trek madone 5.9 2011

trek madone 5.9 2011

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Trek Madone SL 5.9 Road Bike

trek madone 5.9 2011

  • OCLV 110 Carbon Frame
  • Bontrager Race XXX Lite
  • OCLV 110 Carbon Fork
  • Bontrager Race X Lite Wheels
  • Shimano Dura-Ace Rear Derailleur
  • USER REVIEWS

Speed,' weight, climbs, handling ability. Smooth shifting with Dura Ace.

None. This bicycle has no weaknesses. You can certainly buy more expensive bicycles. For most of my 25 year cycling career, I've been a Trek rider. In 1997 I bought a Trek 5200 with Ultegra components. Loved it. Two years later, I bought a Trek 5500 Postal bike with Dura Ace. That was the smoothest shifting, fastest bike I ever rode. Two years ago, I traded it in forv a 4.9 with 105 components. Trek had come a long way with their 105s. 6000 miles later, I bought the 5.9 with Dura Ace and Cosmic Carbones. Before I made the purchase I read a review that called the 5.9 "racing royalty" . It's truly that. I couldn't agree more. Faster, smoother, lighter, and again much faster. I'm 60 with an easy 20,000 miles under my belt. I upgraded the saddle because, well, I'm 60. No problem keeping up with 35 year old speedsters. Very smooth shifting. It needed tweaking due to cable stretch after 200 miles. One 100 mile ride. H2!setup is perfect for me. I'm ecstatic. I would recommend this bike to anyone. Can't see an upgrade in the near future. Very happy and satisfied with my purchase. It's painted flat black. My wife thinks it looks like a stolen bicycle that someone spray painted. What she doesn't know won't hurt her. It's beautiful. , such as those with Di2, however this is a different animal.

For most of my 25 year cycling career, I've been a Trek rider. In 1997 I bought a Trek 5200 with Ultegra components. Loved it. Two years later, I bought a Trek 5500 Postal bike with Dura Ace. That was the smoothest shifting, fastest bike I ever rode. Two years ago, I traded it in for a 4.9 with 105 components. Trek had come a long way with their 105s. 6000 miles later, I bought the 5.9 Madone with Dura Ace and Cosmic Carbones. Before I made the purchase I read a review that called the 5.9 "racing royalty" . It's truly that. I couldn't agree more. Faster, smoother, lighter, and again much faster. I'm 60 with an easy 20,000 miles under my belt. I upgraded the saddle because, well, I'm 60. No problem keeping up with 35 year old speedsters. Very smooth shifting. It needed tweaking due to cable stretch after 200 miles. One 100 mile ride. H2!setup is perfect for me. I'm ecstatic. I would recommend this bike to anyone.Very happy and satisfied with my purchase. It's painted flat black. My wife thinks it looks like a stolen bicycle that someone spray painted. What she doesn't know won't hurt her. It's beautiful. Two wheeler dealer really stands behind what they sell.

Similar Products Used:

Trek 5500 Postal with DuracAce, Lightspeed Titanium, Trek Madone 4.9.For most of my 25 year cycling career, I've been a Trek rider. In 1997 I bought a Trek 5200 with Ultegra components. Loved it. Two years later, I bought a Trek 5500 Postal bike with Dura Ace. That was the smoothest shifting, fastest bike I ever rode. Two years ago, I traded it in 4.9 with 105 components. Trek had come a long way with their 105s. 6000 miles later, I bought the 5.9 with Dura Ace and Cosmic Carbones. Before I made the purchase I read a review that called the 5.9 "racing royalty" . It's truly that. I couldn't agree more. Faster, smoother, lighter, and again much faster. I'm 60 with an easy 20,000 miles under my belt. I upgraded the saddle because, well, I'm 60. No problem keeping up with 35 year old speedsters. Very smooth shifting. It needed tweaking due to cable stretch after 200 miles. One 100 mile ride. H2!setup is perfect for me. I'm ecstatic. I would recommend this bike to anyone. Can't see an upgrade in the near future. Very happy and satisfied with my purchase. It's painted flat black. My wife thinks it looks like a stolen bicycle that someone spray painted. What she doesn't know won't hurt her. It's beautiful.

The bike is fast, stiff, light and comfortable. The frame is strong in crashes as well. If you set it up with some good and stiff wheels like the Mavic Ksyrium SLS wheels or some nice carbon race wheels, you'll have one hell of a bike.

None that cannot be fixed. The bike should come with carbon handlebars. It could have a different paint job, but I'm not one to judge.

