Trek Madone 6 Series Review

Updated May 31, 2013
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Trek Madone 6 Series
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Trek completely redesigned the Madone 6 to be supremely fast and ultra-lightweight with Kammtail Virtual Foil (KVF) carbon tubing, Shimano Ultegra components, and Bontrager wheels and tires. The Madone 6 is also on top of the tech game with a DuoTrap digital sensor recessed into the chainstay, and it's fully compatible with a Di2 electronic shifting option. As a bonus, Trek's Project One lets riders select the components and paint scheme to create their own personal dream bike.

Performance

Superbike of the Year. Road.cc names the Madone 6 Superbike of the Year for 2013 as well as its No. 2 Bike of the Year. "We've found the new version to be super-fast and very comfortable. It might just be the best of all worlds," says Mat Brett. Peloton Magazine editors find the Madone 6's acceleration impressive, adding that "the bike is just plain fun when you turn the screws, pure stiffness-to-weight-ratio good times."

ProsFast acceleration at any speed, Very lightConsFrame can be too stiff for some

The new KVF tube shapes are truncated airfoils that essentially fool the air into thinking it's flowing around a much deeper shape. Trek launched this technology with its Speed Concept Time Trial bike, which is widely regarded as one of the fastest time-trial bikes. These shapes are used in the fork blades, downtube, seat tube, headtube and seat stays, with the KVF tail creating lateral stiffness while allowing some vertical flex.

BikeRadar.com's James Huang says despite a radical chassis redesign, the bike "is still a classic Madone with snappy reflexes, brilliant handling and a suitably stout backbone, but it could be a little lighter and many riders may never realize the full aero benefits." The ANT+ compatible DuoTrap sensors recessed into the chainstay provide cadence (pedal rotations) and speed data to any ANT+ head unit, and Trek adds electronic drivetrain compatibility for use with either Shimano's Di2 electric derailleur or Campagnolo's Electric Power Shift (EPS).

Comfort

Customizable. The Madone 6 series is available in two frame styles, H1 and H2, that differ in the length of the headtube; one is better for performance rides while the other better suits a more upright, relaxed ride.

Road.cc's Brett calls the Madone 6 series "very, very fast" and "way more comfortable than you've a right to expect of a high-performance bike." Other reviewers say the brake levers aren't as intuitive as the rest of the bike, but add that the feel doesn't hinder performance. Owners can choose their own specs and color scheme through Trek's custom build program.

Durability

Strong and stiff. The 2013 Madone 6 series combines the "tried-and-true Madone features" that many riders will recognize from past models with new and innovative technology to make the bike even stronger. Much of this power comes from the use of 600 Series optimum compaction low void (OCLV) carbon, which has a higher stiffness to weight ratio than the Madone 5 series.

Huang likes the frame's rigidity: "The chassis is impressively resistant to twist when muscling out of the saddle and the bike was fantastically responsive to steering inputs."

Customer Service

Renowned service. All Trek bicycles are sold exclusively through authorized dealers and riders can adjust their own specs when ordering through Trek's Project One custom program. The Madone frame has a lifetime warranty. For the remainder of the bike, check Trek.com since the finer details are complicated. The company's "support" website is very detailed and a number of reviews at various cycling forums rave about the service at Trek stores, including customers who are put on a loaner bike while waiting for repairs or part orders.

Our Sources

1. BikeRadar.com

Trek Madone 6-Series Review, James Huang, March 1, 2013

Huang gives the Madone 6 series 3.5 out of 5 stars, saying it has a "mostly solid kit but integrated brakes are disappointing."

2. Road.cc

Trek Madone 6 Series 2013 - Custom Build, Mat Brett, Aug. 22, 2012

This British cycling website provides detailed, test-based reviews of road bikes and rates them on a five-point scale, although more than a few aren't widely available in the U.S. Here editors pick their top 10 test bikes from the last 12 months plus a five-bike "superbike shootout." Brett calls the Trek Madone 6 "lightweight, very fast and comfortable - a super-high performance bike that won't disappoint, if you have the cash."

3. Road.cc

Road.cc Bike of the Year, Editors of Road.cc, Not dated

Road.cc names the Trek Madone 6 "superbike of the year" and runner-up to the Bike of the Year title. Its winning characteristics are summarized in a brief description.

4. Peloton Magazine

Trek Madone 6 Series Reviewed, Editors of Peloton Magazine, June 26, 2012

The Madone 6 is put through its paces in Belgium and editors present an extensive but rarely critical review. "The new bike's aero performance is tough to quantify," they say.