Trek Madone 5.9 – First ride review

Revamped for 2011

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £3,400.00 RRP | USD $3,989.99

Our review

Less of a sportive machine and more an out-and-out race weapon
Skip to view product specifications

We loved last year’s top-flight 6 series Trek Madone, describing the Project One as ‘highly technical, super-light, super-stiff but above all incredibly comfortable’, and awarding the 6.9 Radioshack 10 out of 10.

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So we were pleased to hear that the 2011 second-tier 5 series is based on the flagship frame. Compared to last year’s beefy, oversized tubeset, the new 5 series Madone has a classy, minimalist look, and Trek claim this diet has reduced frame weight by more than 150g.

While the top-of-the-range Madone is still built in the USA with Trek’s OCLV technology, production of the 5 series has moved to Asia and uses TCT – Trek Carbon Technology – a process that, according to Trek, has made the Madone 5.9 15 percent stiffer than 2010 frames.

Unfortunately, that extra stiffness has turned what was a sublimely cushioned ride into something more neutral. It feels much more of a racer’s tool – it’s great whipping it up to a sprint, but when climbing or riding along on the flat the overriding feeling is of rigidity.

Our demo model came with a mixture of Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra – a Dura-Ace chainset and rear mech combined with Ultegra front mech, brakes and levers. The remainder of the bike is finished with in-house Bontrager kit, including Race Lite RX wheels, a carbon seatpost, and aluminium bar and stem.

The wheels are simple, solid and not too weighty, while the bar and stem combo keeps the front end sharp with no real flex to be felt except on the roughest surfaces. The new frame has fully internal routed cabling which gives the bike a much neater look, but will make maintenance something best left to your local bike shop.

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Overall, the Trek 5.9 seems less of a sportive machine and more an out-and-out race weapon, more about efficiency and less about being a nice place to be. Ultimately, we’re a little disappointed by that.

Trek madone 5.9: trek madone 5.9
Paul Smith - www.smithpic.co.uk

Product Specifications

Product

Name Madone 5.9 (11)
Brand Trek Bikes

Available Colours White/Placid Blue
Headset Type Integrated, cartridge bearings, sealed, alloy, 1-1/8" top, 1.5" bottom
Stem Bontrager Race X Lite, 7 degree, 31.8mm
Shifters Shimano Ultegra STI, 10 speed
Seatpost Bontrager Ride Tuned Carbon seatmast cap, 20mm offset
Saddle Bontrager Affinity 2, hollow Cro-Moly rails
Rear Shock NA
Rear Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace
Pedals n/a
Handlebar Bontrager Race Blade VR, 31.8mm
Available Sizes 50 52 54 56 58 60 50 52 54 56 64cm 47 47 56 47 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64cm 47 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64cm 47 50 52 54 56 58 60 47 50 52 54 56 47 50 52 54 47 50 56 58 47 50 56 58 54 56 58 54 56 58 56 52 54 56 58 60 62 52 54 56 58 60 62 64cm 52 54 56 58 60 52 54 56 58 52 54 56 58 60 62 56 58 60 62 56 58 60 62 54 56 58 54 56 54 56 54 56 58 54 56 58 54 56 54 56 56 58 56 52 47 47
Grips/Tape Bontrager gel tape
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Frame Material 5 Series TCT Carbon, E2, BB90, internal cable routing, DuoTrap compatible
Fork Bontrager Race X Lite w/E2 aluminum steerer, carbon crown and legs
Cranks Shimano Dura-Ace, 50/34
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 11-28, 10 speed
Brakes Shimano Ultegra w/Shimano Ultegra STI levers
Spoke Type Bontrager R3, 700x23c