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    Thread: Help me choose a 2019 frame: Trek Madone or Specialized S-Works Tarmac

    1. Member teutonicgoodness's Avatar
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      09-27-2018 09:11 AM #1
      Hey guys,

      My team is looking at frame deals for 2019 and we are looking at The 2019 Madone and the S-Works Tarmac. I am a big Specialized fan and have never ridden Trek.

      We mostly do ~40 mile, undulating road races, some flat 45 minute crits and occasional longer 1-day (60+ miles) and 3-day stage races with tons of climbing. The shorter road races and crits are the vast majority of what we do.

      Any thoughts?

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    3. Member A1an's Avatar
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      09-27-2018 01:00 PM #2
      Both are above my pay grade, but like any bike I would get a ride on each and see which geometry better fits my needs.

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    4. 09-27-2018 01:05 PM #3
      Sounds like you're light years beyond my ability level if you race things in stages on a team. My RR was 30 some miles.

      I'd say the only advice I can give is investigate the maximum tire clearance on both. If you fancy longer training rides, challenges, fondos, then you might not want to have to do that always on something stuck with a 23mm or 25mm tire.

      I bought the Propel though with the expectation it would also serve as a TT rig on a budget. I can't afford a TT bike, but could swing for a skinsuit, few model years old helmet, and some clip-ons. So, road bike AND TT bike for basically the cost of clip-ons.

      The online calculator of my cdA versus power from my 10mi TT was pretty good.

      Not sure your team will TT or not, but something to consider.
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      09-27-2018 04:26 PM #4
      If I was getting back into racing with a bottomless budget, I’d be all about that aero bandwagon even though I don’t really like the look of most aero stuff. Isn’t the Madone the aero Trek now, like the Spec Venge?

      Both bikes can be built up sub 16 lbs, so I’d pick the aero one. Don’t forget a badass set of aero wheels and an aero handlebar. And aero jersey and aero helmet and shoe covers. #aeroallthethings.

      But maybe that’s just my racing style. I can’t sprint to save my life, so my racing style was just attacking over and over again until I blew up or something stuck so I spent a lot of time out in the wind. I also didn’t progress past cat3, so maybe that’s saying something too.

    7. Member Samson's Avatar
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      09-28-2018 08:19 AM #5
      I'd probably go for the Tarmac. It looks a lot better (subjective), and requires less weird proprietary parts/procedures as well, if that matters. I'd imagine that the Tarmac would be simpler and easier to maintain. There's not much difference in weight (85 grams or something insignificant). But, I'd ride both and see what you like.

      Isn't the Venge more of a competitor to the Madone than the Tarmac though?

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      09-28-2018 09:03 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      I'd probably go for the Tarmac. It looks a lot better (subjective), and requires less weird proprietary parts/procedures as well, if that matters. I'd imagine that the Tarmac would be simpler and easier to maintain. There's not much difference in weight (85 grams or something insignificant). But, I'd ride both and see what you like.

      Isn't the Venge more of a competitor to the Madone than the Tarmac though?
      Besides the seat mast, what else is proprietary on the Madone?

    9. Member Samson's Avatar
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      09-28-2018 09:16 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by mrothwell View Post
      Besides the seat mast, what else is proprietary on the Madone?
      The stem/spacer/bar area. Perhaps not really worth worrying about. I've not worked on one, but when I was looking at one last year, the shop mentioned how much of a pain in the ass it was when it came to the bar/stem/cable routing... but then again, it's not like that's something that you screw with very often. This may fall under the "it's different so it's bad" category.





      (I wonder if that top cap sticking up negates all of the aero work on the bar/stem interface... )

    10. 09-28-2018 09:32 AM #8
      I thought the brakes on the Madone had the weird plastic flap covering them.

      I always wondered how they got away with that with the rules about no fairings. That's pretty much the definition of a fairing.

      Wireless shifting would get rid of two of the cables at least.
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      09-28-2018 12:34 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      The stem/spacer/bar area. Perhaps not really worth worrying about. I've not worked on one, but when I was looking at one last year, the shop mentioned how much of a pain in the ass it was when it came to the bar/stem/cable routing... but then again, it's not like that's something that you screw with very often. This may fall under the "it's different so it's bad" category.
      Ah. Yeah, **** that. I’m pretty particular on bar shape and not having options there would bug me.

    12. Member Samson's Avatar
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      09-28-2018 01:04 PM #10
      Yeah, the new Venge doesn't have that issue. You can use any bar you want, but it's still all aero and stuff.

      https://cyclingtips.com/2018/07/2019...t-ride-review/

      The Venge also fits a 32mm tire, which is cool.

    13. Member teutonicgoodness's Avatar
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      10-01-2018 10:18 AM #11
      Thanks, guys.

