Bike

Reviewed: Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed

It’s fun, it’s fast—and it delivers one hell of a ride, but with quite the hefty price tag.

Basics

The Trek Madone SLR 6 is a head-turner of a bike that is fun to ride—but it comes with a hefty price tag for a mechanical bike.


Pros

Fast, responsive, and super-stiff

Handles well, even in tight corners

Cons

The $6k price tag—when it’s “only” mechanical—stings


Size Reviewed

56

Weight

19 lbs. 2 oz.

Price

$6,500

Brand

Trek


Trek is one of the most recognizable bike brands in the world and the Madone has been one of its most successful bikes over the last two decades. With the Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed nothing changes there and it is a pure joy to ride. Looking for a bike to remind you *just* how fun road bikes are to ride? Say hello to the Madone. With its Speed Concept Mono Bar Extension aero bars you can easily transform it into a race machine or remove them for group rides when you want a more pure road look and feel. Bontrager Aeolus Pro 5 wheels, Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, and Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes help round out a pretty sweet package.

Related: Triathlete’s 2020 Road Bike Buyer’s Guide

Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed: The Ride

From the moment you first ride the Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed you know you’re in for a treat. It looks fast, it feels fast, it is fast. Trek is one of the most recognizable bike brands in the world and the Madone has been one of its most successful bikes over the last two decades. With the Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed nothing changes there and it is a pure joy to ride. Its aero-geometry is, unsurprisingly, well thought out and it’s a bike that begs to be ridden fast. Standing up out of the saddle and laying down some top-end power will reward you with a burst of acceleration that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear: this is bike riding at its finest. The frame beneath you is stiff yet fast and responsive. That said, this isn’t a racing machine that lacks comfort. It handles well—you feel stable—and you can lean it through tight turns and corners with relative ease.

Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed: The Good

The Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed is intelligently designed and easy to ride. It’ll remind you of why you first fell in love with riding bikes in the first place. For triathletes looking for a road bike that is both fast, comfortable, and easy to train on, you will not be disappointed. The Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes deliver sharp, crisp braking and all brake and gearing cables are neatly routed through the frame to maximize aerodynamics. Riding in the drops is incredibly fun on this bike—in fact, it almost begs you to get down in the drops and stay there, especially on more technical descents. Speed and comfort do not feel compromised in this position.  

Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed: The Medium

When you’re parting with more than $6,000 for a bike, we think it’s more than fair to expect electronic shifting, but instead here you’ve got a Shimano Ultegra mechanical set-up, which seems a little surprising at this price point. Obviously, you don’t necessarily expect an aero road bike to be the greatest climbing machine, but we found the 50/34 compact gearing helped improve that considerably.

Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Speed: Conclusions

This is a bike that’s easy to fall in love with on first ride, especially if you’re someone who loves riding hard and fast. It’s unashamedly aero and will tick all the boxes for triathletes looking for something close to tri speed on a road bike. You will definitely not be disappointed with how it handles and accelerates, but you could feel disappointed that you don’t have electronic shifting. If you’re OK with that (for this price tag), you’re going to have a lot of fun pedaling this bike to many PRs.