In the effort to shave seconds off riders' times, bike designers are beginning to mess with the basics. Witness the Trek Madone 7. This elite-level road bike's rear brake has been uprooted from its traditional position on the seat stay to beneath the chain stay, which provides cleaner airflow off the back. "We altered normal convention to make the bike more aerodynamic," says designer Hans Eckholm. Additional aero-gains come courtesy of a carbon-fiber airfoil frame with leading edges shaped so that air flows over them as it would over an elongated wing. The resulting bike maximizes rider effort, so expect its tech to trickle down soon. [From $11,550; trekbikes.com]
Gear of the Year
The best tools, tech, and toys of 2013.
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