We're not just in the business of selling and servicing bikes at Richmond Cycles – we're immersed in the world of cycling! So, what better way to introduce you to our incredible team than by showcasing the very bikes that they rely on day in and day out? This time we’re taking a look at a rather bling Trek Madone, owned by shop manager Jake!

What is the bike?

So it is a Madone SLR 9, Trek’s aero model. It’s a seriously fast machine, kitted out with Dura-Ace Di2 11 speed – basically my dream build. It’s about three years old now, but still going strong.


What made you choose the Madone over the Emonda?

I definitely considered the Emonda when I was on the hunt for a new bike. Being that I’m more of a climber/lighter rider, perhaps the logical choice would’ve been to go for the climbing bike, but we don't live in the high mountains, so I figured weight wasn't the most important thing. There are a few lumps in the Surrey Hills that I ride, but it’s predominantly fairly flat around here. The weight penalty of an aero bike isn’t such a problem for any sort of racing in the UK either, and an aero bike is generally quicker once you're up to speed.

Admittedly one of the main reasons for opting for the Madone was just that I thought it looked better. In the back of my mind, I was thinking perhaps the Emonda would suit me better, but the Madone just makes me want to ride more. If I’m honest, my bike's a little bit of a tart – it certainly isn’t subtle, and I’m not afraid to admit that! I just really like the look of it.


What’s the benefit of Project One?

Project One was a no-brainer for me. Not only did I get to choose the colour, but I was also able to spec the parts I wanted with everything in the correct size out of the box. When you have integrated cockpits, proprietary seat posts and expensive power meter cranksets, it's a lot more helpful for them to come out of the box at the right size. 

From my previous bikes, I knew I needed some specific things like 165mm cranks, which aren’t typically a standard option for a bike of my size, and being able to choose things like your stem length and bar width from the get-go saved a lot of headache and money in the long run.


Have you made any changes to the bike?

There are a few things that I’ve changed here and there, like the Selle Italia SLR Boost saddle, and a couple of small touches like the purple Hope rotors to match the rest of the paint – purple bottle cages, purple valve caps, a gold chain (a theme on most of my bikes) and Supacaz oil slick detailed tape. Yes, a bit much I know! Other than that, a CeramicSpeed OSPW and some Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres. The only major upgrade would be the Bontrager RSL 60mm wheels.


What sort of riding do you do on this bike?

It’s primarily for good weather riding and racing, as I have a gravel bike and a few fixed gears that cover the winter miles and commutes, but I’m not afraid to ride this one. It does all of my racing, as well as all of my training and just generic road riding. I've taken it on holidays all around the world, and believe it or not, I've done my longest rides on it. People might find that strange given that it’s an aero bike with an aggressive position, but I find it super comfortable, it just feels like home.


What’s your favourite ride on this bike?

Wow, that’s a tough question to answer – honestly, I don’t think I can choose. I went off to the Alps for a couple of weeks towards the end of last year, and that was pretty epic. Getting to ride up the mountains you see all the pros riding up in the biggest races in the world never gets old.


What bike did you have previously?

I had an aluminium Emonda that I did quite a lot of road riding on before. I also had a previous Madone that got replaced after an accident in Spain involving a mini-pump falling out of my back pocket, and landing in the rear wheel at full sprinting speed. It turned into a bit of a blender, snapped about six or seven spokes, snapped the chain stay and ripped the rear mech off. Not ideal, but at least it was easier to pack into the bike box!


Have you considered upgrading?

Well, the new Gen 7 Madone makes it pretty damn tempting, especially seeing some of those colourways in the Tour de France last year. I still absolutely love this bike though, it's plenty of bike for me. But yeah, the Gen 7 is in the back of my mind. 


Keep an eye out on our blog for future editions of ‘Staff Bikes’.

February 08, 2024 — Richmond Cycles