Trek Madone 4.5 Review
The Trek Madone 4.5 is a road bike built around a light carbon frame but at a price point that makes it far more appealing to the average rider. You still get top notch materials and well chosen components, but everything is aimed at appealing to people who want both performance and value from their next road bike.
The Trek Madone 4.5 features a 400 Series OCLV carbon frame with a super wide BB90 bottom bracket. This means that the bike is not only light and compliant for long distance speed and comfort, but it also has integral stiffness which allows you to accelerate quickly and pull ahead of your mates with less effort.
The rigidity of the bike is further improved thanks to the E2 tapered head tube and fork, which bring precision and control to the handling that might otherwise be missing.
The frame is compatible with DuoTrap computing technology, which means you can integrate kit to analyse your ride without compromising the aerodynamic properties of the Trek Madone 4.5 in the process.
The Bontrager Race Lite fork features carbon legs and an aluminium steerer to help keep the bike affordable. You get alloy hubs and rims, which are approved by Bontrager and then wrapped in its R1 tyres. The wheelset is suitably light for this price point, although there is always the option to upgrade at a later date if you want to expand upon the central features of this bike.
The drivetrain of the Trek Madone 4.5 is built utilising components from the Shimano 105 and Tiagra groupsets, allowing for gear changes that are rapid and responsive as well as being smooth. These components are also durable, which means you will not find them failing after you have just got a few miles of fun out of the bike.
The rest of the bike is kept suitably light and compliant, with the Bontrager Carbon seatpost and Affinity 1 saddle keeping you comfortable whilst adding only marginally to the Trek Madone 4.5 overall weight. You get the Bontrager Race VR-C handlebar to give you engaging feedback from the road and handling setup, but the overall feel of the bike is suitable for long distance, all day usage during which vibrations will be less of an issue than they might be on a cheaper model.
The brakeset is a basic alloy arrangement, but you do get Shimano 105 STI levers to give it that premium look and hint at the quality that lies in store.
The Trek Madone 4.5 is going to really appeal to people who want to ride a bike with a frame that is the foundation of championship models. At this price you are bound to have to make some compromises when it comes to kit, but most people who would consider buying this model should be more than content with what is on offer straight out of the box. Those that are not can either upgrade various elements further down the line or spend a little more on one of the other Madone models.
Most of all, this bike is a good all-purpose road racer that will be good in competitions and also help you train or just ride for leisure. It is stiff without being jarring and stable without being dull. It will get you in the mood for covering many miles whether you are attempting to take first place or simply travelling to take in the sights, get some exercise and enjoy the time spent with fellow cyclists.
Trek Madone 4.5 Specifications
- Front Fork: Trek carbon road E2
- Rear Shock: N/A
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
- Gears: 20
- Chainring: Shimano R565 50/34T (compact)
- Cassette: Shimano 105 11-28T 10 speed
- Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
- Brakes: Shimano 105 brakes Ultegra STI levers
- Wheels: Bontrager Race
- Tyres: Bontrager R2, 700x23c