find a bike as fast and comfortable as this one.
Trek Madone 99 Road Bike
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|Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070, Electronic
|Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, 52/36t, 172.5 mm
|Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, 11spd, 11-28t
|Madone Integrated bar/stem carbon, 42 cm
|Madone Integrated bar/stem carbon N/A x 100mm, 7°
|Madone micro-adjust carbon seatmast cap, Frame Specific
|Bontrager Aeolus 5 TLR Carbon, Aeolus 5
|Bontrager R3 TLR, 700C x 26C
|Bontrager R3 TLR, 700C x 26C
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Trek Madone Slr 9 Disc Review
Cycling Weekly has shown that the Trek Madone is one of the fastest aero bikes available today, but has the update with discs made it even better? I certainly think so
The Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc is a great bike it feels like a technical masterpiece you can live with every day of course you won’t want to ride to work on it! The ride feels quality and it truly does want to take off. The added adjustable ISOSpeed is a great idea and the fact it doesn’t hinder anything else, other than add a little bit of weight, is no bad thing. Great work Trek!
It is clearly one of the fastest bikes on the market, even a year since its launch. I really enjoyed my time with the Trek Madone and would happily have it back for more riding. Fast, capable, great handling and surprisingly comfortable for such an aggressive bike and that is why it is in for Editor’s Choice again.
It’s the year of the aero bike as Trek follows suit and launches an updated version of its wind-cheating machine, the Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc.
This is the sixth Madone iteration, the first being launched back in 2003, and although a lot of you might be crying out that it looks exactly like the fifth Trek Madone, launched in 2015, it has in fact received many updates despite that similar silhouette.
Riding the new Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc
Comfort v stiffness
The Ultimate Race Bike
Regular readers will know that bike launches are invariably accompanied by hyperbole and bold claims, and Trek havent pulled any punches with the launch of the all-new Madone. It is, they say, a bike which will live in history as the product that transformed the standards of race bike performance forever. With unparalleled aerodynamics, unmatched ride quality and unprecedented integration, Madone is more than a game-changer: its the ultimate race bike. Well have the chance to ride the Madone 9 Series over the next 24 hours so will have the chance to form an early impression as to whether Trek have achieved that.
The Madone is a bike with a rich history at the Tour de France, having first been launched in 2003 and named after the climb near Nice where a former Trek-sponsored rider used to test his form. That same rider won the Tour on the Madone in 2004 and 2005, while Alberto Contador triumphed on the Madone in 2007 and 2009.
The bike has evolved significantly in that time and, with this launch, now fills the gap as Treks all-out aero machine, with the previous Madone something of an all-rounder. Choose your weapon is Treks marketing slogan, with the Emonda, launched last year, pitched as the super-light climbing bike, and the Domane, first introduced in 2012, as the Classics/comfort/endurance bike. The new Madone is the missing piece in the puzzle, according to Trek president John Burke.
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Trek Madone 99 Review
In a country where awesome and amazing are standard vocabulary, how are you supposed to pick the right superlative to describe an extraordinary bike? Thats when its time to rely on the cold, hard facts. But are they enough to leave us entranced with the Trek Madone 9.9?
Trek arent known for their tunnel-vision so theyve expanded their horizons by not exclusively offering the Madone as a race-ready bike, but also offering it in the more upright and comfy H2 geometry. In fact, we can testify to the comfort of the H2 variant.
Over in the land of opportunity, the bike developers at Treks HQ in Waterloo, Wisconsin, have created a veritable piece of art that goes by the name of the Trek Madone 9.9. By its own claims, it unites the elements of power, aerodynamics, performance and integration to the max, so we were curious to discover the truth in these assertions.
Even away from the stand, the Madone doesnt disappoint, knowing the exact definition of a great ride. Thanks to its high levels of rigidity, the Madone is ultra efficient. Road chatter leaves the bike unfazed, and comfort showed no deterioration over the course of a long day . Super precise, its a bike that can take any amount of lean on a corner, any strength side winds as well as any pace and still come out shining. The Madone is a surprisingly good climber, although the wide bars arent the comfiest to grip.
The Trek Madone 9 Is A Rather Special Aerodynamic Redesign Of The Flagship Project One Bike
There are fast bikes and there are fast bikes. Some bikes achieve speed through stiffness, others through set-up, and many new bikes rely on aerodynamic profiling to reduce drag, but the Trek Madone 9 has taken a more holistic approach, exploring every aspect of the build in order to create something that is fast in all situations.
The result is a machine that is packed with innovations and bears little resemblance to the old Madone, or indeed any other bike on the market.
This new version is the latest iteration of a franchise that began more than a decade ago, at the height of Treks Tour de France success with American pro team US Postal.
It was named after Lance Armstrongs favourite training climb in the south of France, the Col de la Madone. The design used to revolve around stiffness and low weight only in 2012 did Trek look to aerodynamics.
That version of the bike boasted modest aerodynamic curves and the frame came in at a slender 750g. With this new model Trek not only wanted a much more aero frame, but a more harmonious overall system.
Absolutely every piece of the Madone has been engineered for a very precise performance goal within the overall bike, says Ben Coates, road product manager at Trek. Everything is about integration.
The IsoSpeed decoupler shown here acts like a pivot, linking that inner seat tube to the outer seat tube and top tube.
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A Sleek Shape A Comfy Ride And Lots Of Integration
Having already spent several months on a flagship model prior to starting this review, I was already familiar with most of the Madones salient performance traits, and am happy to report that most of them carry forth on this more affordable version.
Aerodynamic efficiency is always a dubious thing to evaluate from the saddle, but the Madone indeed feels fast on the road, especially when fitted with matching aero wheels. The bike accelerates just like non-aero bikes of similar weight and stiffness from a standstill, but its when youre moving at higher speeds that you notice how much easier it is to do so. Scoff at the concept of aero gains all you wish, but the effect is real and tangible, in this case.
More striking is the bikes surprisingly comfortable ride. Most carbon fiber aero road bikes do a decent job of filtering out high-frequency road buzz, but kick back hard on bigger impacts. However, the Madones pivoting seatmast even manages to quell those handily. Whereas youd normally brace for impact when approaching ugly-looking bumps on more traditional aero road bikes, you quickly learn on the Madone that you can simply stay seated and pedal through.
While some might classify that sort of quiet competence as boring, Id say its the perfect scenario for day-to-day riding.
Some will find the fit to be much more polarizing, however.