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  1. #1
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    Trek Madone test ride

    I got lucky today. A customer of my is a serious biker. (Mark did a Time Trial of 100 miles in 3:52 Hrs)
    He knows this Bike Store Owner who happens to ride a Trek Madone size 58. Mark recommends the Madone highly over other bikes.
    This guy installed a computer on it and offered to let me ride his bike for a week.
    I went to my favored Detroit Metropark and made a initial trial run of 40 miles. This park road is not in good condition and they are repairing/replacing it now. So it is not a smooth ride.
    Here are my observations compared to a five year old Cannondale aluminum frame bike size 60.
    The ability to smoothing out road vibration is dramatic for the Madone.
    The geometry of either the Madone and/or the size 58 allows me to spin more uniform so I feel more empowered. My original bike creates a feeling of push/pull, the Madone encourages uniform spinning.
    The Aluminum bike has Aerobars, the Madone has not. Therefore my top speed in the drops was equal to the Cannondale size 60. The average speed over 40 miles was higher for the Madone than the Cannondale by about 10%. In my opinion due to the smoother operation of the bike.
    Another surprise was riding using the drops. I have never been comfortable in the drops. I now think that the 60 frame was just to big for me and 58 is right. I used the drops a lot today. No choice since there were no Aerobars.
    The Madone is more fun to ride. The 40 miles seemed like no big deal. I intend to put a few hundreth miles on the Madone in that week. (time permitting)
    I am posting this in part as thanks to the 50+ BF who have helped to get me to this point with performance biking. Also, I may get a reality check by you guys. BTW, the price of this type of bike is reasonable.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    You'll get no disagreement from me. I test rode several bikes before making my choice, and the Madone was the one I was happiest with. In your brief review you've captured many of the best aspects of the bike. For me, the "feel" of the bike on the road is the single biggest selling point... it's a very light and very stiff carbon frame, but it handles road vibration so well that you can hammer on it for hours and not feel beat up the way you would on some other bikes. I've done a number of centuries on my Madone now (none of them in times remotely close to 3:52!!), and after each one I felt like I was ready for more.

    There are plenty of other great bikes out there -- the Madone has no monopoly on carbon fiber sweetness. But if what you're after is a great ride, it's hard for me to imagine somebody getting a Madone and then regretting it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    They are a sweet ride, and you are a lucky man to snatch one for a week. Love to hear your thoughts at the end of the week. BTW, is it the 5.2 or the 5.9?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  4. #4
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I saw a 5200 S.P.A. today. looked very interesting. I think they are part of the Pilot family though.
    Carpe who?

  5. #5
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy™
    I saw a 5200 S.P.A. today. looked very interesting. I think they are part of the Pilot family though.
    Wondering just how much more comfort vs. "squish" their s.p.a. suspension system provides. On my mtn. bike with front suspension, I sometimes feel on the street like I'm rowing a rocking boat (on washboard trail I just feel grateful!). Nice to get a test ride impression posted here.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    They are a sweet ride, and you are a lucky man to snatch one for a week. Love to hear your thoughts at the end of the week. BTW, is it the 5.2 or the 5.9?
    It is a 5.2 with original Bontrager saddle, saddle stem, Race light wheels (with eyelets!), Ultegra (which shifted very crisp compared to my 5 year old ones.)
    I did another 40 miles today. Squeezing it between business and travel schedules.
    Interesting to me, the Bike Shop owner is a bit taller than me. I questioned why he rides size 58. His reply was that he does that on purpose and is no accident. Same answer I got from Mark the Hot Shot.
    I am beginning to think that a bike one size too large is not a good thing.
    I bike a lot on a much smaller frame Trek Hybrid 7700 and find it very comfortable except on Aerobars.
    I think I found my next bike. Need to see how Aerobars fit on this thing. Perhaps will go XC next year God and Wife permitting. (not a sure thing )

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    Wondering just how much more comfort vs. "squish" their s.p.a. suspension system provides. On my mtn. bike with front suspension, I sometimes feel on the street like I'm rowing a rocking boat (on washboard trail I just feel grateful!). Nice to get a test ride impression posted here.
    CC:
    Starting to ride today, there was this real determined biker. (you know you can tell, equipment, style of riding, cadence. Dressed for summer in 43 degree weather)
    I see him coming full speed and, of course, need to try out my new bike. Well, I kept up with him up some hill and that was that. From being cold I was overheated. I had four layers of clothes on.
    After that I took it easy and enjoyed the beautiful riding bike.
    The Madone finds a nice compromise between being squishy or being harsh like glass (or Aluminum).
    BTW, I asked Mark why no Ti. (He is not money limited) Answer: Too much flexing. Mark is a little bigger than me and of course immensely strong.

