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Trek Madone Gets More Affordable with All-New SL Gen 7 and RSL Aero Bar

While still expensive, the new bike is thousands less.
Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 full
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Want to go fast for less? Trek’s new Madone SL Gen 7 looks to deliver SLR performance at a (much) lower price point. The new Madone SL Gen 7 frame looks nearly identical to the SLR, with only a few tweaks and a brand new RSL Aero Bar.

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 MadoneSL-Crimson-Straight-On

The question is: Do you want a Trek Madone SL Gen 7 for $2550 less than the SLR Gen 7, or do you really need to save 300g?

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 front end

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 — Frame details: 

The Trek Madone SL Gen 7 has (almost) all the bells and whistles of the Madone SLR and is available at nearly half the price. 

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 madone logo

What are the bells and whistles? The Trek Madone SL Gen 7 frame takes cues from the Madone SLR, including the new IsoFlow design. This unique hole in the frame’s seat tube replaced the IsoSpeed damping system on the previous Gen 6 version. 

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 look through

The new IsoFlow system still provides some vertical compliance, but more impressively, it eliminates excess weight and is a claimed 60 secs faster per hour over the Gen 6 model. 

The slippery frame combines a refined Kammtail (Kammtail Virtual Foil) shaping for the tubes and a new narrower handlebar. Trek claims the new narrower bar/stem saves 9.7w alone, not including the frame aerodynamics.

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 bars

The Madone SLR arrives with the RSL bar stem combo, and the Trek Madone SL Gen 7 mimics that with an all-new RSL Aero bar. 

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 RSL bars

All-New Bontrager RSL Aero Bar

The new Trek RSL Aero bar is a narrow road bar aimed at creating a slippery front end without the fixed limitation positioning of a bar/stem combo.

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 head on

It’s shallow (124mm drop) with an 80mm reach and a slight flare in the drops. The top of the RSL Aero bar is narrow, 3cm narrower at the tops vs. the drops.

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 riders view 39cm bars

Trek measures the RSL Aero bar from the tops, so finding your size can be tricky if looking aftermarket. For example, a 42cm wide bar is 42cm wide at the drops, which means the tops where the shifter mount are 39cm.   

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 MadoneSL-Crimson-Material-Logo

Q: So What’s Different? A: Carbon 

The new Trek Madone SL Gen 7 uses 500 Series OCLV carbon fiber, Trek’s middle-tier carbon. The SLR uses 800 series OCLV carbon for maximum weight reduction. You can also find the more robust 500 series on the Trek CheckPoint SL and Domane SL.  

The frame bits remain the same (excluding the carbon) and they include a T47 threaded bottom bracket and proprietary seatpost. The seatpost wedge assembly is reversible to allow for a larger range of saddle height adjustment on a single seatpost. The stock seatpost is a 0° offset, but aftermarket 20mm offset versions are available from Trek. 

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Geo

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Geometry 

The Trek Madone SL Gen 7 uses the same race-oriented H1.5 geometry as the SLR. H1.5 is Treks Pro-Tour level race geometry, but it’s not point-and-shoot. Most roadies should find the steering and corning precise but manageable. 

The sizing covers an extensive range, starting with 47cm and growing to 60cm. The seat tube shaping can make for some challenges, so there are two different seat masts, one with a length of 150mm (short) and 200mm (Tall). The geometry chart above shows the minimum and maximum saddle rail height with both options for every size. Bike sizes 47-54 will ship with the short post installed, and bikes 56-60cm will get the tall. 

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Madone SL7 crankset

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Specs: 

The new Trek Madone SL Gen 7 comes in two 12-speed Shimano builds: SL7 with Ultegra and SL 6 with 105. Though the groups and price structure change accordingly, a few specs remain the same throughout. SL 7 and 6 come with the cockpit, the new Bontrager RSL Aero-OCLV Carbon bar, and the RCS Pro – 7° stem.  

For tires, both roll on Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite 120 tpi, 700x25c treads. The 25c tires are narrow compared to most modern road specs but ride well after setting up tubeless. The R3 Hardcase tires are a great mix of high performance with real-world puncture protection, though we prefer the 28c version. 

For saddles, the Madone SL Gen 7 comes with the Bontrager Aeolus Comp. We reviewed the Aeolus a while back, and it remains one of our favorites for road riding.

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 MadoneSL7-24-41467-B-Accessory1

The Aeolus Comp uses steel rails, making it more cost-effective in the spec but keeping the same shape as the Aeolus Pro and Elite — Plus you can use all your Bontrager BlendR compatible accessories.

