Trek Project One is a fun site to play with. You can customize, choose the paint / colour you like and also choose the components of your bike.
The more I explore, the more I understand about the differences between the Madone models.
You can choose from Madone 6 to Madone 9, all having the same frame but different components. The main difference between the different Madone is the drivetrain, which you can’t change. So you will have to select the drivetrain you want based on the Madone series.
- Madone SLR 6 Disc = Ultegra 8000 series
- Madone SLR 7 Disc = Ultegra Di2 8050 series
- Madone SLR 7 eTap Disc = Force eTap AXS
- Madone SLR 8 Disc = Dura Ace 9100 series
- Madone SLR 9 Disc = Dura Ace Di2 9150 series
- Madone SLR 9 eTap Disc = Red eTap AXS
There are also rim brake version and womens version, but in general they are all the same as per above.
Among the series, you can customize the components such as:
- Power Meter
- Bar tape
The most important feature of Project One is actually the paint colour. You can customize the colour to your liking, besides the standard colours. There are 3 different selections of Paint work, from ZERO cost to US$500 to US$1000 price range. If you are getting a Madone bike, I think it makes sense to design one with your own colour preference instead of the standard on the shelve colour. If you are paying US$500 or US$1000 paint work, you can have your PERSONALISATION done as well (name printing on the bike).
Now that I have made up my mind on the latest SRAM 12 speed electronic drivetrain, the question is should I go for FORCE or RED? There are only TWO selections in Madone range in my case: Madone SLR 7 eTap Disc & Madone SLR 9 eTap Disc.
I was thinking that I do not need the AEOLUS XXX 6 TLR wheelset in Madone SLR 9, and I opt for the AEOLUS PRO 5 TLR, that saves me US$1,200. I was playing around with the customisation of SLR 9 to downgrade the components to SLR 7 except the drivetrain, and guess what…the difference in price is still a whooping US$2,670.01 (RM11,214 @ 4.2 exchange rate)!
- Madone SLR 9 Disc = US$12,330.00 (RM51786, or RM49196 after 5% discount, or RM47073 after 9.1% discount)
- Madone SLR 7 Disc = US$9,659.99 (RM40572, or RM38543 after 5% discount, or RM36880 after 9.1% discount)
So to say that the price difference between SRAM Red eTap AXS Quarq and SRAM Force eTap AXS Quarq is US$2,670.01. That’s a huge amount for just the groupset upgrade! Or should I say…TREK is overcharging their SLR 9 model as online price difference of the two is just US$1000. OK, let’s be fair to Trek, the Quarq power different for the two groupsets are different. Red uses a different one piece power meter from Quarq which costs US$820 in upgrading as per Quarq website, whereby Force Quarq upgrade is only US$599. So let’s take off US$221 from US$2,670.01, it becomes US$2449.01. Minus out the US$1000 price difference of the two groupsts, Treks is still overcharging US$1449.01 for the Madone 9. That’s quite a lot for just the number printing.
So, the choice is clear for me.
Update: 21th April 2019, Sunday, 10.03pm
I just realized one thing…that the price difference of the TWO SRAM groupsets might not be that simple.
SRAM website pricing of the two groupsets are shown at:
From the website:
- 2x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake w/ Power: $4,158/€4,118/£3,794
- 2x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake: $2,678/€2,548/£2,274
So the difference between the two is actually US$1,480. Still, from the previous calculation above, Trek is charging US$2,670.01 for the Red upgrade from Force groupset (Madone 7 to Madone 9), that’s still US$1,190.01 (RM5,000) extra charged by Trek for it.