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New 2023 Trek Madone SLR: What to Know

July 01, 2022
New 2023 Trek Madone SLR: What to Know

Now in its 7th generation, American bike manufacturer Trek has unveiled the latest iteration of its aero race bike, the Madone. In a case of both evolution and revolution, Trek has made a number of wholesale changes to its aero platform for the first time in some years resulting in what is said to be the lightest, and fastest disc brake iteration thus far, so read on for all you need to know about the slick re-engineered steed.

About that Frame

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The Madone has seen it all over its lifetime, from its inception as a featherweight climbing steed to its re-invention as an aero bike mid-way through its life cycle, but the latest release looks to be the wildest yet. Several key features have been developed or updated for the new Madone SLR, these include the return of Kammtail shaping, an all-new seatpost clamp, and bar/stem along with an updated cockpit that features a new swept-back shape with flared drops. The elephant in the room however is the all-new IsoFlow technology.

With a design that looks fresh off the Formula One grid, IsoFlow replaces the tried and tested IsoSpeed elastomer tech used across the Emonda, Madone, outgoing Domane. Essentially what IsoFlow does is mitigates the weight penalty of the elastomer decoupler, replacing it with a split seatpost design that is said to improve aerodynamics, flex under load to provide a smoother ride over bumps, all while shaving weight off the frame itself.

Aerodynamicist John David gave a little insight into how the tech works at the launch stating that IsoFlow is designed to accelerate air from the headtube/ front of the bike and direct a jet of fast-moving air through the hole itself, removing low-energy from high drag area’s of the bike to improve the aerodynamics of the entire bike.

The end result of this is a frame that Trek claims is 60 seconds faster over an hour than its predecessor. Grain of salt aside that testing is completed at race speeds of 45kph that mere mortals are unlikely to sit on for an extended period of time, lowering the speed down to typical speeds regular riders are likely to experience in the real world looks as though the new steed should offer a noticeable increase in efficiency over its predecessor. Tyre clearance is conservatively pegged at 28mm, although this is allowing for 6mm of clearance either side of the tyre, meaning that wider rubber will likely clear the frame. The T47 bottom bracket standard continues on from its predecessor while holding the hoops in place are 12x100 and 12x142mm thru axles.

The Lightest*

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While it wouldn’t be a new bike release without the “stiffer, lighter, faster” claims, Trek stated that saving weight off the all-new Madone wasn’t actually the main concern when it was going back to the drawing board with the latest iteration. The reality is that while cleaving out a svelte aero shaped hole will undoubtedly result in some weight loss, half of the savings in the weight department have been found at the front of the bike and the cockpit (more on that below).

The end result is a race bike that is 300 grams lighter at the frame than the previous generation, with the entire launch line-up tipping the scales at or below 8kg for a complete build in a Size 56. While it’s not the lightest iteration of the Madone, that honour goes to the feather weight 7 series Madone produced from 2012-2015, the 2023 model is the lightest version to be shod with disc brakes. Unsurprisingly, the 7th generation Madone is disc brake specific, with no rim brake options on offer. Additionally, the Madone SLR is only compatible with electronic drivetrains.

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Re-Designed Cockpit

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Alongside the radical new frame shape, the front-end of the Madone has seen a significant update with the latest iteration in the form of an all-new bar/stem system. The re-designed cockpit features a flared drop bar design, and shorter reach thanks to a sweep-back design, resulting in improved ergonomics and rider aerodynamics. As a result of the flared design, the width of the new bars is measured at the drops rather than the hoods.

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The 3cm flare means that riders typically using a 42cm bar will have a 39cm width centre-to-centre which Trek claims reduces rider drag while allowing for powerful sprints.

The cockpit itself its a two-piece set-up that features fully internal hose and wire routing along with redesigned spacers that fit seamlessly with the all-new toptube and headset. Weight wise, the new cockpit is said to weight up to 160g lighter than its predecessor, which is significant to say the least.

Pricing and Availability

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All told the latest version of the Madone looks to be the most dialled yet. With complete bike weights in spitting distance of its wind-cheating competition and efficiency placing it bang up to date with its rivals, the 7th generation Madone is both a welcome departure from the cookie-cutter aesthetic the current crop of race bikes follow and a seriously compelling option for consumers wanting a high-end road bike to rides as fast in the real world as it does on the spec sheet.

The 7th generation Madone will be offered exclusively in Trek’s highest quality SLR frame construction and as a result, have a price tag to match. On the colour front, five finishes are available across each of the models, with Project One options set to be available at a future date. It’s worth noting that the 6th generation IsoSpeed equipped Madone SL is slated to carry on in 2023 and serves at the entry point into the Madone range, complete with a lower price point.

Availability-wise, the Madone is available to order right now with limited numbers also allegedly available from Trek dealers around the country. For local availability, check with your nearest bike store.

2023 Madone SLR Line Up:

Madone SLR 6: RRP $11,399.99

800 Series OCLV carbon frame and fork, Shimano 105 R7100 12-Speed Di2 groupset, Madone Integrated Bar/Stem, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 Tubeless Ready wheelset, Bontrager R3 Hardcase Tyres, Bontrager Aeolus P2 Elite Saddle.

Madone SLR 6 eTap: RRP $11,999.99

800 Series OCLV carbon frame and fork, SRAM Rival eTap AXS 12-speed groupset w/ Power Meter, Madone Integrated Bar/Stem, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 Tubeless Ready wheelset, Bontrager R3 Hardcase Tyres, Bontrager Aeolus P2 Elite Saddle.

Madone SLR 7: RRP $12,799.99

800 Series OCLV carbon frame and fork, Shimano Ultegra R8200 12-Speed Di2 groupset, Madone Integrated Bar/Stem, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 Tubeless Ready wheelset, Bontrager R3 Hardcase Tyres, Bontrager Aeolus P2 Elite Saddle.

Madone SLR 7 eTap: RRP $13,699.99

800 Series OCLV carbon frame and fork, SRAM Force eTap AXS 12-speed groupset w/ Power Meter, Madone Integrated Bar/Stem, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 Tubeless Ready wheelset, Bontrager R3 Hardcase Tyres, Bontrager Aeolus P2 Elite Saddle.

Madone SLR 9: RRP $17,399.99

800 Series OCLV carbon frame and fork, Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 12-Speed Di2 groupset, Madone Integrated Bar/Stem, Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51 Tubeless Ready wheelset, Bontrager R4 Tyres, Bontrager Aeolus P2 RSL Saddle.

Madone SLR 9 eTap: RRP $17,999.99

800 Series OCLV carbon frame and fork, SRAM RED eTap AXS 12-speed groupset w/power meter, Madone Integrated Bar/Stem, Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51 Tubeless Ready wheelset, Bontrager R4 Tyres, Bontrager Aeolus P2 RSL Saddle.


Imagery Courtesy of Trek

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