I have had this bike since summer of 2009. I have raced it about 50 times and have crashed 3 or 4 times since I've had it. As a junior, I searched for an affordable used bike and found this one for 1500 dollars. Since then I have replaced the handlebars, seat, and the wheels. In my mind, there is no better bike to have for the price. I absolutely love it; so much that I would hang it on my wall if it breaks. It is just that good. I received a Felt F2 with dura-ace 9000 on it for my graduation present and race bike for my time at the U of U. The Felt is a great bike but there is something that it's missing. It's just not as comfortable nor does it have the beloved classic looks that the Trek has. The trek will always be my favorite bike.

Wicked light, great climber, fast, great handling, and comfortable.

None really so far. I did have to fiddle with the front brakes a bit to get rid of some grabbiness but this was just a shoe adjustment issue.

After many years off the road and pounding single-track with my Fuel 100 Full Suspension MTB I decided it was time to get back into road riding. I've been a Trek OCLV fan for years, particularly since they replaced my Fuel frame under warrantee, so I started looking at the road offering and settled on the Madone. I'm a pretty big guy at 192cm and 100 kg and a very aggressive rider so I needed something strong, stiff, "bulletproof", and with dialed in handling, and since I'm used to XTR quality components on my Fuel I wanted a full Dura-Ace group. So I try a few bikes and then spy this 2007 Madone SL 5.9 on the wall at what looks to be a pretty good price and I try it out. Well, perhaps Trek's latest frame is a little "tricker" but this bike has classic looks and man, does it go. This thing climbs like crazy, accelerates like a demon, and goes exactly where you point it ... and ... it rides really well. On top of that it is unbelievably light and I you just can't beat OCLV carbon I guess because as stiff as this is I can bang out a 100km ride without feeling like I've been beaten with a bag of doorknobs. So yeah, I'm really happy with it and logging at least 250-300 km/week.

First road bike in 20 years but avid MTB rider so although I guess I can't compare to comparable road bikes I do not how to ride and know top end gear.

Comfortable, great handling. Warranty on frame and parts. Excellent quality, no compromises on parts. For AUD4500, I got a full Dura-Ace, excellent frame, carbon stem, carbon handle bars, carbon seat post, and super fast and light wheels.

Design and paint job. Other bikes look a lot better. The bike was discounted because it had the Disovery Channel paint job and it was a 2007 model. Not a big deal for me, as I am more interested in the quality of the bike than the look.

My previous bike was a Trek 5200 1999 model. The geometry and handling of the Madone 5.9SL is very similar. Both are excellent bikes. The main differences, other than price, is the lightness of the 5.9SL and the stiffness. Dura Ace shifts a bit smoother than Ultegra.

LeMond Chamberry, Trek 5200, Felt SR25, Giant

Frame second to none. Whatever you want to do on this bike it does.

Should have a carbon bar.

This bike was a dream come true. It sprints like a rocket, climbs solidly and goes exactly where you point it. I tell people that it's like a cheap camera, point and shoot and off it goes! The OCLV ride is second to none, and I have ridden many of the competitors bikes but kept coming back to the Trek. I originally wanted a 5.2 SL, but events worked out better and got the 5.9 and have not looked back.

Madone 5.2 SL, Argon 18 Krypton, Trek 5200.

Bankable lifetime warranty on the frame for this freak defect. Same frame, same Andromeda colour (eventhough not a current colour at the time of the claim).

It did take 4 months to replace the frame but this was over the Xmas period and it had to get to Australia from the US.

See my previous review for my initial comments which still stand. This is an update review on a warranty claim. After about 1 year, the bond between my dropout and chain stay failed while climbing out of the saddle. Trek's answer? Repair under warranty. Confidence in my 5.9sl was a little shaken and training suffered but I kept riding for a few months until the repair also failed. Trek's new answer for 18 month old 15,000km frame? Replacement under warranty. I'm pumped, confidence in the bike is back, training kms are up and peak fitness levels are returning- all at no financial cost. After 2 years, I am as happy with the bike as the day I bought it. With the introduction of the new Madones, this is now a classic yet still competitive bike that I'll keep riding thanks to the frame replacement warranty.

Fast, efficient and powerful. Non slopping top tube is superior to cramped compact geometry, it is more aero and bio mechanically it suits me better. The finish is great and quality of the ride and workmanship is second to none. This bike warrants all five stars. A real performer.

The only real weakness that I have noted compared to other bikes I have used; is soreness experienced in the gluteul region following long rides. This bike bears less compliance than others and thus your behind is made fully aware following long hard efforts in the saddle. However I feel that this is a small compromise for a machine that is built to go fast.

