TREK EMONDA SLR 9 VS TREK MADONE SLR 9 GEN 7
The Trek Emonda and Madone are both high-performance road bikes from Trek, but they cater to different types of riders and riding styles. The Trek Emonda is designed primarily for climbing and is known for its lightweight and responsive frame, making it ideal for ascents and hilly terrain. On the other hand, the Trek Madone is built for speed and aerodynamics, suited for flat roads and sprinting, with features that reduce air resistance and increase efficiency at high speeds. While both bikes share Trek's commitment to quality and performance, their specialized designs distinguish them for particular cycling scenarios.
The Trek Emonda and the Trek Madone are each designed for specific types of cycling events:
- Climbing/Road Races: The Emonda's lightweight frame makes it ideal for events with significant elevation gains, such as hilly road races or mountain stages in stage races.
- Hill Climbing Time Trials: Its light weight and stiffness also benefit riders in time trials that are uphill, where the gravity is the main opponent.
- Gran Fondos and Sportives: For long-distance events that involve a lot of climbing, the Emonda's comfort over elevation changes is a plus.
- Flat and Fast Road Races: The Madone is aerodynamically optimized, making it perfect for flat road races where speed is critical and wind resistance is a significant factor.
- Criteriums: Its aerodynamic efficiency and integrated features are beneficial in the high-speed, short-course criterium races.
- Time Trials and Triathlons: While not a pure time trial bike, the Madone's aerodynamic features can be advantageous in time trials and non-drafting triathlon events.
Both bikes could potentially cross over into each other's events; however, they excel in the conditions for which they were specifically designed. The Emonda is all about lightness and climbing, while the Madone is about aerodynamic efficiency and speed on flatter terrain.Try the BIKOTIC web app
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1. Price | Weight | Material
2. Frame and Fork
5. Wheels and Tyres
6. Cockpit and Seat
The Madone SLR 9 is 500 grams heavier than the Emonda SLR 9 - both bikes are equipped with the Shimano Dura Ace 12 speed groupset.
The Madone SLR 9 comes in £2,375.00 more expensive than the Emonda SLR 9, in the Viper Red colourway. To be fair the Madone clearly has more carbon bulk, and presumably 800 Series OCLV Carbon isn't cheap!
Using the BIKOTIC visual comparison app above you can see where the Madone is engineered very differently to the Emonda, albeit that both bikes have exactly the same geometry spec (size 56 in photos). Of note is that the Madone has a 0 offset seat post and the Emonda a 20mm offset seatpost. This changes the rider's position in relation to the bottom bracket, the Madone being more aggressive and over the BB.
Though the Emonda does have some aero tubing shapes, notably up front, the Madone takes the aero shaping to another level - right up to the UCI limitations I would imagine. For example, the Emonda has stopped short of an aero seat post, opting for what is the least aero shape, a round seat post. This seems a bit odd when a lot of other brands do have aero posts on their all round race bikes - the likes of Specialized with the Tarmac SL8 and Cannondale with the SystemSix to name a few.
The Madone's headtube, forks, downtube, seat tube and stays all have very pronounced aero profiles - the massively oversized bottom bracket presumably not only offers a lot of stiffness, but aero advantages also.
It's hard to look at the Madone without being drawn to the very odd cut out design of the seat tube from the side view, and then look from any other angle you will see not only is it cut out from the side it splays out to form what can only be described as a hole! Trek calls this IsoFlow technology, and it "adds an aerodynamic advantage, cuts weight and smooths the road ahead". Looks kind of weird to me though.
Both bikes feature integrated carbon bar stem combos - the Madone's bar-stem being somewhat more beefy from most angles, other than head on, but with the benefit of the brake hoses being fully internal and hidden. The Emonda has exposed hoses below the stem feeding into the front of the headset top cap. The cost of all this integration will come into stark focus when it's time to change or repair something...maybe!
The Emonda comes with the Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheelset, RRP £2199.98, 1325 grams and are Tubeless Ready. The Madone comes with the Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51 wheelset, which cost the same, but are a smidge heavier at 1410 grams and are also Tubeless Ready.
The Emonda rolls on 25mm Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite Road Tyres, each at RRP £44.99 and weighing 210 grams. It's not listed on https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com, but the Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite TLR 25 version comes in at 13.6 Watts. The Madone rolls on 25mm Bontrager R4 320 Handmade Clincher Road Tyres, each at RRP £69.99 and weighing 230 grams. This tyre has a rolling resistance of 11.5watts on https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com. Both bikes are listed as being shod with 25mm, but in the comparison above you can see the Emonda's tyres are definitely wider and look more like 28's to me.
So, which to buy if you happen to have a really huge budget for your next bike? Personally, the weakest area of my riding and where I get consistently dropped, is on the hills, if I was planning to buy either of these bikes it would be the Emonda. That said, I would really like to take the Madone to a long flat sweeping strip of tarmac, preferably with a strong tail wind, and give it the beans - yeehaa!