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Trek made a splash earlier this summer when it launched a completely revamped Émonda climbing bike with aero tubing. We reviewed that bike in issue 95, but long story short, it’s an excellent update that is not only lightning quick uphill, but offers a well-rounded experience as well. The key technology advancement that made a sub-700-gram aero frame possible was 800 Series OCLV Carbon, which has a 30-percent higher strength than previous carbon materials Trek has worked with. Now this new material is gracing the aero-focused Madone SLR 9 race bike, helping the world championship-winning bike shed 450 grams, or almost an entire pound.
Because this new material offers a much higher strength than previous carbon materials without compromising on stiffness, Trek’s engineers were able to use less material to achieve the desired ride characteristics. Trek says the new frame saves 80 grams over the previous model. Otherwise the tube shapes remain the same, meaning this bike should continue to offer the super-fast experience we’re used to.
Now, back to that whole saving a pound thing. Astute readers will have noticed that 80 grams is not quite a pound—or even that close to a pound for that matter. So where’s the rest? The remainder of that 450-gram savings comes from updated spec: new Bontrager RSL 37 Wheels (100g saved), a new Aeolus bar/stem (160g saved), lighter paint (50g saved) and a Red DUB T47 crank (60g saved).
This new OCLV 800 carbon hasn’t exactly trickled down the Trek line, rather it has trickled across from one top level SLR 9 frame to another. The new Madone SLR 9 costs a pretty penny at $12,500 for complete builds, and $4,000 for a frameset.
There’s one more bit of big news on the Madone front. Continuing a trend we have been seeing with each update across the Trek road line, the new Madone also makes the leap to the T47 bottom bracket standard, which is threaded for a higher level of serviceability. Even if you never touch a bottom bracket yourself, your mechanic will rejoice.
The new Madone is available now along with some new Project ONE paint schemes.