As I offhand mentioned a few weeks ago, I recently built up a new bike. Although my Merlin is awesome, I’ve been wanting to build up something that’s set up a little bit more aggressive and a little bit more geared towards racing as opposed to the long rides the Merlin is for. After a fair bit of looking around, the fact that Quad was going to be becoming a Cannondale dealer for this year led me to settle on the CAAD-9 as a good choice of frame. And since the MIT cycling team is sponsored by SRAM, I figured I’d give SRAM a try — the Merlin has Campagnolo Chorus, but the continuing increase in cost for Campy meant I was interested in trying something a little cheaper. So a SRAM Force group was purchased.
Everything finally arrived and I had the bike built up. Odds and ends include an older, but awesome pair of Velomax Ascent wheels, a Fi’zi:k Antares saddle (as I was happy with it on the Merlin), white bar tape, Speedplay Zeros (another new thing to try compared to the Keos on the Merlin). I think it turned out pretty well — it looks sweet and more importantly, is a lot of fun to ride. The setup is definitely more aggressive and it just feels like it wants to go fast. Stiff as rails too. So I’m pretty happy with it.
No white garage door, but for an obligatory picture
Now, three weeks later, I’ve got about 500 miles on the bike and am really enjoying it. I raced it the first weekend I had it and have also gotten in some other, longer efforts including today’s century. It is meeting all the criteria I set for it. Still to be considered — power meter options and if I want to get a pair of flashier wheels.