This bike was simply built for speed. I sourced the best components (within reason) and put together, a bike that will dominate in all respects. I picked the frame up for a steal through a friends sponsorship commitments. The ride quality of this bike is absolutely amazing the rake in the fork makes the handling aggressive and the geometry provides for controlled and reliant cornering. The bottom bracket in the Madone SL is very stiff and yields the best transfer efficiency of any bike which I have ridden or raced. The rear on the Trek is perfectly engineered for fast efficient power transfer resulting in a lethal turn of speed and sprinting ability in the bike. The rear wheel stays firmly planted when the rider is out of the saddle and tearing away in the 53x11. The climbing capabilities of this bike are fantastic. The light weight of the frame and the rigidity of the bottom bracket deliver an aggressive climbing machine. The finish on the frame is impeccable. Unlike other manufacturers that merely use their frames as marketing devices Trek opts for understated Graphics which help to establish a sense of quality. The Andromeda paint scheme is very attractive. It is different to most other bikes on the market and it just looks fast. Overall the Trek Madone 5.9sl is an amazing race bike which delivers race bike feel and race bike speed. Simply put when you put the foot down this bike goes, up hill or on the flat this is a real thoroughbred and is a joy to ride.

Bianchi 928, Bianchi Alloy, Giant TCR carbon.

comfortable machine, even for the super long rides and honestly the best climbing bike I've ridden

Though I never notice this on the road it sure does flex in the bb on the trainer under pressure. Trek also does a piss-poor job with paint and design. However that is not a priority. Value rating is 4 because the 5.5sl is $1500+ less with a gain of only +/-250g

I ride the hell out of this thing. I wrote a review here a long time ago on this bike and in short I simply want to restate my position on this thing. It really is a good bike. I'm 145lb and more of a climber than a sprinter and this bike is perfect. On long hauls it is very comfortable. On even the most technical high speed descents it is sure footed and crisp. For me all the stock stuff has worked out beautifully and I've had no need to switch anything. Heavier riders may be bummed out by the front flex in the race x lite wheel on standing climbs. That said I've grown to love these wheels and have had them very close to 55mph with no creepy stuff. If you like a compliant ride and enjoy the art of climbing I really do, even after 20,000 miles recommend the madone. If you want a sexier looking, less functional machine go elsewhere.

Scott, Specialized, Schwinn, Litespeed, Merlin, Cannondale, Seven, Cervelo

Climbing supremicy (Seated or Standing) Comfort, position, ergonomics. Trek reliability and warranty.

Low quality stock paint on some. Price of new SL = $1,000 Lance Tax. (My value rating is for new). If you can find a 2004 in excel. shape - buy it. Not the lightest in the world, but very durable.

This is an update to a previous review. I just want to confirm that this is the bike! I first road the SL in 2004 and immediately fell in love. Hands down the best out of saddle climber out their. Now that I own one I can say that there are no dissapointments. I toasted my brother who's been training all summer on a final climb after about 45 miles of hilly terrain. Normally, I'm the one sucking air. The 2004 is the best looking of the bunch and comes with the Triple X front fork. Hopefully Trek with improve their stock paintwork. If you have the bucks get a project one paint job.

Trek 5200, Cannondale, Merlin, Scott - Aluminum, Steel & Carbon.

race-ready and stupid light.

rider, still!

Already written below on this right after initial purchase so I'll keep it short. I've about 1 year and 5000 miles on my 5.9 Sl including training and racing. Bottom line is that it remains a hell of a ride, and after a couple of crashes including one nice 35mph+ dismount with company I can attest to the frames relative strength. It's a bit scratched up and has some missing paint chips but it still rides as well as the day I got it and esaily has a few more seasons in it. Components are boarderline perfect though the chains wear quickly (currently on my 3rd one). Beyond that the bike is still entirely stock. Honestly not sure it's faster than other dialed-in rides out there but it sure is light and the ride quality is terrific and comfortable, though hold on tight in high crosswinds. In any event zero regrets here. Buy one, you'll like it.

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  • Trek Madone 5.9 2011

157cm - 164cm

161cm - 169cm

166cm - 175cm

172cm - 181cm

178cm - 186cm

183cm - 191cm

188cm - 195cm

Trek Madone 5.9 2011

Bike summary

Bike components.

5 Series TCT Carbon, E2, BB90, internal cable routing, DuoTrap compatible

Suspension Fork

Bontrager Race X Lite w/E2 aluminum steerer, carbon crown and legs

Rear Derailleur

Shimano Dura-Ace

Front Derailleur

Shimano Ultegra

Shift Levers

Shimano Ultegra STI, 10 speed

Shimano Ultegra 11-28, 10 speed

Shimano Dura-Ace, 50/34

Bottom Bracket

BB90, 90.5mm, press-fit

Bontrager Race Lite

Bontrager R3, 700x23c

Shimano Ultegra brakes w/Shimano Ultegra STI levers

Bontrager Race X Lite, 7 degree, 31.8mm

Bontrager Race Blade VR, 31.8mm

Integrated, cartridge bearings, sealed, alloy, 1-1/8" top, 1.5" bottom

Bontrager Affinity 2, hollow chromoly rails

Bontrager Ride Tuned Carbon seatmast cap, 20mm offset

Bike geometry

Model overview.

