Cranky's Corner

Give me coffee and no one gets hurt!


cannondalelogoI’ve been looking around for a new bike – a dedicated road bike. My TriCross has served me well transitioning from my MTB but 90% of my ride are all on the road where the versatility of the T’cross is lost. Between my two local bike shops I basically had my pick between any Specialized or Cannondale model along with a few other quality brands. This search started months ago, at first I was looking at something like a Roubaix or a carbon Synapse, perhaps with discs and even Di2. I can’t tell you how many times I went to the shops looking at and sitting on those bikes. I wanted to like them but they just never spoke to me, so I never even got them out of the shop for a test ride. I guess in my mind they really weren’t all that much different than my T’cross, at least geometry wise. Sure they frames were carbon but I didn’t feel it would be much of an upgrade.

One of my favorite bikes of late has been the SuperSix Evo by Cannondale. The classic lines of that bike just makes me want to stare at it all day. I started looking at the range of models and for what I wanted it was really out of my budget. I was off the disc bandwagon (good since the SS Evo doesn’t have a disc model) but still wanted Di2 or at least a Di2 compatible frame. Unfortunately for me that only meant the Hi-Mod versions. So I started to look at the used market but did I really want to buy a used carbon bike from an unknown seller?

All this time I had only been looking at carbon fiber framed bikes and really had not considered another aluminum frame. The TriCross is ok comfort wise but after 40-50 miles it begins to wear on you. Then I read a review on the CAAD10 which led me to research more and more reviews. I don’t think there was a bad review out there, many compared it to it’s big brother, the SuperSix Evo, some going so far that in a blindfold test they probably could not tell the difference in ride between the two. It seems the difference is on long rides, i.e. centuries the edge goes to the SSEvo, but very subtly with a smoother ride. The bonus is the frame is Di2 ready so it really checks all my boxes.

With that information I set my search on finding a left over 2015 CAAD10. So yesterday I walked into my local shop and was talking with the staff and they all raved about the 10. They had only one left on the floor, in team colors but it was a 58, a little too big. I commented on how I loved that color combo and the salesperson asked what size I was, I told him I was riding a 52 now so he said he would check the storage in the basement to see if any were left. A few minutes later he came up, not only with a size 52 but in team colors no less – it was like finding a needle in a haystack!

He threw some pedals on it and I took it outside for a few spins around their large parking lot. It fit me like a glove. Even with an eyeballed saddle height, jeans and flat pedals I felt right at home on it. It really changed my mind on what an aluminum frame can feel like.

Even with the great discounted price I wasn’t really prepared to buy a bike that day (who would have thought they would still have something like that lying around?) I left the shop sans bike but the shop was holding it for me for a few days. I really wanted to discuss the purchase with my fiance first before bringing home a new bike.

Well I got the green light in almost a “why didn’t you get it?” kind of way, so this morning I went back with pedals and my kit to take that baby for a test ride to make sure it was going to work for me. The salesperson was excited to see me again and had the pedals put on while I changed. Then out the door I went for about an hour ride.

This CAAD10 is spec’d with mid-compact (52/36) cranks and a 11-28 cassette so I was a little worried about it on the hills as I’m currently used to a compact (50/34) with a 12-30 rear. There is a decent hill right out of the shop and after I got to the top, I turned around went down and went up it again! I’m not going to say it was easy and by the time I hit the top I was in the 36-28 combo but it wasn’t excruciating. That’s why I did it a second time to validate my results. I think for any longer climbs I still may want at least a 30 but that’s an easy change later on. After that I just put the bike through it’s paces, some rough roads, some hammering, rollers and a variety of other situations. All I can say is this bike wants to go fast. The handling is superb and when you scooch forward on the saddle, get low and lay down the power it just wants to go, go go! I honestly didn’t want to stop after an hour, but without any way to hydrate I reluctantly took it back to the shop.

Oh and let me tell you the 11 speed Ultegra 6800 shifts like butter. So smooth and crisp. And here I thought my 105 5700 shifted nice but there is no comparison. With shifting like this I don’t know if I’ll ever even bother upgrading to Di2 – it’s seriously that good.

As I got changed they gave it a once over, made a few adjustments for me (lever reach, brakes, derailleurs) and then I packed it up and took it home where I promptly took off all the reflectors (still need to remove the dork disk), added my LED lights, saddle bag & Garmin mount. Still need to get a pair of my favorite Elite Cannibal cages (shop didn’t carry them) and also make an appt at the shop for a proper fit.

I have to give big thanks to Mike and everyone at Outdoor Sports Center in Wilton, CT. They have always been super helpful, never any pressure and certainly cater to their customers.

So without further ado here is my new baby a Cannondale CAAD10 Ultegra 3… well this is the stock photo,  it’s too dark now to take a photo outside.


Ride & Run to Remember 2015

ride-and-run-to-remember I’m just getting back into the swing of “normal” life after spending the weekend in the DC area participating in the Ride & Run to Remember event which benefits the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund. I did this ride last year as well so this was my second time back supporting this great organization.

