Friday, March 28, 2014

Excellent Entry-Level Road Bike From Trek: 2014 Madone 2.1

Refined Aluminum Road Bike: 2014 Madone 2.1. Worthy of the Madone name. Super-aero shape and next level race technology. Incredible ride, incredible value.

Aerodynamics are becoming a key design concentration for many products, and it is fascinating to see that Trek has employed similar thinking in their entry-level bikes as they have on their top-tier race bikes.


 
Road.cc “The Madone 2.1 is Trek’s most affordable Madone model and sports a smart aluminum frame with Kammtail Virtual Foil shaped tubes, internal cable routing, tapered head tube, PressFit bottom bracket and a Shimano 105 groupset. This Madone shows just how good affordable road bikes have become in recent years…”

The KVF uses a truncated profile, where the trailing edge has been chopped off to save weight, but which amazingly causes the air to act as if the trailing edge was actually there. Trek also packed other modern features into the frame, including a Press-Fit BB 86.5mm bottom bracket. This houses the bearings inside the frame and allows the shell to be wider, and in turn allows the downtube to be much wider. The result — a much stiffer frame.

The shifters and mechanisms are from Shimano’s mid-level 105 group. It’s solid, reliable, durable, and functional. You can adjust the reach to the levers by adding shims, the hoods are very comfortable to rest your hands on, and the mechs will probably carry on working for ages with relatively little maintenance. There are two deviations from the 105 groupset: The Tiagra 12-30 cassette and non-series Shimano brake calipers.

As is expected, Trek fills out the rest of the bike with proprietary Bontrager parts: Bontrager hubs on approved aluminum rims wrapped with R1 23mm tires, the Bontrager Race seatpost (20mm layback and one bolt clamping mechanism) topped with a Bontrager Affinity 1 saddle with steel rails.


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