This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
The race bike Trek is expected to formerly launch at the Tour de France, however, it was being tested by riders at the Critérium du Dauphiné. We think it could be an ultra light model, but without getting it on the scales, it's impossible to know for sure.
Three of the bikes were on display in Tarare prior to the start of the second stage in the Trek Factory Racing pit. Comparisons with both the current Domane and Madone reveal that the new frame – name still unknown – varies from both, thanks to seatstays that flare around the seat tube and blend into the top tube, and what we believe is the first use of a Shimano Direct Mount rear brake in the traditional position, a bridge between the seatstays.
Trek Factory Racing's Technical Director, Jordan Roessingh, wouldn’t comment on the bike other than to say the Dauphiné – just over three weeks before the Tour de France – was a good race to test new equipment.
The frame appears to share a number of similarities with the 7-Series Madone though. These include Trek’s Ride Tuned seatpost, the e2 asymmetric steerer tube system, the super wide BB90 and an integrated chain catcher. A carbon badge on the frame suggests that Trek is sticking with its current generation of OCLV 700-Series carbon, meaning it will likely be produced in its Wisconsin plant.
The new bike also uses a rounder tube profile, doing away with the distinctive Kammtail Virtual Foil shape on the current 7-Series. That'll likely make power transfer more efficient.
The claimed frame weight for the current Madone 6.9 SSL is just over 800g, meaning that for this bike to make an impact in the featherweight department this will probably shave 50-80g.