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Hi everyone:

I'm a long-time mtn biker looking to get into the road biking scene. Obviously, I know I need to test ride, but does anyone have advice concerning which bike, the Modena or Pilot, may be more satisfactory? I have come into a possible great deal on a Modena, but I'm concerned that I may not like the positioning considering that I don't plan on racing very frequently. On the other hand, I hesitate getting a bike where I feel like I'm just "touring" the whole time (ie the Pilot). Anyone with experience on both?

Also, the road bike sizing is new to me. I'm 5'9", 160 lbs and was thinking 56 cm is likely the right size. Anyone with similar sizing?

Thanks for the help.
 

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Ok,
I'm a 51 year old mountain biker who has taken up roading for more miles. I am 5' 9.5", 175 lbs, 32" inseam. I went into the LBS to test a new 5200 (I wanted an American made carbon frame). He had me ride a Madone (good sales guy) so the test got a little more complicated.
I tested from 2006 Trek (go spend the day or two):
5200, Pilot 5.0, Madone 5.2, and Pilot 5.2 (I tested 56 and 54cm)

Ride Comfort rank:
Pilot 5.2
Madone 5.2
5200

Speed rank:
Madone 5.2
Pilot 5.2
5200

Group:
They were all pretty much Ultegra expcept the Pilot 5.0 with a mix with 105. All the seats were lacking. The gel HB tape on the pilot is very nice. Pilot 5.2 has beauty of a paint job.

Price:
5200
Pilot
Madone

I really wanted the Madone, but knew it was going to hurt me unless I put a heck of a stack on the steerer (over 50 MTBiker remember). I thought the Madone and Pilot frames handled road vibes very closely with the Pilot having an edge. I felt the Madone jump out a bit more when I stepped on it, but only a bit more. They all handled great. The Pilot weighed 18.2 wo peddles, the Madone 17.8. I bought the Pilot 5.2. The head tube length allowed a relaxed seating with a lower stack - which is what it was designed for. Some call it a compact frame, but it really isn't. It has a taller head tube. You should try a 54 I think the 56 will be to big for you. It (54) is a perfect fit for me. I've been holding off on a review for more miles. I've about 200 on it now and love it. I don't regret buying it at all and believe I'll probably try racing it in time (I'll change the rubber from 25 to 23mm for a race). This bike flat gets with it...even with my engine.
You might try a Roubaix as well for comparison (a compact frame design) if you aren't hung up on the made in USA thing like me you might like it? Good luck and have fun with the search! Go ride 'em.:)
 

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Frame sizing

I too am 5' 9", but 180 pounds. I used a website called www.wrenchscience.com. You put in your body specs and it give you recommended frame size, saddle height etc. It recommended 54 cm as measured center to top.
I went to several bike shops and tried out many bikes, and without exception, they supported the 54 cm. I rode several 56 cm and the 54 was more comfortable.
Ride both, and have the bike shop give their opinion.
 

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HOLD YOUR HORSES GUYS. There are major differences between the Madone and the Pilot. The Madone is Trek's "race bike" the geometry is more sleek, more compact angles, your back will bend forward more. If you want to ride one of the best bikes on the market, and also look fast even when you're going 15, then stick with the Madone. The Pilot is a more relaxed, recreational road bike, It is made for those who may be interested in the sport but not have the back to ride stretched out. The pilot is a respectable frame, but you will be sitting more up right. Either way, you will be pleased with Trek. Hell LANCE IS!!!
 

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The angles, and thus, handling are different, too.

Fans of the Pilot would describe the Pilot as stable and surefooted, and would describe the Madone as twitchy and nervous.

Fans of the Madone would describe the Pilot as slow and sluggish, and would describe the Madone as quick and responsive.
 
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