Bike of the Week | £13,050 Trek Madone SLR Project One

Incredible paint job commands £1,050 premium

Trek Madone SLR 2021 BikeRadar's Bike of the Week

The Madone SLR is Trek’s top-end all-out aero bike and, back in July, it received a quiet update, moving from the much-disliked BB90 bottom bracket standard in favour of T47, adopting the brand’s highest grade OCLV 800 carbon layup and moving to disc only.

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The launch was also notable for the large price-tag of the highest spec bikes, with the Madone SLR 9 Disc eTap coming in at £11,950.

We’re delighted to bring you that very model for this week’s Bike of the Week with an added twist – Trek has taken things a step further, with this particular bike sporting a Project One (Trek’s in-house customisation programme) paint job, bringing the bike to a whopping £13,050.

What is Bike of the Week?

Every week, we bring you a detailed first look at one of the latest bikes (or framesets) to arrive at BikeRadar HQ – from road to commuting, gravel to enduro, and anything in between.

This is our chance to introduce the bike and everything that makes it unique before hitting the road or trails.

Head to our Bike of the Week hub for previous editions.

2021 Trek Madone SLR Project One paint job
If you want this oh so lovely Madone, you’ll have to pay…
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

That is, objectively, a great deal of money.

For that amount of cash you could actually buy three Trek Madone SL 6s – the cheapest version of the Madone and our 2020 aero road bike of the year – with £1,300 change left to upgrade the already good wheels on one of your clutch of aero wagons.

However, value is clearly not the point when you’re spending quite this much on a bike.

You are spending £13k on a bike simply because you can and nothing tastes better than those sweet, sweet gains – no matter how marginal they may be.

With that in mind, the build of the bike leaves absolutely nothing to be desired for the aspiring go-fast rider.

Built around a SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset – including the matching Quarq power meter that is integrated into chainrings – the bike looks outrageously clean, with not a single cable or hose on show.

The 60mm-deep Bontrager Aeolus XXX 6 wheelset is fitted with a set of Bontrager R4 320 clinchers in a 25mm width. These are, of course, tan wall to maximise Instagram points. Up front, the Madone uses a neat two-piece cockpit design.

The chunky stem clamps the bar vertically in a clamshell-like arrangement. This setup means there is no faceplate facing the wind, smoothing airflow.

The bar itself features an ‘extension’ that sits proud of the front of the stem – again, this is done to smooth airflow over the cockpit.

Going for this two-piece design as opposed to a one-piece cockpit means the bar or stem can be swapped or the bar rotated without giving up much in terms of aero performance.

2021 Trek Madone SLR Project One paint job
The top-end SLR is now built with OCLV 800.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

Other than the aforementioned move to a T47 threaded bottom bracket and the adoption of OCLV 800 – which is claimed to shed 80g compared to the previous generation – the overall shape and features of the frameset remain the same.

In any case, features be damned, we know it’s that incredible paint job you’re really interested in.

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The deep purple-y kinda-peacock-like glittery-tastic iridescent-ish finish looks astonishingly good, shifting drastically as you view the bike from different angles. It really is quite unlike anything we’ve had at BikeRadar HQ and almost makes the £1,050 premium over the stock bike feel worth it… maybe.