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New Trek Madone 9 Series gets radically aero for 2016

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Trek has radically redesigned the 2016 Madone, turning it into a full-blown aero road racing machine but yet still compromising little to do so (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Trek has radically redesigned the 2016 Madone, turning it into a full-blown aero road racing machine but yet still compromising little to do so (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Trek Madone 9-Series Race Shop Limited (Trek Bicycle Corporation)

The Trek Madone 9-Series Race Shop Limited (Trek Bicycle Corporation) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The narrow frontal profile required Trek to develop these nifty, spring-loaded 'vector wings' that pop open when the bars are turned (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The narrow frontal profile required Trek to develop these nifty, spring-loaded 'vector wings' that pop open when the bars are turned (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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There are separate, independent adjustments for both arm position and spring tension on each side. They're clearly marked, too, to help with setup and maintenance. A tidy quick-release lever is built into the caliper, too (James Huang / Immediate Media)

There are separate, independent adjustments for both arm position and spring tension on each side. They're clearly marked, too, to help with setup and maintenance. A tidy quick-release lever is built into the caliper, too (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Underneath the outer alloy cover (which also helps reinforce the mechanism), you can see the brake's inner guts at work (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Underneath the outer alloy cover (which also helps reinforce the mechanism), you can see the brake's inner guts at work (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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As usual, Trek fits the new Madone with its long-standing BB90 bottom bracket design, which features an ultra-wide 90mm width and bearings that press directly into the carbon structure (James Huang / Immediate Media)

As usual, Trek fits the new Madone with its long-standing BB90 bottom bracket design, which features an ultra-wide 90mm width and bearings that press directly into the carbon structure (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Cables, wires, and housing are only barely visible in a handful of locations on the new Madone (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Cables, wires, and housing are only barely visible in a handful of locations on the new Madone (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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A schematic representation of the new Trek Madone's internal cable routing (Trek Bicycle Corporation)

A schematic representation of the new Trek Madone's internal cable routing (Trek Bicycle Corporation) (Image credit: James Huang)
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While many aero road bars practically insist that the tops remain untaped, the Madone setup at least gives you the option without messing up the aesthetics (James Huang / Immediate Media)

While many aero road bars practically insist that the tops remain untaped, the Madone setup at least gives you the option without messing up the aesthetics (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Trek says the new Madone's dedicated carbon cockpit by itself saves 37g of drag over a Bontrager XXX Aero bar and standard stem (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Trek says the new Madone's dedicated carbon cockpit by itself saves 37g of drag over a Bontrager XXX Aero bar and standard stem (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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A close-up look at how the rear brake cable passes into the top tube without being seen (James Huang / Immediate Media)

A close-up look at how the rear brake cable passes into the top tube without being seen (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The 'Madone Control Center' incorporates both the junction box and battery into an easily accessible hatch in the down tube - or for mechanical systems, a large barrel adjuster and a pair of hidden housing stops (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The 'Madone Control Center' incorporates both the junction box and battery into an easily accessible hatch in the down tube - or for mechanical systems, a large barrel adjuster and a pair of hidden housing stops (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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A look inside the 'Madone Control Center' in both electronic and mechanical versions (James Huang / Immediate Media)

A look inside the 'Madone Control Center' in both electronic and mechanical versions (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The barrel adjuster in the mechanical version of the Madone Control Center is intentionally large for easier turning (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The barrel adjuster in the mechanical version of the Madone Control Center is intentionally large for easier turning (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Trek Madone 9-Series may be super quick in terms of aerodynamics but it doesn't ride like most other aero bikes

The new Trek Madone 9-Series may be super quick in terms of aerodynamics but it doesn't ride like most other aero bikes (Image credit: James Huang)
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Trek says the Madone's dedicated brake calipers can handle rims up to 30mm wide. There's also apparently room for rubber up to 28mm wide, depending on the make and model, and what type of rim is used (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Trek says the Madone's dedicated brake calipers can handle rims up to 30mm wide. There's also apparently room for rubber up to 28mm wide, depending on the make and model, and what type of rim is used (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Water bottle mounts aren't riveted into place; they're actually molded directly into the carbon structure (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Water bottle mounts aren't riveted into place; they're actually molded directly into the carbon structure (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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A little Easter egg (James Huang / Immediate Media)

A little Easter egg (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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A built-in chain keeper mounts to the base of the seat tube (James Huang / Immediate Media)

A built-in chain keeper mounts to the base of the seat tube (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The non-driveside chainstay has a pocket for Bontrager's DuoTrap S wireless speed and cadence sensor (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The non-driveside chainstay has a pocket for Bontrager's DuoTrap S wireless speed and cadence sensor (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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With such proprietary shapes front and rear, standard accessory mounts just won't work well. Trek has thankfully incorporated dedicated light, computer, and camera mounts (James Huang / Immediate Media)

