Cranky's Corner

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Tag: caad10

Efficiency, Phil Gaimon and everything else in between

Cookie MonsterOk, maybe not everything else, but instead of making separate posts I thought I would just put all that is going on in my head currently in one post and try to keep it organized.

First lets talk about bike efficiency. I remember when I first test rode the CAAD10 how it really wanted to propel you, especially up hills. My test ride started off at the bottom of a hill, a small 5 minute climb if you will, when I got to the top I was so impressed with how it felt, I turned around and went back down only to go up again. I had never been on the hill before and I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t. I got it on flat ground in an aero position and it just wanted to go. It just seemed like there was no lost power with this bike, it was very efficient, everything I put into the pedals made it to the pavement. After it’s purchase I didn’t get too many rides outside before the cold and winter came forcing me inside on to the KICKR. Now that I’m back out on the road I am still amazed at how much more efficient my new CAAD10 is. I’m riding a bigger gear now (52/36 vs 50/34), don’t even use all of the cassette except on the nastiest of climbs, and while I’m not faster on the climbs I’m finding I can ride them “easier” if that makes sense. Bigger gear, lower HR and lower perceived exertion. Sure the C’dale is lighter by a few pounds and I may be a little more fit than last year but I feel the biggest difference is going from a do everything entry level jack of all trades, master of none style bike to an upper-mid level race bike. The CAAD10 just wants to go fast and propels you up those hills.

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It has been a weird winter + updates!

What a strange winter it has been with unseasonably high temps for the past couple of months. Yesterday was the first snow/sleet/freezing rain we have seen and it is just about all gone now and is forecast to be 60 degrees F tomorrow on Dec 31st. This warm weather means I have been able to still ride outside on occasion. Not as much as I’d like because it’s usually almost dark by the time I get home but I have been able to get my new Cannondale CAAD10 out for about 120 miles or so over the past month. When I bought it I figured it would be mounted in the trainer by now and I’d have the CX tires on the TriCross for the mid winter jaunts. But instead the TriCross is still in the trainer, speaking of which…

I’ve had a trainer of some sort for the past 15 years. 2 years ago I upgraded the cheap magnetic trainer to a nice Kurt Kinetic Road Machine fluid trainer. Boy what a difference that made in feel! Last year I took winter training to a whole new level with Trainer Road. It really helped me improve my fitness over the winter and come spring I wasn’t gasping for air at the tops of climbs as had been the case in previous years. Then early this year Zwift came along and I was in heaven between structured training via Trainer Road and fun rides on Zwift – all will still being indoors. So coming into this winter knowing I would be spending a good amount of time on the trainer again (and looking forward to it) I decided to up the ante and purchase a Wahoo KICKR. What a game changer that machine is. There is no slacking on Trainer Road, which is good, plus you can really work on your cadence w/o having to worry about shifting gears and finding that perfect combination. Then with Zwift the climbs become real! Resistance increases as the grade goes up and you’ve got to react with gear changes and even standing like you would in real life. The KICKR is certainly an investment but I’m on it at least 5-6 days a week and has been really beneficial to my training. Plus with two bikes now I’m likely to leave one mounted in the trainer year round for rainy day training sessions.

Now some of my astute readers I’m sure will be quick to point out that Zwift has its own workout mode now, so why am I still using Trainer Road? Honestly, while they are some good workouts on Zwift, I just don’t think Zwift’s workout mode is that mature yet (it is still “beta”). I think for the casual rider who has never done structured workouts before it’s a good step but Trainer Road offers so much more with their plans and metrics. Yes you can get some of that with Strava but not completely. I still use Trainer Road and Zwift at the same time like last year, as it provides a nice distraction instead of just staring at numbers and charts on the screen. Recently I’ve also been catching up in the Trainer Road podcasts while riding so that’s another distraction as well. Although last night I listened to one while doing my FTP test and I really don’t remember any of it… the podcast that is, I certainly remember the test… ouch! (but hey FTP increased by 8%!) I just started my second phase of Sweet Spot training and then will probably get into the Sustained Power build phase and then either the Climbing or Century specialty phases. I don’t race and the biggest thing I have planned so far is an 87 miler with almost 6000′ of elevation so I’m undecided at this point which may suit me better keeping in mind I will be doing other centuries (metric & imperial) over the season.

On to other things… I know earlier in the year after purchasing my Garmin Edge 1000 I mentioned I would do a more complete complete comparison of it against the Magellan Cyclo 505, but honestly I don’t want to waste my time. Software updates to the Magellan have been non existent and there really is no comparison at this point. Garmin continues to update and improve the Edge 1000 with frequent software releases. The biggest complaint about the Garmin is its navigation but in my testing when using the open source maps it has been adequate. Is it as good as routing as the Magellan, probably not, but it has never failed to get me where I’m going either. As for all the other features the Garmin wins hands down.

Well since this will likely be my last post of the year, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year! And hopefully old man winter stays indoors for us Northeastern’ers and I can continue to ride outdoors on the weekends!

 

#NewBikeDay

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.

cannondale-caad10-3-ultegra

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