Cannondale CAAD9 4 – My First Road Bike

Over the past few months, I’ve scoured the internet and visited nearly every local bike shop, sometimes more than once shopping for my first road bike. After a long search and several test rides, I was overwhelmed by  more brands, models, and component sets than I ever imagined possible.

Initially, I was looking at the Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, and the Giant Defy 1, but after visiting River Market Cyclery and test riding a Cannondale CAAD10 5, I was sold on the Cannondale brand.

After a bit more searching, I found a 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4 at Leawood Bicycles that was just my size. Since it was a 2010, it was also on sale for a great price. I went home, slept on it, and the next day made up my mind.

Cannondale CAAD 9 4 Road Bike

The CAAD9 is the predecessor to the CAAD10 and was last Cannondale bicycle to be handmade in the United States. I also liked the CAAD9 4, because it was equipped with a full SRAM Rival groupset, including a carbon crank.

I bought the bike on August 6. As of today, August 23, I’ve put just over 100 miles on it. It’s a great, responsive ride, though I’m still getting used to the firmer, smaller road saddle. I definitely don’t leave home without my biking shorts on. The CAAD9 has more of a racing geometry, so I’m taking it in today to have the stem flipped, so the my riding position will be a little more relaxed and comfortable.

 Specifications — 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4
Frame CAAD9 Optimo aluminum, taper-butted
Fork Slice Premium monocoque full carbon
Weight Unspecified (60cm frame, I’ll weigh soon)
Seatpost Cannondale C2 Carbon
Saddle Prologo Kappa Pas
Shifters SRAM Rival
Front Derailleur SRAM Rival
Rear Derailleur SRAM Rival
Brakes Tektro R580
Brake Levers SRAM Rival
Cassette SRAM Rival
Chain KMC DX-10SC
Crankset / Bottom Bracket SRAM Force BB30 Compact, 50/34
Rims Shimano RS10
Hubs Shimano RS10, 20h (rear) & 16h (front)
Spokes Shimano RS10
Tires Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick, 700 x 23
Warranty Lifetime – Frame
MSRP (Price) $1,799 (I got a deal, since it was last 2010 model and I bought near end of 2011)

First Road Bike: Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, or Giant Defy 1

After putting more than 500 miles on my Northrock SC7 hybrid bike, I’m shopping for my first road bike. I’d like to keep the price under $1,500, and am aiming for a decent gruppo (or groupset), such as the Shimano 105.

The search is overwhelming. There are so many different manufacturers, brands, models, frames, forks, prices, local bike shops, etc. At this point I’ve narrowed the choices down to the Raleigh Revenio 3.0, the Felt Z85, or the Giant Defy 1. Please share any thoughts or suggestions to help with the decision.

Photos of Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, and Giant Defy 1

Raleigh Revenio 3.0 Road BikeFelt Z85 Road BikeGiant Defy 1 Road Bike

(click each photo to enlarge)

Specs of Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, and Giant Defy 1

 Specifications Raleigh Revenio 3.0 Felt Z85 Giant Defy 1
Frame Atomic 13 SL Hydroformed Aluminum Felt Super-light Custom Butted 7005 Aluminum w/ Smooth Welding ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum
Fork Custom Carbon Composite Felt UHC Performance Carbon Fiber Design w/ 3KP Weave Advanced-Grade Carbon Composite
Weight Unspecified 19.98lbs Unspecified
Seatpost Avenir 200 Series 3 Aluminum Felt UHC Performance Carbon Fiber Design Giant Connect Carbon Composite
Saddle Avenir 300 Series Road Felt D2 Anatomic w/ Double-Density Gel Base Selle Royal Seta M
Shifters Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105 Dual Pivot w/ Cartridge Brake Shoes Tektro TK-R540 Giant Specific, Dual Pivot
Brake Levers Shimano 105 STI Shimano 105 STI Shimano 105 STI
Cassette Shimano 105 11×28, 10-Speed Shimano 105 11×28, 10-Speed Shimano 105 11×28, 10-Speed
Chain KMC DX10 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Crankset Shimano R600 Compact 34/50t FSA Vero Compact 50/34t Shimano 105, 34/50t
Rims Weinmann TR18 Double Wall MAVIC CXP-22N Aluminum Rim Giant P-R2
Hubs Joytech Alloy QR, 28h Felt Sealed Forged Aluminum w/ Quick Release 32h Formula Sealed Cartridge Bearing 24/28h
Spokes 14g Stainless MAC w/Alloy Nipples Stainless Steel 2.0mm w/ Brass Nipples Sapim Race, 14/15g
Tires Vittoria Rubino Pro 700x23c Vittoria Zaffiro, 700c x 25c Giant P-R3, 60 tpi, Flat Guard, 700x25c
Warranty Lifetime – Frame Lifetime – Frame Lifetime – Frame
MSRP (Price) $1,299 $1,199 $1,299


UPDATE: I ended up looking at a Cannondale CAAD10 and I fell in love, though it was a bit out of my budget. I finally came across a local dealer with a 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4 with SRAM Rival/Force gruppo. I’m very happy with the bike!