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Old 12-13-11, 05:23 PM   #1
teacherlady
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Delurking to ask: What else should I try before I buy a Madone 5.2/6.2?

I'm looking for a bike for long day rides. I never thought I'd buy a carbon bike or a performance oriented bike, but recently rode a Madone 6.2 WSD and am reconsidering. Before I plunk down the [big] money, though, I'm wondering what other bikes I should ride to compare it to.

What I liked: It fit my body and was comfortable (except for the saddle, which I can change). I got on it and immediately did the third longest ride in my life (75 miles), and the only part of my body that hurt the next day was my butt. My knees didn't hurt, my neck didn't hurt, my hands and elbows didn't hurt. The bars were not too low. I could ride in the drops. The handlebars felt narrow at first -- and then they didn't feel narrow at all. The brakes felt secure in spite of my small, weak hands. It felt lively. I didn't have a computer on a rental bike, but I'm told I was going faster than I usually do. Even moderately rough pavement felt comfortable. It felt like I was wearing clothes and flying, not like I was lugging a bike with me, a perfect symbiosis of bike and woman.

So now I want to upgrade, and I'm wondering what other bike models I should look at that might give me that same feeling -- or should I just buy the Madone 5.2 or 6.2? Let's say the Madone 6.2 is the absolute upper limit on price. I rode a 5.2 a few miles, and it felt just as good. Is there a steel or titanium bike that might give me some of the same feel? I'm not going to spend this kind of money on a bike without doing a substantial test-ride, so it has to be a model I am likely to find in a store. I am willing to travel to test-ride.

I'm buying this bike to do 50-100 mile day rides at a sedate pace in hilly country (13-17 mph or so on the flats depending on how far I'm going, much slower (3-6 mph) on hills over 100 feet or so) mostly solo rides or rides with 1 friend. I'm a woman, 50+, fat, and short, with long legs, short torso, short arms, and very short hands. My current bike is a 50 cm Surly Long Haul Trucker that is a little too big, even with a grotesquely short stem.

Thanks for any advice.

Last edited by teacherlady; 12-13-11 at 05:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-13-11, 05:27 PM   #2
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Try a Volagi, I recently purchased one as an off season bike but I think this bike is a really good ride. Very comfortable, keeps a good line and a good price.
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Old 12-13-11, 05:36 PM   #3
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What I liked: It fit my body and was comfortable (except for the saddle, which I can change).
From the description of your first ride on the bike I would say you've found the one for you

I have a 2008 Madone 5.0 WSD and I've loved it from day one. I have never been a fan of the Bontrager saddles on Trek bikes and have replaced them on all three of my Trek bikes.
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Old 12-13-11, 05:40 PM   #4
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If the bike shop is as good a fit as the Madone, buy it.
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Old 12-13-11, 05:47 PM   #5
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If you liked the Trek 6.2 WSD then I would think many other bikes would disappoint in comparison. Does the 5.2 have lower level components? It's probably somewhat heavier though it might not be all that much. Fit will matter most on long rides, so if the Trek geometry works for you that's great. Try a few other brands if you can to satisfy your curiosity before you buy.
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Old 12-13-11, 05:52 PM   #6
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In October, my partner upgraded from her entry level road bike to a cannondale synapse - probably a mid level choice. Her personal demographics seem similar to yours, she looked at a number of bikes, many were more expensive. She did several test rides and a few fit adjustments - last ride she coasted in with a big smile on her face, I knew which bike she wanted. Fit and comfort for most riders is more important than C or Ti and components. The synapse has been a good choice for her, in addition to great fit - i think the 25mm tires helped make the bike comfortable for her. Get what feels good and rides well for you. Ps- there is a rumor that Santa is bringing her a very nice Ti rail leather saddle for Christmas.
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Old 12-13-11, 06:24 PM   #7
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I recently purchased a Madone 4.5 wsd - my first wsd bike. Fit like a glove from the start - the most confortable bike I've ever owned. Like others, I immediately changed the saddle. The only complaint is I'm not pleased with the Shimano 105 components. I had Durace on an Obea bike I owned a few years ago and they were great. Plan to slowly upgrade the components to at least Ultegra over the next year or so.

