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Old 06-15-08, 08:58 AM   #1
Metric Man
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New Bike Report

I picked up a new Madone 4.5 yesterday. I have a perfectly good Trek SLR1600 but I do believe it is too big for me (56cm) so I tried on the Madone at 54cm and it fits much nicer. The carbon fiber is much nicer on the road, less jarring and in general just feels smoother. I got the compact crank set 50/34 and the 11-25 cassette. So far I think I'm going to like that set-up as well. The bike handles great, lightweight and responsive. The only complaint I have is the Bontrager Race saddle, which is the same one that I had on my 1600. It soon will join the one from the 1600 on the shelf as I replace it with the Specialized saddle I bought a couple of months ago.

Having a bike fit the way it should makes all the difference in the world. Today I only got in 18 miles but I did 63+ yesterday on the 1600 so this was just a day after ride for me. Over the next few days I'll try to get out and really run it but my first impressions are very satisfactory.
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Old 06-15-08, 10:26 AM   #2
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Congrats on the new bike (addition to the stable)!!

I've never ridden a compact crank set up until the bike I recently acquired. I like it alot.

enjoy!!

k
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Old 06-15-08, 11:15 AM   #3
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Congrats!!! But wait. No pics?? You know the rules. You gotta post 'em.
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Old 06-15-08, 01:45 PM   #4
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This will have to due for now...I still need to get a pic of mine.

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Old 06-15-08, 02:27 PM   #5
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This will have to due for now...I still need to get a pic of mine.

It's got white on it. Foolhardy fellow.
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Old 06-15-08, 02:39 PM   #6
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I picked up a new Madone 4.5 yesterday. The only complaint I have is the Bontrager Race saddle, which is the same one that I had on my 1600. It soon will join the one from the 1600 on the shelf as I replace it with the Specialized saddle I bought a couple of months ago.
Congraulations on the new bike!

I've replaced every Bontrager saddle on my Trek bikes, too
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Old 06-15-08, 02:45 PM   #7
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Congraulations on the new bike!

I've replaced every Bontrager saddle on my Trek bikes, too
And I've replaced every Bontrager part on any of the bikes that come into my bike shed- None have ever been on any of my bikes- but plenty on the mates bikes I work on.
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Old 06-15-08, 02:47 PM   #8
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It's got white on it. Foolhardy fellow.
Negative on the white...onyx and silver.
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Old 06-15-08, 03:14 PM   #9
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Congrats, it is a sweet bike. I had one but it did not fit me. Fits my brother to a tee. Otherwise it was a great bike. Enjoy! It is a sharp looking bike as well as a great ride.
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Old 06-15-08, 03:42 PM   #10
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And I've replaced every Bontrager part on any of the bikes that come into my bike shed- None have ever been on any of my bikes- but plenty on the mates bikes I work on.
I genuinely like Bontrager tyres, but I have never tried any of his other components.

I think the compact ringset is a good idea for the many (majority?) of us who have no use whatsoever for Tour de France 130-inch gears, but even a 50/11 top gear is extremely high for my tastes. I would drop to a 48/12 or even a good ol' 100-inch 48/13 top, to obtain tighter spacing across the usable gear range.

I would also concur that proper fit to the rider is arguably a bicycle's most important attribute. This is one reason I cling to my old classics. (The other is my Scots DNA. )
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Old 06-15-08, 08:43 PM   #11
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I have never figured out why so many think Bontrager is junk. I don't like their saddles, but what's wrong with say a seat post?
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Old 06-15-08, 08:47 PM   #12
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Given as how the top of the line Madone has several Bontrager parts, as has all of Trek's Tour de France winning bikes, it is clear that not all of their parts are junk.
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Old 06-15-08, 09:44 PM   #13
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Metric Man:

Hey, if that's a newer Bontrager Race saddle looks like the one in the attachment (says "Race" on the right mounting rail), I'll take it off your hands for the cost of freight, if you don't want it.

Just tell me who to PayPal the $$ to.
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Old 06-17-08, 05:03 PM   #14
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Metric Man:

Hey, if that's a newer Bontrager Race saddle looks like the one in the attachment (says "Race" on the right mounting rail), I'll take it off your hands for the cost of freight, if you don't want it.

Just tell me who to PayPal the $$ to.
PM sent.
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Old 06-18-08, 01:11 PM   #15
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Bontrager

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PM sent.
Hey all..

Allot of folks have trashed Bontrager parts..on my Fisher MTB, I dumped the Bonti cranks IMMEDIATELY, but the wheelset, seat post, stem and bars are solid and haven't given me a stitch of trouble. Have heard nothing but bad about their saddles..but they do have a new road saddle that looks intriguing.

I just put some Race X Lite's on my Roubaix..the pewter with the white spokes..and I must say that I absolutely LOVE THEM! They roll like crazy..are stiff, smooth, and light..and look fantastic on the bike. I think their lower end stuff is so-so, but their high end stuff is pretty good..all what you're willing to pay. Also like the X lites as aside from the top end Madone's..noone rides them that I see very often so it's nice to be unique'ish. Lot's of Shimano, and TON'S of Mavic Ksyriums..not allot of Bonti's.

Just my 2 cents..
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Old 06-18-08, 01:20 PM   #16
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Given as how the top of the line Madone has several Bontrager parts, as has all of Trek's Tour de France winning bikes, it is clear that not all of their parts are junk.
I've never had problems with the other Bontrager parts on my Madone. I evidently don't have a backside compatible to Bontrager seats
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Old 06-18-08, 01:41 PM   #17
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Bonti's high end carbon seat post may be one of the lightest around and it has the single bolt adjustment. It is nicer than my Easton EC90. Just wish they made a 0 offset.
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Old 06-18-08, 02:28 PM   #18
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Hey all..

