2013 Trek Madone 7-Series

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by wkwt

So my SSB (sickness of serial bikes) continues with this - a 2013 Trek Madone 7-Series, size 54cm. Just wanted to show you guys some pics and give initial thoughts and feedback. It is a Project One w/ one of the ready-to-wear paint jobs (kind of paradoxical actually) and the whole process took a month in case anyone was thinking of going this route. It is a 2012 Sram Red build w/ Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 clinchers and the rest Bontrager team issue type stuff -- nice finishes and befitting the frame I’d say.


I was enamored with how Trek took a Madone 6 and made it a little lighter and more aero while retaining stiffness. My take on the aero is this: I appreciate anyone taking 10 watts of pain away during a hard supra-threshold interval workout on, say, an indoor trainer -- 25 watts is more doubtful and anything in between is even more appreciated... The downtube, for being an aero piece, is massive -- that virtual airfoil is making a big-ass virtual wing :).

The weight was a bit disappointing, but not unexpected, in that it weighs exactly the same as my C’dale Evo Di2 -- 14.6 lbs with pedals and cages. The Red group should be much lighter than Di2, so it leads me to believe that barring large differences in the other components (which on paper there isn’t), the frame likely weighs in the upper 700’s to 800 grams, just speculating. It does really make me believe that Cannondale did a great job w/ the Evo frame/fork. Could probably get it closer to 14 lbs w/ a change of the Red rings, cut steerer tube, Duraace 9000 dual-mount brakes, and Aeolus 3 wheels for climbing...

The finish on the brakes is anodized black and is disappointing -- looks way too generic for the “new” tech it’s bringing to the table; I’d recommend the gloss white finish if anyone is going to get one of these frames. The lever feel is, as reported, a bit heavy on both sides and I would look to improve upon this w/ better cables, but braking power is awesome even w/ cork pads and no special brake track on the Bontrager wheels.

Initial road impressions are excellent. This is a tremendously smooth and comfortable bike, road dampening is fantastic and may even feel a bit isolating for some hardcore riders. It does seem like a bike I want to spend all day on. Stiffness in the bottom bracket and headtube is also massive; and handling through corners is precise and confident. More to report later.

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by Lou3000

Looks great. I think Trek really nailed it with that paint scheme (and last year's podium scheme on the Project One Speed Concept). Really clean looking.

by Weenie

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by jmilliron

Nice build.

Yeah, that's a really sweet paint scheme. Love it in these colors and several of the other options you can get through Project One.
2013 Wilier Cento1 SR || 2009 Ridley Crossbow || 2011 Yeti AS-R 5 Carbon

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by btompkins0112

Yeah....that bike is sick. I am between one of those and an Evo as my next bike.

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by shoopdawoop

The owner of the lbs and I where talking about the new 7 series at length today; we think were in love with it. Seems like a really quality design and you kit'd it up just like I would have. The only thing that I didn't like about the ones I had seen so far was the front fork boxyness but that special brake makes it look awesome.

:thumbup: two thumbs up for a great bike :thumbup:

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by trilocus

Wow!!!! I love this bike

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by fa63

Looks great; well done :thumbup:

This new Madone is really making me consider a Trek in the near future; I think it has such nice, clean lines. Plus a 58cm H2 fit frame would fit me like a glove.

Like that wasn't bad enough, I kind of want a Domane as well.. :shock:

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by milkbaby

Sweet bike! Can you compare and contrast the ride qualities between the Madone 7 and the Evo, please? Thanks!

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by wkwt

milkbaby wrote:Sweet bike! Can you compare and contrast the ride qualities between the Madone 7 and the Evo, please? Thanks!

All subjective and non-scientific, but one difference is in ride quality -- not that one is good or bad, just different; with the Madone seemingly a bit "smoother". The Evo always seems light under your feet whether cruising along or climbing and you couldn't tell its stiffness unless you really stomped on the pedals. The Madone feels rock solid with every pedal stroke, but not as tossable as I perceived the Evo to be -- this is a feeling you get with many aero bikes imo, which is not a bad thing, again just different. In exchange, you get that feeling of going fast and "slicing through the air" with this Madone; sounds like BS, but a characteristic shared with the best aero bikes I've ridden. Handling is not sacrificed in the Madone, though.

