Lidl-Trek pro bike: Quinn Simmons’ Trek Madone SLR

Are turned-in levers banned? Not on Simmons’ Lidl-Trek aero road bike

Clock10:02, Thursday 25th January 2024

The Trek Madone features IsoFlow technology

There was a new-look start to the year for Quinn Simmons who made the long journey across to Australia to make his season and race debut at the Tour Down Under.

While racing in unfamiliar surroundings, the American could rely upon a much more familiar piece of kit in the form of his tried-and-tested Trek Madone. It’s a bike that has remained largely unchanged from the 2023 season, although Simmons’ bike had some interesting component and set-up choices that buck current trends and, in some instances, may soon fall foul of UCI regulations.

Here’s a closer look at the Lidl-Trek rider’s bike for the race.

Trek Madone: IsoFlow technology

The latest version of the Trek Madone, the American brand’s aero road bike, garnered plenty of attention upon its official release in 2022 thanks to its radical seat tube which features a gaping hole in it. This hole later took on a name and is now known as the brand’s IsoFlow technology.

To even ardent tech nerds, the design was intriguing, but the motivation behind it was obvious: aerodynamics. It’s something that drives the majority of design decisions for brands and that’s certainly the case for the latest Madone which saves 19 watts when riding at 45kph compared to the previous iteration, according to Trek. As an added bonus, the frame is nearly 300g lighter too, which isn’t too surprising when you account for the missing material from the seat tube.

For now, IsoFlow technology has been reserved for the Madone but that could all be set to change if sightings of what appears to be a new Emonda are to be believed.

Traditionally the brand’s lightweight climbing bike, Lidl-Trek’s Giulio Ciccone was recently spotted riding a version which appeared to feature the distinguishable IsoFlow tech. Adding an aero feature to a climbing bike may seem strange, but considering the potential weight savings that come with it, it makes perfect sense.

Turned-in levers haven’t gone just yet

Big tech news broke in the off-season when the UCI revealed that turned-in levers were in its crosshairs for the upcoming season, with new regulations in the works. These will limit the angle that riders can turn in their levers and officials were spotted measuring these angles at the Tour Down Under. It’s not yet been revealed what the maximum angle allowed will be, although CyclingWeekly reported that the tool used allowed for up to 10 degrees.

Either way, Simmons remained defiant in the race when we spoke to him, questioning how much difference the new regulations would make, saying: “It will have changed no safety at all now that my levers are three centimetres out, it just makes it more uncomfortable for me. But in the end, it’s the new rule and we have to play along by the rules of our sport.”

These views were mirrored in his set-up, with the SRAM Red AXS shifters noticeably pointing inwards. We didn't see whether they fell foul of the UCI’s new tool, but it seems unlikely from the picture below taken at the start line for stage 1.

Hefty gearing

Simmons bucked the norms on other areas of his bike too, starting with the Bontrager RSL handlebars which, rather than being one-piece, had a separate Bontrager XXX stem. That’s a rare sight on aero road bikes where the pursuit of aerodynamic gains usually leads to one-piece systems.

There was more breaks from the norm, albeit minor, with the SRAM Red 56/43t chainset. That’s slightly larger than the size most riders are using which is a testament to Simmons’ power, something that was on full display on stage 2 when the American embarked on a late attack, although he was unable to take the win. The chainset included a built-in Quarq power meter.

Wheels were provided, once again, by Bontrager in the form of the Aeolus RSL 51s. These were paired with Pirelli P Zero Race TLR in a - you guessed it - 28mm width. At this point, it’s hard to find a rider who isn’t running 28mm tyres, barring Specialized-sponsored teams.

A Bontrager Verse saddle completed the build.

Bike Specification
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