Featured User Review: Trek Madone 6.9 Road Bike

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Featured User Review: Trek Madone 6.9 Road Bike
by pezzo33

Price: $7500.00 at Belmont Wheel Works
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5

Bike Setup:
Ultegra 10 speed gruppo. Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 Carbon clinchers. Bontrager RXL carbon blade bars and RXL alloy stem. Bontrager inform rxl Saddle. Vittoria tires, speedplay pedals, cinelli cork tape, Bontrager Node 2 computer

Summary:
WOW, simply WOW
So I have waited till I rode about 3000 miles on the bike, including a 600 mile, 7 day ride to write a review.

A little about my riding. I dont get out of the saddle often. I sit, spin, and hammer. Try to keep a 90-95 cadence in any gear, and always push hard. When on big climbs (think crawford notch, NH), I wont get out of the saddle till the steep parts, and if I get under 10 mph. I am relatively smooth, but do push the pedals hard.

My 6 series (project one, with a blue and white argyle paint job!) came in a bittersweet way. My 5 series project one Madone was stolen. I loved the 5 series, it was a good fit, light, responsive, and all LiveStrong colors!

With that being said, the 6 series blows away the 5 series in every single way.

Stability :(and this is in someway effected by component choice, I know). But the 6 series, downhill fast, in pacelines, feels SO much more solid and stable. 50+ mph descents with aero wheels, even with cross winds I did not feel twitchy. With the 5 series, over 40 mph, sometimes it felt twitchy, loose, and even scary. I would check the bike for a loose headset, or loose wheel bearings, because it did not feel stable (but it was just the bike)

The 6-series improves on this in every way. Rock solid through everything I threw at it.

Comfort : Yes, it is carbon. but it does not seem to beat you up. i am not a small rider (5’11”, 190-200 pounds), and the ride is comfortable. The 5 series almost seemed too stiff, where the 6 series is just SMOOTHER. With almost identical build kits, comparing long rides, I was less fatigued on the new one (the big ride I do is a 600 mile, 7 day Tour around New England, with huge climbs, through mountain passes, and along flats).

strength : (and I say this versus stability). it never feels wavey when hammering or climbing. Like I said, I am not that small. Where at times the 5 series felt broken (i would check for cracks in the bottom bracket, stays, etc, since it seemed to be wishy washy – technical term! haha), the 6-series is ALWAYS solid.

It somehow manages to be stiff, strong, light, and comfortable.

Overall, it is just a GREAT bike. I got the H2 geometry on this one (my last one was H1), so it is a ‘little’ more upright (countered by a negative rise stem with no spacers). I dont race anymore, and in my opinion, only racers should get the H1. it is aggressive. Dont be a hero, be comfortable!

it just feels like I never have to worry about anything on the bike. It is strong, all around great, and I am not worried about damaging it, hurting it, or changing my riding style at all.

The last thing, the integration of computer functions with the node computer is GREAT. The wireless sensor is built into the chainstay, and put a magnet on your crank. All normal cyclometer functions, plus the head unit uses the ANT+ standard, and covers cadence, reads the HRM strap, shows altitude, and more.

Strengths:
– unbelievable stability and strength
– multiple geometry options for each size (H1, H2, H3 with more/less aggressive positions)
– Ability to customize paint and components direct from factory (Project 1) – Example, I was able to pick a 12-26 cassette with standard cranks. 44cm bars versus 42cm, and the inform rvl saddle versus the new affinity one.
– Lightweight (carbon, duh)
-cost (yes, as a strength). it is a handbuilt, US frame with HIGH end carbon technology, and through project one, and the right component choices, you could built up the same frame for around $4000. value is there, even if not cheap.
– Node 2 integrated computer system (all wireless, built into chainstay, including cadence, HRM, altitude and more)

Weaknesses:
– cost (yes, a con too). Even though reasonable compared to other high end carbon frames, it is still a lot, and still out of the range of the normal cyclist.
– stock color pallete (I know, picky, but the stock colors were UGLY, part of why I got a project 1 so I could pick my own colors)
– some ‘suspect’ part choices if you get a stock one (high end Bontrager wheels and componets are great. some lower end stuff not as much, especially mis tensioned machine built base wheels. also Bontrager R4 tires wear very fast – and this is compared to Vittoria Open CX clinchers!)

in other words, it is hard to find a CON

Similar Products Used:
– Trek madone 5 series, Ultegra, Aeolus or ksyrium wheels, easton cockpit
– Lemond Arrive Ti, Ultegra, Ksyrium wheels
– Various other high end bikes, Giant TCR, Specialized E5 Festina replica, Multiple Cannondales, etc.

Reviews by community members are the foundation of RoadBikeReview.com. Share your experience with other cyclists by writing reviews for your bikes, gear, and other related accessories. You don’t have to be an expert – everyone’s opinion counts.

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About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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