As I have started getting back into criterium racing towards the end of 2017 and going into 2018 I thought it would be a wise idea to build something up specifically for it.
My criteria was simple. Lightweight aluminium frame, deep section wheelset, electronic groupset. The reasons for each of these I will explain below:
Lightweight aluminium frame
Take centre stage this:
So I started hunting around online for something that I thought would work as a great frame. I instantly knew what I was after. The key component here being aluminium. I wanted to use an aluminium frame as the technology now days making these frame sets means that they are often as light and stiffer then carbon frames. Aluminium also dents, it doesn't tend to crack like carbon would, something which in London's criterium racing scene could be vital as crashes are a regular occurrence.
I found this frame online for a steal of a price (thank you Howard). It is the Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc edition which is specifically a Di2 frameset. Perfect. The CAAD10 is well known and highly regarded as one of the all time best aluminium frames you can buy, the Black Inc edition is black (obviously) and gold, a nod to the Cannondale black lightning released in 1989 (my birth year which made a nod to getting this frame)
Deep section wheelset
To be honest, this is pretty simple. It's all to do with AERO GAINZZZZ. Deeper wheels are more aerodynamic meaning you can cut through the wind more efficiently. For me having an aluminium break surface was pretty important, it means that there is much better stopping during wet and rainy conditions. Step in the Shimano Dura Ace R9100 C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset.
These wheels feature a wider rim to increase ride stability, provide increased cornering ability, on wider tyres, and greater aerodynamic properties. The Shimano Dura-Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset's wider rim is 50 mm deep with an alloy braking surface to create an incredibly fast, straight line, wheelset with trusted braking power.
The Shimano Dura-Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset uses stainless steel butted straight pull bladed spokes with aluminium hub shell and oversized 7075 alloy axle to improve the rigidity on previous years. The increased ridgity in the wheel makes for a more responsive ride. Combine the improved rigidity with the titanium freehub, which engages every 10 degrees, the Shimano Dura-Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset produces instant, explosive acceleration, and straight line speed.
In 2008, Dura-Ace 7900 was launched, which was a radical redesign and new aesthetic direction over the previous version, gunmetal grey replacing polished metal. A year later Shimano went electronic, introducing its first Di2 (Digital Integrated Intelligence) groupset with Dura- Ace 7970.
Met with initial scepticism by some more traditional cyclists, it nethertheless went on to mark a new chapter in the history of the groupset. Now, almost every pro team on Shimano uses Di2. 15 of the 18 World Tour teams use Shimano Di2 and every stage and every jersey of the 2017 TdF was won with Shimano (Dura Ace) Di2 components. Shimano's bold decision creating Di2 created much hype at it's launch and has simply dominated the cycling component market.
Jump forward to the present day. Shimano has now created 3 generations of Di2, which the current and previous generations have been compatible with both rim brake and disc brake bikes meaning it has truly captured the market.
Shimano bills the latest Dura-Ace as "the most advanced system of road cycling components in Shimano's 95-year history," which is certainly bold talk.
It's still an 11-speed groupset but introduced a number of new features and refinements. Synchronised shifting is now available with Di2, which lets the system control both derailleurs.
For me electronic shifting is a no brainer for a crit bike. It shifts flawlessly, never missing a beat, plus the addition of sprint shifters means that you can keep racing on the drops and flick through the gears.
So the line up of the bike is the following:
- Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc Frameset
- Shimano Dura Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset
- Pro Vibe Aluminium bars
- Fizik stem, saddle and seatpost
- Shimano Dura Ace Di2 Shifters (with sprint shifters)
- Shimano Dura Ace Crankset (non power meter but when racing a power meter will be fitted to the bike)
- Shimano Ultegra Di2 Rear Derailleur
- Shimano Ultegra Di2 Front Derailleur
- Shimano Ultegra Brake Calipers
Come back to see the progress on the build!