Best For: Thrifty riders who won’t compromise performance.
The Test: Compared with Trek’s fancier Madones (the pros ride the 6 series), the 4.5 is slightly taller and slacker, for a more upright position—a good thing, since few of us have the flexibility and conditioning of pro racers. But testers still found the handling quick and the pedaling responsive. “When you attack, it jumps like Jordan,” one tester wrote. And for such an affordable bike, there are lots of niceties, such as the full Shimano 105 groupset (our hands-down favorite option for the money) and the optional DuoTrap Sensor, a nifty fitness-tracking ANT+ speed-and-cadence module that can be inserted straight into the frame.
The Verdict: It lacks personality, but at this price the superior ride is what counts. 18.7 lbs