New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (13)

Right off the bat, Trek is calling their new Madone the “ultimate race bike.” That’s a big claim for sure, but one that Trek doesn’t take lightly. We’ve seen a number of new aero bikes flood the market recently, but for the Madone Aero is only part of the story. In order to be the Ultimate race bike, it needs to be comfortable for the long haul. It also needs to work with all of the latest component systems in a way that is both user friendly and aerodynamically efficient. There is a lot of hype surrounding the new Madone, but does it live up to it’s billing as the Ultimate Race Bike? You be the judge after the break…

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (11)

Trek Aerodynamics new madoneNew Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (11)

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (12) New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (7)

Starting with their signature OCLV carbon fiber, the Madone frame makes use of the latest Kammtail Virtual Foil tube shapes to make it the most aerodynamic Madone yet. Essentially tricking the wind into thinking it’s a full aerodynamic profile, KVF tube shapes are becoming fairly common in bicycle design as they allow for a very stiff, yet aerodynamic frame. According to the Madone White paper (which you can read below) the new Madone is among the fastest of the aero bikes tested, especially at high yaw angles. To make the bike as fast as possible aero touches extend down to the dropouts with molded carbon hoods over the quick releases.

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (8)

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (10) New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (1)

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (5)

Even though the Madone isn’t quite as slippery as the Cervelo S5 at 0 degree yaw, the relatively low drag numbers at the front of the bike can be attributed to the KVF fork as well as the new aero cockpit and integrated front brake. Using a one piece bar/stem combo which seems to be par for the course with aero bikes lately, the Madone is able to hide all of the cabling, electronics, etc in an aerodynamic package that integrates with the frame. The completely invisible cable routing continues down to the direct mount brakes which hide the cable assembly with articulating Vector Wings. We can’t speak for how easy it is to service, but it certainly looks clean. Continuing with the integration theme, the bar/stem is Blendr compatible for clean mounting of computer head units.

Control center new madone

The cable system continues with the Control Center located at the front end of the down tube. When running mechanical drivetrains the Control Center houses barrel adjusters, but when running electronic drivetrains this is where the battery will be stashed into the down tube.

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (6)

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (4) Asset_338843

While we expected the new Madone to include an impressive aero package, the inclusion of an IsoSpeed Decoupler is a bit of a surprise. Called Madone IsoSpeed, the system differs from previous iterations of the design using a tube-in-tube construction. The ideas is that this allows the inner tube to flex independently of the outer aero shell so as not to upset the aerodynamics. Going by the numbers provided by trek, the result is a frame that is 57.5% more compliant than its (unnamed) nearest competitor. Having ridden Trek’s IsoSpeed design on other bikes, this isn’t that hard to believe.

The back of the seat tube also houses two new addition to the frame – the Micro Adjust seat mast, and centerpull rear brake. Now with a male seat mast cap that slides into the female seat tube, the seat post height is adjusted with a two bolt slider mounted on the outside of the seat tube. while the seat mast retains the single bolt from the side to clamp to the saddle rails, the pitch of the saddle is now adjusted with a secondary clamping bolt located at the back of the post head. The separate fore/aft and tilt adjustments should still be easy to use but won’t allow the saddle to slip under big hits.

Keeping with the invisible cable system, the rear brake uses a centerpull design with the brake cable popping out of back of the seat tube. Again, no word on how user friendly the cabling system will be, but if aero is your goal the Madone seems to deliver.

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (5)

New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (7) New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (9)


New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (3) New Trek Madone Aero road bike 2016 (1)

To be sold in Trek’s most aggressive H1 fit as well as H2 which will better fit most of the average Joes, Trek is also offering a WSD Madone from the top level 9.9. There will also be a Race Shop limited build in a frameset, and H1 and H2 fit if a bright red pro level build is right up your alley. Of course the Madone will be available through Project One as well so you can tune your bike to your liking before it ever ships. All of the new technology will be available on the Madone 9 series frames and 9.2 and up complete builds, while the Madone 2 through 7 series will continue with the previous designs. Pricing starts at $4,729.99 for the 9 series H2 frameset, and $6,299.99 for the complete Madone 9.2 up to the top shelf Race Shop limited build at $13,649.99.

Madone Whitepaper


  1. Those are clearly air brakes. Trek realized when making the bike aero, they could also make the bike unaero, reducing wear on carbon rims.

  2. I still can’t comprehend H2 geometry on all but the “race team” bike for this style of bike.

    How much slower does 30mm less drop make you. I want to know seriously, I bet it’s a lot. When comparing grams of drag. We all know body position make more of a difference than the bike does.

  3. This new Madone falls somewhere between a feat of engineering and work of art, but the more I look at it, the more it seems like I’d need to keep a mechanic on retainer. LOL

    Disclosure: I love my Domane.

