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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm VERY happy with my recent caad9 purchase, but I'm a "tinkerer" by nature, and am looking into upgrading a few parts--a little bit at a time. Taken together with the fact that I'm having trouble get the saddle geometry fine-tuned (getting some numbness after about 20 minutes in the saddle, and have tried adjusting the nose of the saddle up and down with little benefit) I'm thinking about the potential benefits of upgrading the stock CS carbon-wrapped seat post to a Thompson Elite.

QUESTION: I see there are different sizing options for the Thompson (ranging from 27.2mm to 31.6mm). I don't have the bike in front of me, so I'd like to get some feedback on which size seat post this bike requires. Any and all information greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
 

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27.2mm

Get a decent fit and try out several saddles; no point in upgrading parts until you're comfy on the bike. I agree that the cannondale seatpost sucks so a thompson would be helpful in fine tuning your adjustments. Expect to change stems and handlebars with the fit as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, guys. I've got just under 300 miles on the bike right now, and I'm feeling the itch to start messing around with things to help "personalize" the bike as much as possible.

I've done alot of searches and found alot of positive things said about the Thompson seat posts. I'm not looking to spend a small fortune, but those items I do swap out I want to replace with quality componets. Are there any other seat post manuafactureres I should look into? I'd prefer to keep the total cost Under $150...I'm not getting in to competitive racing, but I plan on doing my first 100 mile ride within the next few months!

Thanks!!
 

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Excellent observations! I have had my CAAD9 since April, and couldn't dream of having a better bike. Little by little, I have upgraded most every component, but the CAAD9 frame is solid! My first step was to revise the fit components; they may be right for someone, but not me. I am not one to drink Kool-Aid, however the Specialized BG series saddles have me captive. Having had such great success with the Phenom SL on my Prophet MX, I opted for a Toupe Gel for my CAAD9, the day I built her up.

As far as I can tell, Specialized is the only company to provide scientific evidence of the effectiveness of his saddles. BG works; it minimizes contact with the body, and only makes contact where it NEEDS to. End result, is less decrease in blood flow and greater overall comfort. At first, the saddle feels awkward and uncomfortable, and will feel that way for a solid two weeks...after that, it is pure reward and pleasure! I rode 88 miles last weekend, and my saddle was the farthest thing from my mind!

When I first built my CAAD9, I installed the Toupe Gel on the stock Cannondale seatpost...after a month or so, I became aware of the fact that the seatpost design restricted me from properly adjusting the saddle...the nose was either just too high or low. I have since upgraded to a Thomson Elite that I had in the garage, which offers infinite adjust; it will tie me over, satisfactorily, until I opt for the Deda Zero100 seatpost, to match my Deda stem and handlebar!

Fit is key, which is why I tackled it first thing. By calculating proper saddle height and fore/aft, I have managed to find the most ideal pedaling position, which makes me most efficient and puts the least amount of stress on my legs and, most importantly, knees...I have a bum right knee. My drop and reach have been fine, since I put the bike together, however narrowing the bar to a 40cm gave my upper body the relaxation it was looking for...I could handle the bars more comfortably and breathe easier.

The CAAD9 is an amazing bike, however deserves more than Cannondale specs it with. Since my purchase date, I have upgraded nearly every part, static and active; I am yet to find an upgrade that hasn't enhanced my love for my CAAD9. Before you can truly understand the caliber bike the CAAD9 is, you must perfect your fit...it will reduce fatigue, increasing comfort and performance...who wouldn't benefit from that.

My suggestion is to upgrade to a Specialized BG series saddle; I went with the Toupe Gel, as it is their flagship saddle, for weight savings and comfort, and the Gel version would provide extra compliance on my aluminum frame. Infinite adjust seatposts are crucial as well; if the Deda Zero100 posts were in stock when I ordered my stem and handlebar, I'd have one, however my Thomson Elite is equally as effective.
 

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Did you get the R6 or R5?

I've got the R6 triple and this is how I am attacking the upgrading so far: just installed some Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires, ordered an alloy 30t FSA inner chain ring and alloy chain ring bolts (the triple Tiagra comes with steel inner ring), 10 speed Dura Ace chain is going on soon with an 11 x 26 SRAM cassette, from there the wheels may be replaced with another lighter set I have, then the rear derailer comes into suspicion,
 

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kneejerk said:
Did you get the R6 or R5?

