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Trek Emonda vs Madone

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Trek Emonda vs Madone

Old 09-23-20, 04:27 PM
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ilovebiking
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Trek Emonda vs Madone

Hello all. I am hoping some of you might have some advice. After months of research, and of rationalizing buying a new bike, I am ready to pull the trigger--either a 2021 Trek Emonda, or a 2021 Madone. I have visited may bike stores and talked with supposedly knowledgeable folks, but I get the same worn story. Emonda is the light climbing bike, Modone the fast aero bike. But I really don't know what that means.

I am in my 70s, age-group competitive but my A riding days are behind me. I ride on flattish to rolling terrain, solo and group rides, occasional races but not many. So, which of these bikes will make me "faster?" The Emonda is more than 2 pounds lighter, better wheels, less aero. The Madone has a very aero frame but all that carbon weighs more. The wheels are lower quality.

Does an aero bike matter much at 20-25 MPH on a flat stretch? Will I loose time on a 1/4-mile 6% grade with the Madone? And will the lighter Emonda be more work on the flats? Or does any of this really matter for a B+ rider such as myself?

Thank you all very much for any insight, experience or suggestions you may have.
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Old 09-23-20, 04:48 PM
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I'm not sure there is that much difference. Which do you like better aesthetically and color wise? Be sure that each has the gear ratios you will need for the terrain you ride and type of riding you do. Much of the speed differences between them will only be realized on a 100 mile ride and it won't be that much.

If you are going to be going up and down hills constantly, even small hills of 5% grade and 20 to 40 feet of height, then I'd lean toward the lighter bike even if it is only 2lbs. I'm 62 and I'm not getting stronger as I age. So if you've found a secret that doesn't involve me spending several days a week doing HIIT let me know.

I'm assuming you will ride in a position the road bike is made for. If you are wanting a relaxed upright position, don't get a road bike. IMO, YMMV.
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Old 09-23-20, 05:34 PM
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You sure you don’t want a Domane?

Did you go on some test rides?
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Old 09-23-20, 06:43 PM
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The better bike is the one that puts a bigger smile on your face.

I have a Helium and a Madone both rim brake and running SRAM red mechanical. I purchased both as frames and assembled myself. The Helium is significantly lighter than the Madone, it is also a few years older. I pretty much ride the Madone every time; it puts a bigger smile on my face. The Helium gets ridden when I expect higher winds. It just handles better in the wind.

With Trek, you can do Project 1, for a small fee, and select a different wheel set if that is a concern between the two.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovebiking View Post
Hello all. I am hoping some of you might have some advice. After months of research, and of rationalizing buying a new bike, I am ready to pull the trigger--either a 2021 Trek Emonda, or a 2021 Madone. I have visited may bike stores and talked with supposedly knowledgeable folks, but I get the same worn story. Emonda is the light climbing bike, Modone the fast aero bike. But I really don't know what that means.

I am in my 70s, age-group competitive but my A riding days are behind me. I ride on flattish to rolling terrain, solo and group rides, occasional races but not many. So, which of these bikes will make me "faster?" The Emonda is more than 2 pounds lighter, better wheels, less aero. The Madone has a very aero frame but all that carbon weighs more. The wheels are lower quality.

Does an aero bike matter much at 20-25 MPH on a flat stretch? Will I loose time on a 1/4-mile 6% grade with the Madone? And will the lighter Emonda be more work on the flats? Or does any of this really matter for a B+ rider such as myself?

Thank you all very much for any insight, experience or suggestions you may have.
Considering only these two bikes: The new Emonda has reasonable aero credentials these days, even if not as much as the Madone. So I suspect that the difference between both bikes on the flats and downhills won't be as large as it used to be. The Emonda will certainly win the steep uphills if we are really talking about 2 lbs difference for the builds you are considering. So, in practical terms, there's not a lot of daylight between them performance wise over a course that includes flats and climbing. Given that assessment, I like the feel of a lightweight bike, so that would make me lean strongly towards the 2 lbs lighter Emonda, even if the aero benefits of the Madone might win by small margins on all except relatively hilly routes. Furthermore, the bike frame is only a tiny percentage of total aerodynamic drag, especially if you are not in an optimized race position for the majority of your riding time. So, if you must choose between these two bikes, I lean Emonda for its likely lighter and "zippier" feel. But see below...