Madone 5.9 completes the Trek Madone model. There are 360 bikes that carry this model name. Take a sneak peek at all Trek Madone bikes models from 2011 , by clicking here .

Your safety should be the top priority when you go for a ride. In short, make sure that you always use a helmet, high visibility clothing , and proper lights when riding at night-time.

Average price for Aero bikes

Our math shows that the average cost of a dependable Aero bike is 4211 $ . However, even if your budget is less than the average, you might still be able to get a top-quality Aero bike. To make sure you don’t pay a higher amount than normal for your bike, always do some components analysis and read reviews.

Internal Cable Routing

This bike has an internal cable routing. As a result, this helps to preserve the bike’s cables. No more cables around your bike.

Overview of components

Fork material.

The fork is made out of carbon, so, it’s a great addition to the bike’s value. However, carbon forks should be regularly inspected for damage because even the smallest crack could cause the fork to fall apart.

When leaving the production line, the Madone 5.9 model has 700c aluminum wheels. These wheels are the most used kind for road bikes in general. However, these wheels don’t perform so well when passing over obstacles.

We ride faster and faster, so a good braking system is essential on a bike nowadays. The Madone 5.9 comes with Rim brakes. Rim brakes deliver an average performance overall. However, they are not nearly as effective as hydraulic brakes are.

Madone 5.9 comes in 7 sizes , that range from 157 cm – 195 cm (5.15 ft – 6.4 ft) . In short, it won’t be difficult to find the right one for you.

Trek Madone models from 2024

Trek madone models from 2023, trek madone models from 2022, trek madone models from 2021, trek madone models from 2020, trek madone models from 2019, trek madone models from 2018, trek madone models from 2017, trek madone models from 2016, trek madone models from 2015, trek madone models from 2014, trek madone models from 2013, trek madone models from 2012, trek madone models from 2011, trek madone models from 2010, trek madone models from 2009, trek madone models from 2008, trek madone models from 2007, trek madone models from 2006, trek madone models from 2005, trek madone models from 2004.

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2011 Trek Madones Released: Includes 6 Series SSL and New 5 Series

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2011 Trek Madone 4.7c

Utilizing the 2010 Tour de France Grand Départ from Rotterdam, Netherlands as a venue, Trek has shown their hand when it comes to the hottest bikes of 2011. Building on the already immensely popular Madone line, the newest models boast lighter weight, more features, and a wider range of pricing.

While the biggest news is the release of a new 6 series SSL model which is over 100 grams lighter than the previous 6 series, there are big changes to the 5 series, as well as an additional fit geometry that are not to go unnoticed.

Check out Trek’s new carbon, all the changes to the 5 series, and the most upright Madone ever after the break!

2011 Trek Madone 6.9 SSL

How did they manage to make the 6 series SSL even lighter? With a new carbon fiber, of course. Dubbed OCLV Hex SL, it exhibits the same stiffness as High Modulus carbon, but with over four times the strength and twice the elongation properties. When asked about the new material, Trek Road Product Engineer Chris Pomering had this to say, “OCLV HexSL is really a game-changing material. Before this material’s culmination we had to use two, sometimes three different layers of carbon to get the same strength and performance that we get from just one layer of OCLV HexSL.”Like most Trek OCLV (Optimum Compaction Low Void), Trek claims that you won’t see many others using it due to the fact that the US Government declares it Defense grade material, and therefore it is prohibited to be shipped outside the NATO alliance. Believe what you will, but Trek puts it in a  good perspective by stating, “Our frames are imagined, tested, and perfected by our 37 carbon engineers, including 11 Composite Materials Engineering specialists and 9 bonafide rocket scientists. (Why rocket scientists? Because the aerospace industry is THE hotbed of carbon innovation.)”

Jani Brajkovic in Yellow during the 2010 Tour of Dauphine

While new to the public, the SSL has already been under Team Radio Shack’s Jani Brajkovic, propelling him to an overall win at the 2010 Tour of Dauphine in June, resulting in the Madone SSL’s first stage race win. Team Radio Shack’s entire 2010 Tour de France squad will be riding the Madone 6 Series SSL throughout July. As expected, the new SSL 6 series carries all the same technology as the current 6 series that has driven it’s success.

