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My new CAAD9 5 - pics and review

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

My new CAAD9 5 - pics and review

Old 03-13-11, 03:45 PM
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My new CAAD9 5 - pics and review

With 60 miles on the ODO, it's time for the obligatory gloating, so here goes:

Picked up the bike yesterday at GoRide Bikes in Redwood City (superb shop, friendly staff, more bikes stocked in store than I've even come close to seeing!) and headed out for the maiden voyage up Old La Honda.

When I first saw the actual bike, I was blown away by the aesthetics of the build - I'd ridden CAAD10's here in Sacramento, but never actually laid eyes on a brand new CAAD9 until I got to the shop. Pictures definitely don't do it justice - the welds aren't even visible on the frame, and the internal routing on the new 105 group adds to the clean appearance. I can't get over the rear triangle on this frame with the wishbone seat stays and "Handmade in the USA" advertisement. I now see why this frame is an instant classic. Threw on Keo's in red to match the accents and headed out on the road.

Had about 13 miles of rolling to flat terrain to warm up the legs and get a feel for the bike before the climb began - the first thing that jumped out at me is surprising: I forgot I was on a full aluminum frame. While the bike can be a little bouncier on really bumpy roads than I was used to on my TCR composite, chatter and vibration from bad surfaces is absorbed very well - much smoother than the Felt I rode a few years ago with carbon stays, and feels as about light as my TCR did.

Once we got on OLH, the bike literally transformed into a space ship. Being that I far prefer switchbacks to flat open road, I can tell this is a bike that I'll have around for a very long time to come; it's the snappiest feel I've had while ascending. The power transfer on this frame is much better than I've felt on the 2 other road bikes I've had, though the RS10 wheelset is admittedly a little sluggish from a standstill. The 52x48 gearing is a unique sweet spot between a standard and compact, and so far I have no complaints about the gearing or crankset in spite of having my mind made up that I wouldn't like the Gossamer (after riding Zipp!!). On the return trip down OLH, I took it easy to feel out the handling of the bike, but by the bottom was taking most of the turns without much braking as I gained confidence. The brake pads are pretty sucky though - this will be my first upgrade, followed by tires and bars. I prefer an ergo bar with a nice flat spot, which these do not have (though they're not quite a traditional drop either - kind of a hybrid). The tires are decent I suppose, but I despise slicks, which these are.

All in all - I'd give the stock package a B+ overall; an A for looks, and a B- for stock components, with point deductions for the brakes, tires, bars, and wheels. But for only $1099 on clearance, what more can you ask for?

And here she be:
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Old 03-13-11, 03:48 PM
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Very nice.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:55 PM
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Did they have any other colors in stock? I may be interested in picking one up when I head north next week...
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Old 03-13-11, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gbs
Did they have any other colors in stock? I may be interested in picking one up when I head north next week...
I believe they only had this color scheme in a 58, but just after I got my bike fit, they were working on one for another guy in a disgusting Dodger-blue..
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Old 03-13-11, 04:55 PM
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They have two colors. The gray you see pictured and a blue design.
These bikes are fabulous!
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Old 03-13-11, 06:07 PM
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$1099.?
Damn!
Well done!
Congrats!
And get to "The Cult" ASAP!
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Old 03-13-11, 06:33 PM
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Congrats - and awesome deal on the bike!
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Old 03-13-11, 06:47 PM
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Very nice - it is a beauty - you should be very happy and I understand your pride.
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Old 03-13-11, 07:19 PM
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Very nice. I saw one of those in the shop near me and almost pulled the trigger.. I ended up with a Synapsr though. I also loved the looks of that bike (yours).
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Old 03-13-11, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by humboldt'sroads
Once we got on OLH, the bike literally transformed into a space ship.
Really?
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Old 03-13-11, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 2ndGen
$1099.?
Damn!
Well done!
Congrats!
And get to "The Cult" ASAP!
Already there!

Originally Posted by baj32161
Really?
Yes.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:34 PM
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I bought the exact same bike in from the exact same shop in October!

I found the store to be well stocked. I drove down fro
Reno to pick it up. I paid 1200 I think. threw some speedplays on. good to go!!!!!

the shop guy that was helping me was nice... births fitting... if you could call it that was awful.

i then rode around the redwoods for two hours before heading back to Reno. its been true love ever since!
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