  4. I’m ignorant of IsoSpeed, but that removes *all* triangulation from the frame. Of COURSE it increases ‘compliance’!

  5. Eric,
    the frame is still fully triangulated, the inner seatpost is no longer bound by that triangulation and its resultant stiffness. It’s neat, especially considering the relatively low weight. The weight alone was difficult to come by just a few years ago, now it can be achieved with a fully integrated aero bike that has a double seatpost.

  6. I don’t get it: Do you roadies really care about performance data or simply which bike looks cooler? Judging by the comments, a bike that performs better would be trumped simply by one that looks better.

    Which reminds me of why people get those Jones Bicycles…all form and no function, save for striking up conversations at the trailhead while drinking bitter beers.

  7. Except Jones bikes have been praised for its handling and comfort by pretty much everyone who has had a chance to ride one.

  8. Seriously, if you buy one of these bikes, consider making a sincere gesture of thanks to the mechanic who spent his or her entire day putting it together. A six pack isn’t going to cut it anymore, unless perhaps it’s a six pack of Macallan single malt.

  9. Amen @bikeduder! Bike mechanics have been getting paid far too much for far too long! Those fat cats have been just skating through life on free chain lube and a hefty salary while all of us hard working Cat 3’s have to pay like $20 just to avoid getting our fingers dirty fixing our own flats! Not any more. It’s time to rise up against the high prices and tyranny of the local bike shop. It’s time to start fixing our own flats, replacing our own cables, and (gasp!) taping our own bars! It couldn’t be that hard, right? I mean, they’re just bikes…

  10. Pretty nice looking ride overall but the rear brake area is anything but aerodynamic. I guess they’ll fix this in the next design iteration.

  11. I’m not a trek fanboy, but this bike has a lot going on and much better execution than the venge. I really like the looks of this new ride. I’ll make sure to comment to those racers who think this is going to make them better/ faster, esp when I’m passing them.

  12. Stampers- if this is anything like previous internally routed Treks, a kick in the nuts isn’t enough to make up for all the evil involved. That old TTX you had to basically strip to frame to change cables and housing? Yeah, f@*% that.
    Second, if you’re sort of short or really short, IsoSpeed is next to useless. I’m 5’8″, and I couldn’t really feal the decoupling, even seated, feet off the pedals, on the roughest pavement I could find. That said, this is the first vaguely interesting road bike from JB and company in a long time.

  13. um, we just built one of the 9.2 ( mechanical Ultegra) bikes up from scratch. It wasn’t bad at all. Routing the handlebar took some time, but seriously the rest of the bike was arguably easier than most other internally-routed road bikes. So…trolls can shutup now haha

  14. This bike is SO to close to the new Specialized Venge….the detail changes to make it more aero are too similar when you look at old Madone to new vs. old Venge to new. Someone let the cat out of the bag too early and one of these companies copied the other!!!!

    I was curious why in the wind tunnel test why Trek did not test the Venge!!! But I found my answer in Trek’s attached white paper. “we did not test the Specialized Venge during this trip based on data collected from previous test that showed it was not a leader in aerodynamics.”

    I’d have to say Trek did an excellent job documenting their process. I searched Specialized for their documentation “white paper” of their process and could find none. Plus I do have to agree that the new Venge appears more “clunky” and appears to have had less time/thought put into it compared to the new Madone. I can only hope that Karma will help the true innovators win in the Tour.

  15. H1 geometry !!! Very very good. !!!
    The First good Bike with 2 geometry – Fantastic Trek

    Now still with Disk Brake and this Bike would my Bike

  16. The bike sounds great but… No H1 geomtry except in the most expensive solutions ? That’s dumb. It’s a race bike or it’s not ? Racers are the wealthiest people ? Nonsense.
    Second i like the “bright red race” paint job but full bike offering are so sad in look. All this black 🙁
    Looks like i will have no choice but to find a bright red frame on ebay in 2 years.

  17. That is the nicest looking road bike I have ever seen. Trek is just killing it across all their lines this year.

  18. So… some of you folks think that your local bike guy makes a bundle of bucks to work on your bike. After I retired from my real job in 1999, I started working at my local bike shop building new bikes just for fun. I started at $8 bucks an hour four years later I topped out at $8.50 an hour at that first shop. When it became a Performance store nothing changed. Then I worked at another LOB and got paid by the bike. $10.00 each plus $5.00 per derailleur. So I could make $20.00 a bike.

