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TECH NEWS

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

Updated road bike comes with slimmed down tubes and retains the IsoFlow hole in the seat tube designed to improve aerodynamics and smooth the ride

Lidl-Trek riders at the Critérium du Dauphiné are racing a new Trek road bike that retains the IsoFlow technology and the cantilever seatpost design of the existing model, but comes with shallower tubes, presumably to reduce weight.

2024 Trek Madone 8th Gen Dauphine - 7.jpeg

Well, we're saying it's a new Madone because that's what it says on the top tube sticker and it's clearly an evolution of the seventh gen Madone that broke cover at the Dauphiné two years ago. There is a 'but', though. That top tube sticker might say 'Madone' but look carefully and you'll see that underneath it says 'Emonda'.

2024 new trek road bike sticker

What's that all about then? Whatever it is, it's definitely a new top end race bike from Trek.

We first reported on this new bike at the start of the year, when pro rider Giulio Ciccone was spotted riding it at a training camp. At the time, we thought it was a revamped version of Trek’s lightweight Émonda, which is overdue an update.

New Trek spotted at Critérium du Dauphiné

Then, a new picture emerged a few days ago, leaked on the Weight Weenies forum.

2024 new Trek Madone 666pounder weight weenies

> New Trek road bike with 'IsoFlow' seat tube hole leaked — so, is it a new Émonda or revamped Madone?

Now Lidl-Trek riders are racing the new bike, which says Madone on the top tube, at the Dauphiné, which starts today in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, France – making it the eighth generation. Well, if you believe the sticker. Look closer at the shot below and you'll see there's another word underneath it.

New Trek Madone spotted at Critérium du Dauphiné
New Trek spotted at Critérium du Dauphiné

We first spotted the seventh-generation Madone SLR here at the Dauphiné two years ago, although it wasn’t officially launched to the public until a month later. 

> Trek releases radical Madone SLR, its “fastest road race bike ever”

The standout feature of that bike was its IsoFlow technology, which involves an interrupted seat tube. It’s one of those things that’s way easier to communicate via a picture than through words so…

2023 Trek Madone studio - 7.jpeg

Trek claims that IsoFlow provides dramatic aerodynamic improvements – it “smooths air as it moves over the bike and accelerates it through the frame for even more free speed”, according to the US brand – while reducing weight and adding compliance. The cantilever upper seat tube/seatpost design is intended to flex over bumps to smooth the ride.

Like most of the cycling world, we thought Trek would likely extend IsoFlow to its lightweight Émonda platform next. Why? Mainly because the Émonda hasn’t been updated in over three years whereas the Madone got its radical new shaping in 2022. However, it looks like we missed the mark there and Lidl-Trek’s bike is, in fact, the eighth-generation Madone.

Or is it? As mentioned, underneath that top tube sticker it says Emonda. There's a few possible reasons for that and we'll go into those later, but first let's take things at face value and assume we're dealing with a new Madone.

2022 Dauphine Trek Madone 2023 4 - credit Mat Brett road.cc

Although similar to the seventh-generation model (above) in some ways, particularly regarding the IsoFlow technology at the heart of things, the new bike features shallower tubes across the board. The head tube and down tube are far, far shallower than those of the seventh-gen Madone, and the same goes for the fork legs. 

The lower section of the seat tube wrapped around the leading edge of the front wheel on the previous Madone. That’s no longer a feature here – at least not to the same extent as previously – and the deep seatstays have been replaced by decidedly skinny ones.

2024 new Trek road bike at Dauphine 5

What is Trek up to with this design? That’s harder to say because this new bike has yet to be launched and the company has released precisely zero information about it.

Over recent years, Trek has offered the Madone as its aero road bike and the Émonda as the lightweight alternative. However, several brands have moved away from that two-pronged attack (and some, like Pinarello, never went there in the first place). 

2024 new Trek road bike at Dauphine 3

Specialized, for example, has been down the ‘one bike to rule them all’ route with its Tarmac SL7 and SL8 – bikes designed to be both lightweight and aero. It claimed a 56cm frame weight of just 685g in its lightest colourway, and a fork weight of 358g.

The seventh-generation Trek Madone SLR was launched with a frame weight of just under 1,000g, and a fork weight of just over 400g.

Trek clearly thought a little extra weight was a price worth paying for the aero gains, but we’d imagine that the tubes of the new Madone have been slimmed down to save grams. That’s speculation, of course, but it’s usually the way of things.

2024 new Trek road bike at Dauphine 4

Will Trek have sacrificed aero performance to save weight? Who knows what it will claim when this bike is released? Trek will doubtless have a good story to tell and a white paper’s worth of justifications for the changes.

One final question: where does this leave the Émonda? One final answer: we don’t know. It could be that Trek is putting all its eggs into one basket with the Madone in the same way that Specialized has with its Tarmac, having shelved the aero Venge.

