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Trek’s new road bike: what is it and what do we know so far?

Is it an Emonda? Is it a Madone? Or is it some new combination of the two? Mystery bike that’s being raced in France has yet to be announced; we don’t even know the model name. What do you think it is?

Trek is set to launch a new road bike that was ridden to victory on its debut outing by Lidl-Trek’s Mads Petersen in the Dauphiné yesterday, but what is this new bike that appears to say both 'Madone' and 'Emonda' on the top tube, and what do we know about it so far?

It looks a lot like the seventh-generation Trek Madone which was introduced two years ago, but put them alongside one another and they resemble ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos from WeightWatchers. Everything on the new bike is shallower.

> New Trek Madone breaks cover at Dauphiné… or is it an Emonda?

Down tube, seat tube, head tube, seatstays, chainstays, fork legs: they’re all shallower. It’s easier to tell you what doesn’t look slimmed down: the top tube.

2024-new-trek-road-bike-spotted-dauphine

What remains, though, are the mahoosive hole in the seat tube and the cantilever frame design (where the top of the seat tube is connected to the top tube and the extended seatstays, but not directly to the lower section of the seat tube.)

When introduced on the seventh-generation Madone, Trek called this its IsoFlow design, and we’re assuming that name will remain. At that time, Trek’s senior design engineer Alex Bedinghaus said, “We can accelerate the air around the head tube and into this low-pressure zone behind the rider, making the rider and bike more aerodynamic and faster. 

2025 Trek Andromeda? - 1 (1)

“It also has this cantilevered seat tube and really optimises weight, aerodynamics and compliance. It’s a unique solution that gets us to a lighter weight system than what we had before, and beats our aerodynamic goals by quite a bit.”

It looks like Trek is sticking with the same technology on the new bike, but that it has been on a quest to reduce weight. We’re saying “looks like” because Trek has told us absolutely zilch, so what can we work out for ourselves?

2024 new Trek road bike at Dauphine 2

You probably know that brands want to release their new bikes on a certain date for maximum impact, so they usually provide media organisations with material ahead of time under embargo. In other words, they’ll give us information and sometimes a bike to try out on condition that we don’t talk about it until a specified day. Fine.

However, pro teams sometimes use bikes before the public launch date, and this is where a little game ensues. It’s okay, everyone is in on it. 

The media wants to know about unreleased bikes because we want to tell you all about them first, and also because we’re professional nosey parkers, so we head off to races like the Critérium du Dauphiné where they’re likely to be. Once a bike is out there publicly, it’s fair game. A brand can’t very well use a bike in a big race – especially one that’s televised internationally – and then complain about publicity (I mean, sometimes they do complain, but that’s not the way the world works, is it?).

Brands know we’re going to be on the lookout, so a game within a game can ensue and things can turn a bit meta… like with the new Trek. 

2024 new trek road bike sticker

It’s a Madone. It’s written there in yellow letters on the top tube. However, adjust your eyes a bit and you can see that underneath the Madone name, it also says Émonda in orange/red letters.

Plus, you can see that ‘Madone’ is written on a sticker that has been added on top of the paint. Is the Émonda lettering on the same sticker, or is it written on the frame with a clear Madone sticker over the top?

This is all getting weird. If Trek didn’t want everyone to see the word ‘Émonda’, it could easily have ensured it was completely blocked out. Trek is a huge company with an annual global revenue of more than $1 billion; it could sort out a few opaque stickers or a spare Sharpie. We’re pretty sure that we’re supposed to be able to read both Madone and Émonda, so what’s going on here?

2024 Trek Madone 8th Gen Dauphine - 1.jpeg

As mentioned, the new bike looks like a slimmed-down seventh-generation Madone. No one could dispute that. Trek’s IsoFlow system has so far been unique to the Madone. 

Could it be that Trek is keeping the seventh-generation Madone in the range – the one that was launched a couple of years ago – and transferring the tech in a more lightweight form to its Émonda platform? It’s a possibility. We were certainly expecting a new Émonda this year, the last update having been in 2020.

> All-new Émonda gets aero to become "Trek’s fastest climbing bike ever" – and it's disc brake-only 

On the other hand, could it be that Trek is introducing a lightweight Madone just two years after the previous one? That’s also possible, although brands usually keep a top-level platform in their range for at least three years, sometimes much longer (each design needs a long enough shelf-life to offset the R&D costs). But where would that leave the non-updated Émonda? Either treading water or discontinued. 