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 MadoneSL6-24-41466-B-Primary

Trek Madone SL 6 Gen 7 

  • Groupset: Shimano 105 Di2 12-speed, 105 50/34 chainset and Shimano 11-30, 12-speed cassette
  • Wheels: Bontrager Aeolus Elite 50, OCLV Carbon, Tubeless Ready
  • Weight: 8.40 kg / 18.52 lbs* Size 56
  • Paint: Deep carbon smoke + Crimson
Trek Madone SL Gen 7 MadoneSL7-24-41467-B-Primary

Trek Madone SL 7 Gen 7

  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2 12-speed, Ultegra 52/36 chainset and Ultrgra 11-30, 12-speed cassette
  • Weight: 8.00 kg / 17.80 lbs Size 54 (tested, real weight out of the box)
  • Wheels: Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51, OCLV Carbon, Tubeless Ready
  • Paint: Dark carmine red + Plasma

Trek Frameset SL7 

  • Frame, fork, and seat post only 
  • Color: Dark carmine red
Trek Madone SL Gen 7 MadoneSL-Crimson-ISO-Flow

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Pricing:

  • Trek Madone SL 6 Gen 7: $5,499.99
  • Trek Madone SL 7 Gen 7: $6,499.99
  • Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Frameset: $3,799.99

Trek Madone SL Gen 7 Availability: 

The new Trek Madone SL Gen 7 is available online and from your local Trek Dealer. The Madone SL Gen 7 is not yet available for Trek Project One paint, but stay tuned… 

Look back for a full review as we take the Trek Madone SL7 Gen 7 through the paces this fall. 

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16 Comments
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jspier
jspier
10 months ago

Could you possibly expand on the 300g increase in weight between SL and SLR options?

Are you referencing a frame-only figure or comparing similarly equipped completed bikes? As such, does it include the proprietary seatpost, or handlebar/stem – none of this is known from your article.

Whatever the case, a listed frame weight would add a lot of useful info to this article.

Gary P
Gary P
10 months ago
Reply to  jspier

300g must be the frameset. According to the Trek website, the difference between an complete Ultegra-level SL and SLR gen-7 Madone is 0.52 kg.

Last edited 10 months ago by Gary P
Andrei Kasaev
Andrei Kasaev
10 months ago
Reply to  jspier

I second this question!

Dirt McGirt
Dirt McGirt
10 months ago

We’re really testing the limits of the word “affordable”

Fig Ciocc
Fig Ciocc
10 months ago
Reply to  Dirt McGirt

Road cycling is now purely for rich white men these days. Not like back when Lance was winning and people from all sorts of socioeconomic groups got excited and would buy a trek 1.1 to do group rides. Now it’s all people on 5000+ dollar bikes scowling in pastel kit who show up to the ride in their leased Audi. I have a BMW so I’m superior to them though.

Last edited 10 months ago by Fig Ciocc
Dinger
Dinger
10 months ago
Reply to  Fig Ciocc

There are plenty of very competent aluminum bikes available for a fraction of what this costs, similar to the Trek 1.1 you cite. I agree with Tom below, if you think all road cycling is white men on $5k+ plus bikes then you’re probably not a participant yourself.

Velo Kitty
Velo Kitty
10 months ago
Reply to  Fig Ciocc

Ummm… Caucasians rank pretty far down in a list of ethnicities in the US ranked by household income.

DefRyder
DefRyder
10 months ago
Reply to  Dirt McGirt

Agreed, though I somewhat applaud Trek’s effort to make the new Madone SL at least more competitive price-wise. I could be wrong but a similarly spec’d Madone SL 7 undercuts Giant’s Propel Advanced SL & Specialized’s Tarmac SL8 Pro by at least $1500 or more.

Still significantly higher than Canyon’s mid-tier Aeroad.

Tom
Tom
10 months ago
Reply to  Dirt McGirt

hey, if you want to have instant gratification with the latest hardware, be prepared to pay for it. My road bike cost me $4500, my last one about the same. Just be patient, look for deals, buy used stuff where possible, and it can get done for not an insane amount of money

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
10 months ago

Applause for a slipper cockpit without the limitations of one-piece bar/stem combos (although those do look purty).

Tom
Tom
10 months ago

Generalize much? you boys obviously don’t get out much. My big group ride is majority black/hispanic, with a mix of professionals, landscapers, contractors, bus drivers etc.

Velo Kitty
Velo Kitty
10 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Yeah, one has to wonder if the commenter that implied that cycling is full of racists is even a cyclist.

David
David
10 months ago

FYI the spec for the tires are nontubeless. Whoever is riding the bike better have a good life insurance policy.

John
John
10 months ago

If you’re the type that builds custom (because like building a pc it saves money), the 300g is worth $800

Last edited 10 months ago by John
Dinger
Dinger
10 months ago
Reply to  John

If you’re building with new parts, building a frame set up is usually more expensive.

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