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.