The weekend started with a longer than usual drive down thanks to an inordinate amount of traffic accidents with a mix of rain on and off. Thankfully my bike wasn’t on the back of my SUV as I had made DIY fork mount which allows it ride inside safe from the weather and thieves. We didn’t arrive to almost 11:30pm at night and needed to be up and in the city at about 7am for walk/run registration. Surprisingly neither of us could really sleep so we were up and out early headed to Dunkin’ Donuts for a coffee before the event. We ended up having to go to two DD’s due to the workers in the first one not being able to tell time but we still arrived with plenty of time before the race start. Little did we know it was going to be delayed for more than an hour! We were not prepared to be outside standing around in the cool windy temps for that long and really got chilled. There were other events going on in DC that day so MPD and the organizers had to modify the route which took some time. We ended up bailing after waiting an hour as we were both shivering. Had they started the event on time we would have been fine. My fiancée ended up completing the 5k virtually on the treadmill at the hotel and I had no issue doing the 2k walk with all the walking around we did. I’m not sure when they actually started the walk/run but it was well after we left, kudos to everyone who stayed and braved the wind and cold.

Anyway, for me the event I look most forward to is the Sunday bike ride. It is billed as a 55 mile ride but last year it totaled 59 and this year they modified it slightly so it was around 57. My only goal for the day was to better my time from last year which I did by almost 20 minutes. It might have been even more but there is about 2 miles of bike trail you ride on near the finish and it had washed out and heaved sections which really slowed down your average speed. Overall elevation was 2200′ according to my Garmin, so it’s moderately hilly @ a little less than 40′ per mile. But like I said last year, being from the north east I’ve had shorter rides with more elevation so it wasn’t anything I wasn’t used to.

I started out towards the front and was probably in the first dozen or so going through the gates. There was no wind to speak of but the on bike temp was under 40 degrees F so it wasn’t long before I was wishing I had worn my long fingered gloves. Arm warmers, knee warmers and some embro on my calves were fine for the rest of my body but my fingers suffered for about the first hour until I could get out into the sunlight. After that it was smooth sailing. I hooked up with a couple of different groups of riders between stops 2 and 4. We had a strong paceline going for a good bit until some climbs broke us up before the last rest stop. I needed a bottle refill after that and ended up riding the last short leg (~8 miles) solo.

I look forward going again next year and riding with some awesome people again.

Do you have any livestock that needs to graze?

A sign I spotted on my ride today…

Bedford Green


Bicycling magazine has had a long on going effort to get more people riding bikes. They threw out the challenge again this year and encouraged people to get someone they know to get on a bicycle and start riding. Challenge accepted and for the first time yesterday in about 20 years my girlfriend rode a bicycle! I have to admit it wasn’t all my doing and it’s something she wanted to try for a while, but the timing worked out and we rented her a bike (a nice Giant Defy) from the local shop and headed over to the local university where they have a nice 3 mile loop with little traffic and a decent surface to ride around.

There was a little trepidation at first and some fleeting thoughts of falling down. But after a quick instruction my sweetie was off peddling around the parking lot before I could even get my helmet on! Soon enough we were out on the loop and the easy gear I had set up the bike in was too easy so we did a little on the road shifting instruction and there was no stopping now! By the end of the first lap she was shifting the front and rear like a champ and handling the bike very well and we were just cruising around the campus enjoying our time together.

@snooki81 first time riding!!! She did great! 😘 #gettingsomeonetoride

The proof is in the smile!

In all we completed 3 laps of the campus is about an hour. We weren’t setting any KOMs, err… QOMs, but for the first time out in 20 years she did very well and I’m so proud of her. Unfortunately the rental had go back today but we will probably rent it again, maybe for a week while we start the process of shopping for her very own bike!

And in case you are interested here is our ride on Strava:

Farm to Fork Fondo | Orange County

farmforkfondoThis past weekend I participated in a new cycling event, the Farm to Fork Fondo. The idea behind the event is to support local farms and farming organizations. Each rest stop on the ride was held at a different farm which featured treats made from the farms or other locally sourced items. Proceeds from the event would be donated to local farmers and organizations to help them with project and other causes like preserving the beautiful open space we all enjoy on our bicycles. This particular event was hosted in Orange County, NY, but there is a second event coming up in Vermont in two weeks. The event is put on by former pro Tyler Wren & Wrenegade Sports and major sponsors of the event are Colavita and Fine Cooking magazine so besides the bike rides there are other activities (dining, cooking classes) throughout the weekend, depending on what “package” you choose. There was also a Q&A session with the Colavita | Bianchi womens pro team the morning of the ride as well.  The OC event is hosted at Cedar Lakes Estates which hosts a whole mess of other off the bike activities as well.

At the OC event, there were several different routes to choose from; the Gran Fondo @ 94miles, the Medio Fondo @ 60 miles, the Piccolo Fondo @ 30 miles & the Ramble Ride @ 10 miles. I signed up for the Medio Fondo @ 60 miles with an estimated 3,700 feet of elevation gain. Since I haven’t been able to get in many long distance rides in this year I figured that was more than enough. Plus since the Cedar Lakes venue is basically on top of a mountain that meant a mountain top finish to the ride! Here you can see the elevation chart from Ride With GPS.

The weather report for the weekend was all over the place. First it was supposed to be a complete washout then only Saturday was going to be bad with it clearing up early Sunday morning for the ride. Of course the forecasts were all wrong and there was a light on and off shower with about an hour to go which turned into a good downpour about 30 minutes before the start. It finally stopped, or at least slowed down with about 10 to go, so the organizers pushed the start back a half hour to allow some of the water to run off. After all we would be descending out of the gate with wet brakes so no need to add lots of run off to the mix as well.

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