Just when you thought the Madone 6 series was expensive, along comes the the new Trek Madone 7 Series. The top-end for Madones, Trek has released a bevy of features in what they claim is the “fastest” road bike out there. They’re pulling out all the stops with a lighter, more aero frame, and better “feel.” What makes the new Madone 7 stand above the crowd? Well, it might float to the top at around 730 grams (frame size matters).
Oh So Aero
The new Madone is grounded in its Kammtail Virtual Foil (KVF) tube shape, which allows for lower drag and a new status as an aero road frame–in fact, Trek claims it will give you 25 free watts. Yup. The KVF uses less material, so it cuts weight while building on the aerodynamics. This “truncated airfoil shape” allows the wind to come off the back of the tube in a sweeping tail that moves according to the direction of crosswind. Which means, if it’s windy outside, you’ll feel less drag on the frame when you’re out riding. This KVF shaping is notably present in the head tube and fork–where you’ll also get more lateral stiffness for highly responsive handling.
Take a look at the seat stay–notice anything different? Oh yeah, no brake! Trek has hidden the rear brake under the chain stay for more aero gains while the front brake is recessed into the fork. By integrating the brakes in this way, the bike also drops weight because it now uses less mounting hardware. Crafty, eh? Trek has also removed the brake bridge on the seat stay; thereby, cutting even more weight and allowing for even more KVF aero space.
This Madone uses the new 700 series carbon–defense grade, and touted as the strongest and lightest material in the cycling industry. With every Madone series, you get different quality of carbon, and this one is no joke. The stiffness to weight ratio is raised noticeably (although not necessarily a lot on paper, but certainly in ride quality) from the older incarnations of the Madone. The 7-series gets the best attention, using the HexLS carbon fiber that allows for an equality in stiffness and strength. Hop on the 7-series and you will immediately feel the gains in stiffness and feel from the old 6-series.
Trek has basically been shaving weight here and there by completely integrating things like water bottles bosses and derailleur mounts to the carbon. It’s as though they’ve been cutting off little bits of the bike here and there to get the least amount of material possible. Trek has basically been looking at all the little points of contact for every piece of equipment and chucked anything that could add weight by molding them to the frame itself. They also want to keep zip ties or taped cables off your bike by giving you a battery pack mount for your Di2, and wider 7mm wide cable connectors (instead of 4mm) to allow for easier cable routing. Add to this the traditional DuoTrap cutout with a slot for your cadence sensor in the chainstay, and you shoulnd’t have much use for a zip tie. For you money, you also get an integrated chain keeper, so your K-Edge chain catcher will have to stay on your other bike.
- The Madone 7-Series runs from just over $7,000 all the way up to over $12,000 for the spiffy team series pictured above in the bright powder blue.
- Dura-Ace or Di2 components available for different prices plus 11-speeds
- Compact or Standard cranks–your choice
- Get it in the Project One for the ability to customize it exactly to your liking, which is pretty cool since you’re already spending the money.
- Available in the H1or H2 fits with WSD versions. The H1 offers a slightly more aero fit while the H2 has a more upright position with a taller head tube that eliminates the needs for spacer stacks (which can look rather lame 😉 )
If you’re out for a seriously fast, seriously light bike, this offers you with you an aero advantage and highly responsive handling. The stiffness on the bike is amazing with a truly smooth ride. If you are looking for a top-end racing bike–this could be your best choice.
But if a small weight advantage isn’t going to matter to you, consider a lower series Madone like the 6.5 at right around $4,000. You’ll get a high quality carbon bike with very similar features as the 7-series, but a few extra grams that probably won’t make any difference in your output.
Check out Trek’s website for a full breakdown of the Madone lineup. Heck, you might just find your next bike there. I almost bought a 6-series a few years back–before I decided on my Cervélo. Treks are pretty decent bikes–go to your LBS and ride one!
Planning on snapping up a 7-series? What made you choose it over other brands? Comment below!