Trek has announced an updated Madone SLR for 2021, the aero race bike getting the OCLV 800 carbon that Trek developed for the recently released Emonda SLR. Trek has also switched the Madone to the T47 threaded bottom bracket standard in a move that also follows the new Emonda SLR. Choose your spec carefully and Trek says that there is a 450g weight saving to be made.
If you're thinking that the 2021 Madone doesn't look a whole lot different from the 2020 model then don't worry, you're eyes aren't deceiving you. Trek is keeping things the same aesthetically with the updated 2021 Madone. The same deep Kammtail Virtual Foil aerodynamic tube shapes have been used along with the adjustable top tube IsoSpeed decoupler.
The front end features neatly hidden cable routing and rim brake users will be relieved to see that the frameset still comes in both rim and disc brake builds, unlike the Emonda which is disc only. The rim brake model however, is simply a carryover from 2019 so you won't benefit from the 2021 updates.
There is also the new integrated Aeolus RSL VR-C bar/stem along with the option of the new Aeolus RSL 37 wheelset, both of which were launched with the new Emonda SLR. The main changes come in the form of a new carbon that was also developed for the 2021 Emonda, along with a welcome return to a threaded bottom bracket.
We got all the juicy details about Trek’s new OCLV 800 carbon fibre during the Emonda launch. The new carbon layup was specifically designed to get the Emonda SLR frameset under 700g and the weight savings have apparently been passed on to the 2021 Madone with Trek claiming a frameset weight saving of 80g. This all comes, Trek claims, “with no aerodynamic penalty.”
Trek says that “from a fibre-type perspective OCLV 800 is 30% stronger than the material that we've been using in OCLV 700.”
That is pretty much all we know about OCLV 800. Trek is keeping its cards close, though it does say that the material has been in development for two years.
Interestingly, though, Trek said that the Emonda only used the new carbon “in specific areas of the frame that benefit most from having that quality of improved strength” and where it was able to save weight too. We suspect that this is also the case with the 2021 Madone.
The claimed 450g weight saving isn’t all down to the new carbon. Trek says that this figure is reached when you spec the bike on its Project One custom programme using the new wheels, new bar, the lightest paint and other component choices.
We’re finally getting back to threaded bottom brackets with Trek saying that the system offers “the ultimate in serviceability".
We'd agree and T47, first introduced by Chris King and Argonaut Cycles a few years ago, offers many of the benefits of a pressfit system with the simplicity of a threaded system for the end user.
Firstly, the T47 system screws into the hub shell. This makes installation and replacing the system far easier as there is only one tool involved. To try to keep the performance benefits of a pressfit system, the T47 system sits the bearings as far apart as possible in the hub shell, allowing Trek to design a huge bottom bracket shell for increased stiffness.
It also gives the bearings a wide stance which, in theory, should decrease bearing wear. At the launch of the Emonda, Trek said that we could expect to see T47 being used more widely on its road range so it’s good to see this become a reality.
I mentioned Project One above and Trek’s popular custom builder programme continues with three new Icon paint schemes and more parts options. The Icon designs include the Sweet Gold Leaf and other designs that we saw launched with the Emonda.
There is also the KOM series that allows you full control of the colours while Project One Ultimate gives you even more freedom, allowing you to design your own graphics, pick non-standard colours and spec the bike however you want.
Head over to the Project One site to play. What else are you doing on a Thursday afternoon anyway?
The redesigned Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels are now also available on the Madone with the Team Edition Madone SLR models getting the new wheels as standard.
Mat took a proper look at the new wheels here but the main points are a 37mm deep, 28mm wide carbon rim with a 21mm internal width on a hub featuring DT Swiss 240 internals and the new Ratchet EXP system. They’re tubeless-ready and Trek claims a wheelset weight of just 1,325g, dropping 55g from the previous model. The Aeolus RSL 37 is also, Trek claims, 17% faster than the existing 28mm deep Bontrager Aeolus XXX 2, and nearly matches the 47mm-deep Aeolus XXX 4 for speed.
Trek hasn’t changed the geometry on the new Madone, sticking with the H1.5 fit that they introduced with the last Madone and which has also been adopted by the 2021 Emonda.
Like the look of the Madone? Trek hasn’t given us any specific details of when the bikes will be available in stores. But we do have some prices for you.
The new Madone SLR9 Disc eTap comes in at £11,950 with the SLR6 Disc at a slightly more accessible (it's all relative!) £6,250. The SLR Disc frameset costs £4,210. Here’s a full price list of the standard builds.
All Sram equipped bikes come with a Quarq power meter as standard. Thankfully, this is now the case with the Shimano equipped bikes too after the 2019 models missed out. Given the £1,350 price hike on the Dura-Ace R9170 model, the addition of the Shimano power meter chainset is a welcome addition.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.