2011 Trek Madone 5.9 - The new 5 Series

What may be unexpected however, is that the new 5 series Madone will also get most of the tech features that makes the 6 series so special. While the 2010 version of the 5 series carried the BB90 integrated bottom bracket, and E2 tapered head tube already, the new 5 series will get all the other features lacking from the 6 series such as the revised round seat mast, integrated cables with internal DI2 option, a zip tie-less ANT+ computer mounting system called Duotrap, and a weight shavings of more than 150 grams. In addition to shaving a significant amount of frame weight, the 5 Series will be stiffer and more vertically compliant for 2011. The Madone 5 Series will be available in 5 different models, including the 5.9, 5.5, 5.2, 5.5 WSD, and the 5.2 WSD.Perhaps even more impressive is that all this comes at a lower cost than last years 5 series, $3149 vs $3779 for a 5.2 Madone.

How is this possible? Well, the new 5 series Madones will be a TCT (Trek Carbon Technology) frame, meaning they will be manufactured over seas in Taiwan. While obviously not being OCLV bikes, the move makes sense as when offered the choice of the 5 vs. 6 series at similar prices customers overwhelmingly went with the 6 series. Also, this allows Trek to become more competitive in the Carbon road bike arena, and allows customers a clear difference between a 5 and a 6 series.

Obviously, this will eliminate 5 series bikes from Trek’s Project One – their full custom bike program. However, this is yet another reason for customers to upgrade to the six series or six series SSL and should allow shorter lead times for the Project One bikes in the future.

h3

The other big news from Trek in their Madone line, is the creation of a third fit geometry. In 2010, there were two Madone geometries – Pro Fit and Performance fit. The Pro fit was just like it sounds, and the performance fit was the slightly more upright riding position with a longer head tube and higher bar position. In 2011, the fits will now be H1, H2, and H3 with H(headtube)1 being the old Pro fit and H2 being the old Performance fit. The new H3 fit, looks to be essentially the old Pilot geometry with an even taller headtube and slightly more stable handling. Now riders regardless of fit needs will be able to experience the performance of the Madone series.

Understandably proud of Trek’s new Madone line, company president John Burke remarked “This is an exciting time for Trek, our Retailers, and our customers. We’ve never been more invested in our product development, and those investments are yielding the most advanced products Trek has ever offered. The 2011 Madone product line represents the collective effort of many individuals. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

For more information, and to check out all the new specs head over to Trek’s Madone site.

trek madone 5.9 2011

Zach Overholt is the Editor in Chief of Bikerumor . He has been writing about what’s new in the bicycle world for 12+ years. Prior to that, Zach spent many years in the back of a bicycle shop building and repairing nearly every type of bike, while figuring out how to (occasionally) ride them.

Based in Ohio, Zach is now slowly introducing a new generation to cycling and still trying to figure out how to fit the most rides into a busy schedule as a new dad.

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sparky

I currently ride a Trek 5200 and was thinking about getting a european bike (LOOK, BH) for my next ride, but this is luring me back to another Trek

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trek madone 5.9 2011

  • Rider Notes

2010 Trek Madone 5.9

trek madone 5.9 2011

A carbon frame aero bike with ultra high-end components and rim brakes.

For This Bike

View more similar bikes →

A bike with lower gearing will be easier to ride up steep hills, while a higher top end means it will pedal faster down hills.

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Road Bike Action

Aug 2010 · R BA

No, not the new 6 Series SSL, but still a (2009) Tour winner

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VeloNews

Mar 2010 · Lennard Zinn

Two-time world pursuit champion Taylor Phinney is Trek-Livestrong’s marquee rider.

Cycling News

Jan 2010 · James Huang

A racier and brawnier feel for the new Madone

road.cc

Jan 2009 · Mat Brett

Lightweight, stiff and comfortable with superb ride quality

Dec 2008 · VeloNews.com

Well, the manuscript of the third edition of Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance is due today, and I’ve been burning the midnight and daybreak oil for some time now, especially the last week, to get it done. Still not certain I’ll make it. But somehow, despite not riding or answering the phone these days, I got sucked into answering this question in some serious detail while writing Chapter 8 on cranksets. Back to the book now. Lennard Red crank in a Madone? Dear Lennard,

99 Spokes on YouTube

Last updated June 29 Not listed for 2,501 days

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Results have arrived, trek madone 5.9 h2 58cm bike - 2011, item #brd13167, condition: pre-owned used condition with signs of use but functions as intended. backed by tpc's risk-free return policy..

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trek madone 5.9 2011

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The chart below provides a general suggested range of heights and is not exact. Sizing may vary across brands.

