First launched at the Grand Depart of the Tour de France last month, the new Trek Madone might not have helped Trek Factory Racing pick up much in the way of glory or prize money in July, but was certainly eye-catching and a big change from the previous model.
We travelled to the Trek World show in Milton Keynes to take a closer look at the new Madone, as well as to see what else you can expect from Trek and Bontrager over the next year.
Understandably it was the new Madone that was gathering the most attention at the show. The bike has been completely redesigned for 2016, with aerodynamic kamm-tail tube shapes and an IsoSpeed decoupler carried over from the Domane.
At the front end the bike features a similar aerodynamic integrated bar and stem combo to what we have seen with the new Scott Foil and Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS. Indeed this design matches the integration seen on the Venge ViAS, with all gear and brake cables routed through the bar and stem and into the frame.
One of the problems raised by this design is how do you adjust the gears, mechanical or electronic. Trek’s solution is a “control centre” located towards the top of the down tube, which allows riders to adjust gears using barrel adjusters or the button on a Shimano Di2 junction box.
The final bit of big news on the integration front is with the brakes. These have been specifically designed for the new Madone, with the front one sitting plumb up against the front side of the fork crown, while the rear one is also in its standard position, but well shielded by seatstays.
Other neat features of the new bike include the micro-adjust seatpost, which allows for easy small adjustments of your riding position, and the integrated chaincatcher.
The new Madone will be available in August, with five builds ranging from £5999 to £12999.
The other two men’s models in the Trek road range are the Domane and Emonda, both of which are unchanged for 2016.
The Domane, Trek’s endurance race bike, features the same IsoSpeed technology as the Madone, but without the aerodynamic tube shapes. The Trek Domane 5.9 that you see above sits around the mid-point of the range at £3000, and comes equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2, and Bontrager Race Lite TLR wheels.
The Emonda is the American brand’s lightweight model, a bike which stole the headlines last year when it took the title of the world’s lightest production frame (although it has now been usurped by the new Merida Scultura).
This Emonda SLR 9 sits one down from the top of the Emonda range (which starts at £1300 with the Emonda ALR) and comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Bontrager Aeolus 3 wheels. This bike will set you back £8000.
Trek’s women’s specific road range is made up of two models: the Lexa and the Silique. Both feature the IsoSpeed decoupler and while the Silique has a carbon frame, the Lexa SLX you see here is made from aluminium (albeit with a carbon fork). This model comes with Shimano 105 gearing and an RS500 chainset.
It might be the middle of summer, but Bontrager is already starting to think about keeping you seen through the gloomy days and dark nights that we’ve got to look forward to in a couple of months’ time.
The new Halo jersey and bib shorts feature Pixel reflective fabric. This means that although they look like standard pieces of clothing during the day (not even including too much high-viz yellow), at night they become highly reflective to make you more visible to traffic.
Aside from the Halo reflective technology, the main clothing news concern Bontrager’s new shorts.
For 2016 all Bontrager shorts will come with an inform BioDynamic chamois. These will be gender-specific and claim to reduce hot spots and friction. What’s more they aren’t just designed to work with Bontrager saddles, and the company says that they have tested the chamois with saddles from rival manufacturers to make sure comfort is improved whatever your choice of saddle.
On the subject of saddles, Bontrager have a few new models for 2016, most notably the new Hilo XXX Carbon time trial saddle, and a couple of new additions to the Ajna line of female-specific race saddles.
However a bigger development is probably the new inform BioDynamics fitting system. This is in some ways similar to Fizik’s Spine Concept, with the choice of saddle determined by rider flexibility, but Bontrager will also take into account the width of a rider’s sit bones and the length of rides he or she is doing.
Following the likes of Bell and Giro, Bontrager is integrating the MIPS Brain Protection System into its helmet line for 2016. This technology comes in the form of a yellow shell on the inside of the helmet, effectively separating the inner and outer of the helmet, allowing the outer shell of the helmet to rotate when it hits the road, while your head is kept more secure and safer.
The new technology isn’t yet available across the range, with only the middle of the road Starvos helmet being given the system for this year.
The other new helmet in the range is the Ballista, a model which we first spotted at the Tour Down Under way back in January. This aero road helmet features many of the same technologies as the brand’s Aeolus time trial helmet, but with the comfort and ease of adjustment of the Velocis road lid. Three colours will be available priced at £129.99.
Most of Bontrager’s new shoes, such as the excellent new Velocis, have already been announced, but it was good to see the full range in the flesh. Perhaps most eye-catching were the retro-looking Classique shoes, not exactly new but available in a snazzy “bleu” colourscheme for 2016.
We also liked the women’s Menaj shoes, effectively a women’s version of the Velocis. Like 50% of Bontrager’s shoe line, the Menaj features Boa dial adjustment, and comes in quite a nice white and blue colour scheme.
We also got to see the Bontrager Transmitr, which was announced in April, in the flesh. This is a small remote control which is attached to your handlebars and allows you to wirelessly control up to seven different lights.
Using ANT+ you will be able to control the modes of the lights and even see the amount of battery life left in your lights.
We’ll be looking to get plenty of Trek and Bontrager products in for review over the coming months.