Strengths: drive train puts the power into forward motion,and very comfortable ride
Weaknesses: just bought it 4 weeks ago ,so no assesment yet i only have 300 miles on it.so i may or may not find anything.maybe the tires
This is my second trek bike,so i may be a little bias, but compared to my old trek this bike is like going from mazda to a porche very smooth shifting ,great handling.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2012
Strengths: I, like other reviewers am an older recreational/touring cyclist who decided to do the warp speed conversion to carbon fiber. This bike has made me feel like a 25-year-old kid again! I still can't keep up with the kids, but like others have said, this bike simply urges you to go faster. I've always sought the hills, and the Madone is a dream come true: it begs to climb. I've ridden the bike nearly 2800 miles in four months with an elevation gain of 230K ft. and other than the obligatory 200-300 mile "new bike" tuneup, a set of tires, regular chain clean and lube, I haven't touched it. I only hope that my aging body will hold out long enough for me to enjoy riding until I drop.
Weaknesses: This is NOT a weakness, but rather the sharing of a simple solution to a "rattle" problem. One thing that really impressed me with the Madone was the very cool way the rear brake and rear shifter cables were internalized through the top and downtubes. Several custom framebuilders back in the day did this, and I always admired this touch. I'm pretty anal when it comes to creaks, rattles, and other annoying noises, and I become obsessed with a cure. This bike "rattled" when ridden on rough pavement (damned chipseal!!). I investigated the usual suspects: loose headset, brake lever bounce, loose wheel bearings, loose stem/handlebars, etc., all of which were solid, and I finally discovered that it was the rear brake and rear shifter cable housings chattering against the headtube, which they kiss as they wrap around it to their top/downtube insert slots. The simple solution was to cut pieces of moleskin and stick them onto the head tube where the cables contact = no more rattle!
Get on, click in, and RIDE! You won't want to stop.
Bike Setup: Left the stock saddle at the shop and replaced it with my "old butt" WTB. Added Shimano carbon pedals.
Date Reviewed: July 31, 2012
Strengths: Exceptionally light and rigid. Smooth gear shifting. Great seat position for recreational rider; fits my weight and height perfectly.
Weaknesses: It's expensive, but, if you can afford it, it's well-worth it.
As my first road bike purchase in 20+ years, I am -exceptionally- happy with my new 2012 Madone 5.2. I've done a bunch of treks on touring bikes, and think it's about time for me to step back into the world of road bikes. I am absolutely astonished at how far the technology has come in the last two decades.
As another reviewer put it, this bike feels as though it's got a hidden motor -- hills that were a slog for me on my old Specialized mountain bike are now a piece of cake; I can pedal about half the revolutions and coast up them if I want to. The bike asks to be ridden fast -- even at 80 rpm cadence, it wants more. I feel as though 99.99% of my pedal energy is being put into forward motion, absolutely amazing. Love it.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 27, 2012
Strengths: Light, responsive, and fast. Demands to the ridden hard!
Just returned from a 60 miler in the hills of Clermont, Florida after picking up my new Madone 5.2. I purchased the Chi Red/Trek White Madone and replaced the white tape and hoods with black. I upgraded to a Fi'zi:k Aliante saddle and Race X Lite wheels. Awesome looking bike!! The Madone exceeded my expections with climbing eagerness and the desire the be ridden fast. The carbon frame provided a smooth ride, yet a responsive ride. The 50-34 crank and the 11-28 cassette with the Shimano Ultegra components make a perfect combination for smooth climbing and fast riding. Brian and John Paul at Cycling Hub in Clermont, FL did an awesome job setting up the bike and fitting me for my new riding partner...The Madone! Ride Hard.....
Weaknesses: bearings started making noise after 30 miles, has stopped but I will keep an "ear" on them
I upgraded from a 2006 Trek Pilot 5.0 (carbon frame, ultegra crank and shifters) triple crank. First, I was concerned I would lose climbing ability going from a triple to compact crank. My wife is a VERY strong rider and I would always lose a lot of ground to her on steep hills. Not the case with the 2012 Madone 5.2. After 250 miles and some good hills I find this bike to be a climbing machine. I've been right with my wife on steep climbs. I also love the compact crank. I found that I seldom went to my big crank on downhill routes with my old triple crank.
The gears shift smoothly and quietly. Breaks are very responsive. The bike seems much lighter than my old Pilot. I also wanted a bike with internal cabling and Trek got it right with this design. I purchased the carbon/smoke color and I think the bike looks awesome. I like the sight of the raw carbon.
My early review of this bike is very high. I think the price of the bike is very reasonable when you look closely at the quality of the frame and components. I recommend the bike for serious recreational riders. On most weeks, I ride between 100-200 miles a week.