The new 2013 Trek Madone 7 series road bike is advertised as the lightest and fastest road bike Trek has ever produced and it is living up to all the hype. With new designs in aerodynamics, a lighter frame and a focus on speed, this 7 series aero road bike is the ultimate in all road course conditions and races.
Trek Madone – the Name
This newly redesigned line of Trek road bikes is aptly named after the Col de la Madone bike climb in France. The Col de la Madone is a gruelling climb of 915 meters with the average steep percentage of 6.7 (the highest throughout the climb being 10 %). This climb is known to riders around the world as the same climb that famous riders Lance Armstrong and Tony Romingers ride to test and train climb for the Tour De France and other famous road races. An iconic climb such as Col de la Madone instills confidence and speed, exactly what the Madone road bike exudes as well.
This new version of the Madone was released for the 10 year anniversary of the Trek Madone Bike series and the designers at Trek wanted to release a game changing road bike. They were able to modify the aerodynamics, the brake design and even the paint on the bike to produce the fastest road bike to date.
The Aero Part – Aerodynamics
The Madone has a stiffer suspension and was built with a Kammtail virtual foil (KVF) shape that was used in their 2010 time trail bikes. This shape causes the air slipstream to behave as if travelling over a longer airfoil and provides stiffer and lighter weight than conventional aero tubes. To ensure the best in air technology the Trek designers created a 3D drag concept that was able to show them the exact slipstream of the bike. When the Madone concepts were put in a wind tunnel, the designers found that with the new aerodynamic design they were able to save 25 watts of power for the cyclist.
Along with aero tubes and the saving of watts, the Madone’s speed is also attributed to its extremely light weight. Made from OCLV carbon and weighing only 750 grams, this bike is the epitome of lightweight road racing. Trek even took it so far as to produce a U5 vapour coat of paint that adds a minimal 5 grams of weight to the entire bike frame. Wow!
To save even more weight, Trek also integrated the Madone’s braking system into the bike frame. The front brakes are snuggled up to the front fork and the back brakes have the brake bridge removed, saving weight and wind resistance. Compared to the Trek 6.9 SSL (their previous racing model), the Madone 7 is 165 grams lighter and more aerodynamic.
While the Madone 7 is sleek, lightweight and fast, some reviewers think it hasn’t earned it’s £7,800 price tag. However, the RadioShack-Nissan American biking team were so pleased with the new design that they told the Trek designers they felt as through any race was already won through having the Madone bike alone.
For those thinking the price tag is a little steep, the Madone can be attained with lower carbon grades and with lower end biking components. If you are looking for similar aerodynamic properties in a road bike, the Trek manufacturers also have produced the Madone 6.2 which maintains the slipstream but starts at a considerably smaller price point. Non-carbon options are also available in the Madone series for a smaller price with aluminium.
The results of the Trek team’s hard work have produced an exemplary road bike in the Madone series. For serious road racers or for those with an eye for grace, the Madone 7 series is the ultimate in road racing for all conditions.