The all-new Trek Madone 5.2 is a mid-range version of the new-design Madone frame and forkset from Trek. With the Performance-Fit range having a 3cm higher head tube than the Pro-Fit range, the bike has the look of a gate about it. Trek?s previous down-sloping top tube has been abandoned for the universal compact design.

It didn?t look like it would be, but the bike was light, even in a large size, but our test bike was a prototype so we?ll wait and see.

Kitted out with the new Shimano Ultegra SL groupset, there were no complaints regarding performance in this department, although the finish did wear off the cranks after one ride. Trek?s move of only offering a compact chainset for the Performance range is a radical one, but it is one shared with Cannondale and having spent a couple of days riding it I would agree that it works.

The new design and technology that has gone into the frame and fork was evident on the first ride. The beefier bottom bracket gave a reassuring transfer of power without the tiring ride that a too-stiff frame can give. Likewise the front end, while giving a stable and steady ride, gave a direct feel when negotiating uneven and sharp turns. When out of the saddle, even though the bike was a 60cm, the ride was not bendy like some are in large sizes.

Trek hopes this will be the bike that helps the brand build over the next few years. While not agreeing with the spiel that the bike is changing history, it is certainly an improvement on what was already a good frameset.

The geometry and ride remain solid and consistent with strength improved in the right areas without compromising ride quality. Component choice is as always, standard Bontrager and Shimano with only the saddle being an obvious candidate for the bin ? it?s a shame that Trek cuts costs in this area.

The new Madone comes with a pre-drilled drain hole and the new seat tube design also prevents water getting in.

TREK MADONE 5.2

Distributor Trek UK 01908 282626 www.trekbike.co.uk

Price £TBA

Frame OCLV Black Series carbon

Fork Bontrager Race X Lite with E2 steerer; carbon

Size range 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm

Weight TBA (prototype)

Groupset Shimano Ultegra SL

Alterations Shimano Carbon 50 wheels

Gear ratios 50/34 or 52/39/30 with 11-25 or 12-27

Wheels Bontrager Race Lite

Tyres Bontrager Race X Lite, 700x23c

Bars Bontrager Race Lite VR

Stem Bontrager Race X Lite

Seatpost Carbon seat mast cap

Saddle Bontrager Race Lite

OUR FIRST IMPRESSION: 8/10