With such proprietary shapes front and rear, standard accessory mounts just won't work well. Trek has thankfully incorporated dedicated light, computer, and camera mounts (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Instead of a conventional clamp, Trek has fitted the new Madone with a tidier two-bolt setup (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Instead of a conventional clamp, Trek has fitted the new Madone with a tidier two-bolt setup (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new seatmast head features separate adjustments for fore-aft and tilt (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The new seatmast head features separate adjustments for fore-aft and tilt (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Since the cables run down alongside the steerer tube and through the upper headset bearing, it'd be a nightmare to raise or lower the stem with conventional spacers. Instead, Trek cleverly uses split spacers that can be inserted or removed without having to undo everything (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Since the cables run down alongside the steerer tube and through the upper headset bearing, it'd be a nightmare to raise or lower the stem with conventional spacers. Instead, Trek cleverly uses split spacers that can be inserted or removed without having to undo everything (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Trek says the new Madone's aero shape was designed with water bottles in mind (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Trek says the new Madone's aero shape was designed with water bottles in mind (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Trek will also offer the new Madone 9-Series as framesets in either H1 or H2 geometry (Trek Bicycle Corporation)

Trek will also offer the new Madone 9-Series as framesets in either H1 or H2 geometry (Trek Bicycle Corporation) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The seat tube features a deep profile throughout its length, but it's actually concealing a secondary seat tube inside (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The seat tube features a deep profile throughout its length, but it's actually concealing a secondary seat tube inside (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Trek Madone 9.9 WSD (Trek Bicycle Corporation)

The Trek Madone 9.9 WSD (Trek Bicycle Corporation) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Trek Madone 9.9 (Trek Bicycle Corporation)

The Trek Madone 9.9 (Trek Bicycle Corporation) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Trek Madone 9.5 (Trek Bicycle Corporation)

The Trek Madone 9.5 (Trek Bicycle Corporation) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Trek Madone 9.2 (Trek Bicycle Corporation)

The Trek Madone 9.2 (Trek Bicycle Corporation) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The seat cluster is unquestionably complicated in its design, with cutouts around the seatstays for air to pass through and Trek's brilliant IsoSpeed 'decoupler' pivot mechanism hidden beneath cosmetic covers (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The seat cluster is unquestionably complicated in its design, with cutouts around the seatstays for air to pass through and Trek's brilliant IsoSpeed 'decoupler' pivot mechanism hidden beneath cosmetic covers (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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As expected, Trek continues to refine its Kammtail Virtual Foil tube shapes, which feature flat trailing edges that supposedly maintain the aerodynamic benefits of traditional airfoils but with increased stiffness (James Huang / Immediate Media)

As expected, Trek continues to refine its Kammtail Virtual Foil tube shapes, which feature flat trailing edges that supposedly maintain the aerodynamic benefits of traditional airfoils but with increased stiffness (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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As compared to the outgoing Madone's modestly aero shapes, the new version has much deeper profiles (James Huang / Immediate Media)

As compared to the outgoing Madone's modestly aero shapes, the new version has much deeper profiles (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Trek says the new Madone's aero shape can save its rider 19 watts of effort over a non-aero bike at 40km/h (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Trek says the new Madone's aero shape can save its rider 19 watts of effort over a non-aero bike at 40km/h (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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A closer look at the dramatic down tube profile on the new Trek Madone (James Huang / Immediate Media)

A closer look at the dramatic down tube profile on the new Trek Madone (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Integrated brakes use a center pull design that allows for a slimmer and trimmer profile. Note the fully concealed cabling, too (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Integrated brakes use a center pull design that allows for a slimmer and trimmer profile. Note the fully concealed cabling, too (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The asymmetrical chainstays only look relatively small because the main tubes are so big (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The asymmetrical chainstays only look relatively small because the main tubes are so big (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Madone doesn't just have one seat tube; it actually has two, with one hidden inside the other one (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The new Madone doesn't just have one seat tube; it actually has two, with one hidden inside the other one (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The IsoSpeed 'decoupler' is neatly hidden beneath painted-to-match covers. It might seem gimmicky but it works really, really well (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The IsoSpeed 'decoupler' is neatly hidden beneath painted-to-match covers. It might seem gimmicky but it works really, really well (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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This gives you a good idea of how much is going on ahead of the steerer tube on the new Trek Madone (James Huang / Immediate Media)

