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  1. #1
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    Giant Propel vs. Specialized Venge vs. Trek Madone

    I want to get an aero race bike. Budget is $4,500-$5,000. I want disc brakes. I'm fine with a mechanical drivetrain, I would prefer electronic but it's tough in this price range. I have dealers for all brands in my area but I'd prefer to go with a local dealer of Specialized and Giant as I like their service.

    Three 2019 models I'm primarily considering:
    Giant Propel Advanced 1 Disc ( https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/bi...-advanced-disc )
    Specialized Venge Expert Disc ( https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ve...-disc/p/128980 )
    Trek Madone SL 6 ( https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...ode=black_grey )

    I think I prefer the Propel as I honestly like the looks better (lol). These are all similar builds so I'm splitting hairs.

    Other options I should consider?

  2. #2
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    Madone every day.


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  3. #3
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    Madone >> Propel >>>>>> Venge
    I'd go with Madone

  4. #4
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    Talking

    I'm kind of with you guys on the Madone. Objectively, it might be the best bike here.

    Two problems:
    1. Rim brakes. As I said above, I prefer discs.
    2. I really despise (a word I don't use lightly) my local Trek dealer. I'd have to go somewhere else to buy.

    Also, I would have agreed with you guys about the undesirability of the Venge last year when Specialized was deep into their proprietary nonsense BS. However, the 2019 Venge is a much more straight forward and practical affair.
    Last edited by Hiro11; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:30 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    I'm kind of with you guys on the Madone. Objectively, it's the best bike here.

    Two problems:
    1. Rim brakes. As I said above, I prefer discs.
    2. I really despise (a word I don't use lightly) my local Trek dealer. I'd have to go somewhere else to buy.
    Well, you put it on the list......

    (My vote is the Madone also)
    Gravel Rocks

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    I'm kind of with you guys on the Madone. Objectively, it's the best bike here.

    Two problems:
    1. Rim brakes. As I said above, I prefer discs.
    2. I really despise (a word I don't use lightly) my local Trek dealer. I'd have to go somewhere else to buy.

    Also, I would have agreed with you guys about the undesirability of the Venge last year when Specialized was deep into their proprietary nonsense BS. However, the 2019 Venge is a much more straight forward and practical affair.
    Madone is now available with discs.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevina6 View Post
    Madone is now available with discs.
    Cheapest disc option as far as I can tell is $6,300 (the SLR 6 Disc). Out of my budget and frankly kind of insane that this is Trek's lowest priced aero disc road bike.

    Also, it looks like the 2019 non-disc Madone is using Trek's kooky proprietary "aero" rim brakes, which I know to be not great. Not a deal killer, but I prefer discs for several reasons I won't outline here.

    Upsides for the Madone: great build, almost certainly the most compliant ride.
    Last edited by Hiro11; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:34 PM.

  8. #8
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    Rim vs disc, that's your call.

    But as far as Trek's rim brakes go, they work just fine, not as great as Shimano, but they are fine. I know plenty of guys who descend on legit mountains with 8-10% gradient with them just fine

  9. #9
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    Not a Chance

    Boring vs Boring vs Boring. LOL None of those get my pulse up. Now a Time Scylon? Definitely.

  10. #10
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Boring vs Boring vs Boring. LOL None of those get my pulse up. Now a Time Scylon? Definitely.
    The OP appears to be limiting himself to buying from LBS. When you do that, your options are mostly the mass market brands. I agree with your boring comment completely.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Boring vs Boring vs Boring. LOL None of those get my pulse up. Now a Time Scylon? Definitely.
    +2 on the boring comment.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Boring vs Boring vs Boring. LOL None of those get my pulse up. Now a Time Scylon? Definitely.
    other than Time being a less seen label, what is unique about the Scylon compared to the other bikes mentioned in here, from an aero perspective (since aero is the OP's top criteria)?

