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Madone 6.9 SSL

Madone 6.9 SSL

Postby Ypsylon » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:09 pm

I got to ride a Trek Madone 6.9 SSL for 4 weeks while I was in Tucson and figured I'd share some thoughts.

I had a size 54 H2 fit, Ultegra di2 group, Bontrager components and a pair of custom Tune/KinLin wheels.

Unfortunatly I can't provide any specific weights, but this isn't supposed to be about technical details anyways, just my ride impressions.

First of all, I could actually tell Trek made this one to win three week tours. It really does everything you need to do to win le tour really well, or, actually, it does what I imagine you want in a grand tour.

Cornering:
It's definetly less snappy than a Parlee Z5, or Storck Scenario, but you can still corner fast. It turned really predictable and stable, perfect for descending Mt. Lemmon or ripping through the rollercoaster they call Saguraro National Park, maybe not my first choice for super tight crits. I'd say it might not be the fastest through one turn, but I've never had to really correct a turn, I always came out where I thought I would. This might be coincidence, but that's not something I can say about any of the other bikes I've ridden.

The ride:
It's definetly the most comfy road bike I've ridden so far. I logged a lot of miles on consecutive days over roads that I'd definetly say are less smooth than what I usually deal with, without problems. This bike really doesn't beat you up, you'll have to do that yourself.
I'd say this trade has mostly to do with the Trek seatmast, as accelerating was no problem at all. It was definetly not lacking bb stiffness. I'd probably chose the Parlee and the Storck if I was expecting a bunch sprint, but I'd definetly prefer it over a Cervélo S1.

Some of you might have heard of the famous shoot out ride that takes place in Tucson every Saturday and often attracts names you've heard before. I was introduced to Mr. Todd Wells the night before my first shoot out and we had a little chat at the begining. When the pace picked up he told me it was time to move up I had no trouble at all navigating through the bunch following his wheel. When he decided it was time to chase down the Garmin Solarworld rider I foolishly followed him into the echelon and the bike still behaved very well and stable when the buzzing of the wheels dampned and the world around me turned black and white. I used to have very light aluminium frame that would not go straight once I started suffering, but on the Madone that was nothing to worry about.

Just for the protocol, we had reeled the Garmin guy back in before I was spit out the back.

A bit of a problem is that I don't know anybody that rides any of the three grand tours and still gets to pick his own bike. For the competitive racer who's mostly into shorter crits, the Madone is a solid performer, but not my first choice.

But, if you're into long road races, daily training rides or epic tours the Madone is definetly a bike to consider. It has a really comfortable ride without resorting to longer chainstays or stuff like that, that would push handling more into something you'd consider for Paris-Roubaix. It won't beat you up if you want to get on your bike day after day, but you can still mix up Wednesday night worlds and the bike won't hold you back.

Now, should Trek add the Jens Voig paint sheme to their Project One program, I'd definetly want one pretty bad.

Image

Update: This hasn't anything to do with the review per se, but while there's no Jens Voigt paint sheme in P1, Trek has added a "Shut up legs" seatmast, so I suppose there's something on the way.
"Nothing compares to the simple pleasures of a bike ride," said John F. Kennedy, a man who had the pleasure of Marilyn Monroe.
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Re: Madone 6.9 SSL

Postby Mike K. » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:47 am

Nice review. Often wondered how a Madone would ride. The Shoot Out sounds like a blast.
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