Another bike launch, another über integrated, wind cheating aero road machine hitting the market. This time it’s the gang from Trek who rolled out the latest iteration of its popular Madone. But this new bike shares little more than a name with its predecessor. Indeed, the steed that Trek is unabashedly calling the “Ultimate Race Bike” is a true aero roadster, something that was heretofore missing in the Waterloo, Wisconsin-based company’s line-up.
With the project, Trek engineers set out to create a bike that surpassed previous achievements in aerodynamic design and ride quality, enhancing it through a host of creative integrated designs. Here’s a part-by-part breakdown of the new Trek Madone, which will have its official WorldTour coming out party underneath members of the Trek Factory Racing team starting July 4 at the 2016 Tour de France.
Aero Tube Shapes
Trek continues to use Kammtail tube shapes, but says the new OCLV carbon Madone employs a revised KVF (Kammtail Virtual Foil) where truncated airfoil profiles lower drag of both frame and fork. The idea is that the virtual tail of the airfoil bends to respond to the angle of crosswinds. Other frame highlights include a more robust fork for increased lateral stiffness and more precise handling, and molded carbon dropouts that reduce weight.
Technology that debuted on the Spring Classics focused Domane endurance road bike, then was applied to the Boone cyclocross bike, has now made the leap to full on race machine. The new specially-tuned Madone IsoSpeed decoupler is fully integrated, maintaining efficient aerodynamics, while adding a measure of vertical compliance and smooth ride quality that you wouldn’t normally expect from an aero road bike.
To achieve the desired level of aero integration, Trek designed a unique tube-in-tube IsoSpeed decoupler, which allows the inside tube to move independently of the outer aero tube shape. Trek says this design makes the new Madone a whopping 57.5 percent more vertically compliant than its nearest competitor.