      The one thing I don't like on the Madone is the proprietary stem & handlebar combo. If anything unfortunate happens to the handlebars and there is a crack or something, you have to replace the whole thing. I have heard that can be $700 or something. Yikes.

      This year, we had the Orbea aero (yes, in orange). Most of the guys liked it, but it also has the integrated stem / bars.


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      10-01-2018 11:29 AM #12
      Is the Madone the only option you can get a Trek deal on? Agreed the integrated stem/bar combo would be a turnoff for me. A few friends race Emonda discs and really like them.

      I think between the Tarmac and Madone, I'd go Tarmac. But at that level, I'm sure both are fantastic bikes.

    15. 10-01-2018 01:11 PM #13
      Are you all having to work on the bikes yourselves? Or is this at a high enough level that even normally domestic touring pro stuff the team mechanic takes care of it?

      If I had to do my own work, I'd pick something a little simpler (says the guy who bought an aero race bike).
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      10-01-2018 02:58 PM #14
      Does the team have to choose 1 bike? Or can they get either one?

      It boils down to personal preference, unless the sponsor is Trek or Specialized and mandate you have to ride their brand only, I would go do test rides with them to determine which bike you like. Maybe some of your teammates will prefer the Madone and others will prefer the Tarmac.
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      10-01-2018 05:35 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
      I thought the brakes on the Madone had the weird plastic flap covering them.

      I always wondered how they got away with that with the rules about no fairings. That's pretty much the definition of a fairing.
      No they are stiffening braces

      Or in the case of like the speed concept, its a tool or nutrition storage compartment...

      As shady as it seems sometimes I appreciate that in just about every form of racing there is someone willing to push to the limits of what the rules state.


      Quote Originally Posted by teutonicgoodness View Post

      This year, we had the Orbea aero (yes, in orange). Most of the guys liked it, but it also has the integrated stem / bars.


      That cable routing is horrendous for it having integrated bars and stem But there is also nothing stopping you from running separate bars and stem on that is there because the cables aren't routed through the bar/stem? Unless it's specific for the front brake?


      Madone for 2019 is a separate bar and stem. To have it all work as intended you do still need to use their bar and their stem together but it is now two piece which should reduce replacement cost and help with fitting as well.



      Sadly I don't have anything to add other than clarifying the bar change for 2019 to a 2 piece.

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      11-30-2018 09:04 PM #16
      I don't know if you've made a decision yet or not, but I figured I would drop my opinion in here.....

      The new madone is amazing but quite heavy in comparison to the previous gen! I ride with someone who has about 20k miles on his previous madone and he picked up the new Madone SLR.

      I have personally been riding the new S-Works Tarmac disc and love it and have spent time on the new 2019 Venge(which is lighter than the Madone)....

      When it comes time to pick up a new frame and build it up it will be a S-Works Tarmac disc as I don't feel the lack of full blown aero has hindered my riding one bit. But it is as aero as the first gen Venge so that is a plus... with a set of Tubeless Enve 3.4s or Zipp 303s or the Roval CLX 32s you are able to have a nice light sub 15lb with pedals setup (this is lighter than my current rim brake sl5 tarmac with EE brakes and lots of Enve Parts)....

      This is the SL6 disc DA Di2 i've been riding on a long term loan/test ride
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/6yipp6peot..._0212.JPG?dl=0

      Here is my SL5 DA Di2 I currently own
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/5jjltk3myj...3345.HEIC?dl=0
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    19. Member teutonicgoodness's Avatar
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      12-12-2018 01:06 PM #17
      I saw the new Madone and it seems that not only is the bar / stem proprietary, so are the brakes - so you need a local shop that knows how to service them as there are a lot of quirks to them. Our team shop is a Trek shop and they have a location down the street, so I would be all set there.

      It does look intimidating, though. If we go Trek, I may just opt for a carbon Emonda disc and throw better wheels on there. If we go Specialized, I would probably go base Tarmac disc and add better wheels. A list price Tarmac Ultegra disc complete bike is about $3600 and the S-Works Tarmac FRAME is $4000!! We'll see what the deal ends up at and I will probs jump on it.

    20. Member teutonicgoodness's Avatar
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      02-28-2019 07:41 PM #18
      I jumped into the pool last week and got a 2019 Tarmac Pro and added Ultegra pedals. The bike comes with Ultegra Di2 with disc brakes, and Roval CX50 wheels. It is nothing short of amazing. A quantum leap over my 2014 Roubaix.


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      03-01-2019 09:00 AM #19
      That is rad! Nice choice. You're going to love the R8070 drive-train. It is awesome. I never thought I'd end up with Di2 or discs - I'm really happy with both.

    22. Member teutonicgoodness's Avatar
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      03-03-2019 11:07 PM #20
      Thanks! I agree, never thought I would end up with Di2, but here we are. I am pumped.

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