Part two of a three-part series.
As I recently posted, I purchased a 2010 Trek 6-series Madone. This is essentially the same bike that Team Radio Shack rides. I may not race, but I do like going for long rides. And as you can probably guess, I’m really excited about it.
The bike was shipped in a box to the bike shop that I work for and would be built by one of the techs there. Most of the components were already on the bike, but it still had to be assembled. This past weekend, one of our techs, Ian, started working on it (after hours, of course). I also indicated that I would list out some specs on the bike. However, I decided that it makes little sense to give the same information that you could read on Trek’s Madone 6 Web site. But I will cover some basics before going into how I chose to enhance my experience.
The biggest deal with this bike is that it is light – I mean it is really freakin’ light. For 2010, Trek uses OCLV2 carbon, it’s lightest carbon yet (OCLV stands for Optimum Compaction, Low Void). It incorporates high modulus carbon fiber that is laid up in such a way that it is strong and stiff in the most critical locations on the bike but provides awesome compliance (read: comfort) where it counts as well. This also makes it a lightweight bicycle. My Trek Pilot 2.1 (aluminum frame with carbon fork and monostay seatstay) weighs about 23 pounds; this bike, when loaded with my accessories, will be well under 18 pounds (I’ll weigh it when it’s built and ready for its first ride). Ultimately, the carbon frame will not only make this a light bike, but also a very compliant bike.
The innovations don’t stop there, though. The most obvious location of the Madone’s stiffness is its BB90 bottom bracket. This construction is extremely strong because the bottom bracket is molded to incorporate the bearings within the frame, instead of threading them into a narrower set up. For a rider, this means increased power into every pedal stroke, including climbing up hills and sprints. Add to this the frame’s assymetric geometry and E2 headset (including an assymetric tapered steerer fork that combines lightness and stiffness), the bike is designed to balance pedaling force from the rider while also being strong, light, and compliant (again, “comfortable”).
One cool feature that I really wanted was DuoTrap compatibility. This places the computer sensor into the non-driveside chain stay, giving you a clean, seemless, interface (without zip ties). DuoTrap is ANT+ compatible, which is a digital standard that works with a variety of devices, including certain computers, power meters, and GPS units. I have a Garmin Edge 705 already, so I can pair it with the DuoTrap sensor.
Other noteworthy specs about the bike itself:
- I ordered the performance fit; the pro fit is usually better suited for those that race (such as Team Radio Shack).
- I essentially built a Madone 6.5 (although I ordered it as a 6.9). The difference is that my bike has Bontrager RXL wheels, their lightest Scandium alloy wheelset. I figured that I did not need carbon since I don’t race, even though the rest of the bike is essentially carbon.
- The tires are Bontrager Race X Lite AC (A-Case for abrasion resistance) 700 x 23. I normally ride the same tire in 700 x 25, mostly for more comfort.
- I decided to go all out with Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 Compact group set with 50/34 chainrings (hence the compact) and an 11-25 casette (I’d like to think I can climb, but I know better). I went compact because it will give me the happy medium between a triple and a standard double. I prefer Shimano’s shifter action to SRAM, and I couldn’t justify the extra cost for Campagnola.
- Although I considered tacky bar tape, I ended up having Bontrager’s Gel Cork tape instead. I went this direction due mostly to the added comfort and the ease of removal when I need to replace it.
- I selected the paint scheme from the Signature Series options available through Trek’s Project One Web site. I chose the Solid-Team Logo – Obsidian Blue with Platinum lettering. So far, everyone that has seen it has given me very positive comments. I also added the words “Ride well-Brian Shah” on the top tube (see photo below – an option with the Signature Series paint schemes).
- Other components include Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon stem, Bontrager Race XXX Lite VR OS carbon handlebars, Bontrager inForm RXL saddle, and Cane Creek IS8 carbon headset.
Riding a bike is one thing. Having the gear that enhances the experience makes cycling fun. I added many of the same things on the Madone that I currently have on my Pilot. As I like to say, stick with what works.
- Computer: Garmin Edge 705 (swapping between bikes); DuoTrap ANT+ compatible sensor.
- Seat bag: Bontrager quick-release 25 cu in Pro pack.
- Pump: Bontrager Air Rush Road (pump and CO2 in one unit).
In some cases, I upgraded components to keep the weight down.
- Water cages: Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon (the lightest yet).
- Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL.
- Bontrager Race X Lite tubes (might as well go light inside the tires too).
I don’t know if the weight savings will make a huge difference, but I figured I can do this now, so I did.
As I mentioned, Ian agreed to build my Madone. He started one morning before store opening by truing the wheels. He then installed the handlebars and the K-Edge chain catcher. Then he ran the cables through the brakes and derailleurs. Finally, he then installed the wheels before setting it aside for the day.
After hours, I installed a couple the DuoTrap sensor, cadence band, and wheel magnet. I checked to make sure that they were reading with the sensor. Finally, I installed the water bottle cages.
The only thing left to do is get it set up for me and get it outside for its first ride.
Click here to read part one of this series.
Click here to read part three of this series.