Now let's put your decision of only choosing between these two bikes aside. If we are talking about modern bikes that will all be "fast enough", I would get the bike that makes me happy every time I ride it and look at it -- and say to heck with inconsequential differences in performance. If I'm going to spend serious money on a new bike, I better think it looks awesome, fits awesome, and feels awesome to ride. I wouldn't spend any money on a bike I think is ugly, unless the goal was something that won't be stolen when I lock it outside the grocery store for errands. Is that a shallow thought process? Maybe. But for me, bike riding is (to a large extent) about the joy I get from riding, rather than the absolute total of marginal gains. I care about performance, to a degree, but not at the expense of having to ride what I could consider an ugly bike that looks like a space ship (sorry, I dislike the aesthetics of many aero bikes).

Assuming both bikes ride nicely (surely they do), handle nicely (again, probably yes), provide a good fit (no idea), and have good performance (surely yes), I say go for the bike that makes you think, "man, that's a fine looking bike" and makes you want to go out and ride the heck out of it! So, which is it based on those criteria? Or do you need to widen your pool of potential applicants to include bikes that might be slightly inferior in raw performance, but greatly superior in terms of the width of the grin they put on your face? That's how I would pick.

You and I are not paid to race, so enjoyment is a pretty large part of "bike performance" in my book.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:18 PM
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Take them both out for real test rides - not just around the block, but something approaching your normal ride.

If you can tell the difference, you're done. If you can't, then we can't help you - go for the one that looks cooler.
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Old 09-23-20, 10:09 PM
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My kid just went through this. He wants to train for a triathlon, so the Madone seemed like the better anagram. However the Emonda was much more enjoyable to ride, especially up hills. He had a bad experience with cross-winds when he tested the Madone on some big bridge in Portland (I am 700 miles away, so sorry about the sketch details). If he had to buy without a test-ride, he would have made a different choice. (Frankly, I don't think he is fast or confident enough yet to really benefit from the aero features on the Madone.)

Oh, the other thing is I agree you should also test out the Domane. I had a custom bike made for me when I turned 50, and it turns out the frame geometry is very close to a Domane. So unless you are extremely well-preserved, you might find the Domane the most comfortable of the three.

Last edited by Cyclist0108; 09-23-20 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 09-24-20, 02:13 AM
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I have a 2020 Madone SLR 6 with upgraded wheels - Roval Rapide CLX - and saddle over stock. I prefer it for flat and rolling terrain and have ridden it up 19km hills at 7% and 6km hills that average 16%...at 8.2kg, it isn't a heavyweight by any means and it is a joy to ride. My primary purchasing reason is because I intend to race it - I am a sprinter and I am an ever-so-slightly faster sprinter on it than I am on my Wilier road bike...which is a lot lighter, but more agile, sprightly and accelerates just a little bit quicker but doesn't hold speed quite so well, albeit that is again, just a relatively small difference.

I mostly ride my Madone. It suits my strengths. But for Group and Club rides that go to the hills, I will take my Wilier.

If I didn't race, wasn't a sprinter or time trial specialist, if I didn't want the debate choice of an outright aero bike and a lightweight bike for every ride, I'd choose...the Trek Emonda. It is plenty aero enough, lighter than the equivalent Madone and where very small margins aren't required, the bike I'd go for.
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Old 09-25-20, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovebiking View Post
Hello all. I am hoping some of you might have some advice. After months of research, and of rationalizing buying a new bike, I am ready to pull the trigger--either a 2021 Trek Emonda, or a 2021 Madone. I have visited may bike stores and talked with supposedly knowledgeable folks, but I get the same worn story. Emonda is the light climbing bike, Modone the fast aero bike. But I really don't know what that means.

I am in my 70s, age-group competitive but my A riding days are behind me. I ride on flattish to rolling terrain, solo and group rides, occasional races but not many. So, which of these bikes will make me "faster?" The Emonda is more than 2 pounds lighter, better wheels, less aero. The Madone has a very aero frame but all that carbon weighs more. The wheels are lower quality.

Does an aero bike matter much at 20-25 MPH on a flat stretch? Will I loose time on a 1/4-mile 6% grade with the Madone? And will the lighter Emonda be more work on the flats? Or does any of this really matter for a B+ rider such as myself?

Thank you all very much for any insight, experience or suggestions you may have.
Cyclist Magazine recently reviewed the new Emonda. Trek has made it more aero than the older model. Where I live there is a lot of climbing so a light bike would be advantageous. But also the Madone is supposedly a super bike as well. So, look at the Domane which is supposed to be a comfortable all day bike. Now you are confused...
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Old 09-25-20, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
You sure you dont want a Domane?

Did you go on some test rides?
I'm surprised that at 70 the OP is still able to ride either a Emonda or Madone(properly sized/fitted).