  13. #13
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    What about the Cannondale System Six?
    You can't fix stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio

    I kind of wish it were legal to staple people in the face.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    Boring vs Boring vs Boring. LOL None of those get my pulse up. Now a Time Scylon? Definitely.
    Yeah, the "Activ" version is $4,200 for the frameset alone. Might as well recommend a Pinarello F10. Not going to happen. Guys, please read my post before responding.

    I'm not willing to buy somewhat obscure European brands online for what is a significant amount of money for me. I also highly doubt that "non-boring" options are better in any material way.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    What about the Cannondale System Six?
    Great option but I don't trust Cannondale bottom bracket setups. This is based on everyone I've ever ridden with who has a Cannondale with a press fit BB has had problems. In fairness, Treks aren't much better, in my experience.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    Great option but I don't trust Cannondale bottom bracket setups. This is based on everyone I've ever ridden with who has a Cannondale with a press fit BB has had problems. In fairness, Treks aren't much better, in my experience.
    Iíve had my Madone for over 18 months. I live in Ireland where we get our fair amount of wet weather and have only replaced the BB once in that time.

    My choice out of what you said would still be the Madone. I would only replace mine with another one thatís how much I like it.

    The rim brakes are more than adequate and thatís using full carbon wheels. Have ridden it on long wet descents here and kind dry descents in Mallorca and have always been able to stop in time.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    Great option but I don't trust Cannondale bottom bracket setups. This is based on everyone I've ever ridden with who has a Cannondale with a press fit BB has had problems. In fairness, Treks aren't much better, in my experience.
    I have a 2015 CAAD10 with DA9000 (purchased 2/15), a 2016 Super Six Evo Hi Mod 2 (purchased 9/16) and am currently having a CAAD12 Black Inc frameset built up with DA9100. My 2015 CAAD10 and 2016 EVO use the Hollowgram SiSL2 BB30 press fit bottom brackets and to be honest, they have been very reliable. The CAAD10 has 27K miles on it and the EVO just a little under 14K miles. I just had the BB bearings replaced on the CAAD10 in Feb of this year for the first time (after numerous training miles, commuter miles and crit races). The reason for that was because I pressure washed the bike at the car wash when I was washing my car...dumb mistake. Other than that, it was buttery smooth before. The EVO. The mass majority of Cannondale BB30s I've heard of with creaking issues have been the 105 models- which come equipped with the FSA bottom bracket. Rarely have I heard of the Cannondale bottom brackets on the higher end models having the creaking noises.....Now that I have said that, my new CAAD12 build will creak once it's done. (SIGH)

  18. #18
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    I think you miss the point. What they mean is that you picked the typical Big Three. Those companies are common because of their business practices. Look at shops that sell them. They are almost always exclusively selling that brands product. Those manufacturers tell shops what to carry, so you never get any options outside those brands. Bike shops have always been about offering different options form different manufacturers, but Not Trek, Specialized, or Giant retailers. Because of this, most cyclists, don't see beyond those companies. There are other options out there from brands like Felt, Scott, BMC, Canyon, Bianchi, etc. They are pretty much all on par with one another. You just mentioned the most heavily marketed ones... the ones dishing out the most Kool-Aid. They make great bikes, but so does everyone else. As for cost, Trek and Specialized wouldn't be a consideration since they are couple of the most overpriced for what you get (someone has to pay for their marketing budgets). If you're in an area where those are your only options, I understand, but just know that the only things that making one better than the other is how well one brand fits you and how well you like the aesthetics. Sorry for no paragraphs. I'm typing this from my cell phone...Good luck.
    Last edited by terbennett; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:51 AM.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the thoughtful post, please see my responses.
    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    I think you miss the point. What they mean is that you picked the typical Big Three. Those companies are common because of their business practices. Look at shops that sell them. They are almost always exclusively selling that brands product. Those manufacturers tell shops what to carry, so you never get any options outside those brands. Bike shops have always been about offering different options form different manufacturers, but Not Trek, Specialized, or Giant retailers. Because of this, most cyclists, don't see beyond those companies.
    It's also possible that these three particular models are simply the best options. All three are highly regarded.
    There are other options out there from brands like Felt, Scott, BMC, Canyon, Bianchi, etc. They are pretty much all on par with one another. You just mentioned the most heavily marketed ones... the ones dishing out the most Kool-Aid.
    Not sure about this. I've demoed a current model Venge, Tarmac and TCR. All were fantastic bikes. "Kool Aid" seem harsh.
    As for cost, Trek and Specialized wouldn't be a consideration since they are couple of the most overpriced for what you get (someone has to pay for their marketing budgets).
    Hard to argue with this point. Trek's pricing is a bit wacky these days. This is another reason I'm leaning towards the Giant. Giant's carbon manufacturing quality is also industry leading if Leuscher Teknik is anything to go by.
    If you're in an area where those are your only options, I understand,
    Nope, as I hinted in my original post, I live in a major city and have some truly excellent LBSs in my local area. I picked the Venge and Propel because I really like the local shop that sells those brands. I also really like the '19 Venge and Propel, which helps. I picked the Madone because it seems to be the most highly regarded aero bike today. maybe that's because Trek paid for good reviews, who knows. All I know if my friends who have the '18 Madone love it.