Style-wise the Madone is much, much slicker, imo -- a sports car. The Evo is a purist and a sleeper, and I've always thought the toptube and seattube profiles looked kind of odd. I will say that if weight with stiffness and value is your main priority, there simply is nothing better than what Cannondale have done. If stiffness, comfort, aero, component integration, with more than competent road bike manners is what you're looking at, then this Madone certainly will satisfy.

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by ronderman

Wish I could get some of the bikes you have.

I had an old 5900 Trek back about ten years ago - and never really dug it. A buddy of mine has the 6 series and we're the same size (i.e., 60cm). So for a week we traded bikes. To ensure I got the same feel I used my wheels on his frame - Mavic SLR. I was coming from a colnago C59.

I gotta say, I really didn't like the madone. I finally knew what people meant when they said "wooden" feel. The bike was plenty stiff, it was plenty fast, but it wasn't lively, spirited or even as comfy as the C59. Even the BB90 I didn't like.

I was bummed as I wanted to like the Madone - with a new team I have access to them again and was looking at maybe getting a build. After the test ride I cancelled that thought. My buddy, he flat out started looking for colnagos after riding mine.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.

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by wkwt

Did you try the 6.9SSL -- which I believe is different in carbon layup than even the other 6's...? Ride feel is subjective, but I'm more in agreement w/ this review from Bicycling Magazine (yes a lot of marketing, but the details provided make me think the writer did his homework):

Our editor in chief, Peter Flax, smirked. Our test director, Matt Phillips, stared at me. It was well known that I didn’t like Madones, not at all.

I appreciated them—and always had, even before the first one became commercially available in 2005. (We got to ride earlier models created specifically for Lance Armstrong’s Tour assaults beginning in ’03.) Even those initial Madones were, in comparison to the competition, stiff and efficient to a degree that was, for amateurs like me, nearly ludicrous. They were single-purpose bikes made to convert power into speed at any cost—even if it meant, I thought, excluding any hint of pleasurable ride quality. Madones were great at what they did, but they never did the things I demand from a high-end bike. They never enabled a conversation between me and the road, and never felt sprightly, or like a horse heading for home, or as if they were disappearing beneath me, or any of those other clichés of bike reviewing that turn out to be authentic ways of describing a bike that feels alive and possessed of joy (or fury).

All that changes with this version, the team issue for RadioShack-Nissan. It’s as speedy and precise as ever—and, finally, equally as fun. I rank the Madone among the best bikes I’ve ridden in more than 20 years of testing. Whether you call the quality compliance or liveliness, this edition of the bike has enough of it to create a ride that is far more interactive than reactive—you’re Red Pollard curved low over Seabiscuit rather than Dr. Strangelove clinging to a nuclear missile.

Reggie Lund, a composite engineer at Trek who worked on this bike and previous versions, agrees that this is the liveliest Madone (while also politely disputing­ my characterization of the earlier models). He says the effect I’m praising is the culmination of an evolution that began in earnest in 2008, when the in-house research-and-development team sharpened its focus on building in more compliance. Our test Madone, says Lund, uses a new fiber that lets the designers “play around with the laminate more than before.” He says the experimentation let them drop the weight of the frame about 5 percent, make the head tube a little stiffer, and increase stiffness at the bottom bracket by around 5 percent.

Somewhere amid all that quantifiable engineering, the magic occurred that can be felt only by a rider, the culmination of nearly infinite factors that turns a great bike into an unbelievable bike. The Madone 6.9SSL is confident, compliant, quick and fast, intuitive, all-day comfortable, smooth, sharp—and, by the way, fetching to the eye. We’re lucky to have it.—Bill Strickland

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by darkblue08

Nice bike, but you got the intervals backwards. It doesnt get easier, you just go faster :)

An aero bike doesnt change the watt you have to push during interval training, it doesnt change the pain.

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by NWSAlpine

The stock wheels suck and you must send them to me...

Love the design of these bikes. If I was in the market I would consider this same bike.

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by JWolf

If you could have regular non integrated brakes would you prefer that. I was thinking of a project one bike but am a bit worried about the bontager brakes.

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by wkwt

JWolf wrote:If you could have regular non integrated brakes would you prefer that. I was thinking of a project one bike but am a bit worried about the bontager brakes.

Not really, I like the idea of the integrated brakes. But its true, if you don't like the design, look, or function of these brakes you can't really get the frame. I am waiting for either the Duraace version which look nice and should be lighter, or a third party version in the future.

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by Weenie

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