I guess the OP could be all torso + arms. If that's the case, I'd go with the Madone. It's so ****ing sexy, and he said he rides mostly flat areas..
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Old 09-26-20, 07:52 AM
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May be by the time Im 70 in 11 years I can average 20 to 25 mph.
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Old 09-26-20, 09:39 AM
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The integration on the Madone (and now I guess the new Emonda) is crazy extensive. If you like to tinker with your fit at all...yikes. You'd possibly be looking at hours of wrenching for even simple jobs.
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Old 09-26-20, 03:29 PM
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The Emonda will be stiffer and may beat you up on rides longer than 2 hours.
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Old 09-27-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by green123 View Post
The Emonda will be stiffer and may beat you up on rides longer than 2 hours.
Stiffer than the Madone? I somehow doubt that.
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Old 09-27-20, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by yarbrough462 View Post
Stiffer than the Madone? I somehow doubt that.
I don't have either bike and I rode the previous model Emonda and loved it. However I read that the Emonda is the stiffest ride of the 2 and doesn't have the Isospeed.
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Old 09-27-20, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I'm surprised that at 70 the OP is still able to ride either a Emonda or Madone(properly sized/fitted).

I guess the OP could be all torso + arms. If that's the case, I'd go with the Madone. It's so ****ing sexy, and he said he rides mostly flat areas..
Give us old guys some credit. My DOB is 1949 and I rode 2 hard centuries on a (obviously brand new) 2020 Emonda SL6 last year. I certainly did not sense that a different bike would have been hugely helpful.

dave
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Old 09-27-20, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
Give us old guys some credit. My DOB is 1949 and I rode 2 hard centuries on a (obviously brand new) 2020 Emonda SL6 last year. I certainly did not sense that a different bike would have been hugely helpful.

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I give you old guys all the credit you deserve, and nothing more.

It's surprising that a 70 year old has the flexibility for either of those bikes. I live in a retirement community, and work at a bike shop nearby. It's very rare to sell(or seer ridden) a road bike with an aggressive fit.
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Old 09-27-20, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I give you old guys all the credit you deserve, and nothing more.

It's surprising that a 70 year old has the flexibility for either of those bikes. I live in a retirement community, and work at a bike shop nearby. It's very rare to sell(or seer ridden) a road bike with an aggressive fit.
Interesting - kinda' surprised to hear that. dave
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Old 09-27-20, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
Interesting - kinda' surprised to hear that. dave
There are a few I see on the road from time to time(with senior riders), but they don't fit well(huge stack of spacers/up-turned stem/ bars rotated up).
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Old 09-27-20, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I give you old guys all the credit you deserve, and nothing more.

It's surprising that a 70 year old has the flexibility for either of those bikes. I live in a retirement community, and work at a bike shop nearby. It's very rare to sell(or seer ridden) a road bike with an aggressive fit.
It doesn't help that Trek have gone to the H1.5 fit.
I don't know about the availability of H2 in the new models?
For me with fairly long legs the H2 fit was just right.
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Old 09-27-20, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
It doesn't help that Trek have gone to the H1.5 fit.
I don't know about the availability of H2 in the new models?
For me with fairly long legs the H2 fit was just right.
H2 is the standard frame geometry. You can specify H1.5 in Project One.

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Old 09-28-20, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GAtkins View Post
H2 is the standard frame geometry. You can specify H1.5 in Project One.

Glenn
Are you sure?
Maybe it is in the USA but here in New Zealand the stock bikes seem to all be H1.5.
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Old 09-28-20, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by GAtkins View Post
H2 is the standard frame geometry. You can specify H1.5 in Project One.

Glenn

The new carbon bikes are H1.5 for 2021.

You can get H2 in the ALR.
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Old 09-28-20, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
There are a few I see on the road from time to time(with senior riders), but they don't fit well(huge stack of spacers/up-turned stem/ bars rotated up).
While I don't exactly live in a retirement community, I live in a place dominated by retirees (Pinehurst, NC). Pretty much all the bikers that I see on the road (weekdays anyway) are in my age range. I have never seen a bike like you describe, although I admit that I am not looking closely.

dave
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Old 09-28-20, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
The new carbon bikes are H1.5 for 2021.

You can get H2 in the ALR.
Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
Are you sure?
Maybe it is in the USA but here in New Zealand the stock bikes seem to all be H1.5.
NBD - Too Much Trek - Domane SLR UDi2 - ICON "Molten Marble"

I was going by this thread on the SLRs. I may be incorrect, read it wrong, or it may be different in NZ. I'd like to know the difference for sure if someone can clear that up for me. Thanks.

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