A new and unreleased Trek Madone aero bike has been spotted at the 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné, with a wild design that features a hole in the seat tube.
The new Madone largely sticks with a similar aero silhouette to the previous bike but features a large cut-out beneath the seat cluster. This creates a hole where the top tube, seatstays and seat tube meet.
This design has, presumably, been added in the name of aiding rear-end compliance and reducing aerodynamic drag.
Notably, this cut-out doesn’t appear to be marketed as an ‘IsoSpeed’ system, according to road.cc.
Trek’s signature frame technology sees the seat mast pivot on a bearing inside the top tube, allowing it to rotate more freely, increasing comfort.
On the new Madone, an integrated seat mast sits above the cut-out, which sees the seatstays flow directly into the top tube.
The seat mast and rear of the top tube essentially cantilever over the hole in the seat tube.
We assume this adds enough flex to remove the need for the mechanical intervention of IsoSpeed, although Trek is yet to confirm any details about the claimed merits of the new design.
The seat mast itself is similar in design to the current generation bike, with a narrow aero-profiled seat post sitting inside an extended seat tube.
Beefy bottom bracket
Elsewhere, the area around the bottom bracket appears to have increased in size.
This great big slab of carbon flows into the seat tube, which now hugs the profile of the rear wheel tightly.
The top tube is no longer humped, following a straight path from the head tube back to the seat cluster.
The integrated one-piece cockpit also looks to have been updated. This now features a slimmer profile that tapers into a more heavily sculpted clamping area. There is also a distinct ramp pointing down towards the top tube of the bike, at the rear of the stem.
With ‘Madone’ printed on the front of the bar, there’s little doubt this is an update to Trek’s flagship race platform, which, in its pre-aero form, dates back to 2003.
More recently, the Madone platform has only seen modest updates since it was given its aero revamp in 2016.
Prior to this, 2018 saw the introduction of adjustable IsoSpeed and disc brakes.
All-in on aero
With this new Madone emerging, it appears Trek is continuing to back the Madone as a dedicated aero road bike alongside the Emonda.
However, the new Madone presents a significant change from the outgoing model and, in an age where the likes of Specialized are pinning their colours to a single all-rounder in the form of the Tarmac SL7, we look forward to learning more as details emerge.