As riders rolled out of La Voulte-sur-Rhône for Stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, a brand new Trek Madone was spotted beneath some of the Trek-Segafredo riders, including Toms Skujinš and Jasper Stuyven.
While at first, the bike appeared devoid of any mention of the Madone model name, rumours prior to the race and the bike's clear aerodynamic intentions gave us all the clues we needed that this was a replacement for the bike that had previously won the 2019 World Championships beneath Mads Pedersen and Milan-San Remo beneath Stuyven. On closer inspection, the one-piece cockpit had the name of the famous French col - after which the bike is named - across its leading edge, confirming our suspicions.
We mused at the time that the bike is likely set to launch in line with the ever-nearing Tour de France, but now, thanks to an email signup form on Trek's own website, we can take that one step further and conclude that the new Trek Madone will launch on June 30th.
The mention there of 'ultimate race bike' is a pretty clear clue that this is the Madone, and the strange V shaped product in the background has a striking resemblance to the strange seat tube design, as shown in more detail in the images below.
So with confirmation that a new Madone is just days away, what can we deduce from the photos, and what do we know so far?
What do we know about the new Trek Madone?
The most noticeable aspect of the bike's design is the wild-looking junction between the top tube, the seat tube and the seatstays. Thanks to the below images taken by Road.cc, we can see that, put simply, there's a hole in the seat tube.
A photo posted by on
However, from a side-on angle, the intention of this hole becomes more apparent. The seat tube splits and forks outward to join the seatstays, and the seatstays continue in their direction, joining the top tube around three inches further forward than the seat tube usually would. From here, the top tube juts backward, creating three inches of floating top tube. This then turns and points upward to create a continuation of the seat tube, and it's this that the seatpost fits into.
The point, presumably, is that the floating top tube - and thus the floating seat tube - allows a few degrees of flex for the saddle and in turn the rider, without losing stiffness and power transfer at the bottom bracket area.
The Madone - and indeed Trek as a brand - has never been afraid to adopt novel solutions to the problem of compliance on a bicycle. The outgoing Madone used a technology called IsoSpeed, which featured a sliding adjustable damper on the underside of the curved top tube and a pivot point to allow the bike to flex to a rider-chosen degree depending on the terrain.
IsoSpeed no longer appears to be in use, but in the images above, the word 'IsoFlow' can be seen printed inside this hole. Given its similarity to the previous term, we assume the "Iso" part of this is related to the flex it offers, and predict the "Flow" part relates to the airflow it permits.
This leads us nicely onto the aerodynamics of the new Madone, which will be a key selling point when Trek eventually launches it as it has been ever since aero bikes became a thing.
Looking at the side-on shot of Skujins descending, it's clear that Trek has gone to town on deep tube sections. The head tube looks to be pushing the UCI's boundaries on tube profiles, while the fork legs are similarly optimised.
Trek's response to our request for information was the standard "We work with our athletes to continually develop new products…" so while we can all assume the new Madone is more aerodynamic than its predecessor, it's unlikely we'll have any idea for the specifics of how much more until the company officially launches it.
Will the new Madone have disc brakes?
Yes, and only disc brakes. It's probably not news to anyone at this stage, but Trek has been committed to disc brakes for around three years now, so we're certain that the new Madone will be available with disc brakes only.
Is there a new cockpit too?
As mentioned earlier, the Madone on which Trek-Segafredo are racing is fitted with a cockpit adorning the Madone wordmark. This likely means a new cockpit will launch alongside the bike, and if history is anything to go by, we predict it will be compatible with other Trek models, perhaps even with other brands of bike.
Will the new Madone have a threaded bottom bracket?
The cycling industry already has enough bottom bracket standards, and thankfully Trek appears to agree. From the images we can't be certain, but given Trek's outward confidence in its new T47 threaded bottom bracket standard, and the recent sighting of the still-unreleased Domane at Paris-Roubaix showing a continual commitment to the standard, we believe T47 will be found here too.
What about new Bontrager wheels?
Will we see new wheels alongside the new Madone? We think not. When Trek launched the new Emonda in 2020, it came with a slew of new 37mm deep Bontrager Aeolus RSL wheels alongside it. In the two years since, it has added to that range with the 51, 62 and 75mm depths. Trek Segafredo's riders appear to be using the existing wheels, so there's nothing here to suggest an update.
Price and availability of the new Trek Madone
Trek's existing Madone sits at an eyewatering £12,500 / $12,549.99 for the top-tier model shod with Dura-Ace Di2. Don't expect the new model to be anything less than this.
Like most bikes, we believe that you'll be able to buy the new Madone as soon as it launches, but until that day comes, we can't be sure how quickly it'll then arrive at your door. However, Trek typically has good relationships with its dealers, so in-store purchases will likely be available immediately after launch.
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Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.