Trek were busy in 2012, launching both the all-new Domane, a cobble taming race bike with an innovative suspension frame design, and the updated Madone, which is more aero than it ever has been before. The Radioshack Leopard team will have both bikes at their disposal this season.
Trek Madone 7.9
The long-running Madone was been given the most substantial update in its life last year, with an emphasis on aerodynamics leading to some dramatic changes.
Eyes are instantly drawn to the rear stays, where the brake caliper has vanished. It’s now mounted underneath the chainstays behind the bottom bracket. This is to reduce the aerodynamic drag and, because there’s now no brake mount, the seat stays can be made lighter.
Kammtail Virtual Foil (KVF) tube profiles taken from their Speed Concept time trial bike are used for the main tubes in the front triangle. These new tube shapes, and the rear brake positionin, are claimed to make it much faster overall. 25 watts is saved when riding at 40kph (25mph) they claim. In a sport where races came be won or lost by seconds, it’s a performance edge the team riders will be glad of.
Trek Domane 6.9
Expect to see the Domane out in force on the early season classics, races like Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.
The Domane, the first new road bike model from Trek in a long time, uses the novel IsoSpeed decoupler. Isolated from the rest of the frame, the seat tube is allowed to move back and forth as the rear wheel encounters bumps in the road. Its range of movement is controlled by the IsosPeed decoupler, a cartridge-bearing pivot with a rubber-like material to absorb shocks. They reckon the design offers up to 35mm of give.
Both the Domane and Madone will be dripping in the latest Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 groupsets, which we expect to see a lot of in 2013. The latest version of the electronic Dura-Ace groupset is a much cleaner design, with noticeably more compact derailleurs. Crucially, there’s now no ugly battery hanging off the bottom of the downtube, as it can now be slipped inside the seatpost.
Trek own components brand Bontrager and they’ll be supplying parts like the handlebars, stems seatposts and saddles. They’ll also ride Bontrager wheels, with a choice of 35, 50, 70 and 90mm deep Aeolus D3 wheels.
Tyres will be Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubular tires and many of the team will be using Speedplay Zero Pedals. SRM will supply crank-based power meters.
Speed Concept 9.9 TT bike
For time trials, and let’s not forget races like the Tour de France have been decided in the race against the clock, the team will have the Speed Concept 9.9 at the ready. The frame uses the Kammtail virtual foil design to shape the main leading tube profiles, and has influenced the new Madone.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.