Trek has launched what it describes as “the fastest and lightest Madone SL ever,” the new models featuring IsoFlow technology, the distinctive seat tube design that was introduced last year on the Premium Trek Madone SLR with the aim of reducing aerodynamic drag and improving comfort.
> Trek launches the radical Madone SLR, its “fastest road racing bike ever”
“This new addition to Trek’s ultimate line of race bikes comes at a more affordable price thanks to a 500 Series OCLV Carbon frame, two-piece flared RSL aero handlebars and an RCS Pro stem that keeps things going. light, fast and a little more. economical while maintaining the bike’s premium aesthetics and podium performance,” says Trek.
The existing Madone SLR uses Trek’s premium 800 Series OCLV Carbon and an integrated handlebar/stem. While the original Madone SLRs start at £7,600 (for the SLR 6 fitted with Shimano 105 Di2), the Madone SLs cost from £5,625 (for the Madone SL 6, also fitted with a Shimano 105 groupset Di2).
Trek claims these are the only differences between the Madone SL and the Madone SLR. The profiles and geometries of the tubes are exactly the same.
IsoFlow technology – which takes over from the IsoSpeed featured on previous Madone SLs – means the tube splits in two, with each section then joining one of the seatstays. The seat tube then exits the top tube to house the aero seatpost. IsoFlow is designed to improve aerodynamics, flex over bumps to smooth out the ride and save weight over previous Madones.
When IsoFlow was introduced on the Madone SLR, Trek’s Principal Design Engineer Alex Bedinghaus said, “We can accelerate the air around the head tube and into that low pressure area behind the rider, making the rider and the bike more aerodynamic and faster.
“It also has that cantilevered seat tube and really optimizes weight, aerodynamics and compliance. It’s a unique solution that allows us to achieve a lighter system than what we had before and that greatly exceeds our aerodynamic objectives.
Trek claims this seventh-generation Madone SL is almost 300g lighter than the previous version and “54 seconds per hour faster at 45 km/h”. [28mph]”. Of course, this statement doesn’t really make sense; what Trek means is that improved aero efficiency means you’ll be riding over 30 mph for the same power on the new bike.
Each Madone SL Gen 7 model is built with a separate Bontrager RSL Aero handlebar (a flared design with an 80mm reach and 124mm drop) and a Bontrager RCS Pro stem rather than the combo unit found on Madone SLRs. That said, the Madone SL is compatible with the Madone SLR bar/stem. If you want to go this route in the future, all you need to do is use the correct bearing cover and spacers.
The Madone SL Gen 7 is compatible only with electronic drivetrains, so we won’t see a Shimano 105 12-speed mechanical model when this new groupset finally launches.
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As before, Trek uses a T47 threaded bottom bracket. The Bontrager wheels specified on the Madone SL Gen 7 bikes are tubeless compatible, but the bike comes with standard inner tubes and non-tubeless compatible tires and rim strips.
The saddle height is always adjustable (you have about 7 cm of height adjustment) and you can choose between a short or high seatmast.
The Madone SL is built using Trek’s race-focused H1.5 geometry, with all key measurements being exactly the same as before.
The 56cm model, for example, has an effective top tube of 559mm, a seat tube of 525mm and a head tube of 151mm. The head tube and seat tube angles are 73.5° and 73.3° respectively. This frame has a stack height of 563mm and a reach of 391mm.
Trek offers eight frame sizes from 47cm to 62cm
Models, specifications, weights and prices
Madone SL 6 Gen 7
Band Shimano 105 Di2
wheels Bontrager Aeolus Elite 50
Claimed weight 8.40 kg / 18.52 lb (waist 56 cm)
Madone SL 7 Gen 7
Band Shimano Ultragra Di2
wheels Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51
Claimed weight 8.00 kg / 17.64 lbs (waist 56 cm)
Madone SL Gen 7 frame
Claimed weight 1200g (frame only, painted, 56cm), 476g (fork only, painted)
There is currently no version of the Madone SL Gen 7 equipped with SRAM, which is really strange for Trek. We assume they’ll arrive at some point, but we’ll have to check that out.
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