    I wound up at one of the 5 Trek stores in my area and spent 4 years working for $10.00 an hour, when ever I would ask for a 50 cent raise, I would get the old speech about how hard it was to just make a profit on each bike from the manager. I left that shop after four years, I decided that I would not work after I turned 72. I do know that some of the guys made $20.00 or so an hour, but no one ever really talked about how much they made. Also every one of them worked hard and did their best to put out a good repair or build. I always built the bike I was working on as if I were going to ride or buy it my self. The price you pay for service is just the cost of the guy who worked on your bike, but some of the cost goes toward just keeping the shop up and running. IE: rent, healthcare, store repairs and other employees, etc.

    I enjoyed every person that I worked with over those years, and I continue to look some of them up and catch up on how their lives are going. None of those guys are ever going to be able to buy a house or a new car or even afford the very bikes they work on. And yes it can take an entire day to build up some of those fancier bikes. Aero and TT bikes are the worst. So if you think that you are paying to much for the service you get, learn how to do your own work on your bike.

  19. For all the H1 whiners, P1 will be coming out (August? when these will probably be available anyway) since you hate the paint job so bad, you get to pick your own.

    As for working on it, just the font end seems complicated. The rear brake runs straight through the top tube nice and easy unlike the Venge. That control box seems relatively simple to work with and functional.

    Front brake ‘fairing’ just helps for the steer tube to turn when at low speeds. If you’re using the ‘fairing’ (vector wings) it means you’re not going fast enough.

  20. LBS do not make much money and you don’t make much money working at them. I am the store manager at one and trust me I could make a lot more somewhere else in a different industry. I would nearly be in poverty. So unless your LBS has multiple locations, the mechanics aren’t making much. Support your LBS.

  21. Typically the more locations a shop has, the less they get paid. BikeVillage/Performances of the world top out at 10-12 dollars an hour. That’s not even a living wage. Typically you still qualify for food stamps.

    After 7 years, I’m making enough to not qualify for food stamps.

  22. I would like to hear how this process of copying of other companies is supposed to happen from the people claiming it. Considering a very large testing process is done before, and then design, and then making molded, testing, revisions, final product and marketing prep- bike production takes months or years, not weeks.

    It’s much more likely that Trek and Specialized arrived at similar designs because that design is a better one! Its the same reason cars are all shaped like jelly beans now. That shape is the most aerodynamic. Car companies aren’t copying each other. I can imagine them after the testing and design process saying “Shit, this looks like the Venge. How can we make it different so it doesn’t look like we’re copying them?”

  23. I don’t think Trek / Spesh / Scott / Giant actively copy each other – of course they keep an eye on what each other are doing but the big companies have as many lawyers as designers and any outright copying would draw a quick lawsuit. Remember when Mike Sinyard sued a coffee shop because it had ‘Roubaix’ in the name??

    What they do have is a lot of the same CAD tools ( I think SolidWorks is the lead package, also BikeCAD). That will lead to similar designs based on similar inputs.

  24. Per Cervelo and and Specialized, 20 percent of a bikes drag is secondary to the handlebar. Given there is a radical handlebar design here, I wonder how much better alone the frame is compared to the S5 or the Venge. Also which Cervelo S5 did they compare this frame to, the old or he new S5? Interestingly, the Cervelo given the traditional brakes has better aerodynamics at 0 degree. Given the frontal profile of the new Venge Vais I would be interested in seeing wind tunnel comparisons head to head. The Vais comes out to be a better deal given the power meter included with the bike.

  25. A point for those comparing the Venge and Madone – The Bike Radar reviews of the Madone and Venge show that the Madone is fully 2lbs lighter than the new Venge. Given that they are both built with nearly the best of everything (and are so proprietary), the only meaningful weight loss available to them is going to tubular wheels/tires so regardless of what else you change, that difference stays.

    2 lbs.

    While the Madone is costly in it’s highest trim, there are less expensive versions, as well as the option to order via P1 and get it built the way you want it.

    As for H1 vs. H2, have a look at the H2 geometry compared to other brand’s racing bikes. You’ll find it head tube and stack measurements rcloser to bikes like the Tarmac and C’dale Evo, not endurance bikes.

  26. Bike radar article weighs a 52 without pedals and cages vs the Vais article which is for a compete bike in 56. Weight is probably not 2 pound difference as the Vais also has a power meter. Won’t know unless you compare similar sizes and maintain consistency with pedals and cages.

  27. Interesting “women’s” version of this bike. They didn’t even bother shrinking it…they just took the smaller men’s sizes and pinked it…slap a women’s saddle on it and VOILA…

  28. I rode it and suggest you do too. It rides great, with none of the rear end mushiness of the Domane in the corners (sorry Fabian). Light and quick and stable. Rides even a little better than my Emonda SLR! Good in the hills. Very stiff. I will use a different wheel though. Bontrager wheels suck for heavy riders. I think this is the best aero all around bike, not an aero bike only for crits.

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