Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2006 CAAD8

The latest adoptee in my stable of Frankenbikes is a truly fantastic project. In its current incarnation probably one of the nicest bikes bikes I've ever owned. Built for racing, it's not a great city bike and it's too light for touring but it's a dream to ride. 
The 2006 CAAD8 frame is stiff and responsive with aggressive race geometry and enough damping from the Ritchey carbon fork to keep the ride responsive but not jarring. The gruppo is a bit of a taboo myth buster with a Campagnolo Chorus drive train utilizing a Shimano ten speed cassette on Dura Ace 1380 wheels. "They" will say it can't be done but I assure you with the ten speeds it can. The Belgian compact crank up front is also amenable to eleven speed mixing with Shimano but I'm sticking with my ten. For the record I tried a Shimano wheel with a Dura Ace Cassette in an otherwise Campy Chorus drive train and it works as well as the American Classic wheel with Campy Cassette I have, better in terms of the ride.

It mostly took some fussy adjusting and measuring to figure out if it could be done and then a lot of head scratching and wrenching in Italian. I visited all of my usual bike guys and a few more to get help yanking the very stuck Campy Record seatpost out and learn a few critical details about drive trains. For the most part it needed cable adjustments that it would have needed regardless of the cassette. The bike had been sitting a long time and I suspect was formerly fitted with ZIPP wheels and a Campy cassette. It was dusty, dried out and neglected but came right back with a small amount of TLC. The end result is well worth the effort.