The 2021 Trek Madone goes under the knife and gets a threaded bottom bracket

by Dave Rome


It’s been a busy 30 days for Trek Bikes. First, the American company overhauled and aero-ised its Emonda lightweight race bike. Last week the company released an all-new aluminium version of its Domane for those on a budget. And now, the company’s flagship aero road bike, the Madone SLR, gets a couple of noteworthy updates.

2021 Madone SLR gets lighter

A big part of the new Emonda SLR’s story was the use of new carbon laminates, dubbed 800 Series OCLV Carbon, which are said to be 30% stronger and just as stiff compared to previous materials. With stronger material, less of it is required, and so Trek has applied that same recipe to its existing Madone SLR in an effort to drop weight.

Using the same moulds as before, the result sees 80 grams weight trimmed off the frame while the aerodynamics and frame stiffness are said to be unchanged. And according to Trek, vertical compliance is also unchanged with no changes made to the seatmast or the IsoSpeed decoupler.

The Trek-Segafredo team will be racing (in the future, maybe) the new Madone SLR that’s said to be 450 grams lighter than before (in certain configurations) without a trade-off in aerodynamics. That substantial figure comes from a combination of the lighter frame, along with a move to the new one-piece Bontrager Aeolus RSL cockpit (160 g saving) and Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels (100 g saving over XXX 4 wheels) which were both introduced with the Emonda. Another 50 grams are shaved off in the paint, and then moving to a SRAM Red DUB crank over the previous GXP version drops a further 60 g (although I suspect the appropriate bottom bracket cups are likely to add a few grams back).

As pictured on the new Emonda, the move to a threaded bottom bracket is a welcomed (and anticipated) change.

Less weight is a good thing, but honestly, the most exciting thing about the updated Madone SLR is the move to a threaded T47 bottom bracket (at least Trek’s version of T47). Trek’s BB90 press-fit bottom bracket system seems to be going the way of the dodo, and that should be music (or perhaps blissful melodic silence) to mechanics’ ears.

Beyond that, the Madone SLR is much the same as before, and that’s hardly a bad thing. For more details on this high-comfort aero racer, check James Huang’s review of the Madone SLR from when it launched in 2018.

As for the more affordable Madone SL, there’s no new bottom bracket for that one yet.

More options for Project One

Project One, Trek’s custom paint and bike builder service, has added a handful of new paint schemes along with more spec options. As usual, the Project One service is only available to Trek’s top-end carbon offerings, such as the Madone SLR, Emonda SLR and Domane SLR, in addition to the Speed Concept time trial bike and a lengthy list of mountain bikes.

On the paint front, there are three new options in Trek’s spare-no-expense “ICON” series. These are the rather intriguing-sounding “Amplified Alchemy”, “Sweet Gold Leaf”, and “Holographic Diamond Flake”. That last one I’m officially renaming; it’ll now be called “Space Sparkle”.

The Space Sparkle (or according to Trek, “Holographic Diamond Flake”) ICON paint option is quite something.

Trek has also announced two paint schemes as part of a new Designer series, based on the personal designs of the company’s in-house designers. Additionally, there are new retro-esque splatter fade paint options now available with Trek’s Project One mountain bikes.

More spec options have been added with SRAM Force eTap AXS now available on select road models, along with the new Aeolus RSL bar/stem and new Aeolus Elite, Pro or RSL wheels.

The new Madone SLR and the updated Project One options are available now. Prices can be found at trekbikes.com.

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