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  • 2011, Trek, Madone 5.9

2011 Trek Madone 5.9

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Trek Madone 5.5 review

Light and lively road machine

Gary Boulanger

gary boulanger

trek madone 5.9 2011

The Trek Madone 5.5 proves that a hardy race heritage can apply to weekend warriors. It's a light and lively road machine that sets a benchmark for performance.

Ride & handling: Comfortable, responsive and fast

After spending a few months riding similarly specced carbon road bikes from GT and Cannondale, we found the Madone 5.5 to be more comfortable over longer periods in the saddle. Performance never lacked on the 5.5, making quick jaunts through traffic to head out on our favourite loops enjoyable.

Once we fell into a rhythm, the 5.5 proved worthy of its Tour-winning hype, never relenting under the heavy stress of steep climbing or twisty mountain road descending.

Trek has always taken a more conservative approach to geometry, and not much has changed on the 5.5. It has classic stage race geometry that yields airly relaxed, eminently stable thanks to the relatively low bottom bracket height. The slightly longish chainstays provide stability and remove the twitchiness typically found in bikes with shorter stays.

Several testers appreciated the shortish top tube, and especially liked the comfort of staying in the drops against the wind and on long descents, where feathering the brakes from the hooks is less weary and more effective than staying on top.

But, the conservative approach also made for some uninspired saddle time, according to some testers. Yes, a lightweight carbon bike is supposed to be stiff, but some testers felt that the Trek felt flat in the straightaways under speed compared to the Cannondale SuperSix,. Part of it might be due to the slightly higher handlebar position (there's a 30mm higher position compared to the more race-oriented models like the Madone Pro line).

For half our testers, the common threads were 'comfortable, responsive and fast.' One's pedaling efforts were never wasted on the 5.5, some said, a reflection of the stiff carbon frameset and paired-spoke wheels. Uninspired for some, a real rocket for others. Much of one's riding preferences hinge on body type (tall and thin vs short and muscular), position and experience. All things considered, The Madone 5.5 averaged a mostly neutral response from our testers. Taking the middle ground is a safe bet for Trek, one of the largest bike companies in the world.

Frameset: New OCLV names, more simplicity

Trek’s Optimum Compaction Low Void (OCLV) technology, in a nutshell, applies heat and pressure during the manufacturing process to compress carbon and resin for maximum strength and minimum weight, while eliminating gaps between carbon layers to improve strength-to-weight. Trek's lay-up process includes cutting specific carbon parts (for head tube, down tube, top tube, etc.) with a specifically directed carbon angle to better position the fiber for the loads and stresses a frame experiences under the rider.

For 2008, Trekrenamed its three levels of OCLV: Red, Black and White, a new nomenclature to make things easier to understand compared to the old ‘OCLV 55’, ‘OCLV 110’ reference. The Madone 5.5 is an OCLV Black level, which uses intermediate modulus carbon fibre compared to the Red's significant high modulus content.

This second-tier status affects overall weight a tad, though, as our 58cm sample weighed in at 16.1lbs. Black series frames are 120g heavier and the alloy steerer adds another 90g relative to the Red series, according to Trek's road brand manager Scott Daubert.

A few highlights of the re-engineered Madone line include several weight-saving enhancements, including a slip fit bottom bracket bearings versus the external cups that have become the norm; a tapered carbon fork (1-1/8in down to 1.5in at the crown, which, like its bottom bracket shell brother, needs less parts due to Trek's Net Molding Technology (carbon race surfaces to eliminate heavy aluminium parts, making the bottom bracket and headset assembly simpler and lighter). Instead of the 68mm shell width standard, where the bearing cups are screwed into an aluminium insert and the bearings are housed outside the shell, Trek uses a 90mm shell to house everything. The benefit here is a stiffer junction at the prime pedaling force, and Trek has also made the effort to provide Campagnolo-, Shimano- and SRAM-specific crank kit bearings available.

The 5.5 has a 30mm taller headtube than the Pro fit, which our newer road riders appreciated. Trek offers two fit options. Other than head tube length, everything else is identical on the frame but the stems are also 1cm shorter than Pro fit. A higher handlebar position isn't for everyone, though, and Trek generously provided several headset spacers to allow riders the option to lower the stem without compromising the handling.

As for dialing one's optimal saddle height, Trek designed a carbon seat cap with 100mm of adjustability. Not comfortable with offering a carbon seat tube that requires cutting, Trek shaved off some weight and simplified one of the most important aspects of proper fit. The saddle clamp also offers six degrees of spherical adjustment to account for less-than-perfect saddle rails.

