The All-New Trek Madone 9 Road Bike!
8am PDT 6/30/15 Trek officially unveils the all-new Madone 9 road bike!  Here's what we know, updated as more info becomes available (as yet they're not available in stores). It's fast. Really fast. It's also comfortable. Really comfortable. That sounds pretty awesome! But, this is a "race" bike in terms of fit, so we're talking "comfort" in a relative sense (more on this further down). Also, it's not as light as the Trek Emonda or even the smooth-riding Domane & Silque models, because you can't build this level of aerodynamics without adding weight. How much weight? We're still working out the details, but we figure about .5 to 1.5lbs heavier than an equivalent Emonda. Still, the research is pretty strong that aerodynamics trumps light weight for anyone riding at race speeds, even up hills.

So, while Trek has a bike for everyone, this might not be the bike for you. If you need a pretty tall handlebar (relative to the seat), the highly-integrated setup of the one-piece bar/stem, as well as integrated cable routing, limit fitting options. This is, simply, not a "century riding" bike for most people. If your average speed on a moderately-hilly century is under 16mph, you would be better-served with an Emonda, Domane, or Silque. But if you're looking to ride with the fastest out there, maybe pick up some Strava KOMs along the way, this bike will make a significant difference!

More details just arriving; here's a link to the fit information for the H2 frame (taller bar option), and another for the H1 (nose-in-the-gravel) option. The Women's version (WSD) appears to be the same geometry as the H2. The geometry information confirms that this is not going to be the bike for someone who rides a current H2 geometry frame with a 17 degree stem.

If you can't fit this rocket, it's not as if you've been left out. The feel of an outrageously-light road bike, like Trek's Emonda, is tough to beat on a climb, and most of us (raising my hand) don't ride fast enough uphill to benefit from aerodynamics. But if you want something that will deliver nearly the efficiency of a time trial bike on flatter roads, without the discomfort and poor handling of a tri bike, the Madone 9 will deliver. For that reason, it's going to have a very strong appeal to the person whose only road bike is presently a tri bike with aero bars. And it will certainly appeal to virtually everyone racing, as the fit options will be very compatible with such use.

More to come, after we've gotten our hands on them and actually ridden on our local roads.  --Mike Jacoubowsky, Partner, avid road rider (Trek Emonda SLR), Chain Reaction Bicycles


I could quit riding anytime I want to...

IMG_7467wolh_panoOnce in a while, climbing Old LaHonda at the start of a Sunday ride, or Kings on any given Tuesday or Thursday morning, and I'm not quite feeling it, yes, I wonder, why am I doing this? Why am I struggling up this hill, why isn't it fun yet? That feeling can persist for a while, sometimes half the climb, until I first get to that point of no return (half-way there, can't turn back now!) and it becomes habit. Something you're used to doing, one foot follows the other, keep at it and you'll get there. It might not be pretty but you'll get there. 10 miles down, 47 to go. Sounds awful when you put it that way, and feels not-so-great thinking it.

And then, you get to... the top. You don't pause to think about it, you just go down the other side, through the upper forest on West Old LaHonda, past that incredible view of the coast, and everything changes, your mindset shifts, you're on your way. You look forward to the detour past the LaHonda duck pond, wondering if the turtles will be out (they were), and by the time you hit Haskins, that nasty hill between where you are and where you'll be, you're thinking about stretching your legs and seeing how fast you can go in a pleasant way.

On to Pescadero, mild headwinds, not bad, decent speed on a pleasant road shared with a very small number of cars and motorcycles plus a few cyclists in the other direction. Stopping for a drink and pastry at the Pescadero Bakery and I'm a completely-different person than the guy struggling up Old LaHonda just over an hour ago.

And that's when it hits you, that's when you realize cycling is a drug, a drug that offers the hangover first and the extraordinary high later. So no, I couldn't quit, not today, not tomorrow, not as long as I'm able to get past the early-ride blues, not as long as my brain remembers and reminds my legs and lungs how awesome it's going to be in just 30 minutes or so.

It's also cool to come across other cyclists that know me through my writings, like Marty from Modesto, whom I came across at the base of the second climb on Stage Road. I slowed my pace for a bit and rode with him; he thought he was holding me up and said to keep on going, and I'm thinking... why? Killing myself on each climb is just one way to ride, and if I've got a good excuse to ease off a bit and enjoy good company, why wouldn't I? Later in the ride, descending Kings, I flew past someone I thought I recognized, on a bike we sold. And I'm thinking... why? Why fly past? So I slowed down and waited at the wide clearing and we rode the rest of the way down together, and I got to show her the alternate route through the park.

There's a lot more to cycling that just data on Strava. It's the people you meet and the magnificence of getting places under your own power. I could no more quit riding than you could pry that rifle out of Charlton Heston's cold dead hands. --Mike Jacoubowsky, Partner, Chain Reaction Bicycles