You’re right, you can’t really compare much if you’re using different setups, particularly wheels, as they make a huge difference to the ride experience. Wheels were one of the things we were testing out a lot on the Madone, trying Enve 6.7’s, Bontrager Aeolus 5’s, Lightweights and Boras. So I got a good feel for all. Mixing and matching. The Madone I had was the H1, 700 series carbon in a size 60.FIJIGabe wrote:Comparing the two bikes on a head-to-head is a bit difficult, because they have different wheels, which I think contributes a little to the feel, especially on the Madone (having Zipp wheels, which are notoriously flexible). The only component they've shared is the old groupset (DA9000), which doesn't really impact things.
On the front end, the Madone is, without question, stiffer. You are right, the the aero-shaped bars transmit more of the road feel than the setup on the Emonda. Additionally, the bars on the Emonda are not the stiffest bars I've ever ridden, which I think would dampen the sensation. The Emonda isn't noodly (it's actually quite lively, I would say), but there's definitely a difference in how they feel.
Regarding the rear of the bike, the Emonda does feel noticeably livelier and stiffer. I don't know what level Madone you were riding (I have the H2, 600-series carbon frame), but I think the IsoSpeed on the Madone 9's was more akin to what was available on the first-gen Domanes and Boones (pivot) rather than the later editions, which had the entire seattube (personally, I don't like riding my Madone on the trainer - I feel like it moves too much, unnecessarily). On the road, the Madone does a good job of muting a lot of the road buzz, which the Emonda doesn't do. The Emonda definitely transmits more of the road feel (which isn't a bad thing - except when riding on rough Texas chip-seal roads, which can be a killer). I'm not complaining about the Emonda, at all. I'm actually quite happy with it, but it feels different.
Overall, if I'm doing a long ride in Houston, where it's completely flat, I'm riding my Madone. Once I head to Central Texas, I'm taking the Emonda. Either way, I'm going to be happy with my choice.
Now... time to find some deals on some used Di2 components.
The isospeed on last year’s madone was really nothing like the isospeed on the older Domanes, in that is was still two separate pieces, with a solid piece of frame on the Madone tied to the top tube and the bottom bracket with a pivoting (on the bushing) levered seat tube inside, pushing up against an elastomer bushing. A tube within a tube if you will. Whereas the older Domanes, and similarly like my Koppenberg, very simply has the bushing going right through the seat tube allowing both pivot and flex of the entire seattube/seatstays on through the top tube. I think it’s their best, and simplest design.
Yeah, but for sure from my testing the Emonda SL against the Madone, using similar setups where it matters most (wheels), the Madone was in no way more comfortable. Maybe the “comfort” differences were due to the lighter, stiffer, higher modulus carbon used in your Emonda SLR versus your H2 Madone, and the SLR’s overall lighter weight in general. I would expect it to feel much more “alive and sprightly” than the Madone. In fact, that’s what we were trying to remedy with the Madone, along with the braking... a kind of dead feeling with ENVE 6.7’s. But I guess at the end of the day, we ride what we like, whatever that might be.