Trek have unveiled the revamped Madone road bike platform, with the top-of-the-range 7-Series model to be ridden by Radioshack-Nissan-Trek at this year’s Tour de France.
We first spotted the revamped Madone at the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month but the new platform has now been officially launched in Belgium ahead of the Tour.
The headline figures? The Madone 7-Series features aero tube profiles borrowed from the Speed Concept time trial bike which, according to Trek, offers a saving of 25 watts at 40km/h, while frame weight for a size 56cm model is a feathery 750g.
“The next-generation Madones really came from a simple question: What makes a bike faster?” said Ben Coates, Trek road bike product manager. “And the answer is: everything. It has to be aero, it has to be light, and it has to be efficient, all with no compromise. And that’s what we’ve made with the new Madones.”
The new Madone uses Kammtail Virtual Foil (KVF) tube profiles on the fork blades, down tube, seattube and seatstays, which essentially means wide tubes, with a truncated airfoil shape but with the rear sliced off. “It’s like getting 25 free watts,” boasts Trek’s press guide.
The brake system has also been revamped in the name of aerodynamics. The front brake is integrated into the fork crown, with the rear brake removed from the seat stays and hidden below the chainstays in a design similar to many time trial bikes, as well as the Ridley Noah FAST unveiled last year.
Removing the rear brake from the seatstays, which now rise independent of each other, has, according to Trek, improved comfort and stiffness by ten per cent, while reducing weight as reinforced layers of carbon have been removed as there are no longer braking forces in the area.
The 7-Series Madone’s headline weight is impressive by any measurement. At 750g (for the top model) it is 165g lighter than the previous Madone (915g) – and you’d normally expect a frame which such an aero design to weigh in at more than 1,000g.
To achieve the lightest machine possible Trek are offering a new U5 Vapor Coat; a paint job which will add just 5g to your bike.
The new Madone uses the same S3 integrated chain catcher as the Domane which promises “flawless shifting on rough roads and under heavy loads”, while the refined internal cable routing is compatible with both mechanical and electronic groupsets. A Duotrap speed and cadence sensor is integrated into the chainstay and works with all ANT+ compatible computers, including Garmin, PowerTap and SRM.
The range-topping 7-Series model will be run by the Radioshack-Nissan-Trek team at the Tour de France and will available from July with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Bontrager Aeolus 3 wheels.
Thankfully, however, the new platform’s key technologies, including the Kammtail tube profiles and integrated brakes, will feature on the more affordable 6-Series and 5-Series ranges, each using a more inexpensive carbon layup to cut the cost.
Away from the Madone, the Trek Domane, which was launched earlier this year, will now be available in 5-Series, 4-Series, and 2-Series models, alongside the existing top-of-the-range 6-Series variants. All will feature the IsoSpeed seat tube/top tube pivot which serves to dampen road vibration.