Friday, April 19, 2013

Madone P1 7 Series - First Impressions

This bike is not a project bike, luckily it is my new bike for everyday training and racing. That said, getting to the stage of putting my leg over this bike was a bit of a project...
  • having to wait for second generation Di2 ('cos it was always going to be a step change!)
  • having to wait for stock to arrive (ordered in November '12, delivered in April '13) - apparently 170mm cranks are not the norm any more!
  • having to rearrange my complete financial affairs to be able to afford such a beauty!

This is my second Trek (currently riding a Project 1 6.9 SSL with 2013 Sram Red). Whilst I've had the bike for a few weeks now, I've only ridden it a bit, having had a holiday (sans-bike) and still racing on the 6 series. So whilst a bit dated, it is still 'first impressions'.

  • Di2 is the first time I've never really looked at what gear I'm in, and I've been racing for almost 30 years. With a 12-25 cassette, there is plenty of options, and with gear changing being so simple, you find yourself changing gears all the time. How long before Di2 is smart enough to change gears itself?
  • Di2 enhances the riding experience in a way that can not be easily described. Sure, the 2013 Sram Red never misses a shift (even up front), and is way better than the previous Sram Red, or DA 7900, but it the experience cannot be compared to Di2.
  • Configuring multi-shift, so you can easily move through the cassette, is an advantage only realised by those 'in the know'!
  • Of course, the Series 7 Frame continues the superb balance I found from the Series 6. It's hard to describe, in that you just get on and ride. The frame instantly feels balanced - front/rear; stiff/light; stable/responsive - such that you really don't notice anything at all. Reminds me of the nice steel frames I've had in the past (except for the weight!) - Columbus SLX Pinarello for example. The beauty of a steel frame captured by the technology of carbon.
So, first impression is a resounding positive, and no regret for the considerable money expended! Stay tuned for some photo's and a more in-depth report, including it's first race.

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