Unveiled immediately prior to the prologue of the 2010 Tour de France, the Trek Madone 6.9 SSL takes Trek’s carbon technology beyond the level reached by its plain 6.9 predecessor, employing a new type of carbon fibre labelled HexSL to shave 100g without any change in the external shaping of the frame and fork.
Exclusive to Trek, HexSL matches the stiffness of high-modulus carbon fibres while offering some four times their strength and twice their elongation, or stetch before failure. This, in turn, allows the Wisconsin manufacture to match the performance figures of the previous frame while using less high-strength fibre, hence the weight saving.
In almost every other respect but for finish, the SSL, which is also offered as the 6.7 SSL model as part of the 6 series SSL range, is indistinguishable from the plain 6.9. That means, externally, the same internal cable routing, same “ride tuned” seatmast requiring an external seat cap with saddle clamp, same fork blade and tube profiles and same dropouts and, internally, Trek’s BB90 bottom bracket bearing format and the “asymmetric ” steerer tube, which is designed to help absorb road vibration.
The SSL frame is available in seven sizes with 2cm increments from 50cm to 62cm and in two “fits”: H1 and H2. Dialled for most pro riders and for those with exceptional pelvic rotation able to reach low set handlebars, the H1 has a 30mm shorter head tube than the otherwise identical H2 fit.
Equipped with Shimano’s Dura-Ace 7900 groupset, the SSL also wears finishing kit plucked from the Bontrager catalogue and comprising a full house of components wearing the XXX Lite badge. The saddle is Bontrager’s inForm Race X Lite model and tyres are Bontrager R4 clinchers.
Overall weight of the machine with steel axle pedals is 6.2kg. Four colour options including the Onyx Carbon/Silver/Platinum shown are offered from the Trek Project One Select Series at the quoted price, with further Signature Series colour finishes available through the Project One programme at extra cost.
First ride soon.
Trek Madone 6.9 SSL – £6750