Equipment: Race-proven and serviceable

Shimano's race-proven and reliable Dura-Ace shifters, brake calipers, and derailleurs work seamlessly to propel and stop the Madone 5.5. In fact, most everything offered by Shimano's road team can boast the same. The difference between the top-of-the-line Dura-Ace and its lower grade brothers is two fold: lighter and more responsive for most riders, and bragging rights. Who wouldn't want to ride what half the pro peloton uses? In our opinion, an American-made carbon frameset of this caliber specced with Dura-Ace and priced at US$4,400 is bargain.

Trek balances off its complete bike spec with a hearty dose of its Bontrager house brand. Tour-proven spec, mind you, that doesn't scrimp on performance or quality. Trek has raised the bar considerably with its Bontrager Race Lite wheels and saddle, two areas very particular and personal for discerning riders in this price range. The Race Lite wheels are built with 3.6mm bladed stainless steel 18/20 front/rear spokes, weighing 1660g for the pair. The external nipples are a blessing, but for the inexperienced the paired spokes are a curse. Be thankful for Bontrager's high-tension attention to wheel strength in its factory build, though. In the five months we've tested the Madone 5.5. we haven't needed to re-tension or tweak the wheels. Part of this comes from proper tyre inflation, of course, and it helps that the Bontrager Race X Lite 700x23c clinchers behaved the entire test period. Nary a flat, always rolling hard over the rough stuff, and keeping us steady in sprints and climbs while offering enough stickiness through turns.

Bontrager's cockpit has improved dramatically. The Race Lite VR handlebars are square and wide on the tops as needed, while providing the medium drop and reach that comes natural for most riders for hard sprinting, climbing and descending, thanks to its semi-anatomic bend. The now-standard 31.8mm clamp diameter gives the front end of the bike a needed beefiness to match the beefy oversized headtube and fork crown. Trek was smart to spec aluminium stem and bars, which are more durable for more riders compared to carbon. What little road shock reverberating through the front end is absorbed by the clever Bontrager Buzz-Kill bar-end plugs.

The Bontrager Race Lite saddle, like the Specialized Body Geometry, isn't for everybody. Many riders snooping around this price point will have tried the very popular Fi'zi:k Arione saddle - which we think looks like a ironing board - but has become the default saddle for many hard-core racers and riders. The Race Lite has its high points, namely reinforced wings for durability in a crash. But, as we've found with several Bontrager saddles the past year, the saddle’s super rounded profile isn’t for everyone.

The Bontrager Race X Lite carbon compact crankset shifts well and provides the lower gears that this bike’s likely riders prefer. Not the lightest, but performance may mean more to some riders.

Verdict: American-made speed, readily available

Trek is one of the most popular bike brands in the world, and its Madone line reflects its commitment to staying with the times. Extended carbon seat tubes, oversized and tapered head tubes, oversized slip-fit bottom bracket bearings: these are all desirable features that translate to benefits on the road and for the rider. Simplicity is key with high performance, and it's apparent that Trek has invested heavily in taking its signature line to the next level. The best part? Mere mortals like you and me being able to ride the same bike as the guy winning the Tour and Giro. The Madone 5.5 may be mostly neutral on the road, but overall it's a safe bet for the weekend warrior interested in flying the flag that Lance and Alberto raised to the top of the podium since 1999.

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trek madone 5.9 2011

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First Look: 2011 Trek Madone 6.9 SSL

Major changes to 5 Series Madone line, too

Trek's flagship Madone 6 Series range follows in the footsteps of past Madones with a new lightweight 'SSL' variant that's 100g lighter on average - 50g has been taken out of the frame itself, 30g thanks to lighter paint processes, and another 20g courtesy of a standard Cane Creek AER upper headset assembly.

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Claimed weight for a bare 56cm frame is now down to just 815g for the lightest 'nude' paint scheme, bringing Trek well in line with carbon superbikes from other manufacturers.

Trek says the new model makes no sacrifices in overall rigidity or durability however, thanks to a new HexSL carbon fibre that's said to be 10 percent stiffer and stronger than the standard OCLV Red blend.

Consequently, engineers were able to design the SSL with fewer carbon plies, which also imparts a slightly different ride quality while rolling down the road but virtually identical test bench numbers (90Nm/degree at the head tube, according to Trek).

Externally, the new SSL is visually identical to the standard 6 Series, using the same molds and Near Net Molding, StepJoint, asymmetrical steerer, DuoTrap, and BB90 technologies. Likewise, fit and geometry will generally remain the same (more on this later) so current Madone owners who choose to upgrade will be treated to the same dialed-in handling and feel.

