Aero road. Those two words carry plenty of weight these days. A sleek bike that practically encourages solo breakaways. Other aero road bikes have been saddled with a punishing ride quality and pudgy numbers on the scale. But not the Madone SLR Disc.
Trek took a close look at the previous-gen Madone 9-series and looked at what worked and what could be improved upon. The new Madone SLR bikes are all constructed of Trek's featherweight 700 Series OCLV carbon fiber, allowing the engineers free reign when designing in aerodynamics, lightness and torsional strength. The overall shape of the current (and previous) Madone road bicycles comes from a demanding field in aerodynamic design: Le Mans sportscars. When long-tail racing cars proved to be unstable in crosswinds, designeers lopped off some of the tapered rear end of the cars. They discovered that the change had almost no effect on top speed, but helped to keep overall weight down as well as improve control in gusty crosswinds. Cool, huh? At speed, the airflow rejoins behind the car as if the bodywork was still there. Called Kammtail Virtual Foil (or KVF), the Madone's shape takes full advantage, making the bike a much lighter and more controllable machine. Even the Speed Concept try/TT bike uses that same frame shaping for PR-crushing performance.
From top to bottom, the Madone SLR takes well-thought details and produces a super-clean bike that shows almost nothing to the wind. By submerging all the cables and hoses inside the multi-piece handlebar, stem, frame and fork, the Madone SLR's drag number stay very low. An aperture in the left chainstay for a DuoTrap S speed/cadence sensor eliminates the need for clumsy zip-ties. Even the adjustable 3S chain keeper got an aero makeover. Tires up to 28mm can be fitted (depending on rim width), allowing the bike to get even more comfortable over rough and choppy pavement.
All this might sound like the kind of stuff Trek's competitors would do when trying to build a copy of the Madone SLR. But there's one thing they can't build into their bikes: adjustable IsoSpeed. The previous generation Madone SLR took the world by storm with an IsoSpeed rear seat mast, making it more comfortable than plenty of road bikes in general, not just other aero road machines. With this Madone's adjustable IsoSpeed component found under the top tube, the bike can adjusted for different rider weights, different road surfaces and expected ride quality in general. Like the Domane SLR, only allen wrenches are all that's needed to do a roadside adjustment in seconds. The IsoSpeed unit also features a reduced rebound by 13%, keeping the bike from feeling "bouncy" over repeated impacts. A fresher rider will race the last mile of any event better than a tired rider. IsoSpeed just makes sense for everyone.
An ultra-rigid BB90 press-fit bottom bracket is an excellent anchor point for any installed crankset, ensuring no power is wasted under hard efforts. Cleanly integrated brake calipers help keep drag to a minimum.