  20. #20
    pmf
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    Also made by Giant. Even though I'm not a connoisseur of Taiwanese plastic, I'd take it over a Trek or Specialized. No one really needs disc brakes. It's just the newest BS "improvement" the bike industry is shoving down out throats. I don't work for Excel.

    https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp...jor=1&minor=35

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Also made by Giant. Even though I'm not a connoisseur of Taiwanese plastic, I'd take it over a Trek or Specialized. No one really needs disc brakes. It's just the newest BS "improvement" the bike industry is shoving down out throats. I don't work for Excel.

    https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp...jor=1&minor=35
    Thanks for the suggestion. A local shop has a few of these in stock, I might go check it out.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    Yeah, the "Activ" version is $4,200 for the frameset alone. Might as well recommend a Pinarello F10. Not going to happen. Guys, please read my post before responding.
    F10 is a cheap, over-hyped, overpriced, Taiwanese open mold frame. Wouldn't recommend it. o-kay, back on topic. . .

  23. #23
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    The Madone is the most elegantly integrated with smooth lines.. of all the aero frames out there. No other aero frames can come close to the elegance of the Madone right now. And to top it off, it is also possibly the most comfy of the aero frames out there too to to its flexy seatpost. If anything, it's all the other aero frames that look like each other.

    Having said that, get the Giant if it's cheap.

    As for the Venge. Why bother. It's not cheap, and it's not as aero, and not as elegant.

  24. #24
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    Get a Norco Tactic. Direct mount brakes let you run fatter rims and tires and its a very low maintainance bike compared to the others which can be a nightmare to swap out stems etc.
    Over 270 000km cycled as a vegan...

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  25. #25
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    Iíve owned all 3 of these at different times.

    Iíd go:

    1. Madone
    2. Venge
    3. Propel.

    Reasons:

    - Madone feels most comfortable on longer rides yet quite nimble when out of the saddle. The Isospeed works.
    - I prefer its looks.
    - it marginally felt the heaviest. This can be accentuated on larger frame sizes. Go for SLR or H1 fitting is possible.
    - Venge (admittedly generation 1) also was a special ride. It was supposed to be the least comfortable but with gel on the handlebars it was fine. After 70 plus miles you could feel a bit Ďbeat upí but it was completely insignificant.
    - Propel may appear as most bang for buck but never really felt special at the cafe. It was the most docile for handling. You really have to commit to corners and roundabouts.

    All the above were/are rim brake models so I would extrapolate/be concerned about:

    - with extra disc weight on fork would the Propel handling be too docile?
    - I havenít kept up to date re Specialized and their non-standard parts.
    - Venge in a sprint felt the most nimble and Ďflickableí.
    - SL6 is 2018 Madone so has the old brakes. Iíve switched to a Madone SLR and rim brakes are perfectly fine. Trek have extended their warranty to 2 years on carbon wheels so no worries about delamination.
    - if you have an issue re the dealer there is the listen360. Leave Trek to sort out dealer!



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