It's Aero. But aero isn't everything...

Trek have unveiled the latest Madone SLR, their flagship Aero Road bike. As expected it's a strong aero performer, with KVF tubes, hidden cable routing and smooth integration making for a sleek, wind-cheating bike.

But in recent years we've seen a welcome change from the early days of wind-tunnel testing, where manufacturers chased ultimate aero performance at the expense of everything else. Now there's an understanding that ride quality, position and weight all play a part in the overall equation, and new carbon materials, computer modelling and manufacturing techniques mean that a race-ready bike can maintain its focus without compromising on ride quality.

The new Madone SLR is built with Trek's latest OCLV 800 carbon, first seen on the recent new Émonda. Trek's strongest and lightest carbon, it makes for a frame that's 80g lighter than the previous generation.

The WorldTour Trek Segafredo team have been able to save a whopping 450g on their complete bikes, thanks to the lighter frames combined with the likes of the new Aeolus RSL integrated bar/stem and Aeolus RSL 37 wheelset. In this age of marginal gains and mature technologies that's quite an incredible achievement, their previous bikes were hardly heavyweights!

Trek haven't needed to cut corners to achieve this weight loss. There's the always welcome adjustable top tube IsoSpeed decoupler to improve ride quality (complete with damping to control rebound). This provides some carefully controlled flex at the junction of seat tube and top tube, which can be adjusted to suit individual rider weight and preferences. The end result is less fatigue on rougher roads (which is most, these days, lets face it!) without any loss of performance and efficiency in power delivery.

Unsurprisingly the Madone also features Trek's H1.5 Race fit. This geometry sits between the outright "stretched and super-low" of the H1, and their more endurance-focused H2. The end result is a great all-round position and one that we've found to be very easy to work with from a fit point of view, working brilliantly with a wide range of body types and flexibility.

The previous generation Madone was already one of the more versatile race-ready aero road bikes, with more attention paid to comfort than, say, the same generation Tarmac. As a result the Madone became the default choice for many riders, when looking for the perfect blend of aero, comfort and position.

But just as Specialized have improved the ride quality of their latest Tarmac, making it less extreme, Trek have likewise upped the game, using the latest tech to make this new Madone lighter without compromising on its ride quality or aero performance.

It's a very attractive package, and a fitting continuation of the venerable Madone name. Lets take a closer look:

As we've come to expect, the Madone makes extensive use of KVF "Kammtail Virtual Foil" tube shapes throughout the frame. These profiles (imagine a teardrop shape with the pointy end cut off) provide all the aero benefits of an airfoil shape, but use less material (keeping weight low) and offer much less surface area to catch cross winds, aiding stability.

The SLR bikes come as standard with the adjustable Madone aero bar and stem, with its integrated cable routing. This is a proven performer and already a popular choice, but the hidden cables can be a bit of a faff for mechanics, and when travelling.

With this in mind Trek are also offering the new Aeolus RSL integrated bar and stem as an option on Project One Madones. This saves 160g in weight over the 'standard' (already light weight) Madone cockpit, without sacrificing any aero performance at all - and has more accessible cabling, still neatly and aerodynamically hidden below the bar/stem, but easier to access.

Another nice practical benefit, that has been gradually rolling out across the entire Trek road range, is a T47 threaded bottom bracket. This gives the ability to handle the multitude of modern crank standards, with oversized bearings, but without the potential for creaks that was the achilles heel of press-fit BBs. It's a win/win, with no down side, and one we're very pleased to see.

Project One

One of Trek's most exciting tools is their Project One custom programme, enabling you to spec your own unique build (including the likes of those Aeolus bar/stem and the new 1325g Aeolus RSL 37 wheelset) - and of course to choose from a gorgeous range of custom paint schemes.

We've already seen some stunning new paint options previewed as part of the recent Émonda launch, now Trek have expanded the range further. These really deserve their own blog, so check out our full overview of the new Artist Series here and the latest updates to the ICON series here.

Bespoke Builds

Project One isn't the only option for custom spec, and of course we can take a frameset and build it to create your own unique dream bike. The Madone SLR is available as a frameset only, in Carbon Smoke/Crimson, and will also be available as frame only via Project One if you want to go to town on the colours.

Whether you opt for an off-the-peg configuration, the stock frameset or a Project One frame we will of course ensure the perfect fit.

The new Madone SLR is in our Bike Builder now, allowing you to create your ideal build online and interactive.

The SLR Range

Alongside the frameset and the almost unlimited Project One custom options, there are five "off the peg" Madone SLR builds available (and of course we ensure the perfect fit, even on a stock build).

Madone SLR 6 - £6250
Ultegra mechanical / Aeolus Pro 5 carbon wheels

Madone SLR 7 - £7500 / £8050
​Ultegra Di2 / Aeolus Pro 5 carbon wheels

Madone SLR 7 eTap - £8200
Force eTap AXS with integrated power meter / Aeolus Pro 5 carbon wheels

Madone SLR 9 - £11,350
Dura-Ace Di2 / Bontrager Aeolus XXX 6 carbon wheels

Madone SLR 9 eTap - £11,950
RED eTap AXS with integrated power meter / Aeolus Pro 5 carbon wheels

Madone SLR Frameset - £4200

The new Madone SLR looks set to be another success for Trek, and forms a part of a well-rounded range of road race bikes.

If weight is your primary concern the new Émonda may be your weapon of choice (forgoing the IsoSpeed damping and some of the aero performance of the Madone). For endurance riders the Domane will continue to be the top choice, with IsoSpeed both front and rear.

But for sheer race-day performance, and a bike that can be used equally for crits, Tri events and training, the Madone makes a compelling case. To discuss your own build, fit options and more, simply get in touch.