I have two bikes - my fast bike, a CAAD10 with HED Belgium Plus wheels and 11 speed ultegra di2. I also have a steel road bike that I use for commuting and sloppy conditions - Milwaukee Bike Co, Enve 1.0 fork, rim brake, SRAM Force 22, fenders, and some mediocre wheels I bought cheap years ago.
The majority of my riding consists of spirited group rides. I don’t need to be the fastest, but I’d like to think I’m getting better. Might throw in a road race or two or the occasional century ride.
Anyway, I’m tempted to upgrade the CAAD10. If I’m honest with myself, I think I just want something new or at least new to me. Bike tech has changed a lot in the past 11 years. The CAAD has served me well over the years and it has plenty of scars to prove it. I was never going to outgrow it. Any aluminum harshness never bothered me but I’ve never ridden carbon so I might not know what I’m missing. I’m looking for a bike that will last me 10+ years.
My budget is flexible, but I can buy sooner if the price is lower. I’m mostly interested in finding a price / performance sweet spot. Cannondale and Specialized brands appeal to me as a starting point.
Frame - the current CAAD generation, the CAAD13 looks like an outstanding deal. IMO its hard to justify the price of carbon in comparison. Looks like CAAD13 framesets can be found for less than a grand. Carbon frames look to be 2-4x that.
Groupset - I’ve been a fan of SRAM - AND I love the idea of wireless but the small cogs leave me cold - they suck watts! Am I being crazy? I know a lot of people love their AXS but I find the increased drivetrain loss compared to di2 kind of crazy. I get it for 1x but I’m building a 2x. I’d go AXS no question if they offered it in standard gearing. Anyway, tempted to go Ultegra 12 speed di2. Looks like this would cost about $2.5k.
Wheels - $1500 seems like a good budget but I’m trying to figure out if there’s sufficient reason to get something fancier than the HED Belgium Plus (now R?). Carbon and aero would be nice. 25cc looks to be the ideal width.
Ideally, I’d take a number of bikes on hour plus rides but I’m not sure how possible that is.
I’m curious what experience others have had making similar choices and upgrades.