A while back I made a post about lightening my CAAD9 which is my regular “speedy” road bike. For the most part the collective bicycle blog world said, “meh,” but I got a pretty strong response from my buddy Miles who thought I was making a mistake. He went as far as accusing me of going to the darkside. In honor of that comment I’m revealing my CAAD9 this year and playfully christening it, “Darkside.”
The bike has undergone a few major changes this year hopefully for the good.
New rear and front wheels, Ksyrium Elite and Equipe
- Deda 100mm stem in white
- Shimano 10spd R-700 shifters
- Shimano R-700 34×50 compact crank
- Shimano 28-12 casette
- New R700 front double derailuer
This is going to sound lame, but the bike feels explosively fast now, the wheels make a huge difference. The rear has 20 spokes and the front 16. I used to make fun of low spoke count wheels and I doubt that these would have lasted long when I was 285, hopefully I’ll get many years from them at 235. The back is already several 6 months old and still perfectly tensioned after many rides.
The R-700 stuff which is basically Ultegra without the name works wonderfully and I’m really liking compact gearing. Nothing I’ve ever used shifts as good as this, you almost can’t hear it. I haven’t had any difficulty with the 34×28 gear.
I just installed the white 100m stem and may be going back to the 110 if I find it too short, but I really like the way it looks.
I now have two bikes one where you sit up and look around, and another where you lean over and go fast. In many ways the sit up bike is more fun to ride, its my choice when speed doesn’t matter. And yes I know, speed really never matters unless you’re racing or trying to keep up with fast riders something I don’t do, but sometimes speed matters to me, just for the sake of speed.