Trek will offer the new SSL in two range-topping complete bike models that will replace last year's Madone 6.9 and 6.5 as well as a bare fuselage (frame, fork, headset, seatmast cap). The flagship Madone 6.9 SSL with come with Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 and Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon clinchers while the second-tier 6.7 SSL will swap in more conventional Race X Lite aluminum wheels.

As before, though, all 6 Series Madone models are also available in Trek's Project One custom program, which allows buyers to choose frame geometry and paint, component models and sizing, and even component colors in many cases. New for '11 are tubular Bontrager wheel options (with color options extended to the top-end models) as well as Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra wheel models.

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Trek also acknowledged that Project One lead times last year were longer than anticipated with some customers waiting more than 30 days to receive their orders but additional staff should bring that delay down to a more 2-3 weeks.

6 Series technology trickles down to mid-range 5 Series for 2011

Trek's bread-and-butter Madone 5 Series range gets a complete overhaul for 2011, inheriting the same external shaping and most of the features of last year's 6 Series models.

Key changes include the cleaner internal cable routing - with a trick Dura-Ace Di2 option - the optional DuoTrap integrated wireless speed and cadence sensor integrated into the non-driveside chain stay and updated round-profile seatmast cap.

As a result, the 2011 5 Series will drop 150g on average relative to 2010 frames while also getting a 15 percent bump in stiffness.

The StepJoint tube joining technology and asymmetrical steerer tube will remain exclusive to the 6 Series, though, and the 2011 5 Series will also change to Trek's TCT carbon process, meaning that production will also shift from Waterloo, Wisconsin to Asia.

As a result, 5 Series Madones will no longer be offered with Project One options, while last year's 4 Series Madone frame will carry into 2011 unchanged aside from updated paint, graphics, and build kits.

Updated fit options

As before, Trek will offer the entire Madone range in a broad selection of sizes and fit options but with one additional geometry and new naming schemes across the board to eliminate some of the emotional baggage that occasionally accompanied the old monikers - worth noting is that the most upright Project One 6 Series Madone will no longer include a clearcoated 'WSD' decal.

Last year's 'Pro' fit is now called 'H1' and features the shortest head tubes of the range while the 'Performance' fit is again 3cm taller at the head tube. will be available throughout the Madone family.

New for '11 is an 'H3' variant, though, which is similar to last year's WSD geometry but with even slighter shorter reach (by nearly a centimeter) and even taller stack (by 1-5-2cm) than before. Unlike WSD, H3 will be available in a full size spread from 50cm all the way up to 62cm.

2011 bikes that were formerly badged 'WSD' and use the same frame molds as last year will carry over the same geometry but all Trek bikes will eventually transition to the H1-3 scheme as older models are phased out.

Trek will offer the highest-end SSL Madone models exclusively in H1 and H2 fits but standard 6 Series Madones will be available in H1, H2 or H3. Other Madone models will be offered in H2, H3 or WSD fits depending on the model but not in H1.

About those steerer tubes...

We also took the opportunity to ask Trek road and triathlon product manager Tyler Pilger about the recent attention surrounding the company's carbon fibre steerer tubes.

According to Pilger, there is no recall in place for current models though Trek does prescribe fairly stringent guidelines in regards to stem model and clamp torques, saying stems with overly aggressive extension cut-outs and excessive torque can generate too much point stress but properly designed models, bolt tightening, and spacer placement should create no problems.

Even so, Pilger admits that 2011 Madone carbon steerer tubes will feature additional fibre plies in stem clamp areas to better tolerate out-of-spec stems and clamp torques just in case, and weight penalties are said to only be about 15g.

Summary of prices and brief specs for the 2011 Madone line are as follows:

Madone 6.9 SSL w/ Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 and Bontrager Race XXX Lite clinchers: US$8,709.99 Madone 6.7 SSL w/ Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 and Bontrager Race X Lite clinchers: US$6,819.99 Madone 6.5 w/ SRAM Force and Bontrager Race X Lite clinchers: US$5,039.99 Madone 6.2 w/ Shimano Ultegra 6700 and Bontrager Race Lite clinchers: US$4,199.99 Madone 5.9 w/ Shimano Dura-Ace/Ultegra and Bontrager Race Lite clinchers: US$3,989.99 Madone 5.9 frameset: U S$2,309.99 Madone 5.5 w/ SRAM Force and Bontrager Race Lite clinchers: US$3,779.99 Madone 5.2 w/ Shimano Ultegra 6700 and Bontrager Race clinchers: US$3,149.99 Madone 5.1 w/ SRAM Rival and Bontrager Race clinchers: US$2,939.99 Madone 4.7 w/ Shimano 105 and Bontrager Race clinchers; US$2,519.99 Madone 4.5 w/ Shimano 105 (R600 crank) and Bontrager SSR clinchers: US$2,099.99

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