Do It All Bike Project
Do It All Bike Project
The frame is at the heart of the Do It All Bike Project
I’ve written two articles now where I talked about the “Do It All Bike Project”, but now I think it’s time to actually introduce it…
This project is all about a bike that can do it all. Not everyone has a stable of bikes, and I’m going to look at spending your money wisely on a bike that will serve you well for commuting across the city, racing, training in all weather, and pulling the kiddo in a trailer for a ride with the family on occasion.
I plan to spend money when it’s appropriate, even if that is for emotional reasons, and save money when it’s appropriate. In the end, we’ll have a bike that’s within reach and will never hold you back regardless of what you are doing on your bike.
Finding the right frame was something that did not come quickly. I researched for months and looked in every corner of the internet for a frame that I thought would be the right fit.
I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want a carbon frame. Carbon frames are fantastic, but they can be a bit finicky when asked to “do anything”. If you want to put a carbon frame on a rack, you’ll need one that doesn’t hang it from the top tube, you won’t be able to pull a trailer with a carbon bike, and they also tend to be hard to find a good one that is affordable. It’s not impossible to find a great carbon frame at a great price, but even if you do, you still have a bike that can’t quite do everything on my list.
At the same time, if you choose to move away from carbon, you’ve severely limited your choices for a real race bike unless you’ve got really big pockets. There are some amazing titanium and steel frames that are absolutely astounding, but they are way over the budget I was looking to work with.
That leaves us with an aluminum frame, but finding one that’s built as an all out race machine is tough. In todays market, aluminum is mostly viewed as the second class citizen compared to carbon. Typically, the aluminum frame in a company’s portfolio will be the entry level model and will have the more upright geometry.
There is one company, though, that built it’s reputation on aluminum and still makes a high end aluminum race bike. That company is Cannondale, and they make the CAAD10 in a variety of equipment levels.
This project isn’t looking at the CAAD10, though. Instead, I’m going to look at the CAAD9. The CAAD frames were world leaders that showed up on the big podiums before they got pushed out by carbon bikes. The CAAD9 is the second most recent version of that frame, and it was manufactured up until 2010. The particular frame I’m going to work with is a 2008 R6 model.
If you shop around, you can find a full bike of this type for about $500. That’s an outstanding value, and I’m going to talk about the best ways to make it an amazing bike to ride everyday in every situation.
I hope you enjoy the journey.