Don't think you can go wrong with a Madone wsd. Like you, I'm short, fat but also seriously old - 71, but I DO love how well the bike fits me.
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Old 12-13-11, 06:34 PM   #8
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If it fits and you like it you have found what you need. The 6.2 WSD is a nice ride though some of the women that ride in our group like the Specialized Ruby. Still if I were you the 6.2 seems like it has found a home. Plus Trek does a good job on CF bikes.
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Old 12-13-11, 06:41 PM   #9
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I agree with others who are saying if it was that good on a 75 mile ride, why look elsewhere? How does the saying go? "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Perhaps you've received a gift from the cycling gods... no agony trying to find the "right" bike.
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Old 12-13-11, 08:26 PM   #10
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Fitting you personally is very important, it sounds like the Madones and you are a good match. Have fun!

I'm planning to move up from my 4.5 Madone to the 5.2 Madone in March.
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Old 12-13-11, 08:57 PM   #11
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If you really want to look at another bike the one out there that compares is the Cannondale Super Six Women's 3. My wife really likes the Madone 5.2, after a test ride, but the features on the Dale are very good. She is trying to decide now.
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Old 12-13-11, 08:58 PM   #12
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You may have found the right one, or are you just infatuated by your first ride on a good quality CF bike? For the price of a 6.2 you can get into some really nice bikes. Why not check out some other brands like the Ruby, or perhaps Felt or Giant have a comparable model. Pinarello makes a nice bike in your category too (LINK)

If you live near a big metro area where there are lots of bike shops, I would start visiting them. The shopping itself is fun, eh?
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Old 12-14-11, 01:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
You may have found the right one, or are you just infatuated by your first ride on a good quality CF bike? For the price of a 6.2 you can get into some really nice bikes. Why not check out some other brands like the Ruby, or perhaps Felt or Giant have a comparable model. Pinarello makes a nice bike in your category too (LINK)

If you live near a big metro area where there are lots of bike shops, I would start visiting them. The shopping itself is fun, eh?
Couple have mentioned it but the LBS is almost more important than the bike. So find the LBS and see what they sell. Then test ride as many other bikes as you can. Finding the LBS can be more difficult than the bike.

Could have been that the bike was well fitted to you and that would have made a big difference to comfort.

I have several friends that have just got into cycling and after the initial rough set up of the saddle to fit on height and for and aft- they have had no problems on fit until they get up to 30 mile rides. That is the time for the slight adjustments to come in- saddle tilt- bar height or even change the stem to something more appropriate. Sounds as though the Hire shop set this up for you correctly-except for the saddle.

Get out and try as many bikes as you can and at that price try a few higher end aluminium bikes aswell (C.F.Is not the best material for everyone) The madone may have felt good and may be the bike for you but test enough and one of them will shout "Buy ME"
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Old 12-14-11, 05:10 AM   #14
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If you've found the ideal bike the others can only be worse, right? I still have a Madone 5.5 from 2007 that I use as a backup bike. Every time I get on it I remember how much I like it. It's just a hair too big for me, but it's a great ride.
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Old 12-14-11, 08:11 AM   #15
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I am a 6'-1", 239 lbs male so disregard my input as you see fit. It does seem the Madone is your cup of tea. If you know the LBS for this make then evaluate how they treat you and how good they seem to do their job. As to any other bike that offers a comfortable ride in a WSD type frame the Specialized Ruby and a women's Cannondale Synapse or CAAD8/10 with the SAVE frame would give you a good ride. Price depends on the LBS pretty much for all of these.

Ride some others, my list is by no means complete or even close to exhaustive. Ask around what is working for others but mainly you have to get what makes you feel right and rides best for you and your budget.

BTW, welcome to 50+, we are an easy going bunch and you will probably like it here.

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Old 12-14-11, 08:15 AM   #16
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I have a 60cm 4.5 Madone and the Nearest competitor was a 58cm Cannondale synapse so you might want to try one of those.
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Old 12-14-11, 09:53 AM   #17
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Try a vintage Schwinn Varsity. It will make you love that Trek all the more.
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Old 12-14-11, 10:14 AM   #18
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There are a couple of ways to approach the purchase. The first and easiest is the one where you luck out and find a bike that works and you can afford which it seems is the Trek Madone 6.2 WSD. If you can live with the decision after learning about other bikes / solutions without second guessing yourself then it sounds like the Madone is perfect. Every time I have been in the situation where I was debating between two models of anything where one was less expensive and I purchased the cheaper version, I regretted it. I purchase a 2006 Madone 5.2 with Ultegra and passed on a Madone 5.5 with Dura Ace. I did save about $1000 but regretted the decision.

