James's Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra
This was my first race bike. And if you're a college student this is 'The Race Bike.' Aggressive geometry, light as a pop can, and light on the wallet.
Cannondale was the first company to make a world tour performance aluminum bike and has since pressed on with their aluminum frames to the present day. This reflects in the design maturity and intelligence of the CAAD 10 (and now CAAD 12) frame. Not pointing any fingers, but many companies use the same tubing profiles between their plastic and aluminum bikes which results in an uncompliant ride and has resulted in aluminum's current reputation as being harsh. The tube sets on the CAAD series are fundamentally different and make use of aluminum's stiff properties in suitable geometry to ensure lateral stiffness for power transfer but compliance to road noise.
This bike did a ton for me, first century to Squamish and back, raced my way out of Cat 4, railed the inside line at Jeremy's Roubaix, all the way to late night LA canyon descents. It's a razor sharp pop can that let me pay for a lot more beer cans through school and still crush other peoples crit dreams!
Words and images from James Kirker