Monday, March 31, 2008

Pimp My Ride- 2008 Trek Madone 5.2

Well...finally put a deposit down on a NEW bike I've been looking at and researching for almost an entire year: The 2008 Trek Madone 5.2 (all carbon). I wasn't particularly enamored with Trek (since it's a high-volume bike company), nor was my interest piqued by the fact that Lance Armstrong rode/rides "The Madone". What definitely piqued my interest was the "engineering" that went into the design and fabrication of this 2008 Madone. I've read over 100 articles on this bike..not to mention the hundreds of cycling forum message board opinions, and I have to say..I NEVER saw a negative response..or a bad review. I can't say that for any other bike. Can you? Besides, it's made in America (Wisconsin) and not overseas somewhere where all the other high-volume (and some high-tech) bikes are made. Anyway, I got a chance to get out and demo-ride it this weekend. Here are my initial observations: Fast, Comfortable, Light, Responsive, Good Climber, Stiff, Stable, etc. Anything I didn't like about it? I thought it was a little bouncy. I'd expect the ride to be smoother than my "stiff" aluminum Cannondale CADD 7 frame. Could have been the tire pressure was too high. I didn't check it since the shop (High Road Cycles) pumped the tires up for me. I have to make a couple tweaks to the bike. For one, I have to drop a spacer in the stem/head tube as it makes me sit a little too upright (I bought the Performance model in lieu of the Pro model which has a longer, more upright head tube)..and could be the reason for the bounciness. ie. I was sitting too upright and too much weight on the back wheel and not enough on the front. Any customization? You bet, just like Harley Davidson buyers modify/customize their rides, I'm doing the same: going to replace the Bontrager handlebars with FSA K-Wing (full carbon) handlebars because I like the flat section on the addition to the "sexy" look..hahaha. Also going to replace the wheels with my Bontrager X-Lite wheelset with built-in Power Tap SL 2.4 Power Meter. Lastly, going to replace the Bontrager seat with a Specialized Toupe Gel seat. Throw-on a couple carbon bottle cages and we're good to go! Here'a pic of my "new ride". BTW, want a good deal on a "Madone"..see the folks at High Road Cycles in Doylestown, PA..I'm sure they'll take care of you, like they've taken care of me.