The new Madone is cycling’s Bugatti Veyron — an exotic beast that looks like it’s moving fast even when it’s standing still. This bike begs for high-speed sprints and fast, twisty descents. And just because the women’s 9.9 edition is built for the ladies doesn’t mean corners were cut or lower-end components were added. For women who race, and who race fast, the Madone is the ultimate speed machine.
The sleek, integrated front end does more than catch eyes as you ride by: Internal cable routing through the handlebars and an integrated bar and stem combo create smooth lines for superior aerodynamics. This, along with the front brake, hidden behind flaps called Vector Wings in the head tube, combine for a wind-cheating design that cuts through the air.
We couldn’t resist town line sprints or hard efforts out of corners with the 90mm-wide, sprinter-friendly BB90 bottom bracket. It felt like every bit of power we put into the pedals was instantly transferred into forward movement that left our riding partners in the dust. This stiffness was confirmed in our lab test as we saw only 0.41mm of deflection at the bottom bracket, placing it as one of the stiffest bikes we’ve tested.
While it’s technically an aero bike, and has the stiffness and aerodynamics to prove it, the Madone is surprisingly comfortable thanks to Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler, which lets the seat tube flex independently of the top tube. Road vibrations are muted with this decoupler design but the bike doesn’t feel squishy or loose when laying down the power either.
We love Trek’s aggressive but not over-the-top H2 fit. The 170mm head tube wasn’t as low as we were expecting for an all-out aero machine, but we could find that aero race position without much trouble. This also meant we didn’t finish every ride with our back and shoulders screaming in pain from an overly aggressive drop.
The Madone is most certainly a dream bike. And at $12,000, it’s a lofty dream. But Trek did everything right, pairing Shimano’s top shelf Dura-Ace Di2 components with Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 carbon wheels and designing a Madone-specific integrated bar and stem combo. Add that to the matte black finish with muted pink details and we can’t stop drooling over this aero dream.
Component Highlights: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain with 50/34 crankset; Madone aero integrated brakes; Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 tubeless-ready wheels