Alex Paton Upgrades Retro Trek Madone with Modern Shimano 105 Groupset

Alex Paton upgrades his retro Trek Madone 5.9 bike with Shimano's modern R7000 11-speed mechanical rim brake 105 groupset. He retains the 10-speed Dura-Ace crankset and adds narrower handlebars to reduce aerodynamic drag.

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Alex Paton Upgrades Retro Trek Madone with Modern Shimano 105 Groupset

Alex Paton Upgrades Retro Trek Madone with Modern Shimano 105 Groupset

Alex Paton, a Junior Tech Writer for GCN with a passion for bike tech, is embarking on an exciting project in his dream bike build series. He is upgrading his retro Trek Madone 5.9 bike by replacing its old Dura-Ace groupset with Shimano's modern R7000 11-speed mechanical rim brake 105 groupset.

The key upgrades include replacing the brakes, shifters, front and rear derailleur, cassette, and chain with Shimano's R7000 11-speed mechanical rim brake 105 components. Paton is retaining the 10-speed Dura-Ace crankset, which is compatible with the new components. He is also fitting narrower handlebars to reduce aerodynamic drag and allow for a more aerodynamic riding position.

The new Shimano 105 groupset features modern amenities such as neat cable routing, improved ergonomics, and a well-balanced shifting action. "The 11-speed cassette was too wide for the 10-speed freehub body of the rear wheel," Paton explained. But with the help of local legend Tom Sturdy, he was able to machine a small section of the cassette to fit it correctly.

Through this project, Paton aims to find out if swapping to a modern third-tier groupset is an upgrade over a retro top-spec groupset. He hopes the upgrades will make the bike as fast as a modern equivalent. Shimano, based in Osaka, Japan, is a leading bike component manufacturer, while Trek is a renowned bicycle manufacturer based in Wisconsin, USA.

Alex Paton's dream bike build showcases the potential of combining retro frames with modern components. By upgrading his Trek Madone 5.9 with Shimano's 11-speed 105 groupset and narrower handlebars, he seeks to create a bike that matches the performance of contemporary models. The project highlights the ingenuity and passion of cycling enthusiasts who continually push the boundaries of what's possible with bicycle technology.

Key Takeaways

  • Alex Paton upgrades his retro Trek Madone 5.9 with Shimano's R7000 11-speed 105 groupset.
  • Key upgrades include brakes, shifters, derailleur, cassette, and chain.
  • Paton retains the 10-speed Dura-Ace crankset for compatibility.
  • Narrower handlebars are added to reduce aerodynamic drag.
  • The project aims to test if modern third-tier components can match retro top-spec performance.