I've got the R6 triple and this is how I am attacking the upgrading so far: just installed some Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires, ordered an alloy 30t FSA inner chain ring and alloy chain ring bolts (the triple Tiagra comes with steel inner ring), 10 speed Dura Ace chain is going on soon with an 11 x 26 SRAM cassette, from there the wheels may be replaced with another lighter set I have, then the rear derailer comes into suspicion,
I purchased an R5, and immediately upgraded brakes, shifters, rear derailleur and cog set to 7800 Dura Ace. I never rode the stock tires and fitted my Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX 23c tires to the stock wheels and installed a Specialized Toupe Gel saddle. Today, the bike is full 7800 Dura Ace, Industry Nine Ego wheels with Specialized S-Works Roubaix Open Tubular 23/25c tires, Thomson Elite seatpost, Deda Elemente SuperNatural handlebar and Zero100 stem. There isn't much left that came on the CAAD9 frame.

I find it to be a wolf in sheep's clothing; I have never been dissatisfied with anything on my CAAD9, however it encourages me to long for things better. Overall, I learned that my best investments have been in wheels, tires and crankset; the rest is marginally trivial. The use of Open Tubular tires have been a great aid in terms of ride quality and performance, however just isn't good enough. Yesterday, I ordered the NoTubes Road Tubeless conversion kit and am to install it on my Industry Nine Ego's next week...this could make the bike! I am convinced that by use of lower pressure from tubeless tires, there will be no further complaints about harsh aluminum bikes.

What's left for my CAAD9? I am going to upgrade my fork to a Reynold's Ouzo Pro...I can feel just enough flex out of the Slice Ultra to annoy me...might as well make it stiffer. I am going to experiment with DT Swiss's RWS skewers, as they are expected to stiffen up the bike as well by way of greater clamping force and a stiffer axle. Now that Cane Creek makes their 110 in an integrated model, I figure I will see what that's about and finally exchange my Thomson seatpost for the Deda Zero100 that matches my stem and handlebar. Most of these upgrades are trivial, however they keep me riding and keep me interested.

The CAAD9 is a superb bike, that I find unmatched. I see it as the M3 of road bikes; it isn't unbearable to be an everyday bike and is a riveting toy, weekend come.

If you are interested, read through this thread...
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=131060
 

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Seat post upgrade

JoeB said:
Hey guys,

I'm VERY happy with my recent caad9 purchase, but I'm a "tinkerer" by nature, and am looking into upgrading a few parts--a little bit at a time. Taken together with the fact that I'm having trouble get the saddle geometry fine-tuned (getting some numbness after about 20 minutes in the saddle, and have tried adjusting the nose of the saddle up and down with little benefit) I'm thinking about the potential benefits of upgrading the stock CS carbon-wrapped seat post to a Thompson Elite.

QUESTION: I see there are different sizing options for the Thompson (ranging from 27.2mm to 31.6mm). I don't have the bike in front of me, so I'd like to get some feedback on which size seat post this bike requires. Any and all information greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
Joe,

Hi there, I am glad you like the CAAD 9, I have presently a CAAD 8, upgrading from a CAAD 7, and before that a CAAD 5 (I missed the whole CAAD 6 thing, did anyone accualy buy a CAAD 6? I don't think they were out long enough) so I think I can comment on how to 'tinker' as I am a 'tinkerer' as well, much to my wifes discust. The best way to upgrade the seatpost I found was to swap it out for a carbon WCS one. I had the alloy WCS post in and the stiff frame was made even stiffer with the alloy post. Swapped it out for the carbon one and I can honestly say it has been the BEST single upgrade ever for me.
It made the ride sooo much better, it has taken the road jitter out and made it a dream ride. I noticed it straight away.

I am looking at a few bike frames to upgrade but keep coming back to the CAAD frames, I think my next purchase will be a CAAD 9, just gotta get the colour combo right.
Also I am pi55ed at Cannondale for dropping the full carbon fork in the CAAD series. I hope my bumblings help.

BTW if anyone knows of a CAAD 9 framset in 60cm for sale, let me know.:thumbsup:

cheers

Ralph
 

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I wasn't aware of the Caad 9 progression, thanks for the intro Ralph.

I find the fork stiff, but heavy over here. Full carbon fork on the Caad 9, that would be nice!

I don't see the benefits of tubeless road wheels, but I am scared to try!

I also don't care for supple tires, feeling that more flex is just robbing some efficiency. My butt-o-meter seems to agree with me. Although, all I hear from the tire companies is how the supple tires improve speed/efficiency. I don't see how if you have more flex in a tire it becomes more efficient!
 

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kneejerk said:
I wasn't aware of the Caad 9 progression, thanks for the intro Ralph.

I find the fork stiff, but heavy over here. Full carbon fork on the Caad 9, that would be nice!

