Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trek Madone: First impressions

After a thorough fitting and adjustment at Bicycles Etc., I rode the new Madone 3.1 home Tuesday night. My initial impression was confirmed quickly: what a sweet, sweet ride!

More than once in the early going, the bike accelerated faster than I could shift. Part of that was my unfamiliarity with the Shimano 105 system, and the other part was the gossamer weight of the all-carbon bike (24 lbs., according to the mechanic’s scale at the shop).

Rode east on Aurora Avenue into a 20-25 mph headwind, which would have been a real grind in the hybrid’s upright riding position. Between the rail-thin tires and the more compact riding position of the road bike (Yay! Drops!) I sliced through the cool wind easily.

South on Fort Hill Drive to the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve path, a typical crushed limestone trail. Headed east, again into the wind, a little apprehensive about how the skinny, high-pressure tires would perform on the trail.

No problemo. Just a little unsteady in a tight turn, which I’ll have to watch. But that’s not an issue on most of my rails-to-trails rides, which rarely have anything resembling a curve.

South on Modaff toward home, wind at my back. A couple gentle hills to test my gear-shifting. Figured out the “half-click” that keeps the high gears from rattling on the small chainring. The notorious stock Trek seat will probably have to be replaced with something designed for humans, but I was expecting that.

After a very pleasant six miles, arrived at home. Won’t be able to ride again until a work commute on Friday. Already have a change of clothes stashed away in my office. Can’t wait!

The bike’s tentative name is “Shadowfax.” Yeah, I’m what you call a geek.

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