Trek Madone Gen 8 SL7: First ride review

Trek's new Madone supersedes its aero champion and kills off the Emonda altogether - so is this one bike to rule them all?

Trek Madone SLR Gen 8
(Image: © Future/ Peter Stuart)

Early Verdict

The new Madone has big shoes to fill by replacing two of the most impressive bikes on the market, but initial impressions indicate it's done just that


  • +

    Fantastic ride quality and comfort

  • +

    Rigid in power transfer and handling

  • +

    Stunningly light

  • +

    A blisteringly fast bike


  • -

    The accompanying water bottles may take some getting used to

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

It’s hard to conjure a bike more iconic to pro cycling than the Trek Madone. The Madone was born out of the glory years of Lance Armstrong’s now-shamed successive Tour de France wins, and named after his key training climb – the Col de la Madone. But the Trek Madone achieved the rare feat of surviving the Texan’s fall from grace and living on independently with its own unique legacy. 

The Madone Gen 8 is arguably the most true-to-nature version of Trek’s flagship racer since its original iteration - combining the aerodynamics of the previous Madone with the lightweight design of the Emonda and doing away with the latter model altogether in the process. It brings Trek’s entire performance road bike line back to basics - the Domane is still there for the comfort-cum-cobble market, but the Madone is now Trek’s one and only flagship racer. In the years before the dedicated aero bike, that was the norm, and Trek claims to have returned to that with no downside.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart has been the editor of Cyclingnews since March 2022, overseeing editorial output across all of Cyclingnews' digital touchpoints.

Before joining Cyclingnews, Peter was the digital editor of Rouleur magazine. Starting life as a freelance feature writer, with bylines in The Times and The Telegraph, he first entered cycling journalism in 2012, joining Cyclist magazine as staff writer. Peter has a background as an international rower, representing Great Britain at Under-23 level and at the Junior Rowing World Championships.