Spy shots: Trek Madone 7 breaks cover at Criterium du Dauphiné

Trek have already had one major bike launch this year when the Domane was unveiled ahead of the Tour of Flanders, now, with the Tour de France looming, the new top-of-the-range Trek Madone 7 has broken cover.

The Domane’s IsoSpeed technology, which separates the seat mast from the top tube to reduce vibration, made for an ‘endurance’ machine for taming the cobbles of northern France and Belgium – but aero is the name of the game with the Madone 7, currently being ridden by the Radioshack-Nissan-Trek team at the Criterium du Dauphiné.

The Criterium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse, which starts on Saturday, don’t only present riders preparing for the Tour de France with the opportunity to fine-tune race form, but also to test new equipment ahead of the most important race of the year.

Take a look at the picture of Hayden Roulston above; where’s the rear brake? The Madone 7 borrows technology seen on time trial bikes for a few years now, hiding the rear brake underneath the bottom bracket, thus removing it from the seat stays. It’s not a new concept on road bikes (Ridley unveiled the Noah FAST last year, which houses the rear brake under the bottom bracket, with the front brake integrated with the fork), but it marks a continued shift in bike design trends, with BMC expected to unveil a similar machine soon.

At the front end, the brake is integrated thanks to a head tube which extends out of the fork crown. The Madone 7 uses the new integrated aero brakes unveiled as part of the revamped Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 groupset last week, which were designed to use with drop ‘bar brake levers on any with the dual bolt brake mount standard, as well as time trial/triathlon frames.

Details on the rest of the bike are unconfirmed, with the official launch scheduled for later this month ahead of the Tour’s opening prologue in Liege, Belgium, although we know the tube profiles are of the KammTail variety, so expect wide tubes with the back end lopped off and tapered edges. We’ll bring you full details when they’re announced.

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