I don't see the benefits of tubeless road wheels, but I am scared to try!

I also don't care for supple tires, feeling that more flex is just robbing some efficiency. My butt-o-meter seems to agree with me. Although, all I hear from the tire companies is how the supple tires improve speed/efficiency. I don't see how if you have more flex in a tire it becomes more efficient!
The CAAD9 fork is stiff, but I desire something stiffer. The Ouzo Pro and Alpha-Q have been my two considerations, and considering their just about as stiff, I'll take the Ouzo Pro for it's cleaner looks and smoother ride.

I think you are looking at Road Tubeless the wrong way, the key isn't just in having lower tire pressure. First, one must ask the question, why do I pump my clincher tires so high? 100-120 psi doesn't allow a tire to its job, in terms of traction and ride damping. High pressure simply allows the the tire to overcome the friction caused by the tube inside. What causes such rolling inefficiencies is friction between a tube and tire, not just low pressure. High pressure makes everything so stiff, it is harder to cause internal friction, however the high pressure kills ride quality and hinders traction and grip. A tube is a very inconsistent component; there is far too much variance from one tube to the next in terms of rubber density, not to mention there are different style tubes...on the hole, a clincher tire is hindered by the presence of a tube.

Road Tubeless takes a better approach; rather than putting a band-aid over a known weak link, simply eliminate it. A Road Tubeless setup eliminates the presence of a tube, eliminating the friction caused by the tube, increasing rolling efficiency, even at lower tire pressures. A road tubeless tire at 104 psi was proven to have less rolling resistance than a tubular at 140 psi. What are the other benefits of lower pressure? Ride quality is a given, and I don't think 85-100 psi is too smooth; I'd argue it is just right. Oh, and traction is to be increased exponentially; the tire will make greater contact with the road and be more pliable, which simply means the compound is in a better state to do its job. Finally, since it is sealed with Stan's Tire Sealant, I shouldn't have to check and re inflate my tires every morning!

I feel like the 120psi we have been inflating our clinchers to has been for the soul purpose of rolling efficiency by reducing friction, however we are loosing all other performance aspects of our tires. It is time we experience speed and traction the right way. Consider too, that most every other wheel sport has gone tubeless, cars, motorcycles, mountain bikes; how is it inappropriate on a road bike? On my mountain bike, 30 psi is amazing and on my car 27 psi gets it done well; lower pressure proves itself a winner time and time again. It seems a little concerning, however I am willing to experiment with it, though I haven't heard one complaint or horror story...I trust it will be safe.

I am not trying to turn my CAAD9 into a Cadillac; I simply want the best performance and smoothest ride possible. As smooth as a CAAD9 is, it is still has plenty of chatter. I am the biggest advocate of road feel, as it is a key factor that should be efficiently communicated to the rider, however there is a difference between road feel and unnecessary chatter. Do yourself a favor and drop your tire pressure to 90 psi. and ride around your block, near your home; tell me you don't like how smooth the ride is and tell me you don't get enough road feel. Road Tubeless is going to be amazing!
 

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CAAD fork

When I bought my CAAD 8 I asked for the normal fork to be upgraded to the 'Premium +' fork and could not of been happier, the bike tracks brilliantly downhill on fast decents, and is an all round performer, with the added bonus of being light. I think when I buy my CAAD 9 frame set I will swap out my fork with the standard one.

cheers

Ralph
 

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I don't see one ounce of sense in going to a more supple feeling tire. I come from a motorcycle road racing background and I find that any tire I sence is squatting below me is loosing efficiency for me. I prefer a rock hard feel. I see efficiency in that. Maybe less traction, which I can deal with but, more efficient.

I don't mean to start a War!
 

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ralph1 said:
Joe,

The best way to upgrade the seatpost I found was to swap it out for a carbon WCS one. I had the alloy WCS post in and the stiff frame was made even stiffer with the alloy post. Swapped it out for the carbon one and I can honestly say it has been the BEST single upgrade ever for me.
It made the ride sooo much better, it has taken the road jitter out and made it a dream ride. I noticed it straight away.

Ralph
I've been debating for quite some time already on whether I should upgrade my aluminum Easton EA50 seatpost to a carbon fiber one. The objective of the upgrade is to try and soften the ride as much as possible. I've done my research and so far what I've gathered is it seems that the road rattle dampening properties of a carbon fiber seatpost is negligible. Until I stumbled upon this thread.

So fellow CAAD9 riders with cf posts - did you guys also feel the same significant improvement in ride quality as Ralph?

I might go with an Easton EC90 post to match the Easton cockpit. Call me vain.... hehehehe.
 
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