Strengths: It's light, comfortable & it climbs well.
Weaknesses: The paint & the chainstays are fragile.
I'm reviewing the 2011 Madone 5.5 with full SRAM Force.
The original frame had a cracked non-driveside chainstay out of the box. The box was damaged and Trek sent a replacement. After about 18 months & 6,000 miles, I was riding with a friend. He ran over a rock that shot sideways and hit my bike noticeably. I didn't think too much about it at first but the next day I noticed cracks in the clearcoat about 3" in front of the rear derailleur on the drive side chainsaws. It felt a little spongy but it was hard to tell if the carbon was damaged. I tapped on the stay with a drill bit and heard ting, ting, ting & then a thud at the damaged spot. The LBS submitted a claim but Trek denied it saying it was crash damage. Trek offered me a discounted crash replacement frame. I declined as my confidence in Trek has been shaken.
I was apprehensive about buying a carbon bike & my fears came to fruition. The good news is that I was able to have the frame repaired for a few hundred dollars so it's not a total loss. Over the course of the 18-months, I also noticed several random & sizeable paint chips that had no apparent cause. All-in-all, I'm not sure if I'd ever but another carbon bike but I don't think I'd buy another Trek.
The bike does rides nicely although the ride is somewhat muted by the carbon. I'm not sure if that's a carbon thing or if it's related to this model. It's more compliant than the aluminum bikes I've ridden.
Similar Products Used: Giant OCR, Ciocc Com 12.5, Ritchey Road Logic 2.0
Bike Setup: Stock
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2012
Strengths: This bike is light, quick, and responsive.
Although this was my first road bike, it is far from being an entry level bike. I'm 60 years old and I won't be buying any more bikes. So, I did want to compromise. I got an excellent deal because I bought my 2011 as the 2012 models were being rolled out.
This bike is fast and handles great. It's comfortable to ride because of the carbon frame, carbon handle bars and relaxed geometry. The Duo Trap sensor is built into the chain stay and neatly out of the way. I love the SRAM Force components. Trek did a good job with the specifications for the 5.5 Madone. It looks terrific and it's fun to ride. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to do some serious riding or if you just enjoy riding a quality machine.
Strengths: Light weight,
Super stiff bottom bracket (I'm a sprinter, and I can't feel any flex),
Internal cable routing.
Weaknesses: Heavy wheel set,
High rolling resistance tires,
Weird saddle adjustment mechanism (Trek needs to work on this).
I'm reviewing the 2011 Trek Madone 5.5
This bike is fantastic. A rocket on wheels.
I've had the bike for about two weeks. I've only logged 250 miles, because it will not stop raining.
The bike comes with a full Sram Force drivetrain, compact (50/34).
This bike is a sprinters dream. I stomped on the pedals, and it took-off like I was shot out of a canon.
It climbs very well, but I've never been a good climber. Actually, I suck at climbing, and I always get dropped.
The compact gearing really helped me, and I was able to stay with my friends on the last couple of climbs. If you are a good climber, this bike might be magical.
I did some upgrades, which I will describe in the "Bike Setup" portion of this review.
Overall, I love this bike, and I'm looking forward to logging many miles this year.
If you live in Silicon Valley, and are in the market for a new Trek, go to Chain Reaction Bikes, in Los Altos, CA. It's the best service I've ever (EVER) had!
Ask for Amy or Steve, or any of their employees (all of them are great). They are very professional, super friendly, and will work with you to setup your bike to the way you want it. You will not be disappointed!
Strengths: Groupset, Quality of the frame and forks, Build quality including the selection of components upon the bike is outstanding.Just superb in every way.
Weaknesses: None found so far. Hope never to be dissapointed.
This is without doubt the quickest and most accomplished bike i have ever had the pleasure of owning. Only had for 2weeks but already it has changed my riding style and ability. I am a mountain bike rider by heart, only buying the bike for my journey to and from work and to increase my power and stamina. Now i am quite happy to think of myself as a road rider also. The bike is outstanding in every way. From the ability of the frame to soak up the road vibrations to the amazingly accurate groupset and kit. Nothing pleases me better than to be able to write this review. The bike is so outstanding in the bends it feels stuck to the tarmac, climbing and descending the hills gives more than enough feedback to allow you to push that little bit more than usual.
Possibly a more standard spoke pattern would benefit me during these wintery months but it is not stopping me and they have remained almost true. Innovations like the shaped sleave replacing the seatpost and the wider bottom bracket width give the bike fantastic ridgidity but don't result in unneeded vibration or discomfort. Bontrager kit works well and feels of a solid build, this coupled with the dura- ace groupset gives me the impression that this bike is going to win races and the hearts of many a rider.
Coupled with the fantastic service and set up advice i received from my local shop, this is becoming one of the best purchases i have ever made. Thanks to Trek for their continued improvements and innovations. Thanks also to Ride Cycleworks for their outstanding service.
Bring on the summer months so i can ride longer and safer.