Trek Madone 5.2 Review
The Trek Madone 5.2 is aimed at the more affordable end of the road racing market than its class leading siblings. As such, it allows you to experience what this range can offer without also having to stomach the daunting price. It features plenty of appealing features and enough flare to keep your attention, with performance that lends itself to competitions, just as it will improve your leisure riding experience.
The Madone 5.2 features a full carbon 500 Series OCLV frame with neat, light internal cable routing and compatibility with DuoTrap trip computers for performance analysis if you so wish. The frame itself is fashioned from top notch materials that are blended to give you excellent lightness and stiffness at this price point whilst still giving the higher end Madone models somewhere to go.
Weight is reduced further thanks to the tapered E2 head tube and fork, with the Trek Madone 5.2 able to retain stiffness without having to rely on using more material than is necessary in the construction of the bike. You get the Bontrager Race X Lite full carbon fork to complement the arrangement of the frame, with this being just one of the elements of the bike that is best appreciated as part of the whole.
The Shimano Ultegra drivetrain is a good match for this grade of road bike, giving it racing credentials and the necessary slickness to keep you in contention when amongst a pack of similarly equipped rivals. You also get Shimano Ultegra brakes with STI levers for further consistency across the bike.
The wheelset is made up of Bontrager Race rims and hubs along with R3 tyres that, as should be apparent, are intended to give you excellent grip and the ability to sustain speed over long distances. The wheels are also adequately light, keeping the burden on the rider as minimal as possible and helping to keep up energy levels mile after mile and day after day.
One of the aspects of the bike that will also help to keep you happy over long distances is the Bontrager Ride Tuned Carbon seatmast. Paired with the Bontrager Affinity 3 saddle on hollow chromoly rails, this is built to give you additional comfort and compliance in a bike that might otherwise be too stiff and fast to really eliminate vibrations and impacts in any meaningful way. Being able to adjust the seating position and have the bike automatically cut down on road buzz will definitely appeal to riders who are hoping to spend more time in the saddle and less time tending to their aching joints and posteriors.
The responsive and appropriate Bontrager Race Blade VR-C handlebar and Race X Lite stem complete the package, letting you feel in touch with the road beneath you without allowing its surface to shudder the fun out of a ride.
When you get to this end of the market, you will find that riders tend to have individual specifications and preferences that they want to see in terms of components and kit onboard a road racing bike. This means that it can be tough to find an off the shelf model that fits in with your requirements.
Having said that, the Trek Madone 5.2 is one of the better models available at the moment from the point of view of standard setup and potential for future upgrades. Straight out of the box, it is a capable road racer, but you also have the option to tweak it with additional components without compromising its central capabilities that make it such a solid option for this price.
Trek Madone 5.2 Specifications
- Front Fork: 500 Series OCLV Carbon E2
- Rear Shock: N/A
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
- Gears: 20
- Chainring: Shimano Ultegra 50/34T (compact)
- Cassette: Shimano 105 11-28T 10 speed
- Shifters: Shimano Ultegra STI
- Brakes: Bontrager Speed Limit integrated brake
- Wheels: Bontrager Race
- Tyres: Bontrager R3 700x23c