Madone 6.9 Pro: top of the range model
Doesn’t look bad at all
Last week in a Milwaukee art museum, Trek pulled the cover off the new Madone. First launched in 2003, the Madone has had a significant make-over – this isn’t just a face-lift and some new paint – they’ve started from scratch to develop an all-new bike to thrust the Madone back into the spotlight from which it strayed when Lance Armstrong retired.
On hand to whip the covers off the new Madone was Lance himself, winner of seven Tours de France and influential in the design and development of the previous Madone. The new design makes quite a visual departure from the previous, and perhaps most crucially of all
reveals Trek’s adoption of a sloping top tube design.
With two years of development time, the new Madone sure packs some interesting features. The latest innovation is Net Molding, a process that shapes carbon fibre so precisely that subsequent machining isn’t necessary. This is evident in the bottom bracket and head tube where in-moulded bearing faces aren’t necessary. Instead the bearings can be placed directly onto the carbon, saving weight.
In a move similar to that already adopted by Cannondale and other companies for increased front end stiffness, the lower diameter of the steerer tube measures 1.5”. The bottom bracket is also an area of expansion. Abandoning the traditional 68mm bottom bracket width shell Trek have adopted a 90mm wide shell to allow them to use a wider (74mm) down tube – Trek claim 48% higher lateral stiffness. To achieve this wider bottom bracket shell (without increasing the Q-factor), Net Molding and Precision Fit Sockets place the bearings directly into the frame. With fewer parts needed, it’s also lighter.
Gone are the different grades of OCLV carbon previously designated as 55, 120 and 120GSM. Instead, OCLV Carbon Red, Black and White are the labels now applied to the differing grades of carbon, used in the three different frames available.. Size specific seat, lug and top tubes mean larger diameter top tubes on larger frames.
In another adoption of a growing trend there’s an integrated seat tube, but here it’s a half height design similar to that found on Scapin frames. Unlike other integrated seatpost designs however, a full range of adjustment is possible with the seat ‘mast’. Three different setback seat masts (5, 10 and 20mm) are available so you can get the right fit.
Trek claim frame weights in the region of 250g lighter than the old design.
11 models will be available, and in three flavours. For the racers there’s the Pro Fit, sharing the geometry of the original Madone. Performance Fit has a 30mm taller head tube. Two WSD Fits are available for the girls.