I was contemplating getting the new trek madone tri bars. They come on the new Trek concept but can also be bought separately and put on to your Madone. Has anyone used this or even tri bars in general and did you notice a difference. I’m a long distance cyclist looking to get faster.
I can tell you what the local trek dealer told me when I was thinking about doing the same to a lower end bike. “ save your money and wait until you can get the right bike for the job at hand “
A trek Madone wouldn’t be a lower end bike but.
No but the geometry is the same as what is was thinking about doing it on.
I think the Madone Speed or the new aero bars from that upgrade (presumably what your mentioned) are a fine option, IMHO.
People add clip-on areo bars to roadies to make them fit a range of uses. Comfort and getting weight of the hands is a great one too.
Do keep in mind the setup in a road application can and does often vary from a typical aero TT or Tri setup. Placement needs to be relative to a more road based saddle position, unless you plan to set up a more mixed position.
But for a comfort based layout, you just end up with a more rearward biased aero bar and possibly a bit higher too.
I think it’s very worth consideration and suggest ignoring clip-on detractors that tend to be overly fashion centric.
Yeah, I get ya. I have started doing short intervals mimicking that position with my fore arms resting on the bars but obviously not great control but a similar position to what the aero bars would give me.
If your goal is to do long distance rides but just complete them faster, then using add-on aero bars on a road bike probably is the right tool for the job.
As noted, you’ll probably have to arrive at a “compromise” position…either scooting your saddle forward a bit or raising the HB a bit (or both).
Whilst I do not own the aerobars you mention, I do own a road bike (Giant TCR) with clip ons.
Number 1 advise I have would give is to make sure the aerobars are highly adjustable:
- Increase/reduce hight of the bar with e.g. risers
- Adjust the angle of the bars (having them angled upwards can greatly increase comfort and prevent slipping off the front of the saddle as well as make it easier to tuck your head for better aero)
- move the extensions forewards/backwards
- Pads in/out and foreward/backwards
My first aerobars were cheap 40$ ones and whilst they helped me confirm I wanted to continue using aerobars, they were way too inflexible in their adjustment options. Currently using the Profile Design Subsonic ones with a riser stack and they are awesome. For me aerobars give a lot more comfort on long rides, being able to take the pressure off the hands. They also give a noticable increase in speed for the same wattage. The position does require some getting used to and adjustments to your fit, but once you’ve figured that out it becomes something I’d no longer want to ride without.
Just checked out these trek bars and you need to have the SLR model and I have the SL6 2019 4000e worth so I would need to upgrade the handlebars so would cost me 1000e+ which is not really something I’d consider. Sickener!!!
One of the biggest pushes that ultimately led me to get a seperate tri bike was not that I wanted the aero frame or whatever, but rather that, by converting your road bike to a tri bike with aerobars, you effectively lose the road bike.
One way or another, you have to adjust position to get the aerobars to be comfortable, stable, and aerodynamic. In doing so, you really throw your road fit out the window. Before I realized this, my clip-on setup on my road bike (like a decade ago) was so twitchy and sketch. I cringe that I did a couple races with such poor handling. Assuming your road bike even has the adjust ability to properly fit clip-ons, your road position will be greatly compromised. It likely won’t feel unsteady, but it probably won’t feel ‘good.’
All that’s to say: If you have to do it, you have to do it. I understand ‘buy another bike’ isn’t as easy to do as it is to type. If you’re planning on taking tri seriously, then sure, convert your road bike and ride it as a tri/tt bike. Just be aware that trying to play both cards at the same time doesn’t work super well. Since you mention being a long distance cyclist looking to get faster, mayyyybe that’s an option for you, but I’d still say that a Madone being used as a long distance quasi-tour, quasi-tt, quasi-road position is a very strange platypus.
If you have the SL6, then you should have normal round bars, and can use just about any clip-on aero bar. I assumed since you mentioned the other Madone, you had the aero top version that is not compatible with regular clip-on bars.
So, you can look at any of the many options out there. The Redshift Sport ones are great, since they are quick release and can be removed and installed in seconds. I love mine.
The SL6 has the slim handlebars and not the round one so not sure if standard ones fit onto them. You would think the trek ones would fit all madonescand not just some. Bloody money racket.
Thanks for sharing your experience, honestly I was also looking at this option… as I would like to get a new road bike by the end of this year, this will permit me to retrograde my actual road bike back to fixed gear setup I love. Next to my “winter&commuter” gravel bike, I really can´t get more than 3 bikes at home (and still, this is going to be hard with my wife to get another bike )
The “problem” is, that most of all I love riding in the hills, so something like Canyon Ultimate should be perfect for me… but I have a secret wish/plan - try triathlon with a simple goal… do it once in my life, but complete the full IM … so no way to buy a tri bike for me, but I was asking myself what about Madone as an allrounder, with eventualy lighter shallow wheels for some alpine Grand fondo and the tri bars for my intended attempt of IM - after all, you can buy a secondary seat clamp - instead of standard 25mm offset you can get to 5mm. If the geomery would fit into this pattern, maybe this would be possible? Getting 2cm closer to the bars and try to find a good position for the hands?
Also, I am rather surprised that you call this idea a “strange platypus” In my unexperienced eye (I never rode on a TT bike, only road), aero road bike with clip-ons seems like a good mix for long rides on the flat terrain…
Got an SLR with longer Trek Speed Concept Mono Bar. Hoped to get back in TT for this year but circumstances changed with Covid-19. Have done a few personal TTs over 10 and 20 miles - very comfortable. Also rode a longish 125 miles and can’t say the Tri bars got in the way at all and were even welcome on a 40 mile headwind stretch.
NB: The shorter TT mono bar that is available was way to short to allow me to breath properly - it may suit you - but be warned.
I have just put clip on tt bars on my Madone SL6 as it was going to cost too much to get concept set up(1000€). I find the bars a great alternative position on long spins. Done 190km yesterday and very comfortable and speed gains on flat and doesn’t interfere with climbing etc so for deda clip ons at 130€ I think it is a great benefit to me anyway.
I’ve been thinking of replacing my TT bike with an Aero road bike - possibly the Modone SLR7 (project One)
I’m also looking at clip-on bars in the form of the Madone Speed bars - as I have heard good things from a couple of people I have met using them
Absolutely. When I first started getting serious about doing tri’s, used a Cervelo S2 road bike with the reversible seatpost head and dedicated tri bullhorns / aero bars. I was as in as good a position as I am now on my Tri bike. (Also had to get a new stem w/ more drop). Never did a full IM on it, but did do a couple of 70.3 w/ FOP bike splits.
Dunno if the 5mm offset will get your forward enough to be in a similar position vs. a Tri bike, but it will definitely put you in a better position. If your goal is “one and done”, you can make your road bike work well for it.
@Beaumont I found some images of that set-up and my position. About the only difference between this and my position on my tri bike is my arms are slightly more extended on my tri bike…but I would put this position up against a lot of people’s positions on an actual tri bike.
Another very big issue seemingly ignored here is IF you are anticipating a triathlon, running off a tri bike geometry is a huge advantage. The road bike geometry streese on the legs will surely affect your run negatively, and the extra weight on the front wheel of a road bike will be another negative affect. Use the correct tool for the job.
Certainly something to consider…but if the goal is to just “check the box” and not peak performance, an road bike will work. Brick workouts off the adapted position can also help prepare you for the run off a road bike.
I never had any issues with geometry of a road bike in tri position…even with a long stem (think my final stem was a 120mm, -17* stem. But I also had over 20 years of riding experience when I started doing tri’s.