Maybe Trek is merging its lightweight tech and its aero tech into a single platform. 

Or maybe this actually is a new Émonda and Trek doesn't want pesky journalists spoiling an eve of Tour launch by finding the new bike first at the Dauphiné. I mean, it wouldn't be the first time that's happened.

2024 new Trek road bike at Dauphine 1

We've been putting this story together, and all our other tech coverage from the Dauphiné, on the road in France and even as I've been writing this my thoughts on what this bike is have been changing. At para one I was fairly sure it was a new Madone, but by this point I'm thinking Émonda. It's a lot easier to put a name sticker on a bike than it is to put a name on under the clear coat and then slap a sticker on top of that. And if you are going to cover something up with a sticker, why not cover it up properly, eh?

Maybe it's an elaborate double bluff. Perhaps Trek will be merging the two platforms, or maybe it's part of a clever teaser campaign for a new Emonda? What we can say for certain is that whether it's a Madone, an Émonda, or both combined, it's definitely a new top end race bike from Trek.

2024 new Trek road bike at Dauphine 2

Hopefully, everything will be revealed when Trek officially launches the eighth-generation Madone, or the (checks notes) fourth generation Émonda, although we don't know when that'll be. It's a good bet, though, that any new bike from a major brand that we see raced at this time of year will get a full release ahead of the Tour de France, and that's at the end of this month.

What do you think Trek's new road bike will be called? Let us know in the comments below!

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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15 comments

Avatar
Victor Luzardo | 1 month ago
0 likes

Hi, anybody knows what is the brand or model of aero bottle and bottle cage present in the new madone above? It have a great design.

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Rendel Harris replied to Victor Luzardo | 1 month ago
0 likes

Victor Luzardo wrote:

Hi, anybody knows what is the brand or model of aero bottle and bottle cage present in the new madone above? It have a great design.

It will almost certainly be Trek's own-brand Bontrager, though it's not one they sell at the moment - maybe a new design to be released at the same time as the new bike?

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henryb | 1 month ago
0 likes

Émondana?

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quiff replied to henryb | 1 month ago
0 likes

Loadsa options. My personal fave is Daemon. But also Damone, Nodame, Noamed, Medona, Demona, Monade, Modane, Daneom, Moaden, Meadon, Dameno, Modena... 

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mark1a replied to quiff | 1 month ago
3 likes

Nah, if they were going to call it "daemon", they wouldn't have taken to the Dauphiné, it would just have been launched quietly in the background...

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KDee replied to quiff | 1 month ago
0 likes

You missed Nomade 

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quiff replied to KDee | 1 month ago
0 likes

and madeon, and oedamn...

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KDee replied to quiff | 1 month ago
1 like

Trek are playing a great game with the Madone/Emonda sticker. It's getting some of us a bit fizzy about a bike that, to be honest, we'd never buy anyway. 

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mdavidford replied to quiff | 1 month ago
0 likes

Mmmdanone?

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Smoggysteve replied to quiff | 1 month ago
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I personally think Trek needs to move away from Madone or any other anagram name made from it. Madone still links Trek to LA and that's a tie they should sever. 

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777Knowles replied to henryb | 1 month ago
1 like

I've always read Madone as "Mad-one".
Just needs some rock-shox and a dropper post...

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quiff | 1 month ago
0 likes

road.cc wrote:

Or maybe this actually is a new Émonda and Trek doesn't want pesky journalists spoiling an eve of Tour launch by finding the new bike first at the Dauphiné.

If they didn't want journalists spotting it, surely they wouldn't bring it to the Dauphiné? Bringing it is part of a well-rehearsed cycle of hype before launch.

road.cc wrote:

It's a lot easier to put a name sticker on a bike than it is to put a name on under the clear coat and then slap a sticker on top of that. And if you are going to cover something up with a sticker, why not cover it up properly, eh?"

It looks to me like the sticker itself has been printed with both words to sow confusion / build hype, no?

I'm guessing underneath is a new play on the same letters - Daemon?

Avatar
Sredlums | 1 month ago
0 likes

On one of the pictures it is clear to see that the 'Madone' marking is a sticker on top of the painting, whereas all the other decals are part of the paint job.
Could it be they are covering up the real model name?

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Wingguy replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
1 like

Agreed, I think a temporary sticker is insufficient proof that it's not an Emonda, and it would be very unsual for Trek to have such a short model life for the Madone 7.

That said Trek are on a drive to drastically reduce SKUs across the business, and I was also completely wrong when I thought Spesh wouldn't drop the Venge...

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ubercurmudgeon replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
4 likes

It is about time that they ditched the Madone name, seeing as it dates back to their sponsorship of a certain cheating Texan. It was named after his favourite training climb, and came out roughly when Trek was screwing over Greg LeMond for expressing his doubts about their golden boy.

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