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Riding the New Madone

Product Reviews

I had already read a bunch about this bike and how it displays technology that “leapfrogs” all current road bikes. First of all, the headset and bottom bracket areas have no metal to serve as a bearing race. It is simply ball bearings working between the carbon parts. They claim that this reduces weight and exceeds the life expectancy of a standard headset or bottom bracket. And without bottom bracket cups, the frame’s bottom bracket area is wider and stronger.

Another change is the lack of a traditional seat post. However, the “seat mast” isn’t as different as it initially looks. It just moves telescopically on the outside of the seat tube and is cinched by a pretty traditional looking seat collar. The seatmast is only half the length of a traditional seat post, so they are offered in different sizes.

The ride? Well, it’s pretty great. The bottom bracket area is definitely stiff, and ditto for the rear triangle. This bike certainly accelerates well when you stand on the pedals. It’s light. And the carbon frame did a good job of muting small bumps and cracks in the road. What else do I say? It looks sharp. It’s comfortable.

The only thing I didn’t like was the new-styled seat mast. They didn’t have one tall enough for me-even on the 62cm frame. The Trek rep told me that most bikes will come with a 120mm seat mast, but that that can be switched out for whatever size a person needs.

I don’t understand why they had to change the seat post design. This new thing might be a little lighter, but the added hassle isn’t worth it in my opinion. And the new seat collar is wide enough that my thighs were rubbing on it.

The bike was outfitted with pretty standard Ultegra stuff. I was surprised how well the brakes worked. And the 10 speed drive train was crisp. The new wheels look real stealth. And I didn’t really notice the bontrager seat, which was nice.

This bike seems to be the pinnacle of new technology and the result of lots of R&D. Make sure you get one that fits you well.
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