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Into its third year in the line, the new 6 Series Madone is the 2010 bike that Astana rode at the Tour de France. It’s also made heaps of great functional upgrades over previous iterations, making it, from our standpoint, a more attractive aero road bike for triathletes.
No, not aero in the sense of aero tubesets. But more so in terms of integration. The Madone uses a unique bottom bracket cable guide that recesses into the shell, making for a smoother aero BB bottom. If Trek hasn’t trademarked this, I would venture to guess it will be a heavily copied feature.
For those bikes spec’ing with Shimano’s DI2 electronic setup, that BB location can receive a bracket that serves as a dedicated battery mount for the DI2 battery.
At the rear derailleur, Trek did something I though was a long time coming. Most companies have the standard move of porting the rear derailleur cable out of the bottom bracket and running it under the driveside chainstay to a stop at the bottom of the stay. There, a big sweep of rear derailleur cable housing is installed to get the cable around and under the rear derailleur. Sometimes it results in finicky shifting, and it always results in an ugly exposure of cable.
Trek drilled hollow its dropout. Instead of exposing the cable, it stays cleanly inside the chainstay. The dropout becomes the effective cable stop, only requiring a small bit of housing. The radius is less pronounced, making for better back-end shifting. The reduced exposed housing makes for a more aero bike as well (especially on the DI2-equipped bikes, which require only about 1.5 inches of housing to connect circuitry.
We had a chance to ride the Madone and for sure it shifted crisp and quick. Undoubtely it would require many more miles to prove out the shifting improvement, but certainly it’s something we’ve venture to guess would prove itself out.
The Madone also incorporates DuoTrap. ANT+ chainstay, and the SpeedTrap fork. The areas are recessed, and installed with a built-in receiver for all your ANT+ goods; PowerTap, SRM, Garmin, whatever. It’s an effective Bluetooth for the bike, absent the zip-tied receivers, beautifully built into the stay. Trek also introduced it’s Node Computer which, as an ANT+ computer, is capable of taking up your power, cadence, heart rate and speed from your DuoTrap and SpeedTrap receivers—helping provide their own solution for one unit delivering multiple pieces of data.
All these little features mean for no exposed cable. No zipties. Just a clean, elegant presentation to the wind. Add a big downtube, a unique Resin Right manufacturing process that eliminates excess material on the tubeset’s inside diameter, their massive BB90 bottom bracket, a newly designed ovalized fork steerer (flat front to back allowing fore/aft flex for better steering predictability, wider side-to-side) to retain lateral stiffness) and the new Madone will be a hot ticket item. We’d not hesitate to put on a set of clip-ons and attack Savageman or Alcatraz with this one next year.