Trek Madone 6.5 Review
The Trek Madone 6.5 is part of the firm’s flagship road bike range and so features plenty of high end components and a setup that is aimed at showing regular riders what it is like to sit in the saddle like a professional. While innovative and fast road bikes such as this certainly need to put the onus on providing performance, you still get to enjoy comfort-oriented design decisions that make it a pleasure, rather than a pain, to use on longer treks.
The Trek Madone 6.5 is based on the 600 Series OCLV Carbon frame which gets the ratio between lightness and stiffness right, affording you good acceleration and sustained speed while also keeping you energised for longer as there is less of a burden to bear. The frame is also pleasantly hardwearing, so you can rely upon the bike. DuoTap compatibility in the frame means you can integrate an onboard computer and sensors that will accurately measure various aspects of your ride, allowing you to monitor your performance and see where improvements have been made and where you need to step up a gear.
The carbon frame is paired with the Bontrager Race XXX Lite full carbon fork, which is the kind of detail that you would expect to see on a bike of this calibre. The stiffness of the frame is matched by the agility with which the fork allows you to control the bike and from a handling point of view, it definitely does all the right things.
SRAM Force components are harnessed to give the Trek Madone 6.5 a smooth, fluid and most of all quick drive train. SRAM has reduced the weight of this groupset to make it appropriate for class-leading road bikes such as this. In addition, all of the cables, including those for the SRAM Force brakes, are routed internally, funnelled through the carbon frame so that they are out of the way and easier to manage.
Further evidence of weight saving work can be seen in the Bontrager Race X Lite VR-C handlebar, which is once more a carbon addition to the Trek Madone 6.5. It is complimented by a Bontrager Race X Lite stem and also joined by the Ride Tuned Carbon seatmast at the rear, with an Affinity Race Lite saddle mounted on hollow stainless steel rails.
The seatmast is actually one of the elements that does the most to add to the comfort of the ride, since Trek is well aware that this type of bike will need to be sympathetic enough towards the rider’s needs to keep them happy through day after day of long distance usage on professional tours. As such, while it is light, it is also easily adjustable and compliant enough to keep the vibrations of the road from causing you fatigue early in the event.
The wheels stick to the theme of light performance established across the rest of the bike. Bontrager Race X Lite rims and hubs are paired with R3 tyres for slick, speedy and sustainable road riding.
Trek’s top tier Madone models come with a level of individuality that you will not find on other bikes. This is because they are hand built and highly customisable prior to purchase, so you can specify a number of setups or components that suit you, rather than having to buy a stock model off the shelf. This is part of Trek’s Project One initiative and it goes right down to the colour of paint that you would like to see applied to the finished article. As a consequence, the Trek Madone 6.5 does not feel like some generic road bike, but is instead a unique article.
Trek Madone 6.5 Specifications 2013
- Front Fork: Madone KVF full carbon E2
- Rear Shock: N/A
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Gears: 20
- Chainring: Shimano Ultegra, 50/34T (compact)
- Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 11-28, 10 speed
- Shifters: Shimano Ultegra STI Di2, 10 speed
- Brakes: Bontrager Speed Limit integrated brakes w/Shimano Ultegra STI Di2 levers
- Wheels: Bontrager Race X Lite
- Tyres: Bontrager R3, 700x23c