Trek have unveiled their model year 2015 line-up, which sees the Madone range pared back significantly and the Emonda take centre stage. The Domane line-up also has an expanded selection of five disc-equipped machines.
The long-standing Madone has been Trek’s flagship since it first launched in 2003, and the frame received an aero overhaul in 2012, before going on a diet last summer, to reach its current iteration.
But while the 2014 Madone line-up started with the aluminium-framed 2-Series bikes, before a range of 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7-Series carbon fibre-framed machines, the model year 2015 line-up, revealed at the firm’s annual Trek World dealer show at Silverstone, will include only 2-Series and 7-Series bikes, following the launch of the super-light Emonda earlier this month.
The thinking, according to Trek, is that the arrival of the new frame means they have the three key bases covered – weight with the Emonda, aerodynamics with the Madone and comfort with the Domane – but, for most consumers, low weight takes on a greater significance than improved aerodynamics.
“We now have three road platforms which will suit three different types of rider,” Trek UK’s Chris Garrison told RoadCyclingUK. “Are they someone who just wants the lightest option they can get? Are they someone who wants the most aero option they can get? Or are they someone who wants to be able to maximise their efficiency and comfort for long-distance rides?
“Where the Madone fits into the range is that the 2-Series and 7-Series will still be available as aero bikes, but everything else will be replaced by the Emonda.”
Trek believe the average rider of, say, a mid-range Madone 5.2 is unlikely to maximise the benefit of an aero bike. Instead, it’s an out-an-out race bike for riders in that mould. “For people who are very race-focused and feel like an aero frame is going to give them a competitive advantage, there’s still a 7-Series option,” says Garrison.
“It’s not like we forgot everything we learned about aerodynamics when developing the Emonda, there’s still some aero consideration in there, but it’s definitely a weight-driven bike, not an aero-driven bike.”
Trek’s three-pronged approach is reflected in the WorldTour team to which it is title sponsor, Trek Factory Racing, and the bikes available to its riders. We saw all three machines – the Emonda, Madone and Domane – in action during the Grand Départ in Yorkshire, though the Emonda was the most popular. That, for example, is the machine of choice for Frank Schleck, while Jens Voigt – perhaps driven by a motivation to gain every aero advantage while in the break – prefers the Madone (we profiled the veteran’s machine yesterday) and Classics specialist Fabian Cancellara pulls the Domane, a bike he helped developed, from the mechanics’ truck each morning.
“I think the riders appreciate that their bike supplier isn’t forcing them to ride whatever the latest thing is,” adds Garrison. “If they think they have an advantage by riding a Madone then why would you take that away from them?”
So what about the rest of us? Trek World gave us the opportunity to take a closer look at the Emonda, Madone and Domane line-ups for 2015. We’ll take a look at a number of key models from each over the next three pages.