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    CC:
    The Madone finds a nice compromise between being squishy or being harsh like glass (or Aluminum).
    BTW, I asked Mark why no Ti. (He is not money limited) Answer: Too much flexing. Mark is a little bigger than me and of course immensely strong.
    I once had a test ride on a litespeed ti bike and found the same. It did flex and at times it felt as though I was sitting in the middle of a very stiff spring. Front wheels staying where they were but me dropping an inch or so at every bump. Mind you- It was the longest test ride I have ever done on a bike that was not completely set up for me, and there was no discomfort whatsoever. Not very often I get to ride a top quality bike for 40 miles. Only thing that stopped me from buying it was that only thing of cost- Early days of Ti and it was expensive.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Will-one of my bikes is a Madone 5.2. It is a very good stiff, solid frame and is excellent for flats, rollers or climbing. It is extremely stable and solid on descents as well-in fact I like it descending a lot more than the 5900. It just feels like I have more bike under me. My Madone now has the new 10 speed (double crank) package on it and I just love how it shifts and spins up. If I did the XC trip across the US I'd ride the Madone over the 5900.

    It sounds like the 58 is going to be the perfect size for you. Now all you'll need to do is find the right height for the handlebars.

    You might not want to do it but you could probably find a used a Madone 5.2 that's about 1 year old out there and save a good bit of money. I'm glad you got a chance to try one out.
    Ride your Ride!!

  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    BTW-it was golf today (and tomorrow). I'm in the home of golf in the USA-Pinehurst!!!
    Ride your Ride!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Interesting to me, the Bike Shop owner is a bit taller than me. I questioned why he rides size 58. His reply was that he does that on purpose and is no accident. Same answer I got from Mark the Hot Shot.
    I am beginning to think that a bike one size too large is not a good thing.
    This year I moved from a 56 to a 54 and don't regret it a bit. While my seat is back a bit more, I feel I have more control over the bike, ride in the drops more comfortably, and am able to spin better.... all good things in my view. My sons (the smart a$$es they are) were quick to point out that I best remember that I'll continue to get shorter as I age.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  12. #12
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    I've also got a madone 5.2 in a 58 and I ride a 55 Litespeed (not as often now that I've got the madone- its (LS) too mushy for me). 56 any other Road bike. Must admit it took me awhile to get used to it but its now my Go To Bike!!!!
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=stapfam]I once had a test ride on a litespeed ti bike and found the same. It did flex and at times it felt as though I was sitting in the middle of a very stiff spring. Front wheels staying where they were but me dropping an inch or so at every bump.QUOTE]

    You are confirming what others told me. Thanks.
    BTW, a good Ti bike will cost more here in the USA.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Will-one of my bikes is a Madone 5.2. It is a very good stiff, solid frame and is excellent for flats, rollers or climbing. It is extremely stable and solid on descents as well-in fact I like it descending a lot more than the 5900. It just feels like I have more bike under me. My Madone now has the new 10 speed (double crank) package on it and I just love how it shifts and spins up. If I did the XC trip across the US I'd ride the Madone over the 5900.

    It sounds like the 58 is going to be the perfect size for you. Now all you'll need to do is find the right height for the handlebars.

    You might not want to do it but you could probably find a used a Madone 5.2 that's about 1 year old out there and save a good bit of money. I'm glad you got a chance to try one out.
    Hi jppe:
    The test bike has a 10 speed double crank. Ultegra. Amazing how crisp it shifts. Those Japanese do make some fine products ( ).
    This same bike has perfect saddle to bar height for me. No adjustments were needed. I will try to buy this bike from him. I rather have triple crank but I think I am getting stronger. I used to go to the 39 crank ring in this park I keep talking about. With the Madone I never shifted from the 53. So I am thinking that double may be OK for XC, or perhaps go compact if in doubt. I wonder what this guy will say if I tell him that he will not get his bike back? Just kidding . Money talks BS walks I have been told.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    BTW-it was golf today (and tomorrow). I'm in the home of golf in the USA-Pinehurst!!!
    You lucky guy. Some of us have to keep the economy going and keep Social Security from going kaput .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    My sons (the smart a$$es they are) were quick to point out that I best remember that I'll continue to get shorter as I age.
    They are not kidding. I lost 1/2 to 1 Inch somehow.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron
    I've also got a madone 5.2 in a 58 and I ride a 55 Litespeed (not as often now that I've got the madone- its (LS) too mushy for me). 56 any other Road bike. Must admit it took me awhile to get used to it but its now my Go To Bike!!!!
    OK, Madone it is. (initially I pronounced it Madonna, Hmm... thinking

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    They are not kidding. I lost 1/2 to 1 Inch somehow.
    I was 6' 02" at one time, now just barely over 6'. I have a Trek 1500 in 56cm and a raleigh in 51cm. With some disc problems etc, I can't ride in a truly aero position and must sit up more than I like, the short top tube actually suits me. Could be you are finding the same thing. Anyhoo, congrats on making the decision for the Madone. I am going to upgrade to one as soon as I can, you know, wife and family kind of takes precedence.
    "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --General George S. Patton

    Best regards,

    Duhhuh

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by duhhuh
    I was 6' 02" at one time, now just barely over 6'. I have a Trek 1500 in 56cm and a raleigh in 51cm. With some disc problems etc, I can't ride in a truly aero position and must sit up more than I like, the short top tube actually suits me. Could be you are finding the same thing. Anyhoo, congrats on making the decision for the Madone. I am going to upgrade to one as soon as I can, you know, wife and family kind of takes precedence.
    Happy to say that I have no known disk or other Orthopedic problems. (emphasis on "known"). I started with biking very late in life, after 50 and serious after 60. Biking in aero position on drops continues to challenge me on fast descents (over 35 MPH I chicken out). That has nothing to do with my back or disc and everything to do with my computer between my ears.