Allot of folks have trashed Bontrager parts..on my Fisher MTB, I dumped the Bonti cranks IMMEDIATELY, but the wheelset, seat post, stem and bars are solid and haven't given me a stitch of trouble. Have heard nothing but bad about their saddles..but they do have a new road saddle that looks intriguing.

I just put some Race X Lite's on my Roubaix..the pewter with the white spokes..and I must say that I absolutely LOVE THEM! They roll like crazy..are stiff, smooth, and light..and look fantastic on the bike. I think their lower end stuff is so-so, but their high end stuff is pretty good..all what you're willing to pay. Also like the X lites as aside from the top end Madone's..noone rides them that I see very often so it's nice to be unique'ish. Lot's of Shimano, and TON'S of Mavic Ksyriums..not allot of Bonti's.

Just my 2 cents..
Bontrager MTB wheels. Tyres kept falling off when repairing punctures. They were far too small for even a tight tyre. Couple of years later and in trying to get the tyre off a rim- Had to take it back to the shop to get them to do it. Funny spoke patterns on a Bontrager Road wheel. Break a spoke and it is very difficult to get it back into true for riding home gently on. Cranksets- Replaced 3 now due to Crank rings not fitting tight enough-And one just broke across the Centre. Seat posts and stems work but are not a top grade item- The price is if you replace them though.

Bontrager used to make bikes. Top rate bikes. Components were sorted and were good- with a few inhouse parts that were good. Trek bought them out and used the Bontrager name as the Inhouse name for their own brand parts. I have an aversion to Inhouse parts in any case- but the Trek Inhouse parts are no better than any other manufacturer. Only thing is that they do not have the Trek name on them.
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Old 06-18-08, 06:46 PM   #19
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I took the Bontrager saddle off my Buenos Aires. Because it is narrower than the saddle I had on my MTB, and as I was working on shifting my weight way back, I installed the Bontrager saddle on my MTB. It works just fine.

My Bontrager tires worked just fine, too. I replaced them to see if the Conti UltraGators were more comfortable, which they were. Their performance was fine.

My Bontrager wheelset is fine, too, although I popped two spokes in the back after a year of riding. Considering my voluminous backside and that I was riding more aggressively than usual, I thought that was forgivable.

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Old 06-18-08, 08:09 PM   #20
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I love the looks of the new Madone line. And the design seems to be first-rate.

As to Bontrager parts ... some are made by who kinows who under contract to Trek, some are made by Shimano, and some are made by SRAM.
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Old 06-18-08, 10:20 PM   #21
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Bonti's high end carbon seat post may be one of the lightest around and it has the single bolt adjustment. It is nicer than my Easton EC90. Just wish they made a 0 offset.
jmel7771:

You need to spend some time on eBay....quite a few zero set-back Bontrager X Lite seat posts on there, most going for a lower price than the 20mm setback ones, as not too many buyers seem to want a zero set-back.

Just be sure you get a full carbon one, not an "ACC", which is phony carbon wrap over aluminum, or an aluminum one, unless you want one of those.

My 'backside' really didn't like the Race Lite saddle that came on my 5.2 Pilot last fall, so I scrounged up a similar saddle model as was on my Trek 1000, that my butt seemed to get along with.

Meanwhile, checked out some of the newer 'Race' saddles on some other bikes...they had more padding, so I bought one off eBay and it was lots better. So I've scrounged up 1 or 2 more for my other bikes, or as spares. Sometimes it's good to like stuff others don't...can get some good deals on it.

RE: Bontrager wheels, so far I've had good luck with the Race Lites that came on my Pilot, almost 2300 miles on them, and just a minor truing of the front one I did myself.

National Geographic Channel did a short feature on the Trek factory over the winter, showing the new Madones and other stuff. One part showed a quick view of wheels coming out of the spoking machine, they were Bontragers.

Bontrager Tires (Race X-Lites): Says made in Thailand on the ones that came on the Pilot. They've been very good so far. The pair I'm running on the Pilot (also made in Thailand) were actually bought from a fellow rider late spring of '07 (so he could get a 'better tire), probably put 1500 miles on them last summer/fall on another bike, and another 1500 on them on the Pilot, and the front one is almost like new, the back one has the usual nicks, small holes (no flats), and is finally getting a 'flat' spot on it...that is, loosing it's side-to side crown where it contacts the road. But that does not seem to affect it at all.

The X-Lites that came on the Pilot...I'm keeping them back as a replacement set for the future, have put maybe 500 miles on them off and on.

So people can keep on trashing Bontrager stuff. As long as I can pick up stuff at 1/3 to 1/2 of 'retail', and it lasts like it does....who cares.
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Old 06-18-08, 10:35 PM   #22
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RE: Bontrager wheels, so far I've had good luck with the Race Lites that came on my Pilot, almost 2300 miles on them, and just a minor truing of the front one I did myself.

National Geographic Channel did a short feature on the Trek factory over the winter, showing the new Madones and other stuff. One part showed a quick view of wheels coming out of the spoking machine, they were Bontragers.
I spoke to the guy who owns 4 LBS's in Madison, selling Trek and many other lines. He's always been a straight-shooter with me, has criticized some of his own products more than once to me. He told me that over the past few years, Trek has tremendously improved Bontrager wheelsets, to the point where they have become extremely reliable. Said almost everyone in his shop was now using them.
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