I tend to jump into things full bore and I ride a lot. I find that the better equipment / accessories that I purchase to accompany the sport makes me want to do it more. However, budget is always a factor and IMO, most input from BF is highly biased by what people can afford which is perfectly okay. However, it is was it is.

Another way to make the decision is to look at comparable FRAMES by other manufacturers. I estimate that the frame of the 6.2 cost about $3000. At that price point, you can purchase most any bike frame (with some exceptions). IMO, the value added by the bike manufacturer is the design of the frame. Components and wheels can be added to suit the buyer. So as others have noted, you can test ride Giant, Specialized, Cervelo, BMC, Felt, Cannondale, Orbea, Look and etc. There are no bad choices at the $3000 price point. Generally, steel and aluminum frames are less money and offer a different riding experience. Test riding a lot of bikes can be fun but also confusing and it is hard to get an apples to apples comparison of how the frame performs due to different wheel sets, saddle and setup.

What I like that Trek offers is a lot of models with a range of price points. The other thing that jumps out is that your rode the bike 75 miles and the only thing that got sore was your butt. My butt will get a little sore in 75 miles. As long as the frame is a good or close fit which is really about the length of the top tube, everything else is easily replaceable / upgradeable. If you have all the other equipment such as pedals, shoes, clothes, helmet, sunglasses and etc, then the 6.2 is the way to go. If you are budget limited and need a lot of other equipment then you may want to go for the 5.2 and put the money saved toward nice pedals and shoes and etc. A women cannot have too many pairs of shoes.
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Last edited by Hermes; 12-14-11 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 12-14-11, 10:59 AM   #19
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For the price of a 6.2 you can get into some really nice bikes.
Absolutely, and one of them is the Madone 6.2.
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Old 12-14-11, 11:25 AM   #20
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Well, bike manufacturers sell the frame and hang the components on it. The Madone is a good carbon fiber frame. I would think any carbon fiber bike with similar components (same level of shimano shifters and crank and so on) would be a good comparison. I understand that unless you are pretty short (less than 5'4") a women's specific bike is not necessary.

But other people also make a good point. You rode the bike 75 miles and LOVED it. Seventy five miles is more than pretty good test ride. If you love the bike after that distance, it is pretty suitable for what you need.
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Old 12-14-11, 02:36 PM   #21
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Delurking to ask: What else should I try before I buy a Madone 5.2/6.2?

answer: A copy of Consumers Report?
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Old 12-14-11, 04:05 PM   #22
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Delurking to ask: What else should I try before I buy a Madone 5.2/6.2?

answer: A copy of Consumers Report?
This would be one of the very last places I would go to check out anything cycling related. IMO their evaluation of equipment over the years has shown an incredible lack of understanding of what the equipment is designed to do or how it is going to be used.
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Old 12-15-11, 08:43 AM   #23
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I gave up on CR when they first started and ranked a Sparkomatic car stereo as a top pick. Those things were junk.
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Old 12-15-11, 10:04 AM   #24
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Hubby absolutely loves his new Madone 5.2.
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Old 12-15-11, 03:01 PM   #25
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I am a guy but like a more upright ride.
I loved the 5.2 WSD (H3 fit) and ended up getting a trek 6.2 H3 because it's on sale for $300 off so the difference in price got better frame and made in the USA with NATO only carbon.
I also liked the specialized roubaix and would have got the 2012 expert but really liked the LBS that sold trek a lot better.
Bontager offer 30 days seat exchange. Yesterday they switched the affinity for a Evoke RL saddle and it is much better (it's made for mtn bikes but just feels way better)
I love the hot pink project one color but saved the $400 and got the red white and black. I had them put on continental 4000s for flat protection and totally love the bike. I'm up to 20 miles on it and considering clip less pedals for the first time ever.
I also put on a 90 x17 degree lift stem which may be what you had on the WSD.
I totally love it.
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