John Stevenson of CyclingNews.com evaluated a Trek Madone 5.9 by riding it 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). [ Where do I sign up for that job? ] He really liked it, in that it performed in a solid and understated fashion while making him competitive with riders who had been able to drop him when he was riding less sophisticated bikes:
Like any race bike, the Madone is a tool for winning races. Its job is provide the rider with a platform for turning training into trophies. It shouldn't be in any way distracting or irritating to ride, and it needs to be as comfortable at the end of a long ride as it is at the beginning. That characteristic Trek neutrality, which could be interpreted as a lack of excitement, is a virtue in a race bike.
The Madone's handling, then, is unobtrusive. It complies evenly and smoothly when you point it into a turn and holds its line confidently round curves even at high speed. It responds willingly to rider input, but without that feeling of puppy-dog enthusiasm that characterises some very light bikes. Nevertheless, I found myself climbing in higher gears than on my regular rig and keeping up with riders who usually leave me behind.
This bike has an estimated price of $6,300.00 as tested, so most of us won't be buying one anytime soon. It's even a little much for me to put on my Amazon.com Wishlist. But, as a fan of pro cycling and the technology behind it, I want to understand the differences between what the pros ride and what I ride. This review does a great job illustrating that.
If you can afford to buy one of these with your own money, let me know. I'd love to do an Operation Gagdet article on even more specific features than this review discusses.