    BTW, I have been looking and thinking of this line of yours:

    "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --General George S. Patton

    There are two interpretations I can think of:
    1) The German division are wimps and the French are not to be trusted. (shoot you in the back)
    2) The French division is so bad that in comparison the German division is not the problem.
    Which one is it?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    BTW, I have been looking and thinking of this line of yours:

    "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --General George S. Patton

    There are two interpretations I can think of:
    1) The German division are wimps and the French are not to be trusted. (shoot you in the back)
    2) The French division is so bad that in comparison the German division is not the problem.
    Which one is it?
    Given Gen. Patton's disdain for the French, I believe he had no trust in the French. He felt better facing a known enemy than an untrustworthy 'friend'.

    The real question I have is when will you pick up your Madone? Man I envy you!
    "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --General George S. Patton

    Best regards,

    Duhhuh

  21. #21
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    I like to add a warning to Newbie 50+ bikers regarding my experience with some Local Bike Stores.
    The following happened to me twice and I think my experience should be made public. Here it is:
    A Newbie wannabee biker may be tempted to trust a Local Bike Store for recommendation as to what bike to buy. This includes brand, size, type, accessories. In an ideal world you deal with a bike shop who cares for their reputation and customers and are trying to build a loyal customer base.
    I have been dealing with two large bike stores. Recommended to me by fellow bikers. Followed their advise only to find out later that the real plan was to liquidate the business and clear out slow inventory to Newbie bikers such as me. In other words: I did not get what was right for me but was good for their inventory reduction plan.
    This happened before I started communication with this BF. The only defense to this abuse is knowledge.
    That is not so easy if you do not know what to ask. I have specifics on this if someone wants to know.
    One LBS was here in Rockford the other was N.E. of Detroit.

  22. #22
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duhhuh
    Given Gen. Patton's disdain for the French, I believe he had no trust in the French. He felt better facing a known enemy than an untrustworthy 'friend'.!
    Probably apocryphal, but George P. supposedly liked to raise his eyebrows and, with mock surprize, exclaim, "What, the g*dmn*d French surrendered again?"

    Stand down, Will D., the General seemed to have much respect for Germans, thinking they would be handy allies for storming across the Eastern Bloc and into Stalin's heart of darkness.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by duhhuh

    The real question I have is when will you pick up your Madone? Man I envy you!
    Next week

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    Probably apocryphal, but George P. supposedly liked to raise his eyebrows and, with mock surprize, exclaim, "What, the g*dmn*d French surrendered again?"

    Stand down, Will D., the General seemed to have much respect for Germans, thinking they would be handy allies for storming across the Eastern Bloc and into Stalin's heart of darkness.
    CC:
    Thanks for the education. You are a teacher, are you not?

  25. #25
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I thought I had the best bike shop in town and they did just what your talking about Will. First they sold me a Trek navigator 200.I said can I just try it for a week or so,they said OK.After a short time I was back again to buy the 7300,no problem for them, but the bike didn't feel right and being a new I couldn't put my finger on it. So I rode the bike for a month and stayed on the computor.Between this forum and Google search I found I had the wrong size bike.I'm over 6' tall and they sold me a 20" frame. I went outside with the fitter and he was going to watch me and see how I looked on the bike.I looked over my shoulder a couple of times, one time he was looking at the sky and the next the ground. Anyhow I went back to the owner and told him I think I got the wrong bike. He said what size did I get a 22.5 and I said no I got a 20'. He said we can make it work,I said no you cant I want the 22.5.Anyhow I'm the bad guy and they all just walk away when I come into the shop. I did get the 22.5 and I don't think I got the real good deal I got the first time.Like you said they just wanted to just clear the floor. When I got the 20" bike home I put the handlebars as high as they would go as well as the seat and it still didn't feel right. I keep looking back at it and everytime I do I get hot under the collar.You wonder why they do that,I'll never go back there again.I have five bike shops in the area , but when I go to them I'm real careful.I order a lot of things from the online stores now. I would like to give my business to the LBS, but I just cant trust them.I can get things from Sea & Ski Sports and take them back with no problem if they don't work and I dont have to listen to a bunch of BS from them. I could go on and on with the problems I had with the first shop but Im sure you get the drift of it.Good luck with your new bike Will,George
    George

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