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If you’ve been pining for a new Madone, but couldn’t quite stomach the price, Trek may now have a solution for you. The new – and somewhat ironically named – Madone SL Disc models use a slightly heavier blend of carbon fiber that lowers the cost significantly. According to Trek, the difference amounts to about 100g, which brings the total frameset weight up to about 2.29kg / 5.04lb for a size 56cm. The other major change is the use of standard handlebars and stems instead of the SLR model’s integrated aero carbon setup.
So “SL” may not stand for “Super Light,” but if you’re not saving weight, you’d better be saving money. With a starting point of US$4,200 / AU$6,500 with Shimano Ultegra and Bontrager Aeolus Comp carbon clinchers, the Madone SL 6 Disc is still US$1,100 / AU$500 less expensive than the Madone SLR 6 Disc. There’s also the Madone SL 7, which swaps the mechanical Ultegra groupset for the Di2 electronic version, for US$6,500 / AU$8,500. Claimed weight for that complete bike is 8.25kg/18.18lb, or just under a pound lighter than the SL 6.
Trek says that while the Madone SL uses a heavier blend of carbon fiber, it uses the same molds, and so it offers the same Kamm tail tube shaping throughout the frame and fork, and the same aerodynamic performance as the more expensive versions (apart from the non-aero cockpit). That means that it’s using the same IsoSpeed “decoupler” that lets riders adjust the amount of compliance they want out of the pivoting seatmast, too, for an unusually comfortable ride for the category. Also carrying over is the H1.5 race fit and generous 50-62cm size range.
“Our goal with the new Madone SL models was to put the best performance within reach for more riders without compromising on what makes Madone SLR the ultimate race bike,” explained Trek road bike product director, Jordan Roessingh, in a press release.