Help with Madones - 2.3 or 3.1?

LCJ Posts: 9
edited July 2013 in Road buying advice
Have asked this question on the Alu/Carbon debate but would like the wider audience's opinion please:

I am trying to decide between the Trek Madone 2.3 and 3.1 (has to be Trek as a mate is offering great deals through his shop). I am using my current road bike for training and some commuting, I might try some sportives, but it will always play second fiddle to mountain biking I think.

Will I regret not spending the extra on the carbon framed 3.1? The spec is higher on the 2.3 and it looks like a nice enough frame. I am expecting any road bike to feel harsh compared to the mountain bikes I'm used to, but wonder if any additional comfort and weight loss offered by the 3.1 (albeit when I upgrade the spec over time) is worth the additional money. At the moment I'm more inclined to go for the 2.3, but all views welcome!



  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I used to ride a Trek Madone 2.1 (I still have the frame!) which is the same frame as the 2.3

    I rode a Madone 3.5 (same frame as the 3.1) for a week while on holiday in Spain.

    The 3 series is a much much better frame than the 2.1. Not much (if any) lighter, however far more responsive, stiff, more compliant over the bumps, better for climbing and more stable on the decents.

    You may not regret buying a 3-series but only if you never ride one, some of the components on the 3.1 are slightly less spec than the 2.3 but these are minor and easily changeable.

    tl;dr, yes it's worth the extra.
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    I saw the advice offered on the other thread and while I know nothing about Madone bikes, I concur...get the best frame you can afford so that's the 3.1. Everything else you can change over time, but the frame you're pretty much stuck with.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
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  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Thanks Mark, interesting to hear. What didn't you like about the 2.3 or was the CR1 just better?

    I bought the 2.1 first and rode it for a couple of months before I went on holiday and hired a 3.5. It was just a way faster bike, quicker to accelerate, quicker on the climbs. When I got back the 2.1, which I'd previously liked, just felt heavy, slow and uncomfortable.

    Which is why I went for the Scott CR1 which was a cheaper way to upgrade to a carbon frame than buying a whole new bike.
  • LCJ
    LCJ Posts: 9
    Thanks for the heads up on the CR1 - have ordered one and will swap my parts over - saved me a fair wodge cash. Thanks!