This gives you a good idea of how much is going on ahead of the steerer tube on the new Trek Madone (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The steerer tube uses a squared-off shape to accommodate the internally routed cables, which are tucked up tight against the steerer and run down through the upper headset bearing. The unique steerer tube still uses a conventional 1 1/8in stem clamp but requires a dedicated compression plug (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The steerer tube uses a squared-off shape to accommodate the internally routed cables, which are tucked up tight against the steerer and run down through the upper headset bearing. The unique steerer tube still uses a conventional 1 1/8in stem clamp but requires a dedicated compression plug (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Madones with the aggressive H1-type frame geometry will be built at Trek's headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. H2 and WSD frames will be made overseas from 600-series OCLV carbon fiber composite blends (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Madones with the aggressive H1-type frame geometry will be built at Trek's headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. H2 and WSD frames will be made overseas from 600-series OCLV carbon fiber composite blends (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Whereas the current Madone uses a round no-cut seatmast design, the new Madone uses a much more aerodynamic shape, plus an all-new clamping mechanism (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Whereas the current Madone uses a round no-cut seatmast design, the new Madone uses a much more aerodynamic shape, plus an all-new clamping mechanism (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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The integrated seatmast design allows the centerpull rear brake's cable to travel straight through the top tube (James Huang / Immediate Media)

The integrated seatmast design allows the centerpull rear brake's cable to travel straight through the top tube (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Going along with the new frame is a dedicated aero carbon cockpit. Cables and wires are routed through the bar and stem, and then travel straight into the frame for a sleek outward appearance (James Huang / Immediate Media)

Going along with the new frame is a dedicated aero carbon cockpit. Cables and wires are routed through the bar and stem, and then travel straight into the frame for a sleek outward appearance (James Huang / Immediate Media) (Image credit: James Huang)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Trek has launched a radical redesign of its iconic Madone platform, transforming it from a jack-of-all-trades road racer into the full-blown aero machine currently missing from the lineup. Dramatically more aggressively shaped than the existing 7 Series model it will be sold next to, Trek says the new Madone 9 Series by itself will save its rider more than two minutes per hour (or 19 watts of effort) as compared to a fully non-aero bike while still maintaining sub-1kg claimed frame weights and – quite remarkably – getting more comfortable, not less. 

Click here to read a first ride review of the Trek Madone 9 Series.


Hyper-aero design with lots of integration

Central to the new Madone’s impressive wind tunnel claims is its ultra-slippery shape. Once again, Trek is using Kammtail Virtual Foil (KVF) tube cross-sections but they’re far deeper than before and look much more closely related to the company’s Speed Concept time trial machine than the current Madone 7 Series. The front end of the new bike is also strikingly sleeker than before, and whereas the Madone 7 Series uses a round extended seatmast, this new one maintains that aero profile throughout the entire length.

Trek's flat-back Kammtail Virtual Foil tube shapes carry over but with much deeper profiles than before

Trek says the Madone 9 Series’ aerodynamics were also specifically designed with water bottles in mind – something the old one was not.

Trek hasn’t just made the frame cut through the air, either; its designers have gone to great lengths to make sure many of the parts that are bolted on to it are equally aerodynamic.

Dedicated centerpull brakes are used front and rear, and the arms blend almost seamlessly with the rest of the surrounding structures. Trek’s KVF design theme carries over to the bespoke one-piece carbon fiber cockpit, too, and all of the cables and wires (plus any additional hardware for electronic drivetrains) are hidden completely inside the frame from tip to tail with just a short bit of wire (or housing) exposed at the rear derailleur.

The dedicated centerpull brakes are ultra-sleek, and they work well

Taken in total, Trek claims that the new Madone performs better in the wind tunnel than the Felt AR2, Cervélo S5, and Giant Propel (the new Specialized Venge ViAS wasn’t yet available for comparison). As compared to the current pseudo-aero Madone, you're looking at up to a minute and half of time savings over 40km.

More aero but more comfort, too

Such aero benefits historically haven’t come without compromise – usually in the form of rider comfort, ease of service, or weight – but Trek even seems to have tackled those issues handily.

Most significant is the inclusion of Trek’s utterly brilliant IsoSpeed ‘decoupler’ – a mechanical pivot at the seat tube-top tube joint that allows the former to flex much more under impact than would normally be possible with a traditional fixed joint. Pivot or not, though, such a deep-profile tube still wouldn’t move very much so Trek has instead built the new Madone with a rather ingenious tube-within-a-tube design.

Trek's IsoSpeed 'decoupler' makes its first appearance on a Madone, and to great effect

Although the Madone 9 Series seat tube appears to be a single, aero-profile tube from top to bottom, it’s actually split into two overlapped sections. Below the seat cluster, the extended seat mast pares down into a much smaller-diameter, round section that is wholly hidden inside the outer aero shape – sort of like dropping a drinking straw down the middle of bigger, teardrop-shaped tube.

Trek says the stepped bottom bracket lug and two-stage bonding process for the twin seat tubes was quite the challenge but that won’t matter to anyone riding it. To them, all they’ll see is a single continuous aero shape on the outside; and what they’ll feel is an unusually comfortable ride.

