Trek Madone 4.5: Good or Evil?



tenrec

New Member
Jul 19, 2009
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I've been riding a Trek 7500 hybrid since 1998. I wanted to move up to something lighter and faster. After discussions and measurements with my LBS, I've ordered a 2010 Madone 4.5 to test. One problem I'm having while waiting for the bike to come in is that there is relatively little information online about this model. There are plenty of reviews and discussions about the 5 and 6 Series Madones, but very little about the 4 Series. (I should mention that this includes both the Trek road bike catalog, AND the Madone-specific catalog, as well as Trek's web site and other web sources.) I'm wondering if it's a good choice, since it's the lowest Madone model and has the lowest-quality frame and component specs of all the Madones. Is it better to get a low-end Madone, or would a high-end 1 or 2 Series aluminum frame bike be a better choice? The best thing about this is that the LBS owner says if I don't like the bike, I don't have to buy it. I'd love some opinions about this. Thanks!
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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tenrec said:
I've been riding a Trek 7500 hybrid since 1998. I wanted to move up to something lighter and faster. After discussions and measurements with my LBS, I've ordered a 2010 Madone 4.5 to test. One problem I'm having while waiting for the bike to come in is that there is relatively little information online about this model. There are plenty of reviews and discussions about the 5 and 6 Series Madones, but very little about the 4 Series. (I should mention that this includes both the Trek road bike catalog, AND the Madone-specific catalog, as well as Trek's web site and other web sources.) I'm wondering if it's a good choice, since it's the lowest Madone model and has the lowest-quality frame and component specs of all the Madones. Is it better to get a low-end Madone, or would a high-end 1 or 2 Series aluminum frame bike be a better choice? The best thing about this is that the LBS owner says if I don't like the bike, I don't have to buy it. I'd love some opinions about this. Thanks!

The only real difference between 4,5, and 6 series Madones is the CF type and/or layup. Just because the 4 series is at the bottom of the Madone series is no reason to think that the bike is of low quality. The frame quality will be just as good as the other Madones. The component specs are nothing to worry about, either. The components will still be quality bits that function well.

I add that the bike weight will be different among the three Madone series, but that's nothing that should concern you.
 

tenrec

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Jul 19, 2009
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I should be able to test ride the bike in about a week. I don't have that much experience with road bikes, but I'm going to try to evaluate the ride quality, the comfort, the handling, the braking, and the shifting. Is there anything in particular I should look for?
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
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tenrec said:
I should be able to test ride the bike in about a week. ... Is there anything in particular I should look for?
If possible, compare the ride with that of a similarly priced CF-framed bike. You're basically looking at a sub-$2500 CF-framed bike with a fairly typical road race geometry, equipped with Shimano 105 and an Ultegra rear derailleur. Lots of companies--Giant, Felt, Specialized, Cannondale, Bianchi, f'rinstance--make bikes in this class. Try some before the Trek arrives.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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Ride as many different bikes as you can. You may find something else that works better for you. You do need some reference for your ride on the Trek.