December training camps usually offer a flurry of new tech sightings and rumours. Despite some groupset too’ing and fro’ing, this year has been a rather quiet affair. But as it seemed rumours of a new SRAM Red groupset would be as good as December 2023 would get, Weight Weenies forum member Ritxis popped up to make our Christmas with what appears to be a new Trek Emonda – or maybe even a different Madone variant.
The bike is clearly still very much undercover with only Giulio Ciccone, his Lidl-Trek kit, and oh yeah, that Madone-esque seat tube cutout to confirm the frame is even a Trek.
So what is it then?
The safe money is probably on this being a new Emonda. The current Emonda is going on four years old now, having been first released in 2020. That 2020 Emonda was Trek’s take on the do-it-all “Aero-lite” bike, taking the lightweight Emonda platform of old and throwing some aero at it in the shape of fully integrated brake hosing and truncated tubes throughout. The bike has countless fans and has proved enormously successful at the women’s and men’s World Tour level, but as product cycles go, the timing is in line for an Emonda update.
From what we can see in the single photo emerging from Weight Weenies (long live Weight Weenies) is clearly a bike with a Madone-like profile, but it’s almost certainly not a Madone. It’s almost impossible to be certain in any predictions given the flat red colour, awkward angle, and poor lighting, but it seems the new bike features a more rounded down tube than the Madone, and with a more truncated profile than the current Emonda. The top tube also appears to have a flatter cross-section, and with a slightly straighter path from end to end. The bike seemingly retains a similar-looking head tube and smooth transition onto the top tube, but at the rear end is what appears to be a SRAM UDH (Universal Rear Derailleur) hanger – presumably in preparation for what we’ve anticipated is the launch of the new SRAM Red groupset next season.
One thing that is definitely new to Trek’s all-rounder offering is the addition of its IsoFlow seat tube hole first introduced in the latest generation Madone. Trek claims IsoFlow delivers somewhat of a holy trinity of bicycle performance, i.e. improving aerodynamics, compliance, and reducing weight. Apparently, Trek now hopes IsoFlow can bring the same claimed benefits across to the Emonda platform.
But its inclusion on this frame does raise questions as to whether this is a new Emonda. In fact, if the current Madone wasn’t still so relatively new, the IsoFlow’s inclusion here would probably have us speculating Trek has ditched the dedicated aero bike design brief and made the Madone a lighter all-rounder style offering.
Despite that timing a new Madone might actually make sense. As every other major brand consolidates its performance road offerings into a single all rounder platform, Trek is one of the few remaining big brands to offer a dedicated aero and climbing bike. It seems likely, given the benefit to the manufacturers of reduced costs, stock, and SKUs that Trek might want to switch to a single bike for every occasion at some point. If Trek were to make that move, it seems the Madone moniker is the most likely to live on. After all, it’s not only the longest standing in Trek’s premium carbon road range, but it’s also the root of the Emonda and Domane names (as they’re anagrams of Madone).
So is this the new Madone?
Only time will tell which new Trek this actually is, but it sure seems likely the Lidl-Trek riders will be on a new bike at some point this year. When exactly that will happen is difficult to predict, but it seems almost certain a new frame would come before the Tours de France, possibly even for the classics, although Trek has typically reserved Classics launches for its Domane range.
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