This second option is what we’d begun to think was happening, but here’s what we now reckon... Trek is merging the Madone and the Émonda platforms and going down the ‘one bike to rule them all’ route with an entirely new name.

2024 Trek Madone 8th Gen Dauphine - 2.jpeg

A few years ago, most brands had a lightweight road bike and an aero road bike at the top of the race range, right? Some never divided things up this way – Pinarello has always had just the Dogma, for example – and others continue with this two-pronged approach (Giant still has the Propel and the TCR, for instance, Merida has the Reato and the Scultura, and there are many other examples) but there has been a trend towards a single top-end road bike since Specialized launched the Tarmac SL7 in 2020. 

This was a sub-6.8kg bike with as little drag as Specialized’s Venge aero bike. The idea was that we no longer needed to choose between light weight and top-level aerodynamics, and that’s hugely attractive from a consumer’s point of view. Two bikes for the price of one? Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

> New Tarmac SL7: lightweight AND super aero, says Specialized

Many other brands have followed suit and lightweight aero bikes have become super-popular over the past few years. 

> One bike to rule them all: why lightweight aero bikes are now THE essential race weapon 

The seventh-generation Trek Madone SLR was launched in 2022 with a frame weight of just under 1,000g, and a fork weight of just over 400g. In race bike terms, that’s a lot more than a Specialized Tarmac SL 8, which has a claimed weight of 685g in its lightest Satin Carbon colourway. 

2024 Trek Madone 8th Gen Dauphine - 3.jpeg

Our guess is that Trek feels the market has shifted over the past few years to a point where people expect aerodynamic efficiency and low weight in a single bike. Offering one or the other is no longer an option, hence the merging of the Madone and the Émonda.

On top of that, Trek plans to “right size” by cutting spending by 10% and reducing the number of individual products it offers by 40% over the next two years. How do we know that? Because the bossman said so. Trek’s stock-keeping units (SKUs) in the 2026 model year will be 40% lower than in the 2024 model year.

> The bike industry is "in chaos" says boss: so what do Trek’s plans to ‘right size’ mean for the industry… and you? 

When we reported that back in March, we said, “We’re unlikely to see the demise of the Madone, Emonda or Domane anytime soon.”

We’ve changed our mind on that one. Merge two bike lines and you chop a load of SKUs at once. If that’s your overall goal, it makes a lot of sense.

Is the new bike a Madone or an Émonda, then? It can’t be both, but it could be neither. We notice that both platforms have disappeared from Trek's Project One custom program, adding weight to the idea that they could be on the way out of the lineup altogether. The only road bike you can now buy through Project One is the Domane. 

Naturally, we checked the UCI stickers on the frames of the Lidl-Trek bikes, just in case. Unfortunately, they just said ‘prototype’. Goddam it! They’re one step ahead of us.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Madone, Émonda, and Domane are anagrams of one another. Maybe we’re in for another re-working of those letters, then. Daemon? Unlikely. Moaned? Definitely not.

2024 Trek Madone 8th Gen Dauphine - 8.jpeg

Could Trek smash the names together? Edmonda? Madonda? Mix it up a bit: Madonna. That’s just being silly. Madame? Equally daft. Madman? Enema? Hmm, these are all miles off the mark, aren’t they?

On the trip back from the Dauphiné, video guy Andrew came up with Trek Andromeda. You have to find an extra ‘r’ somewhere, but it kind of fits the bill. It’s our best guess at the moment.

What do you think? Are we on the right track, or do you have any other suggestions?

Whatever this new bike is called – Madone, Émonda, Andromeda, or whatever – we’re expecting a public launch this side of the Tour de France simply because it would be mad to miss that boat.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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4 comments

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mdavidford | 1 month ago
2 likes

If you look again and just read what's there, you'll see it's clearly an Emmadonondae.

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tubasti | 1 month ago
1 like

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Trek first named their lightest OCLV bike after the hill where Lance tested the efficacy of his doping program. Naming supsequent models with anagrams for Madone has gotten tiresome. I wish they'd come up with something new. Interestingly, except for the H1.5 stack, they haven't changed the bike's geometry since 2008. As for the rest of the bike, well, I'm glad they finally gave up on Isospeed and fat tubes.

Avatar
Smoggysteve replied to tubasti | 1 month ago
0 likes

Agree. I would think they would rather remove all ties to Lance. Madone only came about due to it being a favoured climb of his. Plenty of other cols they could use instead. 

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Freddy56 | 1 month ago
0 likes

What ever it is, When Mas is riding it- it looks fantastic

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