So here’s the new bike (or "whip" as my younger, cooler friends liked to say in 2002.  I have no idea what they’re saying these days):

Lace 'em and race 'em.
It’s a Cannondale CAAD9.  I bought just the frameset, since I had an old Campagnolo kit lying around. 

So how does this compare to last year’s Trek Madone 6.5 Pro?  The Madone weighed just under 16 pounds; the CAAD9 is about 18.  That can be attributed to the lighter carbon frame and the top-of-the-line Shimano Dura-Ace kit.  The Campy kit works just great, but it’s a couple of steps down from their tip-top, lightest-available stuff. 

The Trek handled and accelerated beautifully, as does the Cannondale.  The Trek was somewhat smoother over a long, rough ride, but I can’t say it’s prevented me from having a blast riding the Cannondale.  I’ve done three races on it so far (more on that later) without a single hiccup.

A couple of component highlights: 
-the Prologo saddle, which is a new brand for me, is pretty good!  It comes stock on many of the 2010 Cannondale road bikes, such as the CAAD9 5
-I love my Speedplay pedals.  This is the sixth bike that I’ve installed this same pair on, and they’re still going strong.
Fizik bar tape:  the best.

The Madone was a better bike but carries a commensurate cost.  The CAAD9 is probably the best value you can get in a racing bike.  I’m stoked to be riding one.

Next time:  the early race season, and how I’ve been training for it.

(Complete Cannondale CAAD9 bicycles are among the performance Cannondale bikes Indianapolis available from Bicycle Garage Indy North, in Indianapolis, and Bicycle Garage Indy South, in Greenwood – the BGi Blog Ed.)