The Best New Road Bikes

Pro: Trek Madone 6 Series Project 1 Di2; $10,700.

Apr 20, 2010
Outside Magazine
Trek Madone 6 Series Project 1 Di2

Trek Madone 6 Series Project 1 Di2    Photo: Photograph by Inga Hendrickson

How We Tested Them

Over the course of nine days in Tucson, Arizona, our 23-person test crew hammered more than 40 bikes—from $10,000 pro-level Tour de France machines to $900 starter bikes, from 29-inch-wheel trail bikes to hardtail racers. Each one was ridden by several testers, then scored in a variety of categories, including pedaling performance, handling, comfort, components, and aesthetics.

We tested 20 road bikes this year, and none scored a perfect 10 in any category—except the full-carbon Madone. It earned four, for pedaling responsiveness, handling, descending, and component selection. Shimano gets a lot of credit for that last one. The company's futuristic electronic Di2 shifters and derailleurs add about $2,000 to the price—Trek's Project 1 custom paint job added another $400—but every tester raved about their silky smooth performance. In place of pulleys, springs, cables, and missed shifts, Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 have customizable buttons, batteries, wires, and total, overwhelming precision. They're expensive, but testers agreed they're also the most precise shifters they're ever used. And while this pure racer isn't quite as forgiving as previous versions, it's noticeably stiffer in the front end and bottom bracket for uncompromising handling and power transfer. 15 lbs (56 cm);

Filed To: Road Biking, Road Bikes