Ride Report - Race Report after tonight (Weather permitting)
I did my own quick setup by trying to match the same dimensions as the FP7. So first impressions were that the ergos were quite good. I went for a narrower bar width, 42 instead of 44. The width in the drops though feels very similar due to the shape of the Ergosum bars. What did surprise me was how small the bike feels - I am guessing this is due to the narrower bars so I'll see if this feeling stays the same over time. The other change I made was in crank length, 175 instead of 172.5. I can't comment on the effect this early but I can say that this crankset, and it could possibly be the BB30 or bearings (Is there something to this q-factor thing?), is the smoothest I have ever experienced. I suspect there is still some work to be done on the setup to get it all right but all in all I'm pretty happy with the ergos.
Riding down my street on the nice smooth ashphalt had me wondering what all this nonsense was about alloy frames and CAAD's in particular being so stiff and harsh on the road. Well it didn't take too long for me to notice some of that harshness. I only went for a 43Km recovery ride yesterday but I can tell you, if you are looking for a good dose of HTFU I suggest you go buy a CAAD9. In terms of the riding experience it really made me appreciate my FP7
so it seems as though I definately need a double dose of HTFU.
To be fair I also had the new SLR Carbonio saddle on which is possibly one of the thinnest padded saddles around and clearly not designed with comfort as a priority. When the road is smooth the bike feels great but as soon as it gets choppy you really can feel your fillings trying their hardest not to fall out.
Steering feels very lively and whilst it is reasonably quick with minimal input it always feels well controlled. I didn't really do any kind of sprint work or even hard accelerations yesterday but there are quite a few little hills on the ride so I got a pretty good sense of how it climbs and this is another area that really impressed. You sometimes read this thing about all your power being put into the drive train with each pedal stroke I really got that feeling when I first rode the FP7 and it's no different with the CAAD9. If anything, possibly due to the harshness of the ride, it felt like there was even better power transfer when climbing. I suspect it has a lot to do with the BB but also the stiffness of the chain stays, seat stays and seat tube triangle. My old TCR Advanced (2009 model) always felt stiff out of the saddle but a bit less so when sprinting or climbing seated - the compact frame and extremely long seatpost length probably didn't help it there.
So all in all my thoughts are fairly mixed. On one hand this bike feels like it could turn me into a pile of jelly in a very short period of time. On the other this is one of the stiffest frames I have ridden so it could turn me into a real man/cyclist......
I am looking forward to how it handles the final sprints in my club crit races.
Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story......ArgonCAAD9 6.78KgSupersix 6.78Kg