There isn't just one seat tube on the new Madone; there are two

It may sound gimmicky but as with other IsoSpeed-equipped Treks, it undoubtedly works. The tune is firmer than on the Domane endurance bike or Boone cyclocross racer but the Madone 9 Series is still curiously smooth on rough pavement with none of the chatter usually associated with aero road bikes. It’s also far more composed when you hit something legitimately big.

Despite the additional hidden seat tube and vast increase in surface area, claimed frame weight is still just 950g for a painted 56cm sample – about 100g more than a comparable Madone 7 Series. A complete bike with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 TLR carbon clinchers, and a Bontrager carbon-railed saddle (but without pedals) tips the scales at 6.8kg (15.0lb) on the nose.

Integration but also serviceability

“Proprietary” is hardly a welcome word in the minds of many and the new Madone 9 Series has no shortage of bespoke bits. That said, they’re thankfully really good.

In particular, the brakes actually work well and return feedback-rich lever feel thanks to the excellent linkage geometry, fully boxed-in arms, and stout aluminium construction with cartridge bearing equipped pivots. Save for cable replacements, they’re also easy to work on with each arm boasting independent adjustments for position and spring tension. Quick-release levers are built in, too, and the rear brake has returned to its traditional position behind the seatstays where it’s more accessible and less apt to rub on the rim under hard pedaling.

The proprietary brakes are very well done

As a bonus party trick, little spring-loaded doors on either side of the lower head tube will pop open and closed as needed to allow all of that center-pull hardware to fit inside such a relatively narrow head tube while still producing a tight turning radius.

Likewise, Trek will offer the carbon cockpit in 13 different sizes – all with Bontrager’s great ‘Variable Radius’ bend and tops you can actually hold on to – and the dedicated aero-profile seatpost is topped with a secure head that’s super easy to adjust.

The aero cockpit will be offered in 13 sizes

All of that proprietary handlebar and seatpost geometry unfortunately does preclude the use of most standard accessory attachments but Trek has that covered with custom ‘Blendr’ front and rear mounts for computers, action camera, and lights.

Even raising or lowering the cockpit will be relatively painless despite the fact that the cables and wires run through the bar and stem and down in between the steerer tube and upper headset bearing. The custom headset spacers use a smart split design, meaning you can add and remove them as needed without having to completely redo the cabling.

Split headset spacers allow the bars to be raised or lowered without undoing all of the internally routed cables

Replacing those cables, however, will certainly be more taxing than on a bike with more traditionally routed setup but Trek has at least already drafted very detailed service documentation to guide mechanics through the process.

Other long-standing Trek road frame features carry through as usual, including the E2 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in tapered steerer tube, the extra-wide BB90 bottom bracket shell with direct press-fit cartridge bearings, and built-in chain keeper. The new Madone will also continue Trek’s tradition of offering multiple frame fits, including the aggressively low H1 geometry, the slightly taller H2, and the women-specific WSD with a taller stack and shorter reach.

Madones with the most aggressive H1 geometry will be made of Trek's top-end OCLV 700-Series carbon in the US; others are made of 600-Series overseas

Trek says standard Madone 9 Series models will be available in at dealers immediately with Project One custom options to follow soon. Models, pricing, and brief component highlights are as follows:

Trek Madone 9-Series Race Shop Limited: US$13,650 / £9,750 / €13,000-13,400 / AU$16,000

  • H1 geometry
  • 700-Series OCLV Carbon
  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 drivetrain
  • Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 TLR wheels

Trek Madone 9.9: US$12,600 / £9,000 / €12,000-12,300 / AU$14,000

  • H2 geometry
  • 600-Series OCLV Carbon
  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 drivetrain
  • Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 TLR wheels

Trek Madone 9.9 Women's: US$12,600 / £9,000 / €12,000-12,300 / AU$14,000

  • WSD geometry
  • 600-Series OCLV Carbon
  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 drivetrain
  • Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 TLR wheels

Trek Madone 9.5: US$8,400 / £6,000 / €8,000-8,400 / AU$8,000

  • H2 geometry
  • 600-Series OCLV Carbon
  • Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 drivetrain
  • Bontrager Aura 5 TLR wheels

Trek Madone 9.2: US$6,300 / €4,500 / €6,000-6,400 / AU$6,500

  • H2 geometry
  • 600-Series OCLV Carbon
  • Shimano Ultegra 6800 drivetrain
  • Bontrager Paradigm Elite TLR wheels

Trek Madone 9-Series H1 frameset: US$5,780 / £4,100 / €5,500-5,800 / AU$5,700

  • Trek will also offer the new madone 9-series as framesets in either h1 or h2 geometry:
  • H1 geometry
  • 700-Series OCLV Carbon

Trek Madone 9-Series H2 frameset: US$4,730 / £3,350 / €4,500-4,800 / AU$4,500

  • H2 geometry
  • 600-Series OCLV Carbon

 

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