Well, I've been out on a modern bike bender for a little bit...my intention this year is to ride FAR more than wrench and to be honest I have missed my CAAD9 from a riding perspective. So, I decided to put a modern bike together but still be somewhat true to C&V.
I didn't want a CAAD9 again...not that they're not good bikes but, shoot, everyone () has a CAAD9. I wanted to go aluminum but a little off the beaten path. Enter Klein. Beautiful workmanship, incredible paint and finish...and a horizontal top tube.
Went out today, despite the lying sacks of crap weather people who predicted sunny and 40 today here in the Twin Cities, for the first road ride in 28 and cloudy with a light west wind. I had to cut it short at 15 miles because dufus forgot the booties and that was as much freezing as my toes could take.
Having owned the CAAD9 in the past and putting many miles on it I'm familiar with the ride of an aluminum bike.
I wouldn't have guessed the Klein was one.
- 2001 Klein Quantun in Silver Cloud.
- 2011 Shimano 5700 group (new bike build kit, never used).
- 2006 Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset, Hutchinson Nitro 23mm tires (still waiting on my Conti Grand Prixs from PBK ).
- Ritchey Pro cockpit (carbon seatpost).
- Fizik Antares test saddle (pic below will show a different saddle but I'm...testing).
Even with the less than desirable Hutchinson tires the Klein was as smooth as my Fujis. Going over seams in the pavement was reminiscent of my Fuji TSV with 28mm tires. I was quite surprised over the lack of, to use the hackneyed term, "harshness".
Comparing in my mind's eye with the CAAD9 I find the Klein to be a much more pleasant ride. But, in comparison to the Fujis when stepping on the Klein hard out of the saddle the stiffness of the frameset is immediately apparent in the reaction of the bike...a world of difference.
The 5700 group performed flawlessly, amazingly so. I've gained some weight and lost some fitness since I had the CAAD9 so I have the 11-28 cassette and a compact on it...I'm really impressed with how well the short cage RD shifts up the 28T cassette. All 20 combos available without issue...shift, trim, all perfect.
So now, I'm ready to pay attention to some of my C&V projects again. The Klein will get out when it can until spring and live in the trainer for indoor work. So pardon my sojourn to the dark side but, like I said, at least it has a horizontal top tube right? I still LOVE all my Fujis but I have to tell you, I think Mr. Klein knew how to put a frameset together.
I return you now to your usual C